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How to Advertise on Facebook – Our Guide to Facebook Ads

How to advertise on Facebook
14 minutes read

Your Facebook Business Page deserves more attention? Still contemplating the idea of whether or not to advertise on Facebook?

Well, you are not the only one. There are millions of companies who are already doing it and I must say, some of them quite successfully. In fact, two years ago, there were already 3 million advertisers on this social media platform and I am sure the numbers kept growing.  

Facebook advertising is so big that 92% of marketers are using it to promote their businesses.

Maybe you already have the motivation to start your advertising campaign, and maybe you’ve even calculated your budget in advance.

What you need, however, is to know how to transform your story into a success story.

Hopefully, this guide will help you make your first steps towards success and prepare your campaign to meet its primary goals in no time.

We will cover the following topics:

 

What Facebook Advertising really means

If you want to know how to advertise on Facebook effectively, you need to understand first what really means to advertise on this specific social media platform.

Here are some questions we should answer at this point:

  1. What types of ads are suitable for Facebook advertising?
  2. What other methods for advertising are available on Facebook?
  3. How can we retarget on Facebook?

Let’s try to answer these questions, one by one:

1. There are several ad types that are suitable for Facebook advertising.

The most popular is the photo ad or the Facebook banner as many people refer to it. Why is it called a “photo ad”? Well, it focuses on conveying a message through an image with a short description and a web link at the bottom.

With these types of ads, you can promote your Facebook pages and posts.

Link ads are also a great way to conduct an advertising campaign on Facebook. They look similar to banner ads with the exception that your links are external. In other words, you get to advertise your websites or blogs and convert your Facebook audience into website traffic. 

Another type of Facebook ad that is popular and at the same time effective is the video post. You can include them in your Facebook advertising strategy for a better return on investment and of course, reach a wider audience than traditional banners.

Why Video?

According to mediakix.com, Facebook video posts have increased annually by 94% in the US. This means that with every new year that comes, more and more videos are streamed through this social media platform and that this type of content continuously grows in popularity. The same source evaluates the total monthly video audience on Facebook at a staggering 1.71 billion users with 3.8 billion daily views on Facebook videos only.

The third popular type of ad is Carousel. This is a mix of video ads and static banners which can encompass both these strategies. You can add up to 10 different banners or videos (sometimes a mix of the two) into a Carousel ad, each of them with its unique link and message. This is a good way to advertise multiple web pages, multiple products, and of course, different services provided by your company. 

If you want to find more inspiration in creating and targeting this type of ads, check out our previous blog post on Facebook Carousel Ads and check out some of the most powerful examples available as of today.

People favor video content ahead of everything else.

Therefore, it’s quite logical to consider creating video ads for your advertising campaign.

TIP: According to Digiday, 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. What’s important here, therefore, is the video content. This is the part where you need to invest most of your creativity and time. 

The third popular type of ad is Carousel. This is a mix of video ads and static banners which can encompass both these strategies. You can add up to 10 different banners or videos (sometimes a mix of the two) into a Carousel ad, each of them with its unique link and message. This is a good way to advertise multiple web pages, multiple products, and of course, different services provided by your company. 

If you want to find more inspiration in creating and targeting this type of ads, check out our previous blog post on Facebook Carousel Ads and check out some of the most powerful examples available as of today.

2. What other methods for advertising are available on Facebook?

Apart from the traditional static and animated banners, you can also advertise on Facebook by boosting your posts. You can boost posts to reach more fans or, you can target a specific demographic to acquire new fans for your Facebook page.

This feature is perfect if you want to keep your audience engaged with your page and your brand.

3. Facebook retargeting

Maybe you’ve already noticed that sometimes, you receive ads for the website you have already visited recently. This is how marketers retarget their ads, trying to convert visitors into customers. In other words, they use the retargeting strategy to remind users that they can come back to specific sites and make purchases. 

Through Facebook retargeting, you get the opportunity to re-engage with people who visited your online store, who did not make purchases but who may convert into customers at a further visit. Keep in mind that these are users that already expressed interest in your website and this is the main reason why retargeting is important. It is a strategy that focuses on people who are already in your closed circle.

How does Facebook retargeting work?

Let’s take a look first at this explanatory picture posted by Roarlocal.com which shows what actually retargeting means.

What about Facebook? Basically, you will use the Custom Audiences feature. You need to install a snippet code on your website. This code will place a cookie on the browser of every new visitor. Then, the cookie will send Facebook valuable data regarding what pages were visited on your website by a specific visitor. Then, you will use the Custom Audiences preferences to target specific segments of the audience based on specific actions that may be of interest to your campaign.  

For instance, you can use this feature to resend your advertisements to people who visited your website, added products to their shopping carts but never got to finalize their purchases.

Or, you can target people who visited specific pages by offering them a link to other pages with similar information. It’s really up to you.

Why should you advertise on Facebook?

There are numerous reasons on why to advertise your business on Facebook. Let’s take a look first at some numbers and then, we’ll talk about methods.

PRO: Is it worth it to advertise on Facebook?

This is the first question that comes to each advertiser’s mind before starting a campaign on a new platform. 

Well, it depends on what you want in the first place, your type of business, and your targeted demographics in the second place. Facebook has a huge market reach that you can leverage and an immense wealth of data that can be leveraged as well. There are 1.37 billion daily active users on average and 2.07 billion monthly active users as of September 2017. What’s important here, besides these numbers, is that Facebook knows almost anything there is to know about its users.  

This is valuable information you can use in your campaign when you target your ads.

Moreover, people are connected with each other on this social media platform by an average of 3.57 degrees of separation. This means that each one of your ads can virtually reach everybody.

Let’s not forget that the gender split is also fairly even on Facebook, which means that you can target your ads to both genders quite easily. This fact also shows that there’s a gender balance on the platform and that it is suitable for any business regardless of its target audience.

Apart from the huge community of potential customers, Facebook gives you access to, there are several success stories you can inspire from. You can read all about them on their dedicated page. I will also come back later to this subject but now, let’s try to answer another important question:

CON: Can you advertise for free on Facebook?

Is there a best way to advertise on Facebook for free? This is a question that many marketers are asking and I guess, in many cases, they find their answers quite soon. There’s no way you can post an ad on a social media platform without actually paying for it.  

However, while you cannot advertise for free, you can market your business without costs on Facebook. Considering that you have the largest audience possible here, this option may also prove quite fruitful for small and big businesses alike.

Here’s what you can do and what you cannot do for free on Facebook:

You can’t:

You can:

In conclusion, although you cannot actually advertise a business for free on Facebook, you can use the platform for marketing, without costs.

How to create and design Facebook ads that convert – 5 steps

Your Facebook advertising strategy would not be complete without a thorough analysis of how to design ads that convert. Let’s talk about the basics of designing your ads and find some inspiration with effective and successful examples:

Step 1. Interest-based targeting

One of the first things you need to worry about, besides the actual graphical design of your banner ad, is your audience. And, the best way to target an interested and maybe engaged audience is by targeting their interests. 

Generally, you do this targeting when you want to present your brand or your products to new audiences. You already know that your fans are interested in your brand but now, you want to expand your audience. 

How can you do it effectively and with better ROIs?

The first thing to do is, of course, to select your ad placement based on Facebook’s own list of predefined interests.

Then, you should also target specific interests with your ad design. For instance, let’s take a look at a success story of a targeted advertising campaign by Adidas.

During the 31 days the 2010 World Cup took place in South Africa, the company targeted football fans through an extensive Facebook ads campaign. Their focus was on Facebook users that were fans of this sport. 

With the arrival of one of the biggest events in the world in 2010, Adidas choose to partner with Facebook to connect with football fans around the world and join the conversation. We wanted to deliver the fans of our brand a truly unique experience throughout the tournament through our players, teams, and products. Facebook helped us in achieving this” said Gaetano Squillante, Head of Social and Digital Media, Sports Performance Division, Adidas.

The results were better than expected with the Facebook page reaching over 1 million fans and a brand awareness growth up to 21% in some countries. 

If you want to learn more about how to target your audience, here’s an extensive guide on how to target the right audience for your advertising campaign.

Step 2. Design a banner that attracts leads

Not every banner is also a lead magnet.

It all depends on your message, the way you manage to deliver it, and of course, on your targeting. 

Since we’ve already discussed the targeting part, let’s talk a little bit about the design of your banner and of course, your copy text that conveys the message. 

Here’s a great example from HubSpot:

Take a look at their post. What is your first impulse if you are into marketing, SEO, and website development? Their message is quite easy to understand and it also serves as a perfect call to action. And yes, it’s an irresistible call to action for a specific demographic group of professionals. Should an ad like this be well-targeted, it will convert quite easy.

Let’s take a look at another great example, the success story of Renault’s 2017 lead generation campaign.

For this campaign, Renault was able to incorporate a dealership list into their leads. This feature allowed them to generate better conversions. Why? People who were interested in buying or trying their new model were able to do book a test drive without leaving Facebook. The clear message paired with a built-in test drive booking feature generated a 7.9X lower cost per lead compared to ads linking to a form on Renault’s official website.

Step 3. Try to always adapt to your audience

Here’s a great example Neil Patel also mentioned on his blog. It’s about how putting things into a different perspective may also help you design better ads. The example comes from AdEspresso’s Facebook ads split testing campaign.

While some marketers believe (and they have good reasons to do it) that colorful and beautiful banners will generate more leads, AdEspresso’s tests reveal yet another interesting fact: 

Sometimes, you can generate more leads or conversions with basic design ads. Therefore, when you feel the need to retarget an old ad to a specific audience, it may be a good idea to try to apply some design changes to your banner. In this case, the second banner generated a 143% improvement which means that it converted better.

Step 4. Create your own success story with video ads

We’ve already talked about video ads and how this type of content is valued on Facebook.

People prefer videos to texts because they are easier to view especially when you are mobile and your attention to details is rather impaired. 

Video ads are harder to create than traditional banners and if you don’t have the required skills to process such content, they can be quite expensive. However, they are some of the most successful Facebook ads if you manage to target the right audience and create valuable videos for it. 

The success story, in this case, comes from a relatively less known company, for people outside Israel. BUYME is the biggest digital gift card platform in this country with more than 300,000 unique monthly visitors. 

According to Facebook, “to stand out during an important festive shopping period, BUYME created a funny video campaign designed for maximum impact. Featuring Entourage and Mr. Selfridge star Jeremy Piven, the ads show how gift cards take the stress out of buying presents for friends and families. The high production values and quality of humor resulted in people sharing the ads, reacting and making positive comments”.

In total, there were four videos, each one of them designed to trigger the interest of a specific audience: young families, food lovers, people who were interested in fashion, respectively on lifestyle.

For the duration of this campaign, their ads reached more than 1.7 million people and triggered a 5x increase in revenue.

Step 5. Advertise your best products through Collection Ads

Facebook advertising can work hand in hand with eCommerce as well. There are several Facebook ad tactics you can use to boost your sales, convert users into customers, and get a great ROI. One of these recommended tactics is to use Collection ads. How does it work? Can we expect great results? 

Well, of course, we can and I have the perfect example: 

Over the course of two months (March and April 2017), Hawkers, a Spanish sunglasses online store, ran a Facebook ad campaign promoting its new glasses. These new models were made in collaboration with El Ganso. In order to test how collection ads perform in comparison with regular photo ads, they created two types of ads. On one hand, they published collection ads featuring 5 photos of sunglasses and on the other hand, regular banner ads. 

The only difference was the 4 catalog images that appeared below the campaign hero image in the collection format. Hawkers used Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences to reach a larger audience and deliver the ads to people who were similar to its existing customers in Spain”. 

The results were quite impressive. Collection ads performed 33% better than regular banner ads. In fact, they achieved a 51% higher return on ad spend, 30% lower cost per purchase, and a 86% rise in engagement rate.

How to set up a Facebook Page ready for advertising

Now that we’ve seen a few Facebook ad examples that may inspire us to create our own success stories, let’s review, in short, what it takes to create a Facebook page for your business.

Obviously, if you don’t already have a Facebook business page, it’s time to create one. You can create it from your personal account or, you can go straight to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create and start from scratch.

Pay attention to the category you place your page in but also to your description and visuals. You want people to find your business easily on Facebook. You probably also want that once they visit your page, to be able to learn as much as possible about your business and your products and/or services. Furthermore, do not forget to add some contact details, an email address, a phone number, the physical address if needed and of course, your web address (a link to your website). 

To sum up, you will need the following things, before starting your own advertising campaign:

In order to better understand how a Facebook page looks like and what types of content you can add to it right from the first day, let’s take a look at the following example.

Sam Ovens’ Facebook page has everything it needs: There’s an introduction video, branding visuals including his own profile photo and a header, and of course, posts related to his work. 

TIP: Post as frequently as you can, especially during your first active months. It’s important for your visitors not to land on an empty page. They need valuable content in order to keep coming to you.

How to create your first Facebook Ad Campaign

Now, that you have your own Facebook page, you can set up your first advertising campaign as well. There a few things you need to know at this point:

A. How does Facebook advertising works?

What do you need to start an advertising campaign? 

First, go to Facebook’s Ads Manager. Make sure you deactivate your adblocker if you are using one. If it remains active, a notification will alert you to shut it down. The advertising tools will not work otherwise. From here, you can adjust anything, starting with your goals, the type of your campaign, choose the right audience and of course, the type of ads you will want to publish.

Find out more about your first video campaign from our extensive guide on how to advertise on Facebook.

B. What do you need for your visual ads design?

There are three things that are common to all banner and video ads posted on Facebook:

C. How to write your copy texts for your Facebook ads?

The most important thing, besides the visual image or the content of the video, is the copy text. It should be simple, easy to read in just a couple of seconds, and inspirational. It needs to convince your audience to click on the ad and for this to happen, you need to consider what your potential clients want and how to trigger positive emotions in them.

Here are a few things you have to know when you want to write a copy test for your Facebook ad

  1. Understand your audience – who is this ad for?
  2. Think about the visual – stay close to your ad
  3. Use simple words
  4. Choose the topic of your description

But if you want to learn more about this subject, you can study our previous blog post about how to write copy texts for Facebook ads.

Conclusion

This article was meant to shed some light on the many ways to advertise on Facebook that exist, how a paid advertising campaign works and why is it worth it to spend your budget on it. If you are thinking about Facebook advertising as a possible solution for your business, you can use this guide to learn the basics and get inspired by some of the most successful advertisers.

There are many types of Facebook ads, each of them suitable for a specific campaign or business. Study carefully all your possibilities, set up your page to meet your audience standards, and get the most out of your future campaigns. 

What is your personal experience with Facebook ads and how do you measure your success?

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