So you want to try out Facebook Ads for your business. Good idea! Facebook ads can help you drive more traffic to your website, get more Page Likes, and increase your brand awareness.
I have a secret to share with you: there’s one kind of Facebook ad that can actually do ALL of the above for you, at once! Scouts honor. How do I know? Because I’ve been running ads for the past year and have honed in on my most successful process for creating Facebook ads. And I’m about to share it with you!
(This kind of ad is especially effective if you already have a relatively healthy following on Facebook.)
The following is a step-by-step guide to creating the Promoted Post-type of Facebook ad. Whatever you do, DO NOT turn your page posts into ads directly from your timeline. It gives you hardly any targeting options so you’ll just be throwing a lot of money out the window. We small businesses need to use our ad money wisely!
It all starts with a post on your page: it could be a status update with a link to an opt-in page, a blog post, or it could be a photo that ALSO has a link in the description. Whenever possible, I make ads out of photo posts since you can change the description of the photo at any time! You can’t change anything about a link or status update that you’ve posted, and that lack of flexibility can be extremely frustrating when you’re creating an ad.
Check out my initial photo post that I then turned into an ad about our End Your Website Shame webinar:
You can see that this photo has a lot of likes and shares. Every hear of social proof? These likes and shares make people more likely to click on the ad because they can see that others have already given their seal of approval!
Time to break down the step-by-step process of creating a Facebook ad:
1. Create a page post on your Facebook page, preferably one with a photo or image. Don’t have any photos that you think will encourage people to click? Broaden your image-posting horizons with these great tools for making gorgeous graphics.
Here are some guidelines for posts you want to turn into ads:
a. The photo should be made up of no more than 20% text, otherwise you could have trouble getting it approved later as an ad.
b. All the text you post on Facebook will not necessarily show up in the ad. Ads created from page posts only show about 90 characters from the original post. So make sure that your call-to-action AND at least part of the link fit into those first 90 characters when you’re creating the initial post. (BONUS: if you’re creating an ad out of a page post with a photo, you can change the description of the photo before turning it into an ad, so if you need to shorten the text or change the link, you can!)
2. Create an ad by going to https://www.facebook.com/ads/create or by clicking on Ads Manager on the top left part of your Facebook homepage, and then clicking the green Create an Ad button.
3. At the very top of the page where you create an ad, you’ll have to choose a destination inside Facebook (that’s means your page post). Your business’s page should appear in the options; give it a click.
4. There you’ll be given 3 options. We always chose Promote Page Posts. Why? Because of those multiple effects this kind of ad can have: visits to a page on your website, Likes for your Facebook page, and increased brand awareness even if people don’t click on your ad.
5. With Promote Page Posts selected, you’ll be prompted to choose which post you want to turn into an ad with a drop-down menu of options. Choose the post by recognizing the copy you used. Leave the box below that starts with “Keep my ads up-to-date….” unchecked.
6. Immediately below, click Remove in the section about Sponsored Stories. I’ve found that adding this social element of “Jane Doe liked LKR Social Media’s photo” makes it exponentially more complicated to track the health and success of the ad. Keep an eye out for an upcoming blog post on this very topic!
7. Now you have to get down to business and target specific people to view your ad. Specify the country, state, city or very specific area, the age (keep “Require exact age match” checked), and gender.
8. Now it’s time to narrow things down using Precise Interests. People give you insight into who they are and what they do by the things they like on Facebook. So if my target audience is new and soon-to-be mothers, I might include Precise Interests such as Parenting Magazine, the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and any other pages on Facebook that target that same audience (like your competitors). You can also specify some Broad Categories, like Parents, Expecting Parents, etc.
The size of your projected audience will appear on the right and will change as you add and subtract Precise Interests or Broad Categories. Try to get your target audience down to 200,000 people or less; selecting one or more Broad Categories can do wonders for shrinking an audience of 1,000,000 way way down, so check to see if any of them make sense for your target audience. If you make different ads for different age groups in order to keep the audience under 200,000, just make sure you keep track of them by adding some kind of indicator in the name of the ad.
9. This is where the targeting stuff gets VERY interesting. You can specify the connections, a.k.a what relationship your target audience will have with your page. I usually choose “Only people not connected to LKR Social Media.” Why? Because the people who are connected to us by liking our page already see our status updates and often comment or like them, so I don’t need to advertise to them.
I want to get my offer in front of new eyeballs to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to my opt-in page, and grow my list. But I do make sure to include people who are friends with people connected with my page; it adds a layer of social proof if someone sees that a friend of theirs likes my offering.
10. Depending on what you’re advertising, you may want to get really specific in your targeting, so click on See Advanced Targeting Options to check out how much more detailed you want to go.
11. If this is a brand new campaign, add in a Campaign Name. Choose something related to the offering in your ad. For example, I’ve run different ads over time for my free webinars. But I don’t want to jumble them all in the same campaign; it gets hard to manage them later on. So I have a campaign for each webinar, and I name them with each webinar’s name. If this ad you’re creating fits into a campaign that you’re currently running or have run in the past, select “Use Existing Campaign” instead of writing in the name of a new one.
12. Establish a daily budget; you can change this whenever you want, but for the first couple of days of the ad’s life, you should start with as high a budget as you can. Facebook will lower the cost of your ads if they see a good click-through-rate, so you want to be able to establish that your ads are very clickable in the beginning by showing more of them.
13. Decide if you want to run your ad continuously or for a specific period of time. You can always restart an ad once it ends, or pause it whenever you want if it’s running continuously.
14. Skip the section on Conversion Tracking for now. We’ve found that as right now, it isn’t very accurate.
15. The Pricing is where you MUST make sure to change Facebook’s settings. Click on “Switch to Advanced Pricing (includes CPC)” and choose “Optimize for Clicks” and then “Manually bid for clicks.” Below a box will appear where you can enter your bid for each click (also known as the CPC – cost per click).
You’ll notice that Facebook gives you a suggested bid. I typically bid on the high end of this range, or even above it to make sure that my ads start running for as many people as possible. The cost of the actual clicks will be lower than what you bid, AND if your ad sees a high click-through-rate (CTR), the price of those clicks will be even lower.
16. Review your ad, the audience and the pricing, and if you’re satisfied, click on “Place Order.” Your ad will be automatically sent for review by Facebook, and it’ll either be approved or rejected within a day or less. What makes a promoted page post ad get rejected? Usually it’ll be because the image included in the post has too much text on it, so think about that when creating that initial post.
17. WHEN YOUR AD(S) IS RUNNING: I recommend checking on your ads and lowering your CPC bid each day. You’ll see how much your clicks are costing on average so it’s a good idea to lower your bid to that amount so that you don’t end up paying more than necessary.
And that’s exactly how we use paid advertising to get the word out about Social Media Marketer, Creating Fame, and our many pieces of free content on Facebook!
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