Facebook™ is a great place for marketers. It is the most active social media platform for people over 25 and its Ad Creator platform is extremely easy to use even for someone without prior experience. This is why most social media advertising is focused on Facebook™. For the same reason – its widespread popularity – the team at Facebook™ has created strict rules for what can and cannot be advertised on their platform.
Affiliate Marketing – a Sensitive Topic
The first step before starting to create Facebook™ ads for affiliate marketing is to read the Advertising Policies of the platform and comply with them. Pay particular attention to restricted and prohibited types of contents and promotions. For instance, any type of product labelled as “supplement” must be targeted only at people over 18 years of age.
Secondly, remember that Facebook™ has a zero tolerance policy to promoting affiliate links in its ads. This means that you cannot take users directly to the product links for which you are paid an affiliate commission. Instead, you can direct them to a landing page where you can encourage them to opt for a free trial or sign up to receive notifications for your latest blog posts.
Attention! Facebook™ will check not only the ad in itself, but the landing page you created to take users after clicking on the ad. If they consider that either of the two does not comply with their policies, your ad will not be approved.
These being said, this is the efficient and compliant way to use Facebook™ ads for affiliate marketing:
1. Create a Landing Page
Since the landing page will also undergo scrutiny by Facebook™, you need to make sure that it will pass inspection. Apply the general best practices for landing page design: simplicity, focus on a single action and lack of distractions (menu and tabs leading to other pages on your website).
You can opt for a pre-sale page where you share the key unique selling proposition for your affiliate products. Or you can simply use it to build your list of subscribers, serve them useful and interesting content and persuade them to click on your affiliate links at a certain point.
2. Apply Highly Specific Selection Criteria for Your Ad Audience
Since you are breaking the ice in affiliate marketing via Facebook™ ads, it means that you have a learning curve ahead of you. In time, you will learn how to “play” with various audience groups, including and excluding various selection criteria.
For the beginning, be very specific about whom you are targeting. Put in as many characteristics of the ideal client who would buy the products you promote as an affiliate partners. For example, if you are promoting an exercise machine to be used at home by 50+ people, your ideal audience must be: male and female, 50+ years old, interested in exercising, healthy living, residing in your local area.
3. Keep Your Spending Budget under Control
To avoid spending too much before you master Facebook™ ads for your affiliate products, you need to start small. Keep your campaigns short and mind the validity period of the promotions offered by the affiliate merchant. It makes no sense running a Facebook™ ad for an entire week if the special offer you are promoting expires in 3 days.
As for the budget, professional marketers recommend sticking to $100 per day until you learn more about the ins and outs of Facebook™ advertising.
4. Perform Split Tests and Run Parallel Promotions
Don’t keep all your eggs in the same basket – this is a very wise piece of advice in online marketing. A/B tests were not invented to make your work more difficult – but to help you learn what works and what doesn’t, whether you target the right audience or you are using the right message to target them.
Parallel ads – promoting different products to the same audience at the same time – are also useful in helping you understand what type of products and promotions they prefer. In time, you will learn what you should promote on Facebook™ for maximum ROI.
5. Make the CTA Extremely Specific
In online advertising, never assume that people will understand implicitly what you want them to do. They do not take subtle hints and do not read between the lines. If you want them to click your ad and sign up for a free trial, then your CTA button must spell it for them in plain English: “Click here for a free trial”.
It is important to make the CTA specific and match it perfectly with the landing page. If, instead of a free trial, Facebook™ users reach a landing page where they are supposed to make a purchase (or anything else than what they expected), they will leave the page without taking action. However, you will be charged for the ad click.
Last but not least, make sure that your ad visuals attract attention, are relevant and comply with the Facebook™ rules concerning ad creation.