Use this “how to advertise on Facebook” guide to walk through the six steps of planning, and launching, an engaging Facebook advertising campaign.
Since its launch in 2004, Facebook’s mission has been to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. With 1.39 billion active monthly users (as of December 2014) and 890 million who are active daily users, it is more than likely that your target audience is active on Facebook and available to be engaged.
Facebook advertising allows you to target ideal customers and engage with them. This “how to” guide will walk you through the steps of launching an engaging Facebook advertising campaign.
Step 1: Create A Facebook Business Page
The easiest way to advertise on Facebook is to create a Facebook business page. Creating a page is free and it gives your business a voice on Facebook. Your Facebook business page will help you stay connected with familiar, and loyal, customers and will also help you connect with new customers.
Your business page will also make it easier for people to find you on Facebook and on the web. With a Facebook business page you can reach people when, and where, they are engaged, build relationships with them, and keep your business growing based on having a better understanding of your audience.
Set up is easy and your page is free.
Setting Up Your Business Page
Choose a Category. Choose a category for your business page. Facebook offers six different categories to choose from:
- Local Businesses or Places
- Companies, Organisations or Institutions
- Brands or Products
- Artists, Bands or Public Figures
- Causes or Communities
More than likely you will choose the local business option. However, you could also choose the “brands or products” option if you wanted to focus your page on a certain product your business offers.
Complete the About Section. In the about section you will add keywords, a description, and your website. Filling out this section completely will improve the ranking of your business page in Facebook search.
Use keywords that are relevant to your business. If you wanted to create a page for your café you would use keywords like coffee shop, sandwich shop, and deli.
Your description should be a few, clear and concise, sentences that tell people what your page is about. This eliminates any guessing.
In the about section you will also have the option to choose a unique Facebook URL (web address) to make it easier for people to find it.
If you selected the local business category, Facebook will also ask in the about section if your business is a real establishment, business or venue.
Upload a Picture. Your page’s profile picture will serve as a first impression for potential customers who have never heard of your business before. Make sure it is a high-quality image that represents your business in a positive light. A high-quality logo is a good choice for the profile picture.
Add A Payment Method. After you upload a profile picture for your page you will present this prompt to under the heading - Reach More People - “Add a payment method now so it will be easier for you to advertise when you’re ready.” You will have the option to skip this step. If you do decide to wait, you can still go back later to add your payment method and start promoting your page.
Once you add a payment method or press skip, your Facebook business page will be completely set up.
Step 2: Develop A Facebook Advertising Strategy
Before you think about using your business page to advertise on Facebook and meet specific goals, you need to develop a Facebook advertising strategy.
The ultimate goal of your ad strategy should be to laser-target Facebook users, that fit the profile of your ideal buyer, with engaging content, that they will be interested in, at optimal times.
What Your Facebook Advertising Strategy Should Include
Your Facebook ad strategy should include several items, including:
A Specific Goal – What do you want your Facebook advertising to accomplish? Do you want a certain number of likes for your business page? Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Do you want to increase online sales, build brand awareness or even increase local sales? Figure out what you want to accomplish and set an objective for your advertising campaign.
Knowledge of Your Target Audience – Your Facebook ad campaign will not be successful unless you are reaching the right people. Facebook makes it easy for you to target people at all different levels but that will not help if you do not know who fits the profile of your ideal consumer. Take the time to discover what demographics and interest groups your returning, and ideal, customers belong to.
A Schedule – Haphazardly putting out content will not help you achieve your goal. It is important to establish a schedule for your ad campaign. Determine start and end dates for your different Facebook advertising campaigns. Then create a schedule for posts on your business page. Posts can be scheduled in advance.
Leverage – To maximise your engagement opportunities on Facebook, you should plan to leverage existing website traffic by putting a Facebook icon that can be seen and clicked, and will lead to your Facebook business page. You can also include a Facebook icon in your newsletters and in your email signature.
Tracking – Plan a tracking schedule for your campaign, so you can measure its success. You want to check in on it at least weekly.
Adjusting – You should also plan to make adjustments to your campaign based on what you find when tracking it. After a few days or weeks you should be able to determine the best days and times to post, based on engagement, and adjust your campaign and scheduled future posts to fit that.
Step 3: Decide on a Facebook Advertising Cost
As with any advertising campaign, true Facebook advertising requires an initial investment. However, you are the one in control of the Facebook advertising cost.
When you advertise on Facebook you can choose the total amount you want to spend to run your ad. However, because other advertisers want to reach some of the same people you do, Facebook uses an ad auction system. You will set your bid amount – the amount you are willing to pay to have customers see (impressions) or engage with your ad (clicks).
Set your budget before you begin.
Your budget should not only include the cost to run your ads on Facebook, it should also include the amount you are willing to spend to get the expert help you need.
Professional photographers may need to be hired to guarantee you have high-quality images for your campaign. Trusted marketing agencies, like 360 Degree Marketing, can assist you with developing your strategy and the creative aspects of your campaign. A good agency will work with you to ensure your campaign gets maximum exposure and the best return on investment for your money.
Step 4: Create Your Facebook Ad Images
Facebook ad images that are high quality, and engaging, connect with users and help them remember your brand. In general, image sizes should be 1,200 x 628 pixels to ensure it always looks high quality.
When you advertise on Facebook, ad images can either be photos or video. Whichever format you choose make sure it humanizes your brand. Let the personality of your business shine through in each ad.
To increase brand awareness use images that will serve as an extension of your business and website to spark familiarity.
Be willing to invest in the creation of high quality images.
Step 5: Setup Your Facebook Advertisement
Use the Facebook ads creator to setup your advertisement campaign and officially advertise on Facebook. You can create your campaign in four easy steps:
Choose from one of ten campaign objectives. Boost engagement on posts, get more likes for your page, get video views, send people to your website, etc.
Enter your account information including country, currency, and time zone. All your ads billing and reporting data will be recorded using these pre-sets.
Enter information about the people you want to reach (demographics, interests, behaviours, etc. of your target audience) and how much you are willing to spend (budget). This is where you define your target audience and the budget to run your ad.
Choose between a lifetime (total) budget or a per day budget. You will also set a schedule for ads, choosing to either have it run continuously or setting start and end dates. The advanced options under “How much do you want to spend,” allow you to select what you want Facebook to optimise for automatically, the type of pricing (impressions vs. engagement) model you want to use and run times for your ads.
In the right hand column of this section Facebook will tell you your total potential reach, based on the target audience you defined, as well as your estimated daily reach, based on the budget you set.
Select the images you want to use and enter the text and links for your ad - In this section you can connect your business page to your ad, enter a headline, enter the body text, and include an optional call to action button.
You will also be able to see a preview of your ad and select where you want it to be placed (desktop news feed, mobile news feed, or right column (the column to the right of the desktop news feed)).
Once all the information has been entered you can choose to either review your ad order or place your ad order.
Step 6: Optimise Your Facebook Ad
Choosing to advertise on Facebook comes with many benefits, including the ability to measure the success of your campaign, and to make adjustments to your campaign based on those performance reports. Here are three tips you can use to optimise the performance of your Facebook ad campaign:
- Narrow your target audience to better reflect the types of people who are engaging with your ad
- Rotate your ads and ad images
- Keep your ads short and simple – the longer your ad the less people will read it
Experimenting with different images, different placements, and different budgets is the best way to discover what will work best for your business on your own. However, if you can, it is always a good idea to solicit the advice of experts, as that will usually save you both time and money.
Let us help you with your Facebook advertising campaign. You can also download our free Facebook advertising checklist, which highlights how you can make the most of Facebook for your business.