Illustration with avatars laying the Cubes on the Mobile Phone as a depiction of "laying the foundation"

Facebook Advertising Guide – Chapter I: Lay the Foundation

In this introductory section, you will gain an overview of Facebook Advertising. You’ll understand why advertising on Facebook is so popular and how you can utilize this platform, along with its affiliate ones (Messenger and Instagram), to achieve your business goals. Furthermore, we will introduce you to Facebook’s advertising and business tools, which might prove handy if you decide to embrace what Facebook has to offer to your daily business conduct. Finally, we will provide you with an overview and key information about the basic structure of Facebook Ads. Each level of that structure will be then further explained in the later articles. Contents of this article might seem to some like bits and pieces, but they make up for a fundamental knowledge necessary to understand further concepts as we move forward.

As announced in the introduction to this Guide, the last section of the articles will always be a Practical Guide, where we guide you through creating and managing of the Ad itself. This article is no exception, so if you are interested in getting right to business, jump to the last section!

Overview

 

Benefits of Facebook Advertising

Facebook Ads cost-effectiveness, customer targeting and a plethora of format and placement options, offers immense customization and creative control over your ads. Thus making a decent argument to invest both time and money into Facebook Ads. The key to Facebook marketing success can be summed in the parole you’ll find they are using:

“Show the right message to the right people.”

In fact, your business is likely losing potential income every day if you are not advertising it on Facebook. It’s a bold statement, yes. But also true. No matter the nature of your business, there is a great possibility that the majority of both,  your customers and prospects, is on Facebook or one of the apps under Facebook’s umbrella! Furthermore, Facebook has over 80 million business pages – and the list is ever growing.  Many of those utilize Facebook Advertising, with some of those being your direct competition.

Using Facebook Ads is not a matter of fashion. The reason behind is quite sinister: Facebook is the easiest, and most importantly, the cheapest way to reach people directly and promote your product and/or service to those who are the most likely to be interested in it.

The first of the many benefits of using Facebook as your marketing platform is its reach. Facebook is the most popular social media network and its user database is enormous, engaged and ever-growing!

Benefits of facebook advertising; Reach

Another big advantage of Facebook’s enormous userbase is the data they feed to Facebook. That data processed and offered to marketers in the form of audience features. Facebook has one of the most extensive lists of traits (more on that in Chapter III of this Guide). Its audience targeting is customizable to baffling detail so it definitely delivers when it comes to determining a perfect audience to aim your ads to.

Benefits of facebook advertising; Targeting

To advertise on Facebook you do not need a lot of money. It can be adjusted to any budget with a minimum spend of $1 per day. This makes Facebook Ads one of the cheapest forms of online advertising. Although, it’s worth to note that due to its popularity, prices tend to grow if the competition is strong. This is because you do not purchase Facebook Ad once you submit it. Instead, you enter the bid for an ad to be shown at an auction. Whether your ad will be shown to the end-user depends on a few conditions, like relevancy of the ad and the price bid you are willing to pay.

A great thing about Facebook Ads is that it’s possible to track the performance of your campaigns in real time and make adjustments if necessary. Ads also drive immediate results and with the help of Facebook Pixel, you can measure those conversions.

Benefits of facebook advertising; Price and Convenience

Apart from the above stated, Facebook Ads give the best Return of Investment (ROI), as well as a whole plethora of other benefits (see below).

Benefits of facebook advertising; best Return of Investment ROI

Now that you know what you gain from advertising on Facebook, we will explain the basic hows: how to establish your business‘ presence on Facebook by creating Business Pages; how you can promote content on your Pages; and finally, how to access and (eventually) master the tools to create and manage Facebook Ads.

Facebook Business Pages

A Facebook Page is just like a typical Facebook profile, but for businesses! Your customers or fans can like your page and will receive your updates in their News Feed. Organizations use Facebook Pages to post images and videos, share recent content, announce new features, and engage with customers.

The main difference between a regular profile and business page is that the latter measures engagements, likes, and more so that you can analyze your page’s effectiveness with Facebook Analytics. It is a powerful tool to find out how well your Facebook content is resonating with your audience.

Your social media profiles should be an extension and reflection of your brand. Social media presence of a business is nowadays necessity rather than luxury, and you need to be able to handle that task. It can be quite a time-consuming work: you will need to create valuable content, engage with your followers, expand your reach and communicate with your customers and often even conduct the business through your Page. A lot of businesses opt to start with Facebook when implementing a social media marketing strategy. It’s cost-effective (the Page itself is free) and rather intuitive.

To set up a page you’ll only need the following:

  • Your business name and description – name your Page after your business, or another name that people search for to find your business. Use the About section to tell people what your business does.
  • A profile photo and cover photo – Choose photos that represent your business well. Many businesses choose to use their logo as a profile photo. For the cover photo, choose an image of your shop, products or from a current marketing campaign.
  • The action you want people to take – At the top of your Page, you can add a call to action that directs your Page visitors to do something, such as visit your website or phone your shop. It just takes a few clicks.

Once you’ve got your page set and running; you should start creating content. Your Page should be active and informative before you start promoting it, so start posting updates as soon as it’s live. New photos and updates help to keep your Page fresh for visitors. At this point, you are ready to start promoting your content with Facebook.

Promoted Content on Facebook

There are  two types of promoted content on Facebook:

Promoted Content Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are created through Ads Manager and offer more advanced customization solutions. They have a distinct three-level structure: campaign, ad sets, and ads. They offer different advertising objectives and targeting which is extremely specific.

Promoted Content Posts and pages

To reach an audience beyond people who like your Page, you can boost a post or promote your Page; by paying Facebook to boost their visibility to an audience of your choosing. The bosted post appears in your audience’s Facebook or Instagram News Feed as an ad. They allow audience targeting, but performance metrics or objectives are not available with these types of promotions. Their sole objective is visibility and engagement with promoted content: they optimize for Page likes, comments, and shares or overall brand awareness.

Facebook Advertising Tools

There are two main tools within Facebook which you can use to create and publish your ads. Which one you will use depends on the complexity of your marketing team and strategy.

Facebook Ads Manager

For small businesses and individuals Ads Manager will be enough. Ads Manager is a simple-to-use, self-service tool for creating and managing ads on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or Audience Network.

Further Read: To learn how to adjust Ads Manager to better fit your campaigns, take this Facebook Blueprint course.

With Ads Manager you can create campaigns, manage when and where they’ll run and track how well your campaigns are performing. From there, you can select your ad account to be individual or for an agency. Agency accounts can store sub-accounts with clients business profiles.  It allows tracking ad campaign reports and insight in ads performance. In Ads Manager you can filter ads by objective, demographics of the audience, ad delivery state, as well as individual ad performance metrics.

What is what on Facebook Ads Manager Dashboard

Ads Manager Roles

After you have set up your Page and opened an account in Ads Manager, you’ll need to establish the roles for those who will have access to your ad account (if anyone). There are three relevant roles with different permissions (see image). Roles and permissions are great because they give the owner of an account control of who is doing what (most importantly, who can spend the money) on your account.

 

Facebook Business Manager

Business Manager is an umbrella tool that sits above Facebook’s self-service tools like Ads Manager, Reporting and Pages. It integrates all Facebook marketing for businesses and allows controlled sharing with external partners. It allows you to run and track ads, manage assets such as Pages and ad accounts, and add an agency or marketing partners to help manage your business.

Business Manager houses:

  • Ads Manager – the main tool to create ad campaigns
  • Power Editor – a tool to create, edit, and manage large numbers of ads and campaigns at once

It was introduced to add more security to doing business on Facebook, while still allowing the whole team, and even external entities access and permissions to do their job. It has a two-layer permission model which allows control of permissions and restrictions to access data. The first layer is admins and employees and second, you share with partners or agencies  (restricted).

Business Manager is designed to reflect organizational hierarchy (see below). In it, the roles are assigned and permissions granted with the highest security denominator: sharing the least amount of access that allows for the work to be done.

How Business manager works

 

At the top, business admins have full access and may create necessary permissions for anyone who works on specific Pages or ad accounts. In certain situations it can happen that multiple business employees may manage the same Page or ad account; or also that one business employee may manage multiple Pages or ad accounts.

Business Manager has a steeper learning curve than Ads Manager but it is well worth it. Once you master it, it will be a single place where all of your business on Facebook can be dealt with.

Further Read: To better understand the intricacies of Business Manager, you can take a Facebook Blueprint course.

How do you know which tool to go with? If you are only starting with Facebook Advertising, Ads Manager would do to get you started.  However, if you plan on making Facebook ads an integral part of your marketing strategy and utilize it often in the future; if you need an extra layer of security with restricted access for your employees and partners – go with Business Manager.

 

Now that we know how to set up a Business Page and are familiar with tools at our disposal, let’s get to know Facebook Ads a bit more closely.

 

Structure of Facebook Ads

Facebook breaks down the process of ad creation into three levels:

Three levels of Facebook Ads structure: Campaigns, Ad sets and Ads

  • Campaigns contain ad sets and ads. Options you set at the campaign level reflect a concrete business goal. An ad objective is the business goal you want the ad to drive. Every ad set or ad within a single campaign will share the same ad objective.
  • Ad sets exist a level below campaigns and contain ads. Options you set at the ad set level reflect your priorities around delivery, such as:
    • Target audience
    • Placements
    • Budget & Schedule
  • Ads belong to ad sets, which in turn belong to campaigns. At the ad level, you’ll choose the ad format and provide the creative and copy that people see on Facebook. This includes your ads‘ headline, content, photo or video assets, as well as destination URL.

Campaigns, Ad Sets, and Ads are collectively referred to as ad objects.

The process is the same across all the tools, and all the apps and services. At each part of the process, you can add specific information. Changes done in higher steps are inherited in lower ones. If you edit an ad set, those changes apply to all the ads within it. Edits to a campaign will impact affiliated ad sets and ads.


Practical Guide Step 1: Create and log into your Advertising Account

If our reasoning above was an argument enough to prove that you should advertise on Facebook and if you feel confident about the tools presented, it’s time to take the first step towards creating your first Facebook Ad. There are some things to consider before you start, though.

1. Have a plan

Every successful feat starts with a well-thought plan. There are a few things you should think about and have at hand before you start creating your ad:

  1. A business goal – the reason why you’re running the ad
  2. Audience – an understanding of who you want to reach
  3. A daily or lifetime budget for your ad
  4. Content – photos, videos, text copy to feature in your ad

2. Choose your tool and log into your account

The next thing to consider is which tool to use. As mentioned above, there are two main tools to create and manage your ads. If you are only starting with Facebook Advertising, Ads Manager would do to get you started. However, if you plan on making Facebook ads an integral part of your marketing strategy and utilize it often in the future; if you need an extra layer of security with restricted access for your employees and partners – go with Business Manager.

Below you will find instructions for both. Note, creating both accounts is free of charge. The only thing you are paying for when advertising on Facebook is when someone sees your ad or you pay to promote your Page or boost a Post.

Setting up your account with Ads Manager

  • If you already have a Facebook Page and decided to use Ads Manager, log into your Facebook account. From there, you can access your Facebook Ads Manager account either by clicking on the drop-down arrow in the upper-right corner (that you have Admin access to) and select “Facebook Advertising” in the drop-down menu.

How to access facebook Ads Manager from a profile

 

  • It will take you to Facebook for Business,  where you only need to click Create an Ad button, and Ads Manager will launch.

How to access facebook Ads Manager from a profile - click create an ad

Alternatively, you can use Facebook’s Ads Manager mobile app to access and manage your ad campaigns anytime and anywhere.

 

Setting up your account with Business Manager

If you haven’t set up a Business Manager account, here’s how you do it:

  • Go to Facebook for Business
  • Click on the blue „create account“ button in the upper right-hand corner.

Facebook Business Manager how to create account

  • If you aren’t currently logged into Facebook, you will be asked to log in. If you don’t have a personal Facebook account, click on Create Account to get one.

Facebook Business Manager how to create account further steps

  • Insert your business name in the appropriate field.
  • Add your name and business email address.
  • Select Next.

Once you have created this account you will be able to set up your first Facebook ad campaign in its integrated Ads Manager.

As soon as you see Ads Manager dashboard, you’ve made it through the first step!

 


We have compiled all the relevant data from this article to an infographic which you can download below.

Download The Basics of Facebook Advertising Infographic here.


In the next article, we will dive deeper into the structure of Facebook Ads and explain Campaigns and Objectives.


References

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