People don’t go online today…they live online. The Unchurched and Churchless generally take their first step toward Christ by clicking on an online ad. Over the last 18 months, Missional Marketing has placed over 12,500,000 Facebook ads targeting Unchurched and Churchless users for churches and ministries in America. On average, our Facebook Click-Through Rate (CTR) has been 2.45%, which is over 2-½ times the industry average. Why?
The Anatomy of Facebook Ads
Facebook advertising is growing at record rates — in fact, the number of advertisers using Facebook has more than doubled in the last 18 months. Advertising in Facebook first seems easy but quickly gets overwhelming. The platform is ever-changing and has countless ad targeting options, multiple ad types, different bid strategies, remarketing, conversions, custom and lookalike audiences, countless geo-targeting options plus a whole array of ad components, structures and text options to choose from.
Facebook ad performance also differs across industries. The key performance metric is the Average Facebook Click-Through Rate (CTR). This is the rate in which a user clicks on an ad after seeing it (Total Clicks divided by Total Impressions). Wordstream, an industry leader in Digital Advertising, recently commissioned an independent research project on Facebook Ad performance. Here are their results:
Missional Marketing has achieved an industry leading CTR averaging 2.45%, over 2-½ times all industries.
So how does a church or ministry achieve an industry-leading Facebook Click-Through Rate? At Missional Marketing, we believe you need to establish an effective campaign audience, include well-written text, clear link descriptions, and also an effective call-to-action to reach the industry average Facebook Click-Through Rate.
However, if you want to exceed industry averages, we believe you need to develop effective ad imagery along with captivating ad headlines with specific intent and goals in mind. It’s all about the artwork and also the eye-catching headline.
For the purpose of this article, I will only focus on the user behavioral dynamics along with the creation of the Ad Image and Ad Headline.
80/20 Rule. Over 95% of all Facebook ads are seen in mobile devices, users typically view ads by quickly “scrolling” through their newsfeed scanning images. When they see an image they can relate to, the user generally stops scrolling, looks more closely at the image, and then reads the headline.
To that, you need images that have high “Pause-Power”. A high “Pause-Power” image contains elements, features, and aspects of the target audience. The image is 80% of the target audience while 20% of the image is about you or the event.
People First. People relate to people. Images of people outperform non-people photos or images by a factor of 2 to 1. People relate to people doing things they would do. This is especially true when the image is an action photo/image where the individuals in the photo are doing something that the target audience can relate to or can see themselves doing.
1-Two-1 Triggers. We have 1 second to compel the audience to stop, and 2 seconds to trigger an emotional response, just for 1 click. Images that cause an emotional reaction or effect, significantly outperform those that do not. This is especially true when the image contains children having fun, people in groups, individuals interrelating or individual(s) expressing feelings.
Benefits. The Ad Headline is a “Benefit Statement”. It needs to be simple, personal and provide the benefit(s) to the user. The ad is asking the user to change their normal behaviors and attend your event. You need to provide a compelling benefit(s) or take-a-way in order for the user to change their behavior. If there are multiple benefits to the event, use multiple headlines.
Inviting. The ad is an invitation to attend or engage. In most cases, it’s to an audience that does not know your church or ministry. In many cases, we target individuals that have had a bad experience with church. Use words or phrases like “You’re Invited”, “Visit Us” or “You are Welcome”, “Open to All”. Stay away from words or phrases like join, engage, sign-up or connect as the user often interprets these words as obstacles or tasks they need to do before attending the event.
Less is Better. Be succinct, informative, recognizable, and motivating with the Ad Headline. Use phrases like “Free”, “The Tonight Show”, “Easter”, “Harvest Festival” and the like.
Summary of Facebook Click-through Rate Optimization
People don’t go online today, they live online. The Unchurched and Churchless generally take their first step toward Christ by clicking on an online ad. Help grow the Kingdom and your church by reaching the Unchurched and Churchless where they live…their Online Neighborhood. Download this article Anatomy of a Facebook Ad.