Facebook advertising – The Fundamentals

Whether you’re on your daily commute, walking through the park, or waiting to meet a friend in the local coffee shop, it’s guaranteed you’ll spot someone with their head down, staring at their phone, scrolling through social media. Why? Because it’s become the social norm.

We now live in a digital age where family members, friends, students, businesses and companies alike are using social media platforms to chat, buy and sell products, promote services and advertise online at the click of a button. There’s basically no denying that social media has become one of the most popular online communication channels to ever exist and it’s not about to slow down anytime soon.  

This year, Facebook revealed more than 2.01 billion users visited their site in June alone. Whether this be through a desktop computer, mobile device, iPad or tablet, ultimately this has caused a 17% year on year increase of active users. And if you consider there are only 7 billion people on the entire planet, you can do the math of just how big of a social media platform Facebook has now become.  

Although it’s clear that social media is thriving, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd when it comes to social advertising. For big brands and companies who wish to reach target audiences, simply posting on Facebook isn’t enough anymore. To have the chance of being seen online, money and budget plays a big factor. Of course, you can spend all of your time and effort driving people to your Facebook page, but it’s only going to work if you’re smart about it. Here are some tips as to why Facebook advertising is a fundamental part of online growth for your business.

Why should I use Facebook adverts in the first place?

There are various types of adverts that can be found on Facebook. Ranging from video ads, photographic, multi-product, local, product offers, events, retargeting and boosted posts, they can all seem to blur into one if you’re not used to seeing how they work, or how they can benefit you. You can read more about how these individual types of posts could be suited to your needs on this Shopify article.

But in this blog post specifically, I wanted to touch on why Facebook ads are beneficial and why you should take the time to learn about them; especially if you’re thinking about running one for your business, personal blog, or if you’re purely interested in seeing how they work. There are of course a few important things you should know about Facebook advertising before you try it for yourself.  

1. Visual content is king

It’s pretty straightforward, according to Facebook themselves, advertising makes it ‘easy to find the right people, capture their attention and get results.’ Seeing as Facebook is increasingly becoming a visual platform (with more videos of cute dogs and funny memes being seen than ever before) – in remembering that visual content is more appealing and likely to get shared, this can work immensely in your favour. It’s just as important to know the correct sizing of your images for social, otherwise, it might not look right displayed on your mobile or desktop. For more help, check out our Image Size Guide For Social Media.

2. Include a ‘call to action’

When it comes to ad displaying, your post should come with an action to ‘click’ on your advert or ‘download’ from your page. Otherwise, the reader might not understand what to do next. A simple “click the banner below” or “buy today and save yourself £10” creates a sense of urgency. Try it and see how it affects your engagement and interaction rates. The below post from Hubspot is a good example of how an advert should appear. A line of text, a simple ‘download this guide’ CTA below and a clear image. Take note of this for future ads, and remember, less usually more.

 

Facebook call to action facebook fundamentals
Hubspot

 

3. Numbers and facts work really well

As human beings, we are drawn to numbers because we like to know the facts. This is why mentioning the number of people using your product can help build instant trust and it’s almost like saying, “We really are the best-liked product in our category, so you have nothing to worry about.” You could improve your ad further by explaining how your product helps to achieve all the promised benefits. This CoSchedule’s ad, for example, displays an image of the editorial calendar that’s going to deliver the benefits and give you more structure. It’s true what they say, seeing really is believing.

 

Facebook Fundamentals
CoSchedule

 

So how do I create an advert on my Facebook page?

There are at least 7 different types of adverts that can be found on Facebook as mentioned above. Bearing in mind, social adverts look slightly different depending on the results you want. The first thing you need to do is actually have a Facebook page set up. From here you can begin creating a Facebook ad using Ads Manager or Power Editor. To access this, go to your Facebook home page, go to the drop-down arrow on the right-hand side and click ‘create adverts’. It’s really that simple. From here you will be taken through the steps you need to create your advert.

 

Facebook Fundamentals adverts

 

There are various things to think about while creating your advert. Do you have a suitable image or video to show off? Is there a reason you want to promote an advert in the first place? Are you looking to increase traffic, engagement or video views? The walkthrough of the ad creation is straightforward and Facebook is always at hand to help you if you get stuck. Visit the official Facebook page to learn more about choosing advertising objectives.

Where can I see adverts seen on Facebook?

You’ve most likely seen hundreds on your feed, but not all of them will be as obvious. The most prominent place you will see an advert is on your newsfeed as you scroll. When viewed via mobile, they display like organic posts from people and Pages that they follow. Although ads in the news feed are likely to get higher engagement metrics due to its native advertising features, right column ads shouldn’t be forgotten. This is the first type of advertising Facebook had, and it still exists today. In order for a right column ad to be successful, it needs to be relevant, have a value proposition, a good visual, and have a call-to-action. Source: Facebook.

Facebook desktop ads

Split testing during Facebook ads

When creating ads for Facebook, the best way to learn how it works is to simply try it for yourself. The most interesting concept about Facebook ads is that you can practice ‘split testing’. Anyone with a Business Manager account can create a split test within Ads Manager. This enables advertisers to easily test the same ad on two different audiences to see which audience performed better. It’s further used to interpret how changes in different variables impact the advert’s success. During the test, you can alter target audience, delivery optimisation and placement of the ads to see which one works best. Find out more on Split testing here.

 

facebook split testing

How are boosted posts different to Facebook ads?

Absolutely anyone can publish a boosted post on their Facebook page, all you need to remember is to have your card details registered beforehand.

A boosted post is an organic Facebook post that has already been posted on your newsfeed. Later, this can be ‘boosted’ with advertising money for more engagement. You can further boost this same post on your Instagram profile if they are linked.

Boosted posts are different from the above ads because it’s not created in the Facebook Ads Manager, but you can still choose a call to action button, the location you wish for the post to show, target audience, budget and duration of posts. You can also include more text in the description, as there is no limit to word count and you can have a link in the copy.

Naturally, there is a downside to these types of post as they leave you fewer options for targeting and pricing but is still an effective way to see engagement. Below is an example of a boosted post from Ricemedia where we promoted one of our articles on Facebook. You can see how much of budget remains and how many people the post has reached.

 

Boosted post Facebook fundamentals advertising

 

Whether you’re a company, start-up business or a person curious to see how ads work on Facebook, the most important thing to remember is: be careful not to let your Facebook page turn into a stream of advertising. Occasional promotions and offers are to be expected but you need to balance this out by offering useful content to your audience. Most importantly, your posts should be a near 30-70 mixture of promotional content, linking back to your website and sharing relevant information that your target audience would find useful.

Don’t forget, if you need any help or advice with your social or content strategy, give us a call – we’re always happy to help!

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