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There are more than 1.4 billion people on Facebook. That statistic alone is a good enough reason to put some marketing dollars toward advertising on the platform.

But with that many people and such a saturated advertising platform, it is essential you go in to your Facebook marketing initiatives with a clear objective and plan for how you will reach it.

Facebook offers the following best practices for brands looking to create engaging advertising campaigns:

  • Know your business goal
  • Know your audience
  • Pick a topic

When the advertising platform you are putting your hard-earned money into provides hints on how to use it effectively, don’t ignore them!

Yes, you want to A/B test copy and photos to see which gets you better results, but before you even get to that step, make sure you know exactly what you are looking to get out of a Facebook advertising campaign, the audience you are targeting and the topic you’ll use to make it all come to life.

The following 5 examples will give you actionable models for how to advertise on Facebook  and hone your business strategy on the world’s most highly-trafficked social media platform.

1. Generate Interest for Your Brand

  • Campaign type: Awareness Stage
  • Audience: Active Facebook users already following your brand
  • Topic: Passion for brand purpose (speak to the problem you are solving for customers)
  • Best for brands which are: Just getting started, launching an off-shoot brand, product or initiative

People already familiar with your brand are much more likely to buy. If you have relatively few followers, start out your Facebook advertising by working to grow your Facebook audience for brand discovery and awareness.

Remember, the more people that like your brand and engage with your content, the more it will show up in the feeds of their friends –– getting you organic visibility and potential new followers.

So, instead of looking exclusively at sales numbers in relation to the Facebook ads you are creating, measure brand awareness by applying a goal of getting as many impressions from your target audience as possible at the lowest cost.

Check out how Soylent speaks directly to a health and design-conscious audience both with their copy and visual creative.

facebook advertising strategy

2. Showcase Your Best Products

  • Campaign type: Conversion Stage
  • Audience: Active Facebook users following your brand, or active Facebook users who routinely shop online (targeted segment option)
  • Topic: Put urgency to the message, or talk to the pain point this product solves. Use customer-written reviews to provide credibility.
  • Best for brands which are: All brand types

The best-performing products on your website typically perform the best with advertising. See which products have the highest number of sales, or which products have the highest website conversion rates. Product price points between $10 and $99 typically work better for Facebook advertising.

Take mattress retailer Casper, for instance, which uses sponsored ads to drive traffic to its mattress product page.

how to advertise on facebook

Note: This ad actually takes you to Casper’s homepage, not a product-specific page. However, Casper only sells mattresses (OK –– and one pillow), which is apparent on that homepage –– with multiple CTAs to buy the mattress.

3. Inspire Activities

  • Campaign type: Consideration Stage
  • Audience: Active Facebook users following your brand, and their friends
  • Topic: Make it relevant to the season and your audience (and your brand!). Offer playlists or recipes and drive them to a newsletter sign up.
  • Best for brands which are: All brand types –– especially if you are looking to grow your email list.

No matter the season, be sure that the products you are using to advertise on Facebook inspire action from the audience –– both online and off.

Is spring right around the corner? Start advertising those floral dresses –– and get a boost in conversions from customers excited about upcoming warmer weather.

In the summer, feature a pair of headphones on a jogger, showcase earrings on a chic sunbather or accessorize a black dress with brightly colored accent jewelry. Be sure to craft your ads in context of the current seasons and activities with which your audience relates.

See below how Gap is taking advantage of the athleisure trend and a changing summer-to-fall season to advertise more fall-inspired workout gear.

facebook advertising tips

4. Celebrate Important Milestones

  • Campaign type: Conversion Stage
  • Audience: Active Facebook users following your brand and their friends. Use advanced targeting to target individual life events (like marriages and engagements, buying a home or graduating).
  • Topic: Offer discounts and coupons to help your customers and their friends celebrate life’s milestones.
  • Best for brands which are: All brand types

From graduations to weddings, Mother’s Day to Hanukkah and Christmas, the year is full of special holidays and life milestones that are likely relevant to your Facebook target audience.

Advertise to your audience with these in mind in order to increase brand trust, awareness and overall conversions. People like connecting with brands that understand who they are and what they care about. So use these moments to connect with people by speaking to the holiday lifecycle –– from the planning and preparation to the celebration and clean up.

Even though the ad doesn’t specifically say it, this is a Labor Day promotion (ending on Labor Day, September 5, 2016) encouraging users to get ready for fall on their day off.

facebook advertising example

5. Provide Product Incentives

  • Campaign type: Conversion Stage
  • Audience: Active Facebook users following your brand, and their friends. Even better if you can segment these ads for those who have already bought (a VIP message) versus those who never have (i.e. offer a trial or sample).
  • Topic: Offer discounts and coupons, or even a trial size of a product, to encourage additional buying or a net new purchase.
  • Best for brands which are: All brand types

Are you experiencing slower sales than expected? Is your store in a summer slump? Are the first few months of the new year not causing products to fly off the shelf?

Retailers often experience slower seasons or months, and these vary based on the business itself. You can counter these trends by providing more enticing offers, especially around milestones or holidays that occur during your lower-selling months.

See below how Blue Apron uses a discount to encourage additional sign ups.

how to use Facebook advertising effectively

If you’ve run any Facebook campaigns that have worked exceptionally well for you, please share your thoughts, ideas and execution details in the comments below.

Like any rapidly evolving technology, Facebook ads will continue to support more and more strategies and campaign types (such as Messenger ads and even VR).

Up next, we’ll go through guidelines and best practices for fine-tuning your Facebook ads — and increasing conversion in the process.

Table of Contents

IntroThe Complete Guide to Advertising on Facebook: Strategies That Convert [in 2017]
Chapter 1 Your Guide to 3 Types of Facebook Advertising Campaigns
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