Harnessing the Power of Facebook Ads – Part One: Understanding the Basics

Facebook Ads have become the go-to marketing platform in recent times for Pakistan. With 13 million Pakistani users daily (according to Facebook Ads Insight tool), Facebook ads enables companies to target users Pakistan and worldwide cost-effectively. As the largest social network in the world, the power Facebook yields is phenomenal. By the end of the series, it is aimed that readers will have a detailed knowledge of how Facebook ads function enabling them to setup and improve their campaigns. This allows businesses a large target audience coupled with a detailed dashboard to manage and filter reports to further improve ad campaigns.

A basic understanding of marketing and Facebook terminology is presumed as explaining each term is outside the scope of this article. It is assumed that the readers will already have set up their Facebook Page. Creating an advert is as simple as a click but first, one must understand how Facebook structures their ads and what goes on behind the scenes. All campaigns comprise of three parts: campaign, ad set and ad. The campaign level can be seen as the wide overview. It serves as the foundation of your advertising.

In campaign, you will set the objective of your campaign. According to the option chosen, Facebook has custom templates to match the campaign type.

It is important to choose the correct objective here as this will be helpful at a later stage. As can be seen in the image above, there are three types of objectives:

  • Growing awareness of your business
  • Consideration (generating traffic, increasing installs and growing number of video views etc.)
  • Conversion which focuses on converting users viewing your ads

Now that campaign is set according to our objective, the next step is to work on the ad set. The ad set allows you to build your audience by choosing the locations you wish to target along with gender, age and more. You can also set the budget you wish to spend on a daily/weekly basis. Finally you can also finalise the schedule for your ad set along with ad placement. A campaign can have multiple ad sets which allows you to target different locations or other variables like times, or budget. Finally, the ad is the simplest of the layers which is the ‘design’ side of the ad where the layout and text is displayed along with images, text and links.

Building your Audience

All three layers offer a simple introduction to the Facebook ads structure, but don’t let the simplicity misguide you. The Facebook ads medium is a powerful one. As the campaign layer has been covered, we can now start working on our ad set, firstly by building our audience. This is a very large part of the process so will continue with the remaining elements being discussed in the next part. When building an audience for an ad set, it is easy to target a country or a city in the hope it will bring a lot of customers but this usually isn’t the case, the more you refine your target audience, the better. Remember it is better to have 100 customers who are looking for your product or service, than a 1000 who aren’t. Each customer or click is costing you, so refinement is better in more ways than one.

Core Audiences

Core Audiences allows you to filter your audience based on location which is probably the most used filter. However, demographics are equally, if not more, important. This includes age, gender, relationship status, education and more. These are important as your product or service will normally target a specific group within the traits mentioned.

This can be further broken down in to interests, such as hobbies, favourite Facebook pages etc. along with behaviours which allows you to filter based on certain activities and . Though all this may sound overwhelming, it is what gives Facebook ads the power it has. As an example, if I had a company selling the latest mid-range Android device, I could target users within Lahore, between the ages of 25-45, who hold jobs in management, show a keen interest in Android products and currently use an old android device. Though this number will be very limited, if we look at the target audience, the chances of conversion will be high as they will have and old device, so most-likely looking to upgrade. This way I am only paying for click by customers who are most-likely to purchase.

Custom & Lookalike Audiences

Custom audiences help identify existing customers on Facebook and connect you to grow relationships and ultimately drive sales. In custom audiences you will identify loyal and potential customers along with others who have used your website or mobile app or Facebook page.

With Lookalike audiences, Facebook helps you find customers who are similar to your customers using insights. This is a powerful tool to grow your customer base. Insights uses your existing marketing data and provides suggestions on what interests and behaviours ‘converted’ users exhibit, so you can review and change your campaign where required.

Next Time…

For those new to Facebook ads, it may seem overwhelming but rest assured, once the basics are understood it is very simple yet powerful. This part was a basic introduction with details on building the audience. In the next part, we will look at setting a schedule, placements and setting budgets. After the basics, we have a lot more planned in one of the most detailed Facebook ads support series in Pakistan, so stay tuned!


Part two: Harnessing the Power of Facebook Ads – Part Two: Understanding The Basics Continued

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