The year 2015 is winding down, but Facebook marketing is still going strong. With 1.49 billion monthly active users, 40 million small business pages, and 2 million active advertisers, Facebook is a big influence in the world of social media marketing.
No matter what type of business you have or what your goals are, Facebook advertising enables you to reach the right people – those who are most likely to become your customers. And this is its greatest advantage.
Yes, we know, all this sounds great, but how do you make your Facebook ads convert? How do you make them effective and budget savvy?
Facebook Ads and AdWords: Аre They Really Rivals?
People who are new to digital marketing usually find it difficult to choose an advertising method, and this is quite normal. There are many different options, but choosing the one that will work best for your business isn’t a walk in the park.
Here we are going to discuss two of the most popular advertising tools – Facebook and AdWords. Sometimes they are perceived as rivals, but this isn’t really accurate. Yes, they offer some of the same options, such as advertising to an enormous user base and a PPC marketing model, but they are different.
The main distinction lies in an advertiser’s purpose – whether the advertiser wants to offer (sell) something specific or wants to gain brand awareness. When a consumer uses Google to search for something, they are on a mission. They are looking for something specific, and they expect to find it. Therefore, advertisers should match the searcher’s intent.
Facebook, on the other hand, is a social network, and it shows ads based on users’ interests. This allows advertisers to reach people who have never heard about their business and to build an appetite for their product.
Facebook Advertising Process – Briefly Explained
Before you start advertising on Facebook, you should be aware of what the Facebook advertising process is, the main components of an ad, and the steps involved in creating an ad.
Briefly, a Facebook ad consists of 3 main components – a campaign, an ad set, and the ad itself. These parts create your campaign structure. Let’s take a closer look at each element:
When you create your campaign, you lay the foundations of your ad. Here you choose your objective and start working on your ad set.
2. Ad Set
During your ad set creation, you define your audience, budget, schedule, and bid. Please note that your Facebook campaign may consist of different ad sets, meaning you can specify different options for each of them.
Your ad is the thing Facebook users will see. You choose how it’s going to look. Upload your image (or images) and write your headline and description. Similar to campaigns and ad sets, you can have several ads within an ad set.
Facebook Ads Appear in Two Places
Facebook ads appear in two places – users’ News Feeds (desktop and mobile devices) and the right column of any Facebook page (desktops). Of course, Facebook ads visualize a bit differently on desktop and mobile devices. To get a better idea, look at the image below:
Facebook ads appear in two places: News Feeds (desktop and mobile devices) and the right column of Facebook pages
The Stages of Facebook Advertising
Now, let’s imagine that your Facebook ad has been created. What comes next?
- First, it should be reviewed and approved by Facebook.
- Then, if everything is OK, it starts to run and gains exposure.
- You should wait for a while and see what the results are.
- Edit the ad, if necessary.
- Keep in mind that if you edit your ad, it has to go through another review process.
- You can stop your ad at any time.
Tips and Tricks for Creating Ads in Ads Manager
Choose a Campaign Objective
As previously mentioned, the first step in the Facebook advertising process is to create a campaign, which includes choosing an objective for the campaign. This is critical for your success, so don’t rush through it. Your ad campaign objective will help determine the most appropriate audience for your ad, so your efforts won’t be in vain.
Think for a while – what do you want to accomplish? What are your biggest dreams? Do you want to increase your online sales? Do you want to gain brand awareness? Do you want to give voice to a social cause? Clarify your objective, and bring your Facebook ad into being.
When you create your Facebook ad, you can choose between two starting points:
- Click on the following link.
- Go to your Ads Manager and click on the button Create Advert in the upper right corner.
In both cases, you must single out one of the objectives listed below:
Boost Your Posts – This objective will help you increase the engagement of a single Facebook post. The post will gain more likes, shares, comments, and photo views.
Promote Your Page – Use this objective if you want to get more page likes and connect with people who are interested in your business and products.
Send People to Your Website – Use this objective if you want to increase the number of clicks to a single page of your website. Keep in mind that the website page should be important for your business, such as a product page.
Increase Conversions on Your Website – Use this objective if you want users to take a specific action; for example, filling in a newsletter form or buying one of your products.
Get Installs of Your App – Use this objective if you want people to install your app.
Increase Engagement in Your App – Use this objective if you want to boost the activity of your app.
Reach People Near Your Business – This objective is a very helpful feature for local organizations, as it allows an advertiser to reach people located close to their business.
Raise Attendance at Your Event – This objective will help you promote your event.
Get People to Claim Your Offer – This objective will advertise your timely deals that you want to be redeemed in your store.
Get Video Views – This objective is the perfect option if you want to show an interesting video story and increase your brand awareness.
Name the Campaign
After you choose an objective for your ad campaign, then name the campaign. It is quite simple. Just write the name of your ad campaign in the field Campaign Name.
When you’re ready, continue to the second step in the Facebook advertising process, which is to create an ad set. This includes defining your audience, budget, schedule, and bid. Begin with a very important part of your Facebook ad creation – targeting.
Choose an Audience
You should decide who the people you want to reach are. What is their age? What are their interests – music, sports, movies, etc.? Do they live near your business location or on the opposite side of the earth? Have they ever visited your website?
Facebook advertising options answer all your questions. You can target users in two major ways:
- By location, demographics, interests, and behavior.
- Through creation of two types of audiences – Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences.
The first option is perfect for developing businesses, while the second one is more suitable for brands that already have some influence.
Let’s examine these targeting opportunities in detail.
How to Target People by Location, Demographics, Interests, and Behavior
You are able to see these options as soon as you name your campaign.
Target by Location – You can tell Facebook where to show your ad. If your business is local, it is better to target only people who live in your area. But if you own an online store, it is quite reasonable to target everyone in your country or even abroad. Don’t forget to narrow down your audience by using the other targeting options.
Target by Demographics – Here you can point out your demographic preferences, such as gender, age, education, etc. Let’s say you offer baby clothes. Who are the people you want to reach? Of course, they are parents from both sexes – women and men, maybe between 20-35 years of age, married and single, etc.
Target by Interests and Behaviors – Imagine being in the shoes of those parents, and ask yourself these questions: What would you be interested in? Cooking? Baby health tips? Babysitting services? What devices would they use to find the information they are looking for? Desktop? Mobile?
How to Create a Custom Audience
You can build two different types of Custom Audiences:
- Custom Audience from a customer list.
- Custom Audience from your website.
Custom Audience from a Customer List
Go to your Ads Manager, click on the drop-down menu Tools, and select Audiences.
Click on Create a Custom Audience.
Choose the option Customer List.
Choose one of the options for obtaining data.
Import the information, and the users you’ve selected will start seeing your ad.
Custom Audience from People Who have Visited Your Website
In order to create a Custom Audience of people from your website, you should use the so-called Facebook pixel. With its help, you can run a campaign to reach people who visited a specific page (or pages) of your website.
Facebook pixel is a code you place on your website.
Go to your Ads Manager. Once again, choose Tools > Audiences > Create a Custom Audience, but this time, choose the option Website Traffic.
Let’s say that you agree with Facebook conditions and click on the blue button Create Facebook Pixel.
Copy and paste the code in the <head> part of the webpage (or webpages) you want to track.
How to Create a Lookalike Audience
The main point behind Lookalike Audiences is to reach users who are much the same as your customers and who are expected to be excited about your offer. In order to build a Lookalike Audience, you need to have at least one Custom Audience.
Go to your Ads Manager > Tools > Audiences > Create a Lookalike Audience.
You will see the following pop-up window:
Put your mouse cursor on Source, and then choose one of your Custom Audiences.
To tighten your targeting, you can also define a Country and an Audience Size.
To finish the process, click the blue button Confirm.
Set Your Budget and Schedule
When you create your audience, Facebook will show you the number of people in that audience. This metric is called Potential Reach.
At the moment you set your advertising budget, Facebook will show you the number of people you can reach within that budget. This is your Estimated Daily Reach.
You have two budgeting options – Daily Budget and Lifetime Budget.
The first option allows you to define the maximum amount you’ll spend per day. The second option allows you to define the maximum amount you’ll spend during the lifetime of your ad.
The next thing you need to do is specify your schedule.
Your ad can run continuously, starting from the day of its creation, or it can run within a period of time that you select.
Moreover, you can optimize your ad for a specific event.
The options are Link Clicks to Your Website, Impressions, and Daily Unique Reach. As you can see, Facebook provides a short explanation for each option. Choose one and continue forward.
You have to define a maximum bid for click (Bid Amount). You have two options here – Automatic and Manual. If you choose the second option, you have to define the bid by yourself, but Facebook helps you by suggesting an adequate bid amount.
There are two main bidding options in Facebook – Link Click (CPC) and Impression.
The better choice is CPC, because you will pay only if someone clicks on your ad, meaning you will pay only for those users who are highly interested in your ad.
Advert Scheduling works only if you choose a Lifetime Budget.
The recommended Delivery Type is Standard, unless you promote a time-sensitive event that needs to gain popularity as quickly as possible.
How Should You Define Your Budget?
There is no one answer to the question of how you should define your budget. The amount that can be specified depends on your business type and your set goals. A clever option is to start with a small daily budget and wait to see what the results are. If your ad performs well, you can increase your budget. Do not be afraid to experiment and make changes if necessary.
Name the Ad Set
To name your ad set, you can use a description of your audience, scheduling, or ads.
Create the Аd
Finally, the third step in the Facebook advertising process is to create the ad. Facebook ads consist of an image and two text parts – headline and description. They form the so-called ad creative. Depending on the objective, Facebook has some recommendations about the image size and the lengths of the texts.
How to Upload an Image for Your Ad
You can upload a single image or multiple images. You can select the images from your library (containing all your ad images), use free stock images, or upload images from your computer.
Tips for Choosing Ad Images
The main goal of the image is to attract attention. Facebook users are barraged with tons of information, so your ad must stand out. Of course, it should be relevant, and it should align with your message and brand personality. It is always better to use a high-quality custom image than a stock image. It will draw the attention of users and make them stop and look and then notice your ad.
Stay away from blue and white. These are the colors of the Facebook social network, and the last thing you want is for your ad to merge with those tones.
It has been proven that photos of happy people, children, and pets create more conversions. So, if it is appropriate to use such a photo, do not hesitate to do it. For example, you can show happy people using your product and recommending it to others. This is a very good and strong message.
You can even add some text in your image, showing your offer or adding a call to action. Just do not forget that, according to Facebook guidelines, image text should not take more than 20% of the image pixels.
Write the Headline and the Description for Your Ad
Once your image has managed to catch users’ eyes, they will focus on the text. Remember, you have 25 characters for your headline and 90 characters for your description (text), so you must keep them short, clear, and catchy.
Do not overdo it – just show the value of your product and put in a call to action. You must convince people that they have to click on your ad and follow your instructions. Speak directly to them, be emotional, and always stick to the truth. Do not ever lie to your prospects. This will turn them off.
Do not use clichés, such as “the best solution” or “our services are great,” but show your personal selling point. What distinguishes you from the competition?
If your business is brand new, you can introduce it to the public. If your business is well known, include your brand name in the headline. Be informative and captivating.
Place Your Order and Choose a Payment Method
Place your order and choose a payment method.
Congratulations! Your ad has been created!
Land People at the Right Place
Many Facebook advertisers fail to understand the importance of their landing page. A landing page is the page users are sent to when they click on an ad. Therefore, it must conform to the headline of the ad. It must deliver a single message corresponding to the main objective of the ad. In fact, every part of the landing page should be aligned with the ad.
We recommend that you use a clean design and contrasting colors that will direct users to the material sections of your landing page. Don’t neglect to add your logo and a clear and eye-catching call to action. To stress the authenticity of your product, you can also add testimonials, contact details, and social proof.
Don’t add too much text on your landing page. But if you need a lot of words to describe your product, make the copy easier to read by using bullet points.
And, last but not least, don’t use your home page as a landing page. Use a dedicated page. Why? In most cases, home pages contain a lot of information and provide many opportunities for actions users can take, so your ad objective might be overlooked. The success of your landing page is measured in the number of visitors converted into subscribers/buyers.
Remember you can A/B test your landing pages if you have enough traffic being delivered to them. Read this article to find out what conditions you need to run a successful A/B test.
Alternatives to Ads Manager
Facebook offers two alternatives to Ads Manager – Power Editor and Business Manager. We will review them briefly.
Power Editor is suitable for larger advertisers whose daily work requires the creation and release of a large number of ads at once. In order to download the accounts you want to access, you should go to your Power Editor and click on the option Download to Power Editor (at the top left of your screen).
Power Editor has some really great features, such as:
- Simultaneous uploading and downloading of ads from an Excel spreadsheet.
- Advertising to a specific mobile device with an option to show ads only when the device is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
- Additional optimization through defining a daily unique reach, allowing you to bid on impressions, with an option to limit the ad views to once per day.
Please note that this tool is supported only in Chrome browser on a desktop computer.
Business Manager allows businesses to gather their Facebook assets at one place. With its help, employees can enter pages and ad accounts more securely, as they no longer need to share their login details.
You can create a Business Manager account by visiting Facebook for Business and clicking on the button Get Started at the bottom of the page. To complete the registration, follow the instructions.
Now, what is the difference between Ads Manager and Business Manager? It is quite simple. Accounts in Ads Manager are personal. Advertisers enter them using their personal Facebook accounts and for personal purposes. Accounts in Business Manager, on the other hand, are more like public accounts. There may be several people responsible for the creation and management of the ads. With a Business Manager account, you can keep your personal Facebook account private.
Manage, Measure, and Optimize
Manage Your Ads in Ads Manager
As mentioned earlier, you can revise your ad once you’ve created it. Most types of ads allow you to edit your image, headline, description, links, targeting, schedule, and budget. You can’t change these if your objective is one of the following: Page Likes, Promote your Page, Page Post Engagement, or Boost your Posts. Please also note that you are not permitted to edit your ad objective. If you want to optimize your ad for a different objective, your only option is to create a new ad.
Measure Results in Ads Manager
Ads Manager allows you to analyze the data from your campaigns and create and export useful reports. You can see various metrics, such as:
- How many people have seen your ad?
- How many people have engaged with your ad?
- How much have you spent on your ad?
- What is your ad schedule?
Other Ways to Measure Results
In addition to Ads Manager, there are two other ways you can measure your campaign results. The first one is a function of your Facebook page called Page Insights, and the other is an external evaluation process called A/B testing.
Facebook provides page managers with information about users’ activity on their page. With this knowledge, you can decide whether to change something in the way you advertise. If you want to look at your Page Insights, click on Insights located at the top of your Facebook page. You will find data about your likes, reach, visits, page views, posts, videos, and people.
How to Troubleshoot Your Ad
Ads often don’t perform as you expected, especially if you are new to social media marketing. Follow these tips regarding three of the most common advertising obstacles:
Problem: Your ad gets very few impressions or no impressions at all.
- Your ad wasn’t approved.
- Your ad components (campaign, ad set, or ad) aren’t active.
- Your ad was scheduled for another period of time.
- You’re over budget.
- Your audience’s size doesn’t fit your budget.
Problem: One ad is performing better than another.
- Your ads are in the same ad set, and they compete with each other. You should put the ads in different ad sets.
- You target your ads to the same people, and the ads compete with each other. You should target them to different audiences.
- Your ads are scheduled for different times. Competition is different during different parts of the day, and performance variations are normal.
Problem: Your ad doesn’t receive enough engagement.
- You are using an ineffective image.
- You are using an improper message.
- The placement is wrong.
- The targeting and demographic options are incorrect.
Facebook ads are a powerful marketing tool. They can boost your brand popularity and indirectly increase your sales. When you create your ad, you should focus on your goals. Clarify your goals in advance, and your ad will be successful, and eventually your prospects will turn into customers.
About The Author: Vesela Georgieva is a digital marketing specialist working for a small, but reputed Bulgarian software company, called NIT-New Internet Technologies Ltd. Her areas of knowledge and expertise include Search Engine Optimization, Copywriting and Social Media Marketing. She believes that following the best practices and strategies is the most appropriate way to build online presence and make a site perform better in search results. If you want to learn more about her experience, you can visit her LinkedIn profile.