Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are unique. Advertisers can show these targeted ads to specific groups of people who find them exciting. These highly attractive ads are likely to get you more Likes, Comments and Shares. It is observed that increased ad promotion generates better results in terms of user engagement, improved leads and sales.
Facebook advertising is a broad term and its diverse types of ads are useful for achieving different advertising goals. In this post, we’ll examine some basic yet useful information about Facebook advertising and how it can be used for your business promotion.
What are Facebook Ads?
You may have often noticed certain Facebook Ads on your profile page. Where do they come from?
It is the advertisers who plan to target you on Facebook by showing you the relevant ads you might be interested in. How do they trace you?
This is not as tricky as it seems. When you are on Facebook, you create your profile mentioning about your likes and interests, based on which, Facebook lets the advertisers know they must target you (the specific you, as Facebook knows you as a tech blogger, based on which you may be interested).
Some of the amazing facts about Facebook Ads are:
  1. Facebook Ads appear at three places: News Feed, on the right sidebar of the homepage, and on the log out page.
  2. Ads sometimes may involve news related to social actions. For example, someone in your Friends’ list likes a Page. 
  3. Facebook does not disclose your third party apps experiences and ad networks.
  4. Facebook does not reveal your information to advertisers.
How Facebook Ads work?
Facebook ads work on a simple understanding, i.e. Show the right ad to the right people. A person sees ads only that are relevant or interesting to him or her, otherwise not. How does Facebook select the right people? Facebook selects the right set of people on the following basis:
  1. Things a person does on Facebook, such as Like / Comment / Share a Page.
  2. User information shared, such as location, specific interests, birthday, etc.
  3. Information shared with advertisers.
  4. User behavior on advertisers’ sites and apps.
Let’s understand this with an example. You are a tech blogger. Advertisers may like to show you an ad regarding SEO with a body copy: Start impressing your clients with SEO that actually works. (And still make 50%-200%!)

Components of a Facebook Ad
Any Facebook Ad has three essential features (similar to a print media ad): Title, Body Copy and Photo/ Illustration. It also has a web link that either belongs to the concerned site or another Facebook Page related to the business.

 In the above Facebook Ad of StateFarm, four important features are displayed:
  1. Title: Save $500 For A Snowy Day
  2. Body copy: Stash some cash for the winter. Switch to StateFarm and you could save $500. Get A Quote
  3. Web link:
  4. Image
Most Facebook ads are accompanied by your friends’ names who have chosen to “Like” that ad. Whether it’s any updates, comments, news sharing or ad endorsement, Facebook uses this customized channel everywhere to show its users that others have liked it. How about you? 
Types of Facebook Ads
There are many different kinds of Facebook ads. Before you take up Facebook advertising, let’s learn about these options.
1) Page Like Ads
These ads belong to the most standard category of Facebook ads. These are usually good for small businesses. You can see these ads on the extreme right of your page. When you click on them, it either goes to its company site or company Facebook Page.  The specifications of a marketplace ad are:
  • Headline of 25 characters
  • Description of 90 characters
  • Image of 99px X 72px

2) Page Post Ads / Promoted Post Ads
Page Post Ads are like regular posts in your newsfeed unlike on the sidebar. These ads incorporate images, videos, links, etc. These are effective as get a user’s notice immediately. But this may cause distraction as these are placed along with your friends’ updates.

Promoted Posts are like Page Posts, and are shown to your existing fans and their friends in their newsfeeds. Unlike Page Posts, your Promoted Post ads will be shown to people who are connected to your page or profile. The number of people will depend on how much you pay. These ads can be created by using the "Promote" button on a Page Post itself.
Mobile App Install Ads
If you have built an app, you can promote your app ad. These ads appear on newsfeeds in the mobile version. You will be charged a certain amount each time when someone uses your app. Mobile app install ads send users to app download page. Nowadays, users are able to download the app directly from Facebook rather than going to the app download page.
Domain Ad
Domain Facebook Ads redirect users to an external website. That’s the reason it is also known by the name - External Website Ad. It appears on the right-hand side of the screen. These ads are best to drive sales as they take the user to a site off the Facebook page. You can even use a Facebook Business Page or an app in place of an external link.
Event Ad
Event Ads are effective for inviting people to an event. Your ad will show to those people who are likely to attend the event. These ads are effective and drive better results than Page Posts.
Create Facebook Ads
When you to create Facebook ads, you are asked what kind of promotion you want.

 You can choose any of the above options. For example: You click on “Clicks to Website”, type your URL and move to the next step.
You can follow directions to create your ad. Upload a photo, a headline up to 25 characters and a short description up to 90 characters.  Fill in all other relevant information, such as Call to Action, details regarding audience, account and campaign, bidding and pricing.
You can create your audience based on numerous factors like age, gender, location, interests, education, jobs, languages, relationship status, organizational associations, etc.
Below is a screenshot that shows an ad created with the process discussed above.

Tips for Facebook Advertising
Facebook ads are powerful and largely effective to reach out to potential customers on the biggest social media platform. From a small business to a large one, Facebook ads boost profitability and are helpful in generating leads and sales. Below are some useful tips for making your Facebook advertising powerful.
  1. You should know your target audience in advance. This helps in creating your ads effectively.
  2. Always use clear, exciting and attention-grabbing images to lure your audience. Poor images look dull and remain unnoticeable.
  3. Focus on the headline and body copy. Use right keywords that can improve your visibility.
  4. Target CTR (Click through Rate) and not just CPC (Cost per Click) to make your ads more affordable.
  5. Set your daily ad budget and bid higher than the recommended amount.
  6. You should know the ideal time when you should be running your ads. Run them during active hours for achieving best results.
  7. Use Google Analytics to track your performance on a regular basis.
Summing Up
Facebook advertising has great advantages if used effectively and wisely. It allows you to target a specific audience segment and reach out accurately to your potential customers. There could be better way to target millions of Facebook users -- exceptionally based on their age, gender, profile interests, jobs, education, etc. I hope you have by now understood the core of Facebook advertising. As a final caveat, make sure to enhance your audience base and display your Facebook ads at right locations and appropriate time. Remember to make your first impressions effective and you will be able to succeed in targeting your audience precisely.

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