Facebook can be one of the best ways to reach your customer using social media advertising. If you haven’t done it before, it can be frustrating to navigate the world of Facebook Ads. Let’s look at some of the basic terminology and decisions you’ll need to make.
Boosting vs. Ad Manager
You’re probably familiar with Facebook asking you to “Boost” your post. The first thing you’ll want to know is the difference between boosting a post and creating an ad. When you boost a post, you are taking a post that already is on your page timeline and showing it to more people.
Creating an ad requires that you have an Ad Manager account. This gives you more options including various advertising goals you’d like to achieve with the campaign and call-to-action buttons on the ad. Ads are displayed to your target audience, but do not appear on your page’s timeline.
What You Need to Start with Ad Manager
- Your business goal, the reason you’re running the ad
- An understanding of who you want to reach
- A daily or lifetime budget for your ad
- Photos or videos to feature in your ad. Visual ads get the best results!
- A strong offer and call to action
What is the goal you hope to accomplish with the campaign? Facebook asks you to choose between three main types of campaigns:
- Awareness (Brand Awareness, Local Awareness or Reach)
- Conversion (Conversions, Product Catalog Sales, or Store Visits)
- Consideration (Traffic, Engagement, App Installs, Video Views or Lead Generation)
Facebook will optimize delivery of your ad based on the type of objective you choose. For example, a Local Awareness ad displays for people when they are near one of your business locations.
Audience is one of the most powerful components of Facebook Advertising. Facebook knows a lot of information about its users based on what they do on AND off Facebook. You can choose audiences based on a number of factors including:
- Demographics – age, gender, education, relationship status, job title and more
- Interests – interests and hobbies of the people you want your ad to reach
- Behavior – prior purchase behaviors, device usage and other activities
- Connections – pages or events they like.
You can choose to include or exclude people based on any combination of these factors. You can also create Lookalike audiences who are similar to those who already like your page or visit your website.
Facebook advertising can be delivered on Facebook, Instagram, or the Audience Network. The Audience Network delivers your ad beyond Facebook on mobile apps, mobile websites and videos using the same targeting. You can also choose to target based on Desktop or Mobile views.
You set a daily or lifetime budget for your campaign. Ad costs are determined by an auction at the time the ad is run. Bidding is done automatically by Facebook or you can choose manual bids. If you are starting out it is best to let Facebook optimize the bids, then you can choose to adjust manually over time when you see how it is working. You also choose between three bid types:
- Impressions – how many times your ad is seen
- Clicks – how many times your ad is clicked
- Conversions – a Facebook pixel on your website tracks how many time your desired action was completed (e.g. product purchased)
How much should you spend on ads? The most important thing to know is the value of a customer, and to be able to track how much it cost to get that customer. If you make $100 off a new customer, and spend $5 on advertising to get that new customer that is a great value. Testing is also important. Tweaking your audience, message, ad copy and landing page can bring your advertising costs down.
Create Your Ad
Now you are ready to create your ad. There are specific guidelines for the graphics, text and call to action labels for the ads that you create. These may vary according to the type of objective you’ve selected. Creating effective ads can be a trial and error process to find out what gets the best response from your audience. Always A-B test. Create at least 2 ads and monitor which one is performing better. Keep in mind that it does take some consistency for your audience to become familiar with you and your offer, but at the same time you don’t want the same exact ad showing to the same person too many times.
This only scratches the surface of the Facebook advertising platform. If you are ready to try Facebook advertising, the main takeaway is to first know who you are targeting and what action you want them to take. Then it is a matter of choosing the Facebook options that will get your audience to take those actions.