A Guide to Using Facebook Ads

With over a billion active users around the world, Facebook offers a great opportunity for businesses to reach out to potential customers, grow brand awareness and increase sales revenue. We now live in what many are calling an unplugged world with access to all the products and services we need via smart devices such as smartphones and tablets. If you want to connect and grow, Facebook Ads have everything you want to engage with your target markets efficiently.

What’s Your Plan?

Before you begin running Facebook Ads you need to have a plan. This is going to include who you are reaching out to, what you want to say and what the result is going to be. Most online advertising strategies fail because of inadequate planning and unclear goals in the first place. If you know your product well and have a good idea who is likely to use or buy it, then this should be a relatively easy process but one which you shouldn’t take lightly. Just a few things to consider are:

  • Does your brand and image catch the eye? Called Creatives on Facebook, the image(s) you use will have an enormous effect on whether your Facebook ad is noticed.
  • Identify and profile your target market. Go specific rather than generic. If you multiple markets then you may need multiple campaigns.
  • Identify the key goals of your marketing campaign – are you promoting a product, increasing brand awareness, advertising an upcoming event, simply promoting a post? Think about what would appeal to your target market.
  • Have you studied the market and your competitors to see what everyone is up to?
  • Will your message appeal to your target market? Are you using their language rather than your jargon?
  • Is your website currently set up to receive and convert this extra traffic if your campaign is a success?
  • Have you got the after ad strategy right – for example, will you need to get extra staff on board or manufacture more of your product so that you can meet demand?

Signing Up for Facebook Ads

Once you have your plan worked out then it’s time to sign up for Facebook Ads. It’s very simple to do, once you have your page set up on the platform – click on the arrow at the top right of your page and select ‘Create Ads’.

There are two ways to run ads in Facebook: through the Ads Manager or by taking advantage of the Power Editor. For most companies, particularly SMEs, the Ads Manager is the most suitable platform. Power Editor is better for large campaigns and agencies like us. When you click on ‘Create Ads’ the Ads Manager will come up automatically along with a list of campaign objectives:

  • Facebook AdvertsBoost your posts
  • Promote your Page
  • Send people to your website
  • Increase conversions on your website
  • Get installs of your app
  • Increase engagement in your app
  • Reach people near your business
  • Raise attendance at your event
  • Get people to claim your offer
  • Get video views

Let’s assume that your key objective in this instance is to drive people to your website. When you select this option, Facebook will ask you for the URL and will then give you an option to create a pixel for tracking and monitoring. It will also assign a name to your campaign.

How to Reach the Right People

This next section is the meat and drink of your ad campaign. On the right hand side you will see a helpful audience gauge that broadly defines who you are reaching out to along with an estimate of the potential number of customers. This value changes every time you put in a parameter on the panel so you can see roughly how many people you will reach.

While you may have a clear idea about the audience you want to contact, it will take some time to make sure that you are using the right parameters and a little experimentation over time will be needed to maximise your efforts. That’s why monitoring everything throughout your campaign is important, as we explain below.

Parameters that can be changed include:

  • Location: Whether you want to reach a local audience or those further afield, you can simply add these by post code, country, county etc.
  • Age range and gender
  • Language spoken
  • You also can add other demographics in this section such as educational standard, work type, financial status and ethnicity to name just a few.
  • Interests: You can select according to the type of thing people are interested including entertainment, food and drink and hobbies.
  • Behaviours: This is a little more esoteric and gives you the chance to reach people who, for instance, are more likely to use a mobile phone or are into gaming. Within each category there are subcategories so you can drill quite deep to find the right audience.
  • More categories: This includes some other ways to segment your audience but a few are only available currently in the US.
  • Connections: Finally there are options to include people who are already engaging with your product, service or page or exclude them.

Once you have selected all your parameters, you can then save them to use for other ad campaigns. All of this certainly takes a good deal of thought and changing just a few parameters here and there can lead to better results.

Your Budget

Next on the page, Facebook gives you the option to set your budget. You can opt for a small or large amount and decide whether you want to run it every day or have a start and end date. The good news is that you can ensure that you don’t run over budget on your campaign. There are also options to set how you optimize your ad delivery and whether you want to control the price of clicks. We would always suggest you test a campaign, put a small budget, trial it and measure the performance before going with your full budget.

Creating Your Facebook Ads

Next it’s time to create and upload your ads. Facebook gives you a range of options to include images and videos and you have the choice of links (single image or video) or carousels (multiple images). For link ads with a single image you need to adhere to the guidelines and with only a few characters allowed you have to make sure that your message packs a punch. These particular parameters apply to a Facebook ad that is designed to send traffic to your website and other ones such as boosting post views will have slightly different structures on the Facebook panel. You can also optimise the ads for appearing on different devices such as mobile or desktop and then you are ready to go.

Measuring the Response

A Facebook ads campaign is not going to work if you don’t monitor its performance. Fortunately, Facebook’s Ad Manager Panel is easily arranged into columns that allow you to check on things like frequency and cost. These can all be customised depending on which objective you initially selected. For instance, with an ad sending clicks to your website you can include actions such as checkouts and purchases.

facebook ads - The Last Hurdle

Test your campaigns to make sure you are gaining the right level of interest, before you go with your full budget.

Tweaking Your Marketing Strategy

The next step is to run your campaign and check the metrics. This should allow you the chance to tweak your ad campaign to make it even better and begin to drive more traffic to your site or whatever objective you had in mind. This can involve a lot of trial and error but persevering can bring great results.

Facebook Ads make is easy and quick to set up any ad campaign and the service comes at a cost that most SMEs can afford. Getting it right can boost sales, improve brand recognition and give you access to over a billion people across the world. So what is not to love? Yes OK it is neither quick nor easy and can be a bit confusing. The Last Hurdle can look after your Facebook Ads simply call 01604 654545 or email sales@thelasthurdle.co.uk to discuss your campaign requirements.

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