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How to Advertise on Facebook: A No-Nonsense Facebook Ads Guide for Beginners

Since Facebook is the most widely used social network, it is not surprising that many business owners want to advertise on Facebook. However, many don’t understand or know where to even begin. If you’re new to Facebook ads or ecommerce in general, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. The Facebook ads space is complex, full of jargon and intensive. Feeling confident on the platform is a great first step towards success. This article will clear up some confusion about the Facebook Ads interface, helping you to navigate and optimize your ads for better success.

Facebook reports that 2.14 billion people can be reached through ads. In the July to September quarter, reach grew by 2.2% (45 million)."

The Set Up

The first thing to do when setting up a Facebook ad is to determine your campaign objective and set your budget. Facebook offers a range of different types of campaigns with different objectives, which stipulate how the ads will be distributed on the platform. You can choose from Promote Your Page, Send People to Your Website or Get More Leads for example. Generally, most advertisers go with getting more leads as their objective because it’s the cheapest while still driving traffic back to some other part of your business over time. There have been studies that find that increasing an advertiser’s page likes increases customer acquisition cost-per-customer by 367%. This was not due to increased spending but rather being able to target customers like never before based on age, location, interests etc. For many marketers and advertisers, Facebook ads are one of the best ways they spend their advertising budgets simple because they’re so powerful in terms of targeting potential new customers

Understand Your Objective

First, think about what goal you want the ad to accomplish? There are 3 main objectives for advertising on Facebook: awareness (i.e. growing brand equity), lead generation and direct sales (or ecommerce transactions). It is important that the messaging in your ads reflect this. If one specific goal is more important than another then adjust your budget accordingly. For example, if branding messaging is key, use 10% of your budget towards awareness ads at first – increase as needed or desired based on performance metrics like reach/frequency/engagement rates etc.

This starts with understanding who you're advertising to."

Set Your Budget and Schedule

Before you start running any ads, it’s important to set your budget and schedule for when ads will run. Managing your budget and schedule is one of the biggest things to get right to make sure that you are getting the best return on investment (ROI) from your campaign. It’s recommended to start with a small budget and also setting a limit to how much you can spend per day during the campaign. If you put the budget on a limit, Facebook will automatically stop the ads if you go over your daily budget for the day. The daily budget is calculated based on what percentage of your total advertising budget should be spent on that day. For example: if your total ad campaign budget is $100, then setting a day budget of $20 will ensure that $20 is spend each day to continue running your ad(s) for the day. Ads Manager is a great way to manage your Facebook Ads and create campaigns for your business. Their ad scheduling feature lets you plan your ads to run in the future – great tool for businesses who are pushing promotions or sales at certain times of the year, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You can also use this feature if you like to run ads for a short time, then pause them once you’ve reached your goal. This allows you to be able to know exactly how much money you have spent on each ad campaign.

Target Your Audience

The key to success with Facebook ads is knowing exactly who you want to reach. Know the type of people you want to market your business will help you craft the right message and provide the right incentives to get them to take action. Thanks to Facebook’s powerful targeting capabilities, you can now target your audience based on many factors, including age, location and interests. Optimizing your ads is a cost-effective way to ensure you are not only reaching the right people but also reaching people that you may not have been able to via other means. So, you’ve created your Facebook ad and have now entered the stage of creating your audience. This is the most important step since this is where you define who to show your ad to. There are 5 main ways to target audiences using Facebook ads:

  • Targeting based on customer data - for example your customer email list

  • Targeting based on data from a partner website

  • Targeting based on Lookalike audiences

  • Targeting based on a combination of data mixed with interests

  • Targeting based on a customer audience (what Facebook calls remarketing)

If you’re unsure who your target audience should be, Facebook offers several tools to help such as Audience Insights where you can learn more about the people that engage with your business or you can create Lookalike Audiences to create an opportunity to reach new people who are similar to your existing customer base. Ads are also a great way to be able to test your audience and create a solid ad. Having the opportunity interpret the right audience has a great impact on your ad’s performance. Starting with a small limit of $5 can already get you immediate results.

Choose Your Facebook Ad Placements

Facebook advert placement, as with most social media advertising platforms, is important. It is what determines where you advert will appear in relation to the audience. The ad placements available to marketer on Facebook are varied and can be used in a number of ways to deliver a great return on investment. For beginners, the simplest choice is to take advantage of Facebook’s Automatic Placements. As soon as you select this option, Facebook will automatically place your ads across its platform, Instagram, Messenger and the Audience Network where is it likely to get the best results. With more experience under your belt, you may wish to place your ad in specific locations to better target specific audiences. Depending on your chosen campaign objective your options will vary but may include the following:

  • Device type (mobile, desktop or both)

  • Platform (Facebook, Instagram or Messenger)

  • Placements: Feeds stories, in-stream, search, messages, in-articles, apps and sites (external to Facebook)

  • Specific mobile devices and operating systems (IOS, Android)

By studying and comparing which ad placements yield the best results and which don't for your campaign types, you can optimise your ad spend and put your money where it counts."

Set Brand Safety and Cost Controls

With Facebook recently announcing changes to how advertisers manage their ads, the updated controls will allow you to set a daily limit on your daily spend ad total spend by ad account. It also gives you control over where your ads show such as preventing your ads from appearing within or alongside content that’s inappropriate or not conducive to your brands. This is a relatively straightforward update that allows you to be more specific in how you want to manage your Facebook advertising. Setting a daily limit on your total spends lets you control costs and setting brand safety controls lets you choose where your ads show and who will see them. With your business manager account you will find a section dedicated to brand safety in which you will have access to inventory filters and can assign block lists for each ad account. Both of these features help manage where your ads are placed on the Audience Network, in-stream video, and instant articles.

In Summary

Facebook Ads are one of the most powerful digital marketing channels available to businesses today, but it can be complicated to navigate. Fortunately, there are many easy-to-implement tactics that you can use to maximize your ROI and generate more profit with less effort. If you’ve been struggling with how best to make this channel work for you or if you need help using these tips in your own strategy, we would love to partner with you—just reach out and contact our team for a discovery call today.


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