With more than 2.5 billion monthly active users Facebook is by far the largest and the most powerful social media today. According to different data sources, at least 1.5 billion users are logging on Facebook daily. To cut a long story short whatever your business is, your customers are on Facebook. But since you are here, you already know that. The question is how to cut through the noise and reach those people who will be interested in you.
The benefits of Facebook marketing
Facebook advertising has a lot to offer and managing your advertising campaigns can surely help you grow your business. In case you are not sure whether Facebook ads are worth investing in, I’ll put it straight – Yes, running Facebook ads is worth every single penny.
Since the audience on Facebook is that big, every single business can benefit from marketing on the largest social media. And it doesn’t matter whether you have a construction company, an e-commerce business or you run a local bakery. Your customers are on Facebook, so should be you. And your sole mission is to narrowly target them with ads.
Which reminds me to answer another question. Yes, you should have a business page on Facebook in order to run ads. So before we even begin with the how-tos of launching a Facebook advertisement campaign, you’ve got to make sure you have a page for your business on Facebook. I’m not going in detail here on how to manage it properly but make sure you give enough information about your business, its products and services, location, working hours and so on. The idea is that once a potential customer lands on your Facebook page, they should immediately understand what it’s all about.
Once you have a proper page you can instantly start building your brand. Brand building is one of the advantages of Facebook marketing and it could be free to a great extent. Use your page to tell your story, show some behind-the-scenes photos depicting the manufacturing process of your products, present your team members. You can literally do anything with your Facebook page in order to engage and communicate with your followers.
When you regularly post content on your page you can easily engage and re-engage your existing customers as well as reach new customers. The latter happens naturally when people share your content.
How to run Facebook ads?
Now before we move on, I want to distinguish these two major types of Facebook advertising, which are commonly misunderstood among beginners – sponsored posts vs real/data-driven/professionally set-up advertisements.
Facebook sponsored posts
In short, Facebook sponsored posts are page posts, which you have boosted in order to reach more people. Every page owner has been lured by Facebook to click on that “Boost post” button.
I won’t lie to you. When I was just starting with Facebook advertising out I also thought that by boosting posts I did some real marketing. Unfortunately, sponsored posts are not worth your money (there are a few exceptions, which I’ll discuss in a minute) because you have very limited options when it comes to targeting, budgeting, placing, optimizing, and scaling your ad.
If you boost a post on Facebook you can reach as many people as you want, which is only worth it if you run a media outlet.
However, you cannot control the quality of that audience. Let’s give an example – you have a brunch place in New York and every weekend you have a 20% discount for people who have subscribed for your newsletter. You publish a post about it and then you boost it. However, you don’t want to bankrupt yourself. If you don’t narrow your ad audience only to your actual subscribers, you run the risk of having tons of new subscribers, which will visit your place on Saturday afternoon demanding their discount. And while this might be a clever tactic to get more subscribers for your newsletter when you are just starting to grow your list, it will bankrupt you if you just boost your post without any narrowing. Sadly, you can’t do detailed targeting through sponsoring posts. But you can do that in your Facebook Business Manager.
Facebook Business Manager
Facebook Business Manager is a platform, which allows you to create your own business account, manage your ad accounts, campaigns, and separate ads.
For beginners, it could be rather confusing at first but I’ll try to explain it as simple as possible. Facebook Business Manager has quite a complex structure but it truly allows marketers to do outstanding marketing.
Since you already have a Facebook account, you can access the Facebook Business Manager platform but you just don’t know it yet. However, that doesn’t allow you to advertise. First, you have to create a Business Account. It’s a simple process, which I cover in a separate article.
Once you have a Business Account, you have to create an Ad Account inside your Business Account. Then you have to connect your page (or pages) to your Ad Account. If you have partners, you can give them access to your Ad Account so they can manage and create campaigns.
Why is Facebook Business Manager so complicated?
For small business owners and other businesses who don’t do Facebook marketing it may look overcomplicated but it’s really not. Let’s say you are a digital agency and you are responsible for running the ads of tens or hundreds of pages or businesses. It would’ve been a complete mess if Facebook Business Manager didn’t have the structure it has. However, you as a digital marketing agency may have separate Ad Accounts for each of your clients. This structure keeps everything organized and smooth.
Types of Facebook Ads Formats
Since we’ll dig deeper into the ad formats available on Facebook in a separate post, I’ll try to explain each format in brief.
Single Image Ads
These are the type of ads that consist of a single image, a call-to-action (CTA) button, and a short copy. Usually, they are the most common and arguably the most efficient (though it really depends) type of ads.
Similar to the single image ads, video ads consist of a video instead of an image, a CTA, and a short copy. However, they can run on more placements (more on that later).
These are multi-image ads, which allow you to use up to 10 different images in a single ad. That makes them perfect for showcasing different products. Users can swipe and review your ad.
All of the above have many variations, which depend on their placements and the ad objective.
Facebook Ads Placements
When running ads from Facebook Business Manager you can place them in various places such as the newsfeed, inside Messenger’s inbox, in stories, in-stream videos, on the marketplace, in the right column, instant articles, and the audience network.
Depending on your campaign objective, you can decide where your ads are going to show up. For example, if you want to target only users that have already visited your online store, you can run carousel ads and place them in the newsfeed.
On the other side, if you have a new product or service that you want to present in a video format, you can place your video ad in stories and other videos. However, if you have only images of your product, then the marketplace or the right column could be your preferred placements.
The Audience Network is another placement you don’t want to miss. Facebook Audience Network includes hundreds of mobile apps and publishers, which allow you to run ads. Put simply, they offer an off-Facebook experience with the cutting edge targeting you get from Facebook Business Manager.
Since we already mention targeting several times, let’s explain what it actually is. Facebook gathers tremendous data from its users, which you can use in order to show your ads to the right people.
You can target users based on their age, language, gender, location, interest, behavior, and anything in between.
Since successful Facebook marketing largely depends on speaking to the right audience, finding that audience is key. However, targeting varies from one business to another and even between campaigns, I am not diving into details here.
I just want to give you one last example in order to show you the power of Facebook targeting. Let’s get back to the brunch place example. It’s located in New York City but it ships orders in the whole state of New York. So one of its campaigns might target the whole state of New York, while another might target only people aged 20-60 (pretty much those who work), who are physically within a two-mile reach from the brunch place. The second campaign also runs between 11:00 and 15:00 a.k.a. Lunchtime.
To sum up
Facebook advertising is a powerful marketing tool, which can be used for various purposes in every stage of the marketing funnel. You should carefully plan your marketing strategy in order to spend your money in a way that would benefit your business regardless of whether you’d like to drive more traffic to your website, generate leads, sales, or just to engage your audience.
In this article we covered basic things such as sponsored posts, Facebook Business Manager, Facebook ad formats, placements and targeting. Check our other articles for more in-depth topics on Facebook marketing.