A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Ads in 2021

10 February, 2021

33 mins read

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When Facebook began in 2004, no one could have predicted how popular the platform would become in the following years — nor the marketing powerhouse it would soon be. In fact, more than 33% of Australian consumers admit they use social media when researching a brand.

However, setting up Facebook Ads can be daunting — especially if you’re not familiar with the new Facebook Ads management system. Which is why we’ve put together our very own beginner’s guide to Facebook Ads in 2021.

Article summary:  

  1. Why you need Facebook Ads in 2021.
  2. What are Facebook Ads? 
  3. Frequently asked questions.

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

What are Facebook Ads?

In short, Facebook Ads are ads which run through Facebook, appearing in users’ Facebook newsfeeds, messenger and Instagram. They allow businesses to advertise their products and services in a subtle way, with highly targeted ads and customisable budgets. 

Australia is now estimated to be the fifth largest users of social media marketing in the world, cementing the importance of the digital marketing tool for Australian businesses in 2021.

Types of Facebook Ad Campaigns in 2021

There are many types of Facebook Ad Campaigns available to your business. For those new to the platform, it can be difficult to know which one aligns best with your businesses goals and budget. 

1. Consideration campaign.

Consideration campaigns are great if you’re looking to drive website traffic or engagement. These types of campaigns are often more targeting than an awareness campaign, pushing consumers to find out more about your brand or offering. For the best results, we recommend running an awareness campaign for three months prior to this campaign type.

But when should you run a consideration campaign? In short, consideration campaigns are best for businesses who know their target audience and are looking to collect more specific audience data to begin generating leads. It should be noted that consideration campaigns cannot track call-to-actions (CTA) beyond cost-per-click (CPC). If this information is how your business measures success of a campaign, take a look at a conversion campaign. 

2. Awareness campaign.

Awareness campaigns are great for those just starting out with Facebook Ads, or for a recently launched business. Put simply, this type of campaign pushes your business out to as many people as possible — great for those looking to increase brand awareness. These campaigns are often the first interaction a consumer will have with your business, so ensure your messaging reflects your businesses goals and objectives perfectly.  

Even if you’re not just starting out in the business world, many social media marketing specialists recommend running an awareness campaign for at least three months before moving onto a more target, goal specific campaign type such as consideration or conversion

3. Conversion campaign. 

Conversion campaigns, as the name suggests, are perfect for those looking for conversions. Whatever your business considers a conversion (item sale, booked service or app download) this type of campaign can help get you there. 

Types of Facebook Ad Formats. 

There are so many types of Facebook Ad formats available to users in 2021. We’ve outlined them all to help you choose the best one for your campaign and business. Note, not all ad formats are available under each ad campaign type. Your hosting platform of choice (Facebook, Instagram or Messenger) may also alter the appearance of Ad types.

1. Images

Images are a great way to display your product or service. Ensure the image contains minimal text, is or high quality and showcases your product or service well. Facebook supports a variety of image sizes and file types too.  Most digital markets will agree that choosing the right image is integral to campaign success.

2. Instant experience.

Instant experience is one of the newer types of Facebook Ads available to businesses. Once a user interacts with your ad — whether this be by button click or video playback — they are taken to a fullscreen experience within the Facebook app or webpage. Think of it as a mini website, or brand highlight reel. 

This type of Facebook Ad is great for businesses looking to make an impact with their product or service. As Facebook Ads Manager guides you through the creation of your instant experience you’ll be prompted to add content to best tell your brand’s story.  

3. Video.

Videos are a great way to convey your latest offers to consumers. To maximise the efficiency of this type of Facebook ad, we recommend using videos which will grab the attention of your target audience, either by the copy or click-baity thumbnail. Facebook recommends using videos which are 15 seconds or less — so be quick with your messaging.

4. Carousel

If you have multiple services, products or offerings you want to push in the same Facebook, Instagram or Messenger ad, then carousel ads may be for you. Carousel ads allow you to feature up to ten photos and images, each with their own links in the same Facebook Ad. The images and videos are placed in a swipeable block with call to actions (CTA) placed at the bottom of each carousel.  

5. Collection. 

A collection Facebook Ad is exactly what it sounds like — a collection of images and videos. The best part? This type of Facebook Ad opens up into an Instant Experience when a user interacts with it.

Choosing a Social Media Marketing Agency

Has all the above information made Facebook Ads seem daunting? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many Australian businesses opt to outsource their social media marketing each year. Learning how to run your own Facebook ads is time consuming and can become costly, fast — two things many busy business owners don’t have time to deal with. 

Finding a business to outsource your social media marketing to is not a decision that should be taken lightly. When selecting a social media marketing agency to help you run your advertising, ensure they take the time to understand your business, including goals, objective and budgets. 

To help you with your selection, Facebook has begun rewarding digital marketing services with high customer success rates with Facebook Partner badges. 

What is a Facebook Marketing Partner? 

Facebook Marketing Partners are an elusive group of businesses worldwide who have been recognised by Facebook to bring high success rates to their customers. They have a proven track recording of advertising, selling and supporting their customers. 

3 Reason Why you need Facebook Ads in 2021

1. Your target market is on Facebook.

If you ran a fishing business, you wouldn’t open a shop in the Simpson Desert; you’d open your store in an area where your target market is, like Cairns or Port Lincoln. It’s the same online. 

With over 15 million Australians on Facebook there is no doubt your target market makes up some of them. If your target market is there, you need to be there too — your competition is. 

2. Facebook’s ability to target audiences is unmatched.  

Understanding your target audience is a crucial part of any marketing initiative, but none more so than Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads are some of the most customisable and cost effective forms of digital marketing, but only when they’re done correctly. 

Facebook has three primary audience types; saved, custom and lookalike. Each type gives you loads of additional options so your ads can be perfectly targeted every time. However, with Apples impending privacy changes, social media marketers are on the edge of their seats waiting to see how the update impacts targeting. 

What are Facebook saved audiences?

Saved audiences are defined by the ability to categorise people by their interests, location, age, gender, preferred device used, income and more. You can create more than one saved audience as, naturally, the audience you select will differ depending on the goal of your Facebook ad.

Location-based targeting:
The targeting for location-based audiences is so precise and detailed, it’s not as simple as just popping in Coffs Harbour — unless you want it to be. You can target via multiple postcodes, state, regions and even kilometre radiuses from a central location. From there, you can select to target those who live in the chosen area, those who visited the location recently and even those travelling there. The possibilities are truly endless.  

Demographic-based targeting:
Just like location targeting, demographic targeting is completely customisable for a saved audience. Besides the basic age, gender and language targeting, you can also target by unique traits. Your audience can be segmented by marital status, education, life events and even political views if you’re based in the United States.  

Interest-based targeting: 
Interest-based targeting is one of the easiest and most effective ways to target your audience. Facebook Ads allows you to select from a common list of interests, such as entertainment, business, food and drink plenty more. From there, Facebook finds users within the other demographic and geographics who like or interact with pages under your selected interests categories.

Behaviour-based targeting:
Unlike interest-based targeting, behavioural targeting allows you to target users based on past interactions and behaviour patterns. The data on users is gathered by Facebook though analysis and external data sources. This type of targeting allows you to target users based on past purchases, device usage, event interaction and travel.

Custom Audiences: 

Facebook custom audience targeting is your most valuable tool in the social media marketing world.  So, what are custom audiences? Custom audiences allow you to retarget users who have previously visited your website, engaged with your app or content. We recommend using a Facebook Pixel to get the best results from your custom audiences.

Lookalike Audiences:

The idea behind lookalike audiences is to reach Facebook users who fit a similar profile as your existing audience base. In order to create a lookalike audience you must first create a custom audience, from there you adjust the target region and percentage of likeness to the current custom audience.

3. Ads support your organic strategy 

We all know how important it is to have both a paid and organic social strategy in place for any business. Social media ads give you the opportunity to target specific audiences who will find your ad hyper-relevant. Depending on your audience and goals, this ad will likely be shared — increasing your reach without increasing your budget.  

It’s also likely those users who are interested in your targeting ad, will also visit your organic accounts — so ensure your messages align across both paid and organic strategies.  

This also works the other way around too, to get the most out of your Facebook, or social media ads in general, your organic strategy should align with the goals and messages of your paid strategy.

How to Understand Your Facebook Ad Results

So, you’ve published your first campaign, but how do you know if it’s going well? Don’t worry, you’re not alone if you aren’t quite sure how to interpret your results.

5 Facebook Metrics to Track Your Success 

The best way to review your campaign, if you don’t have a digital marketing agency with a live platform, is through Ads Manager. Ads Manager showcases all the analytics you could need for a campaign review including impressions, CPC, link clicks and so much more.  

Most importantly, avoid vanity metrics. Vanity metrics are metrics which generate high numbers, and look and sound great, but realistically have very little connection to the businesses performance. These include metrics such as post and page likes.

We’ve outlined some of the more important metrics to track below.

1. Cost per result. 

This metric displays the average cost of your ad based on the result where the result is a custom metric. The custom metric will differ depending on your ad, it could be anything from a sale, sign up or website visit — it depends how your ad was set up.

Put simply, if the goal of your campaign was to have customers purchase your product, cost-per-result will display the cost of each conversion in relation to ad spend. 

Through comparing Cost per Result on multiple campaigns, you can easily track which Facebook Ads are performing and which are not. 

2. Ad frequency. 

Ad frequency is a simple, yet effective metric to measure ad performance. This metric simply shows the amount of times your ad was shown on average to an individual. For example if your ad frequency is three, it means the average person who has seen your ad has seen it three times.

But what does the ad frequency tell us? For those running a branding-based campaign, you’ll want your ad frequency to be as high as possible. Research has shown someone must see a brand seven times before they remember it.

3. Ad Clicks.

This metric is exactly what its name implies — how many clicks your ad has received. Although simple, ad clicks are very important in interpreting the performance of your Facebook Ads. 

But what defines an ad click? An ad click is anytime anyone clicks on, or takes any action within your ad, including click throughs to your website. 

What if your clicks are high but your conversions are low? If you begin to see a trend in high clicks with low conversions, it’s time to take a look at your landing page. Data like this shows consumers are getting stuck between the initial click and conversion and it’s time to dig and find out why.

4. Cost-per-click and cost-per-impression. 

Cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-impression (CPI) metrics are relatively easy to interpret. They simply display the cost for each action. 

CPC represents the price paid for each click on the Facebook Ad, whereas CPI displays how much you’re paying per thousand views (impressions).

When looking at these results, the lower the number the better. Having low CPI and CPC tells Facebook your ad is relevant to those seeing it and therefore will show it to more people.  

5. Click-through rates.

Click-through rate (CTR) shows you the percentage of users who have engaged with your ad out of the total number of people who were shown it. If you’re running a great ad, you should see a mid-to-high CTR.

Frequently Asked Questions About Facebook Ads 

1. Are social media ads better than boosting posts?  

Yes, social media ads are more effective than boosting a post. Boosting posts just pushes your content to a random audience — there is no targeting involved. Unlike boosting, Facebook Ads (including Instagram and Messenger Ads) are targeted, with your content being pushed to your target audience, growing your business in the most effective way.

2. How much do Facebook Ads cost? 

There is no one-size-fits all approach to social media marketing. Each campaign will bring in different cost-per-clicks (CPC) depending on your overall goal and audience. On average, according to Webfx, the average CPC for a Facebook ad is $0.97. This number increases to $7.19 when changing to a CPM (cost-per-metric) such as app downloads. 

Facebook Ad budgets can quickly blow out of proportion, especially if you’re not sure what you’re doing. This is why we recommend getting in touch with a social media marketing specialist to look after your Facebook Ads. Localsearch offers social media marketing packages from $115* a week (+ GST and setup fee), with ad spend included. 

*Price accurate at time of publication. May not be current. Please speak with your Localsearch digital marketing specialist for up-to-date pricing and information.

3. What is not allowed in Facebook Ads?

Before any ad is published on Facebook, it undergoes a rigorous 24-hour review process to ensure it meets Facebook’s Advertising Policies.  During this time content, text, images, links and targeting are examined to ensure they’re appropriate for the public. 

Types of ads which are prohibited on Facebook:

Ads which contain or promote the following are prohibited on Facebook Ads and will result in a rejected ad:

  • Violate community standards — ads which breach Facebook’s community standard of privacy, safety, authenticity and dignity will be rejected. 
  • Vaccine Discouragement — ads which discourage or actively advocate against government recommended vaccinations will be rejected.
  • Sale of human body parts — ads promoting the sale of human body parts or fluids, will be rejected. 
  • Circumventing systems — ads must not use third-party systems to avoid Facebook Advertising policies. 
  • Financial products and services — ads must not promote unethical or misleading financial products and services.  
  • Low quality or disrupting content — ads must not take users to landing pages showcasing disturbing or disruptive content.
  • Multi Level marketing — any ads with reference or connection to multilevel marketing will be rejected. 
  • Personal health — ads must not contain content which may generate a negative self-perception in users, such as ‘before and after’ images.
  • Grammar and spelling — ads must not contain illicit language or bad grammar and spelling. 
  • Non-functioning or broken landing pages — ads which link to a non-functioning landing page will be instantly rejected. 
  • Controversial content — ads must not exploit current social or political issues for commercial gains. 
  • Misinformation — ads must not contain any misinformation. 
  • Adult content or services — adult content, services or products are not allowed to be promoted on the platform, ads containing such material will be instantly rejected. 
  • Weapons — ads may not promote the use or sale of any weapons or weapon accessories.
  • Drug and drug related products — ads promoting the use of illegal, prescription or recreational drugs and added accessories are prohibited. 
  • Tobacco, vapes and other related products — ads are not permitted to promote the sale or use of tobacco or other related products which simulate smoking. This includes the growing trend of ‘vaping.’
  • Discriminatory practices — ads must not contain any image, phrases or content which directly discriminates against, or promotes the discrimination of people based on personal qualities such as race, ethnicity, colour, national origin, medical condition, gender identity, age, sex and more.

And more… 

For the full list of prohibited and restricted content take a look at the Facebook Advertising Guidelines, or speak to one of our social media marketing specialists. 

4. How do you create a Facebook Business Page?

If you’re planning to market your business on Facebook, you’ll need a Facebook business page (known as a Facebook Business Manager). The best news is creating one is simpler than you may think. A Business Manager Account allows you to keep track of page analytics for both paid and organic social media strategies, set-up Facebook Ads and assign admins to your page to help manage the workload. 

To begin setting on up, head to https://business.facebook.com

5. Why does my Facebook ad keep getting rejected?

Facebook will reject ads which do not comply with their advertising guidelines. Most commonly, ads get rejected because they have too much text in the attached image.

6. Are Facebook Business Manager accounts free?

Yes, setting up a Facebook Business Manager account is free, however, you will be required to provide your credit card information if you wish to begin exploring Facebook Ads Manager.

For more information, or help setting up your Facebook Ads, get in touch with one of our social media marketing specialists.

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