Facebook’s reach is insane.
What started out in Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room has gone on to revolutionize the world.
This means one thing for online marketers: boundless opportunities.
Of course marketers have been using Facebook organically for years, but recently Facebook PPC has become the go-to marketing trend.
It’s interesting because I remember not all that long ago that pretty much the only PPC platform on marketers’ radars was Google AdWords.
It was AdWords or nothing.
But with Facebook having 1.86 billion monthly active users as of Q4 of 2016, it’s easy to see why Facebook PPC has exploded.
Just look at Facebook’s growth from 2008 to 2016:
But I know from experience that getting started with a new PPC platform can be a little harrowing.
You want to make sure you’re not wasting your marketing budget, and you want to get legitimate results from the money you’re putting in.
This article is intended for those of you who are just getting your feet wet with Facebook PPC and have no experience.
I’m going to walk you through the initial steps so you can set up your first ad and feel confident that it will perform well.
Choose an advertising objective
One way that Facebook PPC differs from platforms like AdWords is that advertisers can have several different types of objectives.
While on AdWords your goal is to drive qualified traffic to your landing page, on Facebook, you can have multiple objectives.
Here are just a few examples:
- Building brand awareness
- Generating leads
- Getting people to install your app
- Getting store visits
It’s important you have a crystal clear idea of what you want to accomplish as it will dictate the specific approach you take.
I recommend doing some brainstorming beforehand so you know exactly what your advertising objective is.
Here’s the first thing you’ll see when starting your campaign:
Let’s say your objective is to increase engagement by getting more page likes.
You would click on “Engagement,” and this would pop up at the bottom:
Facebook will give you a generic campaign name. In this case, it’s “Engagement.”
But you can replace it with whatever campaign name you choose.
I’ll just use “Neil’s Engagement Campaign.”
Once you’ve entered your campaign name, click on “Create Ad Account.”
From here, you’ll need to choose your country, currency, and time zone.
Now click “Continue.”
Selecting your audience
Here’s where it gets a little trickier.
The first thing you need to do is select your audience.
It’s crucial that you zone in on your target audience and be as specific as possible.
Otherwise, you may end up wasting money if irrelevant or unqualified people find your ad.
Here’s what you’ll see:
This is pretty self-explanatory, but you need to be meticulous about filling out this info, especially if you’re a brick-and-mortar business with a limited demographic in a particular region.
Don’t assume that you want to target “everyone in this location.”
Instead, carefully consider who it is you’re trying to reach.
- Where do they live?
- How old are they?
- What is their gender?
- What language do they speak?
This is why it’s so important to have a clear understanding of your target audience. If you’ve never gone through the process of creating and understanding your target persona, this is a good time to do so.
Just below this, there is “Detailed Targeting” and “Connections.”
I really like the “Detailed Targeting” feature because I can be hyper-specific about who sees my ads.
For me, that’s super important. I don’t want to waste precious Facebook advertising dollars on people who aren’t going to be interested!
Click on “Browse,” and you’ll be able to narrow your audience based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.
In my case, I’m going to click on “Interests” > “Business and Industry” > “Marketing.”
That’s because I’m targeting people who want to improve their websites and grow their traffic.
Of course, you’ll want to target your specific audience.
I suggest taking your time with this and browsing through everything so that you select a highly specified segment of Facebook users.
Just below “Detailed Targeting,” you’ll see “Connections.”
Here you can add a connection type based on:
- Facebook Pages
– People who like your page
– Friends of people who like your page
– Exclude people who like your page
– People who used your desktop app
– Friends of people who used your desktop app
– Exclude people who used your desktop app
– People who responded to your event
– Exclude people who already responded to your event
Add any specific connections for even more segmentation. Save this audience.
You have two options in terms of how your ads are displayed.
There’s “Automatic Placements” and “Edit Placements.”
I recommend sticking with “Automatic Placements” if you’re just starting out until you get the hang of things.
If you’re unhappy with your CTR (click-through rate), you can always go back and “Edit Placements” later on.
Budget and schedule
You have two options for your budget.
There’s “Daily Budget” and “Lifetime Budget.”
HubSpot explains the difference between the two:
- 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.
- 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.
I suggest keeping your budget fairly low initially.
If you’ve ever used any sort of PPC platform, you’re probably aware of the inherent learning curve that’s involved.
The last thing you want to do is drop a huge amount of money without first getting your bearings and learning the subtle nuances of a platform.
The more you learn about Facebook advertising, the more you’ll probably want to spend later on.
As for the schedule, you can either allow your ads to run continuously or select a specified start and end date.
If you want your ads to run only on certain days or at certain times, you’ll want to choose the latter option.
Change the date and time to your specified settings.
Creating your ad
Now that we’ve gotten all the preliminary steps out of the way, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty: creating your ad.
You have two options.
One is to use an existing post. The other is to create a new ad.
If you want to promote a post you’ve already published on Facebook, you’ll want to use an existing post.
Otherwise, if you want to create an ad from scratch, click on “Create New Ad.”
Here’s the first thing you’ll see if you go this route.
Just choose whichever option makes the most sense.
The next thing you’ll see is the “Images” section.
If you already have a particular image you want to use, you can either pull it from your library or upload it from your computer.
Otherwise, you can use Facebook’s “Free Stock Images.”
I love this feature because it gives you instant access to a good sized library of high-quality, professional looking images.
You’ll then connect your Facebook Page and enter whatever text you want to use.
Here’s how Buffer structured its advertisement:
And here’s a little slice of advice about your copy.
Keep it short, sweet, and clear. The key is to entice Facebook users to visit your page so they can discover more.
At that point, you can convince them to make a purchase.
Notice how short and concise Buffer’s copy is. That’s the kind of brevity you want to model.
People on Facebook are quickly skimming, scanning, and glancing around.
If your post is super engaging, they may settle in to read it. Otherwise, they’re going to scan it super quickly and move on.
Finally, you need to decide where you want your ad to be shown.
At the moment, you can choose between the following:
Although the desktop news feed may be your first instinct, it’s a good idea to do some testing to see which options gets the biggest results.
Placing your order
Once you’re happy with your ad, click on “Place Order” in the green box on the bottom right-hand side of the screen.
Facebook will review it before it goes live. Once it does go live, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Facebook.
That’s the gist of running your first Facebook PPC campaign.
The initial setup process is fairly straightforward.
But, of course, there are a lot of different variables that will ultimately determine how well your campaign performs.
When it’s all said and done, you want your ads to convert and get you the most bang for your buck.
More specifically, you want to minimize your cost-per-click (CPC) and see a solid CTR.
This is a huge subject to tackle, and I don’t have time to properly address it in this post.
If you’ve played around with the idea of using Facebook PPC but haven’t quite gotten around to it, now is a great time to take the plunge.
Facebook PPC is a vast field. There are dozens of marketers, coaches, courses, guides, and gurus who can take your money and show you how to do it.
But if you want to save some money, learn an invaluable skill, and take your marketing game to the next level, you can do it yourself. Even if you’re totally inexperienced.
Although I foresee Facebook Ads becoming fairly saturated in upcoming years, there’s still plenty of room for your brand right now.
Once you get a feel for this platform, you can make the necessary tweaks to improve the performance of your campaign.
Do you think Facebook PPC could ever rival Google AdWords?