When it comes to social media, Facebook is the undisputed king. An estimated two billion people use Facebook every month, and one out of every five minutes people spend looking at their mobile phone is now spent on the social network.
Bearing that in mind, if you want to expand your company’s digital reach, Facebook is the best place to do it. Unsure about trying Facebook out as a new advertising venue? Don’t worry, because the site’s dynamic advertisement capabilities are totally tried and tested.
Facebook advertising is already a hugely popular advertisement space for companies – and it works.
According to researchers at the Social Media Examiner, 93% of marketers use Facebook advertising on a regular basis. This translates to around 3 million businesses worldwide, and around 70% of those companies are outside the United States.
How are those ads performing? The average cost per click for companies looking to advertise on Facebook is currently about £1.30, with an estimated 26% of all users who click on an advert then going on to make an immediate purchase. And because Facebook’s advertisements run on a pay per click (PPC) model, that means you can expect decent returns on the budget you choose to invest in Facebook ads.
So, are you ready to get started? To help you wrap your head around Facebook advertising, we’ve created this quick ‘how-to guide’ designed to ensure your company gets the best possible start on social media.
What sort of advertisements can I create on Facebook?
If you’re already a Facebook user, or you’ve already created a business page to represent your company on the site, you’ll be familiar with various types of Facebook ads. One of the best parts of advertising on Facebook is there are so many opportunities to craft starkly contrasting advertisements.
Supported ad formats now include:
- Canvas (mobile only)
The type of ads you choose, as part of your social media advertisement strategy will depend on the sort of content you’re able to develop. Have a think about the sort of imagery customers would find useful or engaging – and if you’ve got capacity to experiment with video, you should.
Facebook videos now reach 37% more 18-24 year-olds than television, which means your company is now more likely to land sales with 15-second PPC video ads on Facebook than investing thousands of pounds on a TV commercial.
That being said, static images accompanied by a couple of lines of text and a strong call to action are still incredibly engaging – accounting for more than 75% of the best performing ads on Facebook.
Above all else, if you’ve got the budget you should explore utilising different types of Facebook ads simultaneously as part of a wider campaign. In one recent Facebook study, researchers found that conversion rates leading to sales were actually eight times higher among users who saw an advertisement for the same company in different places on the network.
If you’re digging through existing content, your company already has access to and you are unsure as to whether it will work on Facebook, check out their format guidelines. You’ll find plenty of guidance there on the most suitable format for your content, as well as desired dimensions and specs for submission.
How can I create a Facebook advertisement?
The first thing you need to do, is create a valid Facebook account. It will also be a whole lot easier to push users to your brand if you’ve got a verified business page for your company. If you need help setting up your initial account or business page, you can find guidance on the Facebook Business site.
Once you’re all logged in and your company has got a presence on Facebook, it’s time to get advertising!
Start by selecting an objective for your advertisement. In other words, what do you want to happen when somebody sees your ad on Facebook? You might want them to buy something on your site, ‘like’ your company page or sign up for an event – but don’t worry, there are plenty of opportunities for engagement out there.
Most Facebook ad objectives are split into three categories. Companies generally want users to either:
- Get people to notice This branch of advertisement objectives centres on increasing brand awareness, overall reach and increasing video views.
- Get people engaged This set of objectives revolves around getting customers to respond to your ads. Potential objectives include app installations, website clicks, page posts, event responses or an increase in inbound messages.
- Get people to act This branch focuses on nudging existing followers or fans to convert, i.e. to get onto your website and make a purchase. Examples include catalogue sales, store visits and purchases.
If you’re unsure about objectives, try out a couple of different types of objectives on a small budget to see what works best for your company and the content you’re offering up in advertisements.
Next, you need to select your audience. One of the best parts about advertising on Facebook is you’re able to capitalise upon its incredibly huge userbase to carefully target the sort of users who are likely to want to buy your goods or services.
When creating a Facebook ad, the site will allow you to carefully select the people who see your advert from three separate pools. These pools include:
- Core audiences This is a group that you can create by manually selecting the various characteristics you’d like your viewers to have. This includes user age, location, gender, relationship status, education, workplace, job titles and more.
- Custom audiences This one is a bit more straightforward. If you already have an existing contacts list – for example, previous customers or event attendees – you can upload that list onto Facebook and opt to push your ad to those individuals. If Facebook can match your list up to existing users, those individuals will be able to see your ad in their News Feeds.
- Lookalike Audiences Another innovative way to use existing customer data is to tell Facebook the sort of people who have interacted with your ads or made a purchase in the past – and then Facebook will automatically build a group of ‘lookalikes’ who have exhibited the same sort of behaviour as part of your ad campaign.
After you’ve selected your audience, it’s time to pick where you want your advertisement to run. Not only can you use Facebook Ads to promote your company on Facebook, but you can also use the platform to advertise on Instagram or a wide range of other apps and websites that form Facebook’s wider Audience Network.
Again, the platform that works best for your business will depend largely upon the sort of content you’ve got to share, as well as who your customers are and where they interact and engage with other brands.
Next, you get to set your ad budget. This allows you to enter a daily or lifetime budget, as well as the period of time you’d like to run your ads. Then pick your ad format, upload your creative assets or content and place your order. It’s that simple.
What is Facebook Ads Manager (and how do I use it)
After you’ve submitted your Facebook ad, you can use Facebook Ads Manager to manage, alter and analyse the performance of your advertisements.
Facebook Ads Manager is a dynamic dashboard tool that enables you to expertly deploy new ads and tinker with existing ones – but what makes it such a great marketing tool is that it’s easy for anyone to use. It even includes a mobile app so that you can manage your campaigns while on the move.
So, what can you do in Ads Manager?
For a start, you can easily amend or alter your campaign objectives, written copy, ad creatives or output on various devices. This can all be done via Facebook’s step-by-step wizard, which features clear instructions, so you don’t get lost if you’re new to ads management.
But Ads Manager isn’t just about changing the ads you’ve already got. It also features dynamic analytics tools that offer you real-time reporting on how your company’s Facebook ads are doing. You can break engagement down by how many people see it and click on it; what demographics within your audience are achieving your objectives; and who is responding to which copy.
And if something’s going well, you can easily up your budget in Ads Manager to expend that campaign and roll it out to a wider audience.
How can I tell if my Facebook ads are working?
Beyond Facebook Ads Manager and its brilliant inbuilt analytics tools, there are also several other ways you can fortify a company Facebook Ad with additional analytics, to find out how well your ads perform.
The first is to use the Facebook pixel. This is essentially just a bit of code that you can place on your website to measure how Facebook users are interacting with your website post-click. Whenever somebody navigates through your site and makes a purchase, the Facebook pixel is triggered and reports this action. That makes it easy to tell precisely how many sales were a direct result of your Facebook advertisements.
Not too code-savvy when it comes to computers? Don’t worry. Facebook offers a full step-by-step guide on how to copy and paste the Facebook pixel to your site in its Help Centre.
In addition to the Facebook pixel, you can also use Facebook’s offline conversion tool. This helps you understand which offline events – such as in-store purchases or phone orders – happened because of your Facebook ads. To use Facebook’s offline measurement tools, you can take advantage of one of Facebook’s Point of Sale Customer Relationship Management system integrations.
Alternatively, you can upload your offline event data to cross-reference against Facebook’s data sets, to connect certain offline activity to your Facebook ads.
The bottom line
At the end of the day, advertising on Facebook is one of the quickest, cheapest and easiest ways to expand your digital reach. Billions of people use Facebook – and so no matter what your company does and who you’re trying to sell to, some of your target market is going to be on Facebook.
The platform’s dynamic PPC model allows your company to play to its strengths and share the sort of content that your customers will find engaging, and its real-time analytics tools tell you precisely what ads are and aren’t working. That means even if your advertisements don’t perform well, Facebook can tell you exactly why – simultaneously teaching you more about members of your target market and their behaviour.
By investing in Facebook ads, your company has very little to lose – but a whole lot to gain. So, what are you waiting for? Get started and find out for yourself how easy it is to create an advert on Facebook.
Want to get more tips on marketing, social media and managing your limited company? Check out the Rapid Formations Blog. There, you’ll find loads of information on how to start a new business, form a UK limited company and ensure Companies House and HMRC are up-to-date on your crucial company details.