In the mid 90’s, most organizations strategically channeled a chunk of their marketing campaigns through television due to its impeccable reach as far as advertisement during prime hours was concerned. In recent times, the dominance of TV viewing has been registering a sharp decline as internet usage gradually gains popularity with over four billion users worldwide (Pensworth,2019). Pondering over this figure triggers your awareness that, just about half of the world’s population has access to internet which also explains the 1.6 billion daily active users of Facebook. Therefore, there is an assurance and possibility of reaching targeted audience through Facebook ad. Facebook has been able to establish itself as a hub for all market segmentation (Iannelli, L. et al. 2018). However, there has been some chatter about how Facebook Ads are less effective during B2B activities as compared to B2C activities. In order to assess the scope of Facebook ads and at the same time focus on the substantive issue which is how to create an effective Facebook ad, I will avoid discussing various arguments surrounding the operations of Facebook ads and move straight to the 8 inevitable steps needed to create an effective Facebook ad and further highlight some limitations of Facebook ads.
Chart 1: Global Digital growth as at January 2019
Source: We are social, 2019
Step #1: The type of Facebook Ad
The first step to take into account is to acquire sufficient knowledge about the various types of Facebook ad that exist. There are several Facebook ads such as carousel ads, image ad, video ad, messenger ad, canvas ad etc. I must say being knowledgeable about the features of the various Facebook ads aids an organization to select the appropriate and most effective advertising tool. These Facebook ads can be very beneficial to an organization if the appropriate type of ad is implemented, about 53% of users that view Facebook canvas ads are likely to view at least half of the full advertisement (Donnelly, 2000). This shows the high engaging rate of Facebook ads.
Step #2: Choose your Objectives
In the process of creating an ad, you will be requested by Facebook to categorize the marketing objective of your ad under awareness, consideration and conversion. This classification by Facebook really answers the client’s dilemma which is finding the purpose of their ad. These classifications are based factors such as sales, reach, engagement and traffic.
Step #3: Select your Audience
At this step Facebook presents three dimensions of target audience to its clients namely core audiences, custom audience and lookalike audience. In terms of core audience, clients have the luxury to direct ads to their target audience through selective functions based on demographics, location, interest and connections. The custom audience category also allows clients to engage with their existing customers. The next category which is the lookalike audience creates the avenue for clients to reach potential customers with similarities of existing customers.
Step #4: Decide where to run your ad
At this stage of creating your ad, you will have the option to select either automatic or manual ad placement. Facebook allows you to run the ad in four different places namely: Facebook’s mobile and desktop newsfeeds, Instagram, audience network and messenger. The aforementioned placements provide you with the option to choose the type of device (i.e. mobile only, device only and all devices) that your ad will be operating.
Step #5: Set your budget
This stage deals with the financial obligations and time periods of the ads. You get the chance to advertise within your budget and at your preferred schedule by sending a budget and bid to Facebook ad. Facebook broadcast client ads based on the budget and schedule specifications through their Facebook ad auction. You can also benefit from Facebook frequency buying function as it provides predictable and controlled ad delivery. This function selects the sequence and number of people that can see your ad.
Step #6: Pick a format
After assigning the appropriate payment plan to your ad, the next step is to select the right layout that effectively exhibits and corresponds to your marketing objectives. These layouts are in the form of image, video, stories, messenger, carousel, slideshow and playable. The variety in layout will ensure that a client’s story is communicated through the most efficient and effective channel.
Step #7: Place your order
At this phase, your ad is ready to be submitted to Facebook’s ad auction which is responsible for assigning ads to each client’s target audience. This operation runs on the combination of three major factors namely: bid, estimated action rates and ad quality.
Step #8: Measure and manage your ad
This final step serves as the checks and balances for tracking ad performance. This feature will allow you to edit your ineffective campaigns. The adjustments and tweaks are made based on the report delivered by Facebook’s report.
Awareness of Limitations
As I have dispassionately discussed the steps on how to create an effective Facebook ad, it is fairly appropriate to also raise the awareness of clients about Facebook’s ad limitations. There are few limitations that I think clients should take with a pinch of salt. It should be noted that facebook ads are prone to negative comments. In addition, there are copyright restrictions in regards to contents of ads. The level of competition from competitors is high and the responsibility of producing content for the ads rests on the shoulders of clients, therefore clients face the challenges of producing the right content in order to attract their target audience. In conclusion, the limitations certainly doesn’t debunk the advantages of utilizing Facebook ad since it is currently one of the most efficient and effective ways digital marketing.
Donnelly, G. (2020) ‘21 Facebook Advertising Tips to Try Right Now’. [Online] Wordstream.com. Available at: https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/01/30/facebook-advertising-tips [Accessed 2 Feb 2020]
Iannelli, L., Giglietto, F., Rossi, L., & Zurovac, E. (2018) ‘Facebook Digital Traces for Survey Research: Assessing the Efficiency and Effectiveness of a Facebook Ad–Based Procedure for Recruiting Online Survey Respondents in Niche and Difficult-to-Reach Populations’, Social Science Computer Review. https://doi.org/10.1177/0894439318816638
Pensworth, L. (2019) ‘Why digital marketing is killing TV Advertising’. [Online] Hubspot.com. Available at: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/why-digital-media-is-killing-tv-advertising [Accessed 2 Feb 2020]
We are social, (2019) ‘Global internet use accelerates’. [Online] wearesocial.com Available at: https://wearesocial.com/blog/2019/01/digital-2019-global-internet-use-accelerates [Accessed 2 Feb 2020]