Changes to the Facebook algorithm have meant content from a user’s friends list is prioritised over updates from businesses pages. This has resulted in many Facebook page owners having to overhaul their Facebook strategy.
In the competitive social media landscape, Facebook advertising offers an opportunity for brands to get their messages to the right people, in a fun and interactive way. This is particularly valuable with the increasing number of restrictions that are being placed on organic content.
What is Facebook Advertising?
Facebook advertising allows you to reach people based on location, age, gender, interests and more, with regular updates on how well your ads are performing.
If you choose to advertise on Facebook, you will have the option to place your ads in six areas. Those locations are:
- Facebook desktop news feed
- Facebook mobile news feed
- Facebook right column
- Audience Network
- Instant Articles
There Are Two Methods to Choosing Your Placements:
Automatic Placements: Facebook automatically selects the recommended placements your ads are eligible for, dependent on your objectives and ad creative. This will be the default option.
Edit Placements: You manually choose your placements. Although there are six locations on offer, your ads may not be eligible for all of them, dependent on your advertising objective. For example, if you are driving app downloads, your adverts will only be eligible for mobile news feed, Instagram and audience network adverts, and not the placements that are hosted on desktops.
Although Facebook’s automatic placements may sound like the easier option to run, it may turn out to not be the most cost-effective or goal-driven tactic for your ads. Keep reading on to find out why.
Advantages of Facebook Advertising
Wide Customer Reach
Facebook continues to be the number one social network when it comes to reach, with over 2 billion monthly active users. If you’re looking to reach the masses with your messaging, then Facebook is the best place to do this, especially with its diversity of ages and demographics.
Facebook also allows you to remarket to users who have visited your website, by installing Facebook Pixel code to your website. There is also a range of Custom Audiences for you to take advantage of, allowing you to reach users who are already familiar with your brand. You can find out more about Custom Audiences here.
Facebook Power Editor allows you to split test your ads to different custom audiences, locations and age segments, all within a single campaign. Not only does this provide valuable data as to what creative works best, but you can also narrow this down to what creative works best for each of your target demographics.
Lead ads on Facebook make it much simpler for potential customers to submit information to you, no matter what their device. Customers can request information about products or services, or even schedule appointments, through a lead ad form that appears natively in your feed. The most effective part of this tool is the fact that customers do not have to leave Facebook to submit the form.
Immersive ad-sets like Facebook’s canvas ads mean that users can be instantly transported to an app-like brand experience. The full-screen interactive concept allows brands to tell a story that delivers on engagement, whilst providing an opportunity to showcase content marketing pieces that may otherwise be lost on a website.
Creating a Facebook pixel allows you to track actions users take after viewing your ads across multiple devices. Adding a Facebook Pixel to the pages on your site where conversions occur will let you see who converts on your website as a result of viewing your Facebook ads.
To implement a pixel, simply navigate to the Facebook Pixel tab in Ads Manager and click “Create a Pixel”. Follow the instructions on screen, then add the Facebook Pixel base code to every page on your website.
In addition to its varied targeting options, Facebook is also one of the most cost-effective advertising channels. If you have a low budget, you can have your ad up and running from as little as $1 a day (depending on the objective of your ad), compared to platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram where advertising costs can average at $4-$5 per day.
A reassuring feature of Facebook advertising is that you have complete visibility and control of your Facebook ads and budget. You can monitor success on Facebook and in Facebook Ad Manager, so you know exactly how much you are spending and the results you have gained from your campaigns. You can also use the data provided in Facebook Insights to analyse your performance of your paid posts against your organic posts, in order for you to make strategic targeting decisions for future ads.
Disadvantages of Facebook Advertising
In December 2017, Facebook announced they were tweaking their newsfeed algorithm, meaning stricter demotions for pages and/or individuals who use engagement bait tactics. 2018’s new restrictions mean offenders will have the total reach on all of their posts reduced if their content baits users to interact. Examples of this include asking people to vote, react or share, as shown in the example below:
If your goals include engagement, you may face these new limitations on both ad copy and on-page organic content, which could cause complications for your Facebook advertising strategy.
Whilst Facebook does make suggestions on ad copy, placements and advertising spend, these are often not the most cost-effective, or engagement-driven recommendations. If you haven’t taken the time to learn about optimal advertising sets, bids and other variables, you may find yourself wasting your budget during your period of trial and error. Facebook advertising takes time in the beginning, and does require research and strategic direction.
The increasing number of businesses using Facebook advertising means the likelihood of your advert standing out vastly diminishes. Catching people’s attentions and getting your ad noticed amongst updates from their friends can be difficult, and requires creative ad-sets which can come at an additional resource cost.
Feeling a little daunted by Facebook advertising? Get in touch to see how we can help you work towards your social media goals in 2018.