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What you can do with Facebook and Facebook ads evolves every day. The constantly-expanding feature set enables users to:

  • Talk about your page and posts
  • Connect with your business on Facebook
  • Shop or take action on your website
  • Shop from your Facebook page
  • Shop from an ad
  • Install or use your app
  • Invite others to your events

Facebook organizes ad campaigns around each of these activities based on your ad objective, and they structure them by funnel initiative: awareness, consideration, conversion.

Facebook ad campaigns

Let’s walk through what each for these offerings is and why (and when) you’d use it.

Facebook Advertising Awareness Stage

The awareness section of your Facebook Advertising options is about increasing your Facebook business page visibility.

Read: this section is not about increasing site traffic or sales. This is specific to increasing the engagement on the content you post to Facebook, getting additional likes on Facebook to expand your business following or even just to get an impression from Facebook users who do not currently follow or like your business.

Your options here include:

  • Boost your posts: Paying to boost your posts makes them more visible to your current audience, i.e. more likely to land in their feeds. Facebook’s feed algorithm works to diminish the number of business pages that appear in a user’s feed. Many brands set aside a monthly budget for boosted posts –– just to get their activity in the feeds of those who already like and follow their brand on Facebook.
  • Promote your page: This ad unit is aimed at increasing the number of people who like or follow your brand profile on Facebook. Know that a larger audience does not necessarily mean larger reach. Even as you grow your audience, you likely still need to boost posts to make sure your audience is seeing what you post.
  • Reach people near your business: 54% of Facebook users check their Facebook account from a mobile device. This means they are likely out-and-about –– or mobile, if you will. This advertising shows ads to those users who are within a specified range of your business, promoting your Facebook business page. You can get creative with the copy here to encourage additional foot traffic as well as grow your Facebook audience.
  • Increase brand awareness: This advertising option uses Facebook’s algorithm to determine dwell time on your ads, then lifts those ads back up to users who spend a certain amount of time without scrolling — indicating a higher likelihood they’ll be interested in your brand or product. Here is how Facebook determines who to show the ad to:

types of Facebook ad campaigns

In the awareness stage, you have a lot of options, and it’s likely that a combination of all will work best. You’ll see the following sentence multiple times throughout this guide: it is essential that you test, measure and then double down on what works.

From a strategy perspective, know that not all of these campaigns are going to be best suited for your needs.

For instance, if you don’t have a bunch of content on your site other than product pages, boosting your posts likely won’t have a significant impact. Boosting posts results in increased social share numbers for content (i.e. blog posts), and increase social shares help to increase search engine rankings (theoretically).

And you don’t want to boost your product pages — a tactic best suited for awareness — because you want to convert on your product pages, which we’ll get to in the conversion stage.

So, for retailers who want to optimize their spend on Facebook, outside of testing and measuring (which you should do anyway), the best options in the awareness funnel are the two latter ones.

Why are Reach People Near Your Business and Increase Brand Awareness the best options for retailers?

Because they use additional targeting methods and algorithms to serve ads featuring your content and business page to those users who are more likely to be interested in it. In other words, your spending money where it matters –– not where it’s more likely to be looked over or randomly and accidentally clicked (costing you $$$).

After all, you are selling products, not content. Content can help to pull in potential new customers, but you don’t want to start too top of funnel. The goal is to convert users as quickly as possible –– and it’s best to do that with people who are already likely to be interested in what you have to say and sell than those who are not.

Editor's Note

I’ll talk about Facebook targeted ads here in a bit. Yes, you can target a specific audience. However, consumer personas (what you would ideally be using to build your target audience) are not scientific. They are helpful for your marketing team, yes. But there is no harm is using additional Facebook algorithms like locality and dwell time to further boost your posts based on user relevancy.

Facebook Advertising Consideration Stage

The consideration stage in any funnel is when a person finally takes the next step and performs a particular action that either

a) Leads them away from their current experience
b) Asks a brand to give them more information.

These actions can include visiting your website (and leaving Facebook), installing an app, downloading a piece of content or RSVPing to an event (typically needing them to give you an email address).

More details about your options for Facebook consideration campaigns:

  • Send people to your website: This is exactly what it sounds like, an ad to get people to click over to your site. This is similar to a Google ad or any display ads you’ve seen across the web. You can lead users to a landing page specifically set up for a campaign you are running, to a product page, or even just to your homepage. The choice is yours –– and you should think through the desired actions you want users to take once they land on your site before you set up this campaign.
  • Get installs of your app: This isn’t as relevant for retailers, unless you have an app, of course. Exactly like it sounds, this ad encourages users to install an app, measured by increasing install numbers for your brand.
  • Raise attendance at your event: Facebook cannot be used to drive event attendance directly, but it can help to get RSVPs. And, those who RSVP will receive notifications from your brand every time you update something in the group. So be sure to follow-up on events post the event to add photos and thank yous. Make sure those who didn’t attend get a bit of FOMO for having not been there –– and let them know to like you page in order to get notifications about upcoming events.
  • Get video views: To be honest, I’m not sure why this ad option is in the consideration stage. My best guess is that it’s because a video takes longer for someone to watch than it does to just like a piece of boosted content. Either way, know that a video view will not earn you any site clicks or visits –– at least not directly. This is a branding play –– allowing you to show off your brand personality and products in a more visually engaging way.
  • Collect leads for your business: With this option, you can encourage users to download a piece of content, sign up for discounts, or any number of things. Conversions on this may be low, but the emails you get you can nurture on your backend and work to turning them into customers down the line.

Depending on the campaign you are wanting to run, any of these conversion campaigns could work for you.

For instance, if you are launching a pop-up event for the holidays, it’s smart to use the event promotion option and grow RSVPs. In that event, you can then promote holiday deals and discounts, as well as products. You can even drop in videos and other branded materials to give those RSVPers a better feel of your brand and encourage them to stop by. Keep in mind, though, you don’t want to annoy them too much. Don’t be Candy Crush.

For most retailers, however, the best options in the consideration stage are Send People to Your Website and Collect Leads for Your Business.

Why?

Because the first one drives traffic and the second one drives leads –– and both of these activities help to move users down a conversion funnel.

Facebook Advertising Conversion Stage

This is where all the quantifiable revenue generating activities happen. That doesn’t mean these are the only ads you should invest in — every part of the funnel is important. However, for retailers, conversion is key to success. And, Facebook conversion stage campaigns offer ideal analytics to make sure that the ads are working the way you want them to.

And that’s important. In the previous section I talked about using ads to drive users to your site. That’s cool. What’s even cooler is if you can see how many of those users are taking a specific action (i.e. buying a product or signing up for a newsletter).

For Facebook Advertising to be successful, you need to test, measure and double down where you see good returns. The conversion stage campaigns give you an easy way to measure.

Your options here include:

  • Increase conversions on your website: Similar to the “Get people to visit your site” option, this option uses Facebook pixels (which will you also need to install on your own site) to determine if a conversion action (i.e. watching a video, adding a name to a newsletter, buying a product) actually takes place. With these ads, not only can you see if a conversion action is occurring, you can also A/B test placement of your CTA to optimize for conversion activity.
  • Increase engagement in your app: Again, this isn’t relevant for most retailers, but if you have downloads on your app and aren’t getting many people to actually use the app, you can use this option to promote app engagement from those who installed.
  • Get people to claim your offer: This is a great option for holiday and annual sales. This allows people to claim your offer right on Facebook, encouraging them to go to the site to use their discount ASAP.
  • Promote a product catalog: This is one of Facebook’s newer offerings, and it is perfect for retailers. This option, also known as dynamic ads, allows retailers to upload their inventory to Facebook –– and then use Facebook’s algorithm to showcase relevant products to relevant audiences. Think of this similarly to what you say in the awareness campaign stage. Yes, you can use targeting to set an audience target for your products (i.e increase conversion to your website option), but dynamic ads adds an additional layer to that targeting, putting algorithmic intelligence to work.

Again, all aspects of the funnel are important for growing businesses. However, few ad types on the Facebook advertising platform stack up to the product level conversion, measurability, relevancy and scalability of dynamic product ads.

If you already have a relatively decent size Facebook following, look into testing dynamic ads instead of page promotions or boosted posts. Just be sure you have the conversion pixel on your own site set up so Facebook can track success and report metrics.

create Facebook ad campaigns

Early adopters like Rachel Kawn, the online marketing manager at The Honest Company, and Zach Greenberger, CEO of adMixt, are already seeing positive results here.

“Dynamic ads helps us connect our large product catalog to each unique shopper with relevant and timely product ads. We’re seeing strong results, including a 34% increase in click through rate and a 38% reduction in cost per purchase.”

Table of Contents

IntroThe Complete Guide to Advertising on Facebook: Strategies That Convert
Chapter 1 Your Guide to Facebook Advertising Campaigns (Only 3 Types Matter)
Chapter 2 How to Master Your Facebook Ad Targeting Strategy
Chapter 3 How Much It Really Costs to Advertise on Facebook: Analytics You Need to Know
Chapter 4 5 Facebook Advertising Strategies with Examples
Chapter 5 24 Facebook Advertising Guidelines & Best Practices for High-Performing Ads
Chapter 6 32 Expert Facebook Advertising Tips to Increase Profits