Engagement Campaigns for Conversion: an Advertising Strategy for Facebook

Facebook makes getting into advertising and boosting posts as easy as possible. But mastering the labyrinth of their tools and analytics can be a daunting task. Campaign goals, target audiences, ad creative, and budget all offer a confusing array of options and features.

You can learn to advertise on Facebook with a trial-and-error approach, but it will take months (or even years) and end up costing thousands of dollars. Today, I’ll look at a relatively simple way to organize an advertising campaign that maximizes conversions and minimizes ad spend.

Getting Started

This guide assumes some level of familiarity with Facebook’s Business Manager platform. If you aren’t using Business Manager to handle your page, I highly recommend making the shift right away. Just visit business.facebook.com to get started – the signup is simple.

Once you’re ready to go with Business Manager, we can start creating ads with the strategy I’ll lay out here.

Social Proof

Many marketers will tell you that all your Facebook ads should be going after clicks and conversions – because those are the goals that drive new revenue. According to these marketers, engagement campaigns are strictly vanity goals and are a waste of money.

But that theory overlooks one of the most important aspects of Facebook – social proof. According to Neil Patel, “Smart marketers know that social proof is the marketing tactic for easing the minds of worried customers.”

Think of your own social media habits, when an ad comes up with no likes, comments, or shares; what do you do? I just scroll right past. But a promoted post with a few hundred likes, 75 comments, and 12 shares? I might stop to see what all the fuss is about. Engagement is critical to getting scrollers to stop on your ad.

Paying for Engagement

Social proof is the reason you should pay for engagement – it’s not a vanity campaign, it is a critical step in the advertising process. Unless you just run an engagement campaign and leave it at that – that’s not helpful to your business.

So, the first step in this strategy is to run a campaign with the goal of engagement. I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of setting up your campaign here, there are plenty of free resources available for that. Just set up your favorite engagement campaign and let it run for a few days. Once you have built up double-digit likes and comments, you’re ready for the next step.

I should mention one more thing here: almost all engagement is good. Likes and reactions are all good. Most comments are good (obviously excepting highly critical ones). All shares are good. So, don’t break your budget going after high-value engagement. Find a cheap audience that engages and go after them.

Setting up Conversion Campaign

Once you have built up some social proof through an engagement campaign, it is time to start going after conversions. The engagement campaign was just the lead-up – the conversion campaign is where the magic really happens.

If you’re familiar with Facebook advertising, you might be wondering how to use the same ad in two campaigns. Facebook’s ad manager doesn’t make this clear, but it is possible! Set up your engagement campaign like any other, then follow these steps:

  1. Get the Ad ID of your engagement ad. To get the Ad ID:
    • Go to your Ad Manager
    • Click the columns dropdown menu and then ‘Customize Columns’
    • Click the ‘Settings’ option
    • Check the box next to Ad ID. Now it will appear as a column in your ad reports
  2. Copy the Ad ID of your engagement ad.
  3. Create a new campaign with a conversion goal.
  4. Once you get to the Ad page, select ‘Use Existing Post.’
  5. In the Creative section, under the ‘Select a post’ dropdown, there is a blue ‘Enter Post ID’ link. Paste your Ad ID into the box and you’re ready to go!

From Engagement to Conversion

By combining the low cost of an engagement campaign with the high value of a conversion campaign, you can keep ad spend down while increasing your click-through-rate, decreasing your cost-per-action, and maximizing your return on ad spend. What more could you ask for?!

Of course, the best ad campaigns are continually revised and tweaked – and your conversion campaign is no different. But by starting every conversion campaign with an engagement push, you will be setting your ads up to succeed from day one.

The social proof accumulated by the engagement campaign will super-charge your conversion campaigns – and at a fraction of the cost of just blindly scaling up your conversion campaigns.

Intelligent Social Advertising

Any business can throw money at Facebook’s advertising system. But the return on ad spend will be wildly different based on your overall strategy. Clicking the big blue ‘boost now’ button might feel satisfying, but it will never compete with intelligently structured campaigns.

Combining the psychological power of social proof with a sound conversion campaign will result in more clicks at a lower cost – and that is what will grow your business. If you are sick of throwing money at Facebook and not getting conversions back, contact us today. We will take your social media marketing to the next level!

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