Everyone is a newbie at everything the first time, no matter how much natural talent they may have. Don’t be ashamed; just take a little time and read up so you get off on the best foot possible. Here, I’ll help you get started with Facebook ads.
Why You Should Use Facebook Ads
If you’re new enough to Facebook ads to be considering whether or not you should use them, well, let me put your fears to rest. I’m sure you’ve seen some of the massive number of articles posted about how Facebook ads don’t work. How they’re a waste of money. It’s true, when you’re jumping in, ignoring 90% of the system, throwing money into it and hoping to get something useful out of it.
It’s like trying to jump into NASCAR when you’ve never been in a car before. Obviously you’re not going to win. You probably won’t do anything more than cause an obstruction on the track.
The fact is, there are literal billions of people on Facebook, all as an open and ready audience for your ads. Advertising on Facebook has been growing immensely from year to year, and more and more brands are taking advantage of it. If it didn’t work, if it was some kind of scam, it would have failed long ago.
Configuring an Account
Now that you’re convinced (and why wouldn’t you be with my stunning argumentative skills), you can set up an account.
First, you need a Facebook account. You also should have a Facebook Page for your business, though you don’t need one to use ads. You will need to go to your account settings and fill in a billing address, as well as your affiliation with the advertiser – that is, whether or not you’re a middleman advertising someone else, or you’re advertising for yourself.
It’s extremely difficult to change this information later, so make sure you fill it out properly now.
Because the ads system is paid, you’ll need to plug in payment information. You’ll need a credit card, and a burner Visa doesn’t work; you’ll just get blocked from the program when Facebook tries to charge it and can’t. You can use Paypal, if that’s your preferred alternative.
Facebook has an unusual method of billing. You aren’t billed weekly or monthly; instead, you’re billed per usage. Once you’ve spend $25 in ads, you’ll be billed for that $25. This will repeat, until eventually your threshold is raised. This happens after a certain number of successful payments, and can rise as high as $750. You can read more about billing here.
Your account will be limited. You can only create 25 ad accounts per user, and you can only add 25 users to a given ad account. You can have up to 1,000 simultaneous campaigns and up to 5,000 ads running at a time. You can always delete old ads and campaigns to make room for more, if you hit that limit.
Facebook Ad Objectives
Not all ads are created equal. Facebook has different ad objectives you can choose when you create an ad. These objectives inform Facebook how best to select users to show the ad to, in conjunction with your targeting factors. These are the objectives:
- Page Post Engagement: Get more engagement – likes, shares, comments – on your news feed posts.
- Page Likes: Get more followers on your business or event page.
- Website Clicks: Get people to click through your ad and land on your off-site landing page.
- Website Conversions: Use the Facebook conversion pixel to track users as they visit your site, with ads geared towards encouraging direct conversions.
- App Installs: Ads designed to get people to install your mobile or Facebook app.
- App Engagement: Similar to app installs, an ad designed to get people to use your desktop app.
- Event Responses: An ad designed to get people to RSVP to your event.
- Offer Claims: An ad similar to conversions, getting people to claim an offer.
- Video Views: A limited objective that works to get people to view your videos.
Pick the right objective and you’ll have a much easier time achieving it than if you pick the wrong objective. Protip: Don’t choose website clicks. Go to Google if that’s all you want.
There’s a science and an art to ad creative. By that, I mean the image, the title, the body copy and everything else associated with the ad. There’s a lot to learn, far more than I can cover here, so head on over to a more detailed guide to learn about it.
In general, try to be clear, use compelling images, make your ads stand out, and pay attention to placement. Above all, however, you need to test. Come up with a half-dozen variations on each ad and run them, determine which is best, run it more and test some more variations. This is your life now. Testing.
The number one benefit of Facebook ads over any and every other PPC network in the world is targeting information. Facebook harvests massive amounts of data on its users, and you can use this data to target your ads. Some, but not all, of the targeting factors include:
- Location. You can target by zip code, country, state, province, even local area.
- Age. Simple enough, specify any age range you wish.
- Gender. This may sound simple, but Facebook actually offers over 55 gender options.
- Interests. Anything that can be liked on Facebook can be an interest for targeting. That’s a lot!
- Behaviors. This includes purchase history, purchase intent, and other data analysis factors Facebook compiles.
- Connections: You can target your followers, the friends of your followers, the people connected to a specific person, and so forth.
- Custom audiences. Build a specific list of people and go from there.
In general, the more targeting factors you include, the smaller your audience, but potentially the higher conversion rate. You have to know your audience and target them properly to get the most benefit out of Facebook ads. This is where most people fail.