Creating an ad on Facebook is very different from posting on your personal page. Everything about Facebook ads—from the wording you use to the time you place them—plays a role in the amount of traffic they drive to your site.
What are Facebook ads?
Facebook ads are paid messages that businesses place on Facebook. This gives you the flexibility to write in your own voice. Plus, you can reach the people who matter most to you, as explained in the social network’s beginner's guide.
The essential component of this definition is the word "paid." Anyone can post on their Facebook page for free—but you never know who's going to see your post.
A paid ad lets you target a particular demographic, and you can be as specific or as broad as you’d like.
- The overall amount
- Your daily budget
- Your cost per result
You even get to determine what user actions you want to pay for. That doesn't mean that Facebook will only charge you when your ad works the way you want it to, but you can choose how they bill you, such as being charged by the number of views or clicks. You have different options depending on the goals you set for your ad.
Why are Facebook ads important?
Facebook has over 2.9 billion monthly active users in the world. With a reach like that, you'd think that marketing on Facebook would be expensive, but it isn't. Not only does Facebook let you specify a maximum spend, but it also charges you less to reach the same number of people that you'd reach on another platform.
One of the most attractive elements of Facebook advertising is its customization potential. Because the platform has so much information about each user, you can target your ads based on almost any demographic feature you can imagine, such as:
- Marital status
- Career field
Plus, customizing the audiences that see a particular post can cut your customer acquisition cost.
What kinds of businesses should advertise on Facebook?
Advertising on Facebook can bring in plenty of more followers and opportunities to direct users to your website or even your online store. While Facebook is a great tool for most businesses, there are a few types of businesses that should always turn to Facebook and online advertising for as many opportunities as possible.
One of the best ways to promote an online store is by advertising on Facebook. Using Facebook advertising provides an opportunity to hone in and target specific demographics while also showcasing various ad campaigns to specific audiences you intend to reach. Promoting eCommerce stores with Facebook ads can also help you to gain valuable insights into what type of products or services are likely to attract the most attention and/or clicks.
For those who are the owners of a local business, social media platforms such as Facebook offer unique opportunities not only to reach other Facebook users, but also locals in your area who also have a Facebook account or page. Promoting local businesses via Facebook can also help with boosting your website's SEO, or search engine optimization on traditional search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.
If you are trying to share information or if you offer virtual webinars or online educational courses, promoting your material on Facebook and with alternative social media platforms is highly recommended. Targeting users who are seeking additional education or those who are interested in the topics you are covering has never been easier than with the use of Facebook advertising.
You can also take advantage of the Facebook advertising platform by creating ad campaigns as a direct response to other active campaigns or even as a response to a particular action a user has taken on the platform themselves. If you use Facebook to promote direct response campaigns, you can truly home in on the wants and needs of your users and the demographics you are trying to reach.
What are the benefits of advertising on Facebook?
Advertising on Facebook is one of the best ways to introduce a new business or brand into the market. From maximizing visibility to helping to spread the word about a particular idea or cause, you can use Facebook's advertising platform for many different purposes that ultimately help you to achieve your own business goals. Some of the most notable benefits and advantages of using Facebook to launch your ad campaigns are included below.
Are you interested in targeting a specific group of people with the ads you launch using Facebook Ads? Do you have a specific age range, location, or even gender you are interested in targeting with your Facebook Ads campaign?
Using Facebook to launch your next marketing campaign is one of the best ways to target a specific demographic in any industry. From targeting users who have interests that involve working on cars to finding users who are politically active and engaged with certain brands that align with your own, you maintain complete and total control over any campaign you create with the use of Facebook.
Build brand awareness
If you are building a new business or brand, you likely already know how challenging it can be to spread the word about your business and all that it has to offer. With the use of Facebook advertising, you can streamline your efforts while promoting your business and brand across the platform to all of your targeted users.
Facebook ads best practices
1. Know the algorithm.
Facebook isn't quite as notorious as Google for altering its algorithm, but it still has marketers clamoring for information every time it makes changes. One of the most significant shifts happened in early 2018 when Facebook released what became known as its “meaningful interactions” update.
The platform designed this update to de-emphasize brands and prioritize posts from its users' friends and families. All of a sudden, displaying ads on Facebook became a lot more competitive. Businesses quickly learned that they had to focus on engaging users in order to get attention.
Facebook still aims to show users “stories that matter.” When deciding whether to display a post, it looks at these 4 things:
- Inventory: All of the possible content that could appear on a user's feed.
- Signals: All of the information about a given post. These include passive signals like the time it was posted as well as active signals like the post's number of likes, shares, and comments.
- Predictions: The likelihood that a user will interact positively with a post.
- Score: A numerical representation aggregated from the previous 3 categories that shows the chance for positive interaction.
Active and passive signals are the only metrics that you can control as a brand. That means one of your primary goals in creating Facebook ads should be to inspire engagement with your content to boost the number of likes and shares that you get.
2. Know and speak to your audience.
You can only engage an audience if you know their needs and pain points. Look at all of the possible customization options you have on Facebook and answer as many of those questions as possible for your target audience:
- Do they buy high-end or budget items?
- Do they tend to research products in depth before buying?
- How old are they?
- Do they have spouses and/or children? What are their interests? What do they value? Are they health conscious? Interested in sustainable living?
Get specific with your questions. Facebook's demographic data allows you to target based on particular combinations of qualities.
If you offer a service for budget travelers, for example, you can display your ad to people who have used flight search tools in the past month or follow youth hostels websites in different countries. Meanwhile, a brand that offers tutoring services can target people with children who have bought educational materials recently and have “liked” their local school district on Facebook.
3. Get your readers to talk with each other.
Comments and likes are great, but peer-to-peer conversations are what really keep interactions going. Facebook allows people to connect based on common interests—that's part of the reason the platform exists. Take advantage of that and invite people to share their thoughts and experiences not just with you, but with each other.
To see how this works, take a look at these examples of Facebook ads:
Example #1: A women's clothing retailer posts a photo gallery featuring its new line of spring apparel. Underneath, the text asks readers, “What's your favorite spring trend? A. Florals B. Cropped jeans C. Peasant shirts D. Jumpsuits.”
Readers answer and start responding to one another's answers. “Florals! They look so cute with my ballet flats.” “I love cropped jeans, but I can never find a pair that fits.”
This has 2 benefits: It lets you collect information in a way that also engages your customers.
This works for business-to-business (B2B) customers as well. They may never have met one another, but they share a need for your services or products, so they probably have similar professional dilemmas.
Example #2: An insurance provider asks what benefits their followers offer. The answers spark responses as to what products—like long-term care insurance or disability insurance—are most valuable to their employees.
Statistics from these conversations can be like gold to your company, and when you solicit them on Facebook, you don’t even need to search for them.
4. Choose the right campaign goals.
Facebook features ads on its site as part of broader advertising campaigns. The first thing you do when creating an ad is to choose a marketing objective. Suggested objectives include:
- Brand awareness
- App installs
- Gathering lead information (such as email addresses or phone numbers)
- Engagement with the post or your Facebook page
Remember, your objective could affect how much you pay to run Facebook ads, so choose goals that will provide your business with a lot of value.
5. Track post performance and adjust accordingly.
With its affordable advertising costs and real-time analytic tools, Facebook lets you experiment with different post styles and tweak your strategy based on the audience response. Check out the Insights section of your Facebook Page and look at any changes that occurred on days when you posted ads:
- Which posts led to a sharp uptick or drop in likes?
- How many likes stemmed from paid ads?
- Which posts had the most unique views?
- Does your audience respond better to photo or video content?
Most importantly, you can use these insights to inform the design of your next ad, because you need to always be creating new ones if you want to stay in front of your audience. Take advantage of that quick turnaround to tweak your ad design as much as possible. When you find something that works, stick with it!
What to include in Facebook ad copy
Once you make the decision to create Facebook ads of your own, you will need to know what to include in your Facebook ad copy.
Knowing what are Facebook ads and how are they used is essential before getting started. Some of the most important elements that are found in strong Facebook ad copy today include:
- Eye-catching titles: Use numerous titles with A/B testing to determine which method of messaging works best to convey your message, idea, or product.
- Body text: What type of message will the actual ad you use include? Will you be using written text or sticking to imagery?
- Images: Will you be using artistic graphics that align with the logo of your brand, or do you prefer to use truly unique graphics or images that are not at all aligned with your business? Will you be featuring professional photography, illustrations, or relevant graphics throughout your Facebook ads in order to help attract attention?
- URL: Where are you sending your users once they interact and engage with your Facebook ads? Will your users be directed to your website's homepage or a specific landing page to help with improved tracking and data analytics? Consider where you intend to send your users from Facebook to increase your chances of retaining them as customers for as long as possible.
- CTA: A CTA, or a call-to-action, is a necessary component of most online marketing campaigns today. Your CTA may include the image you use in a Facebook ad, or it may include a highlighted copy that has been crafted to spark curiosity or engagement from those who see it. Using the right CTA can mean the difference between failure and success when it comes to launching a powerful online social media campaign with the use of Facebook advertising today.
Examples of Facebook Ad Copy
If you are launching a brand new graphic design application for mobile smartphones (iOS and Android) and you want to promote it online, you can do so by advertising on Facebook. Some ideas for a feature-focused ad campaign that you are planning to launch for your upcoming app release may include:
- Title #1: If you work as a graphic designer, illustrator, or photographer, you need this app today.
- Title #2: Are you tired of boring and outdated graphics for your marketing campaigns? X app can help.
- Title #3: Get rid of graphics and imagery that no longer align with your brand. Try X today.
Targeting specific features, fulfilling roles, and offering solutions to a user's potential pain points can go a long way when crafting marketing copy, both online and off. You may also want to include the following copy below the image or graphic you choose to use to represent your app:
- Copy #1: Graphic Design and Image Library App: Discover thousands of design elements to use for your own campaign with the use of X, available for both iOS and Android smartphones.
- Copy #2: An A-Z Guide to Design in Marketing: Learn why you need the X app to streamline all of your marketing and design efforts.
Knowing what copy will work best for your audience is not always a simple or straightforward choice, especially if you are new to digital marketing. Using A/B testing and launching multiple campaigns simultaneously is one of the best ways to learn what it is that your audience responds to best.
Another example of Facebook ad copy for a local mechanic's shop might read as:
- Title #1: Handy's Mechanic Shop: Your one-stop shop for any vehicle in the town of X.
- Title #2: Squeaky brakes? Low fluid? Bald tires? We've got you covered at Handy's Mechanic Shop.
Selecting the copy for a local mechanic shop may be a bit more tricky, but it is possible. You can choose to present yourself as straightforward or with a branded tone in mind.
- Copy #1: Come on down to Handy's Mechanic Shop to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape 365 days a year!
- Copy #2: Visit Handy's Mechanic Shop for your brake, fluid, and tire needs today.
How to set up a Facebook ads manager account
Facebook requires you to create and monitor your ads through its Ads Manager tool. The setup process is simple.
After you accept its non-discrimination policy, Facebook will take you to your Ads Manager page. There you can choose a campaign goal and create your first ad. Facebook uses the goal you choose to direct the creation of your ad set, which instructs the platform how to post your ad. You'll specify your preferences regarding:
- Audience demographics
- Post scheduling
- What you're willing to pay per ad display, per day, and overall
Once you have all of this information in place, you can design your ad.
Create effective ad campaigns
Facebook ads are extremely powerful marketing tools. They let you design and post ads that target very specific customer segments at a price that can suit any budget.
An effective marketing campaign can mean the difference between achieving your goals and falling short of expectations. Marketing campaigns help to establish and define brands across all industries and markets today. When you use Facebook to craft new ad campaigns, you can do so with some of the most valuable insights possible, helping you to all but guarantee the outcome you envision. The right Facebook ad campaign can go viral, significantly increasing the visibility you receive online and with the social media platform itself, resulting in more followers and, ultimately, more sales and revenue.
Remember to make the most of the platform's customization capacity as well as its interactivity. Turn your potential customers into active participants and you'll create the kind of engagement that Facebook—and your bottom line—will both love. Here's some more advice on how to advertise on Facebook successfully.