Facebook Advertising Best Practices

What key objectives can be satisfied with Facebook advertising?

 

1. Awareness

Awareness is about to tell people what makes a business different from its competitors. Awareness is generating interest in a business’ products or services and tell people why the business is valuable to them. (Facebook, n/a)

Example: someone opens a party shop and starts a Facebook campaign to let people know about the shop and its wide range of products and services. The goal is to reach as many people as possible. Slideshow or video ad could be effective to showcase products.

 

2. Consideration

Consideration is to push target audience further in the sales funnel. Consideration is about making people think about the business and have them want to learn more. With this objective in mind a business can set the following goals:

  • Traffic to the website (Traffic)
  • Generate more likes, clicks, shares and comments (Engagement)
  • Generate more video watch (Video views)
  • Mobile app download (App install)
  • Generate communication with existing and new customers (Messages)
  • Have people who are interested in our business do a specific action in order to collect data, for example, email address (Lead generation)

(Facebook, n/a)

Example: we create a Facebook ad for our party shop aiming more newsletter sign-ups. In the ad we can offer 15% off from the first shop plus a free 1-hour party planning consultation. A simple but compelling single image ad with clear message and CTA (call-to-action) could be a great choice.

 

3. Conversion

Conversion encourages people already interested in the business’ products or services to purchase something.

We can set the following goals:

  • Encourage people to purchase something through our website or mobile app (Conversion)
  • Using e-commers catalogue to encourage purchase (Catalogue sales)
  • Promote physical shop and encourage people to stop by (Store traffic)

(Facebook, n/a)

Example: we can advertise our online catalogue using a carousel Facebook ad. Carousel ad allows us to add several images with different product details and links making it easy to reach our website and make a purchase.

 

What are the main advertising formats available?

 

1. Image Ad

 

Image ad is the simplest ad format on Facebook. Using high resolution imagery along with compelling text is a great way to increase awareness. (Facebook, n/a)

 

What to keep in mind:

  • Use simple images and maintain visual consistency
  • Use high resolution images
  • Ensure the image highlights one point to focus on
  • Use short compelling text

Image Facebook Ad

Figure 1 In this image ad Pret a Manger uses a simple high-resolution image. The image itself delivers a clear message. Image text is short and clear: Pret a Manger is collaborating with Just Eat delivery service to home deliver hot drinks to customers. The ad text is short clear and compelling. CTA (call-to-action) button is clear and compelling too: “See Menu” (Facebook, 2020)

 

2. Video Ad

Video ad allows us to show product or service or a brand and capture attention quickly. (Facebook, n/a)

What to keep in mind:

  • 15 seconds or less videos are the most successful
  • Video ads have lower cost per click and higher return on ad spend
  • Video ads generate 4X more purchase than image ads

(Facebook, n/a)

  • Put the most compelling part and brand message at the beginning of the video
  • Use vertical or square videos as people hold their phones vertically
  • Sound off

(Facebook, n/a)

Facebook video ad

Figure 2 This short video ad includes brand message at the beginning and contains compelling motion picture. The video is vertical. It fits to vertical mobile screens. The ad is without sound. It has a short compelling text both in the video and above it. The advert contains a clear CTA button: “Shop Now” (Facebook, 2020)

 

3. Stories Ad

Stories are full screen format 6-seconds photo display or video ads up to 15 seconds. (Newberry, C., 2019) It can appear on ether Facebook or Instagram stories.

 

What to keep in mind:

  • Last for 24 hours
  • Great way to advertise limited time offers

(Newberry, C., 2019)

  • Vertical full screen
  • Should be short clear and compelling
  • Should focus on one thing

(Facebook, n/a)

 

Facebook story ad

Figure 3 Zipcar UK’s story ad contains the key message at the beginning of the video and focuses one key point: only travel when you really need to travel during lockdown period. But if you need to travel Zipcar UK is here. The ad is full screen and vertical. Contains CTA button: “Learn More” (Facebook, 2020)

 

4. Messenger Ad

Interactive automated personalised ad. Helps (re)starting a conversation with potential or existing customers. (Facebook, n/a)

 

What to keep in mind:

  • Only available with other story ads or other campaigns running in feed
  • Can be tailored to fit specific needs
  • Great way to gain new customers as well as re-target existing customers
  • Built for quick engagement

(Facebook, n/a)

 

Messenger ad

Figure 4 I am an existing customer at Koin Klub. When the new James Bond coin series issued, I was retargeted with this Messenger ad. It offered me the chance to be one of the first people who order the new coin series. I could buy the coins just one click, as the ad contained quick links to the products. The second message encouraged me to check their other products on their website.

 

5. Carousel Ad

 

Carousel ad showcases up to 10 images or videos each with their own link and text. (Newberry, C., 2019) Carousel ad is great to showcase and highlight different products or tell a developing story. (Facebook, n/a)

 

What to keep in mind:

 

  • Highlight different products
  • Showcase details of the same product
  • Tell a developing story
  • Explain a process
  • The interactive format is more engaging: users have to swipe to learn more

(Facebook, n/a)

 

Facebook Carousel ad

Figure 5 Oreo’s carousel ad tells a story about how to make a real-life filter to have fun during lockdown. They used six different images to tell the story. Each image is linked to Oreo’s website. (Facebook, 2020)

 

6. Slideshow Ad

 

Slideshow ads are video-like ads created with several static images. Using motion and sound, slideshow ads create an immersive experience. (Facebook, n/a)

 

What to keep in mind:

 

  • Can be created quickly from desktop or mobile
  • Can reach audience with slower Internet connection
  • Highlight different products or benefits
  • Tell a story by adding text to each image
  • Show a step-by-step process

(Facebook, n/a)

 

Facebook Slideshow ad

Figure 6 I am showing my own slideshow advert as an example. As Urban Adventurer I used different images to highlight cool places to visit in London during (virtually) and after (physically) lockdown. (Facebook, 2020)

 

7. Collection Ad

 

Collection ad is an interactive ad type letting people tap and learn more about a specific product without leaving Facebook. (Newberry, C., 2019)

What to keep in mind:

  • Works well for retail and travel brands
  • Highlight one main image or video followed by related products
  • Organise your products by category, for example, “best sellers”, “for you”
  • People can see products in action or in use
  • Can tell a story and encourage sales at the same time

(Facebook, n/a)

 

Facebook Collection ad

Figure 7 In this collection ad Miu Miu is showcasing a product (a shoulder bag) in use in a video followed by four other related products. (Facebook, 2020)

 

8. Playables

 

Playables give a try-before-you-buy experience by letting users try a demo game before downloading an app. (Facebook, n/a)

 

What to keep in mind:

 

  • Has three parts: lead-in video, demo game, call-to-action
  • Gives immersive experience
  • Drive high-intent players to download the app
  • Generates engaged players

(Facebook, n/a)

 

Facebook Playable ad

Figure 8 Brain Test’s playable ad shows how to play the game with as simple examples as possible. While the video plays CTA button: “Play Game” is being shown to provide quick access to the app if a user wants to download it. (Facebook, 2020)

 

9. Instant Experience Ad

 

Instant experience is a full-screen fast load interactive experience designed for mobile. (Facebook, n/a)

 

What to keep in mind:

 

  • Can include photos, videos, carousels and tilt to pan
  • When clicked automatically opens full screen
  • Multifunctional: encourages brand awareness, acquires new customers, inspires mobile shopping etc.
  • Easy to create by using templates
  • Super-fast: loads faster than standard mobile web
  • There are four optimised templates to choose from

(Facebook, n/a)

 

Instant experience ad

Figure 9 Pritt is currently running an instant experience campaign on Facebook. The campaign is a toy ice cream tutorial and is targeting kids in lockdown. When taping on the ad it opens full screen and guides through the ice cream making process step-by-step. (Facebook, 2020)

 

Facebook Instant experience ad

Figure 10 The advert shows how to make toy ice cream in three easy steps. We can see the process by swiping through the images. (Facebook, 2020)

 

Facebook Instant experience

Figure 11 Each image is scrollable. When we scroll down it reveals what we will need to make our toy ice creams. At the bottom of each page brand logo appears. (Facebook, 2020)

 

How can you target audiences when creating a Facebook advertisement?

 

We can target audience by:

  • Location
  • Demographic (age, gender, education, language etc.)
  • Interest and hobbies
  • Behaviour
  • Connections

(Facebook, n/a)

We can target audience:

  • Using custom audience list we simply upload to Facebook Ads Manager
  • Target those people who have already visited our website. We can do so by adding Facebook Pixel code to our website. This allows us to create a custom audience and target them with Facebook ads

(Facebook, n/a)

  • Facebook SDK (Software Development Kit) on our mobile app. This allows us to track and measure actions users take on the app (Facebook, n/a)

 

Location Targeting

Target audience - location

Figure 10 This screenshot showcases location targeting on Facebook Ads Manager. We can either choose previously created custom audience or set location by continent, country or city. We can include and exclude people and/or location. On the right-hand-side we can see how many people we will reach and how many page likes we can expect with our current settings.

 

Demographic Targeting & Connections

Target audience - demographic

Figure 11 Demographic targeting means, we can segment audience by age, gender, language and include or exclude people by specific criteria. For example, exclude people who have already liked our Facebook page or those who used our mobile app. Or we can include people who have connected with our page or events before and exclude those who have not. (Facebook, n/a)

 

Lookalike audience

Figure 12 We can also create “lookalike audience.” Lookalike audience is similar to our best existing audience and are likely to be interested in our products or services. We can create lookalike audience by simply clicking “lookalike audience” and then choosing an existing audience group. (Facebook, n/a)

 

Interests, Hobbies and Behaviour

Interests and behaviour

Figure 13 We can further narrow our audience group by adding education or relationship status, interests, hobbies or specific behaviour such as Facebook page admins.

 

Explain the key elements that make up a great Facebook advertisement

 

Have a goal in mind

 

Make sure we have a clear goal in mind before start making a Facebook campaign. Determining our goals has an influence on everything that comes after. Without crystal clear goals our adverts will not succeed. (French, J., 2018) Our goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely). For example, reaching 100 newsletter sign-ups within 1 month.

 

Target the right audience

 

Clearly defining our audience is the very first thing we should do. After segmenting our audience by location, age and gender, we should use further segmentation in order to be able to create personalised and relevant adverts to each audience group. (Owen-Jackson, C., n/a)

 

Know what to say

 

Use key message in the first line of the copy. People tend to scan advert texts rather than read it, so it is important to grab their attention immediately. Keep the message clear, short and compelling. (Lyfe Marketing, 2019)

 

Use quality images

 

Image is just as important as text. The image or video should be high quality, compelling and should be a visual representation to the ad copy. (Lyfe Marketing, 2019)

 

Refresh creative

 

To prevent campaign fatigue, creatives should be refreshed regularly (in one or two weeks). This is because most Facebook users log in on daily basis. (Perrin, A. & Anderson, M., 2018)

 

Include CTA Button

 

Include CTA (call-to-action) button that let people know what you want them to do. CTA button should be clear and easy to understand. For example, Shop Now, Learn More, Order Now etc. (Lyfe Marketing, 2019)

 

A/B Split Testing

 

Run two similar ad campaigns to see which performs better. Test two different images with the same text or vice versa. We can also test two different CTA buttons or the same ad on two different audience groups. (Facebook, n/a)

 

Boost the Best Posts

 

If an organic post is successful and reach a good level of engagement, we might want to consider boosting it to reach an even wider audience and achieve greater level or conversion.

 

 

REFERENCES

 

Text

 

Facebook (n/a) “About location targeting” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/202297959811696?id=176276233019487&helpref=related&amp%3Bref=related [Accessed 25 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “About Lookalike Audiences” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/164749007013531?id=401668390442328&recommended_by=572787736078838 [Accessed 26 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “About video ads” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/1381779698788633?id=603833089963720&locale=en_GB [Accessed 23 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “Best practices for mobile video” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/144240239372256?id=603833089963720&locale=en_GB [Accessed 23 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “Create lightweight, affordable video ads from images that you already have.” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads/slideshow-ad-format# [Accessed 24 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “Extend your reach and find more customers with Messenger ads.” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads/messenger-ads# [Accessed 23 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “Facebook Instant Experiences. Create a beautiful, full-screen destination for your ads.” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads/instant-experiences-ad-destination# [Accessed 24 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “Get more space to drive action.” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads/carousel-ad-format# [Accessed 23 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “Help your ads find the people who will love your business.” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads/ad-targeting [Accessed 25 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “Help: Choosing the right advertising objective” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/1438417719786914?id=802745156580214 [Accessed 22 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “Implement the SDK” [Online] Available at: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/app-ads/sdk-setup [Accessed 25 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “Let people play your game before they install the app.” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads/playable-ad-format# [Accessed 24 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “Make it easy for people to browse your products.” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads/collection-ad-format# [Accessed 24 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “Success” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/success/rareform [Accessed 23 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “Tell your story with immersive ads that meet people where they are.” [Online] available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads/stories-ad-format# [Accessed 23 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “The dos and don’ts of using split test with Facebook ads” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/lessons/overview-of-facebook-ad-split-testing?ref=search_new_0 [Accessed 27 April 2020]

 

Facebook (n/a) “When are photo ads your best option?” [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads/photo-ad-format?ref=ads_guide {Accessed 23 April 2020]

 

French, J. (26th July 2018) Social Media Week “5 Must-Have Elements For Any Successful Facebook Ad Campaign” [Online] Available at: https://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2018/07/5-must-have-elements-for-any-successful-facebook-ad-campaign/ [Accessed 26 April]

 

Lyfe Marketing (2019) “10 Essentials to Running Successful Facebook Ads” [Online] Available at: https://www.lyfemarketing.com/blog/successful-facebook-ads/ [Accessed 26 April 2020]

 

Newberry, C. (2019) Hootsuite “Social Media Advertising 101: How to Get the Most Out of Your Ad Budget” [Online] Available at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-advertising/#facebook [Accessed 23 April 2020]

 

Owen-Jackson, C. (n/a) Catalyst “5 Essential Elements of Any Facebook Advertising Strategy” [Online] Available at: https://bozzimedia.com/5-essential-elements-facebook-advertising-strategy/ [Accessed 26 April 2020]

 

Perrin, A. & Anderson, M. (2018) Pew Research “Share of U.S. adults using social media, including Facebook, is mostly unchanged since 2018” [Online] Available at: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/04/10/share-of-u-s-adults-using-social-media-including-facebook-is-mostly-unchanged-since-2018/ [Accessed 26 April 2020]

 

Image Sources

 

https://www.facebook.com/blinkcatfood/

https://www.facebook.com/Brain-Test-115091246603991/

https://www.facebook.com/MiuMiu/

https://www.facebook.com/OREOUK/

https://www.facebook.com/pretamanger/

https://www.facebook.com/prittworld/

https://www.facebook.com/thekoinclub/

https://www.facebook.com/UrbanAdventurerLDN/

https://www.facebook.com/ZipcarUK/