Hackernoon logo5 Steps To Plan Effective Ad Campaigns In Facebook & Instagram by@eugenezuban

5 Steps To Plan Effective Ad Campaigns In Facebook & Instagram

Eugene Zuban Hacker Noon profile picture

Eugene Zuban

Minimalist. Indie iOS Developer (ex. PRO Media Buyer). Entrepreneur.

For the fourth year now, I have been running Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns for my clients around the world. During this time, I analyzed more than a hundred campaigns launched by previous specialists (in some cases, by entire agencies). The audit process allows you to identify current problems and familiarizes yourself with previous hypotheses to determine in advance non-effective strategies.

Unfortunately, in most cases I faced the same problem - the strategy was not planned. Determining which demographics, behavior, and interests settings you need to select in Business Manager are not enough. Moreover, even if you have prepared advertising materials (calls, text, pictures, and/or videos), this is still not enough for your advertising to be effective.

Planning is one of the pillars of success. Not only life or career but also an advertising campaign. In today's post (and this is my first post on Hacker Noon), I will talk about how to make the right project plan for your Facebook Ads, and also provide a

ready-made template
that you can use in the future.

Step # 1. Defining the marketing model

If we are talking about a professional approach to launching targeted advertising, then let's define how it differs from a non-professional approach. 

  1. The main difference is having a marketing model at the heart of your funnel. The stages that are relevant to your type of business are superimposed on the model you choose.
  2. Everything is in the data plane. The funnel starts where you can collect data about user activity. There should always be a resource in the form of a website or application to support your funnel.

So, we learned that you should provide your funnel with a marketing model and collect data about the actions of your users. Now let's figure out what models you can use for Facebook ads.

There are two main marketing models for our purposes. These are:

  1. RACE (Reach - Act - Convert - Engage)
  2. AARRR (Acquisition - Activation - Retention - Referral - Revenue) We use the second for applications & services and the first for everything else (lead generation, eCommerce, etc.)

RACE Digital Marketing Framework

Stage 1 - Reach. At this stage, we raise user awareness about our brand or product. This tells us what is cool and necessary; it also helps identify our strengths.

Stage 2 - Act. After we tell our target audience about our product, we proceed to ensure that users are involved and take the actions we need. As a rule, this is sending an application or the first contact form.

Stage 3 - Convert. Everything is clear here; we are pursuing the main goal - the sale, that is, the transformation of marketing goals into a specific result.

Stage 4 - Engage. Building long term relationships with clients. It is always cheaper to sell to someone who already knows and loves your product than to follow the funnel from the moment it starts. At this stage, we subscribe the client to our pages, mailings, and channels.

AARRR Digital Marketing Framework

As I said, this model is used to promote services and applications/games, so let's understand how it works with specific examples. Let's say we have a Football Manager application.

A - Acquisition. The user installs our game because we advertised and praised it so cool.

A - Activation. Registration in our game. He leaves us his data and the Facebook SDK is recorded as a user who has installed our product on his smartphone (this is useful for us for LaL).

R - Retention. It's not enough for us that the user just installs the game and register in it, he has to play! Therefore, using the mechanics available to us, we return it to the game.

R - Referral. Super, he's with us. But if he likes, then let him invite his friends to us and for this, he will receive bonuses in the form of game currency.

R - Revenue. It all depends on our method of monetization, if it is advertising, then we do everything to ensure that the player is with us as much time as possible, in our game, or he buys some additional functions inside the game, for example, the well-known and dear player.

At this stage, it is also desirable to plan the unit economics, but this is a completely different broad topic for which I will highlight a separate material. Let's go back to our model because that's not all.

I think you know what a marketing funnel is; it is the shortest path for a user to purchase. Those are the stages that the prospect goes through to find out about the product, make sure that he wants it, decide to buy and buy. In order not to stretch this material, I will present you below the imposition of the RACE marketing model on the classic eCommerce funnel.


The diagram above clearly demonstrates how each stage of our model is superimposed on a funnel stage in a classic online store. Also, below you will find an example of a marketing funnel for an application, try to impose an AARRR model on it yourself.


Step # 2. Drawing up a retargeting model based on behavioral segmentation

And so, we have three types of marketing data, which differ in the principles of collecting information and their prioritization for us in the face of business. I love having a lot of data, it allows me to play with hypotheses.

  1. First-party data - the advertiser's data. This is information about visitors and/or customers collected during their interaction with the site (Facebook Pixel).
  2. Second-party data - data of advertising activities: results of advertising campaigns, clicks, social activity (clicking the Share button, likes), other behavioral factors.       
  3. Third-party data - data from third parties. Their source is email marketing services, payment systems, third-party sites, DMP data processing, and storage services.

It will come in handy for us as part of the professional approach to advertising, which I am promoting here today. You and I understand that the more we know about our audience, the better we can interact with it. Therefore, it is imperative that we install the Facebook Pixel on our website (or SDK for applications), mark up all the events we need (page view, clicking a button, sending an application, buying, contacting a chat, etc.). Remember that in addition to configuring standard events, you also have access to custom ones that are not provided by the platform.

And so, suppose your Pixel already has enough data to collect audiences for remarketing and consider several options for configuring this module.


As we can see from the example above, we collect the audience of the product page for the last 30 days, as well as apply additional filters and narrow the selection to iOS users who have visited the selected page more than three times.

Using various combinations of audience collector settings, you can segment the samples based on user behavior, which will allow you to find the most suitable or "warm" potential customers and communicate with them by these characteristics.

For example, if you work with an online store, then several additional parameters are transmitted to you in the Pixel: cost, type and category of goods, its ID, and others, this will allow you to remind users in retargeting campaigns about the goods they are interested in, as well as recommend similar products ... I think you get the point.

That is, correct work with First-Party Data will allow you to better work with your audience and directly influence the effectiveness of advertising campaigns.

Step # 3. Communication strategy

In our case, communication is the content that you show to your users depending on their current stage in the funnel. There is a Customer Journey Map to link these two elements. From a PPC perspective, CJM is a traffic map (model) + communication strategy (creatives).


For each stage in our marketing model, there is at least 1 step in our CJM. Respectively, for each step, there must be at least one advertising message (creative). The sequence of creatives per each step of our funnel will be the communication strategy with your potential client.


You may have already noticed how consistent the steps are in our plan: we made a traffic map (the funnel), imposed a marketing model on it, collected and segmented audiences depending on user actions on our funnel, and now we create communication and superimpose it on the retargeting model.


For example, we have a service with a similar funnel. Your audiences are segmented depending on each stage of this funnel, that is, people who left an application started the ordering process, made an order, and then, but for some reason left your resource. Our task is to return a person to an unfinished stage and bring him to purchase. This is our retargeting model.

Remember that your communication task is "Right message to the right people at the right time!". Your images/videos, text, and CTAs, which form the advertising message, must be relevant to the stage the user is at at the moment.

Below you will see an example of the retargeting model implementation directly in Facebook Ads Manager, I think this will further clarify the whole picture for you.


Step # 4. Detailed targeting and target group decomposition

At this stage, we have already worked out retargeting and planned communication with users who are already aware of us. Remember that when you implement this plan in your ad account, the first thing you do is upload retargeting campaigns and settings and then campaigns that are aimed at attracting cold traffic.

To implement this step, you need to be familiar with the advertised product, that is, know the answers to questions: who is the target audience, product benefits, decision cycle, customer bases, competitors, geography, etc.

This information will help us make several hypotheses about the audiences we will target, that is, create several personas - typical users of our product. The more we know about "our" people, the more effectively we will be able to interest our proposal.

Basic characteristics of a person: demography (gender, age, nationality), geography (country, city), employment, interests.

Extended characteristics of a person: behavior, psychotype, personality type, type of behavior, life motivation and values, visited locations, sources of information, what he likes/dislikes, what he talks about, what he wants, goals, life plans.

You may have several such persons, it all depends on the number of hypotheses about your target customer. The more hypotheses you test, the better you will know your ideal persona. Marketing is a constant search and testing!

Ideally, the description of a person should be based solely on data about real users/customers of the business, but if you do not yet fully know who your target audience is, then fill out the table based on your own experience, guesses, and hypotheses.

Step # 5. Fixing metrics for measurement

More recently, here on Hacker Noon (Startup Metrics: A Comprehensive KPI Cheatsheet for Founders), I read an interesting post on what metrics a startup should collect and analyze, many of which, as expected, overlap with marketing metrics. From the beginning of this article, we remember that one of the points of a professional advertising approach is working in the data plane.

For myself, I single out several key indicators that I observe every day: CPM, CTR, CR, CPR. Also, don't forget about ROI, ROAS, etc. However, the first set of metrics affects the performance of the second, so close monitoring will help you isolate and fix problems in time. It is very important not only to know the framework of the indicators that rest on your KPI but also to analyze them from day to day in the context of the month.

Project plan template and conclusion

It turned out to be a rather long instruction, but I hope that your time was well spent and you use the information received. This note does not pretend to be an exhaustive manual, because each item is worthy of the rest of the article, nevertheless, I tried to present the idea as succinctly as possible and I familiarized myself with each step in the plan.

As promised, I am attaching a

link to Google Tables
with a project plan template for running effective Facebook Ads. Familiarization with it will also help you better understand and assimilate the material. Run effective ads and take care of yourself!


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