Mastering Facebook ads and getting killer results is all about understanding the variety of options you can use. Hidden features and little-known facts can be a game changer and improve your campaigns significantly.
So what are the best practices for Facebook advertising?
There are dozens of terms every Facebook advertiser should know inside and out. Facebook offers a very thorough and detailed documentation for each term, in some cases too detailed… We created this dictionary to help you save time and find the needle in the haystack. The dictionary includes a simple but complete description of all the “must-know” terms and best practices & tips.
So how do you start?
First, let’s have a quick introduction to Facebook’s advertising tools.
Facebook Advertising Tools
There are three main tools for advertising on Facebook: Ads Manager, Power Editor & Business Manager. Each of them has a different use, advantages, and disadvantages.
The Ads Manager is the basic online dashboard to manage your campaigns. In the Ads Manager, you have all the capabilities to create and edit campaigns, ad sets, and ads, monitor the results and optimize them. In the past, the Ads Manager was very basic and lacked many capabilities that were available only in the Power Editor. Recently, the Ads Manager went through a major update that significantly improved its user interface and added a lot of features that were not available, which made it a more powerful tool than before.
The Ads Manager is very convenient for small-scale advertisers, especially for beginners. It’s also convenient for having quick sneak peeks at your campaigns and viewing the results on a daily/hourly basis, even if you are an advanced advertiser (we’re obsessively refreshing our Ads Manager).
Advantages of the Ads Manager
Quick and easy to learn how to use. The Ads Manager has a very simple interface, and it is very convenient to monitor your campaigns.
Disadvantages of the Ads Manager
Managing multiple campaigns and optimizing them is significantly slower on the Ads Manager than on the Power Editor.
How to reach the Ads Manager?
From your news feed, simply scroll down on the left side of the screen, and click on “Ads Manager”.
The Power Editor is the more advanced version of the Ads Manager. The Power Editor allows you to easily do bulk actions like creating, editing and duplicating campaigns, and upload them only when you’re done. For example, you can duplicate all your ad sets, change the targeting at one click and upload when you’re done. You can also download your campaigns to Excel, work on the Excel spreadsheet and upload back to Facebook when you’re done.
If you also advertise with Google AdWords, it’s similar to the AdWords Editor, but you don’t need to download it to your computer. The Power Editor is available on Chrome browsers only.
The Power Editor is a better fit for most advertisers, especially the advanced ones. It makes it easier to manage medium- and large-scale accounts with multiple campaigns and ad sets. The Power Editor is more complex than the Ads Manager and can be a bit overwhelming, especially for beginners, but it is definitely worth it to learn how to use the Power Editor. Most advertisers find the Power Editor the more convenient and efficient tool to work with.
Advantages of the Power Editor
Easier to do bulk actions. Quickly export and import your campaigns. Facebook usually rolls out new features on the Power Editor first.
Disadvantages of the Power Editor
Harder to understand how to operate, especially for small-scale advertisers and beginners. The Power Editor tends to be more “buggy” than the Ads Manager, which can be a real time waster.
How to reach the Power Editor?
Click on the menu button at the top left of the Ads Manager. A list of all the tools will open, and you can find the Power Editor under “Create & Manage”.
Which one should you use, the Ads Manager or the Power Editor?
Use the Ads Manager for your occasional monitoring of the results and small actions, like pausing campaigns or changing bids and budgets. Use the Power Editor for your more complex actions like creating campaigns and editing.
Our recommendation is to create your own mixture of both tools, but for different times and different actions. You can read more about the Ads Manager & Power Editor here.
The Business Manager was created by Facebook especially for businesses that have several people working on the company’s Facebook assets (e.g., your Facebook pages, ad accounts, apps, etc.). The Business Manager allows you to manage all your Facebook assets in one place and allow or deny access to other users to each of these assets.
Why use the Business Manager?
- Have all your assets in one place – Create and manage all your pages, product catalogs and ad accounts under the Business Manager. If you already have assets on Facebook and are just now creating a Business Manager, you can simply add them by clicking “Claim Assets” at the top right of the Business Manager.
- Give permissions – Allow your employees or partners become admins, advertisers or analysis on each of your assets. For example, if you use an agency to manage your campaigns or a freelance writer to manage your Facebook page, you can give them an access without sharing your password. Once you’re done working with them, you can just remove them.
- Manage payment methods – Manage how you will pay Facebook for each account. For example, if you advertise in a few countries and need to pay with different currencies, you can use different accounts, with a different payment method in each of them.
Bottom line: Using the Business Manager is not mandatory. You can just own your pages or ad accounts separately, but the Business Manager will make it easier, especially if you have multiple assets.
Creating a Campaign
Before you start creating your campaigns, you should first understand their structure. Facebook campaigns are built from three different levels: campaigns, ad sets, and ads.
What does each of them mean?
Campaign – Where you choose your objective. The objective is the goal of your campaign, what you are actually trying to achieve. It can be site traffic, app downloads, getting conversions, etc.
Ad set – The ad set is where you will define most of the settings, like your budget, bid and especially who you want to see your ads.
Ads – The ad is the creatives you will use in your ad sets. There are many types of creatives you can use, in different campaign objectives and placements. Each ad set can contain various ads at once, so you can test which works better for you.
Tip: Use one campaign per objective and one ad set per targeting. For example, if your goal is to get people to sign up to your blog, have one “sign up” campaign. Split the ad sets by different targeting, like different demographics:
“ad set 1 – males”
“ad set 2 – females”.
This way it will be easier for you to control your budgets and bids.
Don’t use more than two ads in your ad sets. Facebook will show your ads unevenly, and not necessarily by the parameters that are important for you. You might even want to consider having only one ad per ad set and test different creatives at different times.
Now let’s take a deeper dive into each of them.
Campaign – Where You Define Your Goal.
When creating a campaign, you will be required to choose the campaign objective. The campaign will contain your ad sets and ads, which all share the same objective.
Objective – Tells Facebook your goal and what to optimize for.
There are several objectives to choose from. You can choose only one objective per campaign since the campaign will be optimized by the objective of your choice.
The campaign objective will affect the type of ads you will be able to use, the bid type and the audience Facebook will display the campaign to (within your chosen target audience). For example, if you choose “Send people to your website”, your default bid will be per click, and Facebook will show your ads to people who usually react and click on posts out of the people in your target audience.
Which campaign objective should you use?
1. “Increase conversions on your website” (Conversions) – Get more actions on your website.
The “Conversions” objective will help you increase sales, sign-ups, purchases or any other actions on your websites. The Facebook algorithm will optimize your campaign to get you the most of the conversion you choose to optimize for, according to your bid, budget and target audience.
When creating an ad set, simply choose the conversion you want to optimize for.
Even though you can choose only one conversion to optimize for, Facebook will still track all the other conversions you have set and display them in your stats.
Tip: Try to choose the conversion that is most valuable to you, like “completed purchase” for example, but only if it has around 20–30 conversions a day. If your most valuable conversion has fewer than that, try using a different one, like “Add to cart”, with a higher number of conversions. You will need around 20–30 conversions a day for this objective to really work. If you only have a few conversions a day, the Facebook algorithm might not be as efficient in optimizing towards the chosen action.
In order to use the conversions objective, you need to have the Facebook pixel installed. The Facebook pixel is a little piece of code you should put on your website in order to be able to track conversions and build audiences.
How to install the Facebook pixel?
The Facebook pixel is a complex issue, but we will try to simplify it as much as possible. First, you will need to generate the pixel from your Facebook account. To generate the pixel, click on the Ads Manager menu >> All Tools >> Pixel.
Once you have generated the pixel, you are now able to directly email the code to your developer. When the pixel is installed you correctly, his status will be active and it will start counting traffic and events on your website.
The next step is to set up your conversions.
How to define your conversions?
Once the Facebook pixel is installed on your website, you can define your conversions. There are two ways to set up conversions: Standard events and Custom conversions. Both will allow you to track actions on your website.
Standard events are more reliable and recommended, but require a change in your website code for each event.
Custom conversions are easier to set up and can be created manually by the advertiser using URL rules. You are limited to 20 custom conversions only.
No matter which you chose to use, please make sure you installed your standard event or set up your custom conversion to happen on the page that your traffic will land on when finishing the conversions, e.g., your “Thank you” page.
When to choose “Increase conversions on your website”?
Use “Increase conversions on your website” when there are specific actions you want users to do, like sign up to your blog, download your eBook or buy a product you are selling. Using “Increase conversions on your website” will help you reach the people who are most likely to convert out of your target audience.
2. “Send people to your website” (Link Clicks) – Get more traffic.
“Send people to your website” will help you get more clicks on your ads and have more users visiting your website. Your campaign will be optimized to reach the people who are more likely to click on your ad and reach your website but not necessarily take a specific action. The click is the desired action in this case, regardless of what happens after the click.
When to choose “Send people to your website”?
Use “Send people to your website” when site traffic is your main goal when you don’t have specific conversions to optimize for or when for some really odd reason you just don’t have the Facebook pixel installed (yet). For example, you might use this option if you have a blog post you want more people to read, and page views have a higher value for you than an actual conversion.
3. “Collect leads to your business” (Lead generation) – Get users’ details directly on Facebook.
Get leads directly on the Facebook news feed without sending users to your website. With lead ads, you collect the users’ details like name, email, phone number, etc. directly on Facebook. You can download the leads you got to a CSV file or even connect it to your CRM system. Lead ads are available on mobile and desktop news feeds.
Lead ads look exactly like conversion or click ads, but when a user clicks on the ad, instead of being directed to your website, your lead form will pop up, pre-populated with his details, if Facebook has them. If not, the user can manually fill them in.
How to create a lead form?
Go to your Facebook page settings, click “Publishing tools” and then “Lead ads forms”. Your lead forms library will appear. In the forms library, you have access to all the lead forms created on your page, and you can download the leads you got to a CSV file.
When creating a new form, you can choose which details you want to ask for from the user, and if Facebook knows it about the user, the field will be pre-populated:
Tip: While lead ads are very effective to get leads, take into consideration that usually users that come through lead ads will be less qualified than users who actually visited your website. If you choose to use lead ads and see a good performance, we highly recommend checking the quality of those leads before increasing spending on lead ads.
When to use “Collect leads to your business”?
Lead ads can be very useful for advertisers with a complex onboarding process that requires a bit of a “push” by a sales team, or when you just don’t have a website or a landing page yet. If you do have a landing page, but your loading times are too long, lead ads might be a good fit for you until you improve it, especially on mobile, which usually has a lower conversion rate.
4. “Promote your page” (Page likes) – Get more page likes.
The page likes objective will get more users to like your Facebook page, but nothing further than that. The ads in this objective are aimed at page likes only and will not send users to your website.
“Promote your page” is only good when your top priority is to get page likes; other than that, it’s not a recommended objective to use. Getting page likes is no longer such an asset since even the people who liked your page will hardly see your page posts unless they are promoted. Do not assume that if someone liked your page he will see your social posts; that is just not the case anymore.
When to use “Promote your page”?
Only when your only goal is increasing the number of likes on your page – for example, if you need to show off the number of likes you have, or if you don’t have a good website and your Facebook page is the best way to display your business. Even then, you will probably have to boost your posts in order for them to reach many people.
5. “Get installs of your app” (Mobile app installs) – Generate mobile app downloads.
Get people to download your mobile app with ads that direct straight to your app page on the App Store or Google Play. Download app ads are available when you have the Facebook SDK in your app, and the app is listed on Facebook (this part will be done by your developers). Installing the Facebook SDK on your app is a similar process to installing the Facebook pixel on your website.
When to use “Get installs of your app”?
By all means, this is the most cost-effective way to get downloads of your app. It’s not only cost-effective (compared to other platforms), it also has the potential to get you the highest-quality users, those you really want to download and use your mobile app.
6. “Increase engagement in your app” (Mobile app engagement) – Get your “Daily/Monthly Active Users” up.
Many app developers consider their daily or monthly active users count to be one of the most important factors. Even if you have many app downloads, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are actually using your app. “Increase engagement in your app” will help you get more usage of your app and reduce churn levels.
When to use “Increase engagement in your app”?
Use “Increase engagement in your app” to get already-acquired users to engage with your app – for example, if you have a new feature you want to promote, or if you are selling a specific product and you want to promote it.
7. “Increase brand awareness” – Make more people familiar with your brand.
Reach more people in order to get them to pay attention to your brand. “Increase brand awareness” is optimized to reach as many people as possible who are more likely to pay attention to your ads.
When to use “Increase brand awareness”?
If you don’t necessarily aim to currently get a conversion or traffic to your site – for example, if you need to spread the word about your brand, but don’t necessarily want users to reach a specific page on your site or take a specific action.
Tip: If you do have a good website, it’s worth considering using the clicks or conversions objectives instead of brand awareness. They will also get you brand awareness and will be optimized to reach people who are more qualified to become high-quality users. Using brand awareness is basically just buying impressions.
8. “Reach people near your business” – Perfect for small local business owners.
Reach people around your business. Simply choose the location on the map, and reach people around you who are using Facebook.
When to use “Reach people near your business”?
If you’re a local business and want people around you to know about your store, service, offer or products – for example, a local restaurant that has a special lunch deal and wants to get people to walk in, or a locksmith who wants to get calls from potential customers around him.
9. “Raise attendance at your event” – Get people to come to your event.
With “Raise attendance at your event”, Facebook lets you optimize for event response and attendance.
Create an event on Facebook and use “Raise attendance at your event” to get more people to be interested and attend it. Facebook will show your ads to people who are most likely to be interested in your event.
When to use “Raise attendance at your event”?
If you created an event, and you want more people in addition to the ones you invited to be interested in your event and possibly attend it.
10. “Get people to claim your offer” – Get more people to see and take your offer.
Facebook allows you to create special-offer posts and promotes them while optimizing for offer claims. An offer can be a coupon or a special discount. You can create offers on your page, use them for sponsored ads only, or both.
How to create an offer?
When creating a post, choose “Offer”. Fill in the details of your offer, and your offer post is ready to be promoted.
“Get people to claim your offer” will give you the best way to promote and optimize for more offer claims. Facebook will show your ads to people who are the most likely to be interested in claiming your offer in your target audience.
When to use “Get people to claim your offer”?
If you created an offer, but you get a very low reach and interest in it, you can use this objective to expose your offer to more potential customers and get more claims.
11. “Get video views” – Have more people to watch your video.
Similar to increase brand awareness, or even increase conversions or clicks, but made specifically for video posts. With “Get video views”, your campaign will be optimized to get video views, or longer views of your videos, regardless of the clicks or conversions it’s getting.
You can choose to pay for any view or even a 10-second view. Test both bidding types and see which works better for you.
When to use “Get video views”?
If the actual view of the video is more important for you than getting users to convert or get to your website. Remember, in conversions or a clicks campaign you can also use a video, but not to optimize for longer views.
Tip: Try optimizing for video views for prospects audience, and then show a different ad for users who watched your video. You can easily target people who watched your video in the audience tool. Create a custom audience of users who engaged with your video:
Then choose the level of engagement, and you’re done.
12. “Promote a product catalog” – Sell more of your featured products.
Great for e-commerce advertisers. Facebook allows you to create a products catalog through the Business Manager settings. Once you have created your products catalog on Facebook, you will be able to dynamically promote your products. It will save you a lot of manual work and valuable time.
When to use “Promote a product catalog”?
It’s great when you sell a variety of products. For example, if you sell clothing goods, it can get very tricky to manually advertise the variety of products you have. With “Promote a product catalog”, Facebook presents your products dynamically.
After creating your campaign with the right objective, you are at the next step, creating the ad sets. But what is an ad set?
Ad Set – Where You Choose Your Targeting, Budget, and Bid.
The ad set is where you actually do most of your settings. In the ad set, you are required to set a few key parameters, like your budget, how much you are willing to pay for each result (this is the bid), your target audience, where you want your ad to be placed and some other settings.
Budget & Schedule – How much you are willing to spend, and pay for your objective.
Budget – The maximum amount you would like to spend on your ad set. You can set a daily budget or a lifetime budget. Your defined budget is the maximum you will spend, but you won’t necessarily spend all of it.
Schedule – When you want your ad set to be active. You can set by days of the week and by hours of the day. For example, if you’re a B2B advertiser, you might want to avoid the weekends, or if you’re targeting teenagers, the afternoons and evenings might perform better for you. In order to use scheduling, you will have to use a lifetime budget, not daily.
Tip: Most advertisers find keeping their ad sets without scheduling performs better. Start without scheduling, and check if there are specific days or hours your campaigns are not performing. If you find any significant differences, switch to scheduling, and shut down the days/hours that are not performing.
Custom audience – Create your own lists of people to target.
An extremely powerful tool for targeting. With custom audiences, you are able to create advanced audiences, in order to get to the right people with the most relevant ads. There are a few ways to create a custom audience.
Customer file – use an existing list: Upload a list of users you want to target. You can use their names, emails, zip code, etc. Facebook will use the data you uploaded and match it with their Facebook profiles. The more data you will use, the higher the match rate will be. The match rate is how many people out of your list Facebook can identify and match to their Facebook profiles.
Tip: Try to make your lists as big as possible, since Facebook will not match a lot of the people in the list. This happens especially in B2B, since you will have their business email, and they are probably using a personal email on Facebook.
Website traffic: Retargeting users who visited your site before – Available when the Facebook pixel is installed on your website. Create audiences by people who visited and took actions on your website. You can target anyone who visited your website, people who visited specific pages, or people who visited specific pages but not others. You can also create an audience of people who haven’t visited your site a certain amount of time, or converted in any of your events or custom conversions.
Website traffic can only go back 180 days. So if you want to target users from a longer period, try creating an audience using a customer list.
Tip: For maximum results, create different groups of people who visited your website, and display different ads for each group. For example, users who almost made a purchase, but left just before paying, are great candidates for a campaign about a new discount. It’s worth it to use a high bid to target this group.
You can do the same with users who just visited your homepage, but feature a different ad about your product and use a lower bid. Another interesting tactic is to segment users by when they visited your site. For example, last 7 days with a high bid, last 30 days with a medium bid and last 90 days with a low bid, each with a different ad.
Once you have created custom audiences, you can tell Facebook to find similar users to yours by creating a Lookalikes audience.
Lookalikes – Let Facebook find similar users to yours.
‘Lookalikes’ is an effective way to create a target audience that is based on automatically finding users similar to yours, without any additional settings. For example, if your users are small business owners, the Lookalikes audience will probably contain other small business owners.
Facebook does not share publicly the logic behind the Lookalikes algorithm, but it’s most likely based on finding users who share the same interests, digital behavior, purchase behavior and demographics; who clicked on similar ads; who went to similar events; etc.
How to create a Lookalikes audience?
Lookalikes are based on a custom audience, which is the ״seed״ -– the initial group of users you already have and wish FB to find more of them. The seed can be an email list of users you upload to FB, users who converted on previous FB campaigns, users who visited your site, etc.
The seed should include at least 1K users from the same country in order to be effective. From our experience, it works better if the seed is larger than 2K. Of course, there’s a higher chance Lookalikes would work better if your seed users are high-quality ones. For example, a seed of paying users will probably work better than a seed of users who just visited the site.
When using Lookalikes, you will automatically exclude your “seed”, so you won’t target your existing users.
- It’s challenging to target a very specific audience. The minimal target audience of Lookalikes is pretty wide, around 2 million. That means it’s challenging to target a very specific audience that will find your ads relevant.
- An email list as a seed doesn’t always work. When you upload a list of existing users, Facebook is looking for a match between the email addresses you’ve uploaded and Facebook users. A common scenario (especially on B2B) is that the email list includes mainly work emails and therefore there’s no match to Facebook users. This means your seed can be too small to create Lookalikes.
- Your audience should have a common behavior on FB for Lookalikes to work. Since Lookalikes is based on how people behave and define themselves on FB, it’s not efficient for audience group who don’t have much in common. For example, Lookalikes of football fans can work well as they liked related pages, attend events, go to specific websites, etc. On the other hand, Lookalikes of people who renewed their car insurance are less likely to perform well since they don’t have high similarity on FB.
The 10 levels of Lookalikes – Accuracy and best practices:
When you create a Lookalikes audience you can choose accuracy of 1–10%. 1% stands for the top 1% that resembles your seed. The lower the percentage is, the more likely your Lookalikes audience will perform well. On the other hand, the lower the percentage, the smaller your potential reach is.
Tip: Each accuracy level includes the previous one as well. For example, 3% will include the audience of 1% and 2%. Most advertisers start with 1%, later go up to 2% and so on. To get better results, exclude the group you’ve targeted before. So when you go up from 1% to 2%, for example, make sure to exclude the 1% audience. It will ensure that you reach a new audience rather than targeting again users who’ve already seen your ad and didn’t respond to it.
Bottom line: If you have a core of high-quality users, Lookalikes will likely be the most efficient targeting option for you. Lookalikes will not work well for very small and specific audiences and for audiences who don’t share much in common. Combining Lookalikes with interests or digital behavior will narrow your audience and usually improve your results.
With detailed targeting, you can pinpoint your target audience by choosing interests, behaviors, demographics and other categories.
You can choose out of the many categories or manually search for anything specific. Not only can you choose who to target, but you can also choose who to exclude.
For example, if you are selling luxury women’s shoes online, you can choose to target women only, between the ages of 35 – 44, in the United States, who are interested in fashion and are also interested in online shopping. You can add to that an exclusion of users who are interested in discount stores since you are selling luxury goods. Using such targeting will show your ads to users who will more likely find them relevant, and you will not spend your budget on users who don’t.
Tip: Use detailed targeting to reach the most relevant people who will be most interested in your post. Test which categories are the best fit for you in separate ad sets and leave only the ones that perform best.
Connections – Include or exclude people by your Facebook assets.
Target or exclude people by how they are connected to you on Facebook. Connected on Facebook can be people who liked your page, used your app or attended your events, or any combination of them. For example, you can exclude people who liked your page, or target friends of users who liked your page.
Tip: If conversions or clicks are your goals, exclude people who liked your page, since there’s a good chance they liked it through an ad anyway, which means you already reached them (remember? Many of your page likes will come from clicks/conversions ads).
Placement – Where your ads will be displayed.
The placement is the platform that your ads will be displayed on. You can choose out of a few available Facebook placements like the mobile news feed or right side column. Each of the placements has different prices, conversions rates and reach.
Tip: Even though you can choose multiple placements in one ad set, it’s better to split ad sets and have one placement per ad set. Each placement will have different prices, results and reach, so it’s better to optimize them separately and especially bid on them separately. For example, mobile impressions are much cheaper than desktop impressions, so you would want to bid on each of them separately.
Feeds – Mobile: Ads appear on the Facebook mobile app news feed.
With mobile news feed, users will see your ad when they are using Facebook on their mobile phones or tablets. You can choose to have your ads displayed on specific operating systems and even specific devices.
The mobile news feed is effective in getting lots of impressions and enlarging your potential reach. Since mobile impressions are more available than desktop impressions, they are also cheaper.
Tip: Try targeting mobile devices when they are connected to wi-fi only. In many cases, using cellular data will be too slow for your website or landing page to upload, especially in some geographic locations.
Feeds – Desktop: Ads appear on users’ news feeds on desktop & laptop computers.
Users will see your ads while using Facebook on their desktop or laptop computers. Desktop news feed is usually the most desired placement by advertisers, especially for B2B and e-commerce. Desktop impressions are more expensive than mobile, but usually, have the highest conversion rates. So even though the impressions are more expensive, many advertisers will prefer to pay for them rather than cheaper mobile traffic, which has lower conversion rates.
Tip: Bid much higher on the desktop news feed. The traffic is much more expensive and harder to get than in other placements, but since the conversion rates are higher, it’s worth it, especially if you have a complex, multi-step funnel.
Desktop Right Column – Ads appear on the right side, next to the news feed.
Right-side ads are actually the old-style Facebook ads, which appear on the right section of the screen and stay there, even if you scroll down. Desktop right-column ads are a cheap way to get desktop impressions, but take into consideration that probably the same users will see them over and over, and their efficiency is low.
- Whenever you use right-side ads, bid for clicks, not impressions. With right-side ads, your ads will be displayed to the same users over and over. You don’t want to pay for the same users seeing your ads many times. In this case, it’s better to pay only when they click.
- Try desktop right-column ads for remarketing, but when paying for clicks, not impressions! Users who already visited your website have a higher chance to convert and right-side ads can be a cheap way to reach them.
Right-side ads look different and display only a part of your text. Preview your ad on right-side ads, and see if it looks ok. When we preview our ad, it’s clear that the text we used doesn’t fit, and we need to create a separate post for right-side ads
Instagram: Ads appear on the Instagram app.
Although Instagram is a separate app, Facebook considers it as another placement for advertisers. You can use all the powerful targeting tools and audiences you usually do on Facebook and show your ads on Instagram. Using Instagram requires a bit of a different creative, but other than that, it’s as simple as all other placements.
Tip: Use Instagram to increase the potential reach of your ads. It can really help you reach a younger crowd, who are harder to reach on Facebook. Also, since many advertisers are not using Instagram yet, the cost of traffic is lower
Audience Network: Ads appear on other mobile apps as banners.
Your ads will appear on mobile apps that are using Facebook to monetize their app and display Facebook banners. Your ad will look different than how it looks on Facebook. When creating your ad, you can preview how it will look on the audience network.
When using the Audience Network, Facebook doesn’t share the name of those apps or allow you to choose which ones to add or exclude. Currently, you can only choose categories or upload a list of apps to exclude.
The audience network is available only combined with the mobile news feed.
Tip: You will definitely see a lot of cheap traffic coming from the audience network and might even get lots of conversions, but we highly recommend checking the quality of those users, since the audience network tends to be higher in volume, but lower in quality.
Optimization & Pricing – Your bid, and how to optimize it.
Select what Facebook will charge you for and how much you are willing to pay for it.
Optimization for ad delivery: When choosing optimization for ad delivery, you actually choose what to be charged on. It can be impressions, clicks, video views, etc. Each campaign objective has its own relevant options. The screenshot above is taken from a “conversions” campaign, so the default is conversions, but you can choose to change it to clicks, for example.
Tip: In most cases, it’s better to leave the default. When you change it, it’s almost like you’re changing the campaign objective. For example, if in a conversion campaign, you choose to be charged for clicks, it’s almost as you are using the clicks objective.
Bid Amount: How much you are willing to pay for the desired action. Your bid tells Facebook what this action is worth to you and how much you will be willing to pay for it. It’s called a bid, since when you buy traffic on Facebook, you actually participating in an auction against other advertisers. The amount of your bid is not what you will actually pay. The actual price will be determined by how much you are bidding compared to other advertisers, your ad relevancy, and other metrics Facebook takes into consideration.
You can choose between automatic or manual bidding. In manual bidding, you set how much you are willing to pay for the required action. In automatic, you let Facebook optimize the bid for you.
Tip: If you know how much you are willing to pay for the action, it’s better to use a manual bid. When setting the manual bid, we recommend using a bid that is a bit higher than what you are actually aiming to pay. Automatic bid will often get your price per result higher than what you aimed for. We recommend using automatic bidding only when your ad set budget is as low as a few hundred dollars a day, and your potential reach is small (less than 100K).
Once you’re done creating your ad sets, it’s time to create your ad.
Ads – the Creatives.
Ads are the creatives that will be displayed to your target audience. When creating an ad, you can choose the type of creative to use.
- Video: Very effective when targeting prospects who are not familiar with your product. A video will be automatically played on users’ news feeds without sound, unless they click on it.
- Image: A static 1200×628 image. You can upload your own image or use stock images available for advertisers on Facebook.
Tip: Upload your own image rather than using stock images. Stock images are being used by other advertisers as well and are not unique. When creating your image, use bright colors, and be as clear as possible about your offer -– don’t make users think too much, or they will not click on your ad.
- Slideshow: A slideshow is created by a set of images that will be displayed as a slideshow. You can choose which images to display and in what order. You can also select music to add from a few available choices. Slideshows are effective if you don’t have a good video, or if you’re targeting geographic regions with slow connections, which make a video hard to display.
- Carousel ad: Originally made for e-commerce advertisers, but available for everyone. One carousel ad is structured by 3–7 images that can be scrolled from left to right and back.
We recommend testing each of the creatives, and never assume in advance what will work. You might be very surprised by the results you will see. If you’re using multiple ad sets for different targeting, but prefer to use the same creatives for all of them, we recommend creating a dark post instead of creating the same ad over and over.
A dark post is used for ads only. Creating a dark post is the same as creating a regular page post, but by definition, it will not appear on your Facebook page. The “dark” only stands for not publicly published on your page – don’t let the term “dark” confuse you. Creating a dark post is easy. Just click on the Ads Manager menu and choose Page Posts.
Then, choose the page (business) you want to promote and create your post
Tip: Use only dark posts, not regular ads. Dark posts will save you a lot of time, since you only create them once, and then just use them in any ad you want to. Dark posts will also help you monitor the comments you are getting, because unlike regular ads, all the social engagement like shares, comments, and likes will be aggregated into one post, and not per ad.
Monitoring and Optimizing
Once your campaigns are running and start displaying data, it is very important to understand the numbers you see and to make sure you are looking at the right data for you. The Ads Manager will display a default set of columns that tells you how your campaigns, ad sets & ads are performing.
Delivery – On or off?
Is your campaign, ad set or ad active or not.
Results – How much of your chosen objective did you get?
The results column sums up the total number of actions resulted in your campaign, ad set or ad.
A result is the objective you chose in your campaign. For example, if it’s a conversions campaign, “Results” will be all the events or custom conversions that happened from that campaign. If it’s a clicks campaign, “Results” are the clicks.
Downside: When using conversions campaigns, results can be very confusing, since they sum up all the types of conversions you defined. For example, imagine if an advertiser has 3 types of conversions: “Sign-up”, “Add to cart” and “Purchased”. The advertiser got 80 “Sign-up”, 19 “Add to cart” and only 1 “Purchased”. In this case, the total number of results will be 100, but there’s only one user who actually made a purchase. The cost per result will be calculated by the total number of results and doesn’t show you the actual cost to get a purchasing user.
Tip: Create your own set of columns and save it in the Ads Manager. Choose only the columns that really matter to you. For example, add the columns that will display the count of each of your events or custom conversions and the cost per each of them. It’s easy to do; just open the columns drop down and click on Customize Columns. As you can see, we created a “By conversion” set and made it our default.
Cost – How much you paid for each result.
How much you paid per action. For example, if the objective of the campaign is clicks, the results will be the number of clicks, and the cost columns will display the cost per click. If it’s a conversion campaign, the cost will be the cost per conversion (no matter which conversions). Do not mix this column up with the “Amount spent” column, which will be explained next.
Amount spent – The total amount you will actually pay Facebook.
Amount spent is how much Facebook is charging you for the campaign, ad set or ad. This is just how much you actually will pay Facebook, regardless of the results.
Reach – How many people saw your ad.
Reach indicates how many people saw your ad. Each person is being counted once, regardless of the number of times he saw your ad. This is actually the unique impressions. For example, if your reach is 10, it means 10 people saw your ads, but maybe some of them saw it more than once. The number of times your ads have been displayed is called “impressions”.
Impressions – The number of times your ad was displayed.
Impressions are the number of times your ad was displayed, regardless of the number of people who’s seen it. For example, if your impressions number is a 15, and your reach is 10, it means 10 people saw your ad, but it happened 15 times. So some of them saw it more than once.
Frequency – The average number of times people saw your ad.
Frequency is the number of average times your ad was shown to each person in your target audience. For example, if the frequency is 3, it means each user in your target audience saw your ad an average of three times.
Tip: Make sure your frequency is not higher than 1.5. A high frequency is an indication that the same people are seeing your ads, and it’s time to refresh your creative or audience. It might also mean that your bid is not competitive enough, and you need to raise it to reach more people in your target audience. When frequency gets high, Facebook may start slowing down your reach, since the same users are seeing the same ad, and the engagement rate will get lower. Low engagement rate will lead to a low relevance score.
Relevance score – How relevant your ad is to your audience.
The relevance score is one of the key columns you should follow, at the ad level. The relevance score tells you how relevant your ad is to your target audience that sees it. The score is from 1 to 10, when 1 is the highest and is determined by the ad’s engagement rate (how your audience is responding to your ad, by clicking on it, completing a conversion from it, etc.)
The higher your score is, the more Facebook will favor your ad and will require a lower bid in order to show it to your audience.
A low relevance score is an indication that your creatives are not so relevant to your audience, or you are just targeting the wrong people. When experiencing a low relevance score, a change in the creative and/or targeting is required.
For example, you may be showing a great ad for soccer fans, but the targeting is not accurate enough and many sports fans who are not necessarily soccer fans see it. They will not engage with your ad, and your relevance score will be low. In this case, you’ll need to sharpen your targeting to reach soccer fans.
What is a good relevance score? The answer can be broad. For B2B advertisers, even a relevance score of 3 can be good, as long as your campaign is still cost-effective. For more specific offers, 6–7 will be considered a good score. If you’re higher than that, you did a good job in targeting and creative.
Bottom line: Better relevance score = You pay less for impressions.
Clicks (All) – Any click that was made on your ad.
“Clicks (All)” will include any social engagement on your ad in addition to clicks that lead to your website. It can be clicking on your Facebook page, a like on the post, a comment or a share. Clicks (All) does not count only actual clicks to your website! Do not confuse this column with Clicks (Link).
Clicks (Link) – The number users who got to your website.
Clicks (Link) counts the number of clicks on your ad that led users to your website. It’s the real indication of the number of times users got to your website through your ad.
The difference between Clicks (All) and Clicks (Link)
As you can see in the screenshot, there are 8,803 clicks of all kinds, but only 6,428 link clicks. Link clicks are always lower than Clicks (All) since Clicks (All) contains link clicks in it, along with all other types of clicks, such as page clicks, post likes, and shares.
CTR (All) – Click Through Rate – The percentage of users clicking on your ad.
CTR counts how many times your ad was clicked out of the total number of impressions. As in Clicks (All), it counts all clicks made on your ad in the calculation. It is calculated as such:
CTR (All) = All clicks (including any engagement)/Total impressions.
Tip: You might get a lot of likes on your ad, but not actual clicks. In this case, you will see a high CTR but may wonder why you don’t see traffic on your site. For example, if you have 100 impressions, 5 link clicks, and 5 post likes, your CTR is 10%, but you only have 5 users coming to your site. In order to measure your real CTR, use the column CTR (Link).
CTR (Link) – The percentage of users clicking on your ad to reach your website.
CTR (Link) counts how many times your ad was clicked to reach your website out of the total number of impressions. As in link clicks, it counts only clicks made on your ad in order to reach your website. It is calculated as such:
CTR (Link) = Clicks (Link)/ Total impressions.
Example: If you have 100 impressions and 7 people clicked on your ad to reach your website, and 3 people liked your ad, your CTR is 7%, because only the 7 that clicked to reach your website are counted.
CPC (All) – Cost Per Click – How much each click on your ad cost you.
How much you paid for each click on your ad. As in CTR (All), it is calculated by all the clicks on your ad, including page likes, shares, and comments. It actually shows you how much you paid per engagement on your ad.
CPC = Cost/Clicks (All)
CPC (Link) – How much you pay for each link click.
How much you actually paid to get a user to your website. CPC link calculates how much each link click cost you.
CPC link = Cost/ Clicks (Link).
Tip: CPC is being calculated regardless of the objective of your campaign, and is one of the most important metrics to follow. Considering you know your conversion rates, the CPC can help you a lot to determine the maximum bid you are willing to pay.
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