The year 2020 is drawing to a close and I just want to ask, are you making money through Facebook marketing?
In case you didn’t already know, Facebook Ads a universal tool for internet marketing.
It’s effective enough to make commerce giants want to take part and also affordable enough to draw smaller businesses in.
However, if not used to its best advantages, Facebook Ads can also burn 100% of your marketing spend with zero returns to show for it.
That said, I have prepared this elaborate guide to help you avoid making such mistakes.
I am going to teach you everything I know about Facebook marketing, and how you can run a successful campaign without wringing your marketing budget dry.
What Is Facebook Marketing?
According to Statista, an estimated 2.7 billion users are actively using Facebook as of the second quarter of the year 2020.
This is a global estimate, consisting of people coming from various backgrounds, lifestyles, and statuses.
In other words, a digital gold mine for entrepreneurs and e-businesses.
While there are other social media platforms that are doing particularly well in terms of attracting and retaining new users, like Instagram, Tik Tok, and Twitter — Mark Zuckerberg’s $600b Facebook takes the cake any day.
YouTube, which comes a close second, is still 700 million users behind.
If we take into account the recent merge Facebook did with Instagram and WhatsApp after the billion-dollar social media conglomerate bought both companies for a total of $20 billion ($1 billion for Instagram and $19 billion for WhatsApp), Facebook is practically taking over the internet.
Imagine putting up your advertisements on a platform that’s used by literally a fifth of the entire world population.
Your business’s visibility and online presence will undoubtedly blow up!
So, Zuckerberg and his team figured, why not officially create Facebook Ads?
An advertising platform made affordable, convenient, and accessible to businesses in the Pacific and beyond.
Facebook Ads is a social media targeting and advertising tool that boasts unrivalled marketing and branding support to businesses of all sizes.
If I am to explain its function in the simplest of terms, the tool allows for your advertisements to be featured in the most strategically visible areas or parts of the social media application, which includes:
- Videos (In-stream)
You may also choose which platform/s you would want to run your advertisements on. You can run it on Facebook (of course), Instagram, Messenger, or FB’s Audience Network.
By featuring commercial advertisements in these highly-visible and attention-grabbing areas of the Facebook website, business owners and marketers are assured increased views and engagements, which consequently lead to higher conversion values.
Plus, if we’re talking about potential reach and budget-friendliness, Facebook Ads shows a lot of promise.
With the chances of smartphone users having a Facebook account being extremely high, and the likelihood of online shoppers using a smartphone to purchase products online also being very likely, it’s only logical to assume that:
Smartphone Owners = Facebook Users
Smartphone Owners = Online Buyers
Facebook Users = Online Buyers
Don’t you agree? Well, there would be some exceptions.
But that still doesn’t deny the fact that this assumption holds true for the most part.
Going back to this A=B=C equation, we can infer that the best place to market products and services to online buyers would through Facebook marketing.
And that, my friends, make Facebook Ads largely relevant in the marketing scene of today. It’s also the reason why Facebook Ads Manager is gaining popularity by the day!
Question is, will it be largely significant for your business as well? Time to find out!
What Is Facebook Ads Manager?
To best utilize the advantages of running Facebook Ads, you will need a tool to help you create winning ad content for your target audience. Running an untargeted ad will only make you lose money as not every user on Facebook would be interested in what you offer.
Unless your product or service is something that will prove equally useful for all types of people globally (which is highly implausible), it is best to make use of tools like Facebook Ads Manager to get the most out of your advertising budget.
Lucky for you, today is the day we teach you how to use it!
Know more about how this tool works here: https://www.facebook.com/business/tools/ads-manager.
How To Run Your Own Facebook Ad Campaign In 5 Simple Steps
- Create A Business Page
That is, if you don’t have one yet. In order to get access to Facebook Ads Manager or Facebook Business Manager, you will need a business page for your company. Here’s an example of a business page from America’s massive retail company, Walmart:
Luckily, creating a business page is not rocket science. It’s a simple process that can be accomplished in one sitting. On Facebook’s homepage, all you need to do is click on “Pages” and select “Create New Page.” The proceeding steps are easy to understand and follow, and Facebook prompts will guide you all throughout.
From your business page, you can either choose to run your ad campaign with Facebook Ads Manager or Business Manager, which you then have to create an account for. In this guide, we will be following Ads Manager, but to serve as a comparison guide, here is Social Media Examiner’s guide to running a campaign via Business Manager.
- Determine The Objectives Of Your Ad Campaign
Before you start planning what sorts of Facebook marketing you want to run as part of your campaign, understand what it is you want to achieve.
Do you want your brand to receive more engagements, page likes, or views?
Which is more of your priority: Raising brand awareness or expanding your business reach?
Is the ultimate goal to get direct sales, improve website traffic, or increase offline store visits?
Determining what exactly your objectives for the campaign are will prove necessary in succeeding steps.
After all, in order to target the right audience, you need to be able to specify what type of reaction you want to elicit from them.
That said, Facebook Ads Manager helps break down the process for you. As soon as you log into Ads Manager and hit “Create,” a selection box will pop right up to help you determine the outcomes you want for your campaign.
In the 2019 version, Facebook Ads Manager will ask you “What’s your marketing objective?” and you have to choose between 3 categories and 11 subcategories, which are as follows:
- Awareness – These objectives are focused on promoting your business’s identity to a larger audience; growing your brand’s name, influence, and visibility.
- Brand Awareness
- Consideration – These objectives are focused on making your business interactive. The ultimate goal is to have a bigger faction of the target audience to engage with the brand.
- App Installs
- Video views
- Lead generation
- Conversion – These objectives aim to get people to “buy” the actual product or service. Please note that ad templates introduced under this objective follow a pay per action scheme.
- Catalog Sales
- Store Traffic
The latest 2020 update, however, simplified these options greatly – reducing your choices by almost half. This is how the “Create an Ad” box looks like now:
The objective you choose should be closely aligned to your campaign goals, so it’s always important to reflect on what your business currently needs and base your ad decisions on that.
For the proceeding steps, we will be choosing the recommended option which is “Get More Website Visitors.” Each objective will have a different approach to creating the ad, taking into consideration all the elements that would be most relevant to your business goals.
- Choosing & Customizing An Ad Template
The umbrella term may be Facebook Ads but there are several types a marketer can choose from. Depending on the brand, function, and niche audience of the product or service, some types of ads will work better than others.
Here’s a brief overview of each and every one:
Types Of Facebook Ad Templates
I’m certain that text ads have gone extinct a long, long time ago so the most basic of all types are image advertisements.
Just as you may have imagined, this specific type is often a combination of a short descriptive text and image, or an image alone.
You can conveniently take any existing poster, photo, or infographic you have on FB business page and ‘boost’ it to reach a bigger target audience. Like all ads, you can set a daily budget limit for every image post you boost.
If there are still images, we also have moving media – or in other words, video ads. Video content has become increasingly popular among facebook ad templates in recent years.
This type of ad used to be featured in the Newsfeed only. However, as of late, it is placed “in-stream” or halfway through longer videos uploaded on Facebook Watch. Even when a video is in “autoplay” mode in the Newsfeed, users are still prompted to click on the video so that full video ads can be run on Facebook Watch.
Another place video advertisements may appear in is the Stories section, where users are allowed to upload and share updates about their daily lives in 24-hour cycles.
For videos, you don’t necessarily need to shoot a commercial. Many companies opt for animation, infographics, or relevant GIFs with captivating texts to reel in their target audience.
If you want to integrate several or step-by-step CTAs in your advertisement, opting for a Carousel Facebook ad template may be the best choice for your campaign.
A carousel is a set of images in relation to each other that is posted as a single piece of content. It can be one big panorama divided into three sections, or four consecutive images displaying a specific process.
Carousels are helpful when you are trying to tell a story, explain a process, enumerate benefits, and explain cause and effects.
Here’s an oldie but goodie. If you find image ads too boring, or you simply can’t get your point across with a single photo – why not try several photos laced with gimmicky animations and enticing texts?
Like videos, slideshows can appear in the Newsfeed, Watch, and Stories. It’s a simpler way to get creative and engaging content out there without having to spend so much of your ad budget shooting commercials.
- Dynamic Advertisements
If you have an e-commerce site, it’s likely that your business registers abandoned carts daily. While it is regrettable that users tend to change their mind at the last minute before purchase, there is still a way to salvage that sale – and that is through “remarketing.”
Dynamic ads specifically target audiences that have previously shown interest in a product or service.
For example, when someone adds something to their virtual shopping cart and later decides to abandon it, the same item will resurface in that person’s social media feed to subtly remind them of the pending/abandoned purchase.
- Messenger Advertisements
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Messenger advertisements are those marketing ads you pass by when you scroll through your inbox. A lot of people use messenger as a communication app, even when they are not particularly active on Facebook. This makes the platform a great place to run those ads!
- Facebook/Instagram Stories
Facebook or Instagram Stories are formatted in a way that they automatically play users’ entries one after the other. In-between of these consecutive plays are inserted ads made to grab people’s attention!
This type of ad works best for retail companies – especially businesses that exist in the fashion, beauty, and wellness sphere.
Collection ads can also work with service-based businesses that offer packages and work best when paired with Instant Experience ads.
This facebook ad template is very convenient in a way that users can buy any or all of the five products featured in the collection with a single tap. At this time, this advertisement feature is only available on Facebook’s mobile app – and will most likely stay that way for the foreseeable future as consumers are more inclined to make impulsive buys on mobile.
- Instant Experience Ads
As mentioned in the preceding paragraph, Instant Experience ads offer users exactly what its name promises an immediate experience of the brand. Unlike usual ads we see on Facebook, Instant Experience, formerly known as Canvas, is shown in a full-screen format that allows user interaction. It’s like a mini, instantaneous version of your website!
- Video Poll Ads
Relatively new to the Facebook Ads scene (this new feature was launched just last year!), video poll ads have established very positive results during initial runs. It amps up the user experience by allowing them to interact with video ads through a quick poll.
- Augmented Reality (AR) Ads
The future is now, indeed! Augmented Reality, commonly referred to as AR is steadily making headlines in the marketing scene. It allows users to “try out” or experience a certain product using their phone’s camera.
Michael Kors was one of the first few companies that launched AR ads in the Newsfeed, giving users a chance to try on their chic collection of MK sunnies! Check it out:
Video credits to sophia lief for a cool snip of this ad!
- Playable ads
If there’s AR, there are also playable ads. Just as the template’s name suggests, these are ads often used for interactive games and applications. The idea is to have the user try out a certain game while the ad streams. Turns out, giving users a taste of the real experience can bring exponential results!
Many companies pay for leads – a lot! And unfortunately, most leads generated by paid tools are not up-to-date. This makes for a bad investment. Facebook offers a lead ad template which has been found to be highly effective at getting information from qualified prospects.
Now, here comes the creative part. This step involves choosing the type of ad materials you’ll be using for the campaign. Will it be a single image, video, carousel, or maybe a collection of your brand’s top performing products?
In this example, we are going to run a campaign for a local coffee shop. Since we chose the recommended option “Get More Website Visitors,” here are our ad template options:
As you can see, we have four types of mediums we can use for this ad: Single image, Video, Carousel, and Slideshow. You should choose an ad format compatible with your niche audience.
The type of template you use can influence the tonality of your campaign. For instance, videos may work super well for fashion brands but not for business firms like law or accounting offices.
On the other hand, you may also make use of an existing post to create your ad.
If you have been actively promoting your page prior through Facebook marketing, you may already have posts that received particularly good engagement. You can recycle or repurpose these existing posts and use them as Facebook ads. This can save you quite the buttload of work, you know!
To do this, all you have to do is click on “Use a Post” on the upper right portion of the Ad Creative box, like so:
Moving on, I’ve decided to use “Single image” for this campaign example.
… and here’s an exciting new feature!
Now, you can choose a high-quality image for your ad without having to upload one from your device. Facebook Ads Manager offers ‘Free Stock Images’ which you can conveniently access with a single click. Here’s what it looks like when you choose this option:
It automatically registers a search for related images to your business. There are also thousands of quality photos to choose from. That said, if you want to run simple image ads without expending so much effort, this may be a viable option for your business.
Now that I’ve selected an image for the ad using Facebook’s stock photo library, next is coming up with a good headline and ad description or text.
There are many ways to go about this but generally-speaking, you would want your text highlights to be captivating, creative, and straightforward. You must also convey a Call-To-Action (CTA) to your audience clearly.
Speaking of CTAs, you also have the option to choose a “clickable” one for a Single Image ad, like so:
Make sure your copy stands out! It has to be good enough to turn a random visitor into your customer.
For this one, I chose “Contact Us” as the CTA to match my text description. It appears on the lower right of the ad, as you can see on the preview above. By clicking the CTA, users will be redirected to the place where they can perform the function. There are other CTAs to choose from; you may also not choose any at all if you believe that is what is best for your specific type of ad.
So far, what I’ve shown you is the process for creating a single image ad. However, there are several other ad templates that you can use to promote your business. Again, not all templates are available in every case; it would still depend on your campaign’s objective.
This concludes Step 3 or creating and customizing your Facebook ad. Now comes the tricky part: Targeting the right audience.
- Customize Your Target Audience & Ad Placements
This is the most crucial part of any Facebook Ad Campaign.
How effectively you tailor the ad to fit the target audience can either make or break the campaign you run.
Fortunately, Facebook Ads Manager allows you to customize your target audience down to the finest details.
This is all to ensure that your business is connecting with the right people and you get to experience maximum returns to your advertising investment.
Right after deciding the ad template you want to use and customizing it so that it suits the type of advertising content you have in mind, the next steps are determining your target audience and choosing where to place your ads (more on this later).
For now, let’s start off with customizing your audience reach.
As shown in the image above, you have several options when it comes to selecting the type of audience you want to engage with.
When you are new to using Ads Manager, the best choice would be to go for the recommended setting which is “Website visitor + lookalike audiences.” This refers to users who have previously engaged with your website, and users who have shown interest in sites similar to yours (lookalike audience).
You may also choose the option “People who like your page” if you have gimmicks or promotions specifically geared towards your business’s followers.
However, if you’re looking for advanced Faceook marketing customization controls, selecting “People you choose through targeting” may be the most viable option for you.
This option will help you advertise your business with more precision to people who meet your target profile. Here’s what it looks like to customize your audience:
You can choose the location and range of your target audience, as well as their ideal ages (e.g. 18 to 65+). You can enlarge or narrow the scope of your ad target as you see fit. You can even use the “Drop Pin” option to specify exact locations.
Furthermore, there is the “Detailed Targeting” function which allows you to search for qualities and characteristics your ideal audience would have. Supplying this information will help Facebook’s search algorithm pinpoint profiles that would be the best match for your preferences.
You can add or exclude certain categories to refine your target audience. This includes types of interests, activities, and industries users engage with. Through Detailed Targeting, you can reach more qualified, ready-to-buy prospects that are more likely to engage with your business.
Detailed Targeting also features a simple scale that can give you insight as to whether the specifications you have set effectively defines your target audience or not. Of course, you would want to stay within the ideal range (green) as opposed to being too specific (red) or too broad (yellow).
Pro Tip: It would be best to start refining your target audience by specifying only one or two details about them then running a scheduled campaign. This will give you a better overview of market movement. Once you find a good pattern, you can start to add or retract more specifics. “Overspecifying” from the start may lead to missed opportunities and inflexible audience.
After you are done refining your audience’s specifications, the next step is to decide which platforms you would want to run your ad campaigns on.
Again, for a beginner, the recommended option is best to take. Once you get a more holistic idea of where and when your business’s target audience shows up, that’s when you can start narrowing down options to make the most of your budget.
Automatic Placements will help you cover more ground in less time, and the wider your ad’s range is, the better click-through rates you can expect. However, this can be a problem for conversion-focused campaigns that have to pay-per-action. This could mean more clicks but not necessarily more purchases.
In the end, you should take your main objectives into account and decide how you are supposed to move forward from there. There is also a way to limit ad expenses even when you’ve chosen Automatic Placements. This is by scheduling when you run your campaigns and setting a daily ad budget.
From the very beginning of this article, I have mentioned that one of the most convincing advantages of running Facebook marketing is that the cost of service is very flexible.
You can literally run a campaign for a dollar – not that it’ll bear much fruit, however.
Still, the fact that Facebook marketing allows for such budgets help businesses feel comfortable and encouraged to try it out.
Compared to pricey 30-second TV commercials, a Facebook marketing Ad campaign is far less intimidating – and to be honest, the results it can generate when done right won’t differ much from expensive advertising.
Anyway, setting a daily or lifetime budget will help you control how much money rolls off the board during the campaign.
If you are running multiple campaigns, it’s easier to keep track which ones are doing extremely well in terms of ROI when a limit is set. You can discontinue underperforming campaigns faster and reinvest that money in what works.
Lastly, once you gather enough data as to when the most user activity is observed (time of day/week), you can even plan out a schedule for your ad campaign (e.g. only run it on weekends) so that you can limit costs and maximize results.
- Choose A Name For Your Ad Campaign
It is not uncommon for businesses to run multiple ad campaigns at the same time. I’m sure that after getting to understand just how convenient Facebook Ads Manager is, you might want to do the same. Thus, it is practical to name every ad campaign you create.
In this step, you will also be able to adjust a couple of options for the campaign, such as setting up an A/B split test, turning on budget optimization, and the like. Again, depending on the objective you chose on Step 2, the options you can set will vary.
If, in case, you haven’t set up a Facebook Ads Manager account yet, you will be prompted to create one after this step.
Be careful when filling out your account details! You will have to create a new one if you decide to change some of the information later on.
Facebook Marketing, done right, can help your business achieve three things: Brand Visibility, User Engagement, and Higher Conversion Rates.
It’s a cost-effective strategy that can take your business to the next level. It is important to note that there are risks as much as there are benefits to using this advertising medium, however.
Luckily, tools like Facebook Ads Manager and Business Manager help simplify the process and reduce uncertainties in your campaign.
It can help you captivate the right audience and create targeted advertising content for them.
All this without breaking the bank and working with what budget you have!