Facebook Ads: The Truth Behind the (Nearly) Mind-Reading, Audience-Targeting Tool

Facebook Ads

A couple of months ago, a few members of our client services team here at Findsome & Winmore attended a social media summit with one of our clients. We were so fortunate to have attended and were able to hear from many renowned speakers in the social media world – one of them being Facebook. Though we had many interactive sessions, one that we found particularly helpful was the Facebook Ads Best Practices session. With over 2 billion new Facebook users each month, and 1 billion of those users part of Facebook’s Audience Network, the platform has become one of the most effective ways to advertise your business online. Advertising with Facebook has an unparalleled ability to target audiences based on interests, age, behavior and location. For small and large businesses, Facebook ads can be a game-changer.

Figuring Out Facebook Ads

If you have ever been in your ads manager and quickly become confused or intimidated, you are not alone! Ad Manager is an incredible but complex tool that allows you to set up, manage and report on your Facebook Ads campaigns. First and foremost, it is important to understand that there is a hierarchy for each campaign – campaign, ad set and ad. There are multiple levels, grouped in this same hierarchy that advertisers have full control over to impact overall performance. Setting up your campaign is the first step to the ads creation flow and where you tell Facebook your ultimate business goal. There are a number of options such as traffic, engagement, video views, lead generation, etc. Selecting the correct objective for your business is vital, as the delivery options available to you will be customized to this objective. As an example, the most common business objectives are conversions, lead ads and traffic. Common objectives for branding are brand awareness, reach and video views. The next step in the ad’s creation is targeting. This is at the “ad set” level and where you tell Facebook who you want to reach with your campaign. There are three different categories of targeting on Facebook: core audiences, custom audiences and lookalike audiences.

The next steps involve budget and the allocation of that budget. A unique feature that Facebook offers is the “Campaign Budget Optimization.” Essentially, Facebook allows you to assign a campaign budget and gives the algorithm the flexibility to optimize delivery towards the best performing ad set. Pretty powerful stuff. The last and final step of this process is creative. There are a number of best practices that should be considered when determining the overall strategy for your campaign.

Next time you are served an ad, realize that it’s not magic, digital voodoo or a team of tech-savvy elves working around the clock at Facebook HQ. No, it is an incredibly robust marketing tool that is well worth the time of marketers and social media mavens. By allowing brands to highly target their ads and set specific goals, most any company on the platform now has the power to reap real benefits from this social media giant.