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Getting Started with Advertising on Facebook

Updated: Sep 6, 2018

This can be as complicated as you want it to be, but for a small business, I'm going to try and break this down to make this as simple as possible for you. As you get to grips with the advertising dashboard, you'll soon gain confidence to dive deeper into the other options.

Why do you want to advertise?

First things first, ask yourself - why do you want to advertise? What is it that you want to achieve? Write it down, and continue to reflect on this reason to keep you on track (it's easy to get distracted and lose sight of why you're advertising with all of the things you can do).

Facebook have made this first step easy for you and you can select the objective which most likely suits what you're looking to achieve:

Brand Awareness - Increase awareness of your brand by reaching people who are more likely to be interested in it.

Reach - Show your ad to the maximum number of people.

Traffic - Send more people to a destination on or off Facebook, such as a website, app or Messenger conversation.

Engagement - Get more post engagements, Page likes, event responses or offer claims.

App Installs - Get more people to install your app.

Video Views - Get more people to view your video content.

Lead Generation - Drive more sales leads, such as email addresses, from people interested in your brand or business.

Messages - Get more people to send messages to your business in Messenger.

Conversions - Drive valuable actions on your website, in your app or in Messenger.

Catalogue Sales - Create ads that automatically show items from your catalogue based on your target audience.

Store Visits - Get more people nearby to visit your bricks-and-mortar locations.

So you've picked your objective (I'm going to continue with Lead Generation for this example as it's a great tool to collect genuine interest from prospective clients). You'll now be asked to create an Ad set.

Setting up an ad set is about identifying who you want to see your advert (age, location, gender, their likes etc...). How long you want them to see your campaign and how much you want to spend on it.

Select your location - it will automatically be set to 'United Kingdom' so you can delete this choice and write the towns/cities/countries you would like to target.

Set the age of people you want to reach - Select the minimum and maximum ages of the people who will find your ad relevant. Lead ads may only target people who are at least 18 years old. You can also select their gender and specific languages they speak too.

Detailed targeting - this allows you to refine the group of people Facebook show your adverts to. You can do this with additional demographic information, interests and behaviours. These detailed targeting options may be based on:

  • Apps they use

  • Ads they click on

  • Pages they engage with

  • Activities people engage in on and off Facebook related to things such as their device usage, purchase behaviours or intents, and travel preferences

  • Demographics such as age, gender and location

  • The mobile device they use and the speed of their network connection

Play around with this option! This is where you can really drill down to your niche, if it becomes too targeted, Facebook will alert you to say that you're being too specific and you may not get a good response to your campaign. Basically get the arrow in the green bar. It will also tell you how many people they think you will reach (this will change depending on what you put as your budget).

Now your audience has been identified, it's time to decide where you want your advert to be seen via the 'Placements' section. Now Facebook have their fingers in lots of pies so it's hard to know exactly where your advert will be seen via all the websites they're associated with, you can opt to 'edit placements' to pick and choose where I'd like my advert to be seen.

You'll see a long list of options which is already preselected for you depending on what your original marketing objective was. As I selected 'lead generation' I can opt out of various placements. If you just want to double check where your advert will be seen, this is useful to see. You can also decide if you just want your campaign seen on mobile devices (good if you're promoting an app for example) or on desktop or both.

TIP! When you're reviewing your ad placements, you can hover over each platform to see what they look like on the right hand side of the screen.

For the advanced advertiser, you can also set a 'block list' in this section too, this is an advanced step for your small business objectives but if you wanted to, you could block your advert being seen on certain websites, apps and specific Facebook pages.

So you've done your targeting and identified where you want your adverts seen via the placements section. It's now time to set your budget and schedule. In simple terms - how much do you want to spend and how long do you want your advert to be seen?

You can decide if you want to spend a daily budget or set a lifetime budget. A daily budget is the average that you'll spend every day. A lifetime budget is the maximum that you'll spend during the lifetime of your ad set.

There is an 'advanced options' button providing more detail around optimisation, bid strategy... These are already populated, so you don't need to worry about these options, they're there for your information, to help you understand what you're being charged for.

And that's it... You've set up your targeting, placements, budget and timing of your advertising campaign. Well done! The next step is creating an advert that people want to respond to. I'll share a post next week about the different advertising formats. Like us on Facebook to stay up to date!