The first foray into Facebook advertising can feel incredibly intimidating, as the vast array of options can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, learning how to advertise on Facebook using these tools isn’t rocket science, and this guide will aim to give you some marketing strategies to make sure that your first Facebook ad campaign is a total success.
The Basics of Facebook Ads
Before looking at how to advertise on Facebook in detail, it’s worth spending some time looking at what Facebooks ads are and what they can offer your business. Simply put, Facebook ads are boxes, information, pictures, articles and links that appear next to or inside a Facebook user’s feed. From a user’s point of view, they should reflect ideas and products that are relatable to them, and this is because, from the advertiser’s end, you can specify groups that you want to see your ad.
For example, you can set your advert to be seen by people of a certain demographic who live in a certain geographical area who already like your Facebook page. By spending some time looking at these options, you can drastically improve your click-through rate and make your business seem more appealing by only advertising to those who you think may actually want to buy your product or service.
For first time users, the cost of Facebook ads can be a big push away, but some simple market research shows them to be competitive compared to other big brands such as Google Ads. Facebook also gives pricing priority to those ads that gain a high relevance score, which is where Facebook thinks your ad is a good fit for the audience you’re targeting. This is their way of stopping spam and generic adverts on their site, as well as encouraging you as the marketer to create better and more effective adverts.
Using Facebook Ads to Drive Your Strategy
Now armed with some knowledge of the basics, you now need to do some planning before you even touch a mouse. Some of it is marketing 101, but others rely on the types of Facebook ads that are available, the Facebook cost of advertising and the overall goal for the campaign. It’s easiest to think of these through the 5 W questions – why, who, what, where and when:
“why” refers to the original purpose of your Facebook campaign. Fortunately, Facebook will ask you for this as one of the first questions as you set up your ad strategy, and it will use your answers to change its recommended settings. The three main categories it gives you are:
• Awareness – in this category, you’re just trying to raise brand awareness and extend the reach of your Facebook page
• Consideration – in this category, you’re trying to drive traffic towards your homepage, have people install your app or message you for further information.
• Conversion – in this category, you’re actively trying to get potential customers to visit your online (or physical) store and make some sales.
“who” refers to your target audience. This can be defined by age, gender, geographic location or a whole host of other options. Facebook Ads allow you to filter by any of these filters and will give you an estimate of how many people fit those criteria. To shrink or expand these numbers, you can also use a variety of filters:
• Custom audience – these filters include people who have already interacted with your Facebook page (likes, comments and messages) and users with specific email addresses
• Lookalike audiences – this filter finds people with similar demographics to those users who have already liked or followed your original Facebook page.
• Interest targeting – this is a great filter to find people who aren’t already connected to you, but have displayed similar interests in connected or related pages.
“what” refers to the different types of Facebook Ads that you can choose from. Facebook has recently increased the options available to you in an effort to create ads that will match your budget. You can choose from:
• Carousel – this is where two or more photos will scroll around when a user hovers over them
• Single Image – as it sounds, this is just a static image with text and a link•
• Single Video – when you upload a video for a Facebook Ad, you can select whether it plays upon display or only when a user clicks on it. A warning – users report finding the former an annoyance and a turn off to a brand.
• Slideshow – similar to the Carousel option, you can add 10 pictures which rotate on a timed basis.
• Collection – a selection of photos that Facebook fit together like a montage and expands when the user clicks on them.
“where” refers to where you want your ads to be seen. As Facebook and Instagram are now part of the same family, you can choose for Insta users to see your ads when you sign up to Facebook Ads. You can choose for your videos to appear as part of your target audience’s news feed, as in-stream videos, suggested videos/links or as static ads on the right-hand column of the page. You may want to investigate the ad placement by other companies first to see which style fits your campaign needs.
“when” refers to how frequently your ad will appear to users. This is done through the budget tool. You can choose your maximum daily Facebook costs, as well as specifying a start and end date for your ad campaign. If you’re new to the Facebook Ad game, it’s recommended to use the default settings as messing around CPC and impressions can be complex and unwieldy if you don’t know what you’re doing.
It’s highly recommended to have thought about your answers to these questions before you even open Facebook. Once you’ve completed the whole process, you should make sure that you are monitoring the success rate of your campaign. In particular, keep an eye on the CPC, frequency, relevance scores and number of actions taken by users as these will let you know how successful you are and when it’s time to move onto the next phase and objective of your Facebook marketing strategy.