With Facebook being the place where your audience plays and hangs out, it makes sense that you want to use this social network platform to reach your intended market. The only problem is that it can be quite difficult to reach your audience in the most appropriate manner. Facebook ads are a great way to reach a specific group of people, but many people find it difficult to create Facebook ads. If you are looking to create great Facebook ads that work, this guide is ideal for you and your needs.
This guide is aimed at intermediate users, so you should be comfortable with Facebook and with the notion of creating adverts and reaching out to an understanding. However, you don’t need to have much experience in this line of work and the guide will run through examples and easy ways in which you can create ads that will provide you with business success. By the end of the guide, you should feel confident and comfortable with the main principles of this style of marketing activity.
One of the main reasons why Facebook advertising is so popular comes down to the fact that Facebook has a great deal of information about its users. The social networking platform knows things like:
• People’s age
• Their location
• Their likes
• Their interests
This is the sort of information that businesses are desperate to find out about, and this is why Facebook is able to provide businesses with the ability to create ads that can be targeted at a very focused group of people. There is a wide array of options available for people to choose from when it comes to social networking advertising but Facebook is by far and away the biggest, and at the moment, best when it comes to reaching out to a specific audience.
Getting To Grips With Facebook Ads
If you have used Facebook, you will be very aware that the site has a number of adverts on it. You will find ads on the right hand side of many pages, on your own personal homepage, on events, on company pages and you will even find that these adverts crop up in your own timeline. If you pay attention to these ads you will find that they are often related to your location or some of the interests that you have stated a preference for. This is down to the fact that Facebook ads can be targeted, which is a great bonus for businesses looking to reach the wrong people to promote their products or services to.
If you are familiar with Google ads, you will be comfortable with the pricing system for Facebook ads as they work along very similar lines. You can place a bid to inform Facebook how much you are willing to pay for every click (CPC), or for how you are willing to pay per thousand people to potentially see the advert you have created (CPM). The amount that you pay will depend on the number of people who are bidding for the same keywords or demographics as you. It is likely that you will pay less than the price you actually bid but Facebook is able to charge you up to the price that you bid.
For Facebook ads, you are bidding on “likes” and the interests that people have listed in their profile. It is important to remember that while people will have these keywords in their profiles, they may not actually need or require the products or services that you offer at this point in time. This is why it is important for you to create an advert that appeal to users and which will compel them to like your offer or opt in to the email list that you provide.
This means that even though they may not need to buy from you now, when they are looking to buy at a later date, your company will be in the ideal position to sell to them. There is a need to think about developing long-term relationships with customers, and this is something that Facebook advertising is extremely effective for. It is important to be aware that Facebook ads can link to another Facebook page or your own company website, or any external page. You should look to think about what pages on your site are the best at converting people and then using these pages as landing pages for your ads, which will help to improve the return on your investment for Facebook ads.
When thinking about interests, it is important to be aware that not every user will list all of their interests on their profile. Some users will not fill in all of the Interests categories, so you may not be reaching all of the people you expect to when you use this style of keyword search. The targeting section of your ad will allow you to focus on the likes and interests of your audience.
With Facebook ads, you can advertise:
• An external website
• A page on Facebook
• An event on Facebook
• A place on Facebook
• An application on Facebook
There is also the “Sponsored Stories” feature available with Facebook advertising which provides the opportunity to advertise a one-off activity, such as a post on a page.
Creating Engagement With Facebook Ads
In this section, we will look at how create engagement with Facebook Ads but first of all we note that Facebook ads can be created for external pages and sites.
Advertising Your Website
While general perception suggests that advertising your business’ Facebook Page is a more effective way to use Facebook Ads, you are able to promote an external site. There are times when you direct people to a specific page for sales or an email opt-in page that this style of advertising activity will be of benefit. If you are looking to advertise to a site off Facebook, you have to select “External URL” from the dropdown menu that is available in the Design Your Ad section.
Advertising Other Facebook Pages
An “engagement ad” is one that directs people to a page on Facebook or gets them to take action on Facebook. Examples include getting people to “like” an advertisement or to RSVP to an event without actually having to head to the page to accept the visitation.
If the user “likes” your advertisement, this will be considered as a “click” by Facebook, which means that you will be charged for the action that has been undertaken.
You will find that promoting and advertising your Facebook Page is of great benefit because you can be confident about the fact that the person is in your target market and that they are active on Facebook. Ensuring that people like your Facebook page makes sense because this will ensure that people see your content and that you will pop up in their timelines in the future. If you direct someone to your webpage, this is one connection and there is no guarantee that they will buy then or come back in the future.
They will not automatically like your page by clicking this style of ad; they will need to do so of their own accord. Many people may automatically assume that clicking on the ad will see them liking your company or business, but this is not the case, and you could lose out on followers and fans with this style of ad.
However, if you use your advertisement to get someone to like your Facebook page, you will have access to that person then and in the future, providing you with a far better long-term return for your investment.
Setting Up An Engagement Ad
The ad title when you promote your Facebook page will default to title of your ad and there is a chance to provide a short description for your page, and this can be adjusted quite simply in the ad creation platform. To begin, you should go to the ads manager and then select the company from the dropdown selection.
This is where you have the ability to adjust the title and the body content, and the image for the ad. You want to make your ad as engaging as possible, informing users that you can offer value and that you offer something that the other firms advertising on Facebook cannot provide.
You should look to ensure that the following boxes are checked:
• People liking you page
• People checking your location
This provides you with the opportunity to benefit from being visible to the friends of people who click on your ad and who are also suitable for your target marketing. The name of your new fan will show in your advert, making it appear as though there is a personal endorsement, which will improve your chances of receiving new likes. These are sponsored storied and they will appear in the timelines of the friends of your fans. There is a great potential for further reach with these adverts, so make sure that you are in a position where you can benefit from this feature.
Advertising With Sponsored Stories
Sponsored Stories are an effective way of promoting with Facebook with the key benefit from this style of advertising coming from the fact that they amplify the bonuses and features of your News Feed stories.
There are three main steps to Sponsored Stories:
1. You need to have someone engage with your page or content on Facebook – liking a page or checking into your location are good examples
2. This activity appears on the news feed of the person’s friends
3. With Sponsored Stories, this activity is also placed in a prominent position on the right hand side of the news feeds of the person’s friends
There are different types of Sponsored Stories, including:
• Page Like Story
• Page Post Story
• Check-In Story
• Domain Story
• App Uses / Shared Story
• Game Played Story
Page Like Story
This style of ad is advertised to the friends of the people who liked your ad and they will be informed that their friend likes your business / page / event. This is a great way to spread awareness and be seen as though you receive a personal endorsement from your friend.
Page Post Story
This is where one of your recent posts (as selected by you) is presented on the timeline of your fan’s friends, and it provides social proof of your firm. You can send people who see this ad to other sites so make sure that any link is pointing towards your site or your business.
This is only available with Places and this style of ad will be shown to the friends of someone who checks in at your premises.
This style of ad is used when someone likes content on your page, shares content from your site or posts a link to your page or site on their status update.
App Uses / Shared Story
If someone uses your app or shares your app, an advert will be shown to friends of the fan. You will have an opportunity to write the content in the ad.
Game Played Story
If someone plays one of your games, an advert will be shown to friends of the fan. You will have an opportunity to write the content in the ad.
Designing A Sponsored Story
No matter what style of ad you have created, you will find that you can create a sponsored story from them. Create the style of advert that you want, either from a domain, event or promoted post. You should set up the ad as normal at this point, selection either a promoted post or an engagement post.
If you have selected to promote your page post, the ad will promote one of your most recent pages on your own Facebook page. This will provide you with engagement to your post but there is also an opportunity to send people to an external page if a link exists on your post.
You should set up the targeting of your ad paying attention to elements such as workplace, gender, interests, education, location and age.
This is all you need to do to set up a Sponsored Story. The main reasons for using this style of activity are because it can widen your reach with respect to picking up followers, and it can be more affordable or cost effective than the more traditional Facebook ads. When you use this style of ad, you should consider split-testing these ads to work out which ad is best for your business.
Split-Testing Facebook Ads
While these strategies are of benefit when looking to create Facebook ads, there is still a need to carry out testing on your adverts, because your target audience is likely to be different from other target audiences. This is why you should be wary of any marketing guru or expert who promises to be able to tell you exactly what you should be looking to write.
When it comes to creating your content you should consider your audience and study the different ways in which you can get your message across. One of the best ways to determine what the best method of reaching your audience is through the use of split-testing. If you haven’t heard of this method of testing before, don’t worry, it is quite simple and the name gives you a big clue of what you are looking to do.
The Facebook Ads Manager provides you with the opportunity to arrange your ads into campaigns and a campaign is a group of ads that are very similar but with a slight variation. This provides you with the opportunity to compare ads that are similar but have a notable difference, which is where the “split-testing” element comes in.
Tips For Split-Testing
There are a number of tips you should follow to ensure that you split-test in the most effective manner.
You should only change one variable at a time
The key variables you have are the title, the copy, the picture and the targeting. If you make more than one change, you will not be able to determine which aspect was responsible for any difference in response to the ad.
Maintain ad conditions
You should look to keep the additional elements of the ad as consistent as possible which means that you should post at the same time of day, have the ads running for the same length of time and place the same bids for the different ads.
Keep a close eye on the reports
Always be sure to look at the actual connections to ensure you read the advert effectively
Create new ads
You shouldn’t look to tweak or amend an existing ad; creating new ads make it much easier to determine which ad is working best.
Split-test your landing page
There are different ways in which you can present your landing page – make sure that the landing page provides the promised offer and is consistent with the message of your ad. If you have the time and resources you should look to create different landing pages on your site and then direct traffic to there from two similar ads.
Rotate your ads
Ads can quickly lose their appeal so make sure that you rotate your ads every couple of days, or when the CTR drops to 50% of the initial value.
Always have an end goal in mind and focus on how you are performing with respect to this goal. When you use Facebook ads, you should focus on the connections as opposed to the CPC or CTR. Even if an ad is performing better with respect to clicks, CPC and CTR but the other ad is performing better with conversions, the latter ad is the one that is more effective for you.
When it comes to testing your ads, you need to make sure that you collect enough data to be able to make a comparison or decide what is more effective. You need to run the for a sufficient enough time, which can vary depending on your budget and effectiveness, but to be able to make a good comparison, you need a minimum of 20 clicks and the ad should run for at least 2 days. However, one way of making a comparison is to run both of the ads for the same number of impressions.
Designing A Facebook Ad Campaign
There are a number of factors that will impact on the design of your campaign.
You need to think about your goals for the campaign. Whether you are looking for likes, shares, competition entries, subscribers or sales – make sure that you are able to measure for the outcome you are aiming for.
You need to think about how long you want the campaign to run for
Given the importance of rotating your ads every two or three days, you will want to think about how long you want the ad to run for.
You need to think about your budget
You want to make sure that you know what your overall budget and your daily budget is. It is very easy to turns off ads when you reach a threshold and ads can be run for as little as $1.
Designing and ad and targeting your ad. You should look to design a couple of titles, content bodies and think about who to target with your ads to ensure that you can split-test your ad.
You need to have your targets set in advance so you can judge if an ad isn’t performing in the manner that it should. You will find that Facebook ads may not be as effective as Google ads for clickthrough rates, which makes sense because on Google, people are actively looking for something. This means that when it comes to grabbing a user’s interest, you need to create an ad that is engaging and interesting.
Things You Cannot Advertise On Facebook
You can advertise most things on Facebook but there are some things that you are not allowed to advertise, including:
• Work-at-home sites where users are promised they can earn a lot of money for very little work or investment
• Multi-level marketing opportunities
• Sites which forward on to another site
• Alcohol, pornography or gambling
You may occasionally come across an advert that contravenes these guidelines. Facebook ads are reviewed by a team, and it may be that one person makes a mistake or has a different opinion on what should or shouldn’t be allowed, but the above guidelines should be followed when creating a Facebook ad.
Once you are confident about setting up the ad, you should look to design your ad, but bear in mind, if you are using Sponsored Stories, you don’t have to design too much. If you have decided to advertise a Facebook Page with the traditional method, you only need to worry about using a picture and text for the body of your ad. The ad will take your Page Profile picture by default but it may be that you need to change it depending on what the message is.
If you are advertising to an external page or site, you will need to focus on the title, body and image.
You have a maximum of 25 characters for your title and you are not allowed to use abbreviations or use excessive capitalisation. You should look to make it interesting and you will find that a question is a great way to grab attention.
Some ways to grab attention include:
• Ask a relevant question
• Provide something for free
• Provide a solution to a problem
• Provide a call to action
You have a maximum of 135 characters and you cannot use abbreviations or symbols (like $ or @). The advert should be grammatically correct and you should look to avoid excessive punctuation. There is clearly a challenge to meet the 135 character limit but still being compelling. You should start from the mind-set of the customer and aim to provide a solution to a problem that they have. You should also use the term “you” and try and mention the customer or something of relevancy to them.
The image must be less than 5MB and it should be clear and uncluttered. Bear in mind the image will be shown at 100 by 72a pixels. Research has undertaken that a picture of a person rather than a logo tends to convert better, but there is a lot to be said for using a logo to provide you with additional text to convert your audience.
Look At The Ads Board For Ideas
When it comes to finding ideas for the ad you want to create, look at ads that are currently running and which are targeted at your demographic audience. This provides a good starting point if you are all out of ideas.
Who Should You Target With Your Ads?
As well as determining who will see your ads, targeting will determine the price for the ad. You will find that as you update the targeting information, the estimate reached will update. You should be looking to ensure that your targeted reach is at least 20,000 (unless you have a very specific audience in mind) as the more clicks you receive, the cheaper your clicks will be come and if you have a very limited target, you will not receive a lot of clicks.
The Targeting Categories
There are a number of categories that are relevant in creating an ad and you can target by:
If you select the city option, you will find that you are not able to add in cities from other countries, you will need to set up different campaigns. With respect to age, you can select a range or you can choose an upper age limit. If you don’t use an exact match, you will find that Facebook provides you with the chance to obtain a “discounted bid” where you can reach people who are just outside of your range for a lesser price. You can also target based on gender, either selecting men, women or both.
You also have the chance to choose on interests which will relate to elements that people “like” or on the keywords people use in their information. When you begin to type a keyword, you will often see a “#” symbol beside some words and this is what Facebook refers to as “topic targeting” and this will include precise interests that overlap.
If you would prefer not to use the broader term and you would rather focus on the specific term, you should avoid the term with “#” in front of it. You will find that you can switch to the Broad Category Targeting, which will allow you to target a broader target. When you add in keywords or wider reaching keywords, you should look out for the estimated reach. If you have two interests, you will find that your interest will include anyone who likes the first interest or second interest.
You are able to target people who are already connected to your business or brand in order to convert even more people, or you can target people who are not currently connected to your brand.
When you opt for an advanced demographic selection, you will find that you limit your audience in a big way so you should only choose this style of option if you are looking to reach a very specific audience. When you narrow your audience, you should keep a close eye on the bid, which is found at the foot of the page. It may be that a certain age range of keyword is beyond your budget, so be sure to adjust what you are targeting.
Focus on the friends of your fans
It is possible to target people who are friends of your connection. This means that people who see your ad will also see the name of their friends that already likes your page or brand. In order to get the best from this strategy, you should look to have a good level of likes for your page already.
Understanding How To Bid
For your bid, the amount of money you look to bid equates to the amount of money that you are keen to pay for each click or for each thousand impressions. Once the ad has been set up, there is a need to set the campaign, set the pricing and then set the scheduling. On creating your initial ad, you will need to connect your account with a credit card, the name of your campaign and your schedule. Once your initial ad has been created and named, any ad you create in the future will default to be placed in that campaign. You are able to Create A New Campaign, by clicking the link, which provides you with the opportunity to split-test.
It is best to name your campaign in a relevant manner which will help you to quickly see what the target audience is and what ad you are looking to promote. You should then look to set the budget for a daily rate or a lifetime budget, as well as setting up a beginning date and a closing date, or whether you want the campaign to run until you physically pause it.
You are in complete control of the schedules for your ads, including having the ability to have the ad shut off when they reach a specific limit that day or for the entire campaign to be closed off after a set period of time.
When you start the process, it is recommended to start with a Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPC) campaign, and this is the default section. One of the bets reasons for opting for this method comes with the fact that as the clickthrough rate is lower for Facebook, you are likely to end up paying more for a CPM campaign than you would do on a CPC campaign.
You will also find that CPC ads are likely to obtain a better clickthrough rate as they are placed above the CPM ads. This has never been officially confirmed by Facebook but research and studies have borne it out. If you have an ad that is performing well and you are receiving a storing number of clicks, you should look to switch to a CPM system, but take the time to examine your options and determine what looks to be most effective for you.
You should look to start your ad at the suggested bid or even at a higher level because the initial component of the campaign is vital in working out your CTR and how successful your ad is. If the bid falls below the suggested range for your bid, you may find that your ad isn’t shown. Lowering your bid can save money but it may limit your impact. It is better to try and save money through having a successful ad because the cost of the clicks will decrease as you earn more. You should also bear in mind that your bid price cannot be at a higher level than half of the daily limit you have imposed.
You should keep a close eye on the number of ad impressions because if this rises, you may find that the suggested bid price rises as well. If you notice that your bid is not being displayed, you cannot decrease your bid. It makes sense that you want to find the lowest click possible but there is no one magic trick that will provide you with this outcome. This means that you will get the best result from undertaking small steps and tweaks, which is where split-testing comes in very useful.
One tactic is to initially bid high and optimise your ad for CPC. When you have a number of ads up and running, you can manipulate the columns to see which of your ads is performing the best.
Measuring The Success Of Your Facebook Ads
When it comes to measuring the success of your Facebook ads, there are two areas to look:
• The Dashboard area
Impressions let you know how many times an ad has been shown to a Facebook user. If this number stops rising, it may be that your bid has dropped out of the suggested range.
Social Impressions let you know how many times an ad has been presented to a Facebook user and then led to one of their friends liking a page or attending an event. This option is only available when you are advertising within Facebook.
This result provides you with the level of percentage of social impressions in the total number of impressions.
This shows the total number of clicks an ad received
This shows the total number of clicks an ad received from a personal friend of a user, and again, this information is only available when advertising on Facebook.
CTR (Click Through Rate)
This information tells you how many times an ad was clicked divided by the number of times the ad was shown to people.
This information tells you how many times an ad was clicked socially divided by the number of social impressions.
This provides you with information relating to the number of people who action from your ad, such as liking it or responding to an event.
This information provides the number of actions divided by the total number of impressions.
This provides a measurement of the number of people that responded to the call-to-action that you provided them with. This includes actions from the ad or when someone visits your Fan Page and then clicks like.
Cost Per Conversion
This provides you with a cost per conversion, letting you know how much you are paying for a new fan or for someone to take action.
CPC (Cost Per Click)
The cost for every click, and this is presented even if you are not using the CPC model.
CPM (Cost Per 1,000 Impressions
Similarly, Facebook will provide you with the CPM cost even if you haven’t selected this option. If you are considering switching to CPM from CPC, this is important information.
This provides you with the amount of money that have spent and this can be provided for daily, weekly or monthly.
This information provides you with the number of times your ad was shown to a unique user. This can be compared alongside the number of impressions to see the number of times an ad was shown to the same individual.
This provides you with information on the number of unique clicks your ad received. This means if someone is shown an ad twice and clicks on it twice, you will see that the second click wasn’t a unique click.
This provides you with a return of your unique clicks by the unique impressions. You should be looking to have a Unique CTR level that is close to the CTR.
Measurements To Look Out For Outside Of Facebook
While you should be looking for improvement and action on Facebook, you should also be looking off Facebook to see if the ads are a success.
You should look to see if you have developed new leads. Many businesses are using Facebook ads to generate leads, so you will be able to see if you are converting on your offer.
If you are looking to drive customers to your site from the Facebook ads, you should look at the conversion rate from Facebook and compare this to the conversion create from other social media platforms and non-social media platforms.
Do Not Overlook Demographics
You should look at the Report Type menu and then select the Responder Demographics option. This provides you the demographics that provide you with the most effective clickthrough rate.
It is important to remember that Facebook ads change regularly and can change often, so it is important to keep a close on your campaigns and look out for any changes. The fact that there are so many variables which can be changed means that you should be looking to carry out split-testing as much as you can.