The opportunity to appeal to an audience of more than 800 million people using one platform comes in the form of Facebook advertisements.
The fact that Facebook ads are still considered a new phenomenon means that not everyone knows how to fully unlock and exploit the potential of this social network. After reading this, however, you will be one of the lucky few who do!
Overview of Facebook Ads
Google adwords is a familiar advertising platform for most marketers and are the source of the bulk of Google’s revenue. This advertising platform provides specified slots to advertisers in search results pages making it difficult to distinguish between an organic result and these advertisements. Good results on SERPS mean a higher click rate for sites, which in turn means more revenue for the businesses. Facebook utilises Ads in a similar way.
Put simply, there are two types of Facebook Ads:
- Send a user to your Facebook page
- Send a user to an external website
Facebook runs “premium Ads” which are placed in the highest traffic areas of the social network, including profile pages. There is also the option of running a “market place ad” which is a cheaper way to advertise on Facebook. There are four types of Marketplace ads
- Like ads
- Event ads
- Standard ads
- Application ads
Creating an ad on Facebook
- Use an existing creative and make adjustments suited to your preferences
- Input a URL, this can be for an external site, or a fan page
- Input a title for your Ad, Marketplace ads have a maximum of 25 characters
- Input text in the body of your ad, this is a maximum of 90 characters for marketplace ads
- Attach an image which will be automatically scaled
- Choose the parameters of your Ad. Facebook does not allow for a worldwide ad, but you can choose Country, state or City. You can also target a specific zip code or age, gender, connections or interest.
- You can specify different names for different campaigns and run different ads for each campaign.
- Set a budget. If you set a time limit, Facebook will spend the allocated budget in the defined time frame.
Your ad will not show up immediately but will be sent for review first, so be patient. This process can take up to a few hours, but usually less.
Facebook advertisement examples
An effective ad contains 3 characteristics
- A simple call to action
- The ability to stop you in your tracks
- A proposition worthy of a click
The call to action of this ad “Stop Reselling Crappy SEO” played on fear. Negative word usage gave this ad the stopping power necessary to get the user to take a closer look at what was being advertised. When used correctly, this is a great way to get people to notice. Though, this ad did not have a value proposition; instead it aimed to sell a product.
This ad’s call to action, “See why Wired Magazine calls Scribd the “Netflix for books” was a great crowd puller and gave the average user a reason to stop. The ad also featured a child hidden under covers and the phrase “never stop reading” which gave the user a sense of nostalgia. How many times did you hide under your covers with only a torch for light because it was bedtime and you couldn’t put your story book down? The ad also provided value in its proposition, “a month of free service!” who doesn’t like free stuff?
This ad’s call to action was too long: “fresh and unique case study of a Google penalty recovery using the Google disavow tool” you get tired reading the first few lines without even knowing what the ad is about. Changing this to, “Penalized by Google?” makes a better read. This ad did have something going for it though, stopping power; the mean looking red eyed penguin in their creative did catch your attention. Its value proposition, “the case study” is also an awesome way to learn what the “experts recommend”.
When choosing which type of Facebook ad to run, it is vital to keep the above characteristics in mind. As highlighted, keep things simple and straight to the point. Provide the user with a useful tool, or solution to their problems, and you’re guaranteed a return on your advertising investment.
For more information on how you can better utilize Facebook advertisements, download your free copy of our ebook 'How to Turn Facebook Fans into Paying Customers' by clicking the link below: