With more than 800 million users logging in daily, Facebook can be a very effective marketing tool for entrepreneurs and marketers. The combination of the number of users and specific segmentation methods makes advertising on Facebook interesting. You too can easily reach your target group via Facebook and increase your brand awareness, involvement and conversions.
By advertising on Facebook you can reach a large and relevant audience. But how does it work exactly? Which advertising target should you choose? Which settings do you select? How much is it? There is a good chance that you will not make optimal use of the options, make a mistake or you will be prevented from starting to advertise on Facebook. In this article, I describe from a to z how you can make an advertising campaign a success.
1. Choose your advertising objective
What do you want your audience to do when they see your ad? Do you want to generate more clicks to your website? Do you want to build brand awareness? Do you want more likes on your Facebook page? There are eleven different advertising goals that you can choose from. You can also combine advertising objectives. You then select a separate objective for each campaign:
- Brand Awareness: Increase awareness for your brand by reaching people who are more likely to be interested in it.
- Reach: Show your ad to the maximum number of people.
- Traffic: Send more people to a destination on or off Facebook such as a website, app or Messenger conversation.
- Engagement: Get more post engagements, Page likes, event responses or offer claims.
- App Installs: Get more people to install your app.
- Video Views: Get more people to view your video content.
- Lead Generation: Drive more sales leads, such as email addresses, from people interested in your brand or business.
- Message: Get more people to send messages to your business in Messenger.
- Conversions: Drive valuable actions on your website, app or in Messenger.
- Catalog Sales: Create ads that automatically show items from your catalog based on your target audience.
- Store Traffic: Drive visits to your physical stores by showing ads to people who are nearby.
An example: Peter owns a webshop for ink cartridges. He wants to increase his fan base and the brand awareness of his webshop by generating more “page-likes”. He, therefore, selects the advertising objective “Engagement” and invents a giveaway campaign to generate as many likes as possible and to build a large, relevant audience. In this way, he can, in addition to increasing his brand awareness, also interact with his target group and bring his products to their attention.
In the future, Peter can possibly combine his campaign with additional objectives. For example “Traffic” to generate more visitors to his webshop and “Conversions” to increase sales in an accessible way.
2. Compile your ad(s)
What exactly do you want to communicate to your target group? Your message is strongly related to the chosen advertising objective, these will have to reinforce each other for optimum results. Advertisements on Facebook always consist of an image and text. Various studies have shown that the success of an advertisement depends for approximately 70 percent on the chosen image. This is namely the eye-catcher.
Always use multiple images within an advertisement, so that Facebook can test with different variants. A few tips for creating a catchy advertisement:
Choose images that are relevant to your product or service;
- Use images that attract attention;
- Name a few USPs (benefits and plus points);
- List, if you have, offers or discounts;
- Use a call-to-action. For example “Order online now”, “Request a quote” or “Contact us directly”.
In many cases, we recommend running your ads across Facebook’s family of apps and services. This gives our delivery system more flexibility to get you more and better results. We call the different places we can show your ads “placements .” You make your placements selection in the “Placements” section of ad set creation. The available placements are:
Facebook Suggested Video
Facebook Right Column
Facebook In-stream Videos
Inboxes and Messaging
Messenger Sponsored Messages
Facebook Instant Articles
More Apps and Sites
Audience Network Native, Banner, and Interstitial
Audience Network Rewarded Videos
Audience Network In-stream Videos
An example: Akihito has a Sushi restaurant in the center of Valencia and wants to increase the number of reservations. He tries to appeal to new customers with advertising. With the offer, customers receive a temporary 20 percent discount with a reservation. When creating an advertisement, Akihito selects high-quality images that are relevant to his restaurant and menu. In addition, he clearly mentions his USP “The best in Valencia”, the discount “Temporary 20 percent discount” and a call-to-action “Book now!” In his advertisement text, to increase the chance of clicks on his advertisement and reservations.
Facebook ads are always part of a campaign structure. Every campaign structure consists of three levels: campaign, ad set, and ad:
- Campaign: A campaign consists of one or more ad sets. Choose a separate advertising target for each campaign. This way you can easily measure and optimize the results for individual advertising objectives. This is where you set your daily budget in the future.
- Ad set: An ad set consists of one or more advertisements. It is best to assign one target audience per ad set (you apply segmentation at the ad level). For example, you can set a budget for each target group, determine when your target group (s) will see your ads and collect separate data for each target group. This makes it easy for Facebook to choose the best performing ad(s).
- Ad: You can create your own text and image design for each ad, select your target group and set bids. Always create multiple ads per ad set. Vary with different images, texts, and placements. After a short period, you can see which advertisement leads to the best results. Disable ads with the lowest conversion rate.
An example: Nick and his fellow student Rick are making preparations for their startup. They try to finance their idea through crowdfunding. They want to give their startup a boost by generating publicity on Facebook. They approach their target audience through various advertising objectives (Video Views and Page Likes). They choose one advertising objective for each campaign and each campaign consists of two ad sets. Nick and Rick have split their target audience into two communication target groups, in which they approach one communication target group per ad set. They also test with three ads within each ad set.
3. Determine your target audience
Who do you want to reach with your ad? Who is your target group? If you do not already have one, determine a marketing target group for your company and possibly split it into communication target groups. There are many segmentation options. It is important to choose a relevant audience for your company. Your advert will only be shown to people who meet the segmentation criteria you have selected.
An example: As a marketing target group, an organizer of a festival with different music styles has men and women between the ages of 18 and 35 who love “going out”, “festivals” and “music”. They have divided their marketing target group into several communication target groups: men and women who love music style X and music style Y. They approach one communication target group per ad set via one advertising objective and campaign.
Segmentation is possible based on locations (countries, provinces, cities, postal codes), age (13 to 64 years), demographic data (gender, languages, education, marital status), areas of interest (interest, hobbies, linked pages), behavior (purchase behavior, device use) and connections (members of your page). It is important not to make your targeting too broad and not too specific. If the target group is too large, there is a lot of “waste” and if the target group is too specific, you will reach a too-small audience to really have an effect. Make sure your target group consists of at least 2,000 people. Is your target group smaller? Then you can remove a number of segmentations. If your target group is too large, then choose to add relevant interests.
An example: Giovanni has developed a free racing game app for Android. To advertise on Facebook, he must first register his app. He tries to increase the number of downloads with the ‘App installs’ advertising objective. He mainly targets men between the ages of 15 and 30 throughout the Netherlands. He also selects the areas of interest “online games”, “video games” and “racing games”. Finally, he only targets mobile Android devices and omits tablets and iOS.
The moment his advertising campaign is successful, he can reach users of his app through an additional advertising campaign with the advertising objective “engagement with app”. For example, it is possible to encourage all or part of the current users to use the app (more often). For example, by challenging current users to play a “new level” via a “play game” call-to-action button.
Advanced targeting methods
In addition to the standard targeting methods, “advanced” targeting methods are also available to reach your target audience even more effectively with Facebook ads. This can be done via “custom audiences” and “lookalike audiences”, which you can find under “ad management”:
- Custom audiences: You can reach Facebook users or target your e-mail file via “custom audiences”. You can choose from the following options:
– Custom target data database (e-mail addresses, telephone numbers or IDs)
– Custom target group MailChimp (import database)
– Custom target group from your mobile app (specific actions of users, for example, purchases)
– Custom target group of your website (retargeting)
- Lookalike audience: Through lookalike audiences, you can find people with the same characteristics or interests as your custom audiences, customers (conversion pixel) or visitors to your Facebook page. This way you can expand your network to new people who are probably interested in your products or services.
Are you going to get started with advanced targeting methods? Then place ads with advanced targeting, such as custom and lookalike audiences, in separate ad sets.
An example: In addition to his studies, Liam runs his own small business in repairing computers. In the past three years, he has helped 500 customers with all kinds of computer problems. Liam is actively engaged in email marketing. He regularly sends tips around to keep your computer clean and fast. Unfortunately, 20 percent of his customers have recently unsubscribed from his newsletters. He can no longer actively approach these customers. This is possible via “custom audiences – data file”. He creates an offer to reach these customers again with Facebook ads.
4. Budget- and bidding options
What does advertising on Facebook cost? Do you have to pay per view or per click? These are questions that many entrepreneurs have. It is possible via Facebook to pay per click (CPC), or per 1000 impressions (CPM). Which option is interesting for you depends on various factors. Do you have a small budget? Then be extra creative.
This option is moving to campaign level very soon for everybody. If you start using campaign budget only now, this will be September 2019.
A daily budget is the maximum amount that you want to spend on an ad set per day. Every advertisement set has its own budget. When the budget is reached, your ads will no longer be shown. Another option is to opt for a “maturity budget”. You determine a budget for the entire period during the term of your advertisement set. The advertising costs are then spread over the entire duration.
Determine for yourself whether your advertising objective relates to a direct response strategy or branding strategy. In the case of direct-response campaigns, advertising on a CPC basis is in theory often the best choice, for branding campaigns (brand awareness) this is CPM. It is always wise to test with different bidding options.
With some bidding options, you can also choose between automatic bidding and manual bidding. If you have limited time to optimize your advertising campaigns, it is best to enable automatic bidding. On the other hand, manual bidding offers better optimization options but also takes more time. When you determine a bid, always take into account the maximum amount you want to pay for a goal.
An example: Kevin is in addition to his job as a personal trainer freelance author and offers an e-book “10 pounds less in 30 days” on his website. He is trying to sell his e-book through Facebook ads. Kevin has selected the advertising target “Conversions” instead of “Traffic” because he wants to measure how many visitors have purchased his e-book via the conversion pixel. Kevin has set a daily budget of 20 euros. Under “budget & schedule” he selects under “Optimization for Ad Delivery” the bidding option “Conversions”. This way he can keep track of exactly how much his advertising campaign has cost and delivered.
5. Analyze (Reports)
Unlike offline advertising, you can find many statistics online. In the navigation menu under “Ad management” and the “Reports” tab, you can see the statistics of your campaigns. This includes: range, views, clicks, costs and revenues, conversions and page likes.
You can create custom data views in the “reports” section under the ad management. There you can filter data that you find important. You can add relevant data to the overview via “columns” and remove non-relevant data. Through “filters” it is possible to display specific campaigns, ad sets or advertisements. You can also save reports so that you can view them later, and provide a schedule for executing customized reports in the future.
An example: Ralph is the owner of a real estate agency. He has recently started using Facebook as a marketing channel and wants to promote a new listing. He has posted a series of images on Facebook, but his fan base is too small to really interact with fans. Ralph decides to promote the post about the listing to bring it to the attention of a larger and relevant audience.
After 6 months he asks himself what the effect has been. Via the reports section, he analyzes the performance of his advertisements and concludes that the campaign is very successful. His message has come to the attention of over 200.000 relevant Facebook users. As a result of this awareness, he has acquired 568 leads in the past 6 months and in Google Analytics he sees that website visits have increased by 9 percent during this period.
Good luck with creating your (first) Facebook advertising campaign!
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