Facebook ads appear in five different areas of the screen: the right-hand column of your desktop newsfeed, the right-hand column on any other page you visit on Facebook, in your main newsfeed, in your mobile newsfeed, and in Facebook’s mobile apps. While all Facebook ads are targeted, ads that appear in your newsfeed, like sponsored ads that look like posts from your friends, typically resonate more with the user. For example, if someone is interested in fashion and design, he or she may see an ad for a fashion school in their newsfeed, while a less-interested person may see the same ad in the right-hand column.
Ads that look like newsfeed posts have the obvious advantage of visibility, and as they are larger, also have more room for description and photos. They blend seamlessly with a user’s Facebook experience while are still more likely to be noticed. However, if you haven’t determined your target audience, or don’t know who might be interested in your product, these ads might not be the best option for you. Column ads might be more useful for you in reaching a wider sample of people as you grow your audience base.
It is also important to realize that not all ads function in the same way. We notice the difference in Facebook advertisements even if we are not consciously aware of it, and we know the difference between seeing an ad for something we are already familiar with, and something we have yet to experience.
With this knowledge in mind, you can begin creating your first Facebook ad. However, before you pay for anything, ask yourself a few simple questions first:
- What is my objective? If this ad or ad campaign functions as I hope, what is the outcome?
- Who is my audience? What is their age, gender, race, and/or location?
- Where should I run my ad? Facebook lets you choose if you want to run your ad on Facebook, Instagram, or on other apps and websites in Audience Network. You can always do all of them!
- What is your budget? How much can you afford to spend and how much to you expect to earn? Even if your ads bring you money, you may want to reconsider your strategy if the cost of advertising outweighs your earnings.
- What will your ad look like? Perhaps the most important step. Based on what you can spend and who you are trying to attract, how will your ad appear?
And of course, once your ad is up and running, don’t forget to track its performance! Especially if you’re new to Facebook advertising, this feedback can help you better find and target the audience you are trying to find.