As is our custom at the Digital Marketing course at General Assembly, last night we invited another rock star guest speaker to blow our minds with their real-world, practical experience. David Caron, owner of DCD Agency, did just that as he walked us through the ins and outs of his most recent – and very successful – Facebook ad campaign. I only took 3 pages of notes, but here are the highlights of our evening with Mr. Caron.

  • When engaging in advertising, “success” measurement is simple: ROI. How much did you spend, and how much revenue did you generate directly from that spend?
  • Google (YouTube) counts a video view as 30 seconds, whereas Facebook counts a video view as 10 seconds.
  • In the example of a successful ad campaign, David shared that his cost per view of the 30-second Facebook video ad was less than $.01. “It appears as a penny because Facebook just rounds up on the metrics screen, but it was actually less than half a penny per view.”
  • David learned from Gary Vaynerchuk about the basics of engaging on social media, rather than hard selling, but took that to the next level by first promoting the aforementioned 30-second video to a very targeted audience (that was for engagement) and then retargeting everyone who watched that video (>2M people) with a very specific ad and call to action: “Shop Now”.
  • Your best bet for Facebook ads to desktop users is the main news feed; however, if your budget won’t allow for that, the right side will give you tons of impressions and a very low CPC, though you will get far fewer clicks.
  • If you’re running your ad on Instagram, remember it’s ALL about the image. Catch the eye of your target audience with a beautiful image.
  • Instagram is – in his experience – not yet providing the best response from ads because we’ve all been using Instagram ad-free for years, so we are not used to clicking out or engaging with ads that aren’t quite as well targeted as Facebook ads. Yet.
  • David recommends taking a month to test out various forms of your ad on Facebook / Instagram to get your audience targeting correct, your ad copy correct, and your call to action correct. Do small tests (e.g., $25/day) until you optimize response, then go all in. A great tool for massive ad testing & optimization is Adespresso.
  • A video alone is not going to get much engagement, so add context to the video. For example, David’s client sold leggings, and their call to action was “Tag your husband / boyfriend with what you really want for Christmas.” From that simple CTA, they got tons of engagement, which drove traffic and conversions.
  • David integrated Facebook’s conversion pixel with his client’s Shopify ecommerce solution to track engagement and conversions of his targeted audience.
  • When setting up an ad campaign, follow these guidelines within the Facebook Ad Manager:
    • Don’t target “interests” and “behaviors” within the same ad campaign. Keep those targets separate, and test each to see which will get you better results.
    • Use “Lifetime Budget” rather than “Daily Budget”. When you use daily budget, Facebook’s job is to spend all of that budget by the end of the day, but when you use lifetime budget, it’s Facebook’s job to determine the very best times to display your ads to the best audience to maximize your results for that spend.
    • Let Facebook determine your bid amount, rather than manually bidding. Use manual bidding if you have a very strict budget per click.
    • Choose your CTA button carefully. “Learn More” is much less intimidating than “Shop Now”, which clearly indicates that your user is going to spend money. Remember, your goal is to get them to click, so test and use the button that works best. David used “Learn more” for that video that got over 2M views, and “Shop Now” for the ad that retargeted those who had already seen the video.
    • Always, always use UTM parameters when entering the landing page URL for any ad, so you can easily track your results in Google Analytics.
    • For your display URL, always use “” rather than just “”. For some reason, it works better.
    • Use a separate, optimized image/video for Instagram campaigns. You can choose to display your Facebook ads on Instagram very easily in the Ad Manager, but you should not do that. Instead, set up an entirely different ad for Instagram.
  • Facebook will show you your “Potential Daily Reach” as a range. The bottom number of that potential is what you’re likely to get if your ad sucks. The top number is what you’re likely to get if your ad is good.

Thank you, David Caron, for sharing your awesome exerience and knowledge with us last night. If you need inbound marketing and video marketing is appropriate for your business, you should probably talk to David.


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