I’m focusing on the Facebook Advertising system for this article mainly because I’ve tried a lot of others from Google AdWords, to Linkedin Ads to Banner advertising to Offline, etc.. and I just find the Facebook system to be the simplest and potentially most effective given the number of people using Facebook regularly these days (about 1.5 million in Ireland alone).
To create an ad in Facebook, login and click “Ads & Pages” in the left menu of the home page.
Create an Ad:
Click “Create an Advert” top right and you’re presented with a simple form/wizard to guide you through the process. You will have a choice of creating an ad from scratch or ‘advertising something you already have on Facebook’ like a Business Page. For a new advert you are asked for a Destination URL, Ad Title, Body Text and Image and as you type you see how the ad will look to others on the right hand side.
Design your Ad:
Be creative with your ad text, title and image, after all you need to catch people’s attention! Facebook doesn’t allow too many capitals or symbols so just say something interesting. The Destination URL is important in that it is where ad viewers will end up after clicking your ad. You need to make sure this page relates to what you have said in the advert and is easy to read and navigate with perhaps a large ‘call to action‘ button or link to get people to buy your product/service or just contact you.
This is where Facebook advertising is really interesting for me. You can set the ad up to only show to Facebook users in a certain country or even city or group of countries/cities. You can also target people by Age, Gender, Relationship Status, Birthday, Language, Likes & Interests, Education level, Facebook Friends, Fans of a Page/Event/Group, etc.. The cool thig is that as you make these selections, Facebook tells you exactly how many people you are targetting based on your choices so you get to see your ad reach as you go!
Finally, choose your ad duration and max daily spend to avoid getting an unexpectedly high bill and choose a cost per click that gives you a realistic chance of your ad being pushed to the top and actually seen. You will be asked whether you want to pay for Impressions or Clicks. I’ve never understood why anyone would want to pay just for the ad to be shown when there’s no guarantee people wil actually look at it. Better instead to just pay for actual clicks surely!?
One of the main benefits in using online advertising channels like Facebook over traditional methods like print and other media is that you will have access to detailed statistics on the performance of your ad. Everything from the number of times your ad was shown to how many times it was clicked on to average cost per click and total spend is available so you can evaluate how effective the campaign was.
Just remember to ask inquirers where they heard about you!