A Quick and Comprehensive Guide to Promoting Your Business with Facebook Ads

A Quick and Comprehensive Guide to Promoting Your Business with Facebook Ads

You have to learn how to stand out from the crowd if you want your target market to notice you. Whether your business is a bricks and mortar store, a blog or a large multinational enterprise, understanding how to use all the available marketing channels can mean the difference between success and failure.

Google has become very competitive, both for organic and paid search. This has driven up costs for many, whilst driving down results at the same time. Meanwhile, Facebook has shown itself to be another viable channel for promotion.

But how do you go about marketing via Facebook?

Organic social is an option, although many have found that reach for organic marketing on platforms like Facebook has dropped considerably. This is where paid social, such as Facebook Ads, comes in.

In this article, I’m going to show you how easy it is to advertise on Facebook, as well as some tips on how to make sure you run successful campaigns.

What are Facebook Ads?

Facebook Ads is the social networking giant’s paid advertising platform. If you use Facebook, you have no doubt seen Facebook ads, although you might not have always noticed that they actually advertisements.

Facebook ads can appear within users’ news feeds on desktop and mobile, within the right-hand sidebar on the desktop, on Instagram as well as across Facebook’s audience network.

Below is an example of Facebook ads within the news feed and sidebar:

Facebook Ads in the newsfeed and sidebar
An example of how Facebook ads are displayed.

Why Advertise on Facebook?

As you’re probably aware, Facebook is one of the most popular websites. The number of monthly active members is currently around 1.86 billion, which is a considerable number of people to put your products in front of. Facebook has managed to gather a lot of information about those who use it, which you can tap into when targeting audiences for your ad campaign.

Here are just some of the reasons to advertise on Facebook:

  • Huge user base
  • Excellent audience targeting
  • Drive traffic almost immediately
  • Easily track ad campaign performance

Getting Started with Facebook Ads

Firstly, you’ll need a Facebook account for this, so if you don’t have one, then you’ll need to sign up. Once you’re logged in, head on over to the Adverts Manager. You’ll find this in the left-hand navigation of your dashboard.

Once you’re in the Adverts Manager you’ll be able to see all of your ad campaigns. If you’ve never used Facebook Ads before, then let’s go ahead and create your first ad campaign. Click on the green Create Advert button, in the top right corner of your dashboard.

Choosing Your Marketing Objective?

On the next screen, you’ll be able to name your campaign as well as choose a marketing objective. Facebook Ads provides a number built in marketing objectives for your advertising campaigns to get you up and running quickly.

Facebook ads marketing objectives
Facebook ads marketing objectives.

These are classified into three main types of objective, each with more specific objectives:

  • Awareness – these objectives are designed to increase interest in your products or services
    • Brand awareness
    • Local awareness
    • Reach
  • Consideration – these objectives are focused on getting people to look for more information about your products and services
    • Traffic
    • Engagement
    • App installs
    • Video views
    • Lead generation
  • Conversion – the priority for these objectives is to directly drive sales
    • Conversions
    • Product catalog sales
    • Store visits

The type of objective you choose will determine the options you are presented with next, so it’s important to get this choice right. However, you can easily return back to this screen to choose a different objective, so feel free to click on each of these and see the different options available for the various objectives.

Targeting Your Audience

Once you have chosen your objective, the next screen will allow you to select your targeting options. You should already have an idea of who your target audience is. If not, you should carry out some research to identify who it is that you actually want to advertise to. Building customer profiles will ensure you aren’t spending your marketing budget on people that aren’t likely to be interested in what you’re offering.

Facebook Ads allows you to target your advertising campaigns at a very granular level. You have a wide range of targeting options such as:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Education level
  • Income
  • Household composition
  • Travel behavior

This is just a sample of the targeting options available.

Facebook ads audience targeting
Facebook ads audience targeting.

You can create custom audiences for you to reuse in campaigns. It’s recommended for you to create a number of audiences so that you do not need to repeat this process each time you want to run a campaign. You can also exclude custom audiences, so if there is a specific type of person that you do not want to show your adverts to, you can create them as an audience and then exclude them from your campaigns.

Facebook Ad Placements

After choosing your audience, you need to decide where you want your adverts to show on Facebook’s network of sites,  for example on Facebook as well as Instagram. In general, you can set this to ‘Automatic Placement’. This will show your ads across Facebook’s entire network, but if you find that you get poor results from platforms like Instagram, you could disable your ads from running on them.

Facebook ad placement options
Facebook ad placement options.

If you want really tight control, then you can create campaigns for each type of placement. This will allow you to set all of the available options separately for each ad placement.

Ad Budgets and Schedules

Once you have chosen your ad placements, you’ll need to set your budget and schedule.

Facebook ad budget and scheduling options
Facebook ad budget and scheduling options.

You don’t need a huge marketing budget to begin advertising on Facebook. Depending on the type of ads you are running, you could be spending as little as $1 per day:

  • Ads charged per impression are a minimum of $1 per day
  • Ads charged by clicks, likes, video views and post engagement are a minimum of $5 per day
  • Ads for low-frequency events require a minimum budget of $40 per day

You can get an idea of how many people will view your ads by entering your budget and reviewing the ‘Estimated daily reach’ in the right-hand panel. Once you have run a few campaigns and have a better idea of the kind of results you are getting, you’ll be able to adjust your budget to see how much you will need to be spending to achieve your targets.

You can choose to set the bids for your ads either manually or automatically. Your ads are essentially in an auction with other ads and those bidding the most will get preference. There may be cases where you prefer to set your bids manually. For example, if your objective is to get people clicking through to a product page and you know your conversion rate is 1%, your profit per product sale is $200, then you will need to bid less than $2 per click to make a profit from this ad campaign.

You can schedule your ads with start and end dates. This is a particularly useful option if you are running promotions you only want your ads to run whilst the promotion is live.

If you have set your budget to a lifetime budget rather than daily, then you can run your ads at specific times of the day. This might appeal to you if your target audience is generally only using Facebook at certain times of the day. However; this will likely decrease your reach since you won’t be able to serve your ads to your target audience outside of the hours that you set.

Designing Your Ads

The design of your Facebook ads is very important to the success of your campaigns. Alongside your audience targeting, the ad images and copy will determine whether people will engage with your ads. There are a number of different formats that Facebook offers for your ads. We’re going to cover what is likely the most common ad format – the “Single Image.”

The main components of the ‘Single Image’ ad format are:

  • Text
  • Image
  • Display link
  • Headline
  • Description
  • Call to action
The elements of a Facebook ad
The elements of a Facebook ad.

To maximize your return, you will want to spend some time refining these elements of your ads. We’ll go through each of these and look at various ways to optimize each Facebook ad component.

Text

This is the text that appears just above your ad image. To optimize your ad text, consider the following tips:

  • Use social proof, .e.g. “Over 10,000 happy customers”
  • Use influential words such as ‘amazing’, ‘quick’ and ‘free’
  • Use a call to action such as “Subscribe today”

Image

This is the image of your ad. The image is an important part of your ad’s design, so you will want to make sure that you optimize it well. Some tips for designing a great Facebook ad image are:

  • Use an image that stands out
  • Use colors that stand out from Facebook’s blue and white
  • Include a call to action within the image itself, such as a button
  • Ensure a strong message match between the ad image and the destination page
  • Test various images to see which works best – Facebook allows up to 6 images to be tested at once

To ensure your images look their best, you should read Facebook’s image guidelines for each ad placement.

Display Link

This is the visible URL of where your ad will be linking to. The purpose of this is to display a friendly URL, rather than one that may be long and difficult to read, such as those with lots of URL parameters. Try and keep this short and use any keywords you think your audience may use as the URL path.

Headline

This is the heading that appears just below your image. It is a prominent part of your ad, so dedicate some time to optimizing this. Consider the following tips:

  • Keep your headlines short – Facebook recommends 25 characters or less, although you should test this to confirm what works best for you
  • Make it clear in the headline what it is being offered
  • The usual ‘clickbait’ article titles work with Facebook ads, such as “Top X Ways to Earn More” or “Want to Know How You Can Earn More Today?”

Description

The description that appears just below your headline. You can optimize this similar to your ad text section detailed above.

Call To Action

You can include a call to action in the form of a button. This should be the action that you believe your target audience would want to take after viewing your advert. Facebook allows you to select from a number of presets, but unfortunately, you cannot create a custom call to action button at the moment.

Facebook Ads call to action button selection

Once you have finished designing your ads, you’re all set to place the order for your ads.

Testing Multiple Audiences and Ads

As with many paid digital advertising channels, you can test different elements of your campaigns to discover how to optimize for the best return. Tests can be run not only for ad elements, such as the text and images, but also the audiences that you target.

Things to consider testing are:

  • Colors
  • Imagery
  • Ad headlines
  • Ad copy
  • Age groups
  • Job titles
  • Genders

Measuring Results

Once your ad campaigns are running, you can monitor how they are performing, Depending on what your objectives are, you’ll likely be interested in different metrics, such as clicks, likes or conversions. You can customize which data you see in the report by clicking on the blue plus icon to the top right of your results table.

If you want to track conversions on your website, then you should definitely set up the Facebook tracking pixel on your site. Check out our guide to setting up Facebook tracking pixels.

Refine and Re-run Adverts

Once your campaign is complete, you can review how it has performed. If you have been testing multiple ads, then you can compare the results of these to determine how to refine your future campaigns. You’ll need enough data that your results are statistically significant. This means that you can say with a specific degree of confidence whether the test you ran will result in either a positive or negative outcome. You can test statistical significance using this tool.

Once you are confident in the outcome of tests, you can refine your ads and run further campaigns testing different ads and audiences.

Summing Up

You can now set up and run Facebook ads, test different audiences and ad variants as well as refining your future ad campaigns. Not only is this a great source of traffic for your blog or business, but based on your testing, you can get a greater understanding of what makes your target audience tick.

Have you got any tips for advertising on Facebook? Share them in the comments section below.