In 2016, Facebook reported an astonishing $6.5 billion in advertising revenue, up from $4.3 billion in 2015. For those in the know, this comes as no surprise; since December 2016, Facebook stated there were 1.23 billion daily active users on average. With such an enormous user base, disregarding Facebook shouldn’t be an option when it comes to your marketing strategy no matter what business you are.

So, where should your business start with Facebook Ads? This guide will help you utilise the tool as part of your company’s online marketing strategy.

1. Create goals

Before you dive straight in, we would always urge you to think about what you want your ads to achieve.

Whether you want to increase brand awareness, drive people to your website or get people to visit your stores, you should always have this in mind when creating an ad campaign. We also urge you to set SMART goals for your ads.

2. Choose an objective

Once you have settled on a particular goal for your ads, you then need to choose a suitable objective in Facebook Ads Manager. The objectives break down into the three stages of the customer purchase funnel: awareness, consideration and conversion.

For a full breakdown of the various ad objectives available, Facebook has a comprehensive guide that you can check out here.

3. Choose who you want to see your ads

One of the main reasons that Facebook generated over $6 billion in advertising revenue last year, is because it provides businesses with some of the most advanced ad targeting options known to man.

You can show your message to the people most likely to help you achieve your objective, by refining your audience by basic demographic targeting options such as location, age, gender and language. However, where Facebook really comes into its own from an advertising point of view, is its ability to target audiences based on their interests and behaviours.

Ensuring your ad audience is highly targeted means you aren’t wasting valuable money on clicks from people who aren’t interested in your products and services. The best thing to do is start inputting a few targeting options and Facebook will automatically suggest additional targeting options that you may also find useful.

Another handy feature is that you will gain feedback on the potential size of your created audience, which will help to give you an idea of how many people you can expect to reach with your ad.

4. Choose how much you want to spend

Picking the right budget for your campaign is one of the most critical parts of your ad campaign. Here’s how to make the most of your budget. There are a few key points that you need to remember when setting budgets; your Facebook Ad Account is structured with three distinct tiers:

  • Campaigns – Correspond to your campaign objective e.g. website traffic, leads etc. 
  • Ad sets – Corresponds to a traditional marketing ‘segment’. You can have multiple 'ad sets' within a campaign, each with their own budget and schedule. 
  • Ads – The creative you wish to show each individual ad set. Each ad set can have multiple ads featuring different headlines, imagery, CTAs and destination URLs, which are all incorporated into the budget for any given ad set.
5. Choose what you want your audience to see

Now comes the exciting part: it is finally time to design your ad! The first thing you will need to decide on (and arguably the most important) is the visuals that you wish to use.
 
Visuals

There are a number of options available to you when it comes to visuals. However, for the sake of ease, we will just focus on images as they are the most common format of ads you will come across.
 
There are three different ways of incorporating images into your ads:
  • 1. Utilise an existing image from your Facebook page 
  • 2. Upload a new picture from your computer 
  • 3. Search for images in the Shutterstock database

Copy

For your ad copy, you will generally need content for the following four sections (the number of sections can sometimes vary depending on the objective for your campaign i.e. page likes):
  • Headlines - 25 character Limit 
  • Ad text - 90 character Limit 
  • News feed link descriptions - 90 character Limit
  • Call to action (CTA) – Choose from a predefined list

Ad Placement

Once you have created your ad, you will then need to decide where you want your shiny new Facebook ad to appear.
 
There are a plethora of different placement options available to you, which will help you to reach as many of your target audience as possible
 
You will never know which ad types will be best for your ad campaigns without giving them all a try and seeing how they perform for you.
 
 
6. Putting everything into practice

After reading this guide, you should have a sound understanding of the various opportunities that Facebook Ads could provide for your business, including creating new campaigns, choosing the right objectives, create compelling ad creative, and aiming it at the right audience.
 
The only thing that is left to do from here, is for you to start creating your own Facebook ad campaign and seeing what works best for you. As you will be well aware, there is no secret formula when it comes to digital marketing; never make the assumption that something will work just because it has worked for someone else.
 
Each and every business and industry is unique: although there are best practice and insider tips, it is up to you to take this information and effectively apply it to your own business.

 

By Craig Bradshaw, digital ally at Digital Allies


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