What is Facebook Advertising?
Facebook and it’s advertising was founded in 2004 with over 2 Billion people using its business tools each day, under the Facebook spectrum also includes Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. Businesses use some/all of these platforms to build customer relationships and give a human touch to their company via their business social media pages.
The Purpose Of The Platforms
Facebook→ To stay connected
Instagram → For inspiration and connect with experiences
Messenger → To communicate and build relationships
WhatsApp → To communicate with audience securely and more personally
Now onto Facebook ads! These can appear just about anywhere! Including the Facebook platform itself, the audience network, messenger inbox and through Instagram (even if you don’t have an account). You can control where you want your ads to go (we recommend you switch on ‘automatic placements’ so the system can learn where best to place your ad).
What Benefit Does It Have For Me?
Facebook is a digital shopfront of a business which enables businesses to connect with their customers. The platform offers a range of business tools as well as the advertising itself to best boost your company unlocking wide varieties of audiences enabling you to meet your marketing objectives whatever they may be.
What Do I Need To Get Started?
To start a Facebook ad (if you haven’t already), click here to go to the advertising platform and click ‘create ad’. The first step will include adding your billing method, currency and location (don’t worry Facebook won’t start charging you until you actually start running your ads).
Basic Campaign Structure
Below is the basic structure of what your account should look like, for best optimisation practices you should have at least 3 ad sets within a singular campaign as well as lots of different variations of ‘ads’ which are your creatives.
Selecting The Correct Ad Objective
The first step is one of the most important, making sure you are selecting the correct objective for your entire campaign. Think about what your business goals are, what would you like to achieve out of running an ad? Do take into consideration the marketing funnel, brand awareness, interest, consideration, intent and purchase to ensure you set up your campaigns accordingly. See how the business goals match up with the campaign objectives below.
|Business Goal||Campaign Objective to Select|
|Get additional engagement to a post||Boost a post|
|Want more Facebook page likes||Engagement – page likes|
|Find new customers||Lead Generation|
|People to come to your website||Traffic|
|Promote local business||Reach|
|Purchase online||Catalogue sales/Store traffic|
|More views to a video||Video views|
|App installs or app engagement||App installs|
|Want people to recognise your brand?||Brand awareness|
|Custom conversions e.g. newsletter||Conversions|
|Get messages from new customers||Messages|
Example on Facebook Advertising Platform
Option For Split Testing
A split test is an optional setting Facebook offers that allows you to compare the success of different variables to adjust your future campaigns accordingly. Here are some points to consider if you want to proceed with split testing:
- A/B = is a randomised experiment by creating two different variations e.g. 2 CTA buttons and 1 same audience. Once Facebook has found the winning ad set, you will be notified by email so you can begin optimising its components.
- The most reliable split tests usually are a 4-day duration, however, you can choose between 1-30 days.
- You can choose to test the creative/visual, audience or placement.
- After the winning ad set is notified to you, a confidence level will be provided (this is the number that represents how likely you would get the same results again) – usually a number of 75%+ is very confident. This will enable you to create a new ad set or create a new campaign from your learnings.
- If you have a low confidence score, you can test the split campaign again with a longer schedule or a higher budget, this will enable Facebook to gather more information about its performance.
Budgets and Schedule
When setting up budgets it can be difficult to choose between daily or lifetime budgeting and the difference between the two.
Option 1: Daily Budget
Daily budget is the maximum you want to spend on your campaign/ad set daily, however, be aware that using this option there is a chance that Facebook could spend an extra 25% of your budget to allow flexibility and efficiency of your ad.
Option 2: Lifetime Budget
With a lifetime budget, Facebook will try and spend all of your budget evenly within the time frame you give, whether it be 2 days or a week. To be able to schedule your ads at certain times of the day rather than all the time lifetime budget would need to be enabled.
A bid strategy is very much dependent on what you are optimising for, but the basic examples provided are:
Option 1: Lowest Cost – get more results for your budget (recommended to start off with).
Option 2: Cost Cap – Control your costs whilst getting the highest volume of results for your budget.
Option 3: Target Cost – Get a consistent cost per result.
Option 4: Bid Cap – Control your bid in the Facebook auction.
Option 5: Minimum ROAS (return on advertising spend) – Control your ROAS whilst getting the highest purchase value for your budget.
After you have selected your ad objective, bid and budget you will come to the ‘ad set level’ this is where you can begin setting your targeting to your desired audience. There are two different types of audiences that you can use through Facebook, and honestly, they both offer extensive features!
Option 1: Core Audiences
This option is the most commonly used in the fundamentals of Facebook advertising, this is where you can add different demographics including location, language and interests/job titles. Here you can add as many or as little options as you like that best suit the people you want to target.
Option 2: Custom Audiences
This is targeting that is slightly more complex and requires other set-ups, these are audiences that you can customise yourself to suit your business goals. For example uploading a customer list onto the platform to target specific people, e.g. if you have a list of emails that have signed up for your newsletter you can use Facebook Custom Audiences to re-target them, you can also create a lookalike audience that will find people who are similar to your current audience (bear in mind this can take 6-12 hours to fully process and populate). You may also want to target users who have previously engaged with your page or watched one of your videos, feel free to go and check it out to see which best suits your goals.
Once you have set up your targeting you will be able to see the dial on the right-hand column, this will give you a better insight into how many people you are estimated to reach as well as your estimated daily results. Notice that you want to aim to have your dial sitting in the green section as ‘defined’ if your audience is too ‘narrow’ or ‘broad’ you may have to refine your targetting or add extra options in order to get it to green. Estimates of reach are based on past campaigns run by other business pages as well as other market information so is a very accurate tool to base your forecast off, to best optimise your estimates either increase your audience or budget.
Onto the placement section is where you can decide where you want your ads to appear to your audience, Facebook recommends to select ‘automatic placements’ so its system can find the best places for your ad, but you can also choose where you want them to appear.
|Facebook Placements||Instagram |
|Audience Network |
|News Feed||Feeds||Rewarded Videos (in-|
|Right Column||Stories||In-Stream Video (on-|
|Instant Articles||Banner, Interstitial, Native (in-app and|
Coming out of the ad-set level and onto the ‘ad level’ Facebook will ask you to select your business page and Instagram if you have one. Then comes the creative part with visual assets.
There are three elements to the creative side of your ad, it’s visual, text and CTA (call-to-action).
Firstly you will need to select the format of your ad, some of the options below are not available for certain objectives, however, do experiment with different types to see which works best with your audience:
- Slideshow- this is the best solution if you don’t have the resources to create a video, Facebook provides different templates to use to customize a slideshow of your images.
- Collection – this is the perfect selection for e-commerce to showcase all your different products including both images and videos.
- Carousel – where you are able to interact and swipe to see different images or videos.
- Instant Experience (mobile only) – most interactive ad format available, this is where you can add a pop up to the user, enabling to see images, videos, assets and text with more information.
Top tips for a great creative
- Consider your budget, don’t go crazy with external creative teams, try and find cost-effective tools to help guide your creation, a great example is Canva.
- Use both images and videos.
- Use little to no text on your image/video – 20% or less otherwise it will have trouble being approved by Facebook’s platform and your reach will be lower.
Top tips for all visuals
- Think mobile-first – 91% use their mobile phone when on social media, so make sure that you are optimising your creative for a small screen.
- Capture viewers quickly either with brighter colours, contrast or eye-grabbing content.
- Feature your message early, think about your goals and what you want to achieve.
Top tips for great headline/text
- Tie your text to your visual
- Create different ads for different people
- Speak to your audience
- Be recognisable
- Keep it short
- Stick to one CTA button throughout your ad set
- Mention a price whether it is costly or free!
- Include a time frame
Monitor and Edit
You can always edit or delete your campaigns at any point, the only thing you can’t change is the campaign objective. Simple changes that can be made in the reporting table are budget, cost, schedule, ROAS control and the name. If you decide to delete your campaign you cannot restore it, however, you can still see the reporting and the metrics from its performance.
Disapproved Ads and Facebook Advertising Policies
Your ad can be disapproved if it doesn’t meet the Facebook advertising policies (you will be notified if they haven’t been approved), you will have to go back into the campaign/ad to edit then re-submit for review. (Read into more detail about the policies here)
Your ad will be disapproved if:
- Your headline or body text includes personal characteristics such as names, race, ethnicity, sexual or financial status.
- Your headline includes vulgar language or deceptive claims such as ‘lose weight with our programme in one week!’
- Your ad doesn’t match your product or service.
- Text in image or video is less than 20%.
- The brand assets don’t belong to you, for example, using other company logos, trademarks, names or domains.
- Use shock and scare images.
- Use sexually suggestive imagery or language.
- Before and after images that are unrealistic, such as weight loss.
- Misleading buttons on creative such as putting a play button on an image so viewers click to ‘play’ when in fact it takes the user to the website.