As users, we encounter Facebook advertising on a daily basis without much consideration of the thought, research, and effort that goes into the content in our feeds. When the tables are turned, and it comes time for business owners to build their own Facebook campaign, the world of social media advertising can suddenly become a baffling process.
There are overwhelming benefits to pushing through and learning the basics to create your own social media strategies. A study conducted in 2016 by eMarketer found that more than 95% of social media marketers considered Facebook to be the most effective social media marketing platform.
This huge support is largely due to the fact that successful Facebook advertising allows businesses to target their campaigns effectively; it doesn’t discriminate smaller businesses, as a few hundred dollars can generate significant conversions if used effectively; it’s a much more intuitive system to learn compared to search platforms such as Google AdWords; and individual advertisements are incredibly flexible and customisable, with 11 different forms currently available.
We’re going to assume that you’ve set up your Facebook Ads Manager account, and have selected ‘Create ad’ from the top left drop-down menu. Navigating to this stage is very straightforward, but there are plenty of step-by-step resources available.
1. Your Campaign Objective
The first question you will be asked is what you want your campaign to achieve. The options given will cater to just about any stage of your business journey, whether you’re just starting out or want to expand internationally. Most businesses select the ‘Conversions’ option, however, lead generation, boosting brand or local awareness, and increased engagement are also popular choices.
This choice is an important one and will help Facebook to auto-optimise your ad settings. Don’t forget to give your campaign a date-inclusive name in the next step, which will help you to navigate between campaigns as your strategy becomes more complex.
2. Your Targeted Audience
The aim should be to get your target audience sitting between the 500,000–1,000,000 mark. Too high, and you will waste a fortune trying to sort the wheat from the chaff. Too low, and you won’t reach your optimum impact potential.
Approach this section armed with some audience data and customise everything, from age and gender through to physical location, likes, and job titles. For first-timers, letting Facebook auto-select your ad placement is a safe choice.
3. Your Ad Type and Creative
The creative of your Facebook ads drive lead generation with copy, imagery and/or video. While images and headlines will be best at stopping people mid-scroll, it is equally as essential to capitalise on this pause with a captivating description and strong call to action. Your initial object will determine which type of ad you choose, in turn determining the optimum image specs, video length, and text breakdown.
For increasing website traffic or leads, choose between link click ads, video ads or boosted page posts.
For increasing product or sales leads, choose between carousel ads, dynamic product ads, Facebook lead ads, canvas ads and collection ads.
For increasing Facebook page likes or engagement, choose between page like ads and page photo, video or text ads.
For increasing application installations, choose between mobile, desktop and Instagram mobile app ads.
For increasing event attendance or in-store visits, choose between event ads, offer claims and local awareness ads.
In general, I recommend keeping each ad aligned with a single message, insisting that less is more when it comes to copy, while images should be bright and contain your single-minded value proposition to reinforce your text.
4. Your Campaign Budget
Facebook offers two options: daily budget limit and lifetime budget. The former allows you to nominate an average spend per day, for example, $10, which Facebook will spend in the best way possible. Despite the name, it is more of an average than a daily limit, as some days will be identified as better performing, so Facebook may decide to spend up to $12.50, while other days will be quiet and it will only spend $7.50.
Most experts suggest a moderate daily budget, set to an unlimited lifetime—which you can pause or cancel at any time—as a good introduction to Facebook advertising campaign performance. Leave the bidding to Facebook at this stage while you’re still learning what clicks are worth for your campaign.
5. Your Campaign Progress
Back in Facebook Ads Manager, your campaigns will be laid out before you so you can keep an eye on how everything is tracking. Play around with sorting via audience or objective, as well as focusing on individual ad sets. Explore your advertising metrics, such as cost per click (CPC), impressions and conversions, and as you become more familiar with your campaigns, you can update which metrics you can see.
Mike Bird is a co-founder of digital marketing agency, Social Garden, which specialises in data-driven lead generation & marketing automation to grow companies’ revenue in the finance, property and education verticals in Australia.