Digital Advertising

Running Facebook Ads in 2023: 9 Crucial Tips for Kenyan Businesses

Getting started with digital advertising? Here is everything you need to know to run high-converting Facebook ads in Kenya.

For businesses in Kenya looking to reach audiences at scale in 2022, there is no better solution than Facebook Ads. 

Facebook Ads allow you to amplify your voice in a manner that is targeted, thus enabling you to connect rather easily with your customers and prospects.

Besides owning the largest social platform on earth, Facebook went ahead to create one of the most sophisticated advertising tools on the internet today, only comparable to Google’s Ad platform.

In this article, you will learn:

1. Set a clear advertising goal

The quickest way to get lost is to not know where you’re going.

From our conversations with prospects, we find that a lot of businesses have tried running ads in the past, only to be disappointed by poor results. As a result, they dismiss the entire Facebook advertising ecosystem as a waste of money. 

This situation arises when the person placing the ads for these companies does not understand the advertising strategy. Worse still, the decision-makers – company management – do not understand how to interpret results or apply their findings to make decisions.

As such, it is imperative that whoever is running your ads have a clear understanding of advertising strategy as well as the technical know-how on navigating Facebook’s Ad Manager. 

More importantly, it is crucial for management to define their goals and expectations from the advertising activities before embarking on the campaign(s).

2. Use Facebook Ads Manager

Running a Facebook or Instagram Business page, you must be accustomed to seeing a similar prompt appended to your posts, asking you to promote each post:

What most people don’t realize is that this is Facebook/Instagram marketing to you. The problem with clicking the “Boost Post“ button is that it leads you down a road that isn’t very well optimized for driving powerful results.

It leads you to a singular page that enables you to quickly create an ad. But it is not nearly as powerful as using Ads Manager. From the get-go, you don’t even get the option of selecting your campaign objective. 

Facebook Ads Manager, on the other hand, allows you more control over your advertising process, which enables you to fine-tune your delivery. 

We, therefore, recommend that you use Ads Manager when placing ads for both Facebook and Instagram.

3. Optimize your Targeting

With over 1.9 billion daily active users, Facebook alone has the capability to reach close to a quarter of Earth’s population in a single day. 

But not all of them are your customers.

And as large as the number may be, Facebook has developed some very intelligent tools to help you find your needle(s) in this haystack of humans.

Facebook allows advertisers to target users based on their interests, demographics and behaviours.

Top 7 Facebook Ads Audience Research Questions

In order to micro-target your ideal clientele, you need to have a deep understanding of your audience. 

Here are a few questions that I personally use to quickly develop an audience profile for the sake of advertising on Facebook:

  1. Who are the thought leaders or big brands in your niche?
  2. What books/magazines/newspapers does your ideal customer read?
  3. What events do they attend?
  4. What websites/blogs do they visit?
  5. Where do they live?
  6. What tools do they use?
  7. What is completely unique about this group?

Back to our guitar shop example, the company needs to target run Facebook Ads targeted to Kenyan users who enjoy playing guitar music. Their target audience for a specific product (guitar) would look like this:

If the proprietors of this shop were to spend Ksh 2,000 ($18) per day, they can reach up to 24,000 people daily, with an estimated ~1,000 interacting with their ad daily.

4. Use high-quality Creative

The creative of your ad is the biggest variable to the success of that ad. Remember, people are more likely to remember the image or video they saw in the ad than read the caption. In today’s visual-driven social media world, your creative has to put your best foot forward.

Ideally, you want need your creative to be a scroll-stopper.

Guidelines for creating engaging photos and videos for ads

Here are a few rules to guide you in creating high-converting visuals for your ad:

  1. Start with a powerful hook. 
  2. Prioritize video content for ads. Motion graphics convert 3-4x better than still graphics
  3. Use contrasting colours to stand out from the feed.
  4. Avoid wordiness. Have the visuals communicate as much as they can without being aided by text.
  5. Your creative should match the audience. Use relatable characters/references in your ad. For example, if your target audience is middle-aged men, you want to use a model in your photo/video that matches this description.

5. Use powerful Copy

The words in your ad are what will communicate the value that you wish to convey. As such, they have to be optimized to get your audience to take the action that you wish them to, whether that’s visiting your website, redeeming an offer, signing up for your service, or more.

Top rules for high-converting copy

  1. Headlines are 80 cents on the dollar. In today’s internet landscape, most people only read headlines and click to read the full article only if it is sufficiently engaging. Your headline needs to have a strong hook that instantly sparks the readers’ curiosity.
  2. Be concise: Use the fewest words needed to convey your message. Make your titles 6-13 words long.
  3. While you’re at it, ensure that your communication reflects the worries/concerns/needs of your audience.
  4. Functional copy always beats emotive and corporate copy. e.g., “Buy this guitar today and enjoy 6 hours of free lessons with our award-winning teacher,” beats “Buy this guitar and become the musician you’ve always dreamed of being.”
  5. Learn copywriting formulas. While copywriting may seem daunting, the best copywriters in the world don’t necessarily start from scratch every time they write. Instead, they have a writing tool belt containing multiple tools, which they call upon depending on the situation. The most powerful copywriting formulas are:
    1. AIDA
    2. PAS system
    3. OATH formula

6. Use a crystal-clear call to action (CTA)

In line with defining your advertising goals, a crucial step for developing high-converting Facebook ads copy is to include a clear Call to Action (CTA) in the advertisement.

You should seriously consider the next step that you want your audience to take upon consuming your ad, and then ask them to do it. The most common CTAs are: “call now,” “shop now,” “learn more,” “book an appointment,” and “see menu”.

When it comes to Facebook Ads (and Google Ads as well), the rule of thumb is to use only one Call-To-Action in your ad.

CTAs can be implemented in multiple forms and formats, for example, a clickable button on your ad, a link in your ad, or even actively telling them to “visit our store,” in the ad’s video.

7. Constant monitoring and optimization of ongoing campaigns

Digital advertising is not a done-and-dusted medium.

Once your ads are running, you need to monitor their progress and optimize them. This usually starts and is done at least every 3 days from when you place your ads.

Why is ad optimization important? 

Digital advertising is a scientific process: you start with a hypothesis and adjust your methodology as new information comes to light. You may discover that your initial hypothesis was wrong, or uncover a winning formula. It is crucial to adjust your position as soon as you have new information to support it.

This process involves a lot of things – we’ll publish a future article detailing this whole process. During the monitoring and optimization stage, you’re looking for several things:

  1. Underperforming ads
  2. Ads with a spectacular performance
  3. Any unexpected results

During this process, you may find yourself reallocating your ad spend towards the campaigns/ad sets that give you the most value. Avoid the temptation of making emotional decisions at this stage. Refer to your campaign strategy and adjust accordingly as new information is presented. 

It is also crucial to countercheck any biases and assumptions under which you may be operating, as they may be clouding your judgment.

8. Run Retargeting campaigns

Most prospects hardly ever turn into customers on the first visit to your site.

One of Facebook’s most powerful features is its ability to retarget (Google calls it remarketing – it means the same thing) past audiences who have already interacted with your brand.

The sources (Custom Audience) that Facebook uses to identify these audiences include your website visitors, people who’ve interacted with your Facebook and Instagram pages, people who’ve watched your Facebook and Instagram, and people who have your app installed on their devices. You can even upload a customer list with contacts and Facebook will be able to identify those individuals.

Apart from Custom Audiences, Facebook also avails Lookalike Audiences, which are audiences who are to a specific degree similar to your custom audiences. Essentially, this tells Facebook to go and find other people who are lookalikes of the people who have already interacted with your brand.

Not only is retargeting powerful, it is also quite cheap. About 4-6x cheaper than using detailed targeting.

9. Test, Test, TEST

My favourite thing about Facebook Ads is the fact that you can test nearly every aspect of your campaign, at no extra cost. From Creative to Copy, Placement, and Demographics. 

 What can I test using Facebook Ads Manager?

Virtually everything. 

For one, Facebook Ads Manager allows you to upload multiple creative and set multiple copy options for your ad. It then selects the best option based on user feedback and runs it as the main ad.

Facebook Ads Manager actually has a built-in feature that enables you to conduct A/B testing. But there are several ways to go about it…

How do I conduct A/B testing using Facebook Ads?

The first thing you need to do when doing any form of testing is to isolate only one variable which you wish to test. 

If you test multiple variables at once, then you won’t be able to tell which one is responsible for success.

Secondly, testing is usually conducted at the ADSET or AD level on Facebook Ads Manager. 

Facebook allows you to create an A/B Test at the CAMPAIGN level:

Testing at the ADSET level comes along with the cost of running the extra ADSET. However, you can set a limit on how much you wish to spend daily using campaign budget optimisation at the CAMPAIGN level.

Here are a few practical variables that you can test:

  • Creative
    • Red background with white text or red white background with red text? 
    • Video ads vs still image ads
  • Demographics
    • Multiple age groups
    • Various interests
  • Placement
    • Do Stories ads have higher CTRs than Feed ads?
    • Do Audience  Network ads drive more app installs than ads on Facebook and Instagram?
  • Copy:
    • Test the tone of your copy to identify which one your audience best resonates with: official vs conversational vs reassuring vs imploring
    • Different languages: English vs Swahili, English vs Baganda

These examples barely scratch the surface of all the variables that you can test on Facebook. 

At Kooni, our philosophy when it comes to digital advertising is simple:

When in doubt, TEST

~Kooni Connect

A Perfect Chance to Advertise

Before COVID-19 hit, users already spent an average of 58.5 minutes a day on Facebook.

During the pandemic, Facebook and social media usage soared further.

Now is the perfect time to leverage this channel and drive your recovery.

Get a 30-minute Domination Call with a Digital Marketing Consultant from Kooni Connect

What are Facebook ads?

Facebook ads refer to targeted online advertisements that are created and published on Meta’s advertising platform. These ads are shown to users on Facebook, Instagram, as well as Meta’s audience network, which allows them to run said ads on third-party apps.

Why should I run Facebook Ads?

Advertising on Facebook and Instagram is both cheap and scalable. Unlike Google’s targeting which is cookie-based, Facebook’s advertising platform is people-based, allowing you to target individuals based on their interests, demographics, and behaviour.

Where do Facebook Ads get displayed?

Facebook Ads are shown to targeted users on Meta’s platforms Facebook and Instagram, as well as Meta’s extensive audience network.

How do I run ads on Facebook?

The best way to run Facebook Ads is using Facebook Ads Manager. It’s an all-in-one tool for creating ads, managing when and where they’ll run, and tracking how well your campaigns are performing towards your marketing goals.

How do I run ads on Instagram?

While Instagram prompts owners of business accounts to boost posts using a conveniently placed button underneath their posts, this is far from ideal. The best way to take advantage of Instagram’s full range of advertising capabilities is to use Facebook Ads Manager.