Facebook offers a variety of ways to advertise your business, products, and services on their social network. The question is, which one is going to work best for your particular goals? In this post, I’m going to explore Facebook’s advertising options: Boost Posts, Ads Manager, and Power Editor.
The first advertising option you are greeted with on Facebook is the Boost Post option. This will appear on posts you publish on your Facebook page.
You can choose to promote the post on your page to fans of your page (to beat low organic reach), fans and friends of fans of your page (to reach fans and people likely to become fans), and people through targeting (anyone). If you don’t have fans yet or only have a small fan base, you will only have the option to use people through targeting.
The option to display your ad to people through targeting will allow you to configure an audience for the post on your page based on basic demographics and interests. You can also use your Custom Audiences, Saved Audiences, and Lookalike Audiences.
This ad option is good for people who want to make sure the posts on their page reach their fans, help them reach new fans, and help them grow their Facebook page’s fan base. While it will help you get some traffic to your website (assuming your post has a link to your website), you are more likely to spend your ad budget on likes than anything else. It’s not a bad thing though – the more engagement you get on your posts (even paid), the better your organic reach will be for future posts. If you plan to use the Boost Post option to reach people beyond your page’s current fans, you might want to take some time to create Custom Audiences, Saved Audiences, and Lookalike Audiences. This will allow you to select specifically-tailored audiences for each of your boosted posts, which will help you save some time and make sure your boosted post reaches the right people. As for pricing, the Boost Post option allows you to choose a budget based on the number of people you want to reach with the post on your page. The number of people you can reach will depend on the people you have targeted (fans, fans and friends of fans, or people through targeting). This dropdown will give you a clear indicator of how much you have to spend to reach your desired audience. For example, if you were targeting your page’s fans and you have 30,000 fans, you would need to select a budget between $60 – $200 to reach the majority of them.
The amount you spend per day will be based on the total maximum budget you choose and the number of days you select for the ad duration. You can choose a default 1, 7, or 14 day runtime, or choose a date to end your ad using the date selector.
This choice should be made based on whether you want to get as many impressions for your post as possible within a short amount of time or if you want to get daily exposure in your target audience’s news feed over a longer period of time. In most cases, you will want to get as many impressions for your ad as soon as possible to help with the viral potential of your campaign. To summarize, the Boost Post option is a good one to use if you want to boost the engagement on a post you publish on your Facebook page and if you want to gain some new fans for your page. If your goal is to get website clicks or conversions, or to try the new Instagram ads, you will need the Ads Manager.
If you want to create ads with goals beyond engagement, then you will want to choose the Facebook Ads Manager. This interface will allow you to create a variety of ad types, including the option to try the new Instagram ads.
In this view, you will see the option to Boost your posts. This is similar to the option you have when you click the Boost Post button on one of your posts, but with more budgeting and audience targeting options. In particular, you can use Ads Manager to target people who are not fans of your page to ensure that you are reaching a new audience with your boosted post, something you cannot do with the Boost Post option above. Choosing the right ad objective should be based on two things: the goal of your ad and the way you will be charged for it. Let’s go with webinar registrations as the ultimate goal for your Facebook ad and the ad objectives that can help you achieve that goal.
- Boost your posts – you can boost a post linking to your webinar registration page.
- Send people to your website – you can create an ad linking to your webinar registration page using a Sign Up now button. This ad objective can also be used to create Instagram ads.
- Increase conversions on your website – you can create an ad linking to your webinar registration page using a Sign Up now button and track conversions through Facebook using the conversion tracking pixel. This ad objective can also be used to create Instagram ads.
- Reach people near your business – you can create an ad linking to your webinar registration page using a Learn More call to action button that is shown to people within a 50 mile radius of your business or an address you specify.
- Get people to claim your offer – you can create an offer on your page that links to your webinar registration page using a Get Offer call to action button that can only be claimed by a certain number of people for scarcity purposes.
- Get video views – you can create an ad linking to your webinar registration page using a Sign Up now button that features a video “teaser” for your webinar. This ad objective can also be used to create Instagram ads.
Of course, the ad objectives are not the only things you should test. Now, let’s look at all of the ad objectives you will find in Ads Manager and the way you are charged based on the objective.
- Boost your posts – you will be charged for likes, comments, and shares on your post as a result of the ad.
- Send people to your website – you will be charged for the number of people who click through to your website link as a result of the ad.
- Increase conversions on your website – you will be charged for the number of people who click through to your website link as a result of the ad.
- Reach people near your business – you will be charged for the number of impressions you receive for your ad.
- Get people to claim your offer – you will be charged for likes, comments, and shares on your offer as a result of the ad.
- Get video views – you will be charged for the number of people who watch at least 10 seconds of your video as a result of the ad.
Most of the above ad objectives also include pricing for cost per impressions (CPM). If you choose impression-based pricing, you will be charged a specific amount per 1,000 people who see your ad. For some ad objectives – Increase conversions on your website, Get installs of your app, Increase engagement in your app, Reach people near your business, Raise attendance at your event, Get people to claim your offer, and Get video views – Facebook recommends using impression-based pricing. There are pros and cons to impression-based pricing. Paying based on impressions means that more people are likely to see your ad. Since you won’t be paying for ad objective completions, like individual link clicks, you might get more clicks at a better price. For example, let’s say that you created with the objective to Increase conversions on your website to get more registrations for your webinar. Here’s what could happen based on each pricing model. Your numbers will likely not work like this, so keep in mind this is just to illustrate a point.
- If you choose the cost per click (CPC) pricing and you set your maximum budget at $300 and your cost was $3.00 per click. The result could be 100 clicks to your website.
- If you choose the cost per impressions (CPM) pricing and you set your maximum budget at $300 and your cost was $3.00 per 1,000 impressions. The result could be 100,000 impressions. If 1% of the people who saw your ad clicked on it, you could get 1,000 clicks for your $300 budget.
This makes impressions-based pricing seem like the definite winner. But the truth is, with poor targeting choices, you may spend your $300 budget on impressions and get very few clicks, and actual registrations. This is why it’s important to run some tests with the different types of ad objectives and the different pricing options. You may, for example, want a different ad objective for the next several webinars you are going to promote. For each campaign, split your budget between CPC (cost per click) or CPA (cost per action) and CPM (cost per impression) ads.Then tally up the results to see which one gets the most results for your ad goal. Over time, you will be able to find the right objective and pricing option to get the best results for your campaigns. In addition to the ad objectives, run some tests for Facebook versus Instagram ads with the ad objectives that work with Instagram: Send people to your website, Increase conversions on your website, and Get video views. I’ve found that Instagram ads will get you a higher number of clicks for your budget, but you might get a different result based on your targeting.
The third option for creating ads on Facebook is the Power Editor. The Power Editor is for advertisers who need to create Facebook ads in bulk or advertisers who simply want to use a more advanced version of Ads Manager.
In Power Editor, you have the ability to create the following hierarchy for your ad campaigns.
In addition to advertisers who need to create ads in bulk, this is a great option for people who want to do some serious testing beyond just different ad objectives and pricing options. For example, if you are creating an ad to increase webinar registrations, you can use Power Editor to test the following.
- Different campaign objectives.
- Different audience targeting.
- Different pricing options.
- The text you use above the link to your webinar registration page.
- The text you use as the link title.
- The text you use as the link description.
- The image you use for the link preview.
- The call to action button text.
Let’s say that you are promoting a webinar that would appeal to CEOs. Instead of creating an ad that generally appeals to any CEO, you could create Ad Sets that appeal to CEOs in specific industries. Then, you could create ads within those Ad Sets that use different images to see which audience responds to a particular style of image. When creating ads for specific audiences, be sure to review Facebook’s rules for prohibited content, as you cannot identify people based on certain targeting criteria in your ad. Depending on the amount of time you have and how serious you are about Facebook ads, you may or may not want to embark upon all of these testing scenarios. But for those who are serious about finding out the science to creating the best ad for your target audience, then you can use Power Editor to find out through some detailed testing.
As you can see, whether you are trying to get engagement, increase webinar registrations, or sell products or services, Facebook offers the types of ads and ad creation features that you need to create the best ads for your goals. Figure out which one works for you, then experiment to get the best results possible!