This article is part of a larger series on Facebook.
Facebook advertising targets Facebook users with various ad types and placements based on interests, web activity, psychographics, and demographics. Effective ads deliver eye-catching photos, valuable content, and calls to action (CTAs) aimed at converting your target audience into customers. To optimize ads, use content that captures Facebook users’ attention, trust, and loyalty.
Most small businesses fail at Facebook advertising because they find it too complex or don’t execute the right strategy. Improve your chances of success with a little help from Hibu. Hibu’s experienced professionals can create and manage Facebook advertising campaigns designed to increase awareness or generate new customers. Click here to get in touch with a representative.
Here are the nine steps to creating effective Facebook advertising.
1. Create Your Facebook Business Page & Ad Account
Before launching an advertising campaign, create a professional Facebook business page that takes advantage of Facebook marketing features like a descriptive “About” section, attractive images, and cohesive branding. Facebook ads look like they’re posted from your business page, creating an opportunity to teach people about your company and demonstrate why they should choose you. Share your business information and representative photos in a way that’s both informative and interesting.
Elements to include when creating your Facebook business page include:
- Business information: Include details about what your business offers, where potential customers can find you online and in-person, and how long you’ve been in business.
- Profile picture and cover photo: The images you post on your Facebook page should represent your business and the services and products you offer. Choose professional photos that share promotions, highlight team members, and reflect your brand.
- Objectives: Create your Facebook business page with an objective in mind, then create content that serves your objective. For example, your objective may be increasing the visibility of your new company. To meet that objective, you may choose to publish new content daily or launch a new poll every week.
For more guidance, check out our article on how to set up a Facebook business page.
2. Add Facebook’s Retargeting Pixel to Your Website
In the context of Facebook, retargeting means marketing to Facebook users who previously engaged with your Facebook ads or visited your site. To optimize your Facebook retargeting strategy, add code to the backend of your website, called a pixel, before beginning a Facebook ad campaign. Then, create a Facebook ad audience based on the behavior of people who visit your website, how much time users spend certain pages on your site or other parameters.
Add the Pixel to Your Website Code
To set up the Facebook Pixel, get your pixel code by clicking on the top left side of the Facebook Ads Manager and selecting “Pixels.” The website we’re using as an example here is hosted on Weebly, so the screenshots below demonstrate where to paste the code on the backend of a Weebly website.
Once you have the code, paste it on the backend of your website — likely on the header or footer — so it appears on every page. On a Weebly website, click on the footer, then drag the “Embed Code” icon and drop it into the footer.
You will then be prompted to paste the code. When the code has been entered in its entirety, click “Save Footer.”
Once you paste your code in your website, it will take a while for Facebook to verify it has been correctly added. To confirm, select “Pixels” from the top drop-down menu in your Ads Manager and look for the status dot next to your pixel name. Your pixel is active if the dot is green and the status shows “Active.” You can test the connection by entering your website and clicking “Send Test Traffic.”
YouTube demos are also available for how to add this code to a Wix or WordPress website. If your website is hosted using a different service, find a tutorial by visiting your hosting provider’s website.
Choose the Events You Want to Track
After confirming that the pixel is installed properly, click “next” and choose your business type from the drop-down menu. Then, consider the pixel trigger events below. Facebook adjusts the types of events that trigger the Facebook pixel based on your industry and then lets you track specific types of user behavior. For example, a store owner can direct the pixel to track when users visit a particular webpage, initiate checkout, or start a free trial.
Identify which events are relevant to your business and copy the corresponding code into the backend of your website header, just below the </head> tag. In Weebly, follow the same process you did for adding code to the footer, only this time add the code to the header. This allows the event code to load along with the pixel code when the page loads. Each event code has an activity monitor so you can test the pixel by triggering the event on your website.
Create an Audience to Track
Next, set up a tracking audience. Start by clicking on “Create Audience” in the upper right-hand corner of the Facebook Ad Manager screen. Then, select “Create Custom Audience” and choose whether you want to include all website visitors, visitors of a specific page, or only visitors who spend a certain amount of time on the page. If you limit the audience by webpage, insert the URL you want to track.
The Facebook Pixel Helper makes adding the Facebook pixel to your website easier by checking whether Facebook pixels are embedded correctly and confirming they are active. If you want the benefits of the Facebook pixel but need help setting it up, reach out to an expert at Hibu. As one of a select few Facebook Marketing Partners, Hibu can help you install the pixel or run a campaign. Click here to reach a representative.
3. Choose an Advertising Objective
After installing the Facebook pixel, you’ll be ready to start creating your Facebook ad by choosing an advertising objective. Facebook’s advertising platform categorizes ads into three objectives: awareness, consideration, and conversion. These objectives are meant to attract a user’s attention, earn their loyalty, and convert them into paying customers.
If you’re just starting to advertise on Facebook, it’s recommended that you start with an awareness campaign and build a relationship with your target audience gradually before progressing through consideration and conversion. The best way to make people aware of your brand on Facebook is to advertise a piece of content that is both related to your business’s product or service and interesting to your ideal customers.
To get started, click on the top right-hand section of your Facebook account where it says, “Manage Ads.” Then, select the objective of your Facebook ad. Create content that your followers are already used to seeing in their Facebook feeds so that your ad won’t feel intrusive as you create brand awareness and increase ad reach.
Facebook’s awareness objective allows you to choose from the following goals:
- Brand awareness: Increase brand awareness by sharing interesting content that links to a specific post or article on your website. Optimize the influence of this ad by tailoring content to a targeted audience.
- Reach: Use one of Facebook’s reach ads to show your ad to the maximum number of Facebook users and track both impressions ― ad views ― and user engagement.
Once people are familiar with your business, you want them to trust you as an expert in your field so that they consider purchasing your product or using your service. The best way to do this on Facebook is to advertise a piece of content, like a product review, that demonstrates to your followers why you’re the best in the business. A consideration ad shows your ideal clients they should become customers of your business because you’re the best option available.
As part of the consideration objective, you can choose from the following options:
- Traffic: Getting more traffic to your business’s Facebook page, website, app, or Messenger conversation can increase brand engagement and encourage people to consider purchasing your products or services. Link to your website, app, or other content to increase traffic to your brand’s web presence.
- Engagement: Consideration ads that include interesting and brand-specific information, like product highlights and demos, help increase engagement through likes, comments, shares, event responses, and offer claims.
- App installs: Use a consideration ad to send Facebook users directly to an app store or to learn more about and purchase your app product.
- Video views: Videos are a useful and eye-catching way to highlight products, show potential customers how your business works, and promote events.
- Lead generation: Use consideration ads to provide valuable content, like an e-book, in exchange for Facebook users’ contact information.
- Messages: This option lets Facebook users contact you directly through Facebook Messenger to answer questions, complete purchases, or otherwise increase engagement.
Once you track a user’s engagement with your site using the Facebook pixel, you can retarget the most highly engaged ones with conversion ads to encourage a purchase. For example, you can create an ad that sells your product or service by including a call to action like “Call for a Free Consultation.” Use this stage of advertising to attract your interested audience and then ask them to make a small commitment to increase the chances that they’ll follow through.
As part of this the conversion objective, you can choose from goals including:
- Conversions: Use Facebook’s conversion ads to get users to provide valuable information on your website, make a purchase, or otherwise become a paying client. You can then use the Facebook pixel to track and measure resulting conversions.
- Catalog sales: Catalog-oriented ads use tailored items from your catalog to appeal to your target audience. These are explicitly designed to encourage sales.
- Store visits: Use this tool to promote your business’s brick-and-mortar locations to customers in your area.
4. Create a Targeted Audience for Your Ads
After you have selected your ad objective, you can create a targeted audience for your ads. Determine the demographics and psychographics of these customers and choose a target audience around those elements. When chosen correctly, your ad’s audience will target your ideal clientele, attract them to your website, and convert them into paying customers.
Identify Your Ideal Customer
Create a targeted audience for your Facebook advertising by developing ideal customer profiles using demographics and psychographics. Demographics are characteristics of a population like age, education level, and marital status while psychographics describe more nuanced criteria like hobbies, spending habits, and personal values. If you’re not sure who your ideal customer is, use our customer profile template to evaluate your business and preferred clientele.
Once you use this information to identify your preferred clientele, tailor your Facebook advertising campaign around that person. To do so, use the editing dashboard to choose locations, limit demographics, and isolate Facebook users with relevant interests. As you modify your audience, you can track the current audience size using the meter on the right side of the page.
Audience targeting options include:
- Demographics & detailed targeting: This option lets you target your Facebook ads based on demographics like age, gender, relationship status, education, workplace, and job titles.
- Location: If you have a brick-and-mortar business or provide services in certain geographic regions, choose the geographic areas you want your ads to target. Depending on the type of business you have, you may want to limit your audience to people who live in the area, were recently in the area, or people traveling in the area.
- Interests: Narrow your Facebook ad audience by targeting people based on their hobbies, favorite movies and bands, sports teams, and other interests that align with your brand.
- Connections: You can also limit your ad’s audience based on how Facebook users interact with your page, app, or events. This drop-down menu allows you to include or exclude people who already interact with parts of your Facebook presence. You can also target friends of people who like your page or use your app.
- Behaviors: Make sure your ads are visible to people with purchase behaviors, device usage, and other activities that make them more likely to become paying customers.
Review Your Ad’s Potential Reach
Once you enter your audience criteria, Facebook calculates the “potential reach” of your ad, displayed on the right-hand side of the audience selection screen. Potential reach is the estimated number of monthly active people on Facebook that match the audience you defined through the audience targeting selections. When using an awareness ad, cast a wide net to have a better chance of getting people that are interested enough to click on your link.
Facebook offers an abundance of audience criteria, including location, friends, interests, online behavior, and purchasing history. If you choose too many criteria, you’ll limit your ad reach and inundate the same small audience with your ads. If you don’t include enough criteria, the ad will display for people with no interest in your business. A potential reach of around 250,000 is a good starting number.
5. Set Your Ad Placement & Budget
After choosing your ad’s audience, select “Edit Placements” to determine where and when you want your ad to display and how much to pay for that placement. Choose whether your ad displays on mobile, desktop, or both and whether it’s posted to Facebook, Instagram, or other platforms and networks. Then, pick a budget and determine how long your ad will and how many people see it each day.
Identify Preferred Device Type
Once you select “Edit Placements,” you can choose to have your ad show on mobile, desktop, or both. If you choose for your ad to show on both types (recommended), Facebook will allocate your ad budget automatically based on where they think the ad will perform best. If, for example, you are planning to promote your new app and are only interested in marketing to smartphone users, select “Mobile” only.
After tracking ad performance, you may find that one device converts better than the other. In this case, adjust future ads accordingly. Just remember most people use Facebook on their smartphones, so confirm your ad and website look good on a mobile device.
Choose Viewing Platforms
There are three platforms where you can display your ad: Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network, which consists of third-party apps and mobile websites. Under the “Platforms” section of Ad Manager, choose a platform based on your target audience or experiment with platforms to see which ones yield the most valuable engagement. Note, however, that this article focuses on Facebook-specific ads because we’re optimizing the ad based on how people use Facebook.
Set a Daily Budget
Your daily budget for Facebook ads has a minimum budget of just $5 per day. Increasing your daily budget increases the number of people who see your ad, however. For example, a $10-per-day budget could expose between 940 and 2,500 people to the content each day, depending on the preferred audience characteristics. Read more in our article on Facebook advertising costs.
Schedule the Ad
Facebook allows you to run your ad continuously until your budget runs out or set a start and end date for the ad. Choose a schedule that fits your budget and ensures enough people have time to click on the ad before starting the next phase of your campaign. In the screenshot below, we ran an ad from Thursday to Sunday, guaranteeing the weekly budget doesn’t exceed $30 and allowing us to check back on Monday to reevaluate budget based on ad performance.
6. Choose Your Facebook Advertising Format
After setting a budget and ad schedule, you will be prompted to pick your ad format. Facebook ads can be published as a single image, a carousel of several images, a video, or a slideshow. Choose an ad format that will blend in and display like a post from a friend. If your ad looks like the content your audience is used to seeing on their timeline, they are less likely to be turned off by it.
The four Facebook advertising formats are:
- Single image: This ad type is the simplest of all of the ones offered by Facebook, featuring a single image. Given its simplicity, it’s ideal for showcasing website posts or straightforward, brand-promoting articles. We’ll be using this example in the steps below.
- Single video: Videos are an extremely engaging way to share your brand with Facebook users, especially content like behind-the-scenes footage, employee interviews, or demos. If you have time to create video content, test video ads to see how your audience responds.
- Carousel: This is an ad with between two and 10 scrollable images or videos. When this type of ad appears in your news feed, it’s pretty obvious it’s an ad and not a post from a friend. Carousel ads work for promoting products but are not ideal for sharing an interesting article with your followers.
- Slideshow: Facebook slideshow ads feature a looping video of up to seven images. Try this format if you want to highlight a large number of products and create an immersive experience for your followers.
7. Create & Upload Your Ad Content
Once you choose an ad format, add your advertisement copy and images/videos. You can either create these elements yourself or outsource them to an expert on Fiverr. Also, don’t forget to add compelling ad copy and a dynamic CTA.
Create & Add Image
For single-image ads, Facebook requires the image to be 1200×628 pixels. If you don’t have an image you know you want to use, consider sourcing one from a free stock image site like Pixabay or Pexels. You can edit the ad using graphic design software like Canva. You can also add text to your image but remember that Facebook doesn’t allow ad images that are more than 30% covered with text.
Add Compelling Teaser Text
Next, add the text of your ad. Depending on your ad objectives, this typically includes an informative and compelling headline, along with a teaser for the article or site you’re advertising in the text box. The text of your ad should be interesting but not detract from the ad or give away the point of the content you’re sharing. While there are different opinions about how much text should be included, most ads keep word count below 20.
Choose a CTA Button
When finalizing your Facebook ad, you can choose to add a CTA button to attract Facebook users to your website, get them to contact you, or encourage another action. Make sure that whatever CTA you use, it aligns with the headline, text, and image. Also, be sure to enter the correct URL you want visitors to see when they click on the CTA button.
8. Run Your Facebook Ad & Check Performance
Once you complete your ad, click “Confirm” to submit your ad for review. The Facebook team will check your ad content to be sure it meets with all advertising guidelines. Typically, ads are reviewed and pushed live within 24 hours. Check to be sure your ad is live by visiting your Facebook Ad Manager dashboard. The status of all ads will be included there.
Also, be sure to check back every few days to make sure you received enough clicks to start running the next phase of your advertising campaign — a consideration ad. You need to have at least 20 people in your audience who interact with your awareness ad to successfully employ a consideration Facebook ad through retargeting.
9. Follow Up with a Consideration or Conversion Ad
If you began your Facebook advertising with an awareness ad — as we did in the examples above — build your retargeting audience based on users who clicked the ad, then run consideration ads to them to show you’re an expert in your field. Next, retarget all users who click on the consideration ad and urge them to provide contact information or complete a purchase as part of a final conversion ad campaign.
Make Followers Consider You as an Expert
A consideration ad retargets your advertising towards anyone who clicked on your awareness ad. Consideration ads build on the interest generated by awareness ads and identify those users most likely to spend money on your products or services. Use your existing audience’s engagement with your brand to earn their trust and, ultimately, convince them to buy your product by sharing content that demonstrates why you’re the best.
Create your consideration ad the same way you created the awareness ad — with two differences. First, choose a custom audience based on users who demonstrated an interest in your awareness ad. Then, track people who click on the ad so you can create an audience for your final conversion ad. Facebook lets you know how many people are in the audience when you select it. If done correctly, the ad will only display to people who clicked on the awareness ad.
In addition to setting up a new target audience, include new images and text for your consideration ad and change the website URL to link to a new article. Choose content that demonstrates your expertise like “5 Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing a Vacation Home.” An article that highlights why your products or services are the best on the market will attract attention and move potential customers closer to a sale.
Convert Facebook Users to Clients
A conversion ad targets Facebook users who clicked on your consideration ad, encouraging them to take action. That action can be as simple as signing up for a newsletter or visiting your online store. As with other Facebook ads, create a custom audience based on users who clicked on your consideration ad, then build out a conversion ad with a compelling image or images, text, and an irresistible CTA. When complete, submit your ad for review.
Once your ad is published, evaluate whether it is converting Facebook users into paying customers effectively by tracking them with the Facebook pixel. If that is not sufficient, considering adding a trackable phone number, promotional code, or other conversion tracking method to your ad content.
5 Examples of Successful Facebook Ads
The best Facebook ads are targeted to a specific audience, focus all elements on a single objective, and include content that is uniquely valuable to the user. Each one should have high-quality imagery, compelling copy and, as appropriate, an action-driven CTA.
Zillow Premier Agent — Captioned Video & ‘Sign Up’ CTA
HubSpot — Single Linked Image
New York Business Review — Informative Content
Trade — Video & ‘Shop Now’ CTA
Spotify for Brands — Slideshow & ‘Sign Up’ CTA
For more inspiration, check out our Facebook ad examples and tips for creating the most effective ads for your brand.
4 Tips for Creating Effective Facebook Advertising
In addition to choosing the right Facebook advertising format and creating an audience that fits your ideal client profile, optimize the content you include in the ad. Make the most of your Facebook ads by including high-quality images, sharing valuable content, and increasing engagement with actionable text. Then, experiment with different formats and track performance to evaluate which ads work best for your business.
Tips for creating effective and attractive Facebook ads include:
- Choose an appealing image: The picture is the first thing that will catch the user’s eye. Make sure ad images stand out and make your audience pause long enough to read the text of your ad.
- Draft an informative headline: After you capture the user’s attention with an image, use the headline to tell them about your business or a specific product.
- Include actionable text: Include a CTA in the text portion of your ad to increase engagement and promote conversions. Also, consider providing a teaser of what users will see when they click on your ad to heighten interest.
- Test a variety of ad formats: Users respond differently to different Facebook ad formats, styles, and content so experiment with photos, videos, and carousels as you develop your Facebook advertising strategy.
3 Facebook Ad Targeting Examples
There are thousands of criteria you can use to create an ad audience on Facebook, including a person’s age, gender, location, website activity, and their likes and interests. Ultimately, your target audience depends on your business, geographic location, and ideal customer. To help you determine your ideal Facebook audience, we created examples of possible ad audiences for a variety of business types.
Here are three examples of ideal Facebook target audiences for different businesses.
Men’s Clothing Store
If you have a men’s clothing store that specializes in business casual dress, target your Facebook ads to show only to college-educated, single men between the ages of 35 and 40. You can also specify that they live within 10 miles of your store.
If you want to advertise to college-age women who might visit your yoga studio, you can target your Facebook ads to show only to females who attend the university near your studio. You can also specify an interest in yoga based on Facebook’s knowledge of their interests and activity on social media.
If you want to advertise your Italian restaurant to busy moms, target your Facebook ads to display only to working females between the ages of 20 and 45 who have children. You can also specify they live or work within 10 miles of your restaurant to capture customers who might stop at the restaurant on the way home from work.
How to Measure Facebook Advertising Success
Use Facebook core metrics like click-through-rate (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC) to determine ad success rates, then examine tracking and promotional codes to determine ad conversion success further. If you’re trying to increase sales, include a tracking number or promotional code or use Facebook’s conversion pixel to track user activity. Monitor your Facebook ads regularly to ensure you’re posting content that converts your audience into paying customers.
Track Facebook Core Metrics
To evaluate how well your Facebook ads are working, go to the right-hand side of your business page and click “Manage Ads.” From there, you can access the Ad Manager and view ad performance based on CTR, conversion rate, and CPC.
Facebook metrics to consider when evaluating the effectiveness of an ad include:
- CTR: This is the number of people who clicked on your ad divided by the number of people who saw your ad. Focus on the CTR for ads meant to drive traffic to your website.
- Conversion rate: The conversion rate of your Facebook ad is the percentage of your audience that engages with your ad. This includes liking your page, contacting you through the ad, or clicking on your ad’s call to action.
- CPC: This is how much you paid to get someone to click on your ad. For example, if 15 people click on your ad and your total ad cost was $15, your CPC is $1.
- Conversion pixel: If you have an ecommerce website, set up the Facebook pixel to track sales that are made on your site. This lets you see where your paying customers are coming from and whether the Facebook ad successfully converted your audience to sales.
According to The Facebook Ads Benchmark Report conducted by Salesforce, the average CTR for an article post is 1.44%, and the average CPC is 55 cents. If you notice you’re not achieving these numbers, switch up your content until you figure out what kind of ads your audience engages with more consistently.
Review Tracking Code Data
In addition to tracking the CTR and CPC for your Facebook ads, you should incorporate a tracking method into each of your conversion ads. If you have a real estate office or other business where you’re communicating with every customer directly, you can ask whether they learned about you through a specific ad. Alternatively, if you have an ecommerce website, you can use tools like tracking phone numbers and promotion codes to evaluate ad performance.
Methods to help determine conversion rates include:
- Tracking phone numbers: Use a phone number that is specific to your Facebook ads to determine whether someone called your business after seeing an ad. For example, if you own a restaurant, you can set up a specific phone number to track how many people who call in to make a reservation are calling because they saw your ad on Facebook.
- Promotion code: If you are advertising a promotion in your conversion ad, provide a unique code for Facebook users to apply at checkout.
Tracking ad performance is extremely important because it lets you know whether your investment is paying off. Without monitoring CTR, CPC, and tracking conversion rates, you won’t know what ads work best for your business. Use tracking data to tweak your strategy or overhaul it completely to ensure maximum return on investment (ROI).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does it cost to put an ad on Facebook?
The cost of putting an ad on Facebook depends on the budget you set for an individual campaign or across all of the campaigns you’re running. In general, the cost of Facebook advertising depends on factors like the size of your audience and the length of the campaign. Visit our guide for more information on the cost of Facebook advertising in different industries.
What is the best way to advertise on Facebook?
The best way to advertise on Facebook varies depending on your goals, audience, and type of business. In general, you can make the most of your Facebook advertising campaign by starting with an awareness ad and then progressing to consideration and conversion ads that target the most engaged members of your audience. Utilize the Facebook pixel and other tracking tools to measure the effectiveness of each ad.
How do I promote my business on Facebook for free?
Facebook’s advertising platform is a paid service, so you can’t employ traditional Facebook advertising for free. However, you can market your business on Facebook with just your Facebook business page. To do so, use your “About” section and profile pictures to share important information about your business and post interesting content and valuable promotions to attract and maintain followers.
Bottom Line — How to Advertise on Facebook
Facebook advertising is an important component of your small business’s marketing and advertising approach. Used correctly, Facebook ads attract potential clients, earn their trust and loyalty, and convert them into paying customers. Optimize your Facebook ads by creating a targeted audience, increasing brand engagement with attention-grabbing content, and driving people to your website or storefront with conversion ads.
If you’re intimidated by Facebook advertising, check out Hibu’s digital marketing and advertising services for small business. Hibu offers a range of advertising solutions that can be specifically tailored to meet your business’s Facebook advertising needs. Click here to reach a representative and get a free digital marketing score.