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How to Advertise on Facebook


Facebook advertising makes targeted advertising with a controlled budget possible, but its ever-changing algorithm is a common challenge for businesses.

Unless you’re on the inside track with Facebook, this can keep you guessing time and time again. All is not lost, though. In fact, advertisers can still get a reasonable return rate on their advertising if they know how to use it well.

How to Use Facebook to Your Advantage

Facebook’s targeted advertising allows advertisers to reach their exact audience. This isn’t a boosted post. This is targeting that happens in Facebook Ads Manager.

There are lots of benefits for businesses that use targeted advertising, including improved conversion rates, better value for their money and a higher return rate. But, to utilize this marketing strategy effectively, there are some essentials to consider before jumping in feet first.

Our guide demystifies the confusion surrounding Facebook marketing and provides helpful insight into how to advertise effectively on the world’s largest social network.

Get Familiar with Ads Manager

By creating a business Facebook account, you’ll automatically get access to Facebook Ads Manager, where you can create, manage and see results for all your Facebook campaigns, ad sets and ads.

To begin using Ads Manager, select “Create Ads” from the drop-down menu in the upper right. Ads Manager will guide you through setting up your first ad campaign

Add the Facebook Pixel to Your Website

Optimize your ads by adding the Facebook pixel to your website. This small addition gives you the opportunity to build remarketing lists. Plus, it helps you digest what type of return you are getting on your marketing efforts.

Discover Your Ideal Audience

It might sound harsh, but not everyone is going to love what you’re selling. Fortunately, the beauty of Facebook is that you can drill down into your ideal customer pretty quickly.

Using information held by the platform, you can target everything from age, location and interests even down to the finest detail.

To measure how well your ad might perform, Facebook has a relevance score. The platform gives you tips on how to utilize this figure, and the higher the score, the less your cost per click.

Creating the Right Ad for the Right Audience

Facebook has a variety of ad types and you’ve probably seen them pop up on in your own newsfeed. However, choosing the right one for your campaign can be challenging. Take a look at some of the most common ad types:

Image Ad

Possibly one of the simplest ads to create is an image ad. Use an image that captures attention and draws people in to find out more. For single image ads, Facebook’s recommendations are:

  • Text: 125 characters
  • Ad Headline: 25 characters
  • Image ratio: 1.91:1
  • Image resolution (including CTA): 1080 x 1080 pixels

Video Ads

Video is becoming one of the most viewed elements of media. How often do you find yourself stuck in a loop of watching video after video? (Probably a lot!). So why not take advantage of this audience with a short video ad. GIFs and animation work well too depending on your message.

Video Poll Ads

Video polls are a mobile-only feature. However, they’re a great way to get people interacting with your ad.

Carousel Ads

This type of ad allows you to add up to ten images that showcase your brand. The user moves along the pictures to learn more about your products and services. For multiple image ads, Facebook’s recommendations are:

  • Recommended image size: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Image ratio: 1:1
  • Text: 125 characters
  • Headline: 40 characters
  • Link description: 20 characters

Slideshow Ads

If you don’t fancy using a video ad, then this is another excellent option. Slideshow ads give you the chance to add still images, texts and film in a short clip. Plus, you also have access to Facebook’s stock photos in Ads Manager if you don’t have your own on hand.

Lead Ads

This type of ad is only available on mobile due to the fact it offers users the chance to submit their details with little typing involved. You could use this ad to entice people to sign up for a newsletter or give them more information about an offer or service.

Dynamic Ads

For marketing to be effective, targeting people who are most likely to be interested in your product is essential. This is the significant benefit of dynamic ads. These ads allow you to pop up in user’s newsfeeds when they have visited a similar website or viewed similar products to those you are selling.

This jogs the user’s memory and gives them a little push to make the purchase.

Ads in Messenger

Millions of people use the Messenger app so creating an ad for this spot is a great advertising opportunity. You can also add the option of inserting a ‘click to Messenger’ button on your ad, so it opens a conversation directly with your business page.

Ads in Stories

The Stories feature on Facebook is regularly used, so inserting an ad here gives users the option to click through to your target (business page/website, etc.).

Optimizing Bids and Budgets

The beauty of Facebook advertising is monitoring your costs and budgets effectively. However, the competition on this platform is heating up.

To get started, it’s a good idea to allocate budget to activities that bring in revenue. Although building your brand is an integral part of the process, you should also focus on getting money in the door.

Much like other advertising spaces such as Google Ads, you’ll have to factor in cost-per-click (CPC). Some industries this will be lower; however, in higher competition areas you could be looking at considerably more.

When you look at CPC in a niche market, you can determine a competitive bid to suit your budget.

Facebook Ad Auctions

In a facebook ad auction, you’ll need to have the highest total value to reap the rewards. This ‘total value’ consists of three elements:

  • Advertiser bid
  • Ad quality plus relevance score
  • Estimated action rates

The factors mentioned above will make up how much advertising on facebook will cost your business.

Optimizing Your Facebook Ad

It’s not a great idea to just hit the publish button on your Facebook ad and hope for the best. No marketing strategy has ever been successful unless there has been testing or tweaking throughout the process. Same goes for Facebook ads!

In order to optimize your ad, you’ll need to see how it is performing and make amendments where necessary. This could include adjusting bids or trying different imagery. Facebook also has an A/B testing function within its Business Manager dashboard, so there’s no excuse not to get it near perfect after some tweaking.

Now you have an idea about how to create ads on this popular platform, taking it to the next level is the next step.

Take a look at these handy tips when you’re running Facebook Ads:

Use the Best Images and Copy

It’s a misconception that all images work on Facebook ads. However, if they’re not up to par, they’re not going to entice people to click through. It’s true that pictures say a thousand words, and if yours is blurry and boring, it also gives a negative impression about the quality of your brand.

Creating a good first impression is vital for the success of your Facebook ad, so make sure it hits the mark the first time.

Experiment with Targeting

As mentioned previously, you need to know who your target audience is to attract the right potential customers. Facebook’s succinct targeting allows you to do this in finite detail. It’s a good idea to start your target audience on a small scale, and once you start monitoring the ad, begin to add more interests to capture a wider audience.

Looking at ads that target different groups is also great for targeting both new and old customers. It’s important not to forget about your existing customer base or people that have interacted with your company page previously as these people are already interested in what you have to offer.

For businesses that have local customers, you’ll also find you can target specific zip codes and locations to capture the right audience.

Track and Optimize Regularly

It’s not enough to just let your ads run without keeping a close eye on them. Facebook has detailed analysis tools that enable you to monitor and track everything happening with your current advertising spend and performance.

You also have tools available that can help you automate this process, which will help ensure the best results. There are several external social media agencies and platforms that can be utilized for both small and large businesses. Examples include:

  • Hootsuite Ads
  • AdEspresso
  • Buffer

Think Beyond the Web

It’s easy to get caught up in thinking about how Facebook ads will help you target online customers and drive website conversions. However, thinking outside of this space also encourages customers to your business.

Targeting people and driving them to a local event or a local store can also work well. This is ideal if you have a particular promotion you have in store or need to push sales of tickets for events.

Locally targeting also gives people within a radius of your business more information about local offers and promotions. Using retargeting with this type of ad will also give you the chance to show up on the news feeds of people that have interacted with similar events and brands.

So now that you know the “how to’s” and what works in Facebook advertising but what potential benefits could this bring your brand in the short and long term?

Check out some of the reasons why you should utilize this platform to target your ideal customer:

Everyone is on Facebook

Ok, so that might be an exaggeration, but in all honesty, most people are! More than one billion people are active on Facebook, and more than 140 million businesses use Facebook apps to connect with potential customers. That’s a lot of audiences to target.

Of course, you don’t want to sell to all of them, but Facebook is providing one of the biggest platforms to showcase your products and services. And that’s not to mention the detailed targeting information they hold that is also available to you.

If there’s any takeaway from our guide, it’s that why wouldn’t you want to utilize this powerful advertising tool!

Facebook Advertising is Affordable

Another fantastic benefit for businesses is that Facebook provides affordable marketing solutions for all types of brands. The days of just trying to push organic content and hoping for the best are long gone, but Facebook ads provide an inexpensive way to boost it.

Another upside is that you can set budgets and maximum spends per day, so you never go over your limit. Plus, in comparison to other advertising options, Facebook is relatively inexpensive, which allows accessibility for everyone.

Targeting the Right Customer is Easy

Facebook holds tons of information on all their users that this gives businesses the ide

al opportunity to utilize its immense targeting power. We all know trying to find customers in the traditional sense is challenging, and it can also add substantial costs to your marketing budget. However, with Facebook’s detailed metrics, you can hone in on any type of ideal customer you want.

Targeting can be based on anything from:

  • Demographics
  • Age
  • Behaviours
  • Interests
  • Languages
  • Locations
  • Gender
  • Connections

By drilling down into your typical audience, you will ensure that clicks are not wasted on people who aren’t really interested in your products or services — thus saving you money.

Facebook ads also allow you to save specific targeting metrics so you can use them for similar campaigns. You can also set up varying targeting options and have ads running simultaneously to give you a better idea of what’s working and what’s not.

Target a Lookalike Audience

If you’ve honed your targeted audience and found a formula that works for you, Facebook will help you create a ‘lookalike audience’. This option is where you take a custom audience, and Facebook will target people that are very similar. This can help convert new leads quickly, as they are people that share an interest in your products and services.

The feature helps to take the guesswork out of finding the right audience and doesn’t require extensive testing. It is also designed for any business niche, so no matter how specialized your service is, you’ll be able to find the right customers for your brand.

Give Customers a Little Nudge

Every business has those customers that might need a little persuasion when it comes to clicking a link or committing to a purchase. The beauty of Facebook is that you can retarget your ads so that when your audience visits something similar on the platform, your ad pops up. This reminder often gives those customers a nudge to take a look again at your offering. In turn, this can lead to higher conversions and a reduction in non-converters.

You’ve now seen the benefits, but does Facebook marketing actually work?

Simply put, yes!

There are many reasons detailed above how Facebook ads can work for you, and when they do work, the rewards can be significant.

However, this is a valid question because some people try their hand at it and it flops. Similar to any other marketing strategy, it takes patience and research. If you’re under the impression, you can just make an ad, and it’s successful the first time, you might be disappointed.

That’s not to say it won’t eventually.

Using the techniques above, you can create appealing and informative messages that bring a good rate of return. Whether this is to your business page, website, or generating leads, Facebook ads are suitable for different types of promotions.

The success of Facebook ads is attributed to several factors, including its vast global audience. Even though you won’t be targeting the whole world with your ads (nor would you want to), there is still an enormous opportunity to get your message out there.

You may have also heard rumours that Facebook is starting to die out, but figures straight from the platform suggest otherwise. Don’t forget that Zuckerburg has also acquired several other social platforms since its inception, including Instagram. These acquisitions also put you in a position to target people using these platforms and potentially open up a host of ad retargeting options from people that have interacted with your Instagram page or stories.

Here’s the bottom line—Facebook ads work.

Need Help Implementing Facebook Advertising?

Whether you’re a one-man-show or your marketing team needs support, our managed marketing services give you the manpower of an expert marketing team for a flat monthly rate.

Alex Peters is the Senior Omni Channel Media Specialist at RSM Marketing. Over the last 4 years, Alex has stayed committed to providing our clients return through all channels, expanding audiences and increasing engagement by analyzing data and providing direction based on historical and industry trends. In his free time, Alex is driven by aesthetics, whether it's horology, mid-century architecture, or clothes. You can also catch him at Lambeau Field and Wrigley Field regularly.

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