What Are Facebook Ads…And Do They Work?

Facebook Ads For Small Business

How many times have you been scrolling on social media and seen an ad for something that immediately piques your interest? It’s as if that product was perfectly curated for you, and you can’t wait to learn more. While you might write off the experience as a lucky coincidence, more likely than not, considerable time and effort went into that ad specifically finding its way to you.

What all goes into creating a Facebook ad?

Facebook offers companies and small businesses the option to advertise through targeted ads. When users create an account on Facebook, they enter in their personal demographic information such as age, location, gender, and interests. Companies can then define the exact type of person they want Facebook to target their ads towards, whether that’s a 55-year old male from Boston who enjoys baseball or an 18-year old female who studies at a university.

Facebook ads are run as “campaigns” and have a specific objective and purpose. These objectives are wide-ranging and include brand awareness, reach, traffic, engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation, messages, conversions, catalog sales, and store visits. Users choose what objective they are working towards and how they want ads to appear.

Ads can appear in a variety of ways and be customized depending on how you want your audience to receive their ads, whether that be on the desktop and mobile news feed, Instagram, Messenger, or more!

Next, select a budget. Ads can run on either a daily budget ($11 per day) or a lifetime budget ($100 spread out over one week). This money plays a role in the ad’s auction process, which is the system Facebook uses to determine when ads are actually shown to viewers. If an ad for a Boston restaurant is competing with an ad for a baseball game, the ad with the higher bid amount and predicted performance will win and be shown to our 55-year old baseball fan from Boston.

Next comes the fun part — the design! Users can design their ad to show either a single image, video, or slideshow, and they can choose the text for the call-to-action button at the bottom of the ad. Common text for this button includes “Learn More” or “Show Now.”

Once all that is done, users submit their ad and watch its performance in the Ads Manager portion of Facebook. The Ads Manager collects data about how the ad is doing and shows real-time analytics, including where the ads performed the best and where the most audience engagement came from. These metrics allow users to tweak their ads and discover the best way to reach their audience.

But…what do you get out of it?

Considering all the work that goes into creating a Facebook ad…do they even work? Many people believe Instagram and Twitter have surpassed Facebook as their go-to social media platform, yet there is no question that when used correctly, Facebook ads can bring in a huge return-on-investment! One reason for this success is Facebook’s wide-spread reach across the world. Facebook has over 2.2 billion users, and this number continues to increase daily. More users equal a wider audience, meaning that there are more chances for your product to reach its intended audience.

Another reason Facebook ads are successful is because they don’t interrupt the user experience. Whereas a YouTube ad will force viewers to sit through part of an ad or an entire ad, Facebook simply displays an ad that users can quickly scroll past. If they’re interested, they can click the ad to learn more, but if they’re not they can simply return to their news feed with a simple swipe.

The largest caveat to keep in mind with Facebook ads is why people use Facebook in the first place. Whereas individuals might use Google to search for a product they are hoping to buy, individuals don’t come to Facebook with the sole intent of searching for products or services. Likely they are looking to catch up on what their friends and family are up to, or they’re just passing some time.

Knowing this, companies should create ads that warm customers up to their products. They should start with an ad or series of ads that merely capture users’ attention in creative and thought-provoking ways. The goal is just introducing users to the company and gaining their trust. Once this foundation is built, seeing an ad for the actual product won’t feel so jarring amongst social photos, and users are more likely to engage with the ad.

While there is a lot of work that goes into creating a Facebook ad and maximizing its potential, the rewards are substantial. A large Facebook audience and customizable target audience means that you can spend less money on ads and get a high return-on-investment.

If you want to begin advertising on Facebook but are feeling overwhelmed, turn to Riser Media Group! We will create a personalized Facebook marketing plan that will help you gain a leg up and RISE above the competition!