In this guide, we’ll give you insights on how to use Facebook to market your brand to a consumer audience. As the world’s most popular social network, and one that offers many tools for advertisers to personalize and measure their campaigns, Facebook is a powerful way for you to reach consumers.
Here’s everything you need to know to get started with Facebook Ads.
Why is Facebook a Good Tool for B2C marketing?
Social Ads are a quick, effective, and inexpensive mode of reaching potential clients through highly personalized messages. Thanks to social networks’ large user data storage, social ads hold the potential for highly precise and targeted campaigns.
With over 1.5 billion active users, Facebook offers an enormous potential reach, making it one of the most interesting social networks to leverage. It is also one of the most personalizable and visual options, all at a very low cost per click.
For a successful B2C Facebook marketing strategy, follow these five basic steps:
- Understand the different types of ad placement Facebook offers.
- Define your goals for the ads—awareness, consideration, or conversion?
- Build your audience segments.
- Design and format your ads.
- Measure your results, and iterate!
In the rest of the guide, we’ll go over each step in more detail, and share an example of how one brand improved their Facebook ad campaign results through testing.
What are Facebook Ads?
The first thing you need to know about are the 4 types of Facebook Ads:
Facebook Column and Newsfeed – These ads are shown blended into a user’s Newsfeed, along with all their friends’ posts, as well as in a column on the right.
Facebook Messenger -Facebook’s latest advertising feature is the ability to send ads through Facebook Messenger’s chatbots for brands. To avoid spamming users, these ads can only be published in conversations initiated by the users.
Instagram – Facebook’s purchase of Instagram gave way to the integration of both advertising platforms, opening up an endless pool of possibilities for retargeting and cross-platform ads.
The Audience Network – This network lets you amplify your advertising campaigns above and beyond Facebook’s borders. You can reach out to chosen audiences through apps, mobile websites, articles, and videos.
With any of these options, the ads can be shown in both mobile and desktop formats. You are also able to create one single ad for several platforms.
Facebook Ad Marketing Objectives
Another important step is to get clarity on your marketing objectives. When creating a new ad, you need to select a goal or set of goals for your campaign. These are grouped into three main categories: Awareness, Consideration and Conversion.
Within Awareness, you may be trying to:
- Boost your posts, to promote engagement and interaction with your brand’s posts.
- Promote your page to increase your follower base.
- Find people near your business, to reach out to those who are most likely to be interested in you.
- Increase brand awareness by reaching out to the maximum possible number of users.
Within Consideration, your goal may be to:
- Send people to a destination on or off Facebook, to redirect and attract people to a certain page or site
- Raise attendance at your event, by promoting your offer or event.
- Get video views.
- Collect leads for your business by driving form fills to get contact information like, for example, the email addresses of people who are interested in your company.
- Promote a product catalog, to automatically show the products in your catalog according to the target audience.
Within Conversion, your objectives may be to:
- Increase conversions on your website, in order to contribute to your overall conversion goals, like online sales for example.
- Get installs of your app.
- Increase engagement in your app, to get more people using your mobile app more often, or in new ways.
- Get people to claim your offer, to drive sales, downloads, free trials, or contest entries.
- Get people to visit your stores in person.
Segmentation in Facebook Ads
Over 1 billion people use Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network-connected apps on a daily basis. You might think that finding the people interested in your brand feels a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. The good news is Facebook offers different filters to make selecting a specific audience easier.
There are three main options for how you define your segment:
Main Audiences – This option lets you manually choose your audience according to several characteristics: demographics, location, interests, and behavior.
Custom Audiences – As well as reaching out to new audiences, Facebook is a great way to get in touch with people you already know. With custom audiences, you can locate your contacts and current clients on Facebook in three ways—by looking up current and potential clients, website visitors, or mobile app users. This way, you can create campaigns targeted at strengthening your relationships with them and promote engagement. This approach is known as retargeting.
Lookalike Audiences – This option lets you increase your outreach by looking for users who are similar to your current clients or contacts. It allows you to make the most of the incredible power of statistics to increase your ads’ potential.
For more information on segmentation, we’ve outlined plenty of segmentation options here.
Facebook Ad Formats
Another very important thing to keep in mind in the Facebook Ads universe is that there are several different ad formats you can choose from:
Photo Ads – A very simple yet highly visual format.
Video Ads – Uses picture, sound, and movement to tell your brand’s story.
Carousel – Displays several images or videos (rotating) in the same ad.
Presentation – Small video ads that allow you to reach out to people with different connection speeds.
Canvas – A personalized advertising experience for mobile formats, with incredible loading speed.
If you take a glance at all the different imaginable combinations of the options mentioned above, you will quickly begin to realize Facebook’s potential to adapt to all kinds of brands, campaigns, and audiences.
Facebook Advertising is Mobile
In the U.S., nearly one in every five minutes users spend on their smartphones is dedicated to Facebook and Facebook’s Instagram and messenger in either Instagram or Facebook, according to Zuckerberg’s 2016 presentation for digital city Barcelona. Facebook’s advertising solution is perfectly adapted for mobile ads and lets you create specific campaigns just for these devices. It also has an ad format designed especially for mobile–Canvas.
Thanks to Canvas, you can very flexibly create immersive ads. Facebook’s Canvas Ads include full-screen images and videos, as well as text and call-to-action buttons. The user can slide their fingertips over the whole screen, tilt, and zoom into images, completely submerging themselves into your brand’s story. They have a full-screen format and load 10 times faster than standard mobile websites.
Measuring Facebook Ads Results
Facebook Ads has advanced options to measure and track your ads’ profitability and ROI.
Facebook’s measuring tools let you investigate the following data concerning your campaigns:
Audience reactions and results -Who you reached out to and how they reacted. You can check them in the ad reports, the ad statistics API, and Atlas’ outreach and campaign reports (the ad tech platform Facebook acquired from Microsoft in 2013). These let you measure your campaign’s performance in different editors, devices, apps, and browsers.
Brand results – With their brand improvement surveys, Facebook lets you compare feedback from people who have been exposed to your ad versus feedback from those who weren’t.
Sales results – In order to measure conversions, Facebook has conversion increase measurement tools, attribution reports from Atlas, as well as partnerships to measure mobile activity and offline conversions.
Facebook Ads Success Story: Groupalia
Putting theory into practice, here are insights from a case study we did with one of our clients, Groupalia. Their story is a good example of how you can optimize your images in Facebook ads to improve campaign performance, based on your objectives.
When creating digital marketing campaigns, every single element of the ad is crucial—the text, the CTA or button, the image, etc. On Facebook, in particular, we are reaching out to a group of users who share common interests, but who do not necessarily know our brand. And we all know how important first impressions are. To attract their attention, images are of the utmost importance.
Which is why we decided to run an experiment with one of our clients, Groupalia, comparing ads with images that followed the brand’s brandbook, versus images that were optimized according to the following guidelines:
Use strong contrasts, and eye-catching colors that stand out from the network’s background, such as orange, yellow or red on Facebook, where the predominant colors are blue, white, and grey.
Less is more. Do not use excessive filters that detract from the image itself. Use balanced and easy to read text.
Include bold marketing moves such as discounts and reduced prices in the image itself.
Their goal was to drive conversions (clicks through to their website) and e-commerce sales based using the discount promo mentioned in the ad. The result was that, with identical investments, the images that followed the above-mentioned guidelines (the Performance Image below) achieved a 35% higher CTR than the image they would normally have used (the Brand Image below). Even more importantly, the ROI in terms of sales and income were more than double in the ads that used these images.
Remember, the first thing you need to do before you start implementing a Facebook ads campaign is finding clarity in your objectives and the audience segment you want to target. That will determine how you measure the success of your campaign and guide the tests you run to optimize your campaigns.
What about B2B Marketing?
Facebook Ads are a great tool to use for marketing to consumers, but keep in mind that digital marketing strategies are dependent on the business model you follow. Whether you are targeting consumers or businesses matters. If your interested in learning how to target businesses, the first step is to understand where to find the professional network you’re targeting. In the world of B2B marketing, that will most likely be LinkedIn, or even Twitter, since people are more likely to use Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat in their personal lives and other social networks professionally.