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Facebook: 7 Tools to Take Your Paid Advertising to the Next Level

By Lucas Miller    |    December 26, 2016

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My dad’s one of those know-it-all handymen.

Growing up, I’d spend hours with him at his workbench in our garage, watching him tackle his latest projects. After a good while, mom would call us for dinner. Covered in the grease of that day’s work, he’d have to wash up before sitting down for supper.

It was all very Norman Rockwell-esque—I loved it.

Much like any impressionable little kid, I made it a personal goal to be just like my dad when I was older. Time came and went, and though I slowly but surely started building out a toolbox of my own, it was more of the digital variety.

And while I might not be the handiest of men in the garage, the toolbox I’ve spent years building is capable of turning a pretty solid profit on Facebook.

Also, it all but eliminates the possibility of grease getting stuck under my fingernails—gross …

Anyway, would you be interested in taking a gander at the tools I use to guarantee my clients traffic, leads and a predictable increase in revenue from Facebook advertising?

I figured as much—below, you’ll find seven of my favorites:

1) Facebook’s Campaign Planner

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling across the country, building a birdhouse or planning for the future, without a roadmap of some sort, you’ll soon find yourself dazed and confused.

The same thing goes for Facebook advertising.

Because of this, I use Facebook’s new Campaign Planner to keep my clients’ campaigns in order. Even better, thanks to this tool, I’m able to quickly respond to any and all questions regarding budget and reach.

As a result, performance expectations are properly set before a campaign launches.

My clients want to know what their hard-earned dollars will do for them on Facebook. Campaign Planner allows me to provide them with a confident answer.

2) Facebook’s Audience Insights

The bread and butter of Facebook advertising is targeting.

How is this possible? Easy—Audience Insights.

Arguably the most powerful tool on this list, Facebook’s Audience Insights allows digital marketers to segment an existing audience, discover new audiences and even create detailed buyer personas.

Getting beyond the basics of gender, age and location, Audience Insights uses native data and third-party findings from providers like Acxiom and Epsilon to help you come to know your audience on a more finite level.

Combine Audience Insights with the likes of Google Analytics, and you’ll not only have a robust buyer persona on your hands, but a one-two punch of which even Rocky would be jealous.

3) AdEspresso’s Ad Gallery

Good marketers borrow Facebook ad ideas.

The best ones, though? They outright steal them.

I know this might sound harsh, but it’s true—if a Facebook ad has worked for a larger, more authoritative brand, it’s likely to work for you, too.

This is where AdEspresso’s Ad Gallery comes into the picture …

For the longest time, when an ad would catch my eye on Facebook, I’d take a screenshot of it, and then toss it into one of those random, black-hole folders on my desktop. Time would pass, and when I needed to find the ad I’d saved months prior, I had no earthly idea where it was.

If you’ve experienced something similar, Ad Gallery is what you need to simplify your life.

Basically, Ad Gallery is precisely what the name implies—a collection of top-performing Facebook ads. Using the tool’s main interface, you’re able to sort through them by industry, objective and ad type.

Opposed to stealing money-making ideas?

Not a problem—in search of creative direction, take to Ad Gallery to get a better idea of what you can do with your brand’s Facebook images and messaging.

Last, but not least, access to this massive, ever-expanding collection is 100 percent free.

Not bad, eh?

4) Canva

Let’s recap right quick …

We’ve planned a campaign, determined who we’ll target and taken a good, hard look at what’s worked for others—so, where do we go from here?

Well, as much as you’d hoped to avoid this step, the time has come to start building out your ad.

Seeing as how Facebook allows for ad photos to contain up to 20 percent text, you’ll want to craft solid copy, but also extend your messaging to the eye-catching images you use.

Whether you’ve taken the picture yourself or found a free one on Unsplash or Pexels, take to Canva to overlay text, add a filter or edit it as if you were a full-blown graphic designer.

With the average American consumer spending upwards of 40 minutes a day on Facebook, you’ll need an image that stops people from scrolling past your advert.

With a stunning image and Canva’s help, your ad is more likely to make it happen.

5) CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer

Of all the tools mentioned on this list, make certain that this is one of the first you bookmark.

And yes, I get it—images (and videos) are everything for Facebook fanatics. Still, there’s one final piece of the ad content puzzle that’s worth considerable time and energy—the headline.

While most social media strategists overlook headlines, I use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to make sure that mine deliver.

After you’ve come up with a headline or two, punch them into Headline Analyzer.

Literally, in a mere matter of seconds, Headline Analyzer gives your headline an overall score, while also rating its ability to produce social shares, an increase in site traffic and SEO magic.

Don’t get me wrong—Headline Analyzer isn’t perfect …

Similar to other like-minded tools, it’s based on an algorithm, so results aren’t guaranteed. Still, if you’re a fan of objective outlooks (much like me), Headline Analyzer might be just what you’re looking for.

6) Acquisio Social

Acquisio offers a number of helpful tools, but my personal favorite comes in the form of its main social analytics offering. Taking to Acquisio Social, I’m able to manage and organize any Facebook (and Instagram) campaigns I’m working on.

Seems pretty standard, right? Wrong.

The beauty of Acquisio is how effortlessly it’s able to test hundreds of ad variants, produce powerful performance insights and deliver immediate optimization suggestions.

It goes without saying that you should educate yourself as to what works and what doesn’t for Facebook ads, but if you don’t have dozens of hours to read through helpful blog posts each week, few outlets provide a more timely optimization solution than Acquisio.

  • Note: Though Acquisio Social is awesome, keep en eye on Oribi. Similar to Acquisio, Oribi quickly delivers incredible Facebook ad analytics—for free. The only problem? Undergoing some edits, the tool is currently out of commission. Check on it, though—it’s worth it.

7) SuperMetrics

You’ll hate me for this, but contrary to the way things are normally done on listicles, I’ve saved the least sexy tool for last—SuperMetrics.

I’ve got a reason for it, though—at Brigham Young University, I developed a keen interest in marketing metrics. Needless to say, I’m a numbers (and spreadsheets) guy.

Anyway, back to the task at hand—reporting tools.

Facebook’s Ads Reporting tool is awesome. In fact, it’s my personal opinion that it’s wildly underutilized by most digital marketers …

Still, as a reporting tool, SuperMetrics is hard to beat.

What I like most about SuperMetrics is that it’s a Google Sheets add-on.

As such, once it’s tracked an ad’s reach, frequency and cost-per-click (CPC) over time, the information I need to keep myself accountable to my clients is speedily fed into a Google Sheets document.

Located in one convenient, easy-to-use location, I can clearly see when ad fatigue rears its ugly head, allowing me to respond appropriately.

Like Dad’s Toolbox, But Somewhat Different …

Take it from me—a repairman is only as good as the tools he uses.

My dad’s collection was top-of-the-line. Because of it, when combined with his innate ability to make sense of repair-related confusion, a solution was never far off.

In the end, did I grow up to become as handy in the garage as my old man? Not so much …

That said, over the years, I did manage to create a toolbox of my own to build, manage and track game-changing Facebook campaigns with relative ease.

Now that you’ve seen what’s inside my toolbox, you’re able to do the exact same thing.

So, what’s the holdup? Instead of simply standing around, watching as other brands make good use of the Facebook tools they’ve amassed, pick up one or two of them, and get to work.

Trust me—it never felt so good to get your hands dirty with some digital grease!

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