Advertising on Facebook 101

Social Media Advertising

It’s 2019 and it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have an Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter account. Social Media networks and the idea of social networking has become such a mainstream part of our everyday life. There are actual internet challenges to get people to get off of their phones. Forms of entertainment such as TV, the newspaper, and radio are not obsolete yet, but definitely don’t carry as much weight as they used to. This has led companies to put their digital marketing attention on social media as opposed to things like radio and newspaper ads. This includes advertising on Facebook. But don’t worry, your neighborhood attorney will always market on the radio.

In March of 2018 it was estimated that advertisers would spend $40 billion more on social media and internet ads than on TV ads. Another report from Hootsuite details that budgets for online advertising will double over just the next five years.

The evidence of growth via social media and internet advertisements is apparent, but how can you get started? We’ll dive in to how you can get started on one of the biggest platforms available: advertising on Facebook.

Goal Oriented

Social Media advertising and marketing is all about decisions. When advertising on Facebook, the first decision that needs to be made is what kind of ad you want to run. Facebook groups a number of ad styles into three main focus groups: awareness, engagement, and conversion.

Awareness Goals

Under the awareness section, there are 2 ad types: brand awareness, and reach. Brand awareness is an ad type meant to increase awareness for your business or brand. It does this by reaching people who are likely to show interest in what you are offering. A reach ad is a type of ad that is meant to get your ad in front of as many people as possible. You can learn more about brand awareness and reach ads by clicking those links.

Engagement Goals

The engagement section offers the most ads out of the three groups. When thinking about running an engagement ad you have the option to run an ad based on traffic (of a specific kind), an ad focusing on getting likes, comments, or shares, an ad to get people to instal an application, an ad to get strictly video views, an ad to generate leads for your product(s), or an ad to get people to message your brand or business.

Conversion Goals

The conversion group is all about closing, or the idea of social selling. In this section you have three options: a conversion ad, a catalogue sales ad, and a store traffic option. The conversion ad is meant to get people to purchase from you on your website. The catalogue sales ad is meant to show people immediately on Facebook your store catalogue and close a sale quicker on one platform. The store traffic option is meant to get people to go to your physical location (if you have one) by showing them directions to your store.

No matter what your intention is for advertising on Facebook, they offer a wide variety of goals to accomplish and make it easy to learn more about how each of them is different and how each works.

Finding Your Market

No matter what goal you select the next step in this process is to define your market, or your audience. You can do this in the ad set section of your ad build. Here you will be prompted to name your ad set. This is a good idea if you plan on making multiple audiences or marketing to different groups. It will keep you organized. Once you have done that you can hone in on your audience. There are many options and you can target any city or country, any age, male, female, or both. As you are making updates to this, you will notice the audience size on the right of your screen change. Make sure that no matter what you do, your audience size is defined!

After this, you can now get really specific with who you want to see your ad. You can select any number of unique demographics, interests, and/or behaviors your audience might have. Depending on what you select, your audience may get too specific or too broad, so make sure you are keeping it as defined as possible. Once you have made your perfect audience for this ad, you have the option to save this audience. This is perfect or running future campaigns for a similar or the same product, or for just targeting this audience again.



Now that you have an audience, you have the power to choose where your audience will see your ad. Facebook gives you an initial two options: automatic placements, or edit placements. Selecting automatic placements will allow Facebook the opportunity to place your ad where it thinks it will perform best based on the Facebook advertising algorithm. If you select edit placements, you have the option and control to place your ad wherever you see fit on Facebook, Instagram, the Audience Network, and Messenger. If you’re just getting started using Facebook’s advertising tools, we’d recommend using automatic placements until you know where your audience is looking at your ads most.

What’s Your Right Budget?

As we said in the beginning of this article, social media and digital advertising budgets are going to double over the next five years. However, just because large companies are spending huge amounts of money doesn’t mean you necessarily need to to meet your goals. In another article we’ve written, we talk about micro marketing, and how small businesses should be focusing on shorter, less expensive ads. Click here to check out that article!

We have spent $5 on an ad and reached 800 people, $45 on an ad and reached 6,000 people, and $90 on an ad and reached 17,000 people. Your budget is only as effective as your target audience is. If you have a good idea of who you want to see your ad, and that they will engage with your ad, then regardless of the budget you will see success. If you are still unsure of who your audience, then try not to spend lots of money on ads. They won’t be nearly as effective. Instead, run multiple micro campaigns that target different audiences, different placements, different locations, and compare the results after they are done. Doing this trial technique will give you the best idea of who you should be targeting without breaking the bank.

Copy Matters

What you say in your ad is extremely important. There’s different styles of writing, different ways of using CTA’s (calls to action), different ways of getting people’s attention through words. We have written our fair share of Facebook ads and have some tips that we’ve learned over time.

Firstly, make sure that your copy matches what your chosen visual is. If a viewer is looking at your ad, and your image or video doesn’t line up with your copy they are sure to not be drawn in. It is a good idea to have your assets and copy pre-planned to ensure there is a theme for them. Secondly, make sure your copy is leading with value. Whether you choose an awareness, engagement, or conversion ad there must be value. Your viewer has to feel like they will gain something from engaging with your ad. This can be a link to an article, a signup for a relevant newsletter, an informative PDF. Make sure that you are offering something your audience wants.

Thirdly, it is important that your copy is plain and simple. Don’t use unnecessary words or fluff. Your copy should be comprised of three parts. Those parts are what you’re offering to them, how that offering can benefit them, and what the next action is. Lastly and most importantly, text your copy. The same way we recommend you test budgets and audience you should test copy as well. Do this with your micro campaigns to ensure you aren’t spending a lot on tests unnecessarily. It will be extremely easy to point out and notice what copy works best, and what CTA’s work best. Testing is key!

Imagery Matters

Deciding on what imagery you should use in your ad should take some time and attention to detail. Depending on what your brand or business offers a video might be better than a picture. Likewise, a picture might be better than a video in some circumstances. Like everything else, you should allocate time in your marketing calendar to test videos and images. Do these tests on different audiences and see which ones get higher CTR (click-through rates) and engagement.

In the past we have run a series of 12 ads to one audience with the same budget ($5) for three days, and sure enough at the end of the campaign we knew which image performed better. This is a practice that isn’t extremely harsh on budgets and is well worth the experimentation.

Check out this article by Facebook discussing the differences between photos and videos in targeted ads!

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