Get Your Head Around Facebook Advertising

Building your Tribe
7th March 2018
The Truth About Running Your Business
22nd July 2018



If you find Facebook ads intimidating and have either been too scared to try them – or you’ve tried and burned your fingers, don’t worry, you’re not alone.  It may be time to take a step back, get your head around them and try again.   We’ll see if we can help with this blog series!




Let’s start at the very beginning and that’s probably being quite sure about why you’re considering using Facebook ads to grow your business. Here are 10 reasons to consider:


  1. They are highly effective – 96% of marketers  consider Facebook the most effective social media advertising platform.
  2. They work both for B2C and B2B companies
  3. More and more businesses are going that route, which is why Facebook ad revenue continues to grow year on year – apparently more than 40% per year. There must be something in it!
  4. Monthly active users on the platform continue to grow – especially in the segment that which includes South Africa. We’re almost playing catch-up!
  5. There are 65 million businesses on Facebook more than 5 million business profiles on Instagram, so you’re in good company
  6. Facebook ads are really easy to set up – Facebook guides you through the process
  7. You can reach your perfect audience by targeting people based on their interest, demographics, location, actions on your website, engagement in your app and much more.
  8. Out of Facebook’s 1.6 billion monthly users, the average person spends 50 minutes daily on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger – that’s a lot of time and opportunity to serve your ad
  9. You don’t need to make a massive investment to get them off the ground, and
  10. Facebook ads are way cheaper than any other online (and most offline) marketing channels!




Now that you’ve established that Facebook is the way to go, it’s important to think about what you’re aiming to achieve. You need to set yourself a few goals ahead of going live with ads so that you have something to measure your success against.

Try to be specific in terms of numbers but these are some options for consideration:

  • Increase traffic to my website
  • Increase attendance at my event
  • Generate new leads
  • Increase the reach of my content, or
  • Boost engagement on my page.




You can choose to create a new Facebook target audience, use a saved audience (one you’ve used before) or one or more of the different custom audiences Facebook offers. We covered this extensively in our previous blog ‘Building Your Tribe’.




Facebook offers a range of ‘real estate’ for advertising:

Facebook News Feeds

These appear on mobiles and on your computer desktop. They are my favourite because – if you get them right – they don’t really look like ads and people often respond to them almost unconsciously.

Facebook Right-Hand Column

These are only visible on your desktop – obviously – and there’s no doubt they are ads but if well enough executed, people will respond to them.


Again these happen in your feed and people often react to them without much thought.

Audience Network

Facebook feeds ads to a bunch of other apps and mobile websites through what it calls the ‘Facebook Audience Network’. This allows us to extend our Facebook ad campaigns off of Facebook, using the same targeting data we use on it.

Instant Articles

This gives publishers, including both media outlets and brands, the ability to post more interactive and readable content.

In-Stream Video

A personal pet hate! This allows you to deliver 5 – 15 second mid-roll video ads to people watching videos on Facebook. I cannot stand the interruption so will never encourage anyone to do this!


You can select the Automatic Placement option or configure your ad campaign to run where you want it to. When you’re still new in the game, it’s probably best to go the auto route.

When you feel ready to make selections, make sure you test each. In other words, you should run exactly the same ad on each placement at the same time – one ad on each – and then compare results. Cost per result can differ immensely. At the moment the order from least to most expensive is as follows:

  • Audience network
  • Mobile newsfeed
  • Right column
  • Desktop newsfeed, and
  • Instagram


Aside from all the effort, I prefer the auto option because Facebook optimises across the different placements giving you the ‘best bang for your buck’ (that is, pushing ads to where your selected audience is most responsive).


Should you decide to try your hand, Facebooks recommendations for placement – based on the different objectives – are as follows:

  • Brand awareness: Facebook and Instagram
  • Engagement: Facebook and Instagram
  • Video views: Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network
  • App installs: Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network
  • Traffic: (for website clicks and app engagement): Facebook and Audience Network
  • Product catalogue sales: Facebook and Audience Network
  • Conversions: Facebook and Audience Network




This is a whole separate blog to be quite honest! But here are a few thoughts for now:

  • If you’re starting out, you need to know what you can afford to spend and begin there
  • As your business grows, you’ll need to build a marketing cost into your pricing (which implies that you know all the costs associated with your product or service)!!
  • You need to decide what percentage of cost you’re willing to spend on acquisition and it should be between 20 and 40%! Scary as that may seem, and
  • You need to monitor the results Facebook is offering as your set up your ad (on the screen in ad manager).


As I said, quite complex and definitely a good topic for a future blog!  The bottom line is that your Facebook ad budget should be based on… your bottom line.


What do you need to earn? What percentage of leads go on to purchase or take up your service? On that basis, how many leads do you need from your campaign? So what can you afford to spend per lead? Once you have all of this worked out, you need to measure everything closely to see how your ad is performing and tweak it. And THAT is another whole story!




Your advertising objective is what you want people to do when they see your ads. For example, if you want to show your website to people interested in your business, you can create ads that encourage people to visit your website.  If you want people to provide details, you create ads that collect information. If you want people to conclude a transaction, you create ads that take them to a landing page with transactional capabilities.


Choosing your objective is the first step in the process and it’s quite important that the objective you choose aligns with your overall business goals.


You need to decide between awareness, consideration or conversion:

  • Awareness is generating interest in your product or service
  • Consideration is getting people to start thinking about your business and looking for more information about it and
  • Conversions encourage people that are interested in your business to purchase or use your product or service.


When Facebook knows your goal, it automatically optimises your ads to deliver the right results.




Once you’re clear about your campaign objectives, it’s easier to decide on the type of ad you want to run.  The types of ads available to align with each objective are as follows:


Here’s a little about each:


Awareness Objective


Brand Awareness

The objective of a brand awareness campaign is to create awareness of your brand, not generate conversions. That doesn’t mean you will not get any, but if you want more than just having people see your ad and hopefully remember your brand, you need to weigh up consideration or conversion objectives.

From a Facebook perspective, the key mission is to show your ads to the ‘right’ people as often as possible so that you come to mind when they need a product or service you offer.



The primary mission of these ads is to promote your business locally and increase sales. Facebook uses geo-targeting to reach as many people as possible around your business location/s.


Consideration Objective



Traffic ads send people to a destination on or off Facebook such as:

  • Your website, blog, a specific page on your site or even a landing page
  • A mobile or desktop app, or
  • Messenger to have conversations with your business. Your ad will be shown to people more likely to open Messenger.



This type of ad gets you more engagement with your posts, Page likes, event responses or offer claims. Facebook helps you to understand how many people liked, shared or commented on your ad. The idea is that you begin to understand the kind of content your audience likes so that you can create more of what they love.

This is really useful for growing your following when you first start out. Just don’t be tempted to go the really cheap likes route. You end up with a ‘full stadium, but no one watching the game’!


App Installs

Facebook helps you to get more people to install your app. You can take people to Google Play, iTunes, iTunes for ipad, Windows store, Facebook Canvas or Amazon Appstore.


Video Views

Get more people to view your video content. The idea is to show behind-the-scenes footage, product launches or customer stories to raise awareness about your brand.


Lead generation

This is a favourite for me. Facebook helps you collect information from people interested in your business. Lead ads include a contact form with details so you can follow up afterwards. And best of all, Facebook pre-populates the form so that all the respondent has to do is click submit! No hesitation and generally great results – if you give them good enough reason to click through hin the first place!



This type of ad is quite new and is amazing.  It essentially gets people to have conversations with your business in Messenger. You can get them to complete purchases, answer questions, get support or give you feedback.  When partnered with a service that automates these conversation, they can be really powerful!


Conversion Objective



This ad type is about getting people to take actions (that have a value attached) on your website, app or in Messenger, such as adding payment info or making a purchase. This ad uses the Facebook pixel or app events to track and measure conversions.

Technically you only pay for conversions, making this a very cost effective type of ad. I say technically because Facebook does charge you to find your audience so, even if you have no conversions, you will still pay. In fact, the more difficult your audience is to isolate, the mare this type of ad will cost you. This means you really have to manage it as carefully as possible.


Catalog sales

Create ads show items from your product catalogue based on your target audience.

Facebook’s dynamic product ads are like re-marketing display ads on steroids. They target users based on past actions (or inactions) on your website or application with a perfectly timed ad.

It’s the pair of purple Tommy takkies or the boots that follow you around and seem to show up wherever you go!  In the travel space, it’s a bon voyage after someone has bought a ticket for a specific destination and an offer of accommodation options.  In real estate it could be a carousal showing more details of a house someone has just looked at on your web site! And you can get right down to area, number of rooms and price – if you know enough about your target audience!

All you have to do is upload your product catalogue to Facebook and double-check that your Facebook Pixel is installed correctly on your site’s pages. Facebook handles the automation and re-targeting!





You can literally do ANYTHING with video adverts – show off product features, outline prcoesses and draw people in with sound and motion, or anything that is appropriate for your business or product.


Single Image

High-quality images are really easy to come by. There are SO many free sites and you can take your own pics of course. Facebook allows you to make use of up to 6 images in a single image campaign and then see which is performaing best for you.



Encourage shopping by displaying items from your product catalogue – customised for each individual.



Showcase up to ten images or videos within a single ad, each with its own link. Really stunning when you have a range of products or if you have a product with lot of different features.



I love this format for likes campaigns because you can attract attention with motion, add sound and use text to tell your story beautifully. And you can determine the speed of execution.



Let people open a full-screen, mobile-optimised experience instantly from your ad. Here you can combine images and videos.


Whilst these aren’t ad formats as such, they differ from any other form of advert and therefore should be addressed:


Lead generation

This type of ad can use an image, video or carousal. What makes it unique is the form Facebook creates for you. It can even link the ad image to the form. It really does all the work for you!

It also offers you the opportunity to send people to your web site or a landing page once they’ve submitted their details. Means you can automate the downloading of your great offer or lead magnet – vouchers, reports, checklists or whatever you’ve enticed them with. But since you are technically taking the respondent away from Facebook, you have to have a privacy policy on the site/page you’re taking them to!


Post engagement

There are two forms of post engagement advertising – one is when you boost on your page (not what I would consider true advertising) and the other is where you set up a ‘proper’ campaign and choose an existing post as your ad. If you feel the need to go this route, then rather choose the latter as your targeting is more refined.

Any post can be boosted but you’re essentially showing your post to as many people as possibly and paying for the reach. You also have very little chance of measuring the outcome – or your returns – as you can’t tell who REALLY saw it. Scrolling quickly past it is counted as a view but is hardly what you’re looking for.

Boosting is useful for example when you want to ensure that all of your followers have seen a particular post. Otherwise, I’d steer clear of this option.


Event responses

Event response ads can be used to promote awareness of your event and drive responses. You can design your event ad to appear as an image or video. You obviously have to provide all the necessary information about your event, making the format and set-up quite different to any other kind of ad.




Decisions! Decisions!

There are an awful lot to make leading up to the creation of Facebook ads but they aren’t too complicated and if you handle one at a time, it needn’t be overwhelming. Keep things as simple as possible as you start out and, when you’re pulling them together without too much deliberation, it may be time to be brave and try something new!

Beware of falling back on the same type of ad every single time. It may be tempting but you may be missing out on something else that produces better results!