Fitness junkies have always flocked to Instagram for inspiration from trainers, yogis and beyond. The social media platform of choice for anyone documenting a fitness journey, studios and gyms use it to share workout motivation and expose new folks to their brand. But if you’re looking to advertise an offer to attract new members, nothing comes close to matching the reach and smarts of Facebook.

Facebook’s sophisticated targeting capabilities are what make it the most effective social media platform to invest your advertising dollars. But with its gigantic audience also comes a gigantic list of advertising packages, which can make diving in pretty overwhelming.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to invest in Facebook ads and fail to see a meaningful return the first few times out of the gate. With so many options, it’s key to get a strategy in place so you can continue to test and iterate on your efforts. If you’re looking to test the Facebook advertising waters, make sure to follow these proven strategies to maximize your investment.

1. Identify the Goal of Your Ad

What are you trying to achieve? Increased brand awareness? More traffic? New leads? More sales? A specific percentage of conversions on a promotion? If you’re new to Facebook advertising, your goal may be to increase page likes or traffic to your site. As you gain more experience with Facebook ads, your goals will evolve to lead generation and ultimately higher conversions on your studio’s offers. Unless you clearly identify what success looks like with your Facebook ad, it will be next to impossible to measure its effectiveness. 

2. Target Your Offer

Who do you think will be most interested in your offer? What type of potential client are you hoping to attract? Where do they live and how much are they willing to spend? What are their interests? You’ll want to look at Facebook interest targeting to learn more. These are just a few of the questions you’ll need to answer to effectively target your offer. Make sure you’re focused on potential members in your local area. Look at nearby competitors to see what they’re advertising. Is yours a better offer/promotion?

“It’s important to identify the different types of clients that you already attract and determine which ones you actually want more of,” says Nadia Walker Arnold, co-owner of Barre Forte in Denver. “Then market specifically to those people by finding common elements shared between them such as they are all moms, millennials, make a certain amount of household income, live in a 5-mile radius and are interested in fitness. Focus specifically on those people. If this makes your potential pool of people too small, figure out which of those details are least important and remove them from your search criteria.”

Facebook ads look a bit different depending on your goals. One of the smartest ways to optimize your ad is to familiarize yourself with Facebook’s creative options before crafting your ad copy. Go to Facebook Ads Guide to find the option that best suits your needs.

Clearly identify what success looks like with your Facebook ad in order to measure its effectiveness. 

Lastly, remember that what you spend on your Facebook ad is your decision. There are a slew of factors that go into the cost such as the audience you’re targeting or the time of year you’re advertising (a Black Friday ad will cost more than usual because everyone advertises at that time of year). In the end, you get to set a budget that works for you. 

3. Make Sure Your Ad Copy And Images Stand Out

Once you’ve identified who you’re trying to reach, make sure your ad copy and its accompanying visual sparkles. Is the call to action clear? Does your image stand out? Are you adhering to Facebook’s text rules? Make sure you read up on Facebook’s policies when crafting your creative.

Take an audit of what your competitors are doing–what copy they’re using, the types of imagery, and how deep of an offer– and create an ad that stands out whether it be snappier language, bolder pictures or a bigger offer,” says Liz Kennedy, Director of Content Strategy and Social Media for Fresh Direct. “It’s easy to want to mimic what competitors are doing but you can easily become white noise on the Facebook feed if you do that.” 

4. Test Your Ad

Where are you sending users who click on your ad? Consider testing a couple of pages to see which one attracts the highest conversion rate. Facebook’s pixel tool tracks user behavior once they leave Facebook and go to your landing page. Using Facebook analytics as well as the analytic tools you have in place (such as Google Analytics), you can test your ad’s effectiveness so you can improve performance going forward. Timing is also a crucial part of testing. Make sure you promote your ad when your target audience is most likely to be active – which often ends up being nights and weekends. 

5. Try to Determine What a Successful ROI Looks Like

One of the most effective ways to track the success of your ad is by using Facebook’s measurement tools, which show you things like how many conversions and clicks you’re getting. It’s a must for anyone who uses Facebook ads. If your ad is more about awareness and branding, you should also look at social ROI. One way to track this is by using Facebook Audience Insights, a free tool for anyone who’s an admin on your page. This is where you’ll get a close look at your page likes, shares, comments and more.

Despite all the tools, it’s important to remember that tracking ROI is often more of an art than a science since so many factors come into play. “It’s hard (to track ROI) because most of the time you are relying on your staff to track pre-existing offers,” says Walker. “However, when you run Facebook-only offers it helps to make tracking easier. ROI really varies per campaign and since the offers are usually for a free class, the ROI is also dependent on how well our sales team up sells the person. There’s a lot to consider.”

 

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