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Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Facebook

facebook advertising

With nearly three billion users, Facebook is the most popular social media site and also a leading advertising platform.

The company gives you access to a large portion of the world’s population, detailed targeting, and an easy-to-use self-service platform — all at a relatively low cost.

You can use Facebook ads to reach your potential new customers and grow your sales. Many business owners have used this platform quite successfully to gain high ROI. That said, new users to Facebook ads should seek help from Facebook ads experts, as getting things set up properly and generating real results can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Contacting these professionals is one of the best ways to ensure you are on the right track. 

In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about running Facebook ads to boost your Facebook campaigns. Let’s get started with the very basics and walk down through the more complex steps you need to take to be successful in advertising on Facebook.

1. Make sure you have a business page on Facebook, not a personal profile

The first step to getting started with Facebook advertising is to sign up for Facebook. Once you’ve done that, create a business page. You need to set up your ads correctly. This way, people can find and “like” it, so be sure to read Facebook’s instructions on how to set up a business page before you get started.

We see a lot of businesses, often small businesses, make the mistake of trying to set up a presence for their business using a personal profile rather than a page. Avoid this at all costs, as you’ll lose more or less all of the value you could gain from this platform, and you won’t have the ability to advertise.

Here’s an example of what a quality Facebook business page should look like from the powerful brand, Nestle.

Image: Nestle Toll House Facebook business page – Source

2. Determine your goals

Before you start creating your ad campaign, you need to have a clear understanding of your goals. What do you want to achieve? Are you trying to increase brand awareness or drive more traffic to your website? Or are you looking to generate conversions, whether that means selling products or building your pipeline by collecting email addresses and contact info from your visitors?

Your overall goal will serve as your foundation for everything else that you need to do for your campaign. You should never begin advertising without a goal. And those goals should change depending on the campaign.

For new businesses, building your follower numbers or sending visitors to your website to learn about your brand is super important. For more established brands, perhaps you want to focus on sending your audience to a landing page with a lead magnet they can download (like an eBook) so you can collect their email address and start moving them into your email marketing campaigns.

3. Define Your Target Audience 

You can target people based on just about anything: location, age, interest, demographics, interests, and so much more.

Choosing who will see your ad is even easier than creating one! When starting out with Facebook advertising, you’ll be able to select from the following targeting options:

Location – You can target people by country, state, or even zip code. This is very useful if you have a local business and want to target people in your area.

Age – This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you have a product aimed at young adults or senior citizens, this option allows you to reach those people specifically.

Interests – if there’s something specific that your customers are interested in (fitness, movies, music), you can target them by their interests here. If they like certain pages on Facebook, they will be included as part of your audience as well.

Language – If you need to ensure your ads only target people who speak a specific language, this is a great option.

Behaviors – This option helps you target users by their actions, for example, someone who has already shown an interest in your brand.

Connections – Target people depending on how they are connected to your brand, like an event or following your page.

Image: Facebook ads audience targeting setup

4. Decide on The Type of Ad You Want to Run

There are numerous formats available, ranging from photo ads and video ads to carousel ads which allow multiple images or videos with links through each one. There are even lead generation forms that will enable people to enter contact information without leaving Facebook.

Facebook ads offer a ton of dynamic options to really help your ads jump off the page. Here’s a great example of a visually engaging campaign run by Airbnb.

Image: Facebook ads example from Airbnb – Source

5. Draft Compelling Copy

Your goal is to attract people to your page and get them to engage with it. To do so, you need attention-grabbing copy that will stop them in their tracks as they scroll through their news feed.

While you can’t control how much text you use on an ad, there are five elements that you can use to make your Facebook ads more effective: primary text, secondary text, and the headline, along with the ad creative and the call-to-action (CTA).

Image: Elements of a Facebook ad
  • Primary Text

The primary text is the main body of your ad. It’s longer than the secondary text and the headline and lets you highlight a product or service’s unique selling point (USP). This is where you provide details about what makes it special, why users need it, and how they can benefit from it.

  • Secondary Text

The secondary text comes right after the headline of your ad. It’s meant to be used for a short description of what your business does or what users will find on your webpage. With only 30 characters allowed, this part of your ad should be short, sweet, and to the point.

  • Headline

The headline is displayed at the top of your Facebook ads.

It is suggested to make it short and sweet. Be clear, concise, and don’t add unnecessary words or phrases. There’s no need for fluff.

Use action words like ‘learn’, ‘improve’, ‘enjoy’, ‘offer’, and so on.

Sprinkle in power words like ‘amazing’, ‘perfect solution’, ‘best deal out there’ etc.

Highlight numbers like “25% off for the next 24 hours only!”

  • Creatives

Images are an important part of any advertisement. Facebook ads also need appealing creatives to attract customers without saying anything extra. As you all know, one image is equal to one thousand words. 

Try to use compelling banners for your Facebook PPC ads.

  • CTA

Include a call-to-action (CTA) – tell users what you want them to do next, e.g., Visit the site for more information, hurry, steal the deal now, etc.

6. Set Your Daily Budget And Schedule 

Facebook gives you the option of setting a daily budget. It allows you to decide how much money you want to spend per day and for how many days you want your campaign to run.

Apart from this, you can also set a time frame to display your ads at a specific point in time. Make sure you do the math and ensure you aren’t going to be overcharged.

By setting the duration of your ads campaigns along with the amount you wish to spend, you effectively set up your ads to shut down when they reach a certain point.

This allows you to spend the right amount on your campaign. It also allows you to test a smaller spend first and look at results to make adjustments before you jump into a bigger, more expensive campaign. This way, you can improve results and achieve a higher ROI.

7. Test, Track and Optimize

The beauty of digital advertising is that you can run tests to determine what works best for you and your campaigns. Testing is the key to success in advertising on Facebook.

All of the significant Facebook ad metrics have a direct correlation to your campaign objective. For example, if you’re running a campaign for brand awareness, the most important metric to keep an eye on will be impressions and frequency. If you’re running a traffic campaign, clicks and click-through rate (CTR) are going to be your primary focus. If conversions are more important to you, your main metric will be the cost per click (CPC). You can also add a Facebook pixel to your site to track conversions that occur on your website.

Testing different ad copy allows you to see which messages and offers perform best with your audience. You’ll want to run A/B tests where possible, meaning two ads with identical targeting and imagery but different ad copies or CTA buttons. This will help you determine which type of messaging resonates most with your audience.

In addition to testing ads themselves, you can also test multiple creative versions of the same ad. For example, you can use the same text but swap out the images or videos.

Final Verdict

This guide will give you a headstart when running Facebook Ads campaigns. Remember, if you are new to this, hire Facebook Ads experts to avoid big blunders. These professionals have hands-on experience with FB PPC and help you get high ROAS.

If you do choose to run campaigns on your own, however, follow the tips laid out within this article to get started out on the right track. Just be sure to continue to analyze your results and adjust as needed. Never leave your Facebook ads to their own devices. They require constant nurturing and updates to be successful.

Best of luck in your Facebook advertising endeavors. If you have any questions, or you want to share your own advice, please drop us a note in the comments below.

2 Responses

  1. Nice post! What are your thoughts on video and video retargeting campaigns on FB right now? Also, would you suggest creating a broad audience and then narrowing down + retargeting, or dive-in with narrowing down from the start? I found that video is booming, and it’s better to start broad, Especially for the local guys.

    1. Retargeting ads can be very effective. It takes 3-7 touches (depending on who you ask) to get someone to take that next step. The more they see your brand, the more it sticks and they begin to consider buying from you. If you have significant insights into your audience, narrowing down from the start can be the way to go. If you aren’t sure, then it can be helpful to go broad, assess the results, and then tweak and narrow down your campaigns from there.

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