Facebook and Instagram ads are pretty powerful, but are you tapping into the full potential of what they have to offer?

With 1.5bn daily users on Facebook and 500 million (and rising) daily users on Instagram, this is a massive opportunity for online brands.

Let’s face it, the world of online ads is never static, and needs to be continuously tweaked in order to reach the right customers.

If you’re currently running ads and want to stay on top of ad performance and achieve positive ROAS here are some practices in mind when running your Instagram and Facebook ads in 2019 to achieve the best possible results from your ads.

NB: Some of this is advanced shizzle, but I will include it as this is the stuff Facebook ad managers are doing on ad accounts which make brands thousands per week. This will at least help give you an understanding of what others are doing with their ad accounts and to be the best, you need to know some of the best strategies…


1. Carousels/Slideshows

People LOVE interacting with their phones and swiping! With Carousel ads you can include up to 10 scrollable images or videos in the same post. Slideshows are similar to Carousels with the difference being the content scrolls automatically in a video-like format. Best practices for Carousels and Slideshows are:-

  • Add as many images as needed (up to 10 for Carousel and Slideshow)
  • Use high-quality, eye-catching imagery and videos. Bright colours which are thumb stopping usually perform well.
  • Tell a cohesive story, don’t slap up the images/video in random order
  • Include a clear CTA (call to action). Never assume your audience will instinctively know the next step you want them to take. And;
  • Showcase your brand identity. What makes your brand stand out and recognisable to the masses?

2. Instastory Ads

If you aren’t using this right now, you’re missing out! Instastory ads usually pop up between Instagram user stories for a duration of up to 15 seconds before they disappear, unless they are cancelled by the user. They can be seen as a single image or single video and are an excellent way to get your audience to take action. The real advantages of Instastory ads are that they promote awareness, recall and sales and can be scaled fast! When using this type of ad:-

  • Minimal ad copy using 4-6 words
  • Great visual ads with clean fonts, bold colours and prominent logo placement
  • Audio and/or musical features
  • A focus on your product offering
  • Swipe up feature directing users to a chosen landing page.

3. Single Image/Video

Nothing beats a good old classic! Single image and video ads are as simple when it gets when it comes to Instagram ads, but don’t let that simplicity fool you as they can still pack a punch! These ad formats, you can create up to 6 single image/video ad placements at once to showcase to your different audience segments (the images are selected at “ad level” in Ads Manager). This means your audience may see different image variants of one ad. Cool right? For the best results:-

  • Keep your ads simple – use minimal text, ad animation and bright colours to attract the eye. Remember, Instagram is a very visual platform.
  • Text: Less is more – Keep ad copy around 120 characters and centre it around your audience. Appeal to their emotions.
  • Don’t forget the CTA – Include your website or landing page URL as a clickable CTA to drive traffic.


1. Starting with a clear goal

Before even starting a new Facebook ad campaign, you need to be clear on your intentions or GOALS. If your goal is to convert as many sales as possible but you have set up your campaign for Page likes…you’ve kinda shot yourself in the foot! And it’s not because Facebook is a pile of poo that wants to sabotage you and take all your money, it’s because you’ve asked for the wrong thing. Take a bit of time in deciding on which campaign you want to go with. Once you’ve done this, the next steps to consider are:

  • The structure of ad sets in a campaign – Each individual ad set should have a separate campaign objective, target specific audiences and have different bidding types which help you to become super efficient in generating ads, quickly identify winners, decrease auction competition and enable CBO – Campaign Budget Optimisation.
  • The structure of ads in an ad set – You can place up to 20 ads in an ad set, but keep in mind ads should be unique and include a wide variety of imagery, video, ad copy, headline and CTA. The more ads used helps Facebook to quickly identify the winning ad combination and reduce ad fatigue. When you have your winners, it’s time to scale…

2. Unlocking Ad Automation

Often overlooked but highly powerful. Imagine if your campaign required you to log into Ads Manager and keep increasing your budget to ensure it lands in the right perfect audiences feed or turn off an underperforming ad at 2am.

Unless you want to chain yourself to your desk with eyes glued on your campaign (if so, do you boo!), I suggest leveraging your ad automations. With Facebook ads, you can turn on automatic bidding, budget optimisation and creative optimisation to help you optimise your campaigns, especially if you have a lot going on in Ads Manager. Let’s have a quick look at how they can help.

  • Automatic bidding – This allows Facebook to perform real-time bid changes for you, in other words, you let the algorithm take over. To get the most out of it, you need to work with Facebook and teach it “what good looks like” via conversions through your funnel
  • Budget optimisation – Campaign budget optimisation (CBO) automates your ad budget to increase or decrease in real time depending on the rules you set. This helps to increase ad performance and stops you from eyeballing the budget 24/7 to ensure it does not go crazy and overspend.
  • Creative Optimisation – Dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) is very smart! It puts the right ad, in front of the right audience, at the right time and on the right device. It does this by using the algorithm which is tested and optimised against your goals.

3. Creative Rules

You can put ALL the automation rules in place, but what truly makes or breaks your performance are your ad creatives and imagery. You should always be testing before optimising and closely monitoring as you scale. The more you increase your ad spend increases your target audience, but it could also mean faster ad fatigue.

In order to find the winning combination, it’s important to test a few creatives in order to find the winning 5% to improve ROAS. This can be determined through dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) and split A/B testing your ads. Some best practices:-

  • Understand your audience – The more you know about your audience intimately, you are in a better position to know what truly interests them
  • Great Imagery – Your audience LOVES great pictures of people, products, memes, videos etc
  • Copy – Bear in mind the tone and appeal to your customers’ emotions.

Creativity is the success story behind Facebook and Instagram ads, and with the platform continuously evolving, it requires the mindset to continuously invest in learning about what works to stay ahead and truly get the most out of it.

If you are unable to personally dedicate your time learning about advanced techniques, don’t worry! You can always outsource this to an ads manager or agency who has the experience working on these types of accounts

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