Facebook Advertising Cheat Sheet

One of the biggest social networks out there is Facebook, and it’s widely used for advertising by many companies and shops to get the word out, to notify about sales, to build customer trust, and many other objectives.

Posted on 05.10.2020 | by Margarita | Content Manager

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Introduction

In the olden days, advertising was done in print – mainly papers and flyers, people yelling out catchphrases about your company or product, or you had a banner inviting people in. 

All of these are used in one way or another to this day.  

However, just as many other aspects of our lives, advertising too has evolved and transformed, bringing us new ways of reaching our clients. 

Thanks to technological advancement we have now an online world, where most of our communication takes place, where we look and fact check information, read news and magazines, watch movies, shop, and do many other things. 

One of the biggest social networks out there is Facebook, and it’s widely used for advertising by many companies and shops to get the word out, to notify about sales, to build customer trust, and many other objectives. 

This article will go into detail about Facebook advertising, take you through the process and teach you the dos and don’ts of this medium. 

Facebooks ads policy: Which types of ads are not allowed 

Just like any other medium, this one also has its set of rules and regulations. 

Aside from the obvious restrictions, like promoting illegal products, activities, or services, be of discriminatory nature, sell or promote drugs and tobacco, adult services or products, weapons, and such. 

However, you are also not allowed to have ads that contain any shocking or violent content, disturbing content, nothing about cryptocurrency (of course if you get an OK from Facebook beforehand, then it’s fine), no financial services or products. 

The list goes on and on. For the full info on this matter, please follow the link and see the full list of Facebook’s policies and procedures that you need to follow in order to be approved for the ad.  

Facebook Ad

Rather than listing you everything you can’t do, let’s see what Facebook appreciates! 

And following the trend of recent years, it highly appreciates good content! 

Creative and innovative content will grab your audience’s attention, make them read your ad, follow the link, and maybe even purchase the product you are selling. 

But not everything is that easy, and there are steps you need to take in order to construct your ads to attract the right people and the right time to the right ads.

The construction of Facebook ads

All Facebook ads have the same structure, and they all include the 3 main components: Campaign, Ad set, and Ad. 

It is important to understand how each of them affects your goals and how to set them all right to get the best results. 

Let’s look at them individually and see what settings for each you can use, depending on your goals. 

Campaign 

This is the basic level, which defines your overall goals of the ad. In a way, it serves like a foundation, of which you can build the remaining components. 

Here you have to choose the goals by selecting the right objective

Defining the goal is crucial, as the rest of the ad will follow that logic. So think hard and long on this one. 

What do you want to achieve with your ad? 

The main objectives include the following:

objectives that you want to achieve with your ad

Awareness

The name speaks for itself. 

However, in the settings, you will find 2 options: Brand awareness and Reach. 

Brand awareness is for those companies that need to get the word out, to increase people’s awareness of their company, brand, product, service, what have you. 

Reach, on the other hand, has a bit of a different logic, and if you choose this option, Your ad will be most visible within your target audience – as much as possible. 

Consideration

In case you choose this goal, you will have many more choices than in the previous one, and it’s best for those companies looking to get people to take action. 

Let us take you through the list of objectives and give you the reason why it exists and in which case you should pick that one.

Traffic 

This objective fits best with those companies that are looking to transfer their audience to another website – their landing page, blog post, product page, and so on. 

This fits perfectly to promote a product, drive traffic to your website, and interest your audience in a useful piece of information.

App Installs 

In case your eCommerce store has an app, and you want more people to download it, this objective is for you! 

With this option, you are sending people either to the app store or the Google Play to download your app and encourage people using it. 

Video Views

If your ad includes a video, then this option is probably for you. This Objective will help you share the video with as many people as possible, that are most likely to view it. 

So in case you are looking for the most views, go ahead and pick this option. 

Lead Generation

If the reason for your ad is to generate sells, then this objective is for you. This is an excellent option for lead generation and encouraging people to sign up for newsletters, leave their email to download an ebook and such activities, in order to have certain information to be able to contact them later. 

Messages 

This is an option for direct communication, kind of, with either potential or existing customers. Since Facebook has acquired many other companies, like Watsapp and Instagram, you have many options to connect with your audience. 

This option is perfect for those who want to create a personal connection with their customers. It is also a great way to let your existing customers know about upcoming events, sales and other promotions you might have. 

Conversion 

This is also pretty easy to rasp from the name, meaning you want people to make an action here, mostly action being a purchase, however other actions may be required. 

Under the umbrella of overall conversion, you also have 3 objectives that you can pick, depending on the goals you are pursuing. 

Conversions

Here you want people to take action. Action can be anything from adding an item to a cart, registering on your online store, downloading an app or making a purchase. 

Whatever it is, this objective fits best for those who are looking to make direct sales or encourage people to take actions either on their webstore, or turn them into potential leads and add them to their customer base. 

Catalogue Sales

This objective is ideal for those who are looking to make sales through their ads. 

If you choose this option, your ad will show products from your online store’s catalogue so that people looking can be interested, click on the ad and go directly to your page. 

Store Traffic

This is a great objective for people who have a physical shop and want to attract people there and maximise their offline sales and overall awareness. 

This option will let people nearby know that there is a great store in their vicinity. 

Ad Set

You have now set the campaign, defined your overall goals and selected the type of campaign you want to run. 

Now it’s time to build your audience and create the rules of your ad, so to speak. 

In this section, you will be choosing your audience, set the budgeting and bids and create a schedule by which your ad is going to run. 

Let’s discuss all the matters step by step to help you build the ad that will work best for your online shop and serve your goals. 

Targeting

Targeting is one of the most important steps in your ad set, as here you are choosing who will see your ad and essentially building your perfect buyer avatar. 

Below find the targeting option you can choose from. 

Location

This one is pretty obvious. 

You need to set your ad to show in locations where you want to promote your business. 

For example, if you have a show store in Cambridge, and you want people to attract them to it, go ahead and choose the city and also nearby locations. 

In case you don’t have a physical store, and only want to use the online platform, you most probably have chosen a market to target. 

Whether it’s a whole country, a region or a specific city, you can easily do that. 

Interests

You can also target people by their interests. In case your online store is selling dog food, you want animal lovers, dog owners and such. 

Also, make sure you are making your ads as relevant as possible to their interests, so it resonates with them better. 

Demographics

You can choose the demographics of your audience as well, ideally as close as possible to your buyer avatar. 

Here you pick their gender, age, job title, education and other demographic markers. 

Connection 

This one may not jump out as obvious, but you can either include or exclude people who are already connected to your business through a Facebook page. 

In case your goal is to attract new potential customers, you can choose to exclude people that are already connected to you. 

However, if you want to make a sure sale, our money would be on including those that are already familiar with you. 

Behaviour

This one is about targeting those based on their usage of devices and purchases in the past. 

People most often make purchases on their laptops, rather than phones. Thus you can make that distinction, in case you are looking for those that are more likely to make a purchase again. 

Lookalike Audience 

This one is those people who have similar interests, customer behaviour, demographics, location and more to your ideal target audience. 

So this is pretty much the pool of potential audience that you might have, to interest them in your product and maybe make them your customers. 

Targeting a lookalike audience with your ads has an immense potential of reaching people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to say. 

Retargeting

Here you are using your existing data such as your contact lists from sign-ups and such, site visitors and app users (in case you have one) to reach those people again and try to get them interested in your ad. 

Retargeting has a huge success rate, as you don’t need to get them to trust you, familiarise with your online store, or get them to become interested in the product. All those stages are passed, they have already purchased from you, or are interested in what you offer. 

You are merely presenting them with yet one product that they might find useful, showing that you are trying to help them and not just sell. 

Now that you have built the desired audience for your ad to be seen by, it’s time to talk money. 

Set up the campaign budget & Schedule

Budget

There are 2 main ways you need to set the budget: the overall one and the daily one. 

In the total budget, you need to set the amount of money you want to spend over the whole course of the ad. 

Let’s say you want your ad to run for a week and you don’t want to spend over $100 on it, so you set your total budget on $100. 

The daily budget spends the average amount of money you are willing to spend on the ad per day. 

You can set the amount as $10 per day, let’s say, and then your week ad will cost you less, however, may also cost you exposure. 

Budget & Schedule

Facebook ads will usually run as soon as it is reviewed and approved unless stated otherwise.

So, if you want your ad to start running at a certain day and last for a certain amount of days, you need to schedule that in advance and make sure you set the date and time for it to start and finish running. 

There are also 2 main ad delivery options you can choose from when it comes to controlling how the system spends your money: standard and accelerated. 

What is the delivery type exactly?

Well, the delivery of the ad is basically that your target audience saw the ad and the pacing is what optimises the delivery. Makes sure you spend the optimal amount of money on one ad to get the best result within your budget. 

The standard passing is the default setting of any Facebook ad campaign, which pretty much means that it will distribute the ad evenly throughout the day. 

On the other hand, the accelerated option will show your ad as quickly as possible and as often as possible. It will not be paced, and you may use up your budget in a day without getting to the later afternoon. 

There are things to remember about the accelerated option, though, which is the budget for the day will be gone as quickly as possible, and the efficiency will not be a priority in this case. This might also make your CPC, CPA and CPI and others higher than before. 

Bidding 

There is also another option you can choose to spend the money on the ad, which is bidding which you do at an ad auction. 

3 main bidding types include cost cap, which is the default setting, bid cap and target cost, which are both advanced options. 

The cost cap is perfect for those who want to maximise the results while staying within their budget. This is the strategy you want to go with if you want the most volume.

The bid cap is getting the maximum results without exceeding the bid cap, which is not the same as the average cost of the result in the reporting. This strategy works best for those who want to control bids in the auction. 

The target cost will prioritise results that will cost you the somewhat same amount to the goal you set prior. This option will make sure you get consistent costs. 

You can also have the lowest cost, which is the auto-bid, where the cost is set by Facebook, and you want the hands-off approach to your ads.

Ad

As you have set the schedule and the budget, figured out what bidding strategy you want, it’s time to create your ad. 

Make sure you upload the copy and the image/video to Facebook. 

Now, after review and approval by Facebook, your ad is ready to run. 

However, there is another very important thing to set, which is the ad placement. 

Ad placement 

Here you have many options to choose from, and depending on your product, goal and objective, you need to choose the right combination of placement. 

Feeds

Your ad appears to people scrolling through their inbox, desktop, or mobile feeds.

  • Facebook News Feed: The ad will appear in the news feed, regardless of whether they are using their app or the desktop version on the website. 
  • Instagram Feed: This option only appears on the Instagram App news feed, and the desktop version is excluded. 
  • Facebook Marketplace: Your ad will appear either on the Marketplace in the Facebook app or the home page when anyone is browsing it. 
  • Facebook Video Feeds: The ad will appear in the Facebook news feed, and Facebook watch, but only in the video environment, between the organic videos. 
  • Facebook Right Column: In case you are targeting people that only use their computers, then your ad will appear on the right column, as this option is only available for desktop version on the website.
  • Instagram Explore: In case someone clicks on a video or a photo during their Instagram browsing, your ad will appear to them. 
  • Messenger Inbox: Your ads will be visible in Messenger’s Home tab.
In-Stream

If you choose this option, your ad will be visible, during, before or after any video content. If you pick the Facebook In-Stream Videos placement option, then your ad will appear in the preselected and approved group of partner live streams and on Videos on Demand sections.  

Stories

The vertical and full-screen ad will ve visible to people in their stories. It can be placed in stories either on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger. 

Search

If you decide to go with this option, your ad will appear to people only when they search for something in Marketplace or Facebook, next to relevant results. 

Messenger
Sponsored messages 

This is a great option for those who already have existing conversations on Messenger with tier clients. Your ad will come up as an unread message. 

In article
Instant Articles

Your ad will only appear on the Facebook app in the section of Instant Articles. 

Apps

If you go with this option, your ad will be visible on external apps such as: 

  • Audience Network Native, Banner and Interstitial: The ads you have created will appear on apps on Audience Network. 

Audience Network Rewarded Videos: This option lets you place your videos inside apps people use, for either app currency or point within the app, or any other type of reward.

Choose the Right Ad Type 

Ad type is very important, if not a crucial aspect to consider. 

You need to think about it beforehand, heavily relying on your target audience, and on the goals of the campaign you are trying to launch. 

Here are the main types of ads for you to pick from: 

Image Ads

These ones are simple picture ads and are a great place to start. 

You can even transform an existing post into an ad by boosting it. 

However, remember some tips to make sure your image translates into a good ad copy: 

  • Use only high-quality pictures
  • Make sure your ad image and copy are creative and interesting
  • Avoid anything generic
  • Surprise and inspire your viewers 

Video Ads

Here you use a video instead of a photo to advertise. 

They have many options for placement and can work wonders, but again, they have to be interesting and creative and not run for too long.

Note, that you don’t have to use a video as such, and create GIFs and graphics, that will save you some investment into production and filming! 

Poll Video Ads

This option is only available for an app version and is a great way to engage your audience, as well as find out their opinions on things. 

This type also works wonders for brand awareness. 

Carousel Ads

This type of ad uses up to 10 videos or images to show your services or products.

It’s great for highlighting the benefits of either your product or the company.  

Slideshow Ads

This option is great for those who need to create a short video from images, short video clips or texts. 

This type of ad has the catchy properties of a video, but loads much quicker, which is perfect for reaching people with slow internet. 

Collection Ads

This is also another App-only option that allows to showcase up to five products that viewers then can click on to purchase.

Instant Experience Ads

This type of ad, or as previously used Canvas ads, is an ad that loads on the full screen. 

Lead Ads

This is another app-only ad type that is designed for easy info exchange. 

You can use these to urge people to sign up for newsletters, updates, and so on.

This option is great for generating quite a substantial database for further expansion and drops costs significantly if paired with Messenger bot. 

Dynamic ads

This is a great option to reach people who already know you and took some actions on your website. 

Basically this type of ad can be used for retargeting and bringing back those who abandoned their cats or never completed an order. 

Messenger Ads

This is a great base of more than 1.2 million people that use messenger every day. 

People will see your ad as a message. 

It’s also a great way to establish relationships with your clients, as eventually someone from your customer support will chip in after they exhaust all the Messenger box options. 

Stories Ads

Studies show that the majority of people don’t rotate their screens to watch video full-screen, and this type of ad gives you an advantage, as Stories ads are vertical full-screen video ad options. 

This type of ad has proven to be very lucrative in the past, and we definitely recommend experimenting with it. 

Stories AR Ads

In case you don’t know what AR is – it’s augmented reality. 

This is a great way of interactive ads, that uses animation and filters. 

This is relatively a new type of ad but is gaining popularity by the hour. 

Game-Type Ads

This is another very new format for ads and is also super interactive and interesting for the potential audience. 

All you do is simulate a gaming experience so that people interact with your content. 

It is a super engaging ad type that, of course, needs to be used only in consideration with demographics, as younger people will favour this type over older people.  

Create relevant landing pages 

This part is very important, as your ad needs to be holistic and the link you put in there, redirecting people to your online store should be relevant to your goal. 

Let us give an example, so you can see what we mean here. 

Imagine your Facebook ad is to raise awareness of your brand and to educate potential clients about your online store, the services you provide and so on. 

In case you pare that ad with a link to your catalogue or product page, you will completely lose the person, and they most likely will leave. 

And vice versa, if you are advertising a big sale on certain products, and you redirect people to your home page, or blog or any other non-relevant page to the actual sale, you are not meeting your client’s expectations, thus losing them right away. 

TEST, TEST, and TEST some more

Even if you know your customers very well, there is a huge chance that your ad might not work, because of the slogan you have, the image, the placement of the button, its colour and so on. 

It is a huge advantage to create a couple of variations of your ad, changing miner things (usually just one component) to try to determine what works best. 

In case you are advertising to the potential customer, not just existing ones, there is a bigger risk of doing something off for them, so it’s very important to test. 

And test not only the ad itself but the placement, the time of the day you turn it on, the days of the week, the budget and closely monitor the outcomes. 

In order to monitor your customer’s behaviour and interactions with the ad, Facebook has created a great analytical tool called Pixel.

What is Facebook Pixel

As mentioned above, it’s an analytical tool to measure how effective your ad is through understanding the actions that were taken on your website. 

The idea is to track people that came from the ad through code, that you insert, much like Google Analytics. 

There are several things you can using Pixel for, like: 

  • Boost sales – You can set up automated bidding, so the ad is shown to those people who are more likely to take action when they see your ad.
  • Ensure the ad is displayed to the right audience – You can find people who have already visited your website, a specific page or simply took the desired action, which may be signing up for your newsletter, downloading the app, adding something to the shopping cart, making a purchase and so on. 
  • Determine the ad results – you will understand your customers and their behaviour better, thus make better ads in the future by measuring what actions people take or not take when they see your ad. 

By adding Facebook Pixel you make sure that you see all the people that reacted to the ad, redirected to your website, took an action you wanted them to, or not, and you can see everything in Events Manager

Analysing this data will give you a great insight into people’s behaviour and tastes, thus giving you very valuable information on how to create your ads in the future to inspire more shares, likes, conversion and so on. 

Fully Track Your Ads

While Pixel is a great tool to track your ads, it is not the only one, and only used in combination with other techniques can give great results. 

Let us name some of the tactics you can employ to make sure not a single click is left unnoticed. 

Tag your URLs

In case you took our advice and did make variations of your ad to test out, but use the same URL for redirects, you will have no idea which ad was clicked. 

In order to differentiate between the ads and see which one works best, tag each URL differently, to be able to tell which ad it came from. 

Use the Full Potential of Facebook Pixel

As we said earlier, Pixel can help you track and improve many different areas of your ad, targeting, budget setting and so on. 

However, there is much more to it. 

You can also set up Facebook Pixel standard and custom events, to make sure you are using it to its full potential. 

You can use the custom events to build custom audiences and map your conversion as custom as well, to be able to optimise them. 

The standard event is the standard action taken place on the website, and you can use them to build audiences and optimise your ads for conversions. 

Set Value to your Facebook Pixel Event

This one is very important for those who want to see how much they are spending as opposed to how much they are getting. 

Obviously, if you are spending on an ad $2 and the person made a purchase of a $1.5, you are losing money and should set a smaller value for the ad. 

You can also edit the currency, as well as the value of the event, in this case, a conversion, to make sure you are optimising for your country. This will help you get more accurate data.

See how to do that here

Set Conversion Tracking 

You should also track the conversions, which can be anything from purchase to download and sign up. 

Following simple steps, you can easily customise the conversion you want to track in order to get the full picture you need.  

Also know, that Facebook provides cross-device reporting, that gives you the info on how many conversion happened from which devices – app vs the website. For example, you can see if a person saw the ad on their tablet or phone and later completed the purchase on the laptop. 

Conclusion

We have given you more than enough information on how Facebook ads work and how to set up and optimise one to work in your favour and achieve optimal results. 

Please make sure you follow these guidelines, in case you are a newbie in this area. It will help you avoid many mistakes. 

Trust us, we speak from experience. Better learn on our mistakes than lose money making your own. 

Margarita | Content Manager

Margarita is the content manager at Smarketa and has been putting words to paper for over 5 years now. She is a bit of a grammar nazi, and believes that the right punctuation can save lives. 🙂