Facebook advertising is free

Facebook Ads: A Comprehensive Guide

Facebook is the social network with the highest number of monthly active users: over 2.23 billion users regularly use the platform. For experienced advertisers and newcomers to marketing, there are equally good opportunities to expand their reach, achieve conversions and win customers for their companies.

Through comprehensive Targeting options, handy Ad creation tools and variable Budget strategies you have numerous design options at every step of the advertising process on Facebook.

Facebook Advertising: The Basics

In order to be able to place successful advertisements on Facebook, you should first get an overview of the basic functions of the service and think about which tools make it easier for you to create and monitor your advertisements.

In addition to using Facebook's Ads Manager, you can use external tools that bring your company data together with Facebook in your CRM.

HubSpot's Ads Manager is part of the free HubSpot CRM and offers complete, accurate and automatic ROI reporting for all your ads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google - you never have to guess again whether your ads actually work and have them all important data in one place, your CRM. Find out more now.

If you use the Facebook ad manager, we will introduce you to the most important aspects below: Marketing goals, ad formats and targeting options.

Marketing goals

Facebook offers you with the Ad manager a tool that allows you to create and manage your own advertisements. In order to get the most out of your Facebook ads as part of your online marketing strategy, you should read the Create an ad Think carefully about what specific goal you would like to pursue.

If you can think of several goals at once, it would probably be worthwhile to set up a few separate campaigns with different goals.

For each (planned) campaign, choose in the next step Ad manager the marketing goal in the field provided. Facebook provides you with three broader categories here: The marketing goals "Awareness", "Consideration", and "Conversions". These three generic terms roughly correspond to the three phases of the buyer’s journey.

Notoriety

The Marketing goal "awareness" includes brand awareness and reach. The main aim here is to reach potential interested parties and arouse interest in your products or services among the users of the social network. This area corresponds to the Awareness phase of the buyer’s journey.

Recital

The “Consideration” area includes advertising goals that are designed to get users to engage with and get to know your company better. This Marketing goal corresponds to phase two of the buyer's journey, the consideration phase.

There are a number of specific goals in this area:

  • Generate traffic: Redirect users to a website or app.
  • Generate interactions: Collect "likes", event acceptance and comments.
  • App installations: Direct visitors to the App Store or Google Play Store.
  • Video views: Visitors should watch your video.
  • Lead generation: Encourage users to register using integrated forms (e.g. to subscribe to a newsletter).

Conversion

The third overarching marketing goal corresponds to Decision phase of the buyer’s journey. This point bundles goals that are designed so that Facebook users buy your products and services or use them, as in the case of an app.

Specific goals in this area are:

  • Classic conversions: You want customers to add items to their shopping cart, make a purchase, or interact with your app.
  • Product catalog sales: Customers are shown products from your e-commerce store's offerings to generate sales.
  • Visits to the store (Store Traffic): Stationary business locations can be highlighted for Facebook users in the immediate vicinity in order to generate conversions in the form of visits to your business.

Ad formats

Facebook offers a wide range of different formats for your ads. Depending on which marketing goal you are pursuing, you can choose your format individually. Because naturally some are suitable Ad formats Better than others for specific goals: If you want to recruit new users for your game app, for example, a video ad can be a convincing format to illustrate the fun of the game with animated images.

You can find more suggestions on which advertising format is best for your marketing goal in our detailed List of Facebook ad formats.

In the following we will introduce you to some particularly popular formats.

Single Image Ads

Single Image Ads are the standard version of an advertisement on Facebook. Here is a single image with headline, call-to-action and descriptive text Mistake.

This ad format is particularly useful if you want to draw the attention of new potential customers to your brand with a meaningful image.

Image: Facebook advertising library

Carousel Ads

If you want to present more than one picture, these are suitable Facebook carousel ads (German: carousel ads). Here you can present up to ten pictures or videos in a single advertising unit. Interested users can conveniently “swipe through” this ad format to obtain further details about your products.

Carousel ads are not only suitable for presenting your products, but also for showing them in several consecutive images to tell a story. This is an interesting opportunity to use as part of your social media marketing Storytelling with the Facebook ads to operate.

Image: Facebook advertising library

Video Ads

With Video Ads (German: video ads) gives you the opportunity to create short videos to attract the attention of your viewers and, for example, tell the story of your company or your brand.

Image: Facebook advertising library

The video format is also ideal to show your product in action and thus arouse desire among the viewers. You should convey a clear and simple message in your ad that encourages users to study the content being advertised. To do this, you should place a clear CTA encouraging them to buy your product or visit your website.

Story Ads

A story ad can take several forms: It can be an advertisement in Full screen, video or carousel format be. The characteristic of this advertising format is the placement: as part of a story.

Stories are an option on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger that users can use to visually present their everyday moments. They are saved for 24 hours and then deleted unless the story author has saved them.

Story Ads however, are not bound by this time limit. The advertising format is placed on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger as a clip in the middle of the stories of users and is thus seamlessly integrated into the feed.

Image: Facebook advertising library

Lead Ads

With the lead ads you can integrate lead forms into your advertisements. This format is characterized by a high level of customer orientation, as interested users can use offers without having to leave Facebook. The convenient handling supports a positive user experience.

If you want to know how to create compelling lead ads for your Facebook marketing, here is our guide on creating for Facebook lead ads.

Image: Facebook advertising library

Targeting options

Because Facebook users voluntarily provide a large amount of personal data and information on the platform, the social media giant has a great advantage in the area of ​​targeting. The network records:

  • demographic information,

  • Interests,

  • Likes and

  • social connections of users.

User groups can be sorted accordingly via Facebook Ads

  • Place of residence,

  • Gender,

  • Age,

  • "Likes,

  • Interests,

  • Relationship status,

  • Job and training

filter. Ads can be displayed in a correspondingly targeted manner.

This is what creating a new target group looks like in HubSpot Ads Manager. Here you can choose your targeting options intuitively and with guidance. This tool is included in the free HubSpot CRM.

Image: HubSpot Ads Manager

There is also the function of creating so-called “Custom Audiences” and “Lookalike Audiences” in the Facebook Ad Manager in order to further refine the targeting.

A Custom Audience (German: user-defined target group) comprises a group of people who have already interacted with your company: It can be created from existing contacts and, for example, consist of people who have already clicked on one of your ads. Customer lists can also be uploaded or imported in the advertisement manager for this purpose.

A Lookalike audience (German: similar / same target group), on the other hand, can be created in the Facebook ad manager in order to reach users whose behavior is similar to that of an existing target group (e.g. a custom audience). In this model, a target group is targeted whose demographic data and interests have large overlaps with the existing one.

Facebook offers you this feature because people who are very similar to your target audience are more likely to share an interest in your product or service.

Facebook ad manager: the most important features at a glance

The Facebook ad manager is the control center for your ads. Here you can not only create your ads for Facebook, but also find suitable formats for Instagram ads. In the ad manager, you can determine when and where your ads appear, make changes and track the progress of your campaigns.

You can find out which options the powerful tool also offers you in the following in our selection of the most important features.

Split testing

A split test allows you to compare different versions of ads with one another in terms of their performance. So you can create different versions of an advertisement and play them to the respective target group to find out which variant works better. This can help you optimize future campaigns.

Image: Screenshot of the Facebook ad manager

Retargeting with Facebook pixels

You can use the analysis tool Facebook pixel to measure the effectiveness of your advertising. It is a script that you can integrate on your website in order to analyze the behavior patterns of Facebook users on your pages. This is a great way to ensure that your ads are shown to an interested audience.

Images: Screenshot Facebook ad manager

The Facebook pixel can, for example, register when a user in your online shop puts an item in the shopping cart and informs you about this in the event manager. Here you can understand this user behavior, which allows you to target your potential or actual customers in a targeted manner.

HubSpot's free CRM includes a clear Ads Manager that makes creating Facebook retargeting ads child's play:

Image: Screenshot from the HubSpot Ads Manager

Dynamic advertisements

"Dynamic Ads" look like normal advertisements on Facebook, but they have a special feature: They are a kind of advertisement template that automatically generates its content from your company's catalog data.

In this way, dynamic ads automatically show relevant content to a target group. As part of this format, products are presented that match the interests of potential customers, even without them having already visited your website or app. In this way you can expand the circle of your potential customers.

Image: Screenshot of the Facebook ad manager

Or you can set yourself the goal of closing a sale. Because if you make the appropriate selection, you can display the dynamic ads specifically to people who have already shown interest in your product elsewhere on the Internet (e.g. on your website) by marking it as a favorite in your online shop, for example to have. The use of the Facebook pixel or the Facebook SDK is a prerequisite for dynamic ads.

Facebook Audience Insights