Facebook Ads – How to use the network for advertising

Facebook Ads – How to use the network for advertising

Julia Gehre
Julia Gehre
published on July 20, 2022   

Facebook Ads – The most important in a nutshell

  • Facebook Ads can be used to pursue various marketing goals, such as increasing awareness and conversions.

  • Ads on Facebook offer many application areas as well as design and personalization options.

  • Particularly popular ad formats are Image Ads, Video Ads, Story Ads, Carousel Ads or Collection Ads.

  • Billing takes place in an auction process, either with cost per click (CPC), cost per action (CPA) or cost per mille (CPM).

With over 2.9 billion active users, Facebook is the world’s largest social network. The platform is not only popular with private individuals. A large proportion of companies are now also represented on Facebook. In addition to large corporations, SMEs and smaller local businesses also place ads on Facebook to draw attention to themselves and interact with potential customers of the desired target group. Due to the large number of users, the social media channel is perfect for increasing your reach as a business, generating conversions and attracting new customers. With this guide to Facebook Ads, we give you an overview of the advantages, possible advertising targets, and the various advertising formats on Facebook.

What are Facebook Ads?

The social media platform Facebook offers the possibility to place paid advertisements, these are called Facebook ads. Companies can design them individually and play them out to the desired target group. Their message is therefore sent to the very people who are most likely to demand their products or services. All information regarding users’ interests is based on the details they publicly share on the platform (hobbies, place of residence, work, family status, and much more).

The marketing method is particularly effective when it comes to increasing the awareness of one’s company and bringing more traffic to one’s website. New customers can also be acquired here. Facebook Ads are available in various formats, which can be used differently depending on the objective. Unlike traditional advertising, Facebook Ads offer much more areas of application as well as design and personalization options.

Advantages of Facebook Ads

Like all other marketing tools, Facebook Ads offer many advantages for your business. The following points show a selection of these benefits:

  • Expansion of brand awareness
  • Enlargement of target audience through huge user base
  • Specific targeting and retargeting options
  • Increase in return on investment possible despite low budget use
  • Complete control over daily budget and maximum cost-per-click (CPC)
  • Address customers on an emotional level through visual content
  • Targeted contacts along the customer journey
  • Numerous design and personalization options
  • Campaigns are easy to track
  • Detailed reports and analyses

Advertising goals with Facebook Ads

When using Facebook Ads, the focus can be on different goals. Here, the social media platform follows the classic purchase funnel model, in which marketing campaigns can be targeted according to the respective stage of a consumer’s purchase decision process. The optimization options in Facebook Ads Manager are also based on this basic framework. A distinction is made between the following stages:

Facebook advertising goals are based on the classic purchase funnel model

Facebook advertising goals are based on the classic purchase funnel model

  • Awareness
    Increasing awareness of the company’s brand, products or services
  • Consideration
    Consideration to learn more about the company and its products and to search for information. Also increase in the purchase intention of interested users.
  • Conversion
    Achievement of the set goal e.g. purchase, lead generation etc.

Which advertising formats are available on Facebook Ads?

On Facebook, various formats can be selected for ads. These can vary depending on the campaign goal. Video ads, for example, are a great option when companies want to illustrate something visually to their customers. Particularly popular formats include:

The most popular ad formats on Facebook

The most popular ad formats on Facebook

  • Image Ads:

    This is a standard image ad on Facebook. The ad consists of an image with a matching headline, descriptive text, and a call-to-action. Such a format is super suitable to generate attention with a meaningful image and to address potential new customers.

  • Video Ads:

    These short clips generate a lot of attention among potential customers and can be used to tell stories about your company and offer customers a glimpse behind the scenes. There’s also the option to show products in action and include a CTA that gets customers to buy. A commonly used form of video ads are Facebook Slideshow Ads, which combine images, text elements, music, and animations to have a great advertising impact on users.

  • Carousel Ads:

    Carousel ads are great if you want to post multiple images or videos in one ad. Up to ten pieces of content can be included within one ad, which users can browse by swiping left and right. This format is super for showcasing different products. It is also commonly used for storytelling.

  • Collection Ads:

    Here, a main image or video is selected and supplemented with up to four smaller images. The format is very well suited to present products clearly and appealingly in a collection. Collection Ads are often used by fashion online stores, for example, because they look like a digital catalog to the user. Since such ads often include a link to the product, the customer journey is shortened, which speeds up the buying process.

  • Story Ads:

    A story ad can be both a full-screen video ad and a carousel ad. It plays seamlessly on Facebook between users’ Stories, so they fit perfectly into the feed.

Other ad formats that can be used include Lead Ads, Poll Ads and Messenger Ads.

Where can I place Facebook Ads?

Of course, it is not only important which ad formats are available on Facebook, but also where you can place your ad on the platform. Here there are several options, we can recommend:

  • News Feed
    If you like it classic, you should place your ad in the user’s News Feed. It does not look so intrusive, as it appears between the organic content of friends, etc.
  • Facebook Marketplace
    Similar to eBay classifieds, users can buy and sell various things here. The Marketplace is another placement option for company ads.
  • In-stream video
    The user is shown the ad as a short insertion within a video. Such a placement is also often found on video platforms, such as YouTube and Co.
  • Facebook Stories
    Stories are short posts from friends or followed pages that are visible for 24 hours. The user is shown these one after the other. Here, too, ads can be placed between the posts so that they are perceived more as organic posts than as offensive advertising.
  • Facebook Instant Articles 
    Facebook ads can also be placed in Instant Articles. These are editorial posts that open full-screen on a smartphone, effectively providing a new user interface.

Facebook ads can be placed not only on the platform directly, but also on Instagram, in Facebook Messenger or in the Facebook Audience Network. However, you should check whether the ads need to be adapted again in terms of form and content.

Targeting & retargeting of Facebook ads

On Facebook, countless users publish a lot of personal information and data, which gives the social media platform a huge advantage in the area of targeting. This offers a number of opportunities to tailor its ads even more precisely to a specific target group. Criteria for targeting potential new customers include:

  • Demographics (age, gender, education level, occupation, etc.)
  • Location
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Behavior
  • Connections (with Facebook pages / events)

Compared to Google, targeting on Facebook is much more accurate. Even the smallest niches can be reached here, which makes it highly effective when using Facebook Ads.

Besides the great targeting options, retargeting is also possible with the help of Facebook Pixel, Facebook’s own tracking code. This allows you to analyze behavior patterns of users on your pages, as well as create target groups based on it. Among other things, you can see when a potential customer adds a product to the shopping cart in your online store or saves the item as a favorite.

What do Facebook Ads cost?

When using Facebook Ads, a daily budget of at least 1€ must be used. Alternatively, a runtime budget can be set, in which the total amount is split over the desired period. Billing is then normally carried out in an auction process, in which several competitors compete for the playout of your ad on the specified target group.

Ads are paid for via cost per click (CPC), cost per action (CPA) or cost per mille (CPM). With the CPC variant, no costs are incurred for interactions such as comments, likes and shares; here, payment is only made for the click on the ad. Also, when billing by CPA, fees are only incurred if a certain action, such as a newsletter subscription, has taken place. If payment is made by CPM or CPM, the advertiser pays for the number of times the user views the ad (=impressions). A certain price is charged per thousand impressions.

Facebook offers advertisers the choice between automatic or manual payment. In Germany, payment can be made by credit card, PayPal or direct debit.

Measuring success – important KPI (=Key Performance Indicators)

Companies that place advertisements naturally also want to check whether they are successful. Important key performance indicators that could be used to measure the success of Facebook Ads include:

  • Brand awareness
  • Reach
  • Traffic
  • Interactions
  • Messages
  • Video views
  • App installs
  • Lead generation
  • Conversions

So, the performance of Facebook Ads can be determined with the help of different KPIs. Such monitoring can increase efficiency due to adjustments and save costs.

Facebook Ads - How to use the network for advertising
Learn more about the most important metrics in social media marketing and how you can measure these KPI.

Success with Facebook Ads

For businesses, Facebook Ads are an indispensable marketing tool that can be used to generate a higher reach, new customers and consequently a higher turnover. To make your ads successful, you should make them attention-grabbing and attractive. Suitable targeting, combined with the right objective and an appropriate budget are also success factors.

On the social media platform, Facebook Ads can be built up very emotionally, which makes them perfect for branding campaigns, among other things. It is also becoming increasingly important for customers to be addressed individually and to receive an offer that suits them.

The extensive targeting options on Facebook as well as a concrete target group analysis make exactly that possible.

Used correctly, Facebook Ads are ideal for increasing the popularity of your company. With Facebook Ads, you therefore have a great marketing tool that helps you successfully achieve your business goals.