Facebook is the biggest social media platform at the moment, with over 2.6 billion monthly active users. The closest competitor is YouTube at 2 billion users. Facebook’s other platforms Instagram has over 1 billion users, and messaging services (also identify as separate platforms) WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have 2 billion and 1.3 billion users, respectively.
With these numbers, it’s a no brainer that your audience is most likely active on Facebook or one of its partner platforms, and as a business, you have to use Facebook Advertising to reach these users.
- 1. But first, a few technical terms
- 2. Types of Facebook Advertising Campaigns
- 3. Facebook Advertising Campaign Structure
- 4. What do you need to run a Facebook ad?
- 5. Additional beginner’s guides for Facebook Advertising
- 6. Want to learn more about Facebook Advertising?
But first, a few technical terms
The following terms will help you understand the basics of Facebook Advertising better. Some terms are specific to Facebook Advertising, while some are also used in other platforms as well.
Please note that these terms have been explained as simply as possible as it is intended for beginners.
Reach, Impressions & Frequency
Reach and impressions are the no. of times someone sees your ad. Reach is unique, while impressions is not.
For e.g., 10 people seeing your ad once each person is 10 impressions and 10 reach; 10 people seeing your ad twice each is 20 impressions and 10 reach.
Frequency is a metric of how many times your ad is seen – it is calculated by dividing total impressions by total reach.
For e.g., 10 people seeing your ad once each person is 10 impressions, 10 reach, and 1 frequency; 10 people seeing your ad twice each is 20 impressions, 10 reach, and 2 frequency. Similarly 1.5 frequency means half the total no. of people have seen your ad twice, and the other half have only seen it once.
Organic vs. Paid
Organic refers to anything you haven’t paid Facebook (or any other platform) for, while Paid is anything you do pay Facebook for
For e.g., an organic post is when your Facebook business page posts a photo of your office lunch, and organic engagement is when you get likes, and comments on that post. A paid ad is when you pay Facebook to show your post / ad to people (for e.g. you run a Facebook ad for $100) and the resulting engagement, reach, impressions, etc. is termed as paid engagement, paid reach, paid impressions, etc.
ROI vs. ROAS
ROI, or Return on Investment, may be familiar to most people as it is a common business term, and refers to the returns (or sales) acquired from an initial investment, or sales per amount spent.
On the other hand, ROAS, or Return on Ad Spend, is mostly used for Digital Advertising and refers to the returns (or sales) by running ads for a certain amount, or sales per ad spend.
For e.g., a Dashain campaign that gets you Rs. 10,000 in sales, at a cost of Rs. 2000 in wages, and Rs. 2000 ad spend, has an ROAS of Rs. 5000 while the ROI is only Rs. 2500.
ROI is easiest for manufacturing companies to calculate, but it can be harder to calculate when you include human factors such as time (wages). Instead marketers tend to use ROAS as a determining factor as to whether advertising campaigns are doing better or worse.
All actions associated with Facebook ads such as engagement, reach, video views, clicks, etc. are paid – but how much do you pay? This is where Bids come into play.
The bid for xyz action determines whether your ad is shown or your competitor’s ad is shown, and then you or he/she are charged based on the user’s actions, and your campaign setup. A lower bid nets fewer actions, while higher bids result in more ad spend, but higher rate of actions as well (this is only if the ads and targeting is exactly the same as ad quality also comes into play here).
If you do not set a bid then Facebook will automatically determine the lowest possible bid for you – while this does usually ensure results, you may end up spending more than you want. Manual bids help avoid this issue, at the cost of fewer actions if not optimized correctly.
For e.g., you may think it’s okay to pay Rs. 5 per click on your Facebook ad; in an auto bid (set by Facebook) you may be bidding higher at around Rs. 10 per click.
It’s always advised to use manual clicks for most types of ads in order to have full control over them. You can usually search for industry averages (also check the country), or manually test out different bids, and see what amount gets you the required no. of results at the best cost.
CPC & CPM
CPC, or Cost per Click, is the rate at which you are paying for clicks.
CPM, or Cost per Mille, is the rate at which you pay for a 1000 impressions of your ad (a mille is a 1000 impressions).
These two are some of the types of options you can choose to pay according to with your Facebook ads (depending on the campaign type).
Now onto the basics of Facebook Advertising!
When learning about Facebook Advertising, we must first look at the different Facebook campaign types available.
Types of Facebook Advertising Campaigns
As shown in the image below, there are 13 types of Facebook Campaigns available as of today (the Engagement campaign includes 3 campaign subtypes: Page Likes, Event Responses, and Post Engagement).
Each campaign is optimized based on a specific objective.
You may have also noticed that the headings for each group of campaigns is similar to that of a Sales Funnel:
- Awareness – Make customers aware of you
- Consideration – Make customers think of you
- Conversion – Convince them to buy from you
- The Brand Awareness campaign helps you get an estimate of how many people would remember your ad after seeing it within two days.
- The Reach campaign lets you control frequency (and thereby the no. of reach and impressions) for your campaign.
- Traffic campaigns are optimized to help get people to click on your ads to send them to your website, Whatsapp, Messenger, Instagram, and more (basically off Facebook).
- Engagement campaigns as explained earlier let you get Post Engagement, Page Likes, or Event Responses.
- App Install campaigns are needed if you want to get more users for your app.
- Video View campaigns let you optimize for views of your video campaign.
- Lead Generation campaigns help you collect leads using built-in Facebook Lead Generation forms.
- Message campaigns let users message you by clicking on your ads.
- Conversion campaigns help you optimize your ad campaign for any action considered as a conversion, e.g. purchase, sign ups, registrations, etc.
- Catalog Sales campaigns optimize your campaigns to maximize sales from your Facebook product catalog.
- Store Traffic campaigns are great to drive physical traffic to your physical stores (not available in Nepal).
Now that we’ve looked at Facebook ad campaign types let’s look at Facebook ad campaign structure!
Facebook Advertising Campaign Structure
So this is what a Facebook ad looks like on your mobile or laptop.
But inside Facebook Ads Manager, the platform that is used to create and analyze Facebook ads, this is what advertisers see.
As you can see, each ad campaign you see on Facebook actually has three levels to it – these are 1. Campaign, 2. Ad Set, and 3. Ad.
And each level of this Facebook Ad Campaign structure allows you to set and specify different settings for your campaign which makes up your entire campaign.
Facebook Ad Structure – Campaign level
At the campaign level you choose your campaign objective (the ones from earlier) and the budget for your ad.
Setting the budget at the campaign level is known as Campaign Budget Optimization or CBO, and is optional at the moment, although Facebook was supposed to make it compulsory. This might change in the future.
You can also set the budget at the Ad Set level (which was how it was when Facebook Ads were first introduced).
Facebook Ad Structure – Ad Set level
In the Ad Set level you need to decide your audience, your placements, your budget and schedule.
Under Audience you need to specify the targeted location, age, gender, language, demographics, interests, and behaviors.
For Demographics so you can target people by their education level, by their relationship status (single, married, etc.), by different life events, and more.
For Interests, you can tag people based on their activity on Facebook, for e.g. people who like pages related to cooking, or those who like New York Times.
Under Behaviors you can target them based on their behaviour as identified by Facebook, for e.g. mobile users only, expats from a certain country, people who travel a lot, and more.
Under Placements you can target people based on the different placement options available to you including Facebook‘s on platforms as well as partner platforms. Placement here refers to the location where the ad has the potential to be shown.
Currently these are categorized based on feeds, stories, in stream, messages, audience network, apps, and sites.
- Feeds usually include your Facebook newsfeed and Instagram feed
- Stories include Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger Stories
- In-stream ads let you show ads within between videos
At the Ad Set level you can also configure the budget & schedule, bid strategy and more.
Facebook Ad Structure – Ad level
Once you’ve completed the previous settings, it’s now time to make the actual ad itself!
The Ad level is where you decide on how the ad actually will appear to your potential customers on the Facebook ad network, based on the placements that you have chosen.
First you need to choose your Facebook page and / or Instagram account that is associated with the ad.
*If you do not have an Instagram account then you can still choose to show the ad on Instagram by using your Facebook Page’s name. Keep in mind however, that you will not be able to reply to these comments, and you will not receive any Instagram messages (since you do not have an Instagram account).
What do you need to run a Facebook ad?
Now that you’ve learned about Facebook ads, how do you start running your own ad?
- A Facebook profile
- A Facebook Business page
- A credit card
- A Facebook ad account
If you are an agency, have multiple pages, or have a team of people to help you, then we also suggest that you open a Facebook Business Manager account – Facebook BM is a platform that connects all your pages, ad accounts, pixels, etc. under one platform so that it is easy to manage.
Additional beginner’s guides for Facebook Advertising
We have more articles about Facebook Advertising which may be helpful to beginners and advanced users as well including