When setting up a paid Facebook ad, there are a lot of boxes to be checked.
Are you targeting the right people? Are your image dimensions to scale? Are you running the right type of ad? There is a lot that you need to consider and it can get a little confusing.
With more than 1.4 billion people using Facebook and over 900 million visits every day, Facebook offers up a unique opportunity for marketers to augment their organic efforts. Trouble is, with both an investment of time and money on the line, there’s not much room for oversight.
The Ultimate Checklist for Creating & Optimizing Facebook Ads
Facebook offers a wide variety of paid ad options and placements, but all ads can be broken down into three elements:
- Campaigns. The campaign houses all of your assets.
- Ad sets. If you’re targeting separate audiences with different characteristics, you’ll need an individual ad set for each.
- Ads. Your actual ads live within your ad sets. Each ad set can hold a variety of ads that vary in colour, copy, images, etc.
With that terminology out of the way, let’s get started creating our ad.
“Never write an advertisement which you wouldn’t want your family to read. You wouldn’t tell lies to your own wife. Don’t tell them to mine”
Choose an objective
Facebook’s Ads Manager, like many social media advertising networks, is designed with your campaign objective in mind. Before getting started, Ads Manager will prompt you to choose an objective for your campaign:
There are 10 different objectives to choose from. The list includes everything from sending people to your website to getting installs of your app to raising attendance at your event.
By choosing one of these objectives, you’re giving Facebook a better idea of what you’d like to do so they can present you with the best-suited ad options. Facebook’s ad options include:
- Page Post Engagements
- Page Likes
- Click to Website
- Website Conversions
- App Installs
- App Engagement
- Event Responses
- Offer Claims
- Video Views
- Local Awareness
“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at”
Choose your audience
If you’re just starting out with paid advertising on Facebook, it’s likely that you’ll have to experiment with several different targeting options until you reach an audience that fits just right.
To help you narrow your focus, Facebook’s targeting criteria are accompanied by an audience definition gauge. This tool — located to the right of the audience targeting fields — takes all of your selected properties into consideration in order to come up with a potential reach number.
If you’re wavering between choosing a specific audience over a broad one, consider your objective. If you’re looking to drive traffic, you’ll probably want to focus on the type of people you know will be interested in your offering. However, if you’re looking to build brand awareness or promote a widely appealing offer, feel free to focus on a more general audience.
Facebook’s built-in targeting is vast, including options such as:
- Ethnic Affinity
- Politics (U.S. only)
- Life Events
Set your budget
- Daily budget. If you want your ad set to run continuously throughout the day, this is the option you’ll want to go for. Using a daily budget means that Facebook will pace your spending per day. Keep in mind that the minimum daily budget for an ad set is $1.00 USD and must be at least 2X your CPC (Cost per Click).
- Lifetime budget. If you’re looking to run your ad for a specified length of time, select lifetime budget. This means that Facebook will pace your spend over the time period you set for the ad to run.
“By definition, remarkable things get remarked upon”
Create your advert
What do you want your ad to look like? It all depends on your original objective.
If you’re looking to increase the number of clicks to your website, Facebook’s Ad Manager will suggest the Click to Website ad options. Makes sense, right?
This ad option is broken down into two formats: Links and Carousels. Essentially, this means that you can either display a single image ad (Links) or a multi-image ad (Carousel) with three to five scrolling images at no additional cost.
Once you decide between the two, you’ll need to upload your creative assets. It’s important to note that for each type of ad, Facebook requires users to adhere to certain design criteria.
For single image ads, they ask that users adhere to the following considerations:
- Text: 90 characters
- Link Title: 25 characters
- Image ratio: 1.91:1
- Image size: 1200 pixels x 627 pixels. (Use a minimum image width of 600 pixels for ads appearing in News Feed.)
For multi-image ads — also known as Carousel Ads — Facebook provides the following design recommendations:
- Recommended image size: 600 x 600 pixels
- Image ratio: 1:1
- Text: 90 characters
- Headline: 40 characters
- Link description: 20 characters
- Your image may not include more than 20% text. See how much text is on your image.
Keep in mind that these are the ad options for the “send people to your website” objective.
If you selected “boost your posts,” you’d be presented with different ad options like the Page Post Engagement: Photo ad. This ad has a unique set of design recommendations. To explore all of the ad options and their design specifics, refer to this resource.
Low on design budget and want to make sure that you have met all the parameters? Canva is a great online editor that you can use to pull together a great ad (using your images) that fits within the Facebook image specs!
“In our factory, we make lipstick. In our advertising, we sell hope.”
Peter Nivio Zarlenga
Report on the performance
Once your ads are running, you’ll want to keep an eye on how they’re doing. To see their results, you’ll want to look in two places: the Facebook Ad Manager and your marketing software.
“Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.”
Facebook’s Ad Manager
Facebook’s Ad Manager is a sophisticated dashboard that provides users with an overview of all their campaigns.
Upfront, the dashboard highlights an estimate of how much you’re spending each day. The dashboard is organized by columns, which makes it easy to filter through your ads so you can create a custom view of your results. Key numbers like reach, frequency, and cost are readily available, making reporting on performance a no brainer.
According to Facebook, here are some of the key metrics to look for (and their definitions):
- Performance. Can be customized further to include metrics like results, reach, frequency and impressions
- Engagement. Can be customized further to include metrics like Page likes, Page engagement and post engagement
- Videos. Can be customized further to include metrics like video views and avg. % of video viewed
- Website. Can be customized further to include metrics like website actions (all), checkouts, payment details, purchases and adds to cart
- Apps. Can be further customized to include metrics like app installs, app engagement, credit spends, mobile app actions and cost per app engagement
- Events. Can be further customized to include metrics like event responses and cost per event response
- Clicks. Can be further customized to include metrics like clicks, unique clicks, CTR (click-through rate) and CPC (cost per click)
- Settings. Can be further customized to include metrics like start date, end date, ad set name, ad ID, delivery, bid and objective
Tracking URLs will help you keep track of how many leads, or better yet, how many customers you’ve gained from your advertising efforts. This information is useful in determining the ROI of this source, and can also be used to inform your targeting strategy.
There are great resources to make sure that you didn’t miss anything during the Facebook Ad planning process. Share your Facebook advertising stories in the comments – I hope that this guide is useful!
“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does”
Steuart Henderson Britt
Article written by Jessica Turner | Content and Social Media Officer at University of Oxford