Facebook Ads: The Complete Guide

Facebook Ads The Complete Guide

The unprecedented popularity of search engines and social media platforms, which spread like wildfire in the recent years, changed the world of advertising dramatically. That has made it possible for huge entities, such as Facebook and Google, rely mainly on advertising for gaining revenues. For start-ups and medium sized businesses, this has been a great shift and gave room for a higher potential reach. What do Facebook ads offer?What makes them different than any other form of advertising?  And more notably, is that difference worth the decision to shift to Facebook ads? We shall cover that, along with many tips on how to get the best results from Facebook ads.

How Do Facebook Ads Work?

Many websites and social media platforms do not require a subscription fee. To maintain them as free services, companies depend on high traffic as a valuable source for attracting advertisers. Facebook alone makes about 4 billion dollars a year from advertising revenue. In the United States and Canada specifically, Facebook ads’ market is more remunerative than any other region. This new place where users are spending hours and hours daily, has overhauled the entire field of advertising. The shift from traditional TV ads, to digital ads, or Facebook ads in particular was due to many valid reasons.

What Makes Facebook Ads Unique?

Diversity and High Traffic

Being the platform with the highest number of daily active users and a diverse pool of users, Facebook is truly a gold mine for advertisers. With close to a billion and a half daily active users, high traffic is something that every advertiser wants to benefit from. The higher the number of visitors, the bigger the return of investment will be. In addition, the most special characteristic of this vast audience is their diversity. No matter what the characteristics of your target audience are, they are present on Facebook. This is one unique property that distinguishes Facebook, from other social media platforms. For example, Instagram is much less diverse than Facebook since 60% of its users in the States are under 30. So, for businesses which target older users, Instagram would not be a good fit. Similarly, 70% of Pinterest’s users are women, so it somehow lacks the diversity of Facebook. Facebook, on the other hand, has something of everything.

Targeting: You Are What You Like

Targeting is what really made digital ads revolutionary. “What is digital marketing targeting? Digital marketing targeting is a formalized method that identifies and then intentionally aims created content, connections and the use of platforms toward a specific demographic, psycho-graphic and/or geographic audience, their needs and concerns.” Before, the age of Facebook ads, advertising was random and only dependent on repetition. That made its efficiency wear out, because people were seeing ads for products or services that they have no interest in. Today, Facebook ads are anything but random. Users only see ads for products that they are most likely to be interested in. How does that happen? Well, you are what you like. Facebook knows what your preferences are based on the data you insert, such as likes, previous search queries, location, your “about” info, etc. This means that Facebook ads reach specific viewers who are most likely to engage with them.

Different Advertising Objectives

Facebook ads manager is indeed a smart, and precise marketing tool. In addition to targeting, Facebook considers the advertiser’s marketing objectives and the pricing differs accordingly. In other words, your advertising objective will determine how you will pay for your Facebook ads. We will discuss that further later in the article. Facebook ads give you many different options to set as advertising objectives:

  • Brand awareness
  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Engagement
  • App installs
  • Video views
  • Lead generation
  • Messages
  • Catalog sales
  • Store visits

Advertisers must choose based on the nature of their advertising campaign. Accordingly, Facebook will direct their ads to the right audience and in the best spot.

How to advertise on Facebook: Types of Facebook Ads

So, for all these advertising objectives, we have corresponding types of Facebook Ads. Let’s find out what they are, where they are placed, and their multiple purposes.

Link Click Ads

These are probably what comes to your mind when Facebook ads are mentioned. Link click ads promote any external link like websites, blog posts, or any other link that is not on Facebook. Also, link click ads could feature an image, as shown in the picture, or a video instead. They are placed on Facebook’s right column, or mobile and desktop newsfeed. One of the main purposes of Facebook ads is driving traffic to a website, and link click ads fulfill this objective perfectly. Advertisers want more traffic to their websites for all the right reasons. As for their specifications, ad copy texts for link click ads are 90 characters long, while headline is 25 characters and link description is 30. Finally, the recommended size for images is 1,200 x 628 pixels.

Facebook Ads: The Complete Guide 1

Boosted Page Posts (Text, Photos, Videos)

All your Facebook posts, texts, photos, or videos, can be “boosted” or in other words, become “sponsored Facebook ads. If you choose to boost one of your posts, it will appear on the desktop/mobile newsfeed more often. You can choose your target audience based on their age, interests, location, etc. They can be inside or outside your own circle of viewers. Boosted posts amplify the reach of your sponsored post, and consequently brings attention to your page. Therefore, you should always invest in boosting your best posts, especially those related to a new product, service, or event. Boosted posts have the same specifications as link click ads except that their ad copy text is unlimited.

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads are designed to advertise multiple products. It is an ad format where several product images are displayed within an ad unit. The viewer can watch the products by swiping through them. Carousel ads on Facebook has capacity for up to ten pictures. This type of Facebook ads is particularly useful for e-commerce businesses and the whole retail industry where product visuals are the focus of consumers. They could be placed on desktop/mobile newsfeed; however, they are particularly popular on mobile devices due to their nature of scrolling. Specifications are similar to link click ads except that recommended image size is 1080 x 1080 or 600 x 600 pixels.

Facebook Ads: The Complete Guide 2

Dynamic Product Ads

“Facebook dynamic ads automatically promote products to people who have expressed interest on your website, in your app or elsewhere on the Internet.” How do they work? A business simply uploads a catalog of its products and set up a campaign only once and the it will continue to run automatically for as long as the advertiser wishes. Dynamic product ads’ strength point is that they are timely and free of hassle since they are automated. Specifications of these ads are the same as those of link click ads. This is another type of ads that work perfectly for e-commerce websites and retail. We must admit; Facebook ads favor the retail industry.

Facebook Ads: The Complete Guide 3

Facebook Lead Ads

These are the fastest and easiest way to get potential leads for your business. Without leaving Facebook, your audience can download your content, sign up for an offer or a newsletter. This immediately translates to a higher conversion rate. The information that a user hands over to you will be stored on your Facebook ads account. For industries that rely on lead generation, client contact information is very valuable. Thus, this is a precious tool for such advertising objectives. In addition to regular specifications, lead ads have a context card. “This is an added (and optional) tile that pops up after someone clicks on a lead ad but before they get to the form, giving businesses a place to offer more details on the information people are signing up for.” Finally, a privacy policy and a website URL are required.

Canvas Ads

Canvas ads are designed to target mobile device users and immerse them in an eye-catching, full-screen ad experience. This type of Facebook ads loads up to 10 times faster than standard mobile web. That gives us a clue of how significant mobile users are to Facebook. The audience can swipe through a carousel of images, tilt the image in different directions, and/or zoom in or zoom out by moving their fingertips. Canvas ads could contain a full-screen image, a header with logo, an auto-play video, a product set, etc.

Facebook Ads: The Complete Guide 4

Page Like Ads

Similar to page post ads, the purpose of page like ads is to gain higher engagement and increase the number of people who like your page. These purposes come under the advertising objectives of reach, brand awareness, and engagement. They appear on the mobile/desktop newsfeed or on the right column. In addition, page like ads include a call to action for viewers to like your page while they are on the newsfeed, i.e. without even visiting your page. It is worthy to mention that you should not be looking for the highest number of likes, but rather the audience with the highest conversion potential.

Mobile and Desktop App Installs

This type of ads is for advertisers who wish to increase the number of their app installs. For mobile apps, the ads are placed on mobile newsfeed and those for the desktop, are placed on desktop newsfeed. With a clear call to action, when a user clicks on that “install” button, the app store immediately pops up. This is especially effective for mobile apps. For this ad format, you can also select if you want to target IOS/Android users, or if you want to target Wi-Fi users only.

Events and Offers Ads

Event and offers ads are great for attracting people who have shown interest in similar events or offers. Directing your ad towards near areas and locations is also crucial for events and offer ads. You must target people who are likely to pay a visit to your business. Brick and mortar businesses and service-based ones can take advantage from these ads to reach the widest circle of potential customers.

How to Advertise on Facebook: The Pricing Process of Facebook Ads

The budget of any kind of advertising depends on many different, and truly there is never one specific answer. It all depends on many factors. The price of Facebook ads depend on five main factors:

  • Advertising objective

The advertising objective will determine how Facebook will charge the business owner. Meaning, if your target is getting users to “like” your page, then Facebook will charge you for every like your ad gains. The four methods for payment are cost per click, cost per impression, cost per conversion, and cost per like. Cost per click is literal for paying every time someone clicks on the ad. No matter what the result is, positive or negative, if someone clicks, the advertiser pay. Cost per impression means the advertiser will pay for every 1000 impressions for his/her ads. This is why it is cheaper compared to the cost per click module. When it comes to the cost per action module, the advertiser pays for the action which they target. That action could be a click, a sale, a form submission, etc. Finally, the cost per like module is self-explainable; Facebook charges the advertiser for every like the ad gets.

  • Bidding type and amount

Facebook ads are like those old antiques sold at auctions. Since advertisers are competing for viewers, and there is a limit which Facebook sets to the number of ads seen by each user. Therefore, bidding seems to be a fair way to enhance the advertiser’s and the user’s experience. This is also why the winner of this auction is not the bidder with the highest rate. In addition to the price an advertiser is willing to pay, Facebook bidding takes the quality of the ad and its relevancy into consideration. Facebook’s priority is to ensure that the platform stays friendly to its users. This will not happen if the quality of the ads the users see is poor.

  • Audience

Now that we have clearly explained the different advertising objectives, let’s explain how they make all the difference when it comes to cost. Facebook selects the best person to show your ad to according to this user’s behavior and your advertising objective. For example, if your objective is to get traffic, Facebook will choose the “clicky” person to show your ad to. If your objective is to get leads, Facebook will choose the person most likely to convert. With the exception of rare cases, the smaller the pool of your audience is, the higher the cost will be.

  • Ad quality

As previously mentioned, the price of an ad is closely related to its quality. The natural question should be: how does Facebook measure the quality of an ad? The two factors which determine that are its relevance score and its click-through rate. On a scale of 1 to 10, Facebook measures every ad’s relevancy to the audience the advertiser is targeting. The more relevant the ad is, the lower the cost would be. As users interact with an ad, its relevancy score will continue to change. If the feedback is positive, the score gets better and vice versa. Moreover, the feedback will affect an ad’s click-through rate; its number of clicks divided by the number of impressions. A higher click-through rate means that the ad is relevant to the target audience and that it adds value to them.

  • Industry and Season

Since every industry has its unique market qualities, the prices of Facebook ads differ according to the nature of the market. One cannot expect that the CPA for Rolex is the same as the CPA for a small local store. For instance, in the United States, the CPM in the food and beverage industry is about 4$, while that in the technology industry is nearly 9.7$, according to Salesforce Advertising Index. Moreover, the time of the year when an advertiser wants to place an ad can affect how much he/she will pay. Some seasons like Christmas or Black Friday are generally more expensive, while for specific industries, certain times of the year are usually busier.


How to Advertise on Facebook: Tips to Make the Most of Facebook Ads

  • Make your ad stand out. Make it emotionally and visually engaging.
  • Use less text in ads which include a photo. Make the visual aspect the bomb of your ad.
  • Ensure the ad’s text is meaningful, clear, and witty.
  • Establish a bid strategy and budget.
  • Tailor your ads to be appealing to your target audience, not only to you.
  • Keep your forms and ads short and straightforward.
  • Include a clear call to action.
  • Plan the customers’ journey carefully, especially the page they will land on once they click on an external link.
  • Facebook Insights is a powerful tool, use it to measure your performance.

Facebook ads are diverse, and they have huge potential. Crafting high quality ads can be life-changing to a business. A good-looking brand image cannot exist without a solid advertising strategy on Facebook. Knowing who a business wants to speak to and the right way to deliver are the ingredients of a successful advertising campaign.

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