Before you plop face-down on your desk, exasperated by your inexperience with Facebook ads, give this article a thorough read. Why? Because this article will tell you all you need to know about Facebook ads (what, exactly, are they?) and what you need to do to commence your Facebook advertising campaign without the help of a Facebook advertising agency (look at you, doing things all by yourself!).
So lock yourself in your office, put some earplugs on, do whatever it takes to concentrate on this article because I’m about to give you a lot of information.
What Are Facebook Ads?
Before you create Facebook ads, you must first know what they are. If you frequent your Facebook news feed, you have likely already seen a Facebook ad. Facebook ads appear on 1) the news feed and 2) the right column
News Feed Ads
This is an example of a news feed ad.
As the name suggests, this ad appears on your news feed, placed among your friends’ posts. This placement makes ads more palatable to users who are resistant to ads. Although these ads appear strikingly similar to regular posts, news feed ads are labeled as “Sponsored.”
They also contain CTA buttons, also known as call-to-action buttons, to further differentiate themselves from your friends’ posts. For example, the ad below contains the CTA buttons “Like Page” and “Sign Up.”
Right Column Ads
While news feed ads appear front and center on your news feed, right column ads are tucked away to the right side of your screen.
These ads are smaller, and they don’t look anything like a regular Facebook post. On the contrary, right column ads look like your regular everyday ad.
Now that you’ve learned what Facebook ads are, you are undoubtedly bouncing in your seat, eager to create your own Facebook ad. However, before you start your ad campaigns, you must first answer these three essential questions:
1. What Is My Objective?
Do you know what you want your ad to achieve, what you want users to do after they have viewed your ads? You must have an objective because it is the foundation of your ad campaign. Without one, how will you know which strategies to implement? Without a goal, how will you know which direction to go? How will you know how to shape your ads? Fortunately, Facebook gives you a variety of objectives to choose from when creating an ad.
2. Who Is My Target?
To have a successful ad campaign, you must target the right audience, an audience that is most likely to respond to your ads. After all, what is the point of crafting a beautiful ad when it does not reach the right person?
“But how do I know who my target audience is?!” you might ask, throwing your hands in the air in exasperation. You can build your audience by creating a customer avatar, or an invented fictional character you believe is your customer. If you’re selling designer handbags, for example, you might imagine your audience to be wealthy women ages 20-60, living on the Upper East Side of New York. Creating a customer avatar is akin to creating a character in a novel: you must consider this character’s age, gender, interests, hobbies, and lifestyle, among many others.
3. What Is My Budget?
Before you launch an ad campaign, you must calculate your budget. How much you are willing to pay per day, per week, or per month? Although some experts like Sandi Krakowski recommend starting with a modest budget, note that Facebook advertising is a bid for a spot on its platform: the higher you bid (or pay) for each ad, the higher your chances at claiming that sweet, sweet spot on Facebook’s platform.
After you’ve answered these three essential questions, you are now more than welcome to go forth and create your own Facebook ads—just make sure you have a Business Manager account.