What is the Facebook Ad Library?
You’re probably aware that Facebook and its creator, Mark Zuckerberg, have come under some intense scrutiny since the 2016 presidential election due to the use of the social media platform for “fake news” ads. One of the tools that Facebook has made available to address the criticism is the Facebook Ad Library.
On the surface, its intended use is to provide transparency in advertising. You can plug in the name of any Facebook page and see the ads they’ve placed – with a special emphasis on political and issue-based ads.
The search option defaults to issue, Electoral or Political ads, but there are two other options available:
How to Use the Facebook Ad Library
The key to using the Facebook Ad Library is understanding how it works and what to do with the information you find there.
The first step is to make a list of your competitors. Make sure to note the exact name they use on Facebook – you’ll need that information to view their ads.
Next, go to the Facebook Ad Library. Then follow these steps:
The one thing you can’t do is spy on their targeting, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make inferences from what you find.
Tips for Using What You Find on Facebook Ad Library
How can you use what you find with Facebook Ad Library? Here are some tips and best practices to help you make the most of your espionage.
Dynamic Creative Ads
One of the best ways to capitalize on what you learn from spying on your competitors is to let Facebook do some of the work for you. If you’re not already using Dynamic Creative Ads, which is Facebook’s automated ad creator, then you’re probably missing out on a chance to connect with your audience.
Dynamic Creative Ads will help you create ad combinations you might not have considered on your own. You’ll need to make sure you have the types of content you want to use in your library, but you can do that easily enough after you spy on your competitors.
Basically, Dynamic Creative Ads will mix and match your options to allow you to reach your marketing goals. You can choose goals that include:
My suggestion is to dedicate some time early in the new year to scoping out what your competitors are doing with their Facebook advertising. Use what you learn to create the kind of content that’s going to help you divert traffic from them, increase your conversion rate, and grow your business.
To keep things simple, I’ve put together this local SEO resource for you to use to get the new year started right. I’ll focus on the quickest and easiest things you can do to ensure that your local SEO is up to scratch – and that the people in your target audience can find you.
Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
I’m not going to go into detail here about Google My Business because I’ve written about it extensively before. That said, please don’t ignore GMB in 2020! An optimized listing is your best friend when it comes to local SEO.
Make sure your listing is complete and up-to-date. Add pictures and your company logo if you haven’t already and do everything you can to encourage people to review your business on Google. It’ll help – I promise.
Standardize Your NAP Listings
NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) listings are another topic I’ve covered extensively, but they’ve become more important than ever before thanks to Google’s Hawk update in 2017. Having even one listing that’s not standardized can and will dilute your online presence – so don’t skip this step.
Google your company and make sure that your NAP listing is identical everywhere it appears. Remember that even minor differences (Ave instead of Avenue) can cause a problem. I know this is a painstaking, nitpicky job, but it’s important.
Specify Your Service Area
You own a local business and that means you have a service area. Even if you can technically ship anywhere, it’s still important to let potential customers know where you are.
There are two quick and simple ways to specify your service area without overhauling your entire website. You can:
Create Geo-Targeted Landing Pages
One of the changes included in Google Hawk is that Google made the target search areas smaller than they used to be to (at least in theory) prevent businesses from being elbowed out of search results. What I suggest is creating separate landing pages for each of your service areas. Here are some tips:
Optimize Your Citation Pages
Did you know that it’s common for consumers to spend only a few minutes on a business website before converting? That might sound unrealistic but it’s true – and it’s because they spend far more time on citation pages before buying anything.
Some of the best-known citation pages are review aggregation sites like Yelp and Yellow Pages, but there are dozens of others – some of which are specific to certain industries.
To get a jump on optimizing your citation pages, check out this master list from Moz, which lists common citation pages by industry. Then, Google your business and make your way through each citation. Keep in mind that, in some cases, it may be worthwhile to upgrade to a premium account, so you can add images and make the most of your business listing.
Use Schema Markup on Your Website
Another local SEO factor that you may have overlooked until know is Schema markup. Schema tells Google how to display your pages when they come up in search – and it can make a big difference in how local customers feel about your page.
You should use Schema markup to provide potential customers with vital information about your business. Many small businesses don’t bother to include a ‘rich snippet” with their Schema markup. You can find more information about how to use Schema markup to boost your SEO here.
Focus on Reviews
There’s no denying that social proof is the name of the game when it comes to local marketing. The research shows that almost all consumers pay at least some attention to online reviews, with many giving them as much credence as a personal recommendation.
You should start with Google My Business because those are the reviews that people are most likely to see when they search for your business. After that, you should look at review aggregation sites such as:
Then, make it a company policy to ask customers for reviews. You can decide what makes sense. For service providers, the best bet is probably to reach out to clients when a job has been completed. For retail, you may want to have your cashiers remind customers to leave reviews when they check out.
For extra credibility, consider linking directly to your review pages from your website. That kind of transparency is something customers value and it will help your local SEO, too!
Getting optimized for 2020 doesn’t need to be complicated and you don’t need to spend a lot of time doing it. The quick fixes I’ve provided here will help you fine-tune your local SEO and grow your business in the new year.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is my first pick. It’s a terrific tool that allows marketers and local business owners to understand how people find their businesses on Google.
This is a free tool that you can access via your Google account. The only preliminary step you must take is to verify that you’re the owner of your website. Once you’re verified, you can:
Revive by Animalz
One of the biggest threats to your online visibility and viability is stale content. If you’ve been blogging for a while – or if your site hasn’t been updated in a few years – you probably have some content on your site that’s languishing from a lack of attention.
Revive by Animalz is a tool that’s designed to help you address the issue of stale content. Without it, you’d need to review every post on your site to determine which posts are outdated and in need of a refresh.
With it, you can simply plug in the URL of your website and let Revive do the rest. It will crawl your site and identify posts that are in a state of decay. (That sounds awful but really it just means pages and posts that are trending in the wrong direction.)
Revive is a free tool. To get your report, you’ll need to provide access to your Google Analytics account. In return, you’ll get a report that identifies the pages, blog posts, and other content that’s in need of an update. You can then use it as a roadmap to refresh your site and attract more traffic than ever before.
Have you ever wondered what your competitors are doing online? If the answer’s yes – and it should be! – then SpyFu is a marketing tool you should know about.
SpyFu allows you to “spy” on your competitors’ keywords and determine which ones are the most lucrative. You can use it to:
SpyFu is a paid tool with pricing starting at $33 per month. The basic plan should be plenty for most businesses.
Hustle is a WordPress plugin that allows you to capture email address quickly and efficiently. It allows you to design pop-ups, slide-ins, email opt-ins and social following bars.
What I like about Hustle is that it’s fully integrated with just about every email marketing service. (I use a combination of Mailchimp for newsletters and InfusionSoft for nicely passed follow-ups to opt-ins.)
As a bonus, Hustle includes exit-intent, which displays a pop-up or slide-in when a visitor is about to leave your page, and Google ReCAPTCHA to prevent spam. Best of all, it’s totally free.
Proof is a tool that makes it easy to display your – you guessed it! – social proof on your website. To install it, all you need to do is copy and paste their pixel onto your site page.
Once you have installed the pixel, it will integrate with your site or your CRM and show your targeted customers:
Pricing for Proof starts at $29 for the basic plan. They offer a free demo as well!
Flashyapp is a marketing automation platform that can help you improve your conversion rate in a variety of ways. You can use it to:
If you want to try it out, the Starter Plan is available for just $7 a month and the professional plan is $40 per month.
Tailwind is a scheduling tool that’s designed specifically for Instagram and Pinterest. It will walk you through creating an optimal posting schedule based on your audience engagement, traffic, and virality. Then, it will re-post content for your according to your schedule.
If your business is active on Pinterest, I think Tailwind is a must. It’s just as useful for Instagram. They offer a free trial that allows you to schedule up to 100 posts or Pins without a time limit. After that, the pricing is separate for Instagram and Pinterest, coming in at $9.99 per month for each platform.
Here are a few honorable mentions that I think deserve some love in 2020:
1. is a free tool with hundreds of design templates. If you don’t have the money to hire a professional designer, you can use Canva to create beautiful newsletters, presentations, and social media posts. Their basic plan is free, or you can upgrade to the Pro plan for $12.95/month.
2. is a readability tool that you can use for free online or download to your desktop for just $9.99. I like it because it helps eliminate complicated sentences that might deter readers.
3. is a site with a decent collection of free stock photos. You can use them without attribution. Their selection isn’t huge but if you don’t have the budget to pay for photos, this is a great option.
With the right tools in your marketing toolbox, there’s no reason that 2020 shouldn’t be your best year yet!
You’ll still be able to see your Likes in your analytics, but the new reality signals a sea change in the world of Instagram engagement. Here are 5 things you can do to engage your customers that go far beyond a simple Like.
#1: Organize Your Stories into Highlights
Instagram Stories can be a terrific marketing tool, but they only stick around for 24 hours – or do they?
One of my favorite tips for Instagram Stories is to feature them as highlights on your profile page. Your stories can provide new subscribers with an overview of who you are and what you do. Here are the steps to follow:
#2: Use Geotags for Local Engagement
For local business owners, the Holy Grail of Instagram marketing is attracting local followers. After all, these are the people who are most likely to patronize your business and turn into loyal customers. One local follower is worth hundreds of followers who only look at your photos and never buy from you.
One of the easiest ways to amp up your local engagement is to use geotags when you post on Instagram. You can create a Geotag specifically for your business, but you can also use state, city, and even neighborhood geotags to pinpoint your location.
As a bonus, geotags can have their own Stories on Instagram. If you use a geotag for your city, your posts will become part of that day’s Story, making it that much easier for local customers to find you and your business.
#3: Post Videos to Get More Comments
In their 2018 Instagram Engagement Report, Mention revealed that videos on Instagram receive 46% of all Likes. Since there are far more photos posted on Instagram than videos, these numbers show that videos are engagement superstars on Instagram.
With the importance of Likes on the decline thanks to the new algorithm changes, it’s also interesting to note that videos get more comments than photographs as a rule. If you haven’t already started posting videos on Instagram, 2020 is the year to start.
The current rules for Instagram video are as follows:
#4: Create More Savable Posts
One of the things about Instagram is that it’s easy to miss posts or to gloss over them. But what if there was a way to keep your audience engaged by getting them to revisit a post frequently?
There is! More brands are recognizing the importance of creating posts that their followers will want to save and return to. That’s unlikely to happen with a simple photograph, but there are ways to create content that’s suitable for Instagram and provide ongoing value to your followers. Here are a couple of ideas:
#5: Add Instagram Stickers to Your Stories
Instagram Stories are great for engagement, especially if you let your followers now how you want them to engage with you. One of my favorite ways to boost Story engagement is by using Instagram Stickers.
Instagram Stickers appear on Stories and offer your customers an easy way to interact with you. The options available include: