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How-To Series: Facebook and Instagram Advertising to Reach Objectives

  • Last Updated: November 1, 2023

In This Article

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In this article

If you are a publisher looking to grow your online following, read more about how you can use Facebook and Instagram ads to reach your objectives.

Are you new to publishing? The main hurdle after building your website is creating brand awareness and driving traffic to your site. Have you thought about Facebook and Instagram ads? It is an easy way to dip your toes into advertising and spend within your means (the minimum is $1 a day).

As Facebook owns Instagram, there are many dual advertising opportunities. This means an easy way to increase visibility on two of the most used social media platforms. According to CIRCA, Facebook remains the most popular social media platform, with Instagram the third at 35% market penetration.

Before we get started with tips on how to advertise on Facebook and Instagram, we need to go through a few housekeeping items.

The first thing you’ll need to do is set up a Facebook Business Manager account, which you can do here. This will allow you and your colleagues, agencies, or contractors to manage your Facebook and Instagram ads. It is free and easy to set up; however, you do need to have a personal Facebook account to set up a Business Manager.

Secondly, we highly recommend setting up the Facebook pixel. This is a bit of code that you insert into the header or footer of your website and will provide transparency on how your Facebook campaigns are performing. It’s also handy from an audience targeting perspective. If you have a WordPress site, it is very simple to set up and Facebook provides an easy how-to guide here.

Once you’re set up on Business Manager and have implemented the Facebook pixel, you’re ready to go!

Follow these five helpful steps to set up your first Facebook and Instagram campaign.

Step One: Be Very Clear on Your Goal

What do you want to achieve from your first Facebook and Instagram campaign? Is it awareness of your new brand, or do you want people clicking through to your website and spending time on site? Or do you have a specific action you want your users completing, such as signing up for your newsletter?

Facebook offers the below objectives. The ones in black are the most relevant for Publishers just starting out:

For each campaign, you want one clear objective. For example, if you choose traffic as your objective, don’t expect to receive high impressions and comments on your Facebook ad. Facebook has a huge amount of data you can use to measure your campaigns. It can be easy to be overwhelmed and misdirected on performance. Read more on this in step five.

If you have more than one objective you’d like to achieve from Facebook, consider running multiple Facebook campaigns.

Good to Know: The Facebook algorithm is a complex and interesting beast. When you choose your objective, Facebook will deliver your ad to an audience who are likely to complete that action.

For example, based on their behaviour people may be categorised as either likely to click on to a website, or to watch videos on Facebook but never click through to a site. Therefore, if you’ve optimised for traffic you may not reach that second audience.

This is why we suggest being very clear on what you want to achieve and to test different objectives to see what works for you.

Step Two: Define Your Audience

There are two strategic approaches you can take for defining your audience:

  1. Broad – Generally speaking, broad targeting may simply include an age range and country. This relies on Facebook’s delivery system and as your ad matures, Facebook will refine who they serve your ad to based on your objective.
  2. Specific – This can vary; however, specific targeting generally means you are adding more parameters to your audience targeting. Facebook allows you to target based on many different factors including but not limited to: age, geo, gender, behaviours, employment, your previous customers, etc. Specific targeting means you’re limiting the types of people who are served your ad.

You may have a hypothesis for the type of audience you want to attract. However, in the beginning, broad targeting is a good option as it may open you up to segments you haven’t previously considered. As you evolve your Facebook strategy, we recommend adding more sophisticated audiences, such as specific segments, lookalikes, and custom audiences.

Hot Tip: Are you looking to build loyalty within your audience? You can use retargeting tactics to keep them engaged with your brand. This is why the Facebook pixel is important. It allows you to create a website custom audience that connects people who visit your website with a Facebook profile. You can target this audience with new material at any time.

Step Three: Create Compelling Content and CTA

This is marketing 101 and is no different from your other channels. There’s a lot of material out there for creating compelling content, and the key things we recommend considering when creating content specifically for Facebook are:

General Content Tips

  1. Have a clear CTA – Be very clear on what you want your users to do or think by viewing your Facebook ad. Be single-minded and don’t overwhelm with too many messages. Keep it simple.
  2. Use the right dimensions – Whether video or static, check out the specific format recommendations on Facebook. These are all available in the Facebook Business Ads Help Centre.
  3. Video over static content – Facebook promotes video content over static content, so using video is a good way to boost visibility.

Hot Tip: Facebook understands not everyone has design capabilities. If you want to try videos, check out Facebook Slideshow, where you can create captioned videos from still images.

Video Content Tips

  1. Seek attention – You want to grab a user’s attention quickly (in the first couple of seconds). It’s hard to break a user’s scrolling action. To get them to pause, you have to stand out from the crowd.
  2. Branding – Include your branding in the first three seconds. A user may only watch the first couple of seconds of your video, so you want your branding and key messages upfront.
  3. Keep it short – While videos can be as short as one second and as long as 240 minutes, it is recommended to keep it as short as it is interesting. 15 seconds is enough time to get your message across.
  4. Caption it – Behavior is shifting, but a lot of users still watch Facebook videos without sound. It’s recommended to include captions or design for sound off.
  5. Be mobile – It’s likely no surprise that 96% of users access Facebook on their mobile devices, according to Statista. It’s more important than ever to consider how your ad looks on mobile. For example, vertical ads are a great way to take up more real estate on a mobile screen.

Step Four: Evaluate Your Results Against your Objectives

When people start out with Facebook advertising, they often become overwhelmed by the data available or get confused by stats that are irrelevant to the objective they are testing for. When evaluating the data, always keep your objective top of mind.

Each month take time to look at how much you’ve spent and how much it costs to achieve your desired action. For example, if your objective is traffic, what was your cost per click or cost per landing page view? If your objective was brand awareness what was your cost per impression?

From here, evaluate what you’re willing to pay for these actions on an ongoing basis. One of the most common mistakes you can make is trying a Facebook campaign and then not diving into the results to understand the value to your business. Only you can decide this.

Step Five: Test and Learn

Facebook and Instagram ads are not a set and forget strategy. The platforms are continually evolving and so should your ad strategies.

Keep up to date with the latest news from Facebook and other social media networks by following industry sites, such as Social Media Today. It’s a good way to stay up to date with new product releases from all of the brands. Don’t be afraid to try new ad units that Facebook releases, and read as many case studies as possible to see what works for like-minded brands.

We’ll be posting a follow up How-To guide on Facebook ads in the coming months, which will provide more detail on sophisticated Facebook ad campaigns and how to set up a testing strategy.

Next Steps

There is lots of information available on how to physically set up your first ad campaign. Facebook produces regular guidance and information to assist with first-time users. Their Blueprint series provides great training on a range of advertising options.

Keep in mind these five steps as you work through your first campaign. And most importantly, if you’re considering spending money on your new site, consider how you can mitigate your spending by earning money through an affiliate program.

We hope that you’ve found this blog helpful and that you’re ready to get started.

If you’re interested in working with financially-focused brands, we can certainly help and welcome you to sign up for the Fintel Connect Network by clicking here!

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