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Nov

14

2013

Is Facebook Advertising Right for Your Marketing Strategy?

Inbound Marketing

Making the decision to join the world of digital advertising can be daunting for anyone. Whether you are a small to medium sized business owner, or a marketing manager within a company whose strategy has previously been centered within the realm of traditional advertising, making the leap into the highly targetable world of digital ad concepts is a big one. The decision should not be made lightly.

When working with a client who is looking to broaden their digital horizons, I usually ease them into the digital space by recommending that we begin with a small Facebook campaign. The Facebook ads platforms are where I cut my teeth in campaign management. While it may appear that Facebook’s ad structures, placements, and performances change at the speed of light, I have time and again found the process to be user friendly. It’s a great testing ground for discovering and engaging with potential customers.

Because Facebook is the world’s largest social platform--and thus has healthy usership across the majority of target demographics--it tends to be one of the best places to capture an audience for your products and services. Here is a brief overview of post, page, and objective ads to get you started on the path to Facebook advertising mastery.

Facebook has made Post and Page Promotion as simple as 1-2-3

If you have been managing a Facebook business page, for a while now, you have probably noticed the “Boost Post” drop down menu at the bottom of every post. You will have also noticed something similar in the “Notification” panel at the top of your account, the “Build Audience” drop down beneath the Facebook header, and even in the “Most Recent Posts” section of Insights.

Post Promotion

This is a great place to get your feet wet with Facebook advertising. With this simple “Boost” of a Page Post, you have the ability to:

  • Target Friends of people who have liked your page
  • Set basic targeting parameters such as Location, Age, and Gender
  • Set a maximum dollar amount for the promotion

While seemingly simple, this is a great tool for increasing your brand awareness without all of the fuss of building a true campaign strategy. Usually these campaigns are automatically optimized by Facebook to spend your maximum budget in the shortest amount of time. This type of promotion is best used for posts that are not particularly time sensitive--do not specify a date or time--and whose purpose is to get a valuable piece of content in front of as many eyes as possible without having to work in the Ads Manager or Power Editor platforms. This type of promotion will not only place your content in front of more users, it will be more prominently placed toward the top of the newsfeed.

Page Promotion

Page Promotion ads work in much the same way as far as who you can target; you can access this tool via the “Get More Likes” prompt in your page’s admin panel, or the “Build Audience” drop down below the Facebook header. Here Facebook offers you the ability to target based on four metrics:

  • Location
  • Interests
  • Age
  • Gender

Typically, for page promotions, you will set a maximum dollar amount to be used in a 24 hour period. Be careful when setting these ads up, remember that you must manually disable the campaign when you are ready for it to stop, otherwise, it will continue to run and use the daily maximum budget.
Page Promotion will create three ads within your campaign that appear in three different locations on Facebook. One will be created for the desktop newsfeed, one for the mobile newsfeed, and one for the right side column on the desktop site.

Building Ads with a Specific Goal in Mind

If you are looking to utilized Facebook ads to do something beyond building brand awareness via a post or page promotion, check out Facebook’s options for objective focused advertisements. From the gear in the upper right hand side of the blue Facebook header, choose “Create Ads”, you will be redirected to a prompt that will ask what your advertising objective is. Each of the objectives listed has a user friendly setup process that has been optimized to meet your specific goals.

The advertising objectives are:

  • Page Post Engagement
  • Page Likes
  • Clicks to Website
  • Website Conversions
  • App Installs
  • App Engagement
  • Event Responses
  • Offer Claims

Each objective will require specific information, such as what post you would like to promote, if you wish to redirect to a website, and uploading an image for the ad, among other things. Once you have decided your objective and have made all major decisions about the ad content and placement, you then have the option to target your audience.

This part of the process is very similar to what is available through Facebook Ads Manager and Power Editor. Here you can target based on:

  • Uploaded customer email lists
  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Broad Categories (This section lets you target an audience based on such things as the type of device they use, book categories they enjoy, and even their general interests.)
  • Connection to your Business Page
  • Friends of Connections
  • Interest
  • Relationship Status
  • Language
  • Education
  • Workplace

As you work your way through the audience targeting section, you will notice on the right hand side of the screen that your potential audience size and suggested bid range will change. A good target audience size and bid will be different depending on the type of industry you are in. A small business owner who is looking to attract customers locally would not need to waste advertising efforts on trying to reach 180 million Facebook users, and a large corporation with multiple locations would, in most situations, not want to limit their target audience to 1,000 users.

Once you have finished building the ads target, you will need to create a campaign name, and set your campaign budget. Take care to read all of the options in this section. As with Page Promotions, the default setting for all campaigns is to run continuously starting from the day it is created. This means you will have to manually stop the ads. If this makes you a little nervous, there is the option to choose start and end dates for every campaign that you build.

Facebook has put a lot of resources into making it’s ads user friendly and effective. Taking advantage of this campaign building processes is definitely a safe and productive way to enter the digital advertising market.

Did I miss anything? Feel free to log your questions in the comments below. Happy marketing!

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