Deciding on how to promote your business can be challenging, especially as technology keeps evolving. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure that Facebook ads are at the top of your list. It may sound a little crazy but if you don’t have a Facebook business account today, it’s like not having a Nokia 3310 in 1999.

While Facebook has been around for more than a decade, the concept of an effective social media strategy is constantly changing. Posting a weekly or daily blog is no longer enough to generate the leads required to justify a successful campaign. More companies have turned to Facebook marketing, using Facebook ads to reach their desired target audience.

Why Are Facebook Ads So Powerful?

To answer this question, let’s look at the sheer number of active monthly users which is around 2.45 billion! With so many users, it’s likely that a large percentage of your target audience will be on Facebook regardless of your business type.

Marketing on Facebook presents brands with incredible opportunities to focus on their audience with laser precision. The secret behind the success of Facebook marketing is their advertising procedures and the required steps to help market brands effectively.

They have powerful and creative algorithms that work tirelessly behind the scenes to help brands reach customers but not organically. That has changed over the years as, today, it’s all about setting up a business page, running effective Facebook ads and sponsored posts.

What Are Facebook Sponsored Posts?

A Facebook sponsored post is delivered to a larger, wider audience than their own following but it involves a small payment. You can create sponsored posts through a Facebook business profile and can run them for a maximum of seven days.

Facebook sponsored posts are easier to create than Facebook ads and they’re ideal for brands without proper knowledge of using the Facebook Ad Manager. If you want to improve brand awareness without using Facebook ads, sponsored posts are ideal.

Setting Up Facebook Sponsored Posts

Create a post on your business page as you normally would and then once it’s live you will see the option to “Boost Post.” The first thing you’ll notice is ‘Objective’ which is essentially what you want the post to achieve. There are a few options, i.e.

  • Send people to your website (Link clicks)
  • Get more people to react, comment and share (Post engagements)
  • Connect and chat with potential customers (Messages)

Sponsored Posts

From there, follow a few simple steps where you can choose your target audience, how long to boost the post for and your budget. We chose $1 per day but you can go higher which will result in Facebook targeting a bigger audience.

Creating A Target Audience For Facebook Sponsored Posts

For the target audience, there are a few standard options but you can also create your own based on a number of criteria. In this example, we chose All (Men and Women), Aged between 27 and 55 who are located in Dursley and surrounding towns within a 50-mile radius.

You can also enable the Facebook pixel which will add pixel code to your website. It enables you to “measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website” (source: Facebook). The pixel provides data that will show conversions, and visitor activity and build audiences for ad targeting.

Recommended: ‘Create And Install a Facebook Pixel

Facebook Pixel

The Potential Of Facebook Ads

While Facebook Ads are similar to sponsored posts, they are created in the Facebook Ads Manager. They also have more complex targeting and budgeting options and as a result, Facebook Ads can be more challenging to create. Even though Facebook Ads aim at ongoing, long-term ad campaigns, they can also be used for shorter periods like sponsored posts.

Whether you use Facebook sponsored posts or Facebook ads, it all depends on your goals. Although Facebook ads are more complex, many businesses prefer the additional capabilities and control it gives their marketing team. With almost endless demographics, behaviours and interests, Facebook ads have exceptional targeting capabilities.

Facebook Ads Audience Targeting

Every time someone engages with a Facebook post, their information is available for advertisers. This means that, if they meet the criteria set by your target audience, they can be included in an ad campaign.

Some of the standard targeting options include:

  • Location
  • Education
  • Work
  • Financial status
  • Generation
  • Parental status
  • Ethnicity
  • Languages
  • Connections to specific Facebook pages
  • User’s online behaviours

There are literally too many options to list as you can define your target audience with nearly any criteria. You can even target people who recently returned from a trip or those who are admins on Facebook business pages.

Example Of Target Audience In Facebook Ads

In our example, we chose the following criteria to target specific people for a Facebook ad campaign:

  • Gender: Male and female
  • Age: 21 to 55
  • Locations: London, Watford, Oxford and Gloucester
  • Demographics: People at University or those with a professional degree
  • Interests: Online poker, parties and computer software
  • Marital status: Married
  • Behaviour: Business page admin

Even though the audience size shows 5,800,000 people, not all of them will see the ad. This number is only an indication of who you could reach “based on your targeting criteria, ad placements and how many people were shown ads on Facebook apps and services in the past 30 days” (source: Facebook).

Facebook Ads

You can narrow down your list even more and we included an Anniversary (within 61 – 90 days). Now the audience size is only 11,000 people.

Custom Audience

Related: ‘How To Create Facebook Reach Ads

Remarketing Power Of Facebook Ads

When Facebook first introduced its ad platform, people spent hours narrowing and specifying their audience based on countless criteria. At that time though, the brand’s ads were only shown to people who found them through Facebook. That was not ideal as many businesses couldn’t promote ads to some of their most qualified audiences which included web visitors and even email subscribers.

Thankfully (for some at least), that changed as Facebook introduced three main types of audiences. These are “Saved Audiences”, “Custom Audiences” and “Lookalike Audiences.” Remember the Facebook pixel? This is where the magic happens!

By copying that snippet of HTML code onto a specific page of your website, you can target (and re-target) people who visit a page with lead-specific or product-specific Facebook ads. If you looked at Thailand destinations recently, did you notice related or sponsored content about flight discounts or accommodation specials?

What Are Saved Audiences?

We already kind of covered this above but for the sake of accuracy, Saved Audiences are those that you can define by choosing specific criteria. This includes their interests, location, age, gender, used devices, income level, education level etc. You can create Saved Audiences in the campaign setup phase or in the Audience Manager.

There is even more location targeting to allow even more specific data:

  • Everyone in this location: The last updated location of an actual Facebook user
  • People who live in this location: This is set by the location on a user’s Facebook profile which is also confirmed by their IP address
  • People recently in this location: This is tracked via mobile device usage within the targeted geographic area
  • Anyone travelling to this location: People who had this geographic area in their list of recent locations

Facebook Custom Audiences

Facebook Custom Audiences are the most high-value target audiences. They allow retargeting to past website visitors and people who have engaged with your content or app. While there are several ways to create a Custom Audience, we’ve only included a brief overview of each.

1. Create Custom Audiences from customer files

This is based on your existing customer files which include email lists, phone numbers or Apple IDs. The Customer File audience is particularly useful for targeting your newsletter subscribers or app users.

2. Custom Audiences based on Website traffic

Facebook audiences based on web traffic allow you to create remarketing campaigns for anyone who has already engaged with your website. As mentioned earlier, these are high-value audience members as they are seeing your ads because they have already shown some interest in your brand.

This requires you to install a Facebook pixel which you should know a little more about from reading this article. For help setting this up, read the detailed Pixel setup instructions from Facebook. Once the pixel is installed, you can go to the Audience Manager on Facebook and create a Custom Audience based on past website traffic. The image below indicates the different available website tracking options:

Facebook Ads

3. Custom Audiences based on App activity

To create a Custom Audience based on app activity, you need to register your app and set up app events. Once completed, you can reach the people who have engaged with your iOS or Android app based on whether they opened it, made a purchase or took a specific action.

Recommended: ‘Create a Custom Audience for your app ads

4. Custom Audiences based on engagement

While a similar concept to the app activity, you can also target people who have engaged with your content on Facebook. This allows the possibility to target people who have engaged with you in the following ways:

  • Visited your Facebook page
  • Viewed a video or engaged with a post
  • Engaged with an ad on your Facebook page
  • Clicked any call-to-action buttons
  • Sent a message to your page
  • Saved your page or posts

5. Lookalike Audiences

As the name suggests, Facebook Lookalike Audiences are people who are similar to your existing database. This, of course, makes them much more likely to convert considering the historic success of your current customer base.

With Facebook Lookalike Audiences, you can target email subscribers on social media. Another way to approach this is to let Facebook’s algorithm generate a similar target audience by uploading a list of email addresses.

Both of these remarketing methods are very effective. To boost conversion rates, create a Website Custom Audience for anyone who abandons your landing page but excludes people who made it to the “thank you” page.

In order to create a Lookalike Audience, you must first set up a Custom Audience to tell Facebook what type of users you would like to reach. Here is a detailed step-by-step process of ‘how to set up Facebook Lookalike Audience’.

Top Tip:

The secret ingredient to an effective Facebook ad campaign is knowing the type of content your audience is most interested in. Stop the guessing game and look at your metrics to see what is performing well. Choose content that is generating most of the natural web traffic or receiving high engagement on social media.

Statistics For Facebook Usage In The UK

As of April 2019, there are 45 million social media users in the UK or 67% of the population. Based on users aged 18 and older, 52% are women and 48% are men. 39 million users access social media via mobile devices and that trend making mobile optimisation super important.

Of all the internet users in the UK, 78% of them are also on Facebook. With that in mind, consider this statistic for a second – 40 million people can be reached through Facebook ads. That equates to around 71% of UK adults, anyone 13 years or older.

According to The Digital 2019 report, video is the most engaging content to share on Facebook. The average “user in the UK makes 6 comments, likes 11 posts, shares 1 post and clicks on 13 ads in a 30-day period.” (Source: Facebook Audience Insights)

Did you know?

There are around 3.5 billion active social media users globally (April 2019) which is a massive amount of people. In fact, it represents 45% of the total global population so almost half of the world is on social media. Since April 2018, there has been a 6.1% increase in users and the growth will continue in 2020 and beyond.

Why Work With WSI eMarketing?

A reputable digital marketing agency with all the expertise and connections can help grow your business significantly. In today’s competitive online world, your brand needs to stand out and you shouldn’t have to do it alone.

Want to generate more leads and improve your online brand reputation? What about creating (and marketing) better content for emails, blogs or social media? Get in touch with us if you need help with PPC, content marketing, SEO, social media marketing and marketing automation.

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