How to use Facebook Ads to succeed with lead generation

written by Cristina Fernandez
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Even the most native Facebook user has wondered what’s behind the other Facebook, the one for business. Those accounts that magically place a sponsored ad in your newsfeed with no apparent connections to you or your Facebook friends.

You may also have attempted to publish your own ads on Facebook and still have the feeling you were simply not getting it. If that’s the case, you’re not alone. Many other corporate users have problems figuring out how to manage their Facebook strategy to get the best results out of their time and investments when it comes to driving leads before search engine optimization (SEO) kicks in.

To create a Facebook ad is very simple: anyone can click on some options and get their ad published. The difficulty comes when you want your ad to be effective. An ad’s effectiveness will only depend on your skills in identifying properly the best way to reach your target consumers in relation to your goals.

A Facebook ad’s effectiveness will only depend on your skills in identifying properly the best way to reach your target consumers in relation to your goals.Click To Tweet

Ads compete in the newsfeed for consumers’ attention however Facebook prioritizes those which are better targeted to avoid annoying its users. Fortunately Facebook tells you how effective your ad is with a visual metric. But you can’t survive long guessing and failing so let’s start from the beginning and find out step by step how to create a successful Facebook ad.

1. To create a Facebook ad you should have a strategy

This isn’t a real requirement since no matter what the reason is, you are free to create a Facebook ad in your business page. Yet, it is essential if you want to achieve all your goals and make good use of your time and investment. Good strategies are developed by following the steps below:

  1. The beginning of the strategy process is always to evaluate your Facebook page, or if not yet existing, to create one.
  2. Identify your audience and goals properly and list them.
  3. Specify the amount of money you want to spend with a budget.
  4. Establish a calendar with the details of the posts you want to publish, the moments of the promotions and objectives.
  5. Finally you have to take into account that this strategy is not written in stone and it can be adapted according to the circumstances. While reviewing the strategy you must follow all the steps all over again. When starting from the beginning don’t forget to identify the source of the problems of the first version of your strategy.

If you need help developing a plan you can use one of the many templates available online.

2. To create a Facebook ad you need a Facebook page for the brand

Pages have been proven to be the best way to manage a Facebook for Business. It allows several people to take different roles which helps you and your team to modify the business account separately if necessary. This way you won’t need to share a login like in other social media sites which can lead to many security problems.

You can choose to have pages linked to your personal Facebook page in which case you will find them in your shortcuts or in your sidebar as “your pages”. This method is good enough for beginners but if you’re thinking about starting a proper social media strategy we would recommend you to use the Business Manager. The pages you have in Business Manager will appear by clicking on the options arrow of any Facebook page once you login to your account.

3. To create a Facebook ad you need to identify your audience

Facebook is known for being the most variable social media platform in terms of demographics. It’s consequently possible to find all kinds of audiences to reach. To determine your target audience properly is crucial to achieve the success of your strategy.

A poorly chosen target group is one of the most common mistakes in marketing campaigns. If the big players can get it wrong, then the rest of us should try to be more aware of its dangers.

Be careful of who you choose to reach. If your consumers are men, women, young, old, interested in sports, cooking, or art, then to reach the rest of the Facebook users is a complete waste of your money and time.

Facebook Audience Details

Facebook let’s you know with a visual metric if your audience is too specific or broad.

4. To create a Facebook ad you need to identify your goals

Goals can be identified by asking yourself what you’re hoping to achieve with the promotion. A well planned strategy should have a series of consecutive and measurable goals which should be reached one by one and should be relatable to your audience.

It all comes back to the construction of your goals. A goal should be S.M.A.R.T. which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. If you’re to follow all these characteristics, it’s a great way to guarantee success in your results.

Facebook will provide you with a list of objectives you can select from between the categories of awareness, consideration and conversion. These three categories are taken from the purchase funnel or buying cycle which illustrates the steps that all the consumers follow to make a purchase. From them, Facebook tracks 15 sub-objectives related to Facebook posts which you can choose from.

Facebook goals for campaigns

All the goals proposed by Facebook according to the stage of the purchase journey your post aims to be at.

5. To create a Facebook ad you have to create content

It’s your content that you are showing to your potential consumers when you decide to boost a post or create an ad, no matter what you’re promoting. Therefore you have to be careful with what you choose to promote as well as with the other publications on your page.

The best content will depend on your goals and your audience. Always have in mind that the best Facebook strategies are praised for their engaging content. If you need some inspiration about what content you can offer to your followers, we encourage you to follow your competitors’ pages as a good benchmark research that will grant you very valuable information on what works best for similar audiences.

Facebook has some recommendations about how to create the best content. They have guides that you must follow for images and text. In addition, Facebook provides recommendations on how they’ve seen pages succeed with their ads. Moreover, a good Facebook ad will usually include a call-to-action link and it’s good to include exclusive offers from time to time.

6. To create a Facebook ad you need to choose an approach

Facebook knows that you are the boss over what you want to publish. If your aim is to very carefully create the content that your company needs, then why not create the ad that your goal needs? Facebook will help you to adapt the ad to your content and goals. Currently, there are 5 different ways to show your content:

  1. Photo: adding an image to your post is one of the most common ways to create an ad. Images are worth a thousand words and will help your stories to compel your consumers to take action.
  2. Video: video marketing was one of the most successful trends of 2016 and it actually worked. It’ll allow you to tell a simple story or message to your consumers and engage them for a few valuable seconds. Video is a sure bet to increase the awareness of your brand and products.
  3. Carousel: if one image isn’t enough for you, you can always choose the carousel ad. This kind of ad allows you to upload pictures of different products so your consumers can follow the link that they really want. It is an easy way to show related links and reach different targets with one ad.
  4. Slideshow: shows a series of images in format video to add up the best of the video and image content. It’ll catch the attention of your consumers like video content and it’ll also allow slower speed connections to see your content just as well.
  5. Canvas: combine all these technologies and you will end up with a canvas. Canvas displays video, images, links, and calls-to-action in an interactive way. The consumer will be able to swipe up, down, or to the sides with a feeling of continuity. As the consumer interacts with your ad, he or she will remember your brand, products, and story.

The formats Facebook will show you will depend on the objectives you choose. This is based on an algorithm that Facebook uses to minimize your mistakes because they know what works for each kind of objective.

7. To create a Facebook ad you have to set a clear budget

After carefully choosing all the goals and defining the strategy, you have to identify how much you want to spend. Otherwise, you may spend too much on your initial goals and fail to achieve the final purpose of your Facebook strategy.

Set a special budget for when things aren’t working as expected and you’ll avoid potential conflicts between your goals and your budget. A good way to figure out the insights, to begin with, this budget is to test out an ad for a short period of time. This small and inexpensive practice will show you how much money you’ll need for each goal and promotion, but you can also turn to experts’ advice.

In addition, Facebook allows two different ways to spend your budget in the ads according to your particular needs.These are the daily budget and the lifetime budget.

Facebook Budgets settings

Different budgets for Facebook advertisement and the options of the daily budget.

The daily option allows you to set the amount that you want to spend per day, while the lifetime budget allows you to decide how much you want to spend during the lifetime of the campaign. Both budgets can be limited by your own restrictions on time, reach, and audience. If you know your audience’s demographic you would know the best days or the best times to restrict your ad.

We recommend you to use the daily budget if you want to have more control over your ad and the money you spend every day. Otherwise, the lifetime budget will do the trick if you want to run your ad uninterrupted for a period of time. As you can see in the image above, Facebook will notify you the maximum amount of money that you can spend using this option to avoid any undesired surprises.

The next thing you need to determine is the schedule. If you choose the daily budget, you must choose if you want a standard or an accelerated delivery for your ad. On the other hand, if you choose the lifetime budget you have the chance to schedule your ads.

The standard delivery will publish your ad regularly throughout the day. Instead the accelerated version will help you reach as many people as possible at a faster rate from the moment of time you choose to publish your ad. This accelerated method responds to the need for time-sensitive ads for time-sensitive goals and can only be activated by choosing a manual bid. Obviously, this method will dry up all your budget fast and will require more time from you so you have to consider this properly with your goals.

As stated before, if you choose the lifetime budget you have the option to choose which hours of the day your ad will be published and which days of the week. An example of this is shown in the picture below.

Facebook's lifetime budget schedule

Example of Facebook’s lifetime budget schedule feature that you can use instead of “run adverts all the time”.

8. To create a Facebook ad you need to tidy up your ideas

It is important for any strategy to be organized. To create a calendar with the goals and steps is the easiest way to be organized with your social media strategy. Set periods of time for each step and possible post as well as posting days.

Follow up the schedule as much as possible and be consistent with the number of days and times you post per week. This shouldn’t be an issue since you can sit down for instance all Monday mornings to pre-schedule the post you have programmed for the week very easily on Facebook.

9. To create a Facebook ad you need to rethink the concept constantly

Social media is known for its constant changes. Facebook has already done a lot of changes so users don’t get tired of it. You need to constantly review the success of your campaigns to make sure you’re not wasting your money.

The follow up is very simple: just by taking a look at your post, you can compare if you’re doing better or worse than on previous dates or ads. Keep up with the data and don’t ignore actualizations of the algorithm or the ads. Instead pay attention to it and read about the new changes in order to improve your performance every time.

This was the complete guide with all you need to know about Facebook advertisement. Be organised, have a strategy and know what you are doing and all your efforts will pay off!

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About Cristina Fernández Hidalgo

Cristina Fernández is a Digital Marketing Specialist who creates amazing content that gets audiences to react. Follow her on Twitter @cristinafdez123.