Facebook boasts over 1 billion users, so to say the site offers a huge advertising opportunity is an understatement. But before you dive into creating cool graphics and choosing between video ads and slideshow ads, it’s important to know what you want to accomplish.

Our quick guide will give you the perfect overview of how to execute an effective Facebook ad campaign.

State Your Advertising Objective

Mindlessly shooting an ad into the social media space won’t reap rewards. Taking the time to define a precise advertising objective will.

What is an advertising objective? It’s what you want your ad to accomplish. Do you want an ad that builds brand awareness, directs traffic to your site, or generates sales?  

If you’re uncertain, identify where your intended audience is in the buyer’s journey. Are they in the awareness, consideration, or conversion stage?

A clear objective is vital because it serves as a touchpoint throughout the process. It determines the ad copy you’ll use and how “pushy” your ad should be.

For instance, if your audience is still in the awareness stage, they’re not ready for an ad that says, “Buy Now.” They are unfamiliar with your product, so their mental filter will file your ad away as spam as they scroll through their newsfeed.

Instead, an awareness stage ad should focus on providing value over pushing conversions.

This also allows Facebook to present you with appropriate ad formats. For instance, if you’re trying to encourage sales by advertising a specific product, you can create a Facebook ad with a CTA that directs people to, “Shop Now.”

 

facebook advertising
Image: Choosing your objective

 

Identify Your Audience

A poor understanding of your intended audience can hurt even a brilliant advertising campaign. If your company sells life insurance, marketing to 18-to-24 year olds won’t win many leads.

But it’s not just about basic demographics like age. Interests also play an important role. A travel company that specializes in Spring Break tours promising a good time won’t have much luck running commercials during a cable news program.

Facebook lets you filter your intended audience by:

  • Location (Do you want your ad to go out to people who live close to a college campus? In the downtown core? In the suburbs?)
  • Age (Are you targeting seniors? Young adults? Teenagers?)
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Interests

Facebook allows you to target (and even exclude) people who hold specific interests. So that Spring Break tour company we mentioned earlier would be wise to target 18-to-24 year olds on a college campus who like pages related to travel.

 

facebook advertising
Image: Target the right audience

 

You can also create a customized audience based on existing followers, website visitors or app users.

Once you’ve carefully considered those first two strategic steps (objectives and audience), creating your ad is as simple as gathering your marketing assets.

Determine Your Budget

Provide an estimated daily budget and choose whether you want your ad to run continuously or over a fixed time period. Your company doesn’t need to be rolling in dough to advertise on Facebook. You can run a lean or robust campaign, depending on your budget.

You can also choose between automatic placements and specified placements. Facebook recommends automatic placements because they put ads where your audience is most likely to see them which saves you time and is likely much more efficient for your small business.

 

facebook advertising
Image: Determining your budget

 

Once you’ve indicated how much you can afford to spend, it’s as simple as choosing your ad format, uploading the appropriate graphics, and adding your text. Facebook will review and approve your ad after you place your order.

 

facebook advertising
Image: Formatting your ad

 

Do You Need A Company Facebook Page To Advertise?

No, but it’s in your best interests to get one.

Without a Facebook page, you can only run sidebar advertisements known as Right Column ads. With a Facebook page, your company’s advertisements can appear in the Newsfeed as Sponsored Posts.

 

facebook advertising
Image: Example of a sponsored post in the Newsfeed

 

 

facebook advertising
Image: Example of a Right Column ad

 

Monitor, Monitor, Monitor

Facebook’s Ads Manager dashboard allows advertisers to monitor their campaign performance. The dashboard provides insights on engagement, performance, clicks, conversions, and more. You can also customize your metrics and compare performance across different campaigns and time periods.

Start reaching new customers and converting existing ones with Facebook ads. By embracing best practices, you can use the social media giant to advance your company’s advertising goals.