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Facebook Advertising: Exploring the rabbit hole

facebook advertising

Let’s start with one of the most familiar social media platforms, and the one you may already be active on the most through your own personal account. You know the one, that platform where you can view the latest, breaking news, watch videos of funny dogs, and see just what your high school sweet heart is up to these days…no creeping though! We’re talking about Facebook of course, founded on February 4th 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg. And this blog edition of Magic Mouse Media will be looking at the wild and wacky world of Facebook Advertising!

Underneath the initial glitz and glamour of Facebook is a whole other world, however. One that is inhabited by a variety of businesses battling for their audiences attention, all the while churning funds into carefully crafted Facebook adverts and boosted posts. Likes are important, but shares and comments could make or break you. It looks scary, but we assure you, there is nothing to fear! This guide will help explain the different elements of what Facebook advertising options are available for you, and how you can tailor certain elements to better help your business needs.

Facebook Advertising Options

First of, let’s take a look at the Facebook Advertising options available to you. When utilising Facebook Advertising, it’s good to know some of the primary options you will have access to when using the different marketing tools. The best options are as listed below. We will explain them in more detail further along the blog.

  • Adverts
  • Boosting
  • Shop
  • Offers
  • Stories
  • Posts

For the different specs for advertising on Facebook, check out this handy little guide from Tara Johnson right here!

Adverts

  • Arguably the most powerful tool available in your Facebook Advertising arsenal, Facebook Adverts allow you to create an advert that will display through the Facebook platform (and Instagram too!), enticing people to download an app or handy downloadable guide through a CTA (Call to Action) button, as well as attractive imagery and well worded, eye catching headers and text. Adverts can take many forms, from a video advertisement (video ads tend to be a lot more popular than static image adverts, take note!) to a carousel ad (multiple pictures combined together to create an almost storybook effect with your advert). It’s really up to you what type of advert you think will work best for your business, but here’s a few things to keep in mind.
  • What’s your marketing objective? It’s important to work out first and foremost what you are actually writing about, and how you are going to achieve that. You will first be directed to set up a campaign through the ‘Create an ad’ tab on Facebook. From there, you’ll have 3 different objectives to choose from; ‘Awareness’, ‘Consideration’, and ‘Conversion’.
  • Looking to raise awareness for your platform? Or are you wanting to just flat out increase your app downloads? Perhaps your online store has had a dip in activity, and you’re looking to bring more traffic through this method? You have a lot of freedom of choice here, so feel free to take your time and plan your campaigns accordingly.
facebook advert creation
  • Next up, it’s time to set up your ad sets. Selecting the location you are targeting, the age of the people you will be targeting, and where you are wanting to redirect a specific section of your audience to, whether that be your website or an app are all things you can consider when creating your advert. You’ll see different options available to you depending on what your campaign is, so take a moment to familiarise yourself with all the different advertising options available to you via each campaign option. The audience, placements, and budget and schedule remain throughout however.
  • Audiences are arguably your most important asset here, and will be how you can narrow down your advert range to a more specific area, and therefore, get a bigger bang for your buck if, for example, you are a company based in North East England. You can also include the age range of the people you want to be targeting (take a think for a moment internally as a company to draft up a buyer persona for your business. They are a great way to build your ideal customer, and get a good idea about the kind of people you want to be targeting). You can also select the gender of the audience you will be targeting.
  • Finally, narrow down your audience even further, and really pinpoint who you want to be reaching with your advertising through detailed targeting. Simply input a batch of terms relating to your advert or industry, and your advert will automatically reach people who have liked these particular terms. For example, if you input ‘Social media marketing’ in your detailed marketing tab, your advert will reach people who have liked a page relating to social media marketing, or expressed an interest in this field.
facebook advert targeting
  • Next up are Placements. These are where people will actually see your adverts in their social media timelines. Automatic placements are set to help maximise your budget, and Facebook’s system will allocate your adverts budget across multiple placements based on where they are likely to get the best engagement. However, you also have an element of control over where your adverts display, but it is advised you stick to the automatic placements in order to get the best ROI.
facebook ad placements
  • Finally, you’ll have a few different options to look at when setting up your individual adverts (remember, you can have up to 4 adverts as part of an ad set, and tailor each advert to reach different audiences. This is a great way to test out adverts too, and see which audience would work the best for your company in the long run). However, with each advert you will be able to select where they are broadcast (whether that be through Facebook, Instagram or both), and what type of advert you are wanting to create.
  • Depending on what objective you choose, you will have different formats to pick from, which are essentially how your advert will be displayed to your audience, whether that be in the form of a static image or a video. Several examples of different formats you can pick from include Carousel, an option which enables you to have 2 or more scrollable images or videos, a single image, a single video, a slideshow consisting of a looping video ad of up to 10 images, or a collection, an option which opens into a full onscreen mobile experience. It’s up to you and your marketing team to assess which works best for your particular campaign, but video adverts and carousel adverts often perform the best. When adding the heading and description to your advert, remember to keep them as short as possible too! Consumers don’t want too much information to digest, so it’s best to keep these short, snappy, but informative!
ad format and identity

Boosting

  • Phew, that was a lot to take in, we know! Once you’ve gotten advertising nailed down, and took some valuable notes on it, come back to this section, where we’ll be taking a look at another element of Facebook Advertising, in the form of boosting! This is very similar to advertising, but doesn’t give you as much control over customisation. Got a really good visual that you are wanting to share with the world? Or perhaps you are holding a giveaway, and want as many people as possible to see that giveaway post? Boosted posts differ from adverts in that they are not created through the Facebook Ad manager, and do not offer the same level of customisation that Facebook’s Ad manager does. You aren’t giving the option of creating a new format, rather, you are taking an already existing post, and turning that into an ‘advert’ of sorts.
  • It’s important to note that you can also boost posts that are scheduled for publication in the future, and I highly advise that you do this! Not only will this save time in the long run, but it also means that you are giving enough time for Facebook to approve this boost, which can vary in terms of the time it takes for Facebook to actually approve your boosted post.
  • When creating a Boosted Post, you are able to choose what you want this boosted post to achieve, whether that be more engagement, an increase to website visitors, or more messages to your Facebook page.
boosted post objectives
  • Targeting the audience works the same as they do in Facebook Adverts, so please refer back to the earlier section where we cover Facebook Adverts for more info on how audience targeting works exactly. You are also required to set a budget, and can set it for however many number of days you like.
  • We would also advise that you enable ‘Facebook Pixel’ on any boosted posts you produce that redirect to your website. This is used to help measure the effectiveness of any marketing campaign you are producing. It is great for helping you to fully understand the actions people are taking on your website. To activate the Facebook Pixel, simply take the pixel code generated, and place it in the header of your website to begin tracking. This way, when a customer visits your website and, for example, places an item in the shopping cart, the pixel activates and reports this action to you. As an extension to this, you can then use this information to reach that customer again through different Facebook Ads. For a more in depth look at Facebook Pixels, be sure to take a look at Facebook’s guide to pixels, and the different benefits and best practises for these.

Shop

  • The next Facebook Advertising option we’ll be taking a look at is the shop. This a great place to advertise a selection of your goods, or a selection of services available. We would highly recommend you add some of your products to your shop, as it gives your customer another outlet from which they can browse and purchase your goods. Social media marketing is important, and you want to make the experience as easy as possible for each customer. Populating your Facebook store means that people discovering your Facebook page will easily be able to see what you offer directly from that page, without the hassle of having to research what you offer, or having to be redirected to a website, for example.
facebook shop
  • When creating a product page on Facebook, you can choose to advertise it via a photo or a video, and of course, include the price of the product. A brief but informative description briefly describing the product is also recommended, and you can choose to share this offer to your timeline when the offer is created. You can also toggle whether the product is actually in stock, or whether it is sold out.
  • You can tweak the privacy of the product, but it is recommended you set the visibility to public so someone coming across your page for the first time can see what you offer. Editing options allows you to add further details to your product, such as what sizes your product comes in, or what colours the product is available in, for example.

Offers

  • Nearly there! Next up, we’ll take a look at setting up offers to help with your Facebook Advertising. These are very similar to the shop feature in that you can advertise the different offers you have through Facebook. It is advised you populate your offer section with the different offers you have available, as it is a great way to advertise exactly what your business can offer directly to people on Facebook who are just finding your page.
facebook offers
  • When creating a Facebook offer, you are given a variety of options to tailor your offer, whether you want it to be a discount, a free delivery, or a buy one get one free offer. It is highly recommended that no matter what option you go with, your image associated with the post does not contain any text, as pictures that contain a large amount of text tend not to perform well. The latter options to tailor each post differ depending on what offer type you have selected. It is best to have a browse through the different types of offers you can make, and what particular offer you want to create based on your business needs. You also have the ability to create a custom offer.
  • Each option, however, will include the option to include an expiry type for that particular type of offer, and whether this offer is redeemable online or in store, or alternatively, in both. You can also add a promo code, as well a description on the offer that is being advertised.

Stories

  • Let’s take a look at the ever popular Facebook stories! These are short photo and/or video collections that can be viewed by people who follow and like your page, and they disappear after 24 hours. Stories were made famous through Snapchat of course, and the feature then expanded to be utilised by both Facebook and Instagram. The idea is to make a short, eye catching video or visual in order to attract customers to your company and what they can offer.
  • The great thing about these is if done right, they will not feel like adverts when people are browsing through their stories, and people are more likely to stick around and watch them if this is the case.
  • Using the Facebook camera, you can use a variety of fun filters to bring a boring photo to life, as well adding a specific location or product to these cameras. Have fun, and experiment with the different geolocation options available to you, as well as the different stickers, emojis and gifs you have at your disposal.
  • They are a great way to advertise a product or a service in a vibrant, modern and constantly changing way. Video stories tend to perform much better than photo stories, so it may be worth considering looking at different videos or gifs you can produce to market your product. Video stories can be up to 20 seconds long, so be sure to craft each video post to fit within this guideline! For more info on stories, as well as number crunching behind how well these types of advertisements work, check out this great guide right here! 

Posts

  • And at last, to wrap up Facebook Advertising, we have posts! Posts are your bread and butter of Facebook, and range from the silly to the informative. When crafting your perfect Facebook post, an attractive visual always help! Consider the colouring scheme of your company, and try to use company colours on certain posts to attract customers and stand out on a timeline! Remember, videos are always a better form of advertising, so consider sticking mainly to video based posts.
  • Remember, your objective is to present a problem to the customer, and then present a solution to them in the form of your business, and what exactly it offers. Posts don’t always have to be selling a customer a product! Memes tend to perform extremely well on social media, so consider implementing some of these into your social media strategy!
  • Inform your customers about what is going on in the area! Become the go to page for everything that is happening and everything that is coming up in your area. Be informative! Alternatively, host giveaways and other fun polls whenever possible, and perform a live stream every now and then! Each of these are great ways to retain and build an interactive customer base, and will keep your customers coming back for more. It’s ultimately up to you to liaise with your marketing team, and discuss what type of post will be best for your business, and what exactly that post will entail.

And that is that!

That’s everything for this look into Facebook Advertising! We’ll be back soon looking at all sorts, ranging from tips and tricks for social media, to LinkedIn and Instagram Advertising.

If you have questions regarding anything covered in this blog regarding Facebook Advertising, please feel free to get in touch with us, and we will be more than happy to help!

The Magic Mouse Media Team