Facebook Advertising Fundamentals

Facebook is currently the largest of the social media networks, sporting over 1.28 billion daily active users. From a sheer numbers perspective, it’s really a no-brainer that your ideal customers are hanging out daily on the platform, ready and waiting to engage with newsfeed content that is meaningful to them.

When it comes to paid promotions Facebook advertising is a sophisticated tool storing an incomprehensible level of data on its users. It allows advertisers to pre-set their own budget, to utilise extremely detailed targeting methods and placements, try out multiple visual formats and then analyse the campaign results with ease.

However, if you’re a little confused about Facebook advertising and how to get the right set-up running for your business, then you’re not alone. Many businesses are dipping their toes without any real knowledge of how the platform works and are subsequently becoming disillusioned and disappointed when paid promotions fail to generate the desired return on investment (ROI).

The good news is with a few simple Facebook advertising set up tweaks and a clear plan of action behind your campaigns; engagement, conversions and ultimately revenue will soon be on the up for your business.

Have a strategy and utilise all available data

As with any marketing initiative, it’s critical to have a solid plan behind your activity and to monitor the effectiveness of your efforts closely. Many businesses set aside a monthly budget for Facebook advertising and continually pump it into the platform, without ever looking at the valuable insights available. This data should shape and improve future campaigns, particularly if advertising activity is under-performing.

Sure, your Facebook ad formats can take a variety of different visual approaches (that’s a whole blog in itself!), but ultimately your set-up process needs to have a clear goal or objective from the very beginning so that success can be measured. Goals can range from increasing your brand awareness, driving web traffic, increasing video views, cultivating more page engagement or even growing your audience following and generating leads and increase conversions. What’s important is to give initial consideration to your ideal objectives and how to measure the campaigns success before you hit publish.

Depending on your campaign style your Facebook account manager is going to show you a wealth of useful information related to your campaign and it’s important you’re aware of this. It includes:

  • The number of people who saw your advert (via impressions, reach, and frequency)
  • The number of people who clicked on your advert link or took direct action as a result of seeing your advert – including your ad click-through-rate (CTR) and any conversions.
  • The costing data relevant to each individual advert you run, including the average cost-per-result (CPR), which is critical when measuring your ROI.

By keeping alive to these stats and reviewing them regularly during the life of your campaigns you can make important decisions about the effectiveness of your adverts and more importantly, try new tactics and adjust budgets where needed.

Ensure you can re-target customers by installing the Facebook Conversion Pixel

When you mention the Facebook conversion pixel businesses often shift a little uncomfortably in their seats, intimidated by what exactly this means and how best to both implement and use effectively for their business.

Let us simplify this for you. The Facebook conversion pixel is quite simply a tiny piece of tracking code that’s placed between the header tags of your website pages (and it’s important it’s added to ALL of your website pages, including your store pages) to track visitor behavior as they move around your content and to advertise to them later – this is known as re-targeting.

Re-targeting is important because it allows you to create powerful engaged audiences within Facebook, to run dynamic ads (whereby specific products of interest are then shown to users based on their online browsing history) and to optimise adverts for conversions and in turn track any sales made as a result of seeing your advert. Powerful data indeed.

Facebook have some clear instructions on how to set up and install the conversion pixel on your website (See Facebooks’s help page here)but depending on your site set up and level of technical expertise in house it can be wise to get a developer to install and test this for you, so you can be confident everything is working as it should be.

Be laser focused with your audience targeting

Facebook has a frankly mind-blowing amount of valuable data on its users and one of the huge benefits of spending on the platform is that it allows businesses to be laser focused on whom to target and with relative ease drill right down into your ideal customer profile. It’s through detailed targeting, connections and custom audiences that the real magic happens when it comes to ads.

Detailed targeting

To take advantage of detailed targeting and hone in on potential customers or clients you need to have a crystal clear understanding of who your ideal customer is. As well as basic demographic information (like location, gender and age) it’s also worth considering the following:

  • What is the marital status, education level, income level and employment status of your ideal customer?
  • What are your customer’s hobbies and interests?
  • What other companies might your customers be engaged with on Facebook?

Custom and Lookalike audiences

Custom audiences is where things get really cool – especially if you have a sales objective – because you can target people who already know a little something about your business, meaning they are warmer leads.

For example, did you know that you can upload your email subscriber list to target with an ad, that thanks to the conversion pixel you can create a list of people that have recently visited specific pages on your website but not others (in particular the add to basket page but not the checkout thank you page) or serve an ad to people that have recently engaged with specific content posted on your Facebook business page?

What’s exciting here is that this re-targeting data can then have a direct influence on the copy and tone of your ads, as well as the call to action (CTA) you’re using to effectively drive an action based on viewing your advert and is fundamental to improving the ROI of your ads.

Ready for things to get even cooler? Not only can you target those people who have been lurking around your website or checking out your social content, you can also choose a lookalike audience based on the specific profile attributes of those users. So whilst standard custom audience settings are great for re-targeting users who interacted with you already, the lookalike audience feature allows you to find millions of users that don’t know who you are but who are very likely to become customers.

You can also target (or exclude) people and friends of people based upon connection – whether they have liked your Facebook page or a competitors Facebook page.

A powerful tool to grow your business

What’s undoubtedly evident here is that Facebook advertising is a powerful tool that can help you to grow your business and reach relevant, new audiences quickly and cheaply. If you are an e-commerce website then the reality is you can’t afford not to be utilising this platform. If you’re yet to get going with Facebook ads within your digital marketing strategy – or you’re not seeing the conversions you have been hoping for – then now’s the time to take action and up your game.

At Douglas our social media marketing experts know a thing or two about running engaging and profitable Facebook campaigns. Find out how we can help by taking a look at our services

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