What is Facebook Ads?
Facebook ads are a type of social network advertising that is designed to enable advertisers reach a certain group of people based on similar selected characteristics.
Developed by Facebook, it’s a feature of Facebook where advertisers (brands or business) can showcase adverts to varying demographics of people having the right characteristics that enable them respond in a predictable manner to such adverts. That being said, Facebook ads show up in other Meta’s platforms such as Instagram. It can also be integrated with WhatsApp, however it doesn’t display ads on WhatsApp.
Meta is the parent company that owns Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Why Facebook ads?
Over the last few years Facebook ads have become one of the most popular choices of running online advertising, second only to google ads because of a few key factors and these are the same factors why you should consider Facebook ads for your business today :
Biggest social network reach
Facebook ads has the biggest reach of any social network marketing. Facebook has over two billion active subscribers all over the globe and this means almost all your potential customers will be on Facebook.
Facebook ads are also one of the cheapest advertising platforms in the world. They are far cheaper than Google and your spend will depend on your country’s interest rate as well as your budget. For Nigeria, the lowest daily spend is ₦418, this is around $1/ day compared to Google’s $5 / day.
Setting up Facebook ads is less technical and requires less time to learn compared to Google ads. For example anyone can learn to boost a post or sell a product using Instagram or the Facebook ads manager respectively. Even though it requires some level of learning to have consistent results, it is still easier for a newbie to get results with Facebook ads than with Google ads.
Google ads is also more complex and requires varying dimensions of advertising videos, pictures and other dynamic creatives compared to Facebook ads.
When it comes to the interface the Facebook ads interface is much more simpler than the Google arts interface. It is also easier to understand Facebook analytics compared to Google or other platforms.
Facebook ads structure
Now let’s talk about the Facebook ads structure and how an ads is housed on the platform. Facebook advertising structure is designed to enable businesses run as many ads as possible on their accounts and this has led to the development of the Facebook business manager which houses everything related to ads on a particular profile.
Think of the Facebook business manager like a house with different rooms. Every profile on Facebook can create a business manager, this is similar to saying every person can own a house.
According to Facebook, ‘Business Manager is a Facebook tool that helps you organize and manage your business. When you join Business Manager, coworkers can’t view your personal Facebook profile unless you approve their friend requests. Coworkers can only see your name, work email address and the Pages and ad accounts you have access to’.
With the Facebook business manager you can manage your pages and ads account, as well as grant access (full or partial) to employees who help you manage your ads account.
When you’re just starting out, each business manager can have a maximum of two ads account. This however increases with time as you spend more and keep to Facebook ads policies.
Your Facebook Ad account is where you have access to and control over the relevant information on specific ads. Like a room on the house that stores specific information.
You ad account is where you can put in your billing information, manage analytics, and see how well your campaigns are performing.
An ad account can house up to 5000 campaigns for regular and accounts and 10,000 campaigns for managed ad accounts according to Facebook.
Ad campaign level
This is the body that houses a specific type of advertising. By type I mean goal. Every advertising has a goal, be it to get sales, get more engagement, grow your brand etc.
The ad campaign level houses ads related to this goal. This means you cannot have ads of different goals under the same as campaign level. Even though you can have thousands of ad sets in the campaign level, they must all have the same campaign goal.
That said, the campaign level is where you determine your campaign goal, budget Optimization strategy (ABO or CBO), budget (amount you want to spend daily or for the entire campaign) and testing strategy.
The budget Optimization strategy tells Facebook how you want to spread your budget across the adsets. Using Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) your budget gets spread across all the adsets in favor of the highest performers.
For Adset Budget Optimization (ABO) you select how much you want to spend on each specific adset and Facebook doesn’t have control over your ad spending across adsets.
Facebook adset level
Think of your adset as audiences. According to Facebook, adsets are groups of ads that share settings for how, when and where to run. When you create an adset, the choices you make at the adset level automatically apply to all of the ads in the set. You’ll use adset level options to choose audience characteristics like location, gender and age as well as other demographic you wish to employ in targeting.
Simply put, your adset is where you choose who you want to target and where you want your ads to appear to your target audience – this is known as placements and we would discuss them in a bit.
Facebook ad level
The ad level is where you put in your actual ads ( videos, text and images) of whatever you are promoting or advertising.
In this level you select what messages you want your target audience to see, what action you want them to take (e.g using the shop now button, or learn more button) and where you want to send them to.
Better put, the ad level is where you put in your website you want to send your target audience to, as well as show them your message you wish them to act on. As described earlier, you can have thousands of ads under one adset. This simply means you can have different creatives (images, text, videos) shown to the same set of people.
This can be used to test which of your creatives are working and which aren’t.
Campaign Options on Facebook
Now let’s back up a little and discuss some campaign options on Facebook ads. As discussed earlier campaigns are the type of goals you choose or what to achieve from a particular advertising.
There are different types of campaign goals and Facebook has categorised them under three sets:
Basically this category is used to grow your brand or let potential customers know that you exist. Both campaign types do not require any action on the part of the target audience. This category has two types of campaign goals.
This is best to use when you have a message you would like to reach a maximum number of people. Reach campaign are used by brands who have a message that requires a very wide audience without requiring these people to take any specific type of action.
b. Brand awareness
Very similar to reach campaigns, they are used to create awareness or inform potential customers about a brand.
The Facebook algorithm uses this campaign to help reach the best people who are most likely to like or interact with your brand.
Brand awareness or reach campaigns are not very effective in growing your brand because it will not create engagement. They do not even come with the option to allow a target customer or potential customer take an action on your ad.
As the names imply they are simply meant to create awareness, and are best used for campaigns that do such.
Simply put this is a set of campaigns to get people to learn, like, trust and follow your brand/ business. In this category, you’re not aiming to make any sales/ purchases immediately. The goal is to grow your brand and groom loyal followers who will “someday become customers“.
This campaign category has six campaign types:
This campaign type is best used when you want to send people to view your website. It could be used to then capture contact details of those who visit your website. Well this is highly ineffective for sales, it is effective for getting visitors to view your website.
However the Facebook algorithm simply calculates a click on your link (or ad) as traffic sent irrespective of whether the person actually followed through to your website. For this reason you might experience high number of clicks but very low number of actual visitors to your website.
This is usually used to get people to interact with your ad. The engagement campaign helps you get likes, shares comments and followers.
That said if you have some important information which you will like more people to see, share, like and comment on then this is your best bet. Using this will not give you sales or website visits, but will ensure that there is a large number of interaction with your ads.
If you’re looking to make sales or generate leads then this isn’t your best bet simply because most of the action that people who interact with the ads will be taking will be on that particular ad not on your page or on your website.
c. App installs
Quite similar to traffic ads, this campaign type is used to send traffic to your app.
If you’re an app developer and would want more people learning about your app on Playstore or some other host, then this type of advertising is best for you. Setting up your pixel is an added advantage as it can help you monitor what actions are being taken and by who.
d. Video views
This traffic category aims to get as many people as possible to watch a video. If you have a message on video with you will want many people to get to see then this is probably your campaign of choice. However, just like all other traffic campaigns they are ineffective for carrying out conversion of any type be it sales or some other type of conversion.
However a secondary use of this type of campaign is in retargeting. Retargeting is the process of sending ads to people who have previously interacted with a different ad of yours.
e. Lead generation
This is used to capture leads. Leads are people who may be interested in your business in the future but would want to know more about you and get to like and trust you before making a decision, it could also be that they are not just ready to purchase yet.
Lead generation campaign provides you with a fill-in-the-box type of form where you are able to capture the details of potential customers. This box can be pre-filled (with information provided when they opening the Facebook account) or edited by the person interacting with your ad.
While this strategy is very cheap and easily get leads, it is usually not effective in getting high quality leads. This is because sometimes a person might interact with your ad without wanting to give his or her information because they aren’t interested enough, however because the information there are easily pre-filled and captured, his or her details are taken even without his or her interest.
This means you are left with a bunch of contacts that are not really interested in your business or willing to buy anything from you in the near future.
The message campaign type is simply to get messages. These messages maybe sent to your Facebook messenger or to your WhatsApp which is connected to your page.
If you sell products, this campaign type could be useful to get people to enquire about your product directly via your WhatsApp or Facebook message. However like all other campaign types of this category it is not very effective for sales despite being way cheaper.
Like the lead generation campaign above, most of the people who will message you will not be ready to buy. If you’re going to use this type, consider combining it with a CRM software.
• Conversion Category of Facebook ads
Now this is the campaign type that makes Facebook ad interesting.
Conversion type campaigns are designed to get you people that take desired action and even though these are way costlier, they are more effective for sales or any other type of action be it generating leads or getting followers.
Under this campaign category we have three types of campaigns :
This campaign type is designed for advertisers who want people to take certain types of actions and want to keep track of those actions. These actions include, app installs, purchases, landing page views, add to cart, add payment info, etc.
The Facebook algorithm is designed to identify and show your ads to people who are most likely to take the desired action be it making a purchase, visiting your website, downloading your lead magnet, listening to a song, watching a video, or downloading your app. As long as you want people who are most likely to do those actions, conversions are your best bet.
In order to set up conversions you must first set up your Facebook pixel and select the conversion event you want to track. More on that later.
b. Catalogue Sales
As it denotes, this campaign type is best used when you want customers seeing a catalogue of products or list of options to take action on.
It’s usually used by big brands with lots of shopping options, however it’s very effective for driving sales. In order words it’s used to drive traffic to your online store.
c. Store traffic campaign
This type of campaign was designed by Facebook to drive foot traffic to your physical store. According to Facebook, you can select the store traffic objective for your campaign if you have a business with one or many different stores and you’ve added your store locations in Business Manager.
You store must be a physical location and it’s address must be updated in business manager.
The Facebook Pixel
The Facebook pixel is a piece of code (a unique string of numbers) that is used by the Facebook algorithm to track what actions are being taken on your website. It works by uploading a small set of predetermined functions ( called events) that you want your visitor to your website to take (called a conversion). It’s unique to each ad account.
Learn more about the Facebook pixel here.
Where Do Your Facebook ads Show
Facebook has various outlets where your ads show ( these are known as placements) and here are a few of them;
Facebook feeds : Best defined by Facebook as the constantly updating list of stories in the middle of your home page. Feed includes status updates, photos, videos, links, app activity and likes from people, Pages and groups that you follow on Facebook.
Marketplace : Facebook marketplace is a future designed by Facebook for people who want to trade items organically. You can also set up your ads to show in this marketplace.
Stories : Facebook stories are a new feature by Facebook where you can upload pictures or very short videos not more than 30 seconds. They are designed to give viewers highly entertaining videos and pictures that last not more than 30 seconds on the field and disappear after 24 hours.
- Audience networks – affiliate sites with Meta.
- Reels – a new video feature similar to Instagram reels that allow you upload videos of up to 60 seconds. Reels were modelled after YouTube shorts.
- Search – these ads appear when someone searches for something on Facebook.
- In-stream videos – these are video ads that’s show under the video section.
What type of Facebook Ads Creative Can You Use
Image : Graphics images could be anything from pictures of the product or event, to just about anything.
Video : videos of the products or any other event. Video creatives tend to pull in more engagement than pictures. The Facebook algorithm gives preferable to video over pictures.
Carosell : carosell are a combination of scrollable images or videos. They are best used when you have multiple variations of products.
Dynamic ads: these are automated ads for business that have a large number of products. Instead of having to create an ad for every product you sell, you create a catalog and then drive traffic to your store, the Facebook algorithm then generates an ad for each product based on the interests of the target viewer or audience. This type of ads are best used for big E-commerce brands with multiple products like Alibaba for example.
How much control do you have over your ads
- You choose where it appears. With Facebook Ads, you can choose where your ad creatives appears on Facebook and Instagram via the placement options. You can create ads that fit or blend into a particular placement which helps increase the click through rate.
- You choose who can see your ads : You also decide who gets to see your ads using interest and demographics. Learn more about interests and demographics here.
How to Pay Money Into Your Ad Account
When setting up your ad account from the business manager, it’s important you set up your payment method correctly as well as select the right time zone. Selecting a worng payment method, eg, selecting dollar payment when you don’t have a dollar card will make payment very difficult for you.
Also setting the wrong time zone will mean you’ll struggle with calculating the right time everytime you want to set up an ad. If improperly set, you as might be over spending your budget at the wrong time.
For most new accounts, Facebook offers the MasterCard/ Visa card payment and this is ok to go. However some countries have the option to choose postpaid account while others can only use prepaid.
For countries with postpaid, your card must be bound to your account and Facebook reserves the right to deduct any ad credit given to you from your account without prior notice. The advantage to this however is that you can run ads even when you don’t have any money up to a certain limit.
For countries where only prepaid is available, you can still bind your card or use a third-party payment system. For me I usually recommend using a third-party payment system. This is because when you bind your card and for some reason your account gets restricted, your card is already bonded to that account and any new account you use that card on will likely be restricted as well.
Here is how to make payment using PayU, a third party payment system in Nigeria.
Best ads to run for e-commerce
When it comes to running ads for e-commerce, there is only one type of ad type that works best and that’s conversion ads. Here you get ready-to-buy audiences to visit your site and carry out a desired action.
However other Strategies you can use to boost sales are video views and retargeting campaigns. Simply put, you create a video ad of your product, and then create another ad retargeting those who watched a certain percentage of your video ad, say 50% and above. You can also retarget visitors to your website as well as those who took some action on your website such as filled a form or downloaded a lead magnet.
This works because it’s mostly people who are very interested in your products that are likely to watch your video for long, download/watch a lead magnet or submit details.
This strategy works because you spend less and you are mostly targeting interested audiences with your ads. It’s also helps to build trust because potential customers get to see different points of your products.
Facebook ads policies
Facebook ads policy is a set of guidelines Meta has established for using her advertising platforms. It lists and explains different types of advertising acceptable on Meta, how to use the advertising platform, and what types of advertising are prohibited or in a grey area.
It is very important that you go through the Facebook ad policy at least twice to familiarise yourself with them before running any ads as failure to understand them or breaching them might get your ads rejected. Multiple rejected ads will get your ad account restricted or completely blocked from advertising on Meta.
Facebook ads manager
Facebook ads manager is an integrated interface for setting up, organising and analysing all your ads.
The ads manager is used for managing individual ads accounts unlike the business manager which can manage several ads accounts at the same time.
Meta has also introduced the mobile-friendly pocket version of the Meta ads manager which helps you manage your ad account and your ads on the go full stop with this mobile-friendly version you can set up ads, monitor ads as well as fund your account on your mobile. You can download this on the Google Playstore or iOS store.
It’s also very simple to use and does not require any technical knowledge.
While setting up your ads can be relatively easy, setting up a profitable ad campaign is another ball game that requires one to understand the Meta ads, Advertising and sales. You can learn more about creating a successful ad campaign that brings in thousands of sales here.