Beginning your first Facebook Advertising campaign can look overwhelming at first glance, especially once you are confronted by the abundance of technical language. Fortunately, Online Optimism is here to help with a step-by-step guide explaining the intricacies of beginning a Facebook Advertising campaign. And remember, don’t fear the Facebook algorithm changes— remain optimistic and be proactive!
Some best practices for running your own first Facebook ad include:
Determine what your goals for the advertisement are and what results you would like to yield. Facebook helps simplify objectives into three main categories (Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion) with subsections beneath each to further optimize your ad’s performance. Each objective helps different goals:
- Awareness objectives allow you to reach new potential users and build your brand’s presence on Facebook.
- Consideration objectives continue the conversation with users already aware of your brand.
- Conversion objectives help push your audience to produce valuable actions for your brand.
Consider which phase your brand is in and choose an objective that will help you get to the next step. Whichever objective you choose can be further complimented by the Optimization for Ad Delivery feature, which allows advertisers to select a specific result: Landing Page Views, Link Clicks, Impressions, or Daily Unique Reach. The campaign will then efficiently adjust itself to achieve more of that specific result.
2. Defining the amount and method of ad spending
Before moving to your ad set, determining how much you would like to spend is essential. Facebook offers two options for ad spend: fixed price and bidding through the “auction”. For businesses just beginning to advertise on Facebook, your budget will be directly connected to your market. I highly recommend using the Auction strategy and a Lifetime Budget, simply meaning, I recommend a fixed advertising spend for the entirety of the campaign where Facebook automatically optimizes daily bidding to achieve your desired results at the lowest cost or target cost. Utilizing the lowest cost bid strategy will maintain cost efficiency, while setting a target cost will maintain a stable average cost per bid made in the auction. Furthermore, select a budget value that will not break the bank but still produce results. My advice for small businesses would be to set an average ad spend between $3.00-$6.00 per day in order to maintain a competitive bidding strategy in the auction.
3. Finding your audience
As of March 2018, there are 2.2 billion monthly active Facebook users, with 1.45 billion logging on daily. That’s a huge pool of potential users to reach, but Facebook’s advanced targeting methods help simplify the process. Facebook includes three methods—Custom, Lookalike, and Saved audiences—for advertisers to use to target users.
- Custom audiences include any sources of collected data you may already have, including email lists, website visitor data, phone numbers, Facebook user IDs, etc.
- Lookalike audiences can be beneficial for businesses with an established following or heavy website traffic, as they automatically target a percentage of audiences similar to the selected source.
- Saved audiences are audiences you access frequently, which Facebook allows you to save and retarget. They have all the features of the other two, but they’re easier to access in many cases.
Both Custom and Lookalike audiences can be further narrowed by country or region, age, gender, languages, and a number of detailed targeting options, including or excluding specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. If you are not interested in adding a Custom audience or finding a Lookalike audience, creating a Saved audience has all of the same features to allow you to narrow or broaden the audience you would like to target. Consider how much knowledge you have about the people you want to reach and choose the best option to achieve your goal.
4. Deciding where to place your ads
The Placements feature on Facebook allows advertisers to select where their ads will be displayed across Facebook’s family of apps and services. For a first-time advertiser, I recommend using Automatic Placements to begin collecting data on where users are being reached the most and where the most results are being generated. Unless it is imperative that you maintain a stable advertising schedule, I would advise running your ads all the time to allow Facebook to optimize the campaign to reach your goals. Once you have an idea of where your ads are performing best, feel free to edit placements to best suit your objectives.
5. Creating your ad
Understanding which format to select for your ad is also highly dependent on your brand, your campaign’s objective, and which resources are available to you.
Video content has been and continues to be dominant across social media, as Facebook receives over 8 billion average daily video views. However, a well curated ad featuring image(s) can have the same impact. I favor Carousel ads, as they have the ability to utilize multiple images, videos, and link destinations. Most importantly, do not crowd your image with text! Facebook advertising has strict rules on graphics crowded with text and will disapprove the image if it violates their policy.