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Pruning Your Facebook Ads to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

Facebook Ads Manager

While attending Inbound 2016 in Boston a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to listen to Gary Vaynerchuk speak during the opening keynote. Gary has built an empire around not only his wine business, but as a marketing genius and motivational speaker. Out of all the things he talked about, and believe me, Gary likes to talk, I was most struck by his ideas on targeting and how it should look in modern day digital marketing. He specifically mentioned Facebook Ads as one of the top 2 most effective ways he reaches his target audience and urged all the 15,000+ people in the audience to take advantage of its extensive ad customization tool.

So what exactly are Facebook ads capable of and how do you use them to your advantage? Facebook is constantly adding new features, different ways to tweak campaigns, and tools that measure exact results so it may be hard to have an established set of guidelines. When creating an ad campaign the onslaught of choices you are provided with may seem overwhelming, but if you tailor them correctly they can be a huge contributing factor to success.

Access Ad Manager

To get started building your Ad, click on the upside-down triangle at the top right of any Facebook page. From the dropdown list that unfurls select "Create Ads" and you will be led to the Ad Manager.

There is no doubt you go into any type of advertising with one main objective. When creating an ad, Facebook begins the process by asking what you hope to get out of your campaign. Do you simply want to get more likes and increase brand awareness? Or are you trying for something more bottom of the funnel, like converting visitors to customers on your website?


Facebook Ads Selection Once this is decided, you move on to defining who you want to see your ad.

Targeting the Right People

It's very easy to select the location, age, gender, languages, and interests that you want your target market to consist of. But choosing your audience demographic can only get you so far. Facebook's custom audience tool allows you to get even more crafty in your targeting. You're able to go after specific contacts (using the email addresses import tool) and people who have visited your site or even specific pages on your site (must have Facebook's pixel installed).

Pruning Pointer: Install Facebook's Pixel across your website not only to track ROI, but to retarget past visitors.

Facebook Ad Pixel

A key part of targeting previous visitors and being able to track any ROI of Facebook's efforts is to have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website. Installing the Pixel is as simple as copy and pasting code Facebook generates for you into your website's header tags. The code should be put in the header tags of your entire site's HTML to ensure it tracks across the whole site. 

Whether you run an eCommerce B2C business or a B2B service that has a long sales cycle, retargeting people who are already active on your site has been proven to work. Ultimately you are making your message available to those that are already interested in what you have to offer and reducing much of the guesswork that demographic targeting alone entails.

Where to Place Your Ad

Facebook suggests you let them decide where your ad is placed. Their automatic system optimizes for the lowest overall cost by placing your ad on Facebook's news feed and right column, Instagram, and apps and websites within their network. This may be a good idea for those just starting Facebook advertising or a new campaign, but if you know your target market fully then you will want to select "Edit Placements" and define where your ad shows up.

Pruning Pointer: Edit ad placements to show up only where your target audience lives.

We all use a variety of social media platforms, but there typically is one specific platform that we "live" on. I live on Instagram's mobile app. My cool uncle lives on Facebook's desktop site. We have different opinions, buying habits, and preferred platform use. If you're targeting one of us and not the other, your ad placement should mirror your preferred audience's behavior.

Facebook Ad Placements

As you are able to define your audience's behaviors you will be able to target them with more specific ads. For instance, some quick research I performed on mobile ownership showed that 85% of adults aged 18-29 have a smartphone compared to 54% of those aged 50-64. Suddenly mobile ads become a much more attractive option to me if I am targeting young professionals. Showing your ads only where your target spends their times allows you to be efficient and provide them with a comfortable environment to experience your outreach in.

When to Run Your Ads

Depending on your budget, you can run your ads at any time available or set a certain time frame when you want your ads to show. To unlock ad scheduling beyond showing at any time, you must have a lifetime budget set. Running ads all the time will allow you to use your full budget, especially if you want your ads to show up ASAP. If you choose to only run them at a busy time you may be limited to how much of your budget you can spend. 

Pruning Pointer: Get specific with event-based ads, be broad with general ads. 

Facebook Ad SchedulingIt may be obvious, but you want your time-sensitive ads to go out at the right time. If you choose to only run an ad during an event like Black Friday, it will be a lot harder to get the full reach out of your ads that you want. If it is specific to your industry or company, then timely ads will easily show up when you want and will not be restricted or diluted by all the others vying for attention.


Like Gary Vee proclaimed, Facebook Ads are easily one of the top ways to reach your potential customers. The amount of targeting and specific customization offered is simply unparalleled by other digital advertising options. Stay ahead of the curve by constantly checking out Facebook's Ad creation tool and investing your time into researching your target market's behavior characteristics. Or let a Denver-based social media marketing agency do all the hard work for you while you sit back, relax, and reap ROI.