Facebook Ad Growth Hacks for 2020 - Digital Distillery

3 Facebook Ad Growth Hacks for 2020

Author: Catherine Howell December 7 | Blog

3 Facebook Ad Growth Hacks for 2020

Author: Catherine Howell December 7 | Blog

facebook ads

Facebook Advertising Growth Hacks for 2020

If there’s one person who knows a thing or two about growth hacking through Facebook ads it’s Larry.  In 2008 he Founded WordStream, a company that now manages billions in advertising spend that was recently acquired for $150M, and also founded MobileMonkey – a Facebook messenger platform.

In a recent exclusive training, Larry shared 3 of his top hacks for 2020.

A hack – he clarifies, is “a loophole, but it’s not illegal.”

“We’re not talking Black Hat stuff here but rather unusual tests and strategies to improve results.”

So why even bother with hacks?

Well, put simply, Facebook is getting more and more expensive with CPMs increasing about 23% per quarter – so the usual way of running ads just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Beyond just what’s working with the algorithm on a day to day or month to month basis, these insider growth tacts are a powerful way to fuel your campaigns.

Here are Larry’s 3 Facebook ad growth hacks for 2020.

HACK #1:  The Inverted Unicorn Facebook Ad Targeting Method

The name of this tact may confuse but Larry laughs as he confesses to being obsessed with unicorns “I just needed to call this hack something.”

What It Does

Have you ever seen an ad where it seems almost impossible that the advertiser would know certain things about you?  Where you’re from, how you love Harry Potter and your favourite football team’s colours?

What you may not realise about this strategy is that it’s not being done by uploading illegal proprietary data. 

How it’s Done

In the example above, the way the advertiser is able to create something bordering on freaky and eye in the sky is by targeting users that live in England who have recently moved, then they superimpose people who have liked local businesses/schools in Arizona. The assumption being that this likely means whoever now sees the ads likely once lived in Arizona but moved to England.

facebook ads target
Choose the normal targeting parameters you’d normally go for then layer with completely unrelated interests

“So essentially you want to target interests you’d normally go for,” Larry says, “then layer that with something completely uncorrelated. The more niche here the better – such as Game of Thrones or Start Trek, for example”.

facebook ads
Choose unrelated interests from Facebook’s Suggestions to layer with targeting

The next step is the most important part – the advertiser then reflects this random connection back in the ad creative (ex: Always be Arizona at heart).

facebook ads
In this example, marketing interests were layered with Game of Throne and reflected back in the creative

Larry explains how this approach sees him able to drop CPMs to about $1 – $2, something that is almost unheard of these days!

Another case study of this – let’s say you wanted to target business individuals, and then layering it with a Star Trek, then weave this odd unrelated interest into your creative (image and copy).  

In summary – here are best practices for using the Inverted Unicorn Ad Targeting Method:

  1. Ridiculous targeting – combine totally unrelated targeting attributes
  2. Making boring ads interning – by simultaneously appealing to different interests
  3. Cutting down huge audiences – when budget is way smaller than audience size


Hack #2:   Web Traffic Bomb

Everyone wants to be a bestselling author these days or have their articles clock up millions of hits.

The secret way around this – you don’t actually need an audience in the millions, just use the web traffic bombing strategy.

What it Does

Helps skew publishing platform algorithms in your article’s favour to generate more traffic.  Please note, this approach should NOT be used on your own website, only use on a site that has an algorithm. 

How it Works

Put an ad together for your article and target the entire world in your targeting.  What will happen is you will end up getting super cheap clicks from places like India and Cambodia – clicks that cost about $0.10 a pop.  

What this does is it then triggers the platforms to organically push your article.

“Basically these platforms gauge the articles that get the most engagement, and when a post gets lots of hits they will start to then push that article on their homepage, to their email lists etc” Larry explains.

IMPORTANT – do not use this strategy on your own website as you will driving lots of “low value” clicks and this will likely hurt your retargeting and conversion efforts.


Hack #3: The Russian Ad Targeting Method

Say what you will about the Russians, but they are clever when it comes to targeting methods, and while Larry makes it clear he’s not for hindering democracy or releasing fake news – he says there’s a lot that can be learned from the approach the Russians used in the electoral campaigns.

What many don’t realise about the Trump campaign is that they actually showed the polarising ads to both sides of the fence. Why?  Because they understood that commenting is king these days and if you can get lots of people commenting on your ads, you’ll be better placed to outperform competitors in the auction.

What it Does

Helps generate more views and engagement and drive cost of ads down.

How It’s Done

The key here is to find topics that people hold strong belief systems over.  Publish a. Polarising article (the key is not to be rude or crude here, just find topics that people have strong opinions over) and create an ad leading to the article. Target this to those you know will share their views and then also target the ad to those who will strongly object.

We’re not looking for trolls or people leaving hateful comments here but rather conversations, people voicing themselves. 

In the example that Kim shares, the article states “Working Mums raise healthier children”,  the reason this article is so effective at this strategy is because of the term “working mums”.  For the corporate women who holds guilt over her career decisions, this article will validate her choices, but for the stay at home mu, the term will almost be offensive (as we all know it takes a village to raise a child). 

In one ad set the targeting would be set to corporate women, in the other – skewed towards women that left the workforce.

Want to rewatch the full training – check it out here and comment if you found value!

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