What are Facebook ads?
Ever come across a random post from an account you do not follow while scrolling through Facebook? Notice a product or a service description on the sidebar? These are ads that have been paid for by businesses or brands that might consider you a target audience.
Paid messages which convey the brand messaging from businesses on Facebook are very common nowadays and have become a significant source of exposure for businesses. Facebook advertising goes through an intricate process of customer identification and targeting based on their searches, location, profile information, and demographics.
Check out the below video to know more about Facebook ads in detail
Importance of Facebook Advertising
Facebook is one of the most used social media platforms in the world. With billions of users in its community, Facebook has become a key element in the digital marketing strategies of businesses across the globe.
The platform has a pool of audiences that can turn into potential customers for businesses. With such diversity in its userbase, brands gain a real gateway into getting more exposure and bringing in more consumers. Facebook advertising has played a major role in brands all across the world reaching an untapped audience, and growing their customer base and revenue.
Who Should Use Facebook Advertising?
As with any other platform, you should remember that people are not actively seeking your products or services. You have to generate interest in order to bring in users to your website. You must also remember that Facebook being a social platform means that the users are usually just scrolling through posts, engaging with their friends, following celebrities, etc. Your advertisement serves as an alien entity in this journey, and it is your job to make it as consumable and organic as possible.
So, with Facebook ads, you must remember that the likelihood of conversions will be less likely, and expecting a quick sale might leave you disappointed.
Who should be using Facebook ads, and is your business really a good fit for doing it? Let us take a look at the various types of businesses that have the best chances at succeeding in Facebook advertising:
1. Businesses That Have Low-Friction Conversion
Remember that a user is going out of their way when they click on your ad and can very easily go back to browsing on Facebook. Businesses with a low-friction conversion model tend to be more successful.
To explain this further, let us take a use case. A user clicks on an ad and is taken to a page where they are asked for a big commitment like a purchase upfront. The user is very likely to just exit and go back to Facebook. However, if the user is given a simple conversion option like giving their email address, signing up for a service, or filling a short lead form, they are more likely to do it.
If your business only sells products, you can get users to signup for a newsletter, which you can deploy to upsell your products with email marketing.
2. Businesses with Long Sale Cycles
Facebook advertising can be a slow burn in many cases. Even if you have users signed up for your services or newsletters, you still have to ensure that they convert to make money. You would need to build solid trust with the users before they make a purchase.
The best approach here is not to depend on one big purchase. If you are able to capture many smaller purchases, you can make more money. Hence, businesses that have a long sale cycle tend to be a good fit for Facebook advertising.
Types of Facebook ads
1. Image ads
Image ads are exactly what their name suggests. Engaging ad copies are presented in a visceral visual to entice the audience to engage. You can even create these by just editing an already existing post with an engaging graphic on your Facebook page.
2. Video ads
Video ads usually run either on the news feed of a user or on a brand’s stories on their page. They can even appear within longer videos on Facebook in-stream. These are generally used by brands who either want to present a quick demo of their products or services, or display the benefits in an engaging way to encourage sharing.
3. Carousel ads
A carousel ad is a series of images, GIFs, or videos in a single post to convey a larger message. This format is usually used by brands who want to highlight the various benefits of using their product/s. Each of the images or videos can have its own unique link to a landing page, and usually has a powerful CTA to encourage users to engage with the post’s offerings.
4. Poll ads
While these ads are currently only limited to mobile devices, they introduce a very interactive approach to engage the users. This format of Facebook ads incorporates simple polls with two options that can be incorporated within an image or a video ad. The users get to see the tally of the responses your poll ads have received, which introduces an intriguing element to the ad.
5. Slideshow ads
Slideshow ads are a great option for brands looking to create video ads without using too much data. A collection of images or texts are used to create smoothly flowing slideshow ads with an eye-catching motion. The best thing is that these ads use up to four times less data than a video ad, which means that they load much faster for the users, even if they have a slow internet connection. You can even use the Facebook Ads Manager to insert texts and engaging music to these ads.
6. Facebook Messenger ads
Facebook Messenger ads are a great way to reach the users directly without having to wait for them to discover your ads on their feeds. While creating and publishing your ad, you can choose its desired placement as Messenger, select the Facebook feed and that’s it!
There are also click-to-Messenger ads that feature a direct CTA button, which opens up a Messenger chatbox for the user with your Facebook profile. These can be used to interact with the users directly to answer their queries and educate them about your products or services.
How does Facebook Advertising work?
There are many different types of Facebook ads that bring in a lot of diverse segments for brands to leverage. You can promote the posts on your page, your profiles, keep an eye on the actions users are taking, or even have a direct checkpoint to your website.
Facebook ads use the platform’s highly advanced algorithm which assesses the user profile information, their location, demographic, pages they follow, etc., to present them with relevant ads.
For each click, you will have to set a budget and bid for it. There are also other paid ad options like making a bid for every thousand impressions on your ad. After this, your ads are displayed on the news feeds or sidebars or the users.
The main aim of Facebook ads is to drive engagement and improve brand awareness. The other goal is to drive the traffic to your own website so that you control the user activity and have a better chance at conversions.
Tips for Creating and Optimizing Facebook Ads
1. Target Your Audience
The unparalleled userbase of Facebook is perhaps the biggest attraction for businesses looking to advertise on the platform. The reach you can potentially have from Facebook can prove to be a big win in bringing in organic traffic with good potential for conversion.
The biggest issue is that brands often do not take full advantage of the various ways they can target their audience on the platform. Instead of going for the “bigger is better” approach, getting your ads to the target audience will prove to be much more rewarding.
Facebook provides a sleuth of options to marketers for ad targeting, which should be used to its full potential. You can target your Facebook ads by sorting through the demographics, and creating a customized audience that resonates with the users you are targeting. Then, there are retargeting ads, which can be displayed to the users who have in some way interacted with your posts or page or even visited your website!
The targeting filters on Facebook are plenty, but the most important ones are:
Each of these options can help you target a certain segment of users who are most likely to make a purchase from your brand. The most important factors here are as follows:
- Gender and age targeting should be heavily based on your already existing customers. For instance, if men from the age group of 23-35 are the major chunk of your existing customers, use age and gender targeting to push your ads to this particular demographic.
- Location targeting is helpful for local businesses or businesses that exist only in one country or state. Use the zip codes of where your services or products are available to display ads to users based in those areas.
- Interest targeting is, perhaps, the most useful feature of Facebook advertising. When you create Facebook ads, make sure to fill in the interests section to ensure that your ads are reaching users who are genuinely interested in the domain.
There are two ways in which you can do interest targeting for Facebook ads:
- Broad Category Interests:
In broad categories, you can find domains like gardening, consumer electronics, tools, etc. Facebook has even added broad categories with target users like Expecting Parents, Has Birthday in 1 Month, Married or Engaged, Away from Hometown, and much more. Broad categories for interests are a great way to reach a big group of users, but the most effective method for interest targeting is the next one.
- Detailed Interests:
In this type of interest targeting, you use the information gathered from user profiles to target your ads. This information can include elements like pages they like, listed likes, apps they use, timeline content, etc. This type of targeting provides the best ROI for Facebook advertising. Since there are thousands of interests to target on Facebook, this method gets your ads to the most valuable audience on the platform.
2. Include Visuals
Facebook is a very visual platform. Text posts get much less engagement than videos or images. Hence, it is important to leverage this aspect in your ads.
You can have the best ad copy you can come up with, but if you do not have a catchy image to go with, it most likely will not work for you. An important thing to remember here is to not use any low-quality or generic stock images for your ads. Also, make sure that you have the rights to the image you are using. Don’t just pick anything from Google Images without checking if they require to be referenced or paid for to avoid any legal troubles.
Here are some ways in which you can use visuals in your images to make them more eye-catching for the users:
- Use images with people in them. Faces with certain emotions that fit the ad copy will make an instant impression on users, especially if the faces look like your target audience.
- Make sure that any text on your image is crisp and readable. You should not overstuff text into your images. Use bright colors and appealing backgrounds for best readability.
- Keep rotating your ads. Each of your Facebook advertising campaigns should have a minimum of three ads. This will help you in gathering valuable data like which ones are clicking more with the users, why, and what can you do to improve the performance of others.
3. Write Compelling Ad Copy
While we previously mentioned that the best ad copies will perform poorly if the image is not good, ad copies still hold a lot of value. If the image does the job, the next thing users will see which can seal the deal for you is the ad copy.
To earn a click, you should make the copy informative, catchy, and present a compelling CTA which can encourage users to click on the link to your website. The character limit for the headline is 40 characters, and for the body is 125 characters. Make sure to squeeze as much information out within these limits as you can.
One good technique to use here is called AIDA in the copywriting world which stands for – Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Incorporating all of these elements into your ad copy can make it very effective in generating interest and intrigue in users.
4. Pay attention to Facebook Ads bidding
Strategic bidding for Facebook ads can make or break your budget. It can determine whether your Facebook marketing campaign failed or turned in a profit. So always pay attention to the bidding for Facebook ads.
Facebook provides a bid range after you create your ad. Once you start out with your campaign, bid low. This is because the CTR you generate from your ads will dictate what pricing you are looking at for the traffic.
A high CTR means that the suggested bids for your ads will decrease. If your CTR is low, each click’s bid will be higher. This means that you will need to optimize your targets and ads periodically till you have a good CTR from your ads to save money.
The bid you set initially will also determine how many of your target users will be able to see your ads. Facebook Ads Manager provides a chart tool that can show you the size of your target userbase, and how many of those your ads have reached.
5. Create an attractive landing page
When the user clicks on your link, you would want them to convert. But if your landing page is poorly made or not visually appealing, the user will close it in an instant. To avoid high bounce rates, make sure to create attractive landing pages which can propel the users in taking a journey through your website and maybe making a purchase.
Make sure to keep the website architecture accessible, and menu items available on the landing pages for easy accessibility for the users.
6. Track and Analyse Your Ad’s Performance
Use Facebook Ads Manager to gather up the data on how well your ads are interacting with the users. Once the users have clicked the link to your website, you will have to use tools like Google Analytics to track their behavior.
You can conveniently track the traffic on your website coming from Facebook ads by tagging your links with a UTM site link from Google URL Builder. This can help you see which ads are bringing in the most traffic and which ones are not performing well. The insights to keep an eye on here include the number of sales, leads generated, conversions, and revenue.
There are three types of tracking you must do to analyze how well your ads are performing:
- Conversion Tracking – By separating campaigns using different interest groups, you can track the conversion rate and baseline CTR from each of your campaigns.
- Performance Tracking – Track the CTR of your ads. This is the most important metric which can help you assess which ads are performing better, and which ones need to be worked on. Ads that have a low CTR will ultimately become more expensive, so you can make a call whether to optimize them, replace them, or just chuck them altogether.
7. Draft a Facebook Business Page
Visit the “Create Page” section of Facebook, and make a business page if you don’t already have one. This will ultimately help you reap the benefits of all types of Facebook ads. Enter the relevant keywords in the category bar while filling in your information, and click on the “Create Page” button.
Once you have created your business page, Facebook will prompt you to fill in additional information and complete different tasks to refine your page. This is a very worthwhile practice which can give all the required information to the visitors, like About Us, Contact Information, Location, etc.
The final step is to create a CTA which redirects the users to your website. Make sure to draft a powerful CTA which inspires the users to take the desired action. The action can be many things such as Sign Up, Subscribe to the Newsletter, or something else.
8. Test Your Ads
No one knows how an ad will perform on any platform. Making assumptions is all good, but you should always test your Facebook ads for how well they are performing. The only profitable venue through ads on Facebook is to try out a few options in your campaigns and keep the ones that resonate with the target audience.
A simple A/B testing approach can take you a long way in this journey. Take an ad, and give it a few tweaks with other elements, and run it parallelly to determine which elements perform better than the others. Just go to the “Duplicate” section on Facebook Ads Manager and perform A/B testing.
Check out the below video to understand the different campaign objectives and how to choose the right objective for your Facebook ads.
Refine Your Facebook Advertising
Now that you know all the elements that go into creating Facebook ads, it is time to take a look at your marketing strategy and refine it based on these tips.
Make sure to choose the right type of Facebook ads that can resonate the most with your target audience. Incorporating the tips mentioned above will help you improve the ads, and better your CTR. Always remember – Ads with a low CTR will only keep increasing the cost of your campaign, so make a call on which ads to keep and which ones to remove based on their tracking data.
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