How to Run PPC Campaigns in Facebook
With the number of Facebook’s monthly active users increasing, and the social network’s ability to target your customers based on a myriad of variables, running paid campaigns on Facebook seems like an obvious choice for most marketers.
Facebook has the biggest user base out of all the social media networks:
This means the ads you launch on Facebook have a much higher chance of getting viewed by your target audience. And, because Facebook collects a lot of user data (such as age, location, and interests) you can create ads and post-click landing pages that are perfectly tailored to your target audience.
To begin running your Facebook advertising campaigns, there are a few things you need:
1. Your business goal: Your business goal is the reason why you’re running your ads.
2. Understanding of your target audience: Use the targeting information such as age, location and interests to choose the demographics and behaviors that represent your target audience.
3. A budget: a daily or lifetime budget, and the time duration you want the ads to run for.
4. Ad photos/videos: The photos or videos you want to feature in your Facebook ads.
Setting up a PPC Campaign in Facebook
Facebook’s advertising campaigns are three tiered and have the following structure:
1. Campaign: A campaign can have several ad sets and always has a unique campaign objective. If you have multiple campaign objectives, such as increasing attendees for a webinar, and getting more downloads for an ebook, it would be best to run two separate Facebook campaigns. One campaign should have one objective.
2. Ad set: An ad set can include multiple ads and has a unique audience targeting, budget, schedule, and ad placements. You can use an ad set for Facebook A/B testing.
3. Ad: The ad is the smallest unit of the campaign. Ads have separate URLs, image, and copy.
This section of the chapter will focus on the step-by-step procedure you need to follow to create and optimize paid advertising campaigns on Facebook.
Here’s an overview of the steps involved in launching your Facebook ad campaign:
Step 1: Select campaign objective for Facebook Ads
When you set goals for your Facebook Ads, you’re essentially thinking about why you’re creating ads in the first place i.e. what are you trying to achieve with your ads?
Setting goals before your ads go live helps measure their success. For example, if the goal of your Facebook ad campaign is to increase sign-ups for your free trial, you can set the goal of 100 sign-ups for the first month. Having a concrete goal makes measuring success extremely simple.
The following is the complete list of Facebook campaign objectives available in the Ads Manager:
- Brand Awareness
- Local Awareness
- All installs
- Video views
- Lead generation
- Product catalog sales
- Store visits
Facebook allows you to approach your campaign objectives in various ways.
To offer a simpler approach Facebook has categorized business objectives into the following three categories:
The purpose of running awareness campaigns is to generate interest in a particular offer, or your product/service in general. You can reach your target audience in the awareness stage with the help of:
- Boosting your posts
- Promoting your page
- Reaching out to people located near your business
- Increasing brand awareness
- Increasing your audience reach
If your target audience is already aware of what your business does, you can select Consideration as your marketing objective. The objective helps target audience consider your brand as a possible solution to their problem, and persuade them to learn more information about it.
You can use the Consideration objective to:
- Get app installs
- Get video views
- Collect leads for your business
- Raise attendance for your event
The Conversion objective includes objectives that encourage people interested in your products/service to purchase or use your product, with the help of ads. Make use of the Conversion marketing objective to:
- Increase conversions on your post-click landing page
- Increase engagement in your app
- Get people to claim your offer
- Promote a specific product or a catalog
- Get people to visit your shops
When you set your campaign objective you’re essentially helping Facebook determine the campaign’s ad formats and bidding options. The social network auto-optimizes your campaigns based on the campaign objective you choose.
Step 2: Assign a name to your ad campaign
After selecting the campaign objective Facebook asks you to name the campaign:
If you’re running multiple campaigns on Facebook, adding a date next to your campaign name can help you navigate between different campaigns.
Step 3: Set up audience targeting
If you’ve run previous Facebook ad campaigns, you have the option of using a saved audience. If this is your first Facebook Ad campaign you can simply create a new Facebook target audience.
Facebook also gives you the option of targeting ads at Custom Audiences – people who already know your business. You can create a Custom Audience to show ads to users who are already in your contacts, which includes your website visitors or current app users.
You can customize your audience based on:
You can also choose the option of detailed targeting, this allows you to refine the group of people who see your ads. You can add additional demographic information, interests, and behaviors.
The detail targeting options can be based on:
- What users share on their timeline
- What apps they use
- What ads they click
- What pages they interact with
- What activities they engage in, on and off Facebook. Activities such as device usage, purchase behavior, purchase intent, travel preferences etc.
- Which mobile device they use, and the speed of their internet connection.
You can get even more laser focused with your targeting options by adding criteria to the ‘Include people’ and ‘Exclude people’ option.
After you’ve selected the criteria, Facebook will automatically include or exclude people who meet at least one of the added criteria.
For example, let’s say you’re promoting an app that features high-protein recipes, and you add the following criteria to the ‘Include people’ option:
- Users who follow ‘healthy recipe pages’
- Users who ‘follow exercise and workout pages’
A user who follows fitness pages, but doesn’t follow workout pages, will be included in your audience and will get to see your ad.
If you want to include or exclude people who meet all of your criteria, you can use the audience narrowing actions. This is how it works, using the example we used above:
- Include people who follow healthy recipe pages
- Click ‘Narrow Audience’
- Include people who follow exercise and workout pages
- Click ‘Narrow Audience’
By selecting the narrow audience option, your audience will now only include people who follow healthy recipe pages and exercise and workout pages.
While narrowing your audience, be careful not to make it too specific, as doing that can lead to an audience that’s too small to be effective. Facebook automatically optimizes the target audience you create, so you don’t have worry too much about refining your audience further.
Step 4: Set ad placement
Where your ad appears on Facebook is called the ad placement:
Facebook ads can appear as sponsored posts interspersed between regular posts, they also appear on the right-side column across Facebook.
Facebook ads can also appear in Instant Articles within the Facebook mobile app and Messenger, another ad placement is in-stream videos when your ads appear as short videos in both Live Video and Video on Demand.
The campaign objective you selected in step 1 determines which ad placements are available to you:
Facebook pre-selects and recommends using the ‘Automatic Placement’ option. When you choose the automatic ad placement option Facebook shows your ads in the placements they’re likely to perform best for your selected audience. Automatic Facebook ad placements may include Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger.
The following chart identifies the ad placements that are available to you for each marketing objective:
Facebook’s newest ad placement ‘Ads in Messenger Home’ allows you to run ads that people will see in the Home tab of their Messenger mobile app.
You can also select the ‘Edit Placements’ option and remove ad placements you don’t prefer, though this may reduce the number of people you reach and so may make it less likely to meet your marketing goals.
Step 5: Selecting Budget & Schedule
As the title suggests this step involves the selection of budget, schedule of your ads, optimization for ad delivery, bid amount, and ad delivery type:
Your budget is the amount of money you’re willing to pay to run your ads. Budgets are a cost control tool, as they help control your overall spending for an ad set in the same way bids help control your cost per result.
One thing to remember is that when you’re setting a budget you’re not buying ads or the ability to show ads to your target audience. You’re just letting Facebook know how much you’re willing to spend on ads. The budget you select is different from your amount spent.
Also, each ad set has a separate budget, you should know this if you have more than one active ad set.
There are two options available in terms of budget selection:
Daily Budgets: The daily budget is the average amount you’re willing to spend on an ad set per day. Because the amount you’re setting is an average amount, the amount actually spent daily may vary for different days depending on ad opportunities Facebook sees for better results. For example, if you set a daily budget of $20, somedays Facebook may spend $13, and somedays it may spend $9 – depending on ad opportunities. Facebook spends more of your daily budget on a day with more opportunities for results and less on a day there are fewer opportunities.
Lifetime Budgets: The lifetime budget is the amount you’re willing to spend over the entire duration of the runtime of your ad set. If you select the ‘Standard Delivery’ option, Facebook spends the lifetime budget evenly over the runtime of your ad set. Similar to daily budgets, Facebook chooses to spend varying amounts on different days depending on ad opportunities it finds. However, if you select the ‘Accelerated Delivery’ option and ‘Lifetime Budget’, the budget could all be spent in less than a day.
Once you’ve chosen your budget, don’t change it too frequently as doing this may affect your ad performance. This happens because Facebook has to re-learn how to best deliver your ads so you get the most out of your newly selected budget.
The Schedule determines whether your ad set will run continuously from a particular date you select, or within a selected date range. If you’ve selected a lifetime budget, your ad set must have an end date. Doing this allows Facebook to spend the selected budget, and pace the ad set delivery evenly across the ad set’s lifetime.
On the other hand, if you’ve selected a daily budget, you don’t have to set an end date, and Facebook will keep delivering your ad set until you pause your campaign or reach your account spending limit.
Optimization for ad delivery
The optimization for ad delivery option allows you to choose how you want Facebook to target your audience based on what you’re trying to achieve. The option you select affects who sees your ads, to get you the best results at the lowest cost possible.
These are the options available:
For example, if you select the recommended option of ‘Link Clicks’, your ads are targeted to people who are most likely to click your ads.
You also need to select a bid amount at this step. The bid is the monetary value associated with each ad set, the amount represents how much you’re willing to pay for the ‘Optimization for Ad Delivery’ option you chose.
Your bids are combined with two other factors – estimated action rates and ad quality and relevance. The three factors are entered into Facebook’s ad auctions, which ultimately determine which advertisers get to show ads.
So, the ad that wins the auction and gets shown is the one with the highest total value for the combination of the following three factors.
1. Advertiser bid: When you select the manual bid amount, you enter a bid based on what results are worth to you – this depends on the optimization for ad delivery selected. Essentially, you represent how much you value the result your ad set is optimized for through the bid. By selecting the automatic bidding option, you allow Facebook to do this for you. It is recommended to bid your true value or higher for best results.
2. Estimated action rates: Every ad set is optimized for an action. Facebook estimates action rates based on how likely they think a given person is likely to take that action. The estimated action rate helps determine the difference between an ad being generally relevant to someone’s interests and it being likely to convince them to take the action you’re optimizing for. Facebook bases estimates on the past actions of your target audience, and your ad’s historical performance data.
3. Ad quality and relevance: Facebook calculates ad quality and relevance based on how interested your target audience will be in seeing your ad in terms of its overall quality and specific relevance. An ad that has received lots of negative feedback will decrease its total value. Whereas, if the target audience is interested in the ad it will increase your ad’s total value. Check your ad’s relevance score to see how audiences are reacting to your ad. The relevance score, is a number between 1 and 10, and the positive and negative feedback of an ad will be shown as a rating of low, medium and high:
The relevance score, is a relative number, which means that the value only measures how relevant your ad is compared to other ads targeting the same audience.
When determining the winner of an ad auction, Facebook standardizes the advertiser bid, estimated action rates, and ad quality and relevance to account for different optimization goals, they then combine them into a total value. The ad with the highest total value wins and gets shown to audiences.
There are two bidding options available:
1. Automatic: Facebook sets the bid that helps you get the most results at the best price possible.
2. Manual: You enter a bid depending on what results are worth to you.
Facebook recommends choosing the ‘Automatic’ bidding option.
The ‘When You Get Charged’ option determines when you pay for your ad. You can choose to pay whenever a user clicks the ad, or when a user clicks the ad’s video and watches up to a certain point.
The charge choice is different than the Optimization for Ad Delivery choice, the latter lets Facebook know which results you value (whether that’s clicks or impressions).
Facebook’s delivery system tries to show ads to the audience who are likely to get you those results. The optimization for ad delivery choice you use, in combination with your bid has a major effect on your average cost per result.
Facebook allows you to schedule ads for specific hours and days of the week. You can choose to run ads all the time, or choose to run ads on a specific schedule.
One thing to consider in ad scheduling is rotating ads for audiences, so if they aren’t convinced with one ad, there is a chance they will be with another. You should also set a frequency cap so the same person doesn’t see identical ads multiple times, as this can cause banner blindness.
The delivery type you choose determines how Facebook spends your budget. There are two options to choose from:
1. Standard Delivery: The ads are delivered, and your budget is spent evenly over the duration of your campaign – this is known as pacing. Pacing allows you to get the most out of your budget by discounting your bid when it’s appropriate.
2. Accelerated Delivery: The ads are delivered, and the budget is spent as quickly as your target audience and bid allows. Which means Facebook prioritizes speed over efficiency when choosing who to show your ads to, and when. In accelerated delivery, there’s no pacing, because of this there’s a possibility your lifetime budget can be spent in less than a day and the daily budget can be spent in a mere hour.
Step 6: Create your ad
In this step, you need to select your preferred Facebook ad format and insert the ad copy and images to create your Facebook ad.
You can create a new ad, or use an existing post:
You can choose from the following ad formats:
Carousel: Create an ad with 2 or more scrollable images or video.
Single image: Create up to 6 ads with one image each at no extra charge.
Single video: Create an ad with one video.
Slideshow: Create a looping video ad with up to 10 images.
Collection: Feature a collection of items that open into a full screen mobile experience.
You can create 6 ads at once by uploading multiple images. Facebook recommends the following image specifications:
- 1,200 X 628 pixels (recommended image size)
- 1.91:1 (recommended image ratio)
Facebook ads that contain images with little to no image text tend to cost less and reach more people than ads that use images with text. Here’s an example of preferred image text:
After the images have been uploaded, you need to select your ‘Destination’ – the page where a user will be directed to after they click your ad.
Always connect your Facebook ad to a relevant post-click landing page, as this results in a highly relevant experience for the visitor which increases the chances of conversions. The next section of the chapter will explain the importance of connecting Facebook ads with relevant, dedicated post-click landing pages.
It’s now time to enter the text for your ad. Make your ad headline brief, so the target audience immediately knows what your ad is about. The character limit for the ad headline is 40, you can add more characters but your headline may cut off when audiences see your ad in certain ad placements.
Your ad text should clearly tell audiences what you’re promoting through the ad.
Call to Action
Selecting a Call to Action enables you to choose the action you want audiences to take when they see the ad.
These are the Call to Action options Facebook offers:
- No button
- Get Showtimes
- Learn More
- Listen Now
- Send Message
- See Menu
- Shop Now
- Sign Up
- Watch More
- Request Time
- Apply Now
- Book Now
- Contact Us
News feed link description
You can add a news feed link description in your ad, which is additional text to emphasize to audiences why they should click your ad. The newsfeed link description will not appear in all ad placements.
Use Conversion tracking to see ad performance
Conversion tracking allows you to measure the ROI of Facebook ads by reporting on the actions your target audience takes on the ad – the actions can range from page likes to app installs. The results of the conversion tracking are available in the Ads Manager, along with the ad performance data.
You have three options to select from for conversion tracking:
1. Facebook Pixel: The Facebook Pixel is an analytics tool that helps you measure the effectiveness of your advertising. The Facebook Pixel can be used to understand the actions visitors are taking on your website or post-click landing page and reach the audiences you care about. You can set up the Facebook Pixel by placing the pixel code on the header of your website. When a visitor takes an action, the pixel is triggered and reports an action. The Facebook Pixel is used for running remarketing campaigns in Facebook.
2. App Events: Adding app events allows you to add events to your product to view analytics, measure ad performance, and build audiences for ad targeting.
3. Offline Events: Tracking offline events lets you upload offline sales and interaction data to measure ad conversions. You can then build audiences for ad targeting based on those transactions.
In addition to keeping tabs on conversion tracking, you can also use Facebook dynamic ads that present you with the opportunity of getting more ad clicks.
Facebook recently launched dynamic ads, the ads give marketers the opportunity to add image and text variations and let Facebook deliver the winning variation to audiences.
Facebook dynamic ads
Facebook has recently launched Dynamic Creative Ads which are operated through the Dynamic Creative.
According to a new release from Facebook, the Dynamic creative is a tool in Power Editor and the updated Ads Manager that automatically delivers the best combinations of your creative assets. It finds the best ad creative combinations by taking the components of the ad (images, videos, titles, descriptions, CTAs, etc.) and running different combinations of these assets across audiences.
The Dynamic Creative takes the basic component of an ad and automatically explores a series of ad variants based on the ad components. To create Facebook dynamic ads, you must provide an assortment of images, videos, descriptions and other creative assets.
You can upload the following number of creative assets for dynamic ads:
- 5 headline variations
- 10 image variations
- 10 video variations
- 5 ad text variations
- 5 ad description variations
- 5 CTA button variations
Facebook then delivers different combinations of the creative assets to your target audience to see which combination performs best for which ad placement and audience:
Facebook then reports back to you with the results of the test:
The whole process will save you time because, with Facebook Dynamic Creative, you won’t have to build any of the ads yourself, but instead simply upload your creative assets and let the social network’s technology do the rest.
Facebook Dynamic ads currently only support single image and single video format.
Supported ad placements for dynamic ads include:
- Facebook Newsfeed on desktop and mobile
- Right hand column
- Instagram feed
- Audience network classic
- Audience network In-stream video
- Audience Network rewarded video
Now that you know how to optimize the campaign set up process, and create dynamic ads it’s time to optimize the Facebook advertising component that your target audience will be seeing i.e. the Facebook ad.
Optimizing your Facebook ad
Your Facebook ad is basically made up of four components – headline, copy, image/video and CTA button. To ensure that your target audience responds favorably to the ad, here’s how you should optimize the ad components.
Write an attention-grabbing headline
Your ad is going to be competing with other ads on Facebook. To ensure your ad gets clicked what you need among other things is a headline that has the power to capture your target audience’s attention.
The ad headline should showcase what your offer or product/service is about, in a way that makes them want to find out more and click the ad.
Compass’ Facebook ad headline tells the user what the service can do for them:
This is not what you should be doing with the ad headline:
The headline is incomplete, and though it started off as interesting, it ends with leaving a question mark in the user’s mind, because it makes no sense. This is what the complete headline looks like:
The copy talks about unfinished sales pages, but the ad itself appears to have an unfinished headline. Make sure you check how your headline appears in all ad placements.
Showcase your unique selling point in the ad copy
As you’re limited to a few characters, the ad copy should clearly let users know how your offer is going to help solve their problem and make their life easier.
Getapp’s Facebook ad copy does exactly that:
Include a relevant click-worthy CTA button
The primary job of a CTA button is to let visitors know what to expect after they’ve clicked an ad. The button should be relevant to the offer showcased in the ad, it’s also a good idea to use an action verb to motivate visitors to take an action.
This is what Racheal Cook’s Facebook CTA button does:
Add a relevant, and engaging image/video
The media you include in your Facebook ad whether that’s an image or a video should be relevant to the offer, along with being visually engaging.
Take the Fletcher Method’s ad image as an example:
The image features a template, which is what the offer is about.
In addition to optimizing your Facebook ad components, there’s one thing you should always do to increase the likelihood of getting conversions post-click – always connect your Facebook ad with a relevant, dedicated post-click landing page.
Why you should connect Facebook ads with relevant post-click landing pages
Getting an ad-click isn’t the end goal of your advertising campaign, what you want is to take visitors to the real destination – a page with the full offer and the final CTA button.
When you put your homepage or product page as a real destination for the Facebook ad, you risk distracting visitors from the real offer.
For instance, when you click GiftWizard’s ad:
This is the page you’re directed to:
This is not a dedicated page, which means that it’s littered with navigation links and is not designed to get conversions.
Let’s now look at an ad that directs visitors to the real destination i.e. a dedicated post-click landing page.
This is the post-click landing page visitors are directed to after they click the Facebook ad:
The page is dedicated to the offer presented in the ad. All the components on the page center around the offer, ensuring that the visitor has all the information, so they can click the CTA button.
When you launch PPC campaigns on Facebook you have at your disposal one of the biggest pools of social audiences, along with laser-focused targeting options, helping you achieve campaign goals and increasing ROI.