Facebook Advertising 101: Answering all FAQs about Facebook Ads

If you’re an agency looking to start Facebook advertising for your client, or if you’re planning to run ad campaigns by yourself for your business, you need to ask yourself the right questions. Instead of researching on multiple websites, blogs, or videos to get the answers to these questions, you can bookmark this starter kit.

Here, I will attempt to answer all questions you have about Facebook promotion, how effective Facebook advertising is, how much Facebook advertising costs, and the types of Facebook ads with examples!

As a bonus read, I’ve also included information about video ads on Facebook toward the end!

How effective is Facebook Advertising?

One of the most commonly asked questions is whether Facebook advertising is worth it and if advertisers should invest in Facebook promotion. Check out these stats:

Facebook Ad statistics for 2019

  1. Facebook advertising revenue has gone up by 1.9 times since 2017, according to a report from CNBC. This tells you that businesses are investing more in Facebook ads – both image and video ads.
  2. A study by SocialBakers showed that 80% more brands have started using the ‘Promote post’ feature by Facebook to ensure their posts reach their intended target audience.
  3. According to MonkMarketers, more than 25% of Facebook users say that Facebook ads influence their online shopping decisions. This is a very good sign for B2C advertisers, or if your agency has a client in the B2C industry.
  4. Statista also mentions that 96% of Facebook users access the platform on their mobile phone. This is perhaps the most important stat in this list because it tells you that your website needs to be optimized for mobile. If that does not happen, you will end up getting really high clicks on your ads, but you will not reach your business goal, because users will drop off if their experience is not good.

Facebook Video Ads statistics for 2019

  1. Fit Small Business’s report identified that Facebook video ads have an average CPC of $1.86, making Facebook videos a digital format which offers one of the best cost-per-click (CPC) rates. Knowing the average CPC helps you know if you’re paying too much for your advertising and if so, what you can do to reduce it.
  2. EMarketer tracked the average Facebook video engagement rates and concluded that at 6.3%, videos on Facebook get more engagement as compared to YouTube (3.2%) and Instagram (0.2%). This tells you that you can promote your videos and expect significantly better engagement than on other platforms.

Facebook user statistics for 2019

  1. Statista reports that 13% of global Facebook users are women between the ages of 25 and 34. Once again, this is a useful metric if your client’s target audience is women.
  2. The same Statista report also mentions India has the largest number of Facebook users (300 million), with the United States coming in next (210 million).
  3. According to a study by Pew Internet, 51% of teens use Facebook. So, if your target audience is teens, it is a good idea to kickstart your Facebook ad campaigns.
  4. Facebook users spend 3x as much time watching a Live video than a pre-recorded one.

These statistics about Facebook ads should be a good starting point for you to consider if Facebook promotion is worth it.

How much does Facebook Advertising cost?

A bunch of experts will tell you in their blogs, videos, podcasts, and interviews that the answer to this question is, “it depends”.

While they are 100% correct, I will attempt to explain to you why they think so, and how I can do slightly better.

To answer the question,

Facebook advertising will cost you $0.27 per click if you’re measuring by CPC (cost per click), and $7.19 if you’re measuring by CPM (cost per thousand impressions)

Adespresso

Facebook News Feed

How much does Facebook Advertising cost?
The average cost of advertising on the Facebook News Feed

Right Side Ad Placement

The average cost of Facebook Advertising on the Right Side
The average cost of Facebook Advertising on the Right Side

Facebook Marketplace

The average cost of advertising on the Facebook Marketplace
The average cost of advertising on the Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Audience Network

The average cost of advertising on Facebook Audience Network
The average cost of advertising on Facebook Audience Network

Facebook Messenger

The average cost of advertising on Facebook Messenger
The average cost of advertising on Facebook Messenger

Going back to “it depends”, here are the factors on which Facebook advertising cost depends on:

  1. Ad objective
  2. Bidding type and amount
  3. Target Audience
  4. Quality and format of the ad
  5. Industry

What can I use Facebook Advertising for?

Before you start creating ad campaigns on Facebook and investing money, you need to identify the goal of this entire activity. With Facebook ads, you can:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Create local awareness
  • Increase your brand reach
  • Generate traffic to your website or blog
  • Boost engagement
  • Get more app installs
  • Improve video views
  • Build a database of relevant leads
  • Increase product sales
  • Boost store visits

Each objective maps directly with your Marketing Funnel – awareness (top of the funnel), consideration (middle of the funnel), and conversion (bottom of the funnel).

Within the Facebook Ads Manager, you will find different KPIs for each goal and each type of ad.

Example: Let us say that there are 2 types of Facebook users. Type A clicks on sponsored and promoted links but does not fill up any lead form. On the other hand, Type B does not click many ads but fills a form whenever they click on an ad. If your goal is to generate traffic to your website, Facebook will show your ad to Type A, but if your goal is to build a database of relevant leads, Facebook will show your ad to Type B.

Remember, the type of people who see your ad will be determined by your goal, and this will directly affect your advertising cost.

How does Facebook Advertising work?

Facebook believes in creating value for advertisers by enabling them to reach their target audience. Facebook also provides a positive, relevant experience for its users.

The first thing you need to know about Facebook’s ad auctions is that the advertising spot does not go to the highest bidder, but is instead given to advertisers based ‘ad value’.

These factors contribute to ad value:

  • Advertiser bid: this is your monetary bid,
  • Ad placement: this is where you want to place your ad creative
  • Ad relevance: this is based on feedback from Facebook users on your existing ads
  • Action rates: this is how likely Facebook thinks a user is going to complete the goal you’ve chosen

During the ad auction, your ad will be pitted against other similar ads, and the advertiser with the highest combination of all these three factors will get the ad spot.

This is very different from a traditional auction because the winner will be decided based on the ad that creates the most overall value, instead of just the monetary bid.

What is Facebook Ad Relevance Score?

Before you begin advertising on Facebook, you have to consider what kind of a platform Facebook is.

Remember, Facebook users come to the social network to consume content, not to perform an action or do a task.

Facebook measures your ad quality based on something called the ‘Relevance Score’.

Relevance Score is calculated based on the feedback that Facebook receives from your target audience.

Facebook

If your ad gets more positive interactions, the ad’s Relevance Score will shoot up. Some positive indicators are video views and conversions. However, if your ad’s target audience hides or reports an ad, its score will be lowered.

Your Facebook ads will receive a relevance score between 1 and 10 (10 being the highest). As people interact and provide feedback on your ad, Facebook will increase or decrease the Relevance Score.

Note: Higher Relevance Score will lead to lower ad costs.

How can I make good Facebook Ads?

As a general rule of thumb, your Facebook Ads must be able to:

  • Grab the user’s attention immediately,
  • Pique the user’s interest to align with your goal,
  • Invoke an emotion – FOMO, happiness, excitement, anger, whatever works, and
  • Convince the user to perform the action you want them to

Now, none of the above is possible with regular text or image ads. Video ads, on the other hand, meet all these requirements.

What are the recommended Facebook Ad sizes?

Your Facebook Ads need to accommodate as much real estate as they can to avoid distractions from other posts. Remember, different ad placements require different image and video aspect ratios.

These are the best Facebook Ad sizes:

  • 16:9 (landscape) – this is recommended for in-stream video ads
  • 1:1 (square) – this is recommended for Facebook feed placements and video carousel ads
  • 4:5 (vertical for the feed) – this is recommended for ads placed in the Facebook feed
  • 9:16 (vertical for Facebook stories) – this is recommended for Facebook story ads

What are the types of Facebook Ads?

As a Facebook advertiser, you have a bunch of targeting options and campaigns to choose from that were covered earlier. Your choice of goal and campaign will decide the types of formats that are available to you.

1. Facebook Video Ads

If your goal is to increase your brand’s reach to more people, engage your followers, promote video views or drive more conversions, video ads are the best ad format.

You can learn more about Facebook Video Ads in the bonus read below.

2. Slideshow Ads

A big advantage of Slideshow Ads is that you can use them for all advertising objectives I had mentioned before. This format combines multiple videos, images, text, and music to enable you to tell a better story. You can choose to display Slideshow Ads on smartphones, tablets, and computers.

3. Collection Ads

If you have a product catalog, and you want to run an ad for the products in it on Facebook, then you should opt for Collection Ads. You can combine videos, slideshows or images taken directly from your product catalog.

This ad format allows users to interact with your ad, browse more products, and learn more about each product – everything within the Facebook app.

If you’re an e-commerce advertiser or if you have clients in the e-commerce industry, Collection Ads should be your go-to ad type because it allows you to show multiple pieces of content alongside a main creative.

4. Carousel Ads

If you want to build brand awareness or drive traffic to your store, Carousel Ads are a good option to experiment with.

This ad format allows you to add up to ten images or videos within a single ad. The added advantage over other ad formats is that each ad has its own unique link.

5. Image Ads

All ads on Facebook need to have visual creatives. When you add a relevant image of your product or service, you directly impact the success of your ad.

You have the option to choose to use a single image ad or use the carousel, collection, slideshow or Instant Experience to advertise with a combination of multiple images and videos.

6. Instant Experience

Before you start making Instant Experience ads, you need to optimize your website for mobile use because Instant Experience is a mobile-only ad experience for iOS and Android operating systems.

What Facebook Advertising metrics should I track?

Measuring how your ads perform is an important aspect of Facebook Advertising because you need to know what to track to evaluate if your ads are performing as expected. Here are the metrics you need to track for any campaigns that are driving traffic to a sign-up page of any kind:

  1. Reach: this is the number of individual people who have seen your ad.
  2. Video Views: this is the number of times your video was viewed.
  3. Ad Relevance Score: this is to measure the quality of your ad.
  4. Impressions: the total number of times your ad was shown.
  5. Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM): this is the average cost to show your ad a thousand times.
  6. Link Clicks: this is the number of time the link in your ad was clicked.
  7. Cost Per Click (CPC): this is the average of the cost of each click on your ad.
  8. Frequency: this is the average of the number of times each user has seen your ad individually.
  9. Amount Spent: this is how much money you’ve spent to keep your ads running.
  10. Click-Through Rate (CTR): this is the percentage of people who saw your ad and clicked it.
  11. Leads: this is the number of people who signed up on your landing page after clicking on your Facebook ad.
  12. Cost Per Lead: this is how much amount each sign-up has costed you.

Sometimes you might find that your ad creatives are blocked on Facebook. This happens when you violate Facebook’s ad policies. Here are some simple hacks you can follow to not get your ads rejected by Facebook.

Bonus read: Facebook Video Ads

As you read earlier, video ads have known to have the lowest CPC, making it the best ad format on Facebook.

This section is dedicated to Facebook Video Advertising. You will learn about the types of video ads, the requirements for Facebook video ads, how you can make engaging Facebook video ads, and what metrics you need to track.

Tips to create engaging Facebook Video Ads

1. Keep your videos short

The most recommended length for your video ad is less than 15 seconds. This ensures that your viewer will watch your video ad until the very end. Another advantage of having short video ads is that they can be re-purposed for Facebook’s in-stream ad placements.

However, if you wish to experiment with slightly longer video ads, you can place them in the Facebook feed, Marketplace and Messenger Home. The video ads placed here can be up to 240 minutes.

2. Grab your viewer’s attention

Facebook is a chaotic place. And the average human attention span is dropping rapidly. You are competing with other brands and the posts uploaded by your target audience’s friend list, which is why the first three seconds of your Facebook video ad will determine if the viewer wishes to continue watching your ad.

As a practice, start moving the most compelling part of your videos to the beginning.

3. Create square and vertical video ads

You already know that 96% of Facebook users are on their mobile phones. As an advertiser, you need to take as much as ad real estate assigned to you to avoid distraction.

Square and vertical videos are the best for mobile users since most users hold their phones vertically.

4. Use text in your video ads

Most Facebook users watch videos on mute by default. This means your video ads should be able to convey your message without sound, and the best way to achieve this is by making text-based video ads.

5. Brand your video ads

Videos have a long-lasting impression on the viewer. In fact, many online shoppers have admitted that they can recollect a brand easily if they’ve seen a video by the same brand before.

Add your logo to the video, use brand colors, include your brand’s typography and illustration style in your video ads.

Recommended length of Facebook Video Ads

Since you can choose to show your video ad in multiple places, there are different video length specifications for you to consider:

Ad placementAccepted length
User feedup to 240 minutes
Instant articleup to 240 minutes
In-stream video ads5-15 seconds
Facebook Marketplaceup to 240 minutes
Facebook stories1-15 seconds
Audience Network banner video ads1-120 seconds
Audience Network native video ads1-120 seconds
Audience Network interstitial video ads1-120 seconds
Audience Network in-stream10-120 seconds

Although you can upload longer videos in the user feed and Marketplace, it is recommended you make short videos, ideally within 15 seconds.

List of Facebook video ad formats

Here are the recommended Facebook formats for your video ads:

  • GIF
  • MOV
  • MP4
  • 3GP
  • AVI
  • DAT
  • DIVX
  • F4V
  • FLV
  • M4V
  • MKV
  • MPEG
  • MPEG4
  • WMV

Facebook video ad metrics to track

Whether you use Facebook video ads to drive traffic, build awareness, or to increase conversion, it is important to track the right Facebook metrics for your video ads. Here is a list of video ad metrics you can track on Facebook:

1. Video ad duration metrics

It is important to know how much of your video ad was played. Facebook calculates this by adding the number of unique seconds played, i.e. the seconds of the video that are not repeated.

For example, let’s say that a user has watched the first 5 seconds of your video ad, and then went back to watch the same 5 first seconds again. Facebook will not report this as a 10-second video view because the rewatched seconds are not considered.

The aim of this metric is to know how much of your video ad was consumed by your target audience.

  • Two-second continuous video views: This is the number of times your video ad is played for 2 continuous seconds or more.
  • Cost per two-second continuous video view: This is the average cost for each 2-second continuous video view.
  • Three-second video views: The number of times your video ad is played for at least 3 seconds.
  • Cost per three-second video view: The average cost of each three-second video view.

2. Video ad milestone metrics

  • Amount spent: The total amount of money you’ve spent on your ad campaign.
  • Reach: The number of people your video ad was shown to.
  • Video ad plays: The number of times your video ad starts to play. This is counted for each impression of a video and excludes replays.
  • Average watch time: The average time your video ad was played for. This includes the time spent replaying the video.
  • Thruplays: The number of times your video ad was played to completion, or for at least 15 seconds.
  • Cost per ThruPlay: The average cost for each ThruPlay.
  • Video ad watches at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 95%: The number of times your video ad was played at the respective percentage of its length. This includes users who skip to this point.
  • Watches at 100%: The number of times your video ad was played fully. This includes users who skip to this point.

Conclusion and next steps

If you’ve reached this far, chances are your hands are itching to get started with Facebook Advertising.

I would recommend you start experimenting with different ad formats and then look for solutions that help you scale your ad creation and automate ad sharing. It is 2019, and throwing people at a problem should not be your solution to scale.

If you’ve already identified the right ad formats, and now want to exponentially increase your ad output, check our Rocketium’s ad automation platform, built exclusively for advertisers and agencies such as yourself!

Also, if you get a chance, you should be experimenting with Facebook Quizzes.

Pulkit Jain

Pulkit Jain

Engineer • Marketer • Tech Geek • Movie & Comic book nerd • Avid reader • Gaming Addict • Football fanatic #GGMU

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