Haven’t read the first part of our guide to Facebook advertising? Check it out here first if you’re not familiar with the basics.
Now that you’ve decided to test the waters with a Facebook campaign, it’s important to figure out what you’d like to get for your efforts. And with all the recent changes to how Facebook’s algorithm will significantly reduce organic Facebook engagement, knowing how to use Facebook Advertising is more important than ever. There are 11 different objective types offered by Facebook, each with their own ins and outs to help you achieve the results you’re looking for. We’ll break out the various types according to their three generic objectives: Awareness, Consideration and Conversion.
AWARENESS: GET THE WORD OUT
The starting point for any new brand (or established ones looking to pitch a new message), awareness is crucial to the long-term success of a campaign. Much like a billboard might help you achieve, an Awareness campaign on Facebook will help share your message as widely as possible in broader terms (as opposed to more tailored messaging you’d use further down the marketing funnel).
The advantage to a Facebook Awareness campaign is that you’re not limited to whoever happens to drive past your billboard in a specific geographic area. Your campaign can be as specific or as broad as you like, whether you want to target millennial mothers in the southeastern US who share an interest in fitness or, simply, men living in Sacramento.
Though Facebook gives you only two Awareness options in the Campaign builder, you’re not limited to just Brand Awareness or Reach. We would argue that the Engagement option nested under the Consideration category is arguably more a part of the Awareness stage than the Consideration stage. Within this Engagement objective you’ll find campaigns that help generate new Facebook Likes and boost post engagement—two major factors in generating awareness of your brand on the platform.
Generating Likes is often the starting point for most brands, because it helps you build a targeted audience of people who might show an interest in your brand or product. You can create ads for the sole purpose of generating traffic, video views or any other number of objectives, but if you don’t eventually have an engaged audience on your Page, you’re missing out on the direct relationships the platform is famous for.
Using the tactic of “boosting” posts (translated in your newsfeed as a “Sponsored” post), you’ll be able to help create conversations and drive community engagement with your content. This is a crucial part of any Facebook page, allowing discussions to happen and spread beyond your page’s reach. Without a Sponsored post strategy, you’re simply building an audience for the sake of showing off impressive numbers. 10,000 followers might sound great, but if only 1% of that audience is ever seeing your content, they’re not doing much for your brand. That’s where these boosted posts come into play, and you’ll need to make accommodations in your ad budget to cover them.
CONSIDERATION: GENERATE SOME BUZZ
Now that you’ve created an audience and built some baseline awareness for your campaign, you’re ready to move on to the Consideration objective. Here’s where you’ll take the audience you’ve built and send them to owned-and-operated properties like your website or mobile app; encourage them to view your latest video; fill out lead-generation forms; or contact you directly via Facebook Messenger.
This stage is where a little piece of code known as the Facebook Pixel becomes particularly crucial to proving the ROI of your ad spend. The Pixel is a discrete (i.e. invisible to any visitor on your site) piece of HTML that you place in the header of your website which sends signals back to Facebook whenever someone takes an action that results from a Facebook ad. With actions that range from simply visiting a specific page, adding an item to their cart or making a specific purchase, the Pixel gives you clarity as to what happens once someone leaves Facebook and enters your website.
So let’s say you spent $100 on a Facebook ad, and that ad drove 798 clicks to your website. Once on your website, 45 people from that initial batch made $15 purchases. Because the Pixel alerts you to those 45 purchases which occurred as a result of your ad campaign, you can concretely state that your Facebook campaign brought in $575 in that specified time. Without the Pixel, you’d only be able to guesstimate whether or not those purchases happened because of your campaign; the Pixel makes those assertions more concrete.
Collecting leads with this objective is quite easy, too. In fact, Facebook makes it so that you don’t even need to create a new landing page for this campaign, allowing you to design your own data capture form within the campaign creation tool itself. This not only cuts down on the number of steps a potential lead has to go through (thus reducing the chances for them to abandon the process), but it also helps cut costs for your team, as no design or coding is needed to capture the necessary data. Your forms can be as detailed or as basic as you or your customers need them to be, depending on the objective of your campaign. Facebook also makes it very easy for potential leads to fill out your forms, as it will auto-fill using their existing Facebook profile information.
A newer addition to this Consideration mix is the ability to create ads that drop users directly into a 1:1 chat with the brand. As the Facebook Messenger experience becomes more robust, even allowing for eCommerce within the application, this strategy could grow in popularity. Keep in mind, though, that it would require constant attention to your brand’s inbox, otherwise you run the risk of missing out on these interactions and even damaging your brand by seeming unresponsive.
CONVERSIONS: CLOSE THE DEAL
Of perhaps the greatest interest to CMOs and other managerial roles looking at your company’s bottom line, the Conversion campaigns offer the ability to directly influence website conversions, Facebook catalog sales and in-store visits. Here’s where the rubber meets the road, giving you the ability to connect the marketing and sales threads that tie together the buyer’s journey.
This campaign objective requires a bit more work on your end to establish the proper “conversion events” and sales triggers, so be aware that you like will not want to start with these kinds of campaigns until you’ve accrued some significant time with the other campaign strategies. Creating a Facebook product catalog requires a decent amount of work to format and tweak to the right specifications, so make sure your team and budget are ready to invest in that time before heading down that path. Similarly, setting up the ability to track an in-store visit involves a few steps you would not have otherwise encountered in your time on the platform.
Don’t be too worried, though: all of the time spent beforehand getting these ducks in a row are well worth the abilities you’ll have to influence behavior to your advantage.
STRUCTURING YOUR CAMPAIGN
Understanding how Facebook organizes your campaigns into combinations of Ad Sets and Ads is crucial to harnessing the platform. Outlined below is a brief overview to help get you started.
You have to separate each Campaign by your overall objective, as Facebook only allows one objective type (Awareness, Consideration or Conversion) per Campaign. Labelling each Campaign with a consistent naming convention is helpful not only for your own organizational needs, but it will also make it easier for your team to understand your previous campaigns, too.
Example: Company/Brand [Page Likes] or Company/Brand [Email Lead Generation]
One step down from your Campaign is the Ad Set, which you can use to break out the campaign by various factors like date or location. Because each Ad Set can have its own audience, targeting and creative, this gives you the ability to “split test” various factors as well. Again, using a consistent naming convention and structure is paramount to keeping things organized, especially if you run many Ad Sets throughout the year.
Example: Tri-State Area [December 2017]
Finally, the ads themselves provide the lifeblood of your campaign. These are what your audience sees in their newsfeeds or anywhere else you choose to target them. Facebook allows you to run multiple ad styles within a single Ad Set, meaning you can test multiple pieces of creative at once, allowing Facebook to automatically adjust for the best-performing ads. Use various ads to test whether your video outperforms still images (it probably will) or if highlighting three or four products from your catalog side-by-side works better than highlighting a single product.
As we all continue to see organic Facebook reach dwindle down to nothing, advertising strategy becomes more important than ever. There’s a lot of information to take in here, but once you spend some time in the platform you’ll start to see the individual pieces come together as a whole tactic. Or, you know, we can always handle all that for you. 😉