When it comes to advertising, Facebook ads offer businesses an unprecedented way to reach out to new audiences around the world. As of September 2013, the site reported more than 1.19 billion active monthly users, making it a potential goldmine for advertisers. Before you launch your first Facebook ad campaign, it's crucial to understand best practices to avoid wasting time and money.
For some advertising professionals, it can be tempting to start experimenting with Facebook ads immediately without considering how they fit into the bigger picture. In doing so, however, you run the risk of throwing money away on ads that don't reach the right people or promote the right products. It's much more cost effective to design strategic ads that help support your overall advertising goals. Choose the business goals you want to support—building a Facebook following, building awareness of a new service, or increasing overall brand recognition—and design Facebook ads that meet those goals. Use the site's advertising objective options to optimize each ad; if you want to sell products, for example, you should choose the "Website Conversions" option. As you plan a long-term ad strategy, be prepared for changes. According to a recent story from Inside Facebook, the site plans to release a new ad program in April 2014.
When it comes to advertising on Facebook, it's crucial to consider mobile users. As of August 2013, more than 78 percent of Facebook's daily users accessed the site using a mobile app. If you choose Facebook ads designed to appear in the sidebar, you might be missing out on a significant number of potential customers. While sidebar ads appear in a Web browser, they are invisible in the mobile app. You can reach mobile users by investing in one or more ads that appear in the News Feed, such as page post ads and page like ads. To do so, you will need to log in to your account and use Facebook's ad create tool. For maximum visibility, ensure that both "Desktop News Feed" and "Mobile-Only News Feed" are selected in the placements section.
As you design each of your Facebook ads, take great care with image selection. When you are advertising on Facebook, you'll be in competition with thousands of other companies. Posts that contain images get a significantly higher level of interaction than text-based posts. Choose photos or graphics that draw users in and prompt them to click the ad. A fitness company, for example, might choose before and after shots of a person who lost a significant amount of weight. By choosing images that are relevant to your target audience, you can increase participation and click-through rates.
Whether you are just starting out with Facebook ads or are tweaking your existing campaign, it's important to stay updated on the latest changes to the site's advertising options. This will help you to design powerful, persuasive ads that support your company's business goals.
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