Utilizing Facebook Ads for Your Business

Advertising on Facebook is a massive industry - in the fourth quarter of 2016, advertisers spent 8.81 BILLION dollars on the platform. But even with the eye-popping numbers, skepticism remains, with 62% of small business advertisers saying Facebook Ads miss the mark.

The first step towards deciding whether Facebook Ads will work for your business is understanding what your options are. Everyone has seen the button to “Boost” your post, but what other possibilities are out there? Let’s take a look.

Comparing Boosted Posts with Facebook Ads

Boosting a Post is the most basic type of advertising on Facebook. It's a low-effort way to get a post out to new people in very little time and should guarantee a larger audience will see the post in their newsfeeds.

Facebook Ads are a more sophisticated way to advertise on Facebook (it requires a Facebook Ads Manager account) but offers the greatest number of options and flexibility to help you achieve the goal of your campaign.
With Boosted Posts, the goal tends to be achieving audience engagement - more likes, clicks and comments on a post, which in turn gets you more reach. The value of boosting posts is a hotly-debated topic. Most agree it’s a time and cost-efficient way to reach more people and get engagement, but often that’s all you get out of it. Likes feel good, but your business probably has other priorities (like, you know, making money).

With Facebook Ads you can set the campaign goal to get more likes, clicks to your website, website conversions (like sales or email sign-ups), event responses, offer claims, video views, awareness in your local community, and more. By setting a goal, Facebook will look at the audience you’ve targeted and evaluate which people in that audience are more likely to complete your objective based on demographics, past behavior and other factors. This powerful optimization is why Facebook makes the big bucks from advertisers.

A couple of things to keep in mind. . .

Facebook has a text guideline. In the past, an ad wouldn't be approved if more than 20% of the image was covered by text. Now they've adopted a system where they let you run those ads but with less delivery. The most important thing in regards to the text percentage to Facebook is the thumbnail photo you choose.

You can make sure you follow Facebook's text rule with Ripl designs by resizing the text boxes using the turquoise re-size handles and choosing an acceptable video thumbnail directly on Facebook. For further instruction on setting the thumbnail in Facebook, please see this article.

To avoid any issues in advance, here's a link to the Facebook grid tool which will let you know what percentage of your creation has text: https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay

With Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts you also have the ability to add a custom CTA (call-to-action) button like "Shop Now," "Sign Up," "Contact Us" etc. Picking the option that makes the most sense for your content, and gives a clear picture of what people should expect when they click, will improve your results.

How to: Boost Your Post

Once you've shared the post that you want to boost to your Facebook Page, start by clicking the "Boost Post" button in the bottom right corner of the post.

Next select the audience you want to reach with the post. You can target by interests, location, age & gender. Finally, set the budget for this post. It’s determined by the time the post will remain boosted. The length of time determines an estimated audience amount that the post will reach.

You also have the ability to create a Boosted Post in the Facebook Ads Manager. This is confusing because regardless of how you boost the post, it will appear the same in your audience's newsfeed. Boosting from Facebook Ads Manager just allows more advanced targeting to reach specific audiences. Boosting from a Page is something you do directly from your newsfeed.

How to: Set up Facebook Ads

To start an Ad navigate to Facebook Ads Manager, and begin by choosing an objective for the campaign. Reaching people near your business, sending people to your website, getting video views, are just a few of the 10 different objectives you can set.

From there you’ll choose your audience. We highly recommend experimenting with different target options. Make small changes and keep track of a few metrics to see what’s working and not when it comes to who you are targeting so you can keep learning and improving. If you’re not sure what audience to choose, go back to your objective and think about which audience will help you reach your goal.

Finally, set your budget. You can choose to run your ad continuously with a daily budget limit until you shut it off manually. Or you can opt to set a total budget and the ad will shut off automatically once that limit is reached.

If you are in a time pinch and just want a little more reach for a post you’re especially proud of, a boosted post should do the trick. If you want to run a more specific campaign with a business-related goal in mind, you’re likely better off using Facebook Ads Manager and getting the full benefit of Facebook’s powerful ad targeting and optimization features.

Happy experimenting!

Austin Marshall

Austin manages new user acquisition at Ripl, with experience in Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, and App Store Optimization. He's a devout believer in the mantra "Always Be Testing."

Bellevue, WA http://www.ripl.com

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