Introduction to Facebook Ads

One out of every ten advertising dollars is spent on Facebook advertising (Source Hubspot). Its ability to enable businesses to reach customers based on their likes, interests, and behaviours has made it a hugely successful and sometimes controversial advertising medium. Facebook has the following advantages for advertisers:

Huge Active User Base

Facebook is where we connect with family and friends and has more than two billion active monthly users. We spend more time on Facebook than on competing social networks. Also, Facebook owns Messenger and Instagram, two other popular mobile apps accessible to Facebook advertisers through its advertising platform.

Laser Targeting

Facebook is built for sharing personal updates and information with your friends. All user actions taken on Facebook and Instagram create detailed user profiles advertisers can access through targeted ads. Advertisers can match their products and services against an extensive list of users’ interests, traits, and behaviours, resulting in a higher likelihood of reaching their ideal customers.

Generating Brand Awareness

Most businesses have a Facebook page and Instagram business account for connecting with their users on social media. When you use paid ads on Facebook and Instagram, you can opt to link them to your business page. This results in more brand exposure and new followers for your company.

Sophisticated Advertising Platform

Facebook has invested heavily into its advertising platform, resulting in a sophisticated and functionally rich suite of ad types and tools.

Types of Facebook ads

Facebook Ads platform offers a wide range of ad types. Popular type of Facebook ads include:

  • Page likes. Promote a Facebook Business Page to expand organic reach.
  • Post promotion. Drive more engagement for organic posts to expand their original reach.
  • Images ads. A simple image and description driving traffic to an external website.
  • Video ads. Like image ads but using a video instead of an image.
  • Carousel ads. A carousel ad highlights a product or service by using up to 10 images or videos.

Creating a Facebook Ad Campaign

To launch a campaign, you need first to have created a Facebook Business page. After that, you need to choose your objective, placements, specify a budget and choose a campaign type.

Choose your Objective

On Facebook advertisers can select from 11 marketing objectives based on what they want their ad to accomplish. Here is how the objectives align with business goals:

  • Brand awareness. Promote your brand to a new audience.
  • Reach. Display your ad to people in your audience.
  • Traffic. Drive traffic to a web page, app, or Facebook Messenger conversation.
  • Engagement. Reach a broad audience to increase the number of post engagements or Page Likes, promote an event, or encourage people to claim an offer.
  • App installs. Encourage app installs.
  • Video views. Promote a video to get more views.
  • Lead generation. Get sales prospects into your funnel.
  • Messages. Encourage users to contact your company using Facebook Messenger.
  • Conversions. Get people to take a specific action on your website (like subscribe to your newsletter or make a purchase).
  • Catalogue sales. Connect your Facebook ads to your product catalogue to show people ads for the products they want to buy.
  • Store traffic. Drive nearby customers to local shops.

Each campaign can have a different objective. For conversion-oriented objectives (e.g., sales), you can pay per action, but you will pay for impressions for exposure objectives (like traffic and views).

Choose Placements

Facebook ads allow the advertiser to specify where they wish their ads to appear. It is best to cast your net wide to begin with and then narrow your focus once ads have been running for a while and you know what works for you. Options include:

  • Device type. Mobile, desktop, or both.
  • Platform. Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, or Messenger
  • Placements. Feeds, Stories, in-stream (for videos), messages, in-article, and apps and sites (external to Facebook).
  • Specific mobile devices and operating systems. iOS, Android, feature phones, or all devices.

Create Campaign and Set Budget

When creating a Facebook campaign, it is necessary to select from the range of ads formats (see above) and define the creative shown to Facebook users.

  • Ad format. Choose an ad format (see above).
  • Create advert. Use the preview function to check your ad looks fine in the placement you have chosen, e.g., mobile, tablet, desktop.
  • Schedule. A campaign can run continuously or for a defined period.
  • Set budget. Budget is specified daily.
  • Set bid. Set the maximum bid for an action or 1000 impressions depending on the ad type.

Target your audience

When creating Facebook ads, the advertiser must specify an audience for the ads. The laser-like targeting which Facebook can offer its customers is one of the main reasons why its ad platform is so attractive to marketers (though privacy legislation and Apple’s restrictions may seriously compromise this in future).

Facebook offers several options for creating audiences, either from your current customers or the broader Facebook userbase. Existing customers know and trust your brand, so marketing to them can produce significantly higher conversion rates than reaching out to people who have not bought from you before. Audience options include:

  • Customer lists. Facebook allows advertisers to upload lists, for example, newsletter subscribers or past customers. Note that you can only upload data from customers who have permitted you to market to them.
  • Website visitors. By installing the Facebook pixel on the page of your site, Facebook can match your website visitors to their Facebook profiles.
  • Engagement Custom Audiences.  These audiences allow you to target people who have already interacted with your brand on Facebook or Instagram.
  • Lookalike audiences. If you do not have enough customers to advertise to, you can increase your reach by specifying a lookalike audience to include Facebook users who resemble your custom audience.

All campaigns must specify a target location, age, gender, and language. There is also the option to select details targeting options for demographics, interests, and behaviours.

Facebook Tracking –Facebook Pixel

The Facebook ‘pixel’ is code that you place on your website and works by dropping cookies that track users as they interact with your website and your Facebook ads across multiple devices. This helps track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to users who have already interacted with your website. Even if you are not yet advertising on Facebook, you should install the pixel to not start from nothing when you launch your first Facebook ads campaign.

The Facebook pixel allows advertisers to do the following:

  • Track interaction with your website after viewing your Facebook ad.
  • Display targeted ads to users who have already been to your site. (known as retargeting)
  • Build lookalike audiences of users who have similar likes, interests, and demographics to users who are already interacting with your website.
  • Optimise your Facebook ads for specific conversion events on your website



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