Facebook Advertising

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Facebook Advertising, commonly known as Facebook ads, is a self-service platform for individuals to place targeted ads on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Whats App and the Audience Network. The advertising process is convenient for individuals and business owners, allowing them to choose the objective, budget, target audience, ad format, creative and placement.

What are Facebook Ads?

Facebook ads are images or videos that appear inside the Facebook social media app. Ads placed on Facebook can be viewed on the other Facebook-owned properties: Instagram; Messenger and Whats App. Ad content is paired with users based on demographic or behavioral targeting along with actions taken while using its services. All ads must adhere to Facebook's ad policies and guidelines. The process of creating and managing ads on the sites provides ideal opportunities for entrepreneurs and others seeking to promote a service or product, while targeting loyal customers, gaining and increasing best customers and promoting products and services on multiple platforms. Providing insights that highlight people, buying habits and media behavior, Facebook ads offer an illuminated view into insights across categorical spectrums. Ranging from modest to multi-figured budgets, ads are created with targeted consumers in mind. All is managed by the individual business owners, including the budget, content and duration. Ads are structured to be created and run on desktop computers as well as mobile devices.

Why is Facebook Advertising Important?

*Facebook has the most monthly active users of more than 2.23 billion, with YouTube (1.8 billion) and Instagram (1 billion) trailing behind. According to the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of U.S. Facebook users access the site daily and 43 percent access it multiple times a day. Additionally, 82 percent of people aged 18 to 29 are active Facebook users. As a result, there is a higher chance of reaching one's target audience.

*Facebook has laser-precision targeting. An ad is not limited to regions. It can be sent anywhere in the world. As a result, an audience can be targeted with specific lifestyles, behaviors, demographics and interests. By targeting an audience with specifically-defined traits or interests, the ad will reach those who will impact the business successfully.

*Facebook is cost effective. Through print, radio and TV advertising, it can be costly to reach an international audience. With Facebook, start-ups, small and large businesses can afford the rates. Ads can be segmented to target regional new and engaged consumers and expand the reach as the audience grows.

*Facebook has a powerful audience insights tool. With Facebook advertising, access to Audience insights will provide real-time information about the people who interacted with the ad, including geographies, lifestyles, demographic and purchase behaviors. This information will improve the ad strategy by adjusting the target audience, budget and placements.

*Facebook reaches a huge mobile audience. According to a Time Magazine article, Facebook, Messenger and Facebook-owned Instagram are listed in the top 10 most frequently downloaded mobile apps in the world. Because more people access social media through mobile phones rather than through desktops, it's important that social media companies garner a large mobile audience.[1]

*Facebook allows businesses to target loyal customers. Custom audience is a Facebook feature that makes it possible to advertise to specific Facebook users in the pre-existing customer list.

Where do Facebook Ads Appear?

*Paid Social vs. Paid Search

Many advertisers often ask whether to d do Google ads or Facebook ads. Both are powerful advertising tools that help to find and reach the target customer. They are like a hammer and a saw. When building a house, both of those tools are valuable. The difference between Google (paid search) and Facebook (paid social) is the audience’s intent. With paid search, advertising is within search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and there is a fee charged every time a prospective buyer clicks on the ad or each time the ad is displayed.

A search is the only way prospective customers will find the ad. When typing the keywords of the desired item or service into the search engine, and once the keywords match the ads, the ad will appear in the search results. That is not the same with paid social. Prospective customers can search for the ad on a platform like Facebook. Unlike the audience of paid search, the audience of paid social has zero purchase intent.

A placement is where the ads appear. Once the ad is created from the Facebook Page, others will be able to see the ad in several places. Ads are automatically adjusted to fit each placement and mark them as sponsored.

Some placements are not available for every ad objective, such as Get More Leads, which only applies to mobile feed placements.

Ads can appear in News Feed on desktop, News Feed on mobile, and in the right column of Facebook on desktop. For Instagram, ads can appear directly in the newsfeed or in story format.

Consider each as one ad with many placements.

Ads may be placed on Facebook, Instagram or in the Audience Network. Although Facebook offers six placements, some of them may not be eligible for all because eligibility depends on the buyer's advertising objective. For example, when choosing the objective via a mobile app, the ad will only be eligible for placement on Instagram, mobile News Feed, and Audience Network. If the ad is ineligible for certain placements, it will say “ineligible” next to its placement.

Available Placements

  • Facebook Desktop News Feed

When placing ads on Facebook’s Desktop News Feed, the ad will appear in the News Feed, the section of Facebook where posts by friends and family appear. It is important to remember, that placing ads on Desktop News Feed means these ads will only appear on News Feeds accessed through desktop computers and laptops. This should not be confused with mobile News Feed, which is accessed through mobile phones.

Many advertisers favor Desktop News Feed ads because their resemblance to regular posts is more appealing to Facebook users who hate intrusive ads, including pop-up ads and video ads that play automatically, when sound is on.

Desktop News Feed ads blend with the environment and do not interrupt the user experience.

Additionally, advertisers prefer News Feed ads because they appear on the section of Facebook that receives the most attention. The posts appear on News Feed, users’ eyes are often glued to the feed, giving the ad a higher chance of attracting attention. However, what works for some may not work for others.

The best way to determine whether this placement is ideal, is to test it. If other placements are found to cost less and deliver the desired results, Desktop News Feed is not the right placement for the ad. If contrary results are discovered, this is the right decision. Objectives eligible for this placement include: brand awareness, reach, traffic, engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation, conversions, catalog sales, store visits and messages.

  • Instagram Stories

Ads appear between the ephemeral Stories of Instagram users.

  • Instagram Feed

Using Instagram as your placement means your ads will appear on Instagram’s feed, among the posts of other Instagram users. Note that Instagram does not support all of Facebook’s ad formats. While single image, video, and carousel ads are eligible for placement on Instagram, canvas and slideshow ads are not.

  • Instant Articles

Instant Articles is a feature that makes articles accessible through mobile apps. When Facebook users click on an article, the article will open within Facebook’s app with similar formatting to the article on the publisher’s website. Choosing Instant Articles will place your ads within the article Facebook users are reading. Often your ads will appear between paragraphs.

  • Audience Network

When you serve your ads to Audience Network, your ads will appear on the apps and websites of Facebook’s publisher partners. Recently Facebook announced that advertisers can reach 1 billion people through Audience Network and that is has recently included several new partners, including Univision, Washington Post, Wenner Media, Daily Mirror, BBM, among many others.

Ad Types that support this placement: Clicks to Website, Mobile App Engagement, Mobile App Install, Product Catalog Sales, and Website Conversions. You can also run video ads by choosing Clicks to Website, Mobile App Engagement, Mobile App Installs, or Website Conversions.

  • Facebook Right Column

Right column ads appear on the bar located on the right side of Facebook, sandwiched between news feed and ticker. Unlike news feed ads that assume the appearance of regular posts, right column ads, which only show on desktop, appear in their true form—an ad.

  • Facebook Mobile News Feed

If the ad will be placed on Facebook’s Mobile News Feed, it will appear on the app’s News Feed. Like Desktop News Feed, the ad will appear amongst Facebook posts from friends and family.

Some advertisers prefer placing ads on mobile News Feed for the following reasons:

  1. There is a greater possibility that people will see the ad. Since Mobile News Feed fills up an entire phone screen and posts appear on the screen one at a time, people cannot avoid looking at the ad when it appears. Unlike the Desktop News Feed, there is no left sidebar or right column for distraction.
  2. More people access Facebook through mobile. As of March 2017, Facebook has 1.94 billion monthly active users. Of those 1.94 billion users, 1.74 billion access Facebook only through mobile. Neglecting to place ads on Mobile News Feed means losing a large group of potential customers.

How do Facebook Ads Work?

To advertise on Facebook, an account must be set up, along with a Facebook page and a Business Manager account that is only needed when managing multiple accounts.

The first step is to create a Facebook profile. Facebook requires that all advertising be done from a user account.

The process for setting up the profile includes: providing an email for the account; editing the profile and attaching a photo.

To set up the Facebook page, click create, choose the page type (business or brand), add page name and category, along with a brief description of the page, a profile picture and a cover photo.

The Business Manager account is not necessary for a single ad account. For multiple accounts, log into Facebook. Go to business.facebook.com and click create account. Add the business name, then transfer assets that fall under this account, such as pages, other ad accounts and Instagram accounts.

The mechanics of an effective Facebook ad strategy begin with determining when and why the ad is needed. Facebook allows the individual or business to choose what ads are suitable for the particular goal.

*Boost a post - an initial post can be promoted to reach those outside the circle of friends on Facebook. A regular post then becomes an ad.

*When preparing to place the ad, it is important that one is specific about the immediate goal for doing so.

*Go to Facebook and look at the options before placing the ad.

There are five steps to creating a Facebook ad:

  1. Choose the objective for the ad (what is the expected outcome)
  2. Decide what will be the image or text for the ad
  3. Determine the targeted audience - who is the ad trying to reach? Custom audience is one of Facebook's advertising features that allows buyers to advertise to specific Facebook users. Facebook will then serve ads to the matched individuals from the customer list that contains first and last names, email addresses and phone numbers from the list to existing Facebook users.
  4. Consider the budget, which can be modest. This is known as a "bid." Think of how long the ad should run and how much should be spent.
  5. Choose the payment method, frequency of the ad, while measuring and managing the ad.

These steps are provided by Facebook to help ad buyers reach the ultimate business goals.

How to access Facebook Ads

Advertisers can create and revisit all of their ad campaigns in Ads Manager, the ad-creation dashboard of Business Manager.

Ads Manager, accessible from Business Manager’s drop-down menu, is a dashboard within Business Manager to create, view and edit ads, as well as access performance reports for all ad campaigns. Previously, Ads Manager existed alongside Power Editor, another dashboard that to create, view, and edit ads. However, in 2017 Facebook converged Power Editor and Ads Manager to simplify. Now, in Ads Manager, ads can be created and edited. When accessing the new Ads Manager, there are two types of workflows - complete campaign and campaign shells. If the preference is Ads Manager instead of Power Editor, or if Facebook advertising is new, choose the complete campaign workflow because it features Ads Manager’s user-friendly guided creation. If the preference is Power Editor, choose campaign shells. As with Power Editor, parts of the ad can be completed later and non-sequentially.

Ads Manager

There are three tabs in ads manager: campaigns, ad sets and ads. These are the different levels of ad creation.

  • Campaign level

In the campaign level, which contains one or more ad sets and ads, choose an objective, turn on or off all ad sets and ads and measure the performance of each objective across multiple ad sets and ads.

  • Ad sets level

In the ad sets level, which contains one or more ads, ad buyers can choose the audience, schedule, budget, and placements. Unlike in other levels, there are three opportunities: Create separate ad sets for each audience; choose either a daily budget or a lifetime budget and test ad sets against each other.

  • Ads level

In the ads level, which contains only a single ad, the following can be added: creatives; copies and links. These levels can be compared to a matryoshka doll. When opening the campaign level, ad sets will be found within it. Open the ad sets level, and a single ad will be found within it. The deeper one gets into these levels, the smaller they get. The created ads are automatically organized in these three levels. To view or edit certain parts of the ads, certain levels must be visited. For example, the audience may be edited in the ads level and the objective edited in the campaign level. Different actions may be taken in different levels. It is important to understand these levels to easily improve the ad’s performance. Understanding the structure helps to measure results, test different audiences and identify which ads work best.

Ads may be placed on Facebook, Instagram or in the Audience Network. Although Facebook offers six placements, some of them may not be eligible for all because eligibility depends on the buyer's advertising objective. For example, when choosing the objective via a mobile app, the ad will only be eligible for placement on Instagram, mobile News Feed, and Audience Network. If the ad is ineligible for certain placements, it will say “ineligible” next to its placement.

Common Facebook Advertising Terms

It is imperative that Facebook advertisers understand the terminology that Facebook and Facebook advertisers use. Understanding the terms leads to better understand of Facebook-adverting-related content. There are several advertising terms that all Facebook marketers must know.

  • Boosted Post

A Boosted post is a page post that advertisers turn into an ad by paying for ad placement. Boosted posts have the same targeting options as regular Facebook ads. They only appear in Facebook News Feeds.

  • Call-to-Action Buttons (CTA Buttons)

CTA buttons, which appear on Facebook ads, take users directly to a landing page. For example, a "buy now" CTA will take users to the advertiser's product catalog page.

  • Conversions

Conversions is a metric that measures the number of times people completed an action, such as a purchase or a sign up.

  • Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

The average cost for obtaining 1,000 impressions on an ad.

  • CPC (Link)

The cost that occurs every time someone clicks on the link in your ad.

  • Delivery

A metrics that shows advertisers whether or not their ads are delivering.

  • Facebook Pixel

A piece of JavaScript code that tracks the web behaviors of users after clicking on a Facebook ad.

  • Frequency

The average number of times an ad was shown to a Facebook user.

  • Impressions

The number of times your ad appeared on the screens of Facebook users after a page load.

  • Lookalike Audiences

A new audience that is similar to an advertiser's existing audience. Lookalike Audiences are created by uploading a customer list to Facebook.

  • Lead Generation

Lead generation is a way to build the interest of consumers in a product or service.

  • Landing Page

A landing page is the web page where users will be redirected after clicking a link on a Facebook ad.

  • Mobile App Installs

The number of app installs a Facebook ad obtains.

  • Native Advertising

Is a type of disguised online advertising that mimics the look, tone, and function of organic, unpaid posts.

  • Objective

The objective is the goal advertisers select for their ads.

  • Organic Reach

Organic reach is a metric that measures the number of unique users who saw an ad.

  • Engagement

The reactions, comments, and shares on an ad or organic post.

  • Reach

A metric that measures the total number of users who saw an ad.

Facebook Advertising Rules and Guidelines

Managing successful Facebook ad campaigns

Requires constant attention. There are many moving parts to an ad campaigns, and failure to monitor or manage ads effectively is a surefire way to overpay Facebook for the ads. Facebook created automated rules to automate some of the most common tasks based on data from the campaigns, eliminating some of the time-consuming manual work by automatically applying rules to the ad campaigns. For example, create a rule to lower budgets and bids when CPAs are high or, conversely, to raise them when CPAs are low. When creating an automated rule on Business Manager, choose an action, or the desired rule to apply when one or several conditions have been met, and a condition, or the circumstances in which Facebook must apply the chosen rule.

Apply Rule:

Bold text Where the desired rule is to be applied, one can apply a rule to all active campaigns, ad sets, or ads.

==== Action: ====

What will happen when a condition has been met. Options include turn off, send notification, adjust the budget, or adjust the manual bid.


This triggers the automated rule. Select from a list of items such as daily spend, lifetime spend, frequency, results, and cost per result, just to name a few. Then set the thresholds to greater than, is equal to, or is lesser than, and the desired number.

When a campaign, ad set, or ad reaches this threshold in the selected time range, the automated rule will complete the chosen action. The most common examples of automated rules are decreasing spend, stopping ads that are underperforming, and increasing the ad spend when an ad is performing well.

=== Facebook Blueprint Certification ==

Facebook advertising, thanks to its self-serve platform, makes it easy for anyone to create ads and advertise. All that's needed is a Facebook profile, a business page, and a Business Manager account. There is no need to be rich to purchase Facebook ads. In fact, one can spend as little as five dollars a day if so desired. Anyone can advertise on Facebook, the novice media buyer and the seasoned advertiser, the rich and the middle class. Unfortunately, opening advertising to everyone comes with drawbacks.

Even people who aren’t highly skilled can dabble and experiment on Facebook. For this reason, Facebook launched Blueprint Certification in September 2016 to establish credibility in the industry and to set a standard for media buying on its platform. Blueprint Certification is a credential that proves the advertiser is skilled and qualified by Facebook. It can be compared to the diploma from college that confirms the graduate is trained and qualified for the studied field. There are two certifications: the Facebook Certified Planning Professional and the Facebook Certified Buying Professional.

  • To obtain the Facebook Certified Planning Professional certificate: It is necessary to pass both the Facebook Advertising Core Competencies test and the Facebook Certified Planning Professional test. To obtain the Facebook Certified Buying Professional certificate, one must pass the Facebook Advertising Core Competencies test and the Facebook Certified Buying Professional test.
  • Facebook Advertising Core Competencies ($150, Exp. 18 months): This exam, a core requirement for all Blueprint Certifications, measures knowledge in Facebook tools, advertising policies, and best practices required to manage Facebook ads. It also teaches how to create, purchase, and manage ads, select and use advertising objectives, target audiences for maximum impact, and understand the role of Facebook media planners and buyers. In order to take the other two exams, it is mandatory to first pass this exam.
  • Facebook Certified Buying Professional ($150, Exp. 18 months): This exam measures advanced-level skills in managing, creating and purchasing ads, improving performance and delivery, troubleshooting ad issues, mapping ad formats to advertising objectives, targeting audience, analyzing reports, mapping KPIs to buying objectives, understanding and testing the Facebook Pixel and SDK, and leveraging consumer insights and the product catalog.
  • Facebook Certified Planning Professional ($150, Exp. 18 months): This exam measures advanced-level kills in managing pages,

selecting and using advertising objectives, targeting audiences for maximum impact, using audience insights, optimizing reach and frequency, implementing planning strategies and best practices, understanding and learning from measurement solutions, and expertly tying Facebook products into a successful marketing and communication strategy.

  • Brian Meert, founder of social media advertising company Advertisemint in Los Angeles, took the Blueprint Certification test as soon as it launched in 2016, and admitted that it helped him with his business.

Because the certification differentiates between qualified and unqualified advertisers, the certification has given credibility among potential clients. Additionally, it sets certificate-holders apart from their competitors. Taking the certification test is recommended to add more credibility, develop a career in Facebook advertising and particularly manage tens of thousands of dollars.

If one manages large budgets for their clients, it’s important to be qualified. Certification elevates. If new to Facebook advertising and the Facebook ads spending budget is only a $300 per month, certification can wait.

==== What to Expect During the Test ==== The Blueprint test is a proctored exam that takes approximately ninety minutes. One must go to a pre-assigned testing center or private room where the test may be taken on a private computer. If taken on a personal computer, a program must be downloaded, that shuts down all the other programs on the computer. This assures honesty. A proctor will monitor the exam through the test-taker's webcam. Before beginning your test, the proctor will ask to examine the room to make sure there is no one or nothing else (cell phones, notebooks, etc.) in the room. If caught cheating, or someone walks into the room, the proctor will end the test and it will have to be retaken with no refund.

The test is multiple choice, but very challenging. It describes scenarios needed to provide the best solution. To test expertise, Facebook presents choices that all appear to be the right answer, but there can be only one. Once finished, return to the answers and review them or click finish. Immediately, following completion of the exam, the score will be provided, indicating a pass or fail. If the results are a pass, an email confirmation from Pearson VUE will be submitted, with a certificate and badge from Facebook. The certification is valid for 18 months that indicate whether you passed or failed. To prepare, it is advised that anticipated test takers advertise on Facebook for one year, become familiar with the tools and platforms and learn how to strategize. Read all of Facebook’s recommended study materials, including Facebook Blueprint. Carefully read the information and take the time to understand it. Another tip is taking the practice quiz until there is a perfect score.

What Is a Facebook Advertising Agency

Some people may want help with the management of their Facebook ads and hire a Facebook Advertising Agency to help them ensure campaigns are managed correctly.

  1. Lisa Eadicicco, "These Are the Most Popular iPhone Apps of 2016," Time, December 6, 2016, accessed July 17, 2017. http://time.com/4592864/most-popular-iphone-apps-2016/.