If you run Facebook ads, then relevance score is the single most important thing you can do to insure the difference between success and complete disaster.
I speak often on the subject of Facebook strategy and it’s almost predictable that at any function I attend I will always have one or more people tell me that they tried Facebook ads and they didn’t work.
When I ask about their industry, it’s often the same industries where we’ve fun hundreds of successful campaigns. So I know that Facebook ads work but it didn’t work for them and the likely culprit was their lack of understanding or management of their relevance score.
The Purpose of Facebooks Relevance Score
Remember that people do not go on Facebook to buy from you. It’s a social platform and people are there to connect with friends. That’s it, period.
Advertisers tend for forget this crucial component. And so Facebook in it’s great wisdom created the relevance score as a tool to weed out weak and ineffective ads.
Sure, your ad may be approved. That’s only the first hurdle. That approval is only reflective that you are not violating terms of service. But once your ads hits the users and the algorithm will decide if you are worth keeping in the ad stream or not.
Facebook wants to protect their user experience by only allowing ads that are high quality and relevant. If you do your job right and you create a great ad with high relevance you’ll enjoy great exposure to their best audiences and the lowest costs per click.
If however your ads get a low score, you can expect to see your cost per click skyrocket and you’ll find that your ads are suppressed.
How To Score Works
The scale runs from 1 to 10, with 1 being very bad (get rid of it now!) and 10 being amazing.
A “good” Relevance Score can be thought of as anything between 7 and 10. (the higher the better of course)A score of 7 or higher means your ad is being shown to a receptive audience who actually care about what you’re advertising.
They’re loving what you’re serving, and because Facebook typically thinks about their users’ experience, they’re willing to charge you less to show your ad to people.
If your scores are low, it won’t be long before that cost per click rises. We’ve seen campaigns with a .54 cent cost per click and that same ad with bad targeting and a low relevance score at $28.14 per click. For the same ad!
You cannot make a profit when your cost per click rises that much. Facebook know it and predicts you’ll stop your advertising of the low relevance ad. If you do not stop your ads, well then you’ll be paying way more for your ads than your competitors.
How Facebooks Algorithm Affects Relevance Score
Your relevance score will be heavily influenced by Facebook’s expected positive and negative feedback. (Not the actual feedback)
And so how does Facebook arrive at the “expected” estimate?
By observing feedback from those served the ad. After about 500 impressions (number of times people were shown your ad), you’ll see a score generate in your ads manager.
If you have a low budget, then it might take a while (500 impressions) before you see your score.
The score is not based on actual feedback like comments, likes and shares. Even if your ads gets 1,000 likes you can still end up with a low score. Facebook is calculating your audience’s anticipated response based on your campaign goal and targeting.
It’s an algorithm that predicts performance.
It’s trying to measure the likely engagement or likelihood of the next person seeing your ads to take the desired action or hide your ads or flag your ads. If you knock your ad out of the park and hit a Relevance Score of 10—your score can still change on a day to day basis. If you’re constantly showing your ad to the same audience without them taking action, that frequency can erode your score.
So how can you get to that magic 10?
Plan Carefully To Get a Great Score
The first and most important step in preparing a new ad is to know your audience. Know their wants, needs and desires and speak to those in particular. What problem are you solving for them? Why should they care about your message? Just because you think it sounds good, your audience disagree and planning is crucial to do that right.
When selecting your audience persona, its important to go beyond just age, gender, occupation and interests, but know their fears, problems, pain points and their internal conversations.
A deep search in audience insights will show you the sites they visit, the magazines they read, the foods they eat.
You need to know your target audience like the back of your hand because this will drive the positioning of your ad copy, your creative, and the action you’re asking them to take.
If you plan correctly to understand who you’re trying to reach, you’ll create a truly relevant ad… which translates to for better return on your ad dollars and much lower costs to acquire a new customer also!
In short, it’s worth it to do your homework.
Great copy isn’t when your audience understands you, great copy is when your audience feels understood by you.
It’s not just about clearly communicating your message. Going back to the point about creating your Buyer Persona, it’s about showing your audience you get them.
Your ad copy needs to address the pain points of YOUR AUDIENCE. Also, your copy needs to disqualify the wrong people. In other words, you want to weed out the people who aren’t in your target audience.
You’re not trying to resonate with EVERYONE. Instead, you want to be the perfect fit for your ideal audience. Don’t be shy. Get to the point on EXACTLY who it’s for.
Facebook will use responses to your ad to determine who they should show it to. If unqualified people are responding to your ad, you’re wasting cash.
Your ad copy on your landing page should carry the same scent as in your ads. Facebook sees your landing page and the action that is taking place on your page. Are people taking action on your page or bouncing? If your messaging is on par on both the ad and the landing page, your odds for success are highest.
A confused visitor will usually bounce from your page and that will hurt your relevance score.
Your Creatives Are The Last Step
A picture is worth a thousand words. It can make or break a campaign. Most creators of Facebook ads start with the image and work from there. At WSI Priority Media, our Facebook ads managers start at the top and work our way out to the creative (image) last.
Targeting your audience as described above is the foundation. After you’ve done your homework and developed great targeting and you understand the problem you are solving and who you are talking to, then I’d suggest creating a series of ads and testing them in this final phase.
After running countless ads I consider myself an expert. I feel I can see an ad and tell if it’s going to be a hero or a zero. And even after all these years of running ads, I still am shocked with the ad I thought would work best tanks and the ugly ad I was sure wouldn’t work turns out to be the winner.
Let me stress however you cannot test ads if your targeting isn’t dialed in first. But if you’ve done your targeting well, then testing creatives is a lot of fun.
You should not only test about 4 different creatives but try 2-3 headlines and hooks for each of those ads.
So run for example create #1 with 2-3 different headlines and hooks. Then creative #2 with those same headlines and hooks and so on.
Testing methodically and systematically like this is a lot of fun and allows you to see which ads perform best and get the highest engagement and relevance score. Test everything!
This is the fasts test and best way to nail a high score. Let your audience tell you which they like best, which in turn means Facebook will also like it best and you’ll likely see great scores to go with it.
Update Your Ads
Unlike magazine or billboard ads that remain constant, your Facebook ads will often diminish in time.
Your audience may gloss over your ads, also know as ad blindness. So an ad that used to work may no longer work when ad blindness sets in. So one must be ready to refresh and update ads.
You might need a new angle, offer, or method of presenting your message. You might simply need new creative. If you’re not sure then you can always initiate a new “learning phase”.
You may get the sense that there’s a lot of work involved in nailing a great relevance score. There is. And it’s worth it for you to learn the steps involved to perfect your scores. If you’re not quite comfortable with all the moving parts, then work with a Facebook ad specialist like WSI Priority Media who can assist you in managing your campaigns For a one on one conversation with me to review and discuss your relevance score, click here.