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It’s happened to all of us. We’ve been on Facebook posting something on a friend’s wall about a specific interest, like tennis, and the next thing you know Facebook is showing you an ad about tennis rackets. That’s the power of Facebook ads – it lets brands engage and target people based on interests – what they’re talking about and what they like.

Facebook ads can be a very powerful tool to help to generate interest, brand recognition and brand loyalty. It can be an advertiser’s dream – targeting using the information people willingly share with others or enter in their profiles. But it’s important to know the ins and outs of advertising on Facebook before you get started.If you’re planning on launching a Facebook advertising campaign, here are some things to keep in mind before you get going.

  • Identify your goals
    What do you want to achieve? Is a Fecbook advertising campaign the right strategy? Do you want more likes on your brand page? Do you want to get people to enter a contest? Do you want to drive brand awareness? Do you want to acquire new sales leads? Your objective defines your strategy, so make sure you know what your goals are before launching your campaign. Make sure to establish your objectives prior to launch but be prepared – with Facebook the strategy  may vary throughout the duration of the campaign.
  • Know your audience
    Who do you want to reach – who is your audience? Think about what categories your customers fall into. Not only define them by demographics… dig deeper than that. Knowing your audience well lets’ you target your ads more effectively by tailoring your imagery and your copy to get your target audience’s attention.
  • Set your budget
    Set a clear budget as you would for all advertising efforts. Identify how much you want to spend daily or during the ad’s entire lifespan and identify your cost per click or cost per thousand impressions bid. How much are you willing to spend? What’s your strategy? Should you initiate a cost per thousand  (CPM)or a click through(CTR) campaign.
  • Know the rules
    Get to know Facebook’s advertising policies and approval process. You’ll find useful information on what you can and cannot advertise, say or show. Knowing the guidelines before hand will lower your ad’s chance of getting disapproved or shut down.

Now, you might be ready to launch your Facebook advertising campaign, but don’t know if it’s going to be a success. It’s always hard to forecast if an ad is going to be successful or not, but if you know your audience well enough and you have a clear objective and a well-defined strategy, you can help improve your ad’s success rate. Here are a few useful tips on creating more effective Facebook ads:

  • Copy is key
    Develop to-the-point copy that grabs your viewers’ attention. Use a call to action like “Click here!” to help incite your audience to act. Also, use any keywords that you may have if you’ve done your psychographic targeting.
  • Draw the eye
    Facebook ads that have simple images generally perform better. Use people’s faces where possible as it can help create a more personal connection – but keep it relevant. Avoid using images with hard to read text. Again, try to keep it simple. 
  • Prepare for landing
    Keep your landing page in mind. Where are you sending your audience? Your landing page should reflect what’s being advertised. It may seem a bit obvious but if you’re asking your audience to enter a contest, the landing page should allow them to enter a contest…and so on. Keep it consistent.
  • Analyze  the performance
    The real beauty of Facebook advertising is that you can stop ads and launch new ones…in a blink of an eye! In order to do that though, you need to create many alternative ads in order to test them and analyze which ones work, which don’t and why.

As marketers, we already know the power of Facebook and what it can do for customer engagement and brand loyalty. We know how we can better integrate our brands into our customers’ daily life through Facebook – keep them talking about a brand by asking questions and through constant engagement, stay in front of their eyes and at the top of their mind.  Recently, Facebook announced that it would include ads in the news feed – making ads even more integrated in customers’ every day Facebook activities.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Facebook ads are effective– any success stories that you’d like to share?

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