Facebook Advertising 101: Four Basic Steps

December 8, 2015 Content Marketing, Social Influence 7 comments

Facebook Advertising 101

How can you better monetize your Facebook presence? What can you do to increase engagement or push click-throughs to your brand’s landing pages?

In the past, social media marketing activities like creating and curating great content and actively community management was sufficient to engage one’s Facebook fans.

These days, however, Facebook’s ever changing algorithm has made advertising a necessary evil. Organic reach to Facebook fans appear to have dropped for the Facebook pages of most brands. Some have even reported that only 1% to 2% of their fans could see their posts!

While there are various strategies to boost one’s Facebook engagement rate without spending a cent (see this post for some ideas), chances are that you may not have the time or bandwidth to do so.

How then should you embark on Facebook advertising?

Targeting Right Audiences

Perhaps the most powerful advantage of Facebook advertising is its multiple audience targeting options. Depending on your organisation’s needs, you can choose to select your audience based on their demographics, psychographics or behaviours.

#1 Demographics

Like its name suggests, Facebook allows you to choose your target audiences by demographic variables like age, gender, relationship status, workplaces, household type, location, occupation and even birthdays. This is extremely powerful and allows you to select customised audiences for your content.

#2 Psychographics

Beyond demographics, Facebook further allows you to choose your audiences based on the following psychographic variables:

  • Activities – What are the activities which your target audiences like? Are they active outdoors, or prefer shopping on a weekend?
  • Interests – What are their hobbies and interests? These can be identified by the keywords they use, or the various Facebook posts which they like.
  • Opinions – Do they feel for a particular cause? How do they view certain global and local issues?

#3 Sociographics

On social media channels, sociographics looks at how individuals interact with other users, as well as the communities which they belong to. This can be determined by the various Groups, Facebook pages “liked”, and connections of users.

This is extremely important as our online actions are often determined by the groups which we are affiliated to.

#4 Behaviours & Relationships

Finally, the way we behave on Facebook or other online channels can determine how valuable we are. This can be targeted through the following ways:

  • Behaviours – These can be targeted based on actions on Facebook posts, pages or groups.
  • Retargeting – These are folks who have either visited your websites, existing fans of your Facebook pages, email subscribers (aka custom audiences), or similar audiences.

See below for an example of the Facebook targeting dashboard (courtesy of Adweek)

Facebook Targeting Dashboard

Budgeting for Facebook Advertisements

Now that you have zoomed in on the right audiences, the question we need to ask is how much we should spend on Facebook advertising.

There is no hard and fast rule in determining your Facebook ad budget. Fortunately, we have experts like Jon Loomer, who advises us to consider the following areas when determining our Facebook ad budget:

#1 Your Goals

What do you intend to achieve? 1,000 new Facebook fans? 500 app installs? 100,000 website referrals (ie click-throughs)? Each of these goals would require different budgets.

#2 Your current Facebook presence

If you are starting from scratch (ie zero fans), it will be much harder to encourage people to buy from you. Reaching non fans may require a lot more investment than existing fans.

#3 Your Niche

Sectors like entertainment or media will have a much lower cost per conversion (page like, link click, email address, sale or install) than professional services like construction, manufacturing or law.

#4 Your Product or Service

What is the investment needed for your product or service? Is it something that people will likely buy online? Are there multiple steps needed to ensure that the purchase is completed (eg insurance or legal services)?

#5 Your Website (especially Landing Page)

If your web landing page is well-designed and optimized, the likelihood of Facebook visitors taking an action is higher. A poorly designed website is a waste of money and time as visitors would “bounce” away.

#6 Your Customer List

Do you have an existing list of customers or fans? If so, there is a much higher likelihood of your Facebook page hitting the right audiences using re-targeting techniques (see above). This will reduce your cost per action.

#7 Your Time Window

What is the amount of time you have to generate impact from your Facebook ad? If you are in a hurry – like increasing your app installs from zero to 10,000 in a month – you will probably have to invest a lot more.

Calculating Facebook Ads Break Even

Once you have got an approximate budget ready, it is useful to calculate an estimated break even point for your Facebook advertisements.

Taking reference from Jo Barnes online, let’s say you want to drive traffic to a sales page which converts at 10%.

Your product price is $20. So if you send 1,000 people directly to that sales page, the calculation looks like this:

1,000 (Visitors) x 10% (Conversion) x $20 (Product Price) = $2,000 Sales 

To break even, you need to ensure that the cost per visitor or ‘website click’ in Facebook’s terminology is $2 or less.

$2 x 1,000 visitors = $2,000 spend (on Facebook Ads).

Now if we add a squeeze page (a landing page designed to capture opt-in email addresses), we can bring the numbers down a bit.

Let’s send 1,000 people to a squeeze page that converts at 40% (ie opt-in emails) with a back end sales funnel that converts at 5%. The product price is $20.

Here’s how it looks:

1000 Website Clicks (ie 1,000 visitors from the Facebook Ad)

400 Opt-ins (ie 40% Conversion)

20 sales (ie 5% Conversion)

= $400 Revenue (20 sales x $20 per product)

To break even on this new campaign, your cost per website click is only $0.40 or less, ie

$0.40 x 1,000 visitors = $400

For an easy way to monitor and manage your Facebook ad spending, you can consider downloading this free Facebook Ad Spend Calculator.

Create & Manage Facebook Ads

Finally, you need to look at creating impactful Facebook ads.

If you look at Facebook’s ad creation interface, you would notice that there are multiple types of Facebook advertisements available.

Here are some of the most common ones:

Facebook Advertisement Types

Courtesy of Search Influence

Notice how each of the different ad types are linked to different advertising goals.

You can use Facebook ads to either boost your page likes, promote page posts, get new app installers, increase app engagement, or increase attendance. You can even use Facebook ads to attempt direct sales of your products or services (Amazon is pretty good at that).

So what are the steps involved in creating a Facebook ad?

#1 Determine what the ad is for

What is the intent of your Facebook ad? Are you using it to sell one or multiple items? Or are you driving fan growth to your Facebook fan page?

If you are driving them to a website, it is important to consider how the landing page is designed as well as its copy and Call To Action (CTA). These have to be synchronised and integrated with your Facebook ad copy and design.

It is probably best to keep the desired action to be as singular and focused as possible. This will prevent your target audiences from being confused by multiple CTAs in your content.

#2 Think about your target audience

Consider the points above which I have written about Facebook ad targeting and think about the kind of design, image and copy which would best appeal to your target audiences.

#3 Choose the right image

A picture paints a thousand words. Similarly, choosing the right image for your Facebook ad would help you gain a thousand clicks, likes or actions!

Remember not to overdo the brand logo or product image alone when deciding on the best image. Try to use a clean and well taken photography of your product or service.

Choose something with vibrant colours, strong designs, or a photo of a smiling face (human faces) if possible.

#4 Craft irresistible copy

This is somewhat similar to the kind of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads that you would create for Search Engines like Google. Depending on the purpose of your ad, you should carefully select the right headlines and some trailing copy.

Here are some quick tips to consider:

  • Consider your customer personas and what language they would use
  • Look at the Facebook ads in your newsfeed, and see which are the more successful ones in terms of engagement (likes and comments)
  • Keep it short and simple
  • Avoid overtly hard sell copy – folks on Facebook are not there to buy stuff, but to engage with their friends
  • Keep it conversational, like talking to a friend

#5 Measure Facebook ad performance

Find a way to track the performance of your ads on a regular basis. Record them somewhere on an Excel spreadsheet so that you can review which ads work and which ones suck.

Some of the common metrics used to measure the ROI of Facebook ads are in the table below:

  Click-Through Rate (CTR)   Number of clicks divided by no of impressions per ad
  Cost per Click (CPC)   Total cost divided by no of clicks per ad
  Cost per Impression (CPM)   Total cost divided by no of impressions per ad, multiplied by 1000
  Cost per App Install   Total cost divided by no of App Installs per ad
  Cost per Page Like   Total cost divided by no of Page Likes per ad
  App Install Rate   Number of App Installs divided by impressions per ad
  Page Like Rate   Number of Page Likes divided by impressions per ad

#6 Test different versions (A/B testing)

Last, but certainly not least, you should try to adopt A/B or split testing to see which ads work better. In the world of social media, the lifespan of an ad is pretty short.

Test different variations of the ad with different audiences, and vary between the following elements:

  • Design and images used
  • Copy (both on the ad and in the caption)
  • Target Audiences – vary between different audience segments and monitor response
  • Offer – is it attractive enough?
  • Budget – would it help to intensify your budget used?

More in my social media marketing training course

Beyond Facebook advertising, social media marketing covers many other areas. You need to create a social media marketing strategy, understand what content format to use, and determine how you can measure and track success.

Drawing from 10 years of experience in blogging, social media and content marketing, I will share what I know in a two day social media marketing training course beginning in February 2016. Done with Equinet Academy, this rigorous two-day workshop will equip you with practical hands-on experience in social media marketing.

At the workshop, I will share interesting case studies of brands which have successfully used Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media channels. I will also teach you how to set up a social media calendar, work with influencers, and create buzz worthy content.

If you sign up now, you need to only pay $550 (usual price $750) for the two-day social media marketing training course. This is quite an amazing bargain considering the amount of value which you will get. 

Click on the link here to sign up today.

By Walter
Founder of Cooler Insights, I am a geek marketer with almost 24 years of senior management experience in marketing, public relations and strategic planning. Since becoming an entrepreneur 5 years ago, my team and I have helped 58 companies and over 2,200 trainees in digital marketing, focusing on content, social media and brand storytelling.


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