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Written by Sam Yadegar on Dec 28 , 2020

Facebook Ads can be a vital part of an engaging digital marketing strategy. 

Here, you’ll find:

  • How to choose the best objective for your Facebook ads
  • The best FB ads format for reaching each of your goals
  • A few tips for creating the best ads to reach your audience
  • Expert tips to help you optimize your Facebook ads

Of all the social media marketing platforms, Facebook offers one of the most powerful advertising solutions for businesses. But, with so many segments and tools, creating ads can get overwhelming fast.

The Facebook Ads Manager

The Facebook Ads Manager (Image via Facebook)

The Facebook Ads Manager is designed to help you personalize your strategy as much as possible. This can be highly effective if you know what you’re doing — and potentially costly if you don’t.

Need some Facebook Ads help? Let’s go over the basics of how to choose the best solution for your business.

Prepping for your Facebook Ads campaign launch

The Facebook Pixel is vital to properly tracking interactions, building audiences, and conversion tracking. That’s why adding in a Pixel is one of the first things to put in place before campaigns launch. 

Facebook Pixel tracks your visitors’ online behavior so you can retarget them with relevant content on Facebook. 

Choosing the right Facebook Ads format for your objective

Next, you’ll want to choose a key objective or overall goal for your Facebook advertising efforts.

You can’t choose multiple objectives for each ad — and really, you wouldn’t want to. Single calls to action (CTAs) perform best because they provide straightforward direction. Instead, you can create multiple ads for each goal.

Facebook Ads platform

A look inside the Facebook Ads platform (Image via Facebook)

So, how do you choose the right objective for your ad campaign? Decide which stage of the buying cycle you want to target.

After that, you’ll need to decide which format to use. The objective you choose for your FB ads dictates which types of media you can use.

Keep in mind that within each campaign, you’ll also set specific custom audiences based on things like:

  • People who have already visited your website, liked your Facebook page, signed up for any of your email lists, or provided an email address on a landing page
  • New audiences segmented by specific demographics and interests you choose
  • Lookalike audiences that Facebook creates based on common qualities of lists you upload
  • People local to your business or in a certain geolocation

Once you create a perfect audience segment, you can save it for later. Now, let’s dig into ad types. 

Need more Facebook Ads help? Let’s talk.

Facebook ads for awareness

Depending on your goals, you could use brand awareness FB ads to:

  • Reach the 2.7 billion monthly active users who may not know your business exists
  • Build brand trust among your current audience (this one is especially useful for B2B or “high-risk” aka pricier B2C purchases)
  • Keep your company top of mind if and when a viewer may be in the market for your product or service
  • Grow your followers to reach a larger portion of your target audience

Awareness campaigns are best suited for targeting audiences at the top of your sales funnel with straightforward content. Use them for demand generation, explaining your values, or reaching new customers within a certain distance.

For awareness, you can choose these formats and features:

  • Single image or video
  • Video or image carousel
  • Website links and branded partner content

For awareness ads in particular, it’s a good idea to use high-quality images, infographics, or short video clips to grab attention quickly. And don’t forget to explore remarketing campaigns that use the audiences you previously created. This type of campaign is ideal for people who saw your ad, but weren’t ready to purchase your products or services for one reason or another. 

Pro tip: For e-commerce retailers, Facebook also recently launched Facebook Shops. This free feature “allows business page admins to create a Facebook or Instagram-based mobile-optimized online store that highlights products or collections of items,” according to HubSpot. 

Facebook ads for consideration

Consideration Facebook ads are best for audience members in the top or middle of the funnel. These folks know your brand exists, but they need some in-depth, high-quality content and a little nurturing.

You’ll want this audience to take some kind of action — like downloading your app, filling out a form, or requesting a consultation — even if they don’t necessarily convert into a customer quite yet.

Facebook lets you choose from several different consideration formats and features:

  • Single image or video
  • Video or image carousel
  • Product collections
  • Instant lead generation forms
  • Message buttons and prompts
  • Deferred deep links (within apps)
  • FB events
facebook ads

Facebook Pixel is especially useful for tracking the ROI of your Facebook strategy through conversions. (Image via Unsplash)

Pro tip: Promote some of your best performing blog posts, infographics, videos, or other personalized content to engage your target audience during this stage. 

Facebook ads for conversions

Now it’s time to convert your bottom-of-the-funnel leads into buyers.

You’ve already spent time nurturing these leads and building awareness. These people are likely very familiar with your products and services and because you nurtured them through each step of the funnel, so they ideally know, like, and trust your brand. 

By providing these people with unique purchasing opportunities, you create a one-on-one buying experience that can turn them into lifetime customers.

Since these people have likely consumed several pieces of content, you can reward them with special coupons, free shipping, or buy-one get-one promotions to sweeten the deal.

Don’t forget to add these customers to your CRM or auto-responder so you can follow up with them after their purchase is completed. This is especially ideal for products that need to be replaced or replenished after a period of time (think: ink cartridges, water filters, and most beauty products). 

As mentioned, Facebook Pixel is particularly useful for tracking the ROI of your Facebook strategy through conversions. You can use this with ad types like:

  • Single image or video
  • Product collections
  • CTA buttons like “shop now,” “book now,” or “donate now”
  • Product catalogs (available for travel, e-commerce, real estate, and auto)
  • Physical store traffic (for qualifying businesses with physical locations)

Pro tip: With product catalogs, Facebook can use your inventory to create dynamic ads based on products your followers have already viewed on your website.

Facebook Ads Instant Experience

Facebook Ads Instant Experience (image via Facebook)

Include an Instant Experience

With each objective, Facebook Ads will also ask if you’d like to include an Instant Experience. Instant Experiences allow you to create a fullscreen interactive landing page with rich media like GIFs, products, videos, and more.

Have you heard of Facebook Canvas ads? Instant Experiences replaced them. They feel like you’re visiting a web page, but you’re really just viewing a fullscreen advertisement within the Facebook app.

Instant Experiences are useful because you don’t have to worry about creating accelerated mobile landing pages (AMP) or dealing with slow load times. Your viewers don’t have to leave the Facebook app, and everything loads at lightning speed.

Pro tip: Facebook provides a variety of placement options for you to show an ad to potential customers, as Search Engine Journal points out. Because of this, you want to be strategic about your ad placement. To take full advantage of this option, they recommend customizing by placement and not being too restricting when it comes to placements.

The takeaway

The Facebook for Business platform is loaded with features that allow you to personalize your advertising content at every stage of the buying cycle. It can certainly be confusing if you’re not familiar with the basics, but once you get your hands dirty (metaphorically), you can create an effective strategy in no time.

This article has been updated and was originally published in December 2019.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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