While most marketers and business professionals are aware of Facebook ads, many are still hesitant about trying to run a campaign for their own business – partly because they are not sure about how it works, but mostly because of that voice that lingers in the back of their minds: “Is this going to actually work for me, or am I just tossing money down the figurative bridge?”.
The first step to a successful Facebook Ad Campaign, however, is simply to understand its different features. In fact, many don’t even realize that Facebook offers three different types of ads: Boosted Posts, Promoted Posts and Newsfeed Ads.
Today, we’ll go through all three options and explore the differences between them.
Boosted posts are the most straightforward Ad option. They are called “boosted post” because you are basically taking an existent Facebook post that you published on your page and “boosting” its exposure on Facebook. To begin, simply click on the ‘Boost Post’ button right below the Facebook post in question.
Boosted posts have the least options of customization and methods to choose your audience target, but latest updates to Facebook this year made it a more attractive option to advertiser (though still not as thorough as your other options). Once you clicked on ‘Boost Post’, simply choose your audience: your current fans, add their friends, exclude your current fans or target an audience with the basic metrics of age demographic, geographical location, gender and interests.
For each type of audience you’ve selected, you will be given an estimate of your campaign’s reach and number of impressions (remember that exposure is not enough! At the end of the day, it’s how many people that converts that really translates into tangible clients for you).
Check out our Conversion Optimization section here.
Next, you simply select your budget for your campaign and how long you’d like to run it. Just remember that Facebook requires a minimum budget of 1$ a day, so you need to decide how you’d like to spread out your budget throughout the duration of your campaign.
For instance, if you choose to run your Facebook Ad on 5 days at a 20$ budget, Facebook will spread out your campaign at 4$ a day (and you will get the equivalent exposure to that price point). You can play around with duration and budget and see how the estimated reach differs between each price and timeline point.
Finally, you will be able to see how your Facebook ad looks on both Desktop and Mobile, by clicking on either the “Desktop News Feed” or “Mobile News Feed” tabs, located right above your sample ad.
If your objective is not to bring attention to a specific post, but to divert traffic to your Facebook Page, there is a quick and easy way to boost your page. However, keep in mind that a post that is engaging and interesting to a user has a higher chance to win you a new fan, than simply advertising your page to that user.
From your Facebook Page, scroll down a bit and look on the right hand column, where Facebook will have placed a sample ad of your page. Click on the ‘Boost Page’ button to bring up the Facebook Ad Campaign menu, which looks quite similar to the ‘Boost Post’ menu but with a few differences.
For the promotion of your page, Facebook will allow you to edit the text of your page as need be (the default text is what you wrote in your page’s description box). You can also select a different image to feature, before customizing your audience based on their location, demographic and interests. You’ll also notice that Facebook will display this type of ad on the right column as well – so make sure that the text works for Desktop, Mobile and Right column.
Lastly, you’ll notice that the call to action in this ad will be for the user to like your page, rather than engage with a post. Since Facebook offers to boost several of your business ‘elements (featured post, Facebook page, website, Instagram, etc) in several different ways, it is important that you establish objectives and a strategy for your Facebook Ad campaign. This is vital in increasing the success rate of your campaign.
You can read here how Concept9 helps you build a Social Media Strategy that is streamlined with your Inbound Marketing Efforts.
Promoted Posts utilize the Facebook Ad Manager or Power Editors to allow you a much higher level of customization and campaign options. More importantly, rather than simply allowing you to increase the exposure of an existing post, your page or your website, this option will allow you to draft an ad from scratch right out of the Facebook Ads Manager page – you will be choosing the exact text, images and tags that you will be including in your ad, based on a carefully crafted strategy.
To access the Facebook Ad Manager tool, click on the small arrow to the right of the Settings Button next to your notifications button to access the drop down menu. Select ‘Create Ads’ and you will be taken to the Ads Manager page.
You will have to first establish your campaign’s objective, which will help you track the success of the campaign as you run it. You will also notice that some objectives will be the same as the quick and easy options of boosting, such as promoting your page or boosting your post – the only difference here is you are allowed a greater extent of freedom in designing your ad and targeting your audience more narrowly.
After selecting your Campaign Objectives, your Ad Set (target audience, budget and campaign schedule) and the content of your ad in terms of pictures, texts, links and proper call to action as applicable, you are ready to launch!
Power Editor and Dark Posts
Just like with any advertising campaign, Facebook Ad campaigns are an ongoing process of testing and tweaking. As you get more familiar with designing your ads, you might want to look into A/B Testing different versions of your Facebook ads without alienating your followers by overwhelming them with a stream of spam.
The Power Editor gives you the option of creating Dark Posts, which will run all your ads as sponsored posts, target different audiences, split test headlines and even create personalized messages for demographic and geographic targets – literally run dozens of ads all on the same day – without a single ad showing in your own news stream.
Making it all work for you
Now that you know the different options Facebook offers for rolling out a Facebook ad campaign, I will ask you to not fall for the same pitfall many advertisers have stumbled upon: do not begin building your Marketing Strategy out of Facebook. Facebook is only the tip of your Marketing Funnel that will capture your audience and qualify them to a certain extent – but unless you nurture your leads and convert them into clients, you might as well be kissing those advertising dollars goodbye for good.
If you’d like to discuss your business objectives and make Facebook Ad Campaigns work for you, Concept9 would like to offer you a free cup of coffee.