Let’s review what was covered previously. Facebook, as we all are aware of, is the top social media network available today. While others, Instagram, Twitter, and more, have their users, Facebook is the most widely used. With Facebook, and other social media platforms, it is not all about the connection between friends, whether a long time or someone met on social media, it is a great place to advertise for a company’s products or services. With Google and Bing, users are searching for products or services and on social media platforms advertising is placed according to a user’s habits, this can be more beneficial for some markets than others.
There are two types of Facebook accounts, personal and business. If you are a business owner and have a personal account, by having a separate business account keeps your personal conversations out of your business dealings. You can also share posts from your business account through your personal account to expand your potential reach.
With Facebook advertising, you use audiences to target groups of users and they are set up using various categories to refine and narrow down the users you want to see your ads. Facebook restricts the use of ethnicity, religion, and other groups considered discriminatory.
Campaigns are organized in the Business Manager so coworkers can access the campaigns and help with creating ads and evaluating the data through the report section. Each coworker would have the authorization that would limit their access to only the functions they need to have to get their work done.
Billing is somewhat similar to Google and Bing, in that for most campaigns you set a daily budget and Facebook will not go over the total calculated monthly spend. In Facebook advertising, the differences are that there are no keyword bid adjustments to be made and you can set a “lifetime” budget for a campaign and when that amount has been spent Facebook automatically shuts off the campaign. These can’t be restarted at a future date but can be duplicated and run with a new lifetime budget or with a daily spend and they can run as long as you want them to.
What Is Your Facebook Advertising Campaign’s Objective?
When you begin to build your campaigns the first step is to choose your campaign objective. Facebook offers 3 groups to choose from, Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. Each of these groups has multiple objectives with specific intended results.
What Are My Objective Choices?
Probably the most obvious objective would be brand awareness. This objective gives you the estimated ad recall lift metric which shows an estimated number of people that would remember your ad if asked within two days. Facebook and Instagram have become a part of our lives and both are excellent platforms to increase your brand’s awareness.
The number of users that have seen your ads is another important, and obvious, objective. This is called the reach of an ad. This is the part of increasing your brand awareness along with changing someone’s perception of your brand. You can set the reach, or ad impressions, by setting the frequency controls on how many times and how often your ads are shown to individual users. It is important that you understand the difference between reach, impressions, and frequency. Reach is the number of people who see an ad while impressions are the number of times your ad has shown to all users. Frequency is the average number of times an ad is seen by each person by taking the number of impressions and dividing by the reach.
No matter how small or large your business, or what market you are in, lead generation ads are essential to maintaining and growing your business. Lead ads allow you to gather information about users that react to your ads and give their name, email address and other contact information, making them a potential customer. Lead ads are used to get people to sign up for newsletters, get price estimates, and inquire more about your business.
Every business wants people to consider their company for doing business. Not only is brand awareness important but increasing brand consideration is equally important. Once you have someone’s attention, you want them to have more reason to come to you for your product or service. This is achieved by increasing traffic to your website, business Facebook page, and installing your company’s mobile app. Once users get to your site or Facebook page, they will become more engaged with articles and videos to learn more about your company. All of these improve the user’s consideration or wanting to choose you over your competitor.
No matter what platform you use in marketing, the goal is conversions. When I get a new client that has not been in the digital world and I start talking about getting conversions, I am asked what a conversion is. Sometimes they act confused when the answer is really very simple, what are you selling? What do you want to get out of your advertising? Once they realize that their form fills that collect user information is considered a conversion as well as someone making a purchase or someone calling customer service by clicking on an ad extension or the number listed on the website. At that point it becomes a matter of placing a level of importance on each and which do they want to go after harder. While a sale in the retail market is the primary focus, the form that users filled out giving you their email just gave you another opportunity to reach them through remarketing, however, that’s another topic of discussion.
An objective that needs a little more attention by business advertising is the objective of the message. These ads are directed to Messenger and focus on direct conversation with the user. While it takes staff time to answer questions, this can also change a user from considering your company to choosing your company to do business with.
One final objective is dynamic ads. Dynamic ads appear to be regular ads, but they automatically promote your inventory to those who have shown interest in your company somewhere on the internet. The difference though is, instead of creating individual ads you create an ad template and Facebook advertising automatically uses images and details about products in your catalog that people are searching for.
What Facebook Advertising Types Are Available?
Facebook has different types of ads, I talked about Boosted Posts in my previous blog. These are considered an ad because when they are shown the account is billed similar to an ad. I will examine the objective and benefit of image ads, carousel ads, video ads and more.
Image ads are the simplest form of ad Facebook offers. You select an image that best represents the product or service you are promoting with a headline field, main text field, and additional information field. While clicking anywhere on the ad, you will be taken to the landing page you have set, Facebook advertising offers several options for an obvious call to action button. These include, “Learn More”, Contact Us”, “Get Offer”, “Sign Up”, and more. These focus on the primary objective of your ad, whether it is selling a product or service, getting registrations for an event or educational program, etc.
To be sure users are getting the best experience possible, ads that run on Facebook and Instagram are sent through a review process checking on the amount of text in the image of your ad. Facebook advertising has found the images in ads with less than 20% text achieve the best results. As with most rules, there are exemptions to the text limitations, and I discuss those below. You may ask what image text is. Image text is exactly what it sounds like, the text within the boundaries of the image you use for your ad. It does not include text outside the image, such as the regular body text of your ad.
While creating your ad, if Facebook determines the image has too much text, you may receive a notice prior to submitting your ad. To avoid this from happening, Facebook has a text-overlay tool available for you to determine if your ad will be accepted. While the tool gives a good indication, your image is within the text limits, it is not perfect, and you may still get a notice when submitting your ad. If this occurs, you can apply for an exemption.
When reviewing carousel ads, I will go into more detail later, but these are ads with multiple images and scroll through the images as one ad, if just one image does not grade well for image text it will affect the entire carousel ad.
Levels of Image Text
Facebook evaluates four levels of text in ads. First is “OK”, these images have little or no text in them and will cost less to run. Second is “Low”, this will not keep your ad from being used but it will show to fewer users with a slightly higher cost. The third is “Medium”, here again, your ad is not kept from showing but your reach will be limited even more than an image with low text in it. Fourth and final is “High”, this will more than likely keep your ad from being available to use.
Text Limit Exceptions
Facebook advertising has made allowances for some images to exceed the 20% preferred image text limit. These exceptions deal with images of items or screenshots that are essential for your ad to be effective. Items such as book covers, or album covers are preprinted and can’t have the text adjusted and the text is essential to passing information on to the user.
Product images are another exception where the text can’t be altered but you must use images of the entire product and not close up shots. Screenshots of games that help promote the game are allowed as well. If you have an event and want to use your general information poster you will not be punished as these are also an acceptable image for your ads.
Other exceptions include charts and graphs, magazine and newspaper covers, and movie or TV show posters.
Examples of what may not get approved are text based logos, logos that consists mostly of text and very little, or no image. Watermarks are also considered text even if they are part of a company’s logo. Numbers are also considered text and will count against you in ad text limits.
Carousel ads allow you to show at least two images and/or videos and headlines and links or call to action in one ad. When your ad is shown users can scroll through the ads by swiping on a mobile device or using the arrows on a desktop.
You can use the Carousel format to advertise real estate, services, and more.
Benefits of Carousel Ads
Using Carousel ads can help you promote several products at one time. If you have a line of clothing that you want to show each type of product, tops, bottoms, accessories, etc., you can use an image of an item from each category and send users to that groups page, you can use the page for the product line but it would be more beneficial to send them to a page for tops, bottoms, etc.
If you are introducing a new product and want to show off all of its features, the Carousel format allows you to achieve this by using various images for the specs of the product. If you are a service oriented company you can use images of the various services your offer; lawn car, flowerbed weeding, tree trimming, and so on.
You can also use images to tell a story. Possibly to show the progress a veterinarian makes with an animal brought in that is very ill or been injured, to sell their services.
As mentioned above with the Image ads, you are still restricted to the image text limitations on all images in the Carousel ad.
The collection format includes what Facebook advertising calls an “Instant Experience” to make it easier for prospective clients to see, browse and by products or services form their phone. More details on Instant Experience is below.
Benefits of the Collection format include product discovery on mobile, pairing video or images with relevant products for users to see. They also deliver a seamless viewing experience on mobile for people that tap on your ad and can peruse more of your products or services.
Best practices will help you get the most out of using Collection. Facebook can dynamically select 4 products ranked by the popularity or likelihood of a user purchasing one of the products. Products. You can also select your own images for a more customized product selection.
When you link your catalog with your ad you need a minimum of 4 images but a larger product set of more than 50 items will give Facebook the opportunity to select the most relevant products from your product set to show users.
If you send users to a destination that has more products than your ad it promotes them to explore more and increase the opportunity for a sale.
Instant Experience with Facebook Advertising
With Instant Experience, the image in your ad is linked to four products or videos that open into a full screen display when someone interacts with your ad and drives engagement and builds interest and intent. Grab the attention of users and get the full effect of high quality content. Instant Experience loads instantly and expands to full screen and works with most Facebook advertising formats.
Once created, an Instant Experience can be opened by anyone in which they can watch videos, swipe through photos in a carousel or fill out forms. You can link multiple Instant Experiences so your audience can discover more content.
Instant Experience templates can be created in minutes with little or no creative. You can create a shopping experience for mobile using your catalog or photos and information about your products. The template targets the most interested audiences with your products and is optimized for sales. There is a category feature to help organize your products.
You can also create a Lookbook for users to search through your products by featuring them in lifestyle images and using product tags.
Video ads allow you to show your products, services or brand in video. Videos can be created in Ads Manager or by boosting a post from your Facebook page that includes a video. Videos capture users’ attention quickly with videos of 15 seconds or less to grab their curiosity and leading them to click their way to your website or Facebook page for more information.
Use videos to promote upcoming events, new products, or testimonials from satisfied clients. Objectives for video ads range from brand awareness, app install, and engagement to store traffic, conversions and lead generation.
Sideshow ads consist of 3 to 10 images, all conforming to the afore mentioned restrictions, or a single video and are available when you select Single Image or Video format options when creating your ad. Slideshow ads advance images at a rate you determine in the setup so the user does not need to swipe or click to change images.
You can build a compelling ad from your photos, Facebook’s stock images or videos with little effort. Slideshows work well for users with slow internet connections because they use less data than video ads. Once you have created your slideshow ad, you can use connection targeting to show to users with older devices or slower connections.
Slideshow ads are great for showing products. You can show various styles of a single product or a variety of products for a short duration per image to get the attention of users. You can create your slideshow ad in Ads Manager, as you do other ads, or if you want to create an ad to see how it looks and test various things out without publishing the ad, you can use Creative Hub, I will go over this later.
Be sure to use high quality images of at least 1280 X 720 pixels and have a consistent aspect ratio of 16:9, 1:1, or 4:5. If your images are all different sizes, they will be cropped to 1:1. If using videos in your slideshow ad, you will need to use MOV or MP4 video files. If you want to add music to the ad you must own the rights to the song, songs downloaded may not be able to be used.
Creative Hub allows you to test videos for 72 hour spit test and include up to 5 videos in the test. These tests are more effective than running the videos live one after the other because it eliminates variables such as week to week viewing habit changes. By keeping outside variable equal and the ads being the only thing different you are going to get a better idea of how users are reacting to the video ads. There is one drawback to this, it costs $400 USD per video in the test, which can make this a costly experiment.
Facebook Advertising Catalogs
A Facebook catalog is a container that holds information about your inventory, such as images, prices, item descriptions and more, as a shopping feed does for Google or Bing. A catalog can be for products, hotels, airline flight information, home listings, destinations, and vehicles. Once you have created your catalog you can create ads and connect to shopping channels on Facebook and Instagram.
You can use the catalog to build Dynamic Ads and pull items from the catalog and show to users who have already searched for them online. Dynamic ads match items in your catalog with signals from the pixel on your site.
You can also tag items to your Instagram business account in posts and Stories. Users can tap on the tagged items to see descriptions and prices of the product or buy directly from their feed. When you have a shop on your Facebook business page, Facebook will automatically create a shop directly from your catalog. Collection ads will use 4 items from your catalog and users can tap on the main image to browse similar items.
Now that we have talked about the different types of ads, let’s see where we can show them. Naturally, they will show on Facebook, but you can show your ads on Messenger, Instagram, the Audience Network, and Marketplace.
Messenger has 2 options: Messenger Inbox and Messenger Stories. With Messenger Inbox the ads show between conversations and with Messenger Stories they show in Messenger Inbox between stories. When a user clicks on an ad in Messenger Inbox they are taken to a detailed view within Messenger and see the complete ad with the call to action button and will be directed to the destination you have chosen while creating the ad. Ads in Messenger are made to reach users based on what they include in their profiles, Pages, and other items in Facebook and Instagram.
Ads in Messenger Stories between organic stories appear as they do in Facebook and Instagram feeds. You can use this placement to improve your reach in Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories.
When you are creating your ads in Facebook you have the option to have them show in Instagram as well. An Instagram user survey found 60% of their users said they discovered new products on Instagram. Their internal data shows an 80% increase in time spent watching video and 200 million users visit at least one business every day. These are intriguing statistics when you think of how it could improve your business. Since Facebook and Instagram are partners, so to speak, utilizing both groups gives your business a better opportunity to lower your ad costs. Instagram also found that if your ads work well on Facebook, they should work well on Instagram, so you do not need to create separate ads for each platform.
Audience Network allows you to reach outside of Facebook advertising and Instagram to websites and mobile apps. With the extra reach, your conversion opportunity increases over just running on Facebook. It uses the same audiences and delivery systems like Facebook.
Facebook Marketplace is a great arena to shop and find deals and sell your own personal items when you declutter. This makes Marketplace another prime placement for your ads. You can show your products, real estate, and vehicles, to name a few, to those already looking to buy.
Wrapping Up About Facebook Advertising
Looking back what have we learned? Facebook has multiple ways to get your ads in front of users who are part of audiences that you create to target more closely by the habits and tendencies of people using Facebook and Instagram. This differs from search platforms such as Google and Microsoft, which rely on keywords to trigger ads by the search terms users enter in the search bar.
Think if you want to give Facebook advertising a try? Contact our SEM team to discuss your options 1-800-255-0396.
Authorship: Gary H.