How to Advertise on Facebook

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If you want to advertise your business on Facebook, there are a few things you need to figure out, including what your objective for advertising on the website is, what your budget will be, and which format of advertising you want to use.

The very first thing you must do, however, if you haven't already done so, is create a Facebook page for your business. Provide lots of helpful information in your About section, and add photos and videos to make visual connections with customers. Post frequently to your News Feed to share new developments and entice customers to return to your business. You can also add a button that enables people to shop, contact you, or a number of other options.

Ad Objective

The first step in creating and placing your ad is to determine your primary goal in advertising on Facebook. There are 11 objectives to choose from.

Brand awareness: Increase awareness of your brand by targeting people who are more likely to be interested in it.

Reach: Get your ad in front of as many people as possible.

Traffic: Send potential customers to a destination on or off Facebook, such as a website or app.

Engagement: Maximize engagement with a post or page, including comments, shares, likes, event responses, and offer claims.

App installs: Make it easy for customers to download your app.

Video views: Maximize promotion of your business's videos.

Lead generation: Collect information from people who are interested in your business and could become customers.

Messages: Get more people to contact your business using Messenger or WhatsApp.

Conversions: Maximize the number of people taking actions that are valuable to your business, including adding payment information or making a purchase.

Catalog sales: Show items available for sale that are selected based on your target audience.

Store traffic: Increase the number of customers going to your physical store location by showing targeted ads to people who are nearby.

The remainder of the steps in creating this ad will be based on having chosen Conversions as the objective. The steps you go through will differ somewhat depending on your objective.

Ad Account

You next have to set up your ad account, which isn't terribly complicated. You must select a country, currency, time zone, and, if you like, an ad account name. Only the name can be easily changed later; if you want to change the other information, you will have to create a new account.

Ad Set

The next step, Ad Set, involves further defining what you want your ad to do and how. You will also establish the budget and schedule for your ad.

Conversion: You can choose to send traffic to your website, app, app event, or Messenger or WhatsApp account. If you choose the app event option, you will have to create an event. For the other options, you will have to use or create a Facebook Pixel for measuring and optimizing the effectiveness of your ads.

Dynamic Creative: Upload creative assets, such as images and headlines, and automatically generate combinations of them for use in ads.

Offer: You can create a special offer for your business and send people reminders about it.

Audience: Target people in a certain location and in a selected age range. You can choose to target only men, only women, or both as well as those who speak particular languages. You can select for people by demographics, interests, and behaviors and include or exclude those who have an existing connection to you.

Placements: Choose whether to have Facebook place ads automatically or to manually determine placement yourself.

Budget & Schedule: Set a daily or lifetime budget and an end date for advertising, if you would like.

Ad Creation

Now it's time to create the ad. First, choose your business's Facebook page to represent your business in the ad.

Ad Format

Next, you'll choose an ad format. Facebook offers eight advertising formats. You might want to start out simpler and go for more-dynamic and more-expensive options once you've been advertising a while.

Not all formats may be selectable depending on the objective you chose.

Photo ad: This kind of ad is simply a photo with a small space for a headline, a caption, and a link to your website.

Video ad: This is another simple type of ad that utilizes a video instead of a still photo.

Stories ad: This kind of ad is incorporated into and uses the format of Facebook Stories, as opposed to users' News Feeds.

Messenger ad: This ad is placed in users' Facebook Messenger inbox.

Carousel ad: This kind of ad lets you use as many as 10 photos or videos to get your message across. You can highlight several different products or services or different benefits of a single product or service.

Slideshow ad: An ad of this type features a video-like presentation made up of still photos and sound. It uses far less data than a video ad so it works better for people with slower internet connections and older smartphones.

Collection ad: Available only for mobile devices, a collection ad lets you highlight different offerings that can be purchased using Instant Experience (formerly Canvas) without leaving the Facebook app. An ad in Instant Experience loads instantly and fills the entire screen. You can choose to include an Instant Experience in other types of ads as well.

Playable ad: The purpose of this format is to enable game developers to let potential customers try the game before purchasing.

Media, Text, Links, and Buttons

Add media elements, write the ad copy, add links, and maybe create a call-to-action button, such as Learn More, Send Message, or Shop Now. Because this example ad's objective was conversions, you would also set up your options for tracking conversions: Facebook Pixel, App Events, and/or Offline Events.

Preview and Placements

Preview your ad to make sure it looks the way you'd like. Then select among placement options including Mobile News Feed, Desktop News Feed, Facebook Messenger, In-Stream Video, and Stories.

Review and Confirm

The final steps in ad creation are to review and then confirm all the details of your ad buy.

Ad Performance

Once you have begun advertising on Facebook, you should gauge the ad's performance in Ads Manager. Track how many conversions you are getting and decide whether they are worth the cost per action (CPA) you spent on them.

If you don't like how the ad performed, create a new one or, better yet, several new ones. Now that you have successfully created one ad, a good next-step strategy is to create several ads for a particular objective, divide your Facebook budget among them, and see which one is the most effective. You can then drop the other ads and use only the best-performing, tried-and-tested version.

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