How to Create a Facebook Ad Campaign
Facebook now boasts about 1.2 billion active daily users. There’s no doubt it’s an active community comprised of such a varied population that brands are giddy at the opportunity to reach its large consumer base. Making use of social channels like Facebook for marketing can be profitable if you know how to capitalize on Facebook’s latest rollouts. Because the playing field is in a constant state of change, it’s like trying to hit a moving target.
If you can keep up with all of the new features and tools that Facebook is rolling out, you will be ahead of the curve. There’s only a small window of opportunity when other advertisers are not utilizing the new features, so be the first to reap the advantages early.
Creating your Facebook Ad Campaign
When creating your ad campaign, you will need to set up your (1) Objective (2) Ad Set, and (3) Ad. Below is a screenshot from Facebook’s ad manager that shows you the steps you need to follow to create your ad. You will see different steps depending on the objective you choose.
1. First, select your marketing objective.
2. After you select your objective, you will follow the simple steps of setting up your ad set by defining your audience, placements, budget, and schedule.
3. Once you define your ad set, then you create how you want your ad to look by selecting an ad format, media, text and links.
Before you start allocating spend, think first about what you’re trying to accomplish. Facebook gives you 3 main types of marketing objectives to choose from, and from there you can drill down even further.
Facebook’s 3 Marketing Objectives you can choose from are: Awareness, Consideration, Conversion.
Depending on what stage in your sales funnel you are choosing to use Facebook for advertising will determine your main marketing objective.
It’s important you define what you want to accomplish.
- Drive traffic back to your website?
- Capture email addresses?
- Have people install your app?
- Drive people into your physical store?
- Increase product sales?
Once you understand your main objective, then you can drill down even further and select from one of the options below:
- Brand Awareness: Reach people more likely to pay attention to your ads and increase awareness for your brand.
- Reach: Show your ad to the maximum number of people.
- Traffic: Send more people to a destination on or off Facebook.
- Engagement: Get more people to see and engage with your post or Page. Engagement can include comments, shares, likes, event responses and offer claims.
- App Installs: Send people to the store where they can purchase your app.
- Video Views: Promote videos that show behind-the-scenes footage, product launches or customer stories to raise awareness about your brand.
- Lead Generation: Collect lead information from people interested in your business (ie. emails).
- Conversions: Get people to take valuable actions on your website or app, such as adding payment info or making a purchase.
- Product Catalog Sales: Create ads that automatically show products from your product catalog based on your target audience.
- Store Visits: Promote multiple business locations to people who are nearby.
In this step, Facebook also offers “Split Testing” which is similar to A/B testing where you can test different ads between two audiences. This offer is only available for the following marketing objectives: Traffic, App installs, Lead generation, and Conversions.
After you select an objective, then you create your Ad Set.
Here you will define your audience.
You have 3 audience choices:
- Core Audience – manually select characteristics you want to target
- Custom Audience – target people you’ve already engaged with (via lists)
- Lookalike Audience – target new people that are similar to your best audience
A Core Audience allows you to manually select your audience based on demographic, behavior, location, and more. Facebook sources third-party data from Acxiom, Datalogix and Epsilon.
Here’s the list of characteristics to choose from:
A Custom Audience allows you to target people you have already engaged with. For example, existing customers, people who have visited your website or engaged with your Facebook page, and people who have activity within your app.
Here are your options when creating a Custom Audience:
You will need to have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website, this way Facebook can tag a visitor’s behavior on your site and also identify that user in the future once they are logged into Facebook.
A Lookalike Audience allows you to target new people that are most similar to your most valuable audiences. Lookalike Audiences uses data about your present customers and site visitors to find other potential customers with similarities.
After selecting your audience, you then choose your Ad Placement. This is which platform you want your ad displayed – Facebook, Instagram, or Audience Network. Facebook recommends selecting “Automatic Placements” which lets Facebook optimize your ad placements for you at the cheapest average cost.
Next, you simply choose your budget allocation and ad schedule.
The last step in building an ad campaign is creating your ad. The Ads section is where you add images, videos, messaging, headlines, destination URLs, etc. This is your final step before launching your ad campaign.
You can choose from one of the following ad formats:
With the recent launch of Canvas ad format, brands now have the ability to create a “post-click, full-screen, immersive mobile ad experience on Facebook that loads nearly instantaneously”. Canvas allows advertisers to use creative imagery and interactive elements like video, tilting and zooming views, and image carousels to create engaging ads that are perfect for storytelling. Advertisers can display visually stunning digital stories embedded with call-to-action buttons. Canvas is truly what advertisers have been waiting for.
Side note – Instagram Connections are Instagram ads now connected to Facebook and offer a setup similar to Canvas.
Additionally, Facebook just launched the “Collection” ad format. This format is great for e-commerce retailers or brands that want to showcase up to 50 products on Facebook mobile, and at fast load speeds. Retailers can combine a storytelling video with a mix of product images and the ability to direct users to their website to make a purchase.
Extended Reach of Facebook Advertising
There’s little doubt that Facebook is offering an effective marketing strategy for today’s brands. Facebook has demonstrated success in the last few years, and the obvious expectation is that it will continue to advance. With the merge of mobile users and availability, users are spending a bulk of their time engaging on Facebook. According to Facebook, people in the US spend 1 of every 5 minutes on Facebook or Instagram, which is why it’s critical brands are connecting on Facebook.