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  • Gail Malcolm

Social Ads 101: Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Ads

Here at Hydrogen, Facebook advertising comes naturally to us. We love creating target audiences and coming up with compelling creative copy and content that will get users clicking and engaging. But we know that it’s not that easy for everyone, especially a beginner! That’s why we’ve written this Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Ads. So, grab a large coffee, open Facebook and get ready to dive into the world of Facebook Ads.

Why Should You Advertise?

If you want to get a key message out about one of your products or services to as many people as possible, the best way to do this is to advertise and one of the best ways to advertise is on Facebook!

It makes sense – with more than one billion active people on Facebook, more than a few of these people are going to be within your target audience. You can advertise from as little as £1 depending on what kind of ad you create, you can re-target website visitors and find new customers all at the click of button.

Ways to Advertise

There are three ways to advertise on Facebook:

  • Boosted Posts

  • Power Editor

  • Ads Manager

Boosted posts are the easiest way to start advertising. All you need to do is find one of your posts that you think will perform well and click “Boost Post”. Then all you need to do is select your audience, budget and boost duration.

Facebook will already have your post targeting and budget automated for you, but you will be able to change this to suit your ad requirements. Boosted posts are a great place to start advertising on Facebook but they are the least effective.

The Power Editor is maybe too complicated for a beginner to try creating ads in and is mainly used by agencies or for large campaigns, so we’ll save a blog on this for another day.

That leaves us with Ads Manager. Ads Manager allows you to set up ad campaigns, keep track of your ads performance and A/B test different elements of your ad. We highly recommend that you use Ads Manager to make your first Facebook Ad.

How to Create Your Ad Campaign

Before you start setting up an ad campaign in Ads Manager, there’s a couple of things you should plan before you choose your Objective or start to create your campaign.

1. Develop a Strategy

Before you begin, have a think about what it is you are trying to achieve through Facebook advertising. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I promoting?

  • Who am I promoting this to?

  • Where do my audience live?

  • What interests my audience?

  • What are they most likely to respond to?

  • What do I want my audience to do?

  • What do I want this ad to achieve?

  • How long do I want to run ads for?

  • What kind of ads do I want to create?

  • What is my end goal?

Having a well thought out answer to each of these questions will be imperative to the performance of your ad and can help you use Facebook for business to deliver the best results. If you don't currently have a social media strategy in place, we can help you create this!

2. Install Pixel Code

“Wait – what’s a Pixel Code?” we hear you say? Allow us to explain – A Pixel Code is a piece of code that you add to your website. It works in a similar way to cookies, tracking the behaviour of visitors on your website.

The Pixel Code isn’t a necessary requirement in creating your ad, but it is extremely beneficial when it comes to building audiences, targeting and re-targeting your website visitors.

3. Choose Objective

When you have installed your Pixel Code and thought out your strategy, you can begin to create your Facebook ad.

When you start creating your ad, you will be asked to pick an objective from under three columns: Awareness, Consideration and Conversion. Choose the one that’s most relevant to your end goal. This is important as Facebook will determine the best format, bidding and optimization based on this.

4. Define Audience

Depending on your strategy, you have a few options to choose from when it comes to defining your audience. You can:

  • Create a new audience: Create your audience by selecting the location, age, gender and language most suited to those you want your ad to reach. Once you have this in place, you can define your audience even further by including detailed targeting such as interests, behaviours and job titles. This will ensure that you’re reaching the most relevant audience to your ad and will give your ad a better result.

  • Create a Custom Audience: A Custom Audience is an audience that can be created using customer data already available to you such as an email address, web traffic, app activity or engagement from Facebook.

  • Create a Lookalike Audience: A Lookalike Audience is created using the information you have given Facebook with your Custom Audience. Facebook will use this data to find users like those on the selected database.

There are so many different things you can do set up your perfect target audience on Facebook. Far too much for us to tell you about here!

5. Choose Placement

As well as having control over who gets to see your ad, you can control where they get to see your ad.

Facebook has an option that will automatically show your ad to your audience in the places they will perform the best. Choose this option if this is your first time or if you want to get a better idea of which placements options work best for your audience.

If you would prefer to choose your own placements, you can choose from several available placements on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and the Audience Network.

6. Specify Budget and Schedule

When it comes to choosing a budget for your Campaign, you can specify how much you want to spend a day, or have an overall pot to draw down from.

You can even choose how you would like your budget to be optimized. You should think about what you want to achieve from your ad objective before choosing between the optimization options that are available.

If you like, you also have the option to run your ad on certain days of the week or at certain times.

7.Create Your Ad

Now that you’re happy with your Ad Set targeting, placement and budget it’s time to finally create your ad!

It is within this section of Ad Manager that you can choose your ad format (image, video, carousel etc), add copy and Call to Action buttons.

For an eye-catching ad, we suggest you keep your assets bright and on brand. Each format has its own size preference - our team can help create social media campaign ideas and deliver social media creative that will drive awareness and engagement.

For the text sections, add a headline that is short and to the point that will grab your audience’s attention, followed by a sentence of two that include the value proposition that emphasizes what you are advertising. You can include a link or call to action in your text as well, but you have the option to include these elsewhere in your ad.

For example, you can select your ad’s call to action from a drop-down list that includes call to action options such as “Contact Us”, “Shop Now” and “Sign Up”. Choose the one that is most appropriate to your ad.

Once you have filled out your ad and checked the previews, you’re ready to set your ad live!

So how did you do? If you’ve got the hang of it on your first go, congratulations! Have a go at creating another ad and see how it compares. If you’re still completely bamboozled, we’re always here to help. It’s what we do best after all!

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