On Monday, The Australian reported that Facebook was using specialized targeting algorithms to identify the moods and feelings of young people. Advertisers could target teenagers according to their emotional state.
Facebook has since issued an apology to the journal and released a statement declaring it has no such tool. The social giant said the document obtained by The Australian was only research, and that in no way intended to implement the techniques outlined in it.
In spite of this oversight by the social network, Facebook Ads is still among the best online marketing platforms out there. Here is a brief yet comprehensive guide on how and when to use the popular advertising service.
Getting started with Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads as a platform is sophisticated yet intuitive. It starts you off with ad creation right away, and the system as a whole is designed to either optimize or automatize your advertising campaign to perform its best.
However, there are a couple of basics people should know that are not clear from the beginning. For instance, the marketing structure of Facebook Ads includes Campaigns, Ad Sets, and Ads.
Campaigns are basically overarching schemes that deal strictly with the objective you want to achieve, for example boosting the sales of your company’s product or strengthen your online presence.
Ad Sets, in turn, deal with your target audience. The Ads are simply the content each Ad Set will show in any given campaign throughout a defined or undefined period, depending on how you manage it.
Choosing a very specific demographic group is important
With this in mind, Facebook drives you to create an ad. Facebook Ads Manager will be the control room from which you can pick an objective, choose your audience, select where and how you want to run your ad, and finally put it up for auction.
Objectives, as we have seen before, are wide-ranging and several options depend on your intention. Your audience, on the other hand, gets more options that go beyond just demographic indicators.
You can narrow down your target audience based on their location, their interests, and their behaviors, although nothing as detailed as mood swings and emotional states (yet). Targeting people correctly is key for a successful campaign.
Next up you have to choose where, both literally and figuratively, you want your ads to run. Facebook, Instagram, and the Audience Network (a consortium of websites and platforms) are your main windows to the world, while the ads themselves show up either on the News Feed or the Right column on Facebook.
Different formats are available for ads, including photos, videos, carousels, slideshows, canvases, and more. Depending on the type of content you choose, you will have to write more or less accompanying text for your ad.
Pay up and track your Ads performance
You are almost done now, but there is one final step to launch your Campaign to the world. You have to select a budget for your marketing scheme and assign a bidding value for each ad before putting it up for auction against other competing ads for the same target audience.
The Facebook Ads platform pits ads against each other to make the market more competitive, but winners are not chosen according to the highest bidding value.
Facebook considers three elements for total ad value: the advertisers’ bid, the ad’s quality and relevance, and its estimated action rates. The latter relates to the goal you want to achieve with the objective of your campaign (clicks, likes, visits) and how likely people are to perform those actions.
Setting up a budget will face you with the option of giving your campaign a defined lifetime or running it day by day. The social network also can automatically assign a value to the bid for your ad based on your budget, or you can choose it manually if you have experience and technical know-how.
After your campaign is in motion, the Facebook Ads Manager shows you the performance metrics. Paying attention to the areas in which you are failing and acting accordingly is essential to achieve your objectives.
The bidding and auction system established for Facebook Ads assures you will get charged each time your ad delivers its intended results, although it will usually be less than the cost you assigned.
You can start a campaign and create an ad whenever you want, the only thing you need is a personal Facebook account or page for your business. You can keep track and edit your campaign settings on the go to improve your performance and reach your goals.