The No-Nonsense Guide to Facebook Advertising

Jamie Guthrie
2 mins
May 11, 2016

Let’s start by answering the most obvious question…. Why should businesses utilize Facebook Ads? According to rough estimates made by BIA/Kelsey, social advertising will account for an 11-billion-dollar market  in 2017. That’s over a 100% increase since 2012. Facebook has 900 million users everyday, so it is quite apparent why over 120 million businesses  

currently use the site as a marketing platform. Back in the day, Facebook ads were not very enticing for us users. However, now that Facebook gives you the ability to hand-select key aspects of your advertising strategies, it gives advertisers the ability to generate more interesting, curated results for users. In order to optimize the use of these features, there are some things you should know and think about in order to create the best Facebook ads.


Tip #1: Know your options

Facebook now offers a wide range of options that allow you to choose the 'who', 'what', 'where', 'when', and ‘how much' factors of your advertisement.


Before you think about who your audience is, you should think about who you are as a company.  Your ads help you to create a persona for your business and brand, so a lot of thought should go into creating this.  Next you should not only focus on your typical target market but also look into lookalike audiences.  Facebook has an option for this built in.  By selecting “Create lookalike audience,” you have the option to “optimize for similarity.”  You can choose to reach out to either a broader scope of individuals or a smaller, more focused group of people.  If you want a broader scope, Facebook will target your ad to the top 10 percent individuals who possess characteristics similar to your typical audience.  If you would like to target a more specific niche, Facebook will focus in on the top 1 percent of individuals who are somehow related to your typical market.


Create your own ad content by choosing your own image, text, and CTA button.  Facebook provides you with some useful tools to help you create your ad, such as the Power Editor, which is a bulk ads creator and management tool. The Power Editor helps you every step of the way by showing you a live preview of the ad as your are creating it.  However, remember to beware of Facebook guidelines; never use images with more than 20% text or Facebook will remove it.


Facebook gives you five options regarding where your ad will be places: Desktop News feed, Desktop Right panel, Mobile News Feed, Instagram, and Audience Network.


To control when your ad is shown, you must first change your budget setting to “lifetime budget.”  This means that you are setting a budget for all of your ads in your “lifetime” (although this can just be specific to one single campaign if you’d like).  After that, you can choose to run your ads on a schedule by selecting blocks of time that you believe would help you gain the most exposure from your target audience.


You control how much your ad is shown by setting your budget.  In this setting, you can choose to create either a daily budget or a lifetime budget.  Facebook will then use your budget to determine how they can allocate your ads either on a daily basis or over a period of time (given that you choose lifetime budget).

Tip #2: Know the system

For the benefit of both marketers and consumers, Facebook limits the amount of ads each individual sees. This way, Facebook users are not overwhelmed with ads and businesses are likely to see a higher conversion rate. In order to do this, Facebook uses an auction system. In this process, advertisers bid against one another for a chance to get their ads displayed. You can bid by either CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Facebook then looks at your ad quality and estimates your CTR. All of these factors add up to comprise your ad’s Total Value. The ad with the highest Total Value will get shown during that period.


1. Calculate how much each ad is worth to your business so you know how much to bid to maximize their value. Do this by monitoring the cost of acquisition for your users; it should not be higher that a third of the lifetime value of each customer.

2. Make sure your content is interesting and relevant to your target audience. If Facebook finds the content of your ad boring or irrelevant to your audience, they will decrease your Total Value and you will have less of chance of winning your auction.

Tip #3: Make your CTA enticing

I think we can all admit that, at least once in our lives, we have clicked a button for no particular reason whatsoever other than the fact that something in our brain screamed “CLICK THAT BUTTON!” Apps and websites do this all the time. Just think of the little red notification button on social media accounts. They create a sense of urgency simply by sending you (sometimes useless) notifications that make you want to click before you think. We are all victims of this. And who is to blame besides the brilliant minds behind successful marketing techniques? You can take advantage of this technique, too, through your call to action. By using a few small tricks, you can increase traffic to your website by a pretty decent percentage. Unfortunately, Facebook forces you to choose from a selection of 5 CTA button options. This means, you should lure users in through an enticing statement.



1. Number one rule: Include an action word. People are more likely to click an ad that says “Start planning your next vacation destination!” as opposed to “Beautiful vacation destinations.”

Screenshot 2016-05-10 at 11.13.09 AM - Edited.png
Screenshot 2016-05-10 at 11.13.09 AM - Edited (1).png

2. Use the words “free” or “save.”

3. Sell the benefit, not the product. Let ’s say you are selling adult coloring books.  Instead of your CTA reading “Adult coloring books,” you should try something along the lines of: “Boost your creativity!”

Screenshot 2016-05-10 at 11.25.15 AM - Edited.png
Screenshot 2016-05-10 at 11.25.15 AM - Edited (1).png

Tip #4: Know the tools

If there is one tool that every business should install it is the conversion pixel. Conversion pixels are what advertisers use to track how many people are taking a specific action on your ad. This can mean signing up for a membership, making a purchase, or visiting a website. This will help you decide whether or not your campaigns are worth the investment. This tool also helps you do one more important thing: remarketing. It is always wise to advertise to users that already know your brand. It can end up being 60% cheaper in terms of acquisition cost.

Another tool is the Ad Set tool. This is useful because it allows you to create and categorize different ads all under the same campaign. So, you can compare the results of different ads which were displayed to different audiences and in different locations. This tool also allows you to have greater control over where your ads get placed. This is important because Facebook uses a placement optimization system that looks into which of your selected locations are giving you the best feedback and then allocates more of your resources to that placement. This can either help or hurt your campaign, so you should keep track of this by looking into your ad analytics and seeing what percentage of your ads have been placed in each location and what the conversion rate of each placement is. If you find that a great percentage of your ads have been placed in one location and you would like to create a more even disbursement, you can use the ad set tool to assign different placements for each ad.

Tip #5: Know what to show

While the text is important, images are responsible for a great percentage of your ad conversion.  By far, the most effective technique in visual marketing is triggering emotion.  For this reason, some of the most effective methods of selling a product have actually very little to do with the product itself.  


1. Face-to-Body Ratio. When including a person in your ad, first think about what message you would like to send to the viewer.  An image that includes a person’s full body will cause your audience to focus on the physical attributes of a person, triggering admiration or sensuality.  An image that displays a closeup of an individual’s face will cause your audience to think more about the person’s personality, emotions, and intellect.

2. Promote a Lifestyle.  One of the most effective methods of visual marketing that can be used for nearly any type of product is the idea of selling a lifestyle. The image below resembles a photo that may be used for a clothing ad campaign, however, what this photo is truly selling is the lifestyle of a carefree young woman on a beautiful day.  

3. Eye-tracking technique. There have been studies circulating around the web that track eye movement on various ads in order to draw insights regarding marketing strategies.  Concluding tip: pay attention to directional cues.  These studies have shown that directional cues such as arrows or eye-direction will influence the direction of viewers’ gazes.  Check out the example of a Google Analytics ad that uses eye-direction as a cue to draw readers to the written content.  Or even better, check out how we use this tactic on the Dashmote homepage ;) .


For more information on how to create successful visual content, check out our post A Glimpse into the world of Visual Content  and for beautiful, inspiring not-so-stocky stock images checkout Dashmote.


social media marketing, facebook, advertising, facebook guide, facebook for business

Want to know more about our tech

Contact us

Related articles

300 Park Avenue, NY 10022 - New York, USA | Lehargasse 7, 1060 - Vienna, Austria | Rokin 86, 1012 KX - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
© 2018 Dashmote | All rights reserved