How Does Facebook Advertising Work?

Facebook Ads and UK Advertising Costs

Facebook Ads and Advertising Costs UK

When it comes to online advertising, Facebook Ads is second only to Google Ads in terms of revenue generation. How does Facebook achieve this success? This article looks into the strengths of Facebook as an advertising platform and reveals how businesses can make best use of the unique features available.

Unrivalled targeting precision

One of the main reasons Facebook works as an advertising platform is its unrivalled targeting ability.

While Facebook Ads shares the ability to filter by age, gender and location (like most other ad platforms), Facebook can go much deeper when it comes to interests and events.

Facebook has benefited hugely from the culture change that has made it socially desirable to share personal information. When a Facebook user announces they are moving house, having a baby or going on a cruise, that information is stored.

The same applies if a Facebook user watches a specific movie, follows a celebrity or likes a page related to their favourite hobby.

Facebook enables advertisers to target people based on broad categories (fitness, gardening, gaming, cooking etc.) or specific interests (whitewater rafting, viewers of Master Chef, owners of Call of Duty, people who have visited Kew Gardens, etc.)

Facebook advertising works best when businesses choose these specific categories over the broader ones. This is because a larger percentage of people will click the advert. As click-through-rate (CTR) increases, the bid cost for a click comes down and advertisers can reach more of their target market, pushing ROI up.

Display ad format

Facebook Ads are formatted like Google Display Ads which puts emphasis on the image used. Facebook allows you to upload one 100 x 72 pixel image and the best Facebook ads include good quality images taken by the business or carefully chosen and edited stock images.

Close-cropped human faces are popular as are funny pictures but obvious stock images stand out for the wrong reasons and should be avoided. Make sure any people featured are relevant to the audience you are targeting.

The text portion of a Facebook ad includes a headline of up to 25 characters and body copy of 90 characters. The best-converting Facebook ads stick tightly to the AIDA format:

• Attention. Use a powerful headline to catch a Facebook user’s attention.
• Interest. Focus on one clear benefit of clicking your ad.
• Desire. Include a special offer or free trial to create desire.
• Action. End with a direct call-to-action.

Before creating your own, it is a good idea to look at the Facebook Ads that appear on your page and notice which ones stand out (and why).

Combining ad iteration and tracking

If ad design forms one half of making your Facebook advertising work, your strategy forms the other.

Experienced marketers claim that Facebook gives new adverts an extra push and have gained impressive conversion rates by regularly changing the creative on their adverts.

An iterative approach is a powerful way to maximise your CTR. If you create three or more adverts for the same target audience you will usually find that two have a much higher CTR than the others. Discard the low-performing ads and create new ads by duplicating (not editing) the two highest performing ads.

Repeat this process and you will gradually refine your ad for maximum appeal to your target audience while at the same time benefiting from the alleged ‘new ad’ boost.

Which businesses benefit from Facebook advertising?

Daily deal sites like Groupon and subscription businesses like Udemy seem to work well with Facebook but does Facebook advertising work for all businesses?

As long as you understand that Facebook is a social media platform, there is no reason why not. When people click an ad on a Google search page, they are usually looking for a product or service but when they come across a Facebook Ad they are more likely to be in a social frame of mind.

Therefore, the most successful Facebook ads target so-called ‘low-friction conversions. These usually focus on obtaining an email address and converting to sales further down the line. Ads which are overly focused on selling are likely to turn off Facebook users.

With billions of dollars of revenue generated annually, Facebook advertising works. If you follow the guidelines above, you will be well-positioned to share in that success.

How much does Facebook advertising cost?

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