Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Marketing and Advertising
1.1 What is Facebook and Facebook Marketing?
Formed in 2004, Facebook has grown exponentially into a worldwide platform for social connections and, more relevantly, a successful platform to promote businesses and brands. With an estimated 2.96 billion active monthly users, Facebook has been and continues to be the largest and most widely-used social media platform.
Facebook marketing refers to the act of using Facebook as a tool to achieve your company’s overall marketing objectives and goals. From creating content to asking queries, many aspects make up Facebook marketing.
With its popularity and success, promoting your brand on Facebook is often deemed necessary, and here’s why you should start marketing on the platform.
1.2 Why You Should Market and Advertise on Facebook
Creating and sustaining a Facebook page is an excellent tool for businesses looking to grow. Free and easy to use, Facebook provides businesses with a worldwide platform to promote themselves.
As mentioned earlier, Facebook has retained its spot as the most popular social media platform for years. As such, the platform provides a wide audience and possible customer base for you. According to DataReportal, it’s estimated that 45% of internet users rely on social media platforms like Facebook to find out more about particular businesses and the products or services they may sell.
Besides the obvious benefits of having a wider reach to sell products, Facebook is also a great platform to use if you want to build honest and authentic relationships with your audience. Nowadays, consumers are looking for more from brands than just being sold a product; they want a connection with the businesses they like.
People tend to humanise brands and want to feel they have a relationship with them. With social media marketing and Facebook marketing, in particular, there is a platform for this relationship to form and flourish. You can create content that appeals to your audience directly, encourages a two-way conversation, and even allows users to receive answers or solutions to their queries and issues.
When you have a strong relationship with your audience and consumers who believe you to be honest and trustworthy, it promotes a sense of brand loyalty in them towards your company. Long-term brand loyalty is hard to achieve but is made simpler and easier with Facebook marketing.
In essence, utilising Facebook as a marketing tool allows you to do more than increase sales; you can build an honest and authentic connection with your audience that benefits your company in the long run. Thousands of brands are already marketing themselves on Facebook, with many achieving great success in their goals.
If you haven’t started marketing on Facebook yet, read on as we go through all you need to know to flourish on the world’s biggest social media platform.
2.1 Facebook Business Pages
Facebook Business pages differ greatly from your personal profile that you use to connect with friends and family. Many tools within a Business page are explicitly created to help you promote your business.
Besides that, there are slight differences between a personal profile and a Business page. For Business pages, you gain “followers” as opposed to “friends”, which requires no action from you, and is also one of the easiest ways to measure your popularity on the platform.
One of the tools that are only available through a Business page is the process of creating and running an advertising campaign. Running ad campaigns can increase your brand awareness, gain new followers and customers, and increase your sales, which is ultimately something all brands hope to achieve.
For you to succeed in marketing your brand on Facebook, it is imperative to set up a Facebook Business page.
2. 2. Types of Facebook Business Applications
As a supplement to your Facebook page, there are also several business applications on the platform that can be used to promote your brand.
Facebook Offers are a unique type of page post used to share special discounts or promotions your business offers. It is unique in that there is a direct call-to-action beneath the post that will state “Get Offer”, driving followers to claim said discount or promotion.
Here’s an example of what an Offer post looks like. As you can see, it differs from a regular post and states, “Floral & Petals posted an offer”, which could grab your followers’ attention.
Besides posting Offers to your page, look into various interest Groups on Facebook that may be relevant to your business. Posting Offers to these groups can widen your reach and exposure.
Event pages are supplementary pages you can create to promote any events your business may be hosting. Whether it’s hosted virtually or in the real world, Events pages help you to organise and promote any event to your followers or other users.
Events can help generate leads while gaining and retaining users’ attention, allowing you to connect with your audience virtually or in person. As a bonus, virtual events, in particular, require low costs to host and are something you can charge customers to participate in.
Facebook Marketplace is a free open exchange on the platform where users buy and sell new or pre-owned products. All Facebook users can post or interact in the Marketplace, buying or selling items.
If you’re looking to get more product exposure or promote a sale or discount, Facebook Marketplace is a good tool to use. The Marketplace is completely free-to-use and is something you should consider taking advantage of in your marketing efforts. Posting and promoting your items is also a simple process that only takes minutes of your time.
Facebook Groups are communities of like-minded individuals who share the same interests or hobbies. Groups can be created by anyone and revolve around any topic. There are millions of groups currently on the platform.
There are two ways to utilise Groups in your marketing strategy — create your own group related to your company and industry, or join a group that is relevant to the products or services you offer and promote your business there.
Do a quick search on Facebook with keywords related to your business and find a few Groups that may be beneficial in increasing your audience and customer base.
2.3 Types of Facebook Posts
On Facebook, there are several types of posts that you can utilise in your marketing strategy.
Text posts, formally known as statuses, are the original Facebook post and were the cornerstone of the platform. However, text posts have become less popular, especially among business pages, as they don’t typically help drive traffic to external pages, nor are they particularly attention-grabbing due to their lack of visuals.
We would recommend using text posts sparingly and only in the right situation. For example, text posts might be a good way to go if you’re looking to start a conversation with your followers. You can posit a question and encourage followers to answer in the comments. Be mindful that if you’re looking to start a conversation, you will also need to keep it going in the comments.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and that especially rings true on Facebook. Photo posts are a great way to showcase a product or service, and when it’s eye-catching enough, it’s a great way to garner engagement on your page.
Photo posts can also be used to convey information in an easily digestible and concise manner, which is perfect if you’re trying to avoid being too wordy.
Source: Boomerang Garage & Groomworks
Check out this great example of a photo post from Boomerang Garage & Groomworks that conveys information while being visually appealing. Showcasing their servicing package, they list the steps in an easy-to-read and concise manner.
Ensure all photo posts are in the correct size; the minimum is 600 x 315 pixels, but we recommend 1200 x 325 pixels as the optimal size.
On Facebook, there is no doubt that videos perform the best out of all post types, generating an estimated engagement rate that’s 59% higher than other post types, according to BuzzSumo. If you want to increase your engagement rates, videos are a great post type to utilise.
Videos also allow for product or service demonstrations, which could answer any potential queries followers may have about your business and show off your unique selling proposition (USP).
Source: Boomerang Garage & Groomworks
Here’s another prime example of a video post from Boomerang Garage, which shows the disinfection services they provide. They detail the whole process in the video, which helps any potential target audience to understand how thorough the process is, leaving out room for doubt.
Consider using videos if you want to showcase something that text or photos can’t convey properly.
Facebook Live, a way to live stream on the platform, allows for direct interactions with your followers, conducting product demonstrations, events coverage, or even as a way to conduct sales.
If you’re looking to host a Facebook Live on your business page, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
|Tips for Hosting Facebook Live|
|1.||Ensure you have a strong internet connection. Nothing drives viewers away like a lagging and pixelated video.|
|2.||Interact with your viewers. Read their comments, answer any questions, and speak to them directly.|
|3.||Broadcast for an appropriate amount of time. Avoid going live for only a few minutes as that can leave viewers feeling neglected but also try not to drag out live videos as you could lose your viewers’ interest.|
|4.||Inform your followers you’ll be going live beforehand. Create a post that provides a sneak peek at what you’ll be showing or discussing during the Live to garner anticipation and interest.|
Link Posts simply share a link to an external webpage, making them a convenient and straightforward post type. Using this post type, you can share content that you believe your followers may be interested in, and it is also a great way to drive traffic to content that is hosted on your website.
To create a Link Post, input the URL of the webpage into the “Create Post” box on your page, and it will automatically generate a Link Post. Consider utilising Link Posts if you host content on your website that isn’t receiving as much traffic as you’d like.
Facebook Stories work the same way as Snapchat and Instagram Story, where anything you post will be gone after 24 hours. Facebook Stories is the perfect tool to promote anything time-specific and time-limited, such as flash sales.
Additionally, each Facebook Story is limited to 20 seconds, which is great for posting bite-sized content that may not fit into your normal posts.
Source: Revol Carz Makeover Singapore
Here’s an example of a Facebook Stories post from Revol Carz, a car maintenance workshop. It’s simplistic but achieves its aim of sharing a real example of the work they’ve done. Take note that Facebook Stories work in a 9:16 aspect ratio, so you should ensure that content works within that space.
3. Facebook Advertising
Facebook Advertising is the process of creating paid advertisements that run exclusively on the social media platform. With the ability to target specific audiences, advertising on Facebook is an effective method to increase brand awareness, followers, and generate leads.
However, it may not be a straightforward process, especially if you’re new to the concept — so read on to learn more about Facebook advertising.
Types of Facebook Ads
Ideal for driving traffic to your website or an external webpage, Image ads consist of a singular, static picture and an accompanying caption. For this type of ad, images should be in a JPG or PNG format and have a minimum size of 1080 x 1080 pixels.
Facebook recommends captions to stay under 125 characters, with headlines and descriptions at 40 and 30 characters, respectively. As such, this ad type is best for clear and concise messaging with a direct call to action.
Source: Revol Carz Makeover Singapore
Video ads can be versatile in content, and, as mentioned earlier, video posts generally perform the best on Facebook. With the ability to catch users’ attention quickly while entertainingly conveying information, videos are a highly recommended ad format.
Ensure that your videos are high-quality and straightforward in their messaging to avoid disinterest from users.
Additionally, take note that video ads should have the following specifications:
- Minimum resolution of 1080 X 1080 pixels
- Format of MP4, MOV, or GIF
- A ratio of 1:1 (for desktop and mobile) or 4:5 (for mobile only)
- Less than 4GB in file size
Source: Revol Carz Makeover Singapore
Here’s another ad example from Revol Carz, a video ad that showcases the results of their work. This video contains photographic evidence of their work and information about their services. Despite containing so much information, it works well as a video ad by portraying it visually and concisely.
Carousel Ads are a series of images that users can scroll through from left to right. Carousel ads have a minimum of 2 images and can be used to showcase the same product and its different features, different products from the same store, demonstrate a process, create a larger image, or sell the benefits of a service.
Each image in a carousel ad can have a different headline, text, and call-to-action, which makes it a great choice for e-commerce stores looking to promote multiple products.
Source: Revol Carz Makeover Singapore
In this example from Revol Carz, they used the carousel ad to create a larger image while also selling the benefits of their services.
Collection Ads are similar to carousel ads in that it contains multiple images. However, captions are limited to 125 characters, making them more suitable for showing visual aspects of your products or services without conveying much textual information.
Source: Revol Carz Makeover Singapore
Revol Carz has used this ad type to show the results of their work on a single car, but from different angles and with close-ups. You can see that this ad focuses on the images themselves and how the results of their services speak for themselves.
5.2 Types of Audiences
Before you create an advertising campaign on Facebook, you should know all about audiences — the pools of users you will be targeting. When you know who you’re targeting, you will know what would best appeal to them. We will discuss three types of audiences here: Core, Custom, and Lookalike.
Your core audience, also known as a saved audience, is the most commonly used audience type when advertising on Facebook.
Core audiences are created based on four factors: location, demographics, interests, and behaviour. Location refers to the region, country, or area within a country where you want to advertise. Demographics include age, gender, and language.
As for interests, including relevant and specific ones will target users who have searched or shown an inclination for those interests. Behaviours as based on users’ past purchases, device usage, and other activity.
When creating your core audience, it should reflect the customer persona you may already have in your marketing strategy. If you haven’t created a customer persona, consider giving this guide a read to discover how to create one today.
If you’re still unsure what your customer personas are, you can utilise the Audience Insights tool to better understand your current and potential audiences. More on this in the Analytics Tool section below.
Custom audiences allow you to reach your existing customers and audience from other platforms through Facebook. For people who are already familiar with your business, targeting them with ads will essentially serve as a reminder of your business, possibly convincing them to make another purchase.
Custom audiences can be found in three ways:
- Uploading your customers’ data (name, email, phone number) into Facebook, where it will be matched to the relevant profiles
- Previous visitors to your website or applications
- Users who have interacted with your Facebook assets previously
As you can see in the image above, there are various sources you can choose from to create a custom audience. Creating a custom audience provides an avenue for you to continue the sales process with customers who have already been exposed to you.
Lookalike audiences are made by comparing your current and best customers with other users and selecting those that are most similar to your customers. The rationale for this is sound, as these users could be more likely to be interested in your business.
When creating a lookalike audience, you need to choose a saved audience for Facebook to compare against and a percentage, ranging from 1–10%, of the source audience to target. Lookalike audiences will also exclude your current customers, so you don’t have to worry about any crossover.
5.3 Facebook Ads Structure
Before we go into the steps of creating an ad campaign, you need to know about the Facebook Ads structure.
A typical ads structure is made up of
- Campaign. This is where you let Facebook know of your objectives and budget.
- Ad set. At this level, you set your budget and duration for each ad and your targeting, placement, and bid settings.
- Ad. These are the ads themselves, the creative and the ad copy.
6. Measuring Facebook Ad Results
After running your ads campaign, you need to measure the success and find out all you can regarding its performance.
You should note that Facebook discontinued their Facebook Analytics service in 2021, which provided an in-depth look into the results of ad campaigns. Even so, there are other separate tools that can generate insights for you to gather your ads reporting.
6.1 Facebook Ads Center
The Ads Center is an existing tool on your Facebook Page where you can see the results of ads created from your page. It is rather limited, but it is still helpful for you to manage all your current and previous ads.
Within the Ad Center, you can view the summary, ads, tool and automated ads.
- Summary: This section shows you an overview of your recent ad performance, including your budget, reach, engagement, conversions and page likes.
- Ads: This section shows you all the current and previous ads you’ve created from your Page. You can click on the “View Results” button on each ad to get a more in-depth view of that ad’s performance, audience, and details. You can also make changes to your ad here, such as editing your ad budget and pausing or deleting the ad.
The performance chart depicts the number of users you reached and who clicked on your ad, as well as the overall cost for your ad. If your ad ran for several days, it would show the total amount, but you can also adjust this to view daily results to gauge its success on specific days
The audience section shows you how well your ad performed across ages, genders, placements and locations. You can see your audience’s demographics to further understand your target audience. The placements chart shows your ad’s performance across different placements — Facebook, Instagram, or Messenger. You can also see where your ad is performing best as well as where it appears on both mobile and desktop devices.
- Tools: This section shows you different useful tools that can help you optimise your ads. This includes getting personalised recommendations and getting expert advice from a Facebook representative.
- Automated ads: This section will only be available if you’ve created automated ads or have Automatically Boost Posts set up. You’ll find a summary of your automated ads and the results for each one.
6.2 Meta Business Suite
Meta Business Suite is their recommended alternative to the platform’s previous Analytics tool and hosts a variety of different business tools you can utilise in your marketing efforts. The best feature of Business Suite is that you can also manage your Instagram account together with your Facebook Page, making it a one-stop shop for your social media marketing needs.
Within the Business Suite, you can find analytics for your ad campaigns under the Insights section. On the Insights page, you can track metrics, trends, and the reach of your Page and its Ads.
You will also find the Ads Manager tool, which is crucial to your Facebook ads creation and optimisation process. This tool lets you see an up-to-date breakdown and performance for each ad campaign. You can create reports and view the important metrics to gather information and optimise your campaigns accordingly.
6.3 Facebook Creator Studio
Another helpful analytics tool that Facebook hosts is their Creator Studio which was specifically designed for content creators to track their metrics. There are a plethora of tools that help you post, manage, and measure your content across both Facebook and Instagram.
Although the Creator Studio and the Business Suite are similar in a few regards, it differs in that the Creator Studio’s main focus is on content. It also offers monetisation aspects on your page so you could, for example, get paid by Facebook for advertising other brands within videos that you post. However, this may not be the best option if your brand itself is trying to advertise.
Besides that, the most important feature of Creator Studio is that you can track and review your ad campaign’s success under its own Insights page. There, you can view the results of your ad campaign and analyse what worked for you.
7. Key Takeaways
In summary, Facebook is an excellent platform for businesses to market themselves. As the world’s biggest social media platform, billions of users could become aware of your business and convert it into lasting customers.
If you wanna master the power of Facebook for your business, check out our 2-day Facebook Marketing and Advertising course held here in Singapore. Throughout the course, attendees will learn the ins and outs of Facebook and how to incorporate it into their digital marketing strategy.
Alongside that, we also host a wide range of digital marketing courses to ensure you have a well-rounded strategy.
Check out our Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing Programme, which covers the following five modules:
- Digital Marketing Essentials
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Digital Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- Digital Marketing Analytics with Google Analytics
You’ll be awarded the Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing upon completing these modules. These courses are WSQ accredited and available for up to 90% subsidy.