Facebook was one of the first social networks to surpass 1 billion daily-active accounts, making it one of the largest user bases in digital marketing.[1] The network’s advertising platform also sports many audience key building and engagement features with an impressive level of depth.

With a thorough understanding of how these key features work and key Facebook ad strategies, advertisers will be able to better manage their budgets and secure more conversions. Here are three key features and strategies for effective Facebook advertising.

#1: Organize Custom Audience Lists

An important feature to become familiar with when advertising on Facebook are Custom Audiences. This feature allows you to organize, filter, and advertise to existing databases of users. Organizing a Custom Audience is especially useful when your digital marketing efforts are running campaigns on multiple platforms.

For example, if your digital marketing is concurrently promoting products and information to email lists, then organizing a Custom Audience from these emails will increase your rate of Facebook conversions.

Negative Lists

There are many types of Custom Audience lists that can be used on Facebook. One powerful list type to create is the Negative List, which allows Facebook advertisers to exclude a whole group of users based on their actions or pages viewed on your site.

Negative Lists are powerful tools for Facebook advertising when segmenting campaigns by their position in the sales funnel. For example, Facebook users who’ve navigated your site, but haven’t converted, may not find top funnel promotions convincing. Excluding these users from your top funnel promotions ensures that your budget is being spent on unfamiliar audiences who are most likely to convert.

#2:  Growing Lookalike Audiences

Taking the Custom Audience lists further are Lookalike Audiences. After organizing, filtering, and testing your lists, the Lookalike Audience feature allows advertisers to grow their lists within parameters of specificity. This is one of the best ways to expand your audiences while ensuring a high level of efficacy.

When expanding your lists with Lookalike Audiences, you’ll have the ability to reach new audiences within 1% or 10% specificity. Some key things to consider when expanding to a specificity are:

  • 1% specific expands your audience within 99% of your Custom Audience list’s similar characteristics, including interests, liked pages, age, localities, affiliations etc. This is the tightest growth you can have from your Custom Audience list.
  • 10% specificity expands your audience with 90% of your Custom Audience list’s similar characteristics. This level of specificity is the most varied growth you can have from your Custom Audience list, but it is also the largest match.

It’s essential for your Custom Audience lists to be well defined when growing Lookalike Audiences. The higher rate of goal success using a Custom Audience list, the more likely you are to repeat this success.

#3: Experiment with Image Ad Rotations

One of the most important features in Facebook advertising is your image display. Although image ads are also accompanied with an ad copy, the image is the first thing to catch the user’s attention. Without effective images, your audience lists and targeting won’t perform to their full potential.

Depending on your advertising campaign, certain image types will work better than others. Before introducing advertisements to a new audience, create experiments to find the image types that convert the best. Three commonly used image types are:

  • Images of people
  • Images of the product, service, or experience
  • Typography

When experimenting with image types, aim for 1,000 impressions for a safe representation of your click-through-rate (CTR). Depending on how fast you reach 1,000 impressions, you may want to limit your image ad rotations to 1 or 2 ads. If your CTR is below 0.1%, you may want to evaluate the effectiveness of your image ads to your audiences.

Facebook’s large user-base and extensive advertising features make it an effective platform for digital marketing. Each experiment should gradually build your wealth of knowledge on who your target audience is and what promotions are most effective. Following these 3 tips will help you find your stride in your Facebook advertising.

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[1] Brian R. “More than 1 billion users access Facebook on mobile daily”. Android Authority. http://www.androidauthority.com/facebook-billion-users-daily-706217/