The word about “social ads” being the future of advertising has been circling for a very long time. Indeed, Facebook ads have become the next big thing in online marketing. If you are already promoting your business online with pay-per-click advertising, you should definitely give Facebook ads a try. This post will help you make smart decisions about promoting your business and engaging with customers and page fans.
Different Types of Facebook Ads
Marketplace Ads (standard ads)
Marketplace ads are the standard Facebook ads that have been with us for a while, and so you’ll probably have no trouble recognizing them. These ads typically appear on the right hand side of the newsfeed/app/event page. Marketplace Ads include a headline, a short text and an image. When you create a standard ad, you can determine where the ad will point the users (to an inner Facebook page, your site or designated landing page). The ad title has a 25 characters limit while the body text can be up to 90 characters long. Only static images can be used, and the display dimensions is 99 pixels wide x 72 pixels tall.
When you create an ad, you can determine your target audience by using demographic factors such as age, sex, geo-location etc. You can even go down to specific interests and have your ads appear to people who have are interested in topics that match your business. Facebook then estimate the size of your target audience and tells you how many people will be potentially exposed to your advertising. Eventually, the number of Facebook users who actually view your ad depends on your budget.
Page Post Ads
Page Post Ads are a newer form of Facebook advertising, ideal for increasing engagement as well as promoting events and special offers. These ads appear on the newsfeed just like regular status posts, and they can include links, photos, videos, offers, events or even questions.
Facebook Page Post ads can be activated from Facebook’s self-serve dashboard and targeting works the same way as Marketplace ads. Posts that appear in people’s feed are generally more successful than standard marketplace ads. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it, people’s attention is focused on the newsfeed and that’s something to take into account as you distribute your budget.
Sponsored Stories can help you extend your reach to a target audience by showing people’s interactions with your Page to their friends. The way Facebook works, whenever a person engages with your Business Page, only about 10% of their friends receive an update about it. Sponsored Stories increase the likelihood that a fan’s friends will know about this engagement, by distributing it to a greater percentage of their friends.
With this type of ads your brand is exposed to more people and appear in a social context that provides a “seal of approval” from a fan. For example, a sponsored story could say “Robert Smith likes Jay’s Hardware Store” and appear on the newfeeds of Robert’s friends.
Sponsored stories can relate to:
• Likes on a Page
• Engagement on a Page such as likes, shares, or comments on a Page’s post, votes on a question, and check ins at a location
• Joins of an event
• Installs of an app
• Uses or plays of an app
• Likes or shares of a website
Promoted Posts are activated from within the post itself. Similar to Sponsored Stories, Promoted Posts act on the fact that ordinarily, only ~10% of your fans actually receive your posts on their newsfeed. With Promoted posts, you can select a greater percentage of your page fans to show the post to.
In other words, Promoted Posts can only be distributed to existing fans, and their friends. With this ad method, you pay Facebook a flat rate per given number of fans and friends of fans you want to receive your update. This is different than Facebook standard ads or Page Post Ads, where the model is pay-per-click or pay per number of impressions.
Tips for getting started with Facebook Ads
Start small and grow slowly. Facebook ads meet the user in a unique state of mind. He or she are browsing through their newsfeed, getting the latest news from their friends and the pages they follow. Targeting this type of audience is a more sophisticated job than with Google ads, for instance. On Facebook, an advertiser’s greatest challenge is to use their money wisely, and the budget can run out very quickly. This is why starting small and growing once you get positive results is the best way to go.
A solid community is the foundation. To really get the most out of Facebook ads, you need to have a vibrant community of fans first. If you are just getting started with Facebook for your business, begin by creating engaging and interesting activity that can expand your fan base.
Remember your goals. When you publish regular non-paid page posts, your aim is to have engaging and hopefully even viral content. This is not the case with posts you actually invest money in. Page post ads need to have messaging that’s straightforward and leaves little room to the imagination. Their goal is to get the relevant audience to buy or share with other people of similar interests. A creative but sophisticated paid post can become viral and be shared by many people, but if it does not make a sale, then it’s a lot of money wrongly spent.
It takes experimentation. No one gets it perfect the first time. Facebook ads, like any form of online marketing, require some trial and error, so keep in mind that you’ll have to test different types of content at different hours of the day just to see what works best. After some experimenting and optimization, you’ll find the best formula for your business.