By E.J. Garcia
As Facebook is now more dependent on its advertising platform for revenue, the social network continues to introduce additional ad types in expanding its offerings to advertisers. With so much content being consumed, keeping your fans engaged and interested in your brand is more important than ever. Selecting the proper ad type for your brand’s objective can help save time, and most importantly money when developing a Facebook ad campaign. Let’s review the three most common ad types utilized by advertisers and subsequent best practices to consider before setting your ads live:
- Basic Marketplace Ads: Most effective for driving traffic to external landing pages, internal Facebook brand pages, and even Facebook Applications. Basic Marketplace ads are displayed to users based on your targeting settings, and no additional action is required for users to see this ad type. If your goal is to drive traffic to an external site or landing page, this is the ad type you want to use. Additionally, this ad type can be used to drive traffic to a brand’s Facebook page to generate more likes. Basic Marketplace Ads currently do not display on mobile.
- Promoted Posts: Use these to increase the visibility of, and engagement with your brand’s posts. This ad type will help generate a greater amount of likes, comments, and shares along with photo and video views. With constant algorithm adjustments, the assurance that content is making it into your fans’ feeds is decreasing. As fewer of your brand’s fans are seeing your post naturally, you can use Promoted Posts to increase the amount of users that see your posts, including those who are not already connected with your brand.
- Sponsored Stories: Most effective for expanding your brand’s reach to friends of users who are already interacting with your brand. By showing users that their friends have engaged with your content, new users are more likely to engage with your brand on Facebook. Thus, you can expect a higher CTR from sponsored stories than regular Marketplace ads. Sponsored Stories display on the right hand side and within the Newsfeed on both the Desktop and Facebook’s Mobile App.
Here are some things to consider when developing your ads:
- Images: Taking the time to produce appropriately sized images versus resizing a stock photo can lead to easy wins. Test out bold colors in the image backgrounds to contrast against the white Facebook background. Logos will work fine if you need to get ads up quickly, but we’re talking about making ads stand out, and for that we want to test creative imagery. If you’re an online bakery selling pies, your logo may be great for branding, but an enticing picture of fresh blueberry pie might gain more attention and clicks. Don’t be afraid to test different content types either, including video.
- Copy: Most marketers are familiar with best practices for ad copy across channels. The same rules apply in Facebook. Your ads should include strong calls to action and clearly describe what’s available to the Facebook audience. Promotions, discounts, contests…bring value to the forefront to get your ads noticed.
Once you’ve decided which ad type to utilize and have developed engaging ads, here are some additional considerations:
- Planning and Optimization: To help make ad management easier and more efficient, use an editorial calendar to schedule posts in advance. Measure performance by content type and optimize your editorial calendar after gathering data related to the engagement and virality of specific content types. Use Facebook Insights to gather data on which posts are being shared & viewed the most.
- Targeting: One element of Facebook advertising that seems to be overlooked is the option to utilize Custom Audiences. This is a hidden feature available in the Power Editor that allows you to upload email/phone lists and target those users directly. This can be used to target more valuable users with different promotions, harder conversions, and subsequent steps in your sales cycle.
Once your ads are live and you’ve accumulated sufficient performance data, evaluate what’s working best and continue testing.
E.J. Garcia is an experienced Search Marketer with over 6 years of experience in the industry. E.J. is a Paid Search Account Manager at SEER Interactive, a Philadelphia based digital agency. Prior to joining SEER, E.J. worked with Walt Disney’s Global Media team where he executed Paid Search campaigns and Social Media ad buys on both Facebook and Twitter. E.J. is a graduate of the Florida Institute of Technology and has received post-grad certifications from the University of San Francisco. When not working, E.J. enjoys running, playing soccer, taking his dog for walks, and monitoring trends in the online marketing industry. You can follow him @ejgarcia.