Did you know Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world? With over 2.91 billion monthly active users, it's one of the earliest social media channels to come about, and one of the few from its era to still be active today. Since its debut in 2004, Facebook has evolved quite a bit, and, based on the way things are going, it will continue to do so.
As with all social platforms, Facebook has transformed over the years from solely being a social networking site to being a great marketing and business development tool for organizations. Facebook ads can have great success and ROI – if you know how to utilize them.
As the platform has changed, so too have Facebook ads. It seems like every year there are new things you need to know as a business or marketer about how to successfully run Facebook ad campaigns, so today, we're walking through what you need to know about Facebook ads in 2023.
Let's start with the basics... what are Facebook ads?
Before getting into the "meat and potatoes" of this blog, let's go over the history of Facebook ads and what you need to know about them. Facebook ads were introduced in 2007 and were described to be “an ad system for businesses to connect with users and target advertising to the exact audiences they want…” This innovative move was a success, and Facebook continues to improve their social advertising functions all the time.
As a content specialist who works on social media advertisements on a daily basis, I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I don’t say this to scare you; it's the reality of the digital marketing realm as – say it with me – things are constantly changing.
There are plenty of positives and negatives to using Facebook ads, but if you know how to navigate them, they can be a successful part of your marketing strategy.
According to a recent article from Status Brew, in 2021, the overall digital advertising spend had an estimated increase of 12.7% and grew as much as 49% in some areas. Also, social advertising spend rose by 13.1% in 2021 and is set to rise by a further 10.1% this year. The growth of global advertising is forecasted to be roughly 8.2%. Clearly Facebook is one of the most popular advertising platforms, and Facebook ads are not going away anytime soon so it is essential to understand and invest in them.
TLDR? With almost 40% of the world on Facebook monthly, it should be a no brainer to run advertisements on Facebook.
Benefits of Facebook Ads
1. Facebook Ads Build Lasting Relationships & Increase a Brand’s Online Sales
There can be a misconception around advertising, espcially on socials. I've heard concerns from organizations who worry advertising on social media will make them feel less genuine or take away from the human connection aspect that social channels can provide. However, from an expert's point of view, when it comes to marketing budgets, investing in digital advertising actually helps brands build lasting relationships with their customers as well as increase their online sales. These major goals are a huge reason to start investing in social advertising if you haven't already.
2. Brands Can Choose the Size of Their Target Audience
With Facebook ads, a brand can reach a wide audience, and when it comes to social media platforms, Facebook has one of the largest user bases. Within Facebook, a brand can advertise to a very specific demographic, a large, more general audience, or anything in between. Facebook is a good listener – it compiles data about users that can aid advertisers in their efforts to push a campagin to the right audience. Also, within the Facebook ads audience feature, a brand can choose to target particular demographics which can include location, age, income, and people who match certain interests.
3. Advertisers can Choose a Specific Campaign Objective to Reach A Specific Business Goal
While other platforms are slowly catching up to their marketing funnel, Facebook’s ads function offers brands various campaign objectives for advertisers to choose from in order to meet their specific needs. According to Hootsuite’s Social Trends for 2022 Report, social media advertising, especially Facebook, can also help brands reach their business goals.
A campaign objective is defined as the specific business goal a brand hopes to achieve by running their ads. The current campaign objectives are:
- Shows a brand's ads to people who are most likely to remember them
- Sends people to a specific destination on your website, application, or Facebook event
- Get more messages, video views, page likes/views, post likes, etc.
- Collect leads for your brand through forms, messages, calls, etc.
- App Promotion
- Drive new people to install your app and use it
- Find people likely to purchase your product or service
The Challenges With Facebook Ads
As with, well, pretty much everything, navigating Facebook ads has its challenges. In my own experience, Facebook ads present issues on a near daily basis.
When you encounter one of these challenges, the best approach is to know what they are and how to navigate them without wasting time and losing money. The most common problems that I face when setting up Facebook ads are:
Special Ad Categories
A Special Ad Category can be defined as a type of ad that is related to credit, employment or housing, or is about social issues, elections, or politics. I could go into more detail about each one of these, but most of them are self explanatory.
The problem isn't so much declaring these types of ads as a Special Ad Category, but rather when Facebook categorizes the ad as this category even though it’s not. This may be a bit confusing but let me break it down for you. Certain words that are utilized in the ad copy, the ad graphic, or the landing page can trigger Facebook to label these ads as a Special Ad Category. Words that might seem painless, like "president" or "mansion" are no-go's on Facebook ads, which can cause some confusion if you don't know what to avoid.
Facebook Language, Rules, & Approvals - “Failure to Comply”
Facebook doesn't provide advertisers with specific instructions or feedback on how to fix issues that arise. As an advertiser, it is important to understand all of Facebook’s rules and regulations.
The “sometimes nice” feature that Facebook has is when an ad gets rejected, the brand has an opportunity to get it manually reviewed. While this step does not necessarily provide specific feedback on what is wrong with the advertisement, Facebook may provide a more “detailed” generic feedback to point you in the right direction of what to change.
Choose the Right Objective and Target Audience to Match Your Budget
In order to get the most out of your Facebook advertisement, it is important to understand what the goal of the campaign is. If you understand what the goal of the campaign is, it should be fairly simple to choose the objective that will cater to this goal. After choosing an objective, creating a target audience and setting a budget for the campaign should be the next steps.
When developing a successful ad campaign, remember, it takes time, practice, and several rounds of trial and error. If you ever experience these types of challenges and they are still causing you problems, you're not alone on the #strugglebus. But hey, there's always Google, or you can contact your Facebook Representative.
And, Facebook, if you are listening, I would LOVE some sort of guide to be created that advertisers can follow when running into common challenges. For example, it would be wonderful to refer to a specific list that includes words that can trigger your algorithm to label your ads as a Special Ads Category even when they are not.
Facebook Advertising Tips
I won't leave you hanging without giving you some tips for advertising on Facebook! As an advertiser for many different clients, here are a couple of my main takeaways for setting up Facebook advertisements:
- ALWAYS run at least two different types (static, carousel, video) of ads per campaign
- If you can run a video ad, DO IT!
- Utilize A/B testing
- Try to use as little verbiage on the graphics as possible
- Keep the ad verbiage short and sweet
- Don’t forget to retarget people who have previously engaged with your website or social channels
Social media advertisements can be challenging! Speak is here to help. We have a team of experts who can help with all things social media advertisements, content creation, SEO, organic social media, reputation management, and more. Give us a shout and see how we can help you achieve your digital marketing goals.
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