It All “Ads” Up: How Do I Use Facebook Ads?
More than just a place to keep in touch with old college roommates and Aunt Joanie (you really should call more, you know), Facebook has become quite the marketing tool for companies around the world. Offering a free marketing channel allowing potential customers the chance at product discovery and fans the ability to interact and share their love for the company and product.
As a user of the social media channel in your personal life, you may be familiar with likes, shares, comments and other basics of the platform. However, many marketers and business owners don’t know where to begin when it comes to utilizing Facebook ads for their business. Luckily, the process is simple as long as you can define a few simple questions.
Using our client, Old Town, as an example, we can explore our process and strategy of successfully crafting Facebook ads that work.
- What is Your Objective? This goes beyond making money – you must think a bit deeper in order to make the greatest impact. Was the ad created to get more eyes on your brand? Perhaps you want to increase clicks to your newly rebranded website, or maybe directly improve online retail? Regardless of the answer, your ad starts here.
For Old Town, a Central Florida amusement, shopping and dining hot spot, our objective was simple: attract more visitors to the attraction, specifically for the “BBQ Throwdown” event.
- Who is the Audience? Facebook ads are wonderful at targeting audiences with pinpoint accuracy. Age, workplace, job title, education gender, location, device used, purchase behaviors and personal interests are all factors you can use to define who, exactly, you want to see your ad. Furthermore, though this post is specifically focused on Facebook, Instagram is also under the social media giant’s umbrella, allowing you to share ads on that image-based platform as well.
Understanding that Old Town’s audience is largely baby boomers and those who enjoy traditional American fare, we were easily able to target these folks for a free, BBQ-filled event.
- What is Your Budget? Facebook ads are just as substantial as traditional ads and you must treat them as such. They require just as much well-considered strategy when it comes to budgeting, as well as a real budget to boot. Though Facebook’s internal “bidding process” can seem substantially complicated, the process of budgeting for your ad is made easy, allowing for some flexibility based on daily or lifetime run times (budgeting for single 24-hour periods or as one lump of overall time). Keep in mind, a bigger budget does not guarantee a higher success rate. Throwing big bucks behind an ad that’s simply not engaging to your audience is a waste of money.
The money that was dedicated to our Old Town ad was distributed evenly across four weeks, each week utilizing the similar text but a different image to attract fresh eyes.
- What’s Your Format? Facebook ads allow you to choose from a number of different styles, including Photo (utilizing a single image), Carousel (multiple images or videos), Video (a single video), Slideshow (multiple photos for lower connection speeds), and Canvas (a mobile-friendly ad experience) ads. One thing to consider, however, is the growing prominence of videos and gifs as a way to catch an audience’s eye. Carousel is also often utilized, giving companies multiple visuals to share at once and adding a bit of interactive “clickability” to the ads.
In this specific example for the Old Town event, we used a visual that we knew our audience would eat up (pun intended): a photo of sausages sizzling on a grill. This photo does the job of evoking the summer season and whetting the appetites of their audience for the BBQ event.
Because we took on the task of crafting our Old Town Facebook ad with a clear objective in mind, targeted audience locked in, adequate budget secured and effective format chosen, we saw the ad’s relevancy score (which combines impressions, results, reach, feedback and more) climb into a range we were proud to share with the client.
With the above four questions carefully answered, you too can design and employ Facebook ads to reach new audiences, drive online sales or simply get your message out there. If you want to dive deeper into learning the basics of Facebook ads, we recommend hearing it from the horse’s mouth. Facebook has some fantastic tutorials and support resources, making the social media marketing platform quite easy to “like.”