As familiar as we are with Social Media you would think it would be easier to understand how to run successful ad campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Yet often the lucrative success that “social media experts” write about in books or present in their seminars doesn't come as easily. Fortunately for us, due to a policy change, Facebook has now vicariously opened up a priceless tool to help you improve your advertising campaigns run through ads manager and more specifically on Facebook.
In April, in an attempt to be more transparent, Facebook began requiring business pages to list all their active, paid advertisements. This change allows anybody to view all of the running advertisements by simply navigating to a companies “Business” page and clicking a tab on left of the screen that says “Info and Ads.”
I was curious about what I might find looking specifically at lending companies on Facebook. Over the course of a few days, I was able to analyze the current advertisements of multiple lending companies and I quickly realized that for many lenders the ability to search through and farm Facebook ads would be a handy tool in multiple ways. For example, you can see exactly what your competitors are doing (at least as far as Facebook ads go) and act and react accordingly. Searching through ads will also help you to expand your creative horizons and fuel your ability to make unique and successful advertisements in the future.
For the remainder of this blog, we’ll cover four different lending companies that were found to have great Facebook advertising techniques.
When I looked at Lift Credits page, they were running 16 ads, with little variation from each other. It’s clear that Lift Credit has tapped into an important element of Social Marketing, testing. No one can really know how well any ad will perform without running tests.
Low-cost testing is one of the key components that makes Social Marketing so powerful. The ability to constantly adjust your ad until it hits your desired metrics is incredible. Don’t be afraid to run multiple test ads; at the time of my analysis, Lift Credit was running ten ads with the same text. The only difference in these ten ads was the imaging and their geographic targeting.
By keeping the text the same and changing the images, Lift Credit was effectively running A/B image testing within three geographic regions. This showed them how each region responds to various images. Since my initial analysis Lift Credit has reduced the number of running ads, leaving the most effective ads.
Another thing to note is that Lift Credit efficiently recycles their content. Specifically when it comes to their high-quality animations like the two images above. Remember, it’s ok to reuse content especially if it converts!
What I like about Sofi’s social marketing is they know what they want. By looking at their ads I could quickly tell that Sofi’s intentions were to position themselves as a financial expert among millennials and drive downloads of their app. A clearly defined goal will help you identify how you are going to hit your target market. You will also be able to maximize your social budget by focusing on what’s most important.
To help millennials with their financial goals Sofi ran twelve ads with “learn more” CTAs, six of which lead to very specific blog posts like “How to Pay Off your Veterinary School Debt.” The other half pointed to pages about retirement, interest, or tools like a student loan calculator. By generating specific and helpful content Sofi remains relevant among their target customers.
In today's marketing environment it’s critical to contribute information that is helpful to customers. If you can direct them to a blog post or website to help them solve a problem your chances of earning their business increases dramatically. It's also important to find a balance between promoting your helpful content and the lending solution you offer.
Striving for a content/solution balance, Sofi ran another twelve ads dedicated to getting people to sign up for an app that was under development. When your metric is downloads, it is important to make it easy to sign up for the download and therefore collect information necessary for your lead. Sofi accomplished this by using an auto-filled form that is generated inside Facebook. It takes just two clicks to sign up rather than typing out any information! Its perfect for Sofi’s millennial target and will be helpful in generating more leads of your own. Click here to learn more about auto-filled Facebook forms.
Out there somewhere is a small lender who is thinking that they don’t have the budget or the team to be an effective advertiser in the social world. Well, take a look at Earnest. When I came across Earnest they were running several ads that proclaimed their transparency by telling the viewer how much the ad image cost. It was $30 for the image to the right.
It’s possible to make great social ads on any budget. Use stock photos or emojis and make your ads compatible across multiple platforms (i.e make your images square so they can be used on Facebook and Instagram without any image warping.) Even a low-cost ad can make a considerable impression as long as you dial in your target, spend time running some tests, and have a clear call to action.
I was impressed with CommonBond Co because of their creative use of different ad types. I particularly liked one of their carousel advertisements: Rather than using each slide as separate images, as a retailer would, they made each image a sentence of a story. The story takes you from a cute puppy picture to refinancing your student loans, with “Learn More” CTAs all the way through.
While CommonBond co isn’t doing anything groundbreaking, their advertising is different enough and simple enough to catch people's attention. They have great hooks to catch your eye, like a cute puppy or exciting intro on a short video. Then they quickly and simply deliver a component of their story. To tell your story break up the essential aspects of your firm and then brainstorm the best way to relay them. If you get creators block, browse through some of your competitors Facebook ads and other companies whose advertising you really like to help you shape your own advertisements.
Ultimately browsing and critiquing other advertisements will help build creativity and keep you refreshed on the fundamental aspects of social advertising: running A/B tests, clearly defining a target audience, maximizing the budget. Mastery of social advertising fundamentals, with a little creativity, will bring any firm closer to success. With a little practice and some personal exploration of Facebook ads, you will be driving the results you want with your social advertising.