Facebook’s Superior Reach
With over 2 Billion active users every month, Facebook’s audience is larger than every other social media platform. 68% of U.S. residents are Facebook users with three-fourths of them being daily users. This is an undeniable amount of potential customers to connect with. It doesn’t just end on Facebook though, because their automatic ad placement settings allow for ads to be shown cross platform with Facebook and Instagram. The vast amount of options and customization Facebook has built into their ad platform allows for some of the most targeted and bespoke advertising possible.
Starting Out - Choosing an Objective
Before we begin construction on your ad, we need to pick an objective for your campaign. Facebook has split the objectives into three categories Awareness, Consideration and Conversion. These three categories are then divided further into subcategories. You should be aware of what each subcategory provides to maximize your ad campaign’s effectiveness.
Brand Awareness - taking advantage of Facebook’s demographic targeting abilities, your ad will reach potential customers most likely to be interested in your product based on their interests, demographics, behaviors and more.
Reach - similar to brand awareness, but more specialized for advertising a Facebook Page
Traffic - Important for driving visitors to a desired location on or off Facebook. A generalized ad campaign for Pages, websites, stores, apps and more.
Engagement - Focused on driving the audience to take action like interact with posts, claim offers, or attend events
Video Views - drive views to posted videos. This is not the same as posting a video ad. Video ads are a format available to many of the ad subcategories.
Lead Generation - generate sales leads by including a form in your ad allowing the audience to send you their e-mail or other information for follow-up marketing.
Messages - ad designed to encourage messages to be sent to a Facebook Page over Messenger or WhatsApp
Conversions - similar to other ads, but this one tracks the actual actions taken as presented in the ad such as purchases and downloads
Catalog Sales - a specialized ad connected directly to your e-commerce store. These ads require the setup of a catalog to feature products, but catalogs can display up to date pricing. They also link directly to the product page for ease of purchase.
Store Visits - a campaign designed to promote multiple business locations to nearby customers. Conversions are tracked based on the customized call-to-action set like getting directions or calling the business. If your business only has one location, it’s suggested to use a reach campaign instead.
After you’ve chosen your objective, you’ll need to define the audience you want to reach. This is done with defining common Demographics, Detailed Targeting, and Connections.
Common demographics include Location, Age, Gender, and Language.
Detailed Targeting allows you to choose to target an audience with three specific categories:
Specific Demographics - includes Education, Financial, Political, Work status and more
Interests - set across multitude of categories with further subcategories including Business, Entertainment and Food.
Behaviors - mostly focused on mobile device ownership, but can also target things like travel and purchase habits.
All of these categories are easily searchable or can be manually browsed.
Connections allows ad creators to further define who they want and don’t want to see their ads. This is perfect for remarketing to already engaged users or excluding them to focus solely on new prospects.
Specific Targeting vs. Net Casting
It’s worth considering strategies when deciding the audience you want to target. Facebook’s specific targeting is perfect for remarketing and narrowing the field of an already established audience. However, a broader approach can be an effective plan for building audiences and creating awareness.
Ad Format and Construction
Facebook offers four major Ad Formats Carousel, Single Image, Video, and Slideshow
Carousel - use multiple images or videos for a single ad. Showcase multiple products, angles, or ideas.
Optimal Specifications: 1080 x 1080 pixel size
Single Image - one single image, but texts and headlines can be changed to create multiple ads featuring the same image.
Opt Specs: 1080 x 1080 pixel size
Video - design your video ad for the Facebook platform with a few things in mind.
Design for Sound Off. Ads play automatically on FB feed and Instagram, but without sound. Make sure your C-T-As don’t rely on sound. Consider enabling captions for video
Length of videos are best kept to around 15 seconds, similar to YouTube. Every platform has a different maximum length for video ads, and longer length videos will disclude you from some platforms. When using longer length videos try to make the first 15 seconds the most engaging, and be sure to include the offer and call to action
Design the video with an aspect ratio friendly for mobile. This increases ad success and viewability by also increasing the platforms it is seen on. This is the list of supported aspect ratios, and where they’re most effective:
16:9 - Facebook for non-link ads
1:1 - Facebook for ads, especially carousel
2:3 - Facebook’s mobile news feed
9:16 - Instagram Stories
4:5 - Optimal vertical aspect ratio; works across FB and IG
Opt Specs: File size - Up to 4GB Max; Aspect ratio - 4:5 Vertical; File Type - .mov, .mp4 or .gif
Slideshow - automatically looping ad using images. Can be up to 15 seconds long.
Opt. Specs: Use images with an aspect ratio of 1920X1080 (16:9)
Text in Ads: Facebook automatically recognizes text in ads. If over 20% of the image consists of text, it’s possible the ad will not run or miss the majority of the desired reach. Facebook will alert you when high amounts of a text are present. Exceptions can be requested and are usually granted for products like books and music albums requiring text.
Anatomy of an Ad
These are the basic parts of the four major ad types.
Text - This is the main body of your ad. Where you provide most information about your product or offer. There is no character limit, but anything over 125 characters will be truncated with an ellipsis.
Media - where your images or videos will appear. Facebook offers some basic stock photos for image ads if you don’t have your own. They appear without a watermark once published.
Website URL - If linking to a website, you URL will display here
Headline - Best place to announce an offer or push the product. Simplistic headlines like “30% Off...” work best. Optimally kept under 25 characters
Link Description - Another chance to add info and explain what the link/ad is for. Optimally kept under 30 characters and does not repeat information already provided.
Call to Action - Facebook provides a number of preset Call to Action buttons to help covert engagement and understand what happens next.