What’s the Most Valuable Skill For Facebook Advertisers? Media Buying, Visual Creative or Copy?

Business owners LOVE to get tactical with their Facebook ads. And they often obsess over which buttons to press…what bid strategy to use…and how to structure their campaigns.

It’s not their fault. Because, let’s face it, this is the sexier part of Facebook advertising. I mean the button pushing happens right before the money starts flowing into your bank account…so it makes sense to feel like this is THE most important stage in Facebook advertising. 

But here’s the thing…

A perfectly-structured campaign can never save you from under-performing ad creative (that’s ad copy and images/videos).

Whereas killer ad creative can sometimes save you from an imperfectly-structured campaign. 

That said, every aspect of building your campaigns is important. And so it’s vital for you to understand the purpose of each – before you start throwing money into the ads machine.

So, let’s start with Media Buying

What exactly is media buying? Put simply, media buying includes all the bits of your Facebook ads which don’t involve producing creative assets. That means:

  • Setting campaign objectives
  • Deciding on campaign structure
  • Allocating budget
  • Choosing target audiences 
  • Analysing ad performance and reducing/increasing budgets depending on performance

This is the more technical side of Facebook advertising. And it’s the area where many people try to find ways to gain an edge by ‘hacking the algorithm’. (This rarely works FYI).

Now, as a creative, it’s tempting for me to dismiss the importance of media buying. But without good media buying, it’s practically impossible for you to get your sales message in front of the people most likely to buy from you. 

In effect, media buying is the mechanism by which you give Facebook clear and unambiguous stage directions, so it can get you the results you want from your campaign.

If you want Facebook to find you leads…you need to tell Facebook to find you leads.

If you want Facebook to find people to engage with your ad…you need to tell Facebook to find people who will engage with your ads.

And of course, if you want Facebook to find people to buy your products or services…you need to tell Facebook to find people who will buy your products or services. 

It’s why, if you give Facebook the wrong instructions, it’s going to put your ad copy and creative in front of the wrong people – and you could end up spending a lot of money for no results. 

So Media Buying is essential. But it’s not the ONLY thing to consider when launching your ad campaigns.

Now Let’s Think About Facebook Ad Copy

Is Facebook ad copy important? Or can you get away with a line or two of “short ‘n’ punchy” copy if your targeting is on point?

Way back in the early 2010s…when Facebook ads first launched – you could probably get away with great audience targeting and a single line of copy.

But nowadays short copy rarely cuts it, especially in a saturated and crowded newsfeed. 

(Unless you have an offer so good, it barely needs explaining. OR if you have the world’s best explainer video, that can do all the selling for you without needing lengthy sales copy.)

And here’s what’s really interesting. According to research carried out by Smart Marketer, if an ad has great copy and a poor image – it can still perform well. Whereas a great image with poor copy, will struggle to generate conversions. 

Which tells us what about Facebook ad copy? 

It tells us that on-point ad copy is essential to the success of your ad campaign…while amazing imagery and video is not. That said…

run a successful facebook ad

Visual Creative Still Has a Vital Role to Play

Now before you run off to slap some crappy visual creative into your ads manager, there are some important points to note about your images and videos. 

Great imagery and video should not be an afterthought. That’s because visual creative can give a welcome boost to great ad copy. And when we’re playing a number’s game – every boost helps, right? 

So here’s why visual creative is essential to your campaigns – when it’s done right:

  • It grabs attention and stops mindless scrollers from ignoring your sales message 
  • It can pre-frame your ad copy by efficiently summarising your core message in a visual form
  • It kickstarts the brand-building process and creates a connection between your ad and your landing page 

As you can see, there is no single advertising skill which can give you the foolproof secret to running successful Facebook ads.

There’s no media buying hack…

There’s no copy wizardry…

And there’s no visual formula…

…which can override failures in the rest of your ad strategy. 

Which is why you should aim to at least understand all 3 elements of your Facebook ad campaigns before you get started.

But while there’s no one skill you can avoid. And no one skill where you should direct all your focus, I will say this.

If there’s one place where you should spend the MAJORITY of your time, it’s crafting the right message to pull in your dream audience.  

Want a Foolproof Method for Writing High-Converting Facebook Ad Copy?

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