Why Facebook Sponsored Ads Need to Be Part of Your Advertising Strategy

Why Facebook Sponsored Ads Need to Be Part of Your Advertising Strategy

Last updated on by Tyson Quick in Facebook Advertising

Facebook sponsored ads can be daunting, but they are essential to any social media advertising campaign. There are 2.01 billion active users on Facebook every month, and creating well-designed Facebook sponsored ads for your business can help you reach your target audience.

By learning Facebook ad best practices and mistakes to avoid, you can increase sales and maximize your Facebook ad ROI. We will then evaluate several examples of photo ads, video ads, and carousel ads, so you can see which Facebook sponsored ad is right for you.

Why should you use Facebook sponsored ads?

According to a study by MarketingLand, Facebook drives almost 25% of all social referral traffic, and it actually refers more traffic than every other social media platform combined. Therefore, consumers on Facebook are the most likely to engage with ads and click off the platform.

Facebook sponsored ads shareaholic

With over 65 million businesses on Facebook and 4 million of them are running ads on the platform, it is likely your competition has a presence on the platform, so it is a good strategy to have a presence on there as well. Finally, in 2016, the average cost per click in the United States was only 26 cents. Facebook sponsored ads are cost-effective, and an affordable option for any budget.

Facebook ads best practices

The key to making your Facebook sponsored ads stand out from the crowd is to focus on these core elements: the headline, the image, the copy, the targeting, and the post-click landing page.

The visual

The headline is important because it is the first thing your potential customers will see. It should be short and to the point, but also interesting enough to persuade your users to stop scrolling and read the rest of the ad.

The image on your ad should be high quality to attract attention. It should also be related to your product or message, and memorable to your consumers. For example, this ad from Engadget has a high-quality image.

Facebook sponsored ads engadget

The image engages users with bright colors that stand out from Facebook’s blue and gray landscape. It also captures attention because it portrays a beautiful place, which can prompt positive thoughts that the customer will now associate with the brand.

The copy makes up the final core visual element of your Facebook ad. The copy contains two different areas: the ad text, and the link description. Your copy should succinctly get your message across. What matters most though, is the offer you make. Good offers include a sense of urgency, but great offers appeal to the emotions of your customers.

The importance of targeting

The targeting on your Facebook ad can make or break your campaign. That’s why our 5 Facebook Ad Targeting Tips are essential to learn before you begin any campaign. If you have a large Facebook following, targeting your current fans first is key.

You’ll need to build a custom audience of website visitors to retarget people who have shown interest in your service or product. Use a custom Facebook pixel on your website to track your visitors. Then, you can serve a retargeting ad just to them, offering an incentive to return to your site again.

Finally, A/B test different audiences in your Power Editor tool. Keep the image and copy of your ad consistent but show it to multiple different audiences. Your audience can vary by geographic location, size, interests, or all of the above. Invest time finding your most profitable audience, and you can use these parameters for future ads.

How to use post-click landing pages with Facebook sponsored ads

post-click landing pages are a crucial element to the success of your Facebook sponsored ads. post-click landing pages both increase conversions and lower cost per acquisition by creating a space that is distraction free. If you are just getting started with Facebook sponsored ads, you can also create a Facebook post-click landing page directly on the social media platform. Your post-click landing page should have matching headlines and colors, a strong call to action, and a simple sign-up form without distractions.

Which Facebook placement is right for you: mobile, in feed, or right sidebar?

After you create your Facebook sponsored ad, you will have the option to choose which placements you would like your ad to show up in on your audience’s’ Facebook pages. The choices include placement on the mobile app, in the desktop feed, and on the right sidebar of the desktop feed. It is also possible to choose placement in all of the above. It’s best to A/B test each placement to find which have the best ROI. Test your ad in several different places, then check the cost per click for each placement in your Facebook ad account. Turn off the placements with a CPC, and continue with the ones that are achieving the best ROI.

Which Facebook sponsored ad is right for you

When you create a Facebook ad in the Power Editor tool, you will have a choice for three different layouts to choose from. A single photo or link, a video, or a carousel ad. Each one has its pros and cons. To determine which ad type you should use, there are a number of best practices to consider.

Single photo or link ad best practices

One reason to use a single photo or link ad is that it blends in seamlessly with the rest of the content on Facebook. Carousel ads look different from the posts from your friends and family, which could cause people to automatically skip over them. A single photo and link ads look more like regular Facebook content and less like a paid ad, which can help increase trust in the post.

Here’s an example of a link ad found on Facebook. This ad is a sponsored post from Rudy Mawer – Sports Nutritionist and Researcher.

Facebook sponsored ads body ad

What the ad does well:

  • Attention-grabbing photo
  • Photo appeals to the emotions of women who may want to look this way
  • The testimonial is strong making it authentic and relatable
  • Personalized call to action: “Join 10,000’s of women”

What the ad could A/B test:

  • The target audience is overly broad. This ad showed up in my personal newsfeed despite having never expressed interest in workout programs or dieting regimes. Their targeting is not precise enough and they are wasting money showing the ad to uninterested Facebook users
  • The “Download” button does not belong, they never stated having any tangible materials to offer for immediate download. “Learn More” or “Sign Up” would be a better button choice.
  • The ad doesn’t link to a post-click landing page. This ad only leads to their website homepage, which is full of different links, buttons, information and distracts the customer from the original offer and may result in them bouncing when they don’t immediately see the information they are looking for.

A second example of a link ad comes from TripAdvisor.

Facebook sponsored ads trip advisor

What the ad does well:

  • Attention-grabbing and high-quality photo
  • The short and clear headline uses the “how to” format. It is educational and entices readers to click through to receive the rest of the information.
  • Clear copy telling you everything you need to know about the link using minimal characters

What the ad could A/B test:

  • A question or CTA in the headline/copy could lead to more click-throughs
  • No offer to entice clicking on the link

Another link ad example is featured on the Frank Kern Facebook page:

Facebook sponsored ads frank

What the ad does well:

  • Photo appeals to the emotions of consultants who want to land high-paying clients
  • Headline is short, clear, and strong

What the ad could A/B test:

  • Copy is too long and requires readers to click “see more” to finish reading it
  • Description below the headline is also too long and uses an ellipsis making it seem like clickbait

Our final link ad example comes from Amy Porterfield. This case was featured in the desktop right sidebar placement.

Facebook sponsored ads amy2

What the ad does well:

  • Use of emoji and admitting a mistake in her copy makes her feel relatable and authentic
  • Good use of brand colors matching in both images

What the ad could A/B test:

  • Not optimized for its placement – the headline and copy both get cut off
  • The text in the photos is too small and the images are not eye-catching
  • No offer or CTA

Using carousel ads

Some of the advantages of using a carousel ad include showcasing multiple products and linking to various web pages or post-click landing pages. Carousel ads are an excellent choice for ecommerce stores because they can feature multiple product lines, for example.

Here is an example of a carousel ad on the Cincinnati Bengals Facebook page, advertising multiple events they will be holding to celebrate the start of their 50th season.

Facebook sponsored ads carosel ad

What the ad does well:

  • The colors in each carousel image match, creating a cohesive design
  • The messages match, they all advertise events at the stadium, rather than a mix of different products, events, or tickets.
  • The first ad contains a video to grab the user’s attention

What the ad could A/B test:

  • There is no strong offer, sense of urgency, or appeal to emotion
  • The headline on the second image does not contain a call to action for the Facebook user

How to use a video ad

As video becomes easier to make, it is fast becoming one of the most popular choices to use for content and advertising. A recent WordStream study shows that marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. Video is inherently attention-grabbing and easily shareable on social media, so making a high-quality video to run as a Facebook ad can be well worth the investment.

Here is an example of a Facebook video ad from the MasterClass Facebook page.

Facebook sponsored ads video

What the ad does well:

  • The video is high quality and seems professionally made
  • The video captures viewers attention immediately by using dark colors and high-quality shots to stand out from the rest of the content on users’ Facebook feeds.
  • The post-click landing page uses message match – the same video is playing prominently as well

What the ad could A/B test:

  • No captions are used. Captions help users stay engaged even with sound turned off
  • The offer is weak and has no sense of urgency, exclusive deals, or appeals to emotion
  • The headline does not contain a call to action

Another take on the video ad is to use a Boomerang video clip. These are short clips that repeat backward and forwards. The movement is different from other videos and catches the eye of customers scrolling through their Facebook feeds. Here is a Boomerang example from Amy Porterfield.

Facebook sponsored ads amy

What the ad does well:

  • Conversational tone in the copy draws the reader in and feels relatable
  • Question in the headline grabs readers attention
  • Strong offer of a free course
  • Plays on the emotions of readers who may have dreams of creating profitable online courses
  • Use of emojis makes it feel playful and less like a hard sell

What the ad could A/B test:

  • The copy is too long and requires users to click to read more. This could cause many to continue scrolling without finishing the ad
  • Overuse of ellipses makes the text seem unfinished and not well thought out

The next video ad example comes from the Hunt a Killer Facebook page.

Facebook sponsored ads hunt

What the ad does well:

  • High quality-video grabs attention by using autoplay and beginning as users scroll by
  • The question in the headline is short and to the point. It entices readers to stop scrolling and watch the video
  • Strong headline to “Click here to join the hunt”

What the ad could A/B test:

  • Too much copy under the headline. This is a weak finish to a strong ad and requires the reader to take the extra step of clicking the ad to finish reading, which many won’t do

Let’s review this video ad from Mike Kroenig

Facebook sponsored ads sales hack

What the ad does well:

  • Use of captions allows readers to view the content even if they are not interested or able to listen with the sound on
  • Strong and clear headline
  • Simple CTA calls the viewer to “click the link to learn more”

What the ad could A/B test:

  • Copy is too long and does not finish below the headline, requiring customers to click to read more
  • Video is 10 minutes long, which is much longer than the average attention span

A final Facebook video ad example is this sponsored post from Super Cool Stuffs.

Facebook sponsored ads super cool

What the ad does well:

  • Use of all caps and emojis in the copy matches with other Facebook posts, and makes the video blend in and look less like a sponsored advertisement.
  • Strong offer — limited time only for 40% off, entices the customer to act now before it’s too late.
  • The number of satisfied customers provides a strong testimonial and social proof that this is a high-quality product

What the ad could A/B test:

  • The ad only leads to the product page on the website rather than a particular post-click landing page. This can cause customers to get distracted by other links, logos, and more on the web page and leave without completing the purchase
  • The product page does not message match and has different photos, buttons, and links that could distract the customer from completing their purchase.
  • Overuse of emojis in the description could turn some potential customers off (particularly with the image talking about minimalism)

Are Instagram ads cost effective?

The final choice you will need to make when running an ad is choosing Instagram placement. Facebook purchased the Instagram app in 2012, and a couple years later began rolling out the option to promote Facebook ads through Instagram accounts as well. Now, it is possible for any business with an Instagram account to place Facebook ads on the Instagram app as well.

In power editor, there is an option to run your ad through your business Instagram account to your followers and a targeted audience on the app. While the average cost per click on Facebook was 26 cents, on Instagram the average CPC in 2017 is 70 to 80 cents. This means that you can achieve more click-throughs on your Facebook ads than on Instagram for the same price. So, is there any reason to use Instagram ads as well?

Yes, because engagement rates on Instagram continue to be much higher than the average engagement rate on Facebook. Instagram ads can be profitable if you value building a highly engaged community around your brand. There are two types of Instagram ads that can be run on the app. Instagram feed apps, which work through the power editor on Facebook, and Instagram Stories ads. Try choosing the Instagram feed placement for your next ad, and monitor the CPC to see if it is right for your small business.

Facebook sponsored ads can increase sales in any advertising campaign

A lot of companies know Facebook sponsored ads are necessary in today’s Internet-centric world, yet continue to throw money at them without doing their research. This can lead to poorly written ads with terrible ROI. Do your research to make sure you are giving time and attention to every aspect of your ad before it goes live.

An effective ad will contain a short and catchy headline, eye-catching visuals, and an enticing offer that is relevant to that particular audience and appeal to emotion. It must also be well targeted to a tailored and tested audience that is interested in your product, and lead to a post-click landing page that matches and is distraction free.

Use these examples of Facebook sponsored ads to learn if either ad format is right for you, and which placement in the Facebook feed or Instagram is optimal for your business and product. If you do your research and create a high quality and compelling advertisement, Facebook sponsored ads can be a great addition to your marketing campaign and increase sales for your business. Use an Instapage post-click landing page to increase your ROI and improve your Facebook sponsored ads today!

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Tyson Quick

by Tyson Quick

Tyson Quick is the Founder and CEO of Instapage, the leader in Post-Click Automation. He founded Instapage in 2012 after seeing digital advertisers losing money in underperforming advertising campaigns. Since then, his mission has been to automate advertising conversion.

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