Facebook Advertising: an Art AND a Science

As with any marketing campaign, the creation of a compelling ad is the product of strong creative work and strategic thinking. The same holds true when developing digital advertisements, especially for Facebook. While creativity is certainly a factor in developing Facebook ads, Facebook implements such limitations in their ad space that you must be very calculated and almost scientific in the development process. In our experience, we’ve found four core, deliberate steps that are essential in the creation of every Facebook ad we make.

1. Determine the objective of the ad. What do you want your users to do? Like the Facebook page or click on a link? Do you want to keep your audience members within Facebook or do you want to send them to your website? This will help determine what kind of budget you can choose: cost per click (CPC — each time an audience member clicks your ad) or cost per impression (CPM — every time your ad shows up in a member’s newsfeed).

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2. Choose the type of ad to run. Facebook offers two types of ads: a traditional ad with an image and copy that runs in the right hand column of your news feed and a Sponsored Story, which shows up in your actual news feed. The Sponsored Story shows  up when someone you’re friends with likes, comments or shares the post. In turn, the action will show up in their friends’ feeds, further expanding the audience exposure to your content.

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3. Live within Facebook’s limits. Just as any other traditional advertisement has size and text limitations, so does Facebook. You must truncate your message and effectively deliver it in only 135 characters and with an image that is 80×110 pixels. Time to get artsy!

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4. Know your target audience. Much in the same way you can strategically buy and place media, you can do the same with your ad’s exposure within Facebook. Whether you’re targeting a hyper-specific audience or you want to address a broad, generic group, Facebook enables you to target your ad as your strategy dictates. Knowing your target audience and taking advantage of the targeting will create more cost-effective placements.

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Social media is an effective vehicle to implement as a part of an integrated marketing strategy. Just as every Facebook post and tweet are critical to helping implement and achieve the overall marketing goals, Facebook ads are effective tools of the same strategy. Because Facebook is a unique advertising platform with traditional ad elements, you can flex your creative muscle while simultaneously be very deliberate and meticulous with your advertisement development. But that’s where the fun begins!

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