Advertising on Facebook isn’t hard, but knowing how to do it the right way takes time, effort and intuition to be successful. You don’t want to throw your money away by blindly boosting posts at will — there’s no strategy involved there, and the impact on your business will be limited. By having a solid understanding of Facebook’s advertising platform, you can take advantage of its plethora of tools to help you make the most out of your social media marketing efforts.
Let’s start with the fundamentals. Facebook ads are divided into three main categories: awareness, consideration and conversion. Within each grouping are different kinds of ads you can run on a Facebook page. If you haven’t already noticed, this layout follows the flow of your typical marketing and sales funnel (only optimized for social media).
- Brand awareness – Increases awareness for your brand by showing ads to those most likely to be interested.
- Reach – Shows your ad to the maximum number of people within a given budget.
Awareness ads should do exactly what the name implies – increase brand awareness. These objectives are meant to get your ads in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Since they’re at the top of the “funnel”, it comes as no surprise these ads are often the cheapest to run; they focus on impressions and reach as the most important metrics. But these ads aren’t necessarily as beneficial as others (we’ll get to those in a minute). For example, a $50 reach ad may get your content in front of a few thousand people, but you’re less likely to achieve engagements, leads or conversions… Oh, the joys of navigating Facebook’s algorithm!
- Traffic – Increases traffic to a particular website, app, or messenger conversation.
- Engagement – Increases post engagements such as likes, comments and shares.
- App installs – Gets more people to install an app.
- Video views – Gets more people to view your video content.
- Lead generation – Drives sales leads from people interested in your business.
- Messages – Gets more people to send messages to your business.
Consideration ads are further down the sales funnel, so even though cost per click/engagement/video view may be more expensive, results are typically considered more valuable. These types of ads drive people to take certain actions regarding your brand. For example, if you have an informative new blog post to share with the world, a traffic ad will drive people to your website, establishing your brand as an industry thought leader. If you’re reading this post as a result of clicking an ad on Facebook, congrats! It was all part of our master plan. (Shameless plug: feel free to peruse our site and even sign up for our newsletter!)😊
Another consideration ad to ‘consider’ is engagement, which nets more likes, comments and shares on all the creative content you’re producing. More engagements will help your content show up higher in news feeds. BONUS: Engagement ads should also help produce organic engagements after your advertising budget has run its course. And the more people are engaged with your brand, the more likely they are to convert. Speaking of…
- Conversions – Drives valuable actions on your website or app, such as purchases.
- Catalog sales – Promotes specific items from your catalog to your target audience.
- Store visits – Prompts nearby Facebook users to visit your brick-and-mortar stores.
The final step of the funnel is conversions, which are meant to increase sales and improve your company’s bottom-line. These are arguably the most valuable ads since they can bring a monetary return to your business, but they’re also the most expensive, hence the need for sound strategy. Otherwise, you’re just wildly throwing your dollar bills at the Facebook ads machine. It will gobble them up in a hurry if you aren’t careful. And if you want to measure the success of conversion ads accurately, that involves installing tracking codes like the Facebook pixel and optimizing your website to track purchases — arduous tasks for one person to tackle alone.
All of this barely scratches the surface of what Facebook ads can do. From tracking ROI to creating the perfect custom audience, there’s A LOT to understand if you want your business performing at its best on social. Alternatively, you could call us! We’ve been doing this social media thing for a while now, and our team has the know-how to drive results. Send us an e-mail, or hit us up on Facebook. We’d love to chat.