Facebook has over 1.4 billion users, and people of almost all ages, ethnicities, professions and nationalities are present on the network. For marketers, advertisers and small businesses, that means a huge selection of potential customers, so Facebook advertising should be an indispensable part of every good marketing strategy.
You may have heard from someone that Facebook Ads don’t really work, but the matter of the fact is, more and more businesses use it to advertise their services and products, so it must be effective.
In this article, we’ll walk you through how Facebook Ads work and how to start your first marketing campaign on the platform.
Why you should use Facebook Ads
It’s unrealistic to expect that you can attract all 1.4 billion users with your marketing campaign, but here’s the thing – no one expects you to do that. The thing with Facebook Ads is that they allow you something many other advertising resources don’t – to carefully select your target audience out of the 1.4 billion and offer your product strictly to them.
Facebook allows you to enter different parameters (age, ethnicity, gender, relationship status etc.) which the platform will then use to make your ad visible to people who fit your pre-selected criteria.
The great thing about this is that you won’t need to pay to market your product to everyone, but rather to chosen individuals who are most likely to show interest in your service/product.
Furthermore, Facebook Ads have proven to be especially effective if you are selling a product people don’t necessarily search for online. Here’s what I mean by that: when you are using Google AdWords, you choose different keywords for your ad that will allow people who search for some of those keywords to find you. Now, if you are selling a product that isn’t necessarily something people are going to look for online before they buy it, a Google AdWords campaign won’t really attract you that many visitors.
With Facebook Ads, however, you can market a product based on who is most likely to buy it, even if those people don’t search for it themselves. It’s much more secure, when you think about it, since you won’t depend on your customer and whether he or she will come to you, but you will present the product to them, instead.
How to Start a Facebook Ads campaign?
1. Create a Facebook page
Before you start building a campaign, you need to create a page for your business or product. Facebook chooses to keep their traffic within the platform, so you can’t exactly redirect someone who clicks on your ad directly to your website. Instead, you can redirect them to your Facebook page where you can share the link to your website, blog or e-commerce site.
To create a new page, go to your profile and click on “Create page”. Then you’ll have to choose a category for the page, depending on what your business is:
You’ll have 6 different types to choose from: Local business/place, Company, organization or institution, Brand or product, Artist, band or public figure, Entertainment and Cause or community.
When you choose a type, you’ll need to enter the name of it and choose a more specific category your business, product or service belongs to (for example: computers, agriculture, consulting etc.).
Next, you will see four different tabs with additional options and settings you’ll need to fill out to complete your page. First, you will need to write a description of what your page is about and add an external link to your website. You don’t want to skip this step because it gives the customer more info on what you’re all about and lead them to you.
Then, select a profile picture. You can either upload it from your computer or import it from a website. Make sure your photo is relevant to your business, so it’s best to upload your business’ logo.
It’s good to also add it to favorites, so you could access your page anytime.
On the last tab, you’ll need to choose additional parameters regarding your audience, such as their age, interests, location and gender. Although your page will be visible to anyone on Facebook, they will suggest it to people who fit the criteria you’ve chosen the most.
This is what your page should look like:
Make sure to further customize it so that it looks proper and professional. Add an interesting cover photo and you can even create a Call to Action. A Call to Action will essentially be a button on your page that will allow everyone to take an action from your page, like signing up, booking, trying out your app or something else. Just click on the Call to Action button and you’ll see this popup:
Choose which action you would want the visitor to perform, fill out additional info needed and click on “Create.”
You can also add more information about your product or business by clicking on the “About” tab, and then it might be time to invite people to like and share your page. Click on the button with 3 dots next to “Message” and choose your action. You need to start somewhere and asking your Facebook friends to like your page and sharing it on other platforms you use is one of the first steps.
Once you’ve created your Facebook page, you can start making the Facebook Ads campaign.
How to Create Facebook Ads campaign
Creating a campaign is really easy on Facebook – the instructions are easy to follow and you won’t get distracted will thousands of different options you don’t understand, so you should be able to create a campaign in a matter of minutes just by reading carefully and thinking thoroughly before you select any of the options.
1. Choosing an Objective
To create your Ad, click on “Create Ad” on the same tab where you made your page.
First you will have to choose an objective for your campaign. Make sure to think carefully before you pick, because this is one of the most important steps. Think about what your goal is, whether that’s bringing more visitors to your website, having more subscribers, landing more sales or something completely different. Keep in mind that your goals need to be attainable, realistic and can be achieved in a specific period of time.
When you hover on each of these objectives, you will see a box next to it that further explains each of the objectives, so you could make a better and more informed choice.
For example, if you want to send more people to your website, you’ll need to enter the URL, wait for the website details to load and then you can move on to creating your Ad Account.
2. Creating an Ad Account
Creating an Ad Account basically means selecting your country, currency, time zone and entering the name you’ll use for your account.
3. Choosing your audience
The next step is to choose your audience based on their location, age, gender, languages they speak, connection type and detailed targeting.
Everything but detailed targeting is very general and broad, but detailed targeting is the most specific category that you should really focus on, because that’s where you’ll tailor your audience the most.
If you are not sure what to select in that category, don’t worry, because when you click on it, a list like this will appear:
When you click on any of the categories, it will show another, more specific list and then another even more specific, until you get to a certain very clear parameter.
For example, if I click on Interests, I will see a list that includes Business, Entertainment, Shopping, Fitness, Food and Drink etc. while I can select any of those categories as a whole, I can be even more specific, so I will click on Business, which will then open a list with terms like advertising, banking, agriculture, construction and others. Some of the terms can’t be sorted out further, but with those that can, I can be even more specific.
Essentially, I’m tailoring my audience in this section so I can get the best and most accurate results with my campaign without spending more money than I need to.
The parameters you’ve added will be visible on the right side of the screen, so you’ll have a clear overview of who you’ve chosen as your target customer. Make sure to take your time in this stage of the process and really examine what you are selling, to whom and who your ideal customer is. You want to be specific, but not that specific that you end up excluding people that otherwise might have been interested in your product.
4.Setting your budget
When you’re done with audience selection, you’ll need to set a budget for your campaign.
You can select a daily amount you wish to spend on your campaign or a lifetime budget – meaning that the ad will stop running after a specific date or when it exhausts the amount you’ve set initially. You can choose to run your ad continually or set dates when it will start and end.
You have 3 options when choosing how your ad will be delivered: link clicks, impressions and daily unique reach.
Link clicks are the recommended option because they make sure that your ad is delivered to the right people, thus avoiding wasting money on people who will have no interest in what you are selling.
Impressions, on the other hand, ensure that your ad is delivered to as many people as possible, while daily unique reach ensures delivers your ad to people only once a day.
Furthermore, you have several other options: when you get charged, ad scheduling, delivery type and bid amount. It’s all well explained as you’re going through these options, but if you need additional info, click here.
On the right side of your screen, you will also see an estimated number of people you will reach with your campaign, and this number will change when you modify any of the settings.
5. Designing your ad
Designing the actual ad has to be the most fun part of it all.
You can choose to display a single image in your ad or up to five. Which one you’ll go with really depends on what you are selling. If your product involves a process with different stages, if might be better to choose multiple images and if it’s a static product, like a book or a house item, one image should be sufficient.
As you scroll down, you can upload your image, add a headline, a description, body text, your website’s URL and a call-to-action. On the right side of the screen, you’ll see how your ad looks like on desktop, mobile, desktop right column and in third-party mobile apps.
On a side note, it would be good to change your images and update your campaign every once in a while, just to keep it fresh and renew your audience’s interest.
6. Payment method
Once your done with the design, click on the green button that says “Place order”, at which point, you will be asked to choose a payment method available in your country. Mostly it will be through a credit card and PayPal. Just enter your info and when it’s processed, your Ad campaign will be up and running.
Facebook Ads are definitely effective and won’t drain your budget, unlike some other means of marketing. They have many valuable features that can be useful to small business owners, and campaigns are fairly easy to set up. All of this makes Facebook Ads a real contender in the world of online marketing, so no matter which goal you have in mind for your business, Facebook Ads can help you achieve it.