Facebook has been in existence since 2004, but Facebook advertising only became quite popular in 2014. Facebook advertising is becoming known as one of the cheapest ways to advertise online, undercutting the likes of Google ads and traditional web ads.
Unlike other social media sites, Facebook can target ads toward users who are likely to show interest based on liked, shared posts and Facebook friends, making the platform much more effective than its other counterparts.
According to Statista’s report in 2018, Facebook is the most popular social network worldwide, with more than 2 billion monthly active users. In its local market in the United States, Facebook accounts for over 42 percent of monthly social media visits.
Currently, over 5 million businesses are advertising on Facebook and Salesforce has predicted that social network advertising will account for 66% of global digital ad spend this year.
Benefits of Facebook Advertising
A large online audience
According to an eMarketer study, 96% of social media marketers consider Facebook the most effective social media advertising platform. Figures by Statista show the number of monthly active users Facebook users as of the second quarter of 2018 has risen to 2.23 billion.
Facebook’s vast user base creates an enormous opportunity for businesses to connect to a wide range of active users that are interested in product and services offered.
Advanced User Targeting
Facebook has provided a targeting system that allows advertisers to filter through a wide range of audience to target specific clients for their business. According to the Business Insider, the average person spends about 116 minutes on social media every day, with users spending upwards of 35 minutes on Facebook.
Facebook ads, unlike Google, Twitter provide the opportunity to target audience based on their likes, interests, demographics, locations, connections and so on. This target advertising feature yields significant Returns on Investment.
Highly customizable and easy to set up
In less than 10 minutes, a Facebook ad can be created, and you can monitor the results immediately. Facebook continues to upgrade and add new features such as video ads and instant article ads placements, thus providing more opportunities to create great ads.
Elements of the Facebook ad campaign such as the objective, target audience, bidding price and so on can be customized giving businesses more power over how their ads turn out.
Facebook Advertising Case Studies
Dacia (a subsidiary of Renault) is one of Europe’s fastest growing car brands. The company’s goal was to generate leads and create brand awareness.
Dacia adopted Facebook boosted posts and placed ads related to their car models (Logan, Sandero, and Stepway). They targeted desktop and mobile phone users. Based on extensive research based on past activity and interests, the company made a series of tested ads to ensure the advertisement impact reached the customers they wanted.
Using Facebook advertising, the company experienced a 45% reduction in the costs per lead, as opposed to standard display ads, a favorable increase in brand awareness and ad recall.
Visa, the global payment technology company, wanted consumers to see it as a more innovative brand by promoting online and mobile payment ecosystem.
Visa made use of Facebook’s placement tests to improve the duration of ad view and message retention. They did a comparison test running video ads in Facebook News Feed only, in-stream only, and with both in conjunction to promote multiple ways of conducting transactions.
They targeted tech-savvy individuals under the age of 30 residing in the U.S. The videos were less than 10 seconds, enough to pass a message across without losing the customer’s attention to other things. They also adopted a text overlay feature to allow people to know what the video was about without listening to it.
At the end of the campaign, the combination of the in-stream with News Feed performed better resulting in a higher increase of 83% of the videos watched, increase in ad recall. The campaign also enabled the company to gather more information on its customers based on their activity, engagement and viewing habit.
P.F. Chang’s, a full-service Asian restaurant chain, wanted to test whether the performance of either a traffic or conversion goal for their ads would better for getting users to enter sweepstakes.
The brand used its Farm to Wok sweepstakes, and a custom standard event called Sweep Entries and then tacked on the Facebook pixel. The canvas and video ads templates were used to target individuals based on their connections with competitor brands, location around a restaurant and action they may have carried out on the company’s website (inquiries, bookings, and reservations).
The result was that the conversions ad objective performed better, bringing in 63% of entries compared to the traffic ad’s 37%. The conversion ad objective had much lower costs per click and higher click-through rate across Facebook and Instagram ad placements.
How to Set Up a Facebook Ads Campaign
Step 1 – Go to the Facebook Ads Manager
Facebook’s ad campaigns run through the Facebook Ads Manager tool, a direct link at facebook.com/ads is needed to access it.
Step 2 – Choose an objective
On clicking the create a Facebook Ad button, a page will load from which you can choose the marketing objective for the campaign. Facebook provides about 15 options to choose from depending on the benefits to be derived:
Goals that generate interest in a product or service:
- Promote page
- Reach people based on their location
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase reach
- Boost posts
Objectives that get people to start thinking about the business and look for more information about it:
- Send people to a destination or website
- Increase amount of app installs
- Increase attendance at an event
- Generate video views
- Collect leads for the business
Objectives that encourage people interested in a trade to purchase or make use its products and services:
- Increase conversions on a company’s website
- Increase engagement on an app
- Promote a product or catalog
- Push traffic towards stores
After selecting the campaign objective, the marketing campaign needs a name.
Step 3 -Define the audience, placement, and budget
a) Customizing the target audience
Facebook provides a list of filters that can enable businesses to reach their target audience; only the individuals that match the criteria set will see the ads. The audience for an advertisement can be customized based on all the following demographics:
- Location, starting with a country, state, city, zip code, or address, and further filtering based on mile radius
- Interests – Facebook looks at a person’s interests, based on things such as books, movies, places, pages, music
- Behaviors – Things like purchase behavior and intent, as well as device usage
- Connections – Target people who already have an association with a particular Facebook Page, Group, Event or application
Apart from the Connections setting, based on the choice of the advertiser, they can exclude or include individuals with connections to specific interests. Further customization using custom audiences can also be used to retarget people that have interacted with the business before.
b) Setting up Ad placement
Facebook ads appear in various places such as Facebook News Feeds (Mobile and Desktop), Facebook Right-Hand Column, Instagram, Audience Network, Instant Articles, In-Stream Video.
Here, one has the option of either selecting the Automatic Placement or configuring the ad campaign so that the users can see the ads in select areas of Facebook’s advertising network. The choice of ad placement can be automatically optimized by Facebook to ensure cheaper costs for the best results, but it can also be manually adjusted based on preferences of the user.
c) Choosing the budget
After you have set the target audience and ad placement, the amount of money to be spent on the ad is the next to be decided. You can configure the budget to daily or lifetime.
The Daily budget refers to the average amount of money that will be spent on the ad every day. While the Lifetime budget is the maximum amount that paid over the course of the lifetime of the advert. The user can determine the schedule of how long the ad will run for and Facebook will calculate the total amount to be spent.
It is worth mentioning that there is a competition amongst advertisers as to which advert reaches the target audience. This competition is resolved via Facebook Ads bidding in which bidding works on an auction basis with the winner being the advertiser who has the best result in the combination of a bid, “relevance score,” and “estimated action rates.”
Step 4 – Creating the ad
You choose the images (or video), headline, body text and ad display position in this step. The body text has a count of 90 characters which can contain a message that will appear above the visuals inserted.
Creating adverts can be done by either using an existing post or by creating a new ad.
Using an existing post
For certain types of adverts, such as boosting jobs, you can create them by using a current position that you have shared on the company’s Facebook Page. To do this, select the ‘Use Existing Post’ option from the Facebook Ads Manager dashboard.
It is essential that you boost only posts that have helpful content and also allow users to subscribe to an email list.
Creating a new ad
The first step in creating an Ad from scratch is to select the format to be used for the advert. At the moment, Facebook offers five advert format types, they are:
a) Video Ad
Video ads appear reasonably large in the user’s News Feed and deliver more engaging content than static posts. With 8 billion videos being watched on Facebook every day, it serves as an exciting — and potentially profitable — ad type for marketers to try out.
Facebook’s video ad requirements include; video format of .mov or mp4 files, resolution of at least 720p, maximum video size of 2.3GB and recommended aspect ratio widescreen (16:9). Even though Facebook allows video length of up to 60 minutes, ads should be brief, concise and should pass a message across.
b) Photo Ad
The Photo Ad in the form of an image is one of the most used types of ads especially since Facebook has an obvious bias towards visual content as opposed to text. The standard image ratio is 1.91:1 while the optimal size for News Feed photo ads is 1200×628 pixels; otherwise, Facebook settings will crop the images. The image uploaded should be based on what will resonate the most with the target audience.
c) Multi-product/ Carousel Ad
Multi-product ads allow advertisers to display up to 10 images or videos within one ad. This type of ad is of essential benefit to e-commerce businesses who seek to showcase multiple products or designs in a single ad for promotional purposes. Viewers can scroll through the visuals (images or videos) and click on individual links to each product.
Unlike the single ad format, marketers have the opportunity to advertise nine more products using the multi-product/carousel ad format. The recommended image size is 1,080 x 1,080 pixels while the visual aspect ratio is 1:1 (square). The form and resolution are the same as the video ad format.
d) Slideshow Ads
Facebook slideshow ads are video-like ads that use motion, sound, and text to pass a message across devices and at every connection speed (they use fewer data and load faster than the average video ad). These ads reduce the need for production time and resources because they develop quickly and you can customize them for a different audience.
The recommended specifications for creating a video using static images include; image size of 1,280 x 720 pixels, the image ratio can be 16:9, 1:1, or 2:3. The images should also contain minimal text (less than 90 characters)
e) Canvas Ads
In Facebook’s words, Canvas is a “full-screen ad experience built for bringing brands and products to life on mobile.” It gives advertisers the chance to deliver an immersive, full-screen interactive ad that is hosted entirely on Facebook- thus eliminating the need for viewers to leave the app before engaging with the content.
According to Facebook, the benefits of its Instant Experience ads are that they are easy to create, their design for mobile allows them to load 15 times faster than the standard mobile web, and that the advert is compatible for any marketing objective.
These ads can involve several multimedia components such as an ad unit, photos, tilt-to-pan images, video, carousels, a text block, buttons, and header. Facebook’s specifications for Canvas ads include; For photos, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (which can be adjusted depending on the tilt to pan and tap to expand display options), image type: .png, .jpg.
You can use a total of 20 images in a Canvas ad. For videos, the minimum resolution and format are the same as that of the video ad. However, the duration of the ad should not be more than 2 minutes with the portrait orientation being the most preferred.
Step 5: Place the order and publish
Finally, the advert is ready for submission. To submit the ad, click the ‘Place Order’ button at the bottom right-hand corner of the page. After you have filed the advert, Facebook will review it before you can upload it at which you will receive a confirmation email regarding the status of the ad.
After creating and publishing the ad, the next thing to be done is to measure how well the campaign is performing to apply the knowledge gained to future campaigns and also to refresh it before performance rates start dropping.
The Facebook Ads manager provides a convenient platform to review the performance of a campaign. Metrics such as the impressions, cost-per-click, unique link clinks, cost-per-conversion are all displayed on the campaign tab in Facebook’s ads manager.
For more advanced reviews, campaign reports can be broken down based on delivery (age, location, gender, the device used), action (conversion device, video views), time (day, week, month).
The campaign breakdown provides answers to pertinent questions like which ad placements perform better and what day of the week is more likely to have higher conversions.
Best practices to adopt when designing a Facebook ad
1. Appealing visuals: colorful visuals have a higher chance to be shared and remembered than text-based content.
2. Relevant: the success of an advertising campaign is determined by how relevant the ads released to the target audience are.
3. Enticing value proposition: a value proposition is the “bait” that attracts a reader to a business. If an ad is enticing enough to the audience, the higher the chances they patronize the business.
4. Direct call-to-action: having a great ad is not complete without a call-to-action (CTA). The essence of the CTA acts as a hint to get readers to perform a particular action. Examples include; “Sign up for free,” “Buy now and save 15%”.
In conclusion, Facebook advertising is a goldmine for businesses to seize the opportunity to market their brands effectively. No particular format works for all companies. However, utilizing the tips and guidelines offered in this article as well as tailoring them to suit your business objective is sure to guarantee great success in any business.