Finding the Best Type of Facebook Ad for Your Business
In terms of marketing, social media advertising is one of the hardest things to master. Trust us, we know. But with 81% of Americans on some form of social media, it has quickly become the best way to engage with and attract customers near and far. Enter the Facebook ad.
One of the most-used social platforms is Facebook — and Facebook owns Instagram. Together, these platforms engage a huge number of Americans — Facebook has two billion monthly active users, while Instagram reaches five hundred million people daily. By utilizing their ad options, your business can tap into that audience and reach your best potential customers. Read on to learn about Facebook ad types and determine which is best for your business.
Unless noted otherwise, all Facebook ad options display on desktop and mobile newsfeeds, audience network (mobile apps outside of Facebook), Instagram, and Facebook’s right column.
The anatomy of a Facebook ad
Before we get started, let’s take a look at how a Facebook ad is structured. Each element serves a purpose:
A. Your page name
No matter which type of ad you choose, your page name will always be included, along with the grey “Sponsored” text to indicate to users that they’re seeing an ad.
B. Call to Action (“CTA”)
The CTA prompts viewers to take a specific action on the post (in this case, throwing it a “Like”).
C. Descriptive Text
This should be a brief but descriptive summary of what you’re linking to below. Keep it to 90 characters or less; any more and Facebook will start punishing you by not running your ad as often.
This is the visual element of your ad. Ideally, no more than 20% of your image or video should be taken up by text; you want it to be as “pretty” as possible.
The big kahuna! This is the attention-grabbing element that your viewers are most likely to see first. You’re working with a 25 character limit here, so keep it short and sweet.
F. Newsfeed Link Description
This tells viewers where the link below will take them.
G. Display Link
This is the website you’ve linked your ad to.
Image ads are what most people typically consider to be the “standard” ad type. They are the easiest to use, and are most successful when the copy is kept to a minimum (keeping the copy concise gives more attention to your brand, product, or service). They are good basic ads, perfect for when you just want to get your message out.
Video ads are designed to grab a user’s attention. The recommended length is about 15 seconds; shorter videos have higher completion and engagement rates. Compared to TV commercials, Facebook video reaches 37% more Americans between the ages of 18-24. To increase engagement, some videos are made to be un-skippable, playing in the middle of another video.
Post Engagement Ads
Post Engagement ads are used to boost posts you created beyond your page’s network. Not only can this help you build your customer base, it can also help you engage with new people. You can promote essentially any post — be it image- or video-based. In the example below, we spent $20 to boost the post to an additional 1,406 people and garnered 166 likes and 2 shares.
Page Likes Ads
These are the go-to ads for boosting your page likes. You choose text and an image that represents your page, and then select the audience you want to target by choosing from various demographics including age, gender, location, and interests. Page Likes ads are perfect for growing your follower base.
Carousel ads allow you to choose as many as 10 images or videos to feature in a single post. Each carousel card can feature a new product, or a new view of the same product, and each card has its own individual link. This is a great option if your business offers different types of services or products.
Made up of photos in a video format, this type of Facebook ad loads quickly so it can play seamlessly regardless of the viewer’s connection. They are attention-grabbing and less expensive to create than video content.
This ad type is particularly useful for B2C retailers. By promoting deals and discounts, Offer ads help you engage with existing and potential customers. People who claim the offer will be notified prior to its expiration. In-store offers are redeemed via a barcode or QR code whereas online offers are claimed with a discount code.
This format is the best option for showcasing multiple products or a product with multiple functionalities. It will only display on your audience’s mobile newsfeed. Clicking on this ad will send the user to a Canvas format (below) which drives engagement and garners actions from the user.
Exclusive to mobile, Canvas ads are interactive ads that load ten times faster than standard mobile content. With user-friendly templates, Canvas ads allow you to create an interactive user experience, and are often utilized in tandem with Lead Generation ads, Video ads, Carousel ads, and Collection ads.
Lead Generation Ads
This Facebook ad format is perfect for getting more information from your audience. It incorporates forms, which are automatically populated with information users have previously submitted. Plus, this method syncs with your CRM, allowing your sales team to take action quickly.
Event Response Ads
Event Response ads help you generate interest in an event you’re hosting or participating in. You can limit your geographic reach and specify the type of audience you want the ad to reach — from age to gender to interests. Then, you can send users to your website to buy tickets and keep track of RSVPs. Events are also automatically added to users’ calendars when they join your event.
Exclusive to the Facebook Messenger app, Messenger ads show up on your audience’s Messenger home screen. These ads allows customers to take initiative by choosing to communicate with your business. When users see the ad, they can click on it to send a message directly to your page.
Dynamic ads look similar to other types of Facebook ads but are unique in their functionality — they integrate with your e-commerce store to help you make more sales. To run Dynamic ads, you set up an ad template and upload your product catalog. Once imported, Facebook saves you time by automatically generating Dynamic ads based on the ad template you set up. Next, you install a Facebook Pixel on your company’s website which allows Facebook to target users based on past interactions with your business and determine whether the user is a good fit for your ads.
What this means for your business
With so many options, choosing the right Facebook ad for your business can be intimidating; refer to this ad type analysis to make an informed decision for your business.
About the Author: Social Media Coordinator Meg Vondriska believes in the power of bringing people together through social media. She enjoys utilizing her sharp wit and love of wordplay to best display clients’ personalities. When she isn’t posting on social media or refreshing her timeline, she’s taking her rescue dog Tonks for walks around Lake Calhoun, enjoying a glass of red wine, or exploring Minneapolis’ hopping donut scene.