What Are Facebook Ads?
Facebook enables businesses to target potential customers by connecting with them through display ads that appear on the platform. Two huge advantages of these ads include:
- They Appear In the News Feed. Most Facebook users scroll through their news feeds daily so the ads can potentially gain strong exposure.
- They Reach Just the Right People. Facebook allows businesses to precisely target ads to users based on their location, gender, interests, demographics, connections, and general Facebook habits.
Why Should Businesses Use Facebook Ads?
The answer is simple: most businesses can’t afford to ignore the opportunity for exposure to billions of Facebook users. Ads placed on this single platform have a nearly unlimited potential to generate leads.
Most successful businesses advertise on Facebook in some manner, which means most companies must consider using Facebook Ads to remain competitive. Yet, some business owners view this as a key disadvantage of the service because the high volume of advertisers creates fierce competition. That makes it essential to find a way for your ad to stand out.
Grabbing the attention of potential customers on Facebook requires impactful images. In fact, Facebook ads primarily follow the “20 percent” rule in which text represents no more than 20 percent of an ad’s total real estate.
TRUiC TIP: Facebook Ads fall into the category of “display advertising,” which typically has a lower conversion rate than the “search advertising” offered by search engines like Google or Bing. But, in some cases, a low search demand or an excessive cost-per-click rate can make display advertising on Facebook the better option. For example, insurance companies often must pay $50 per click for ad campaigns on the Google Ads platform — a price that delivers a fairly low return on their investment.
To help you determine if Facebook Ads can enable your business to drive targeted traffic for conversions, our review focuses on three key questions:
What Advertising Services Does Facebook Offer?
Facebook offers a variety of advertising services to suit the specific needs of diverse businesses. These services include:
- Lead-Generation Ads
- Sponsored Ads
- Google AdSense on Facebook
- Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Advertising
- Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM) Advertising
- Retargeting Ads
Each Facebook Ads campaign should start with a specific objective. Before you create a campaign, ask yourself: “What’s the most important outcome I want from these ads?”
Once you answer that question, Facebook Ads will help you choose the advertising service(s) best suited to achieving your desired business outcome as well as manage your ad campaign efficiently.
Lead-generation ads enable a business to collect data about all the different people who click on its ads. These insights can then help that business tailor its offerings to attract more potential customers.
While completing forms in a mobile environment isn’t ideal, Facebook overcame this challenge by making it super easy to accomplish on any mobile device. When users tap on a Facebook ad, a form pops up already populated with their Facebook information. Making this process so simple encourages people to complete a form, which Facebook then forwards to the advertiser.
Businesses also can ensure their ads reach their target audience through Facebook’s audience selection and optimization products. To generate high-quality leads, for example, a business can optimize the order of a form’s questions so it collects the most important answers first.
Sponsored ads on Facebook help businesses increase their visibility among potential customers by promoting a business’ Facebook posts in users’ news feeds. This can help drive more traffic to your business’ Facebook page or company website, which increases brand awareness and, ultimately, your customer base.
Google AdSense on Facebook
Google AdSense — a program that enables businesses to earn money from their online content — matches appropriate ads to websites based on each site’s content and visitor characteristics.
Businesses also can use it to monetize their Facebook pages and promote their goods or services. This is a massive boon to businesses seeking additional income sources. It also will help them increase page views, clicks, and impressions with ease.
Google AdSense works particularly well for Facebook pages that sell ideas, not products — like fan pages.
Facebook also offers a CPC advertising service, which businesses use to drive traffic to their websites. With this approach, advertisers pay a certain amount to the publisher — in this case, Facebook — whenever someone clicks on their ad.
So how much can you expect to pay for this service?
Advertisers pay around 97 cents per click, on average. This does, however, vary greatly based on a business’s target audience and industry. If your ad campaign targets women, for example, your CPC may increase by 15 cents compared to those targeting men. Ad campaigns targeting older demographic groups also tend to cost more.
These variable CPC rates stem from Facebook's analytical research, which suggests which ads will experience a higher rate of success when sent to different demographic groups. Expect to pay a higher rate if Facebook deems your ad more likely to bring you profitable customers.
Alternatively, you can pay Facebook a fee for every thousand impressions your ad receives. Like CPC advertising, CPM advertising prices vary based on a business’ target demographic group, industry, and location.
For every thousand impressions, advertisers should expect to pay around $7.20. Ad campaigns focused on app downloads or earning “likes” must pay approximately $1.07 per individual “like” (the cost per like or CPL) and $5.50 per individual download (the cost per download or CPA).
Around 90 percent of the traffic your business website receives will come from people who aren’t willing to purchase your products or services. They visit your site, have a look around, and then they leave without taking any action.
This means the majority of visitors you pay to drive to your website will forget about your business after they leave. You must, therefore, find a way to remind them about your business, entice them to return to your site, and transform them into customers.
Facebook’s retargeting ads can help you accomplish that. Retargeting is a form of advertising that encourages people who visit a website once to return. When someone visits your site, it places a “cookie” — a small piece of data — on their web browser.
These cookies allow you to follow the activity of people who previously visited your website and then place ads for your business on other sites they visit. Because retargeting ads remind people about your business, they may return and become customers.
What About Instagram Ads?
Because Facebook owns Instagram, businesses also should consider advertising on Instagram. Like Facebook, this platform offers some great advertising opportunities.
Instagram ads, for example, take the posts and stories a business creates on its profile and then promotes them in Instagram users’ feeds. These ads look like normal Instagram posts, but carry a “sponsored” label. They also may include a call-to-action (CTA) button, which can help drive traffic to a business’ website or Instagram profile page.
The average CPC rate for Instagram ads is $1.25, according to recent statistics. While that makes Instagram relatively expensive for advertising purposes, the platform does offer businesses several benefits.
Facebook Ads vs. Instagram Ads
To help you determine which platform will work best for your business advertising, we compared both and found they have very similar offerings. But, Facebook stands out because it’s more affordable and provides more users as well as tools. That makes Facebook a generally better advertising platform for all businesses.
Instagram has the highest CPC rates when compared to all other social media platforms, according to recent social media advertising statistics. This makes Facebook a better option for businesses with smaller budgets.
While Instagram remains hugely popular and boasts millions of users, Facebook still has significantly more. Both platforms work well for display ads and other types of ads, but Facebook always delivers a better conversion rate for every type of ad.
The bottom line: Consider your personal preferences and specific business requirements when choosing between these two platforms for advertising.
What Types of Businesses Should Advertise on Facebook?
As previously noted, given Facebook’s billions of users, almost every type of business will find a majority of its customers already using Facebook. This makes it a great platform on which all kinds of businesses can advertise their products or services and attract more customers.
Facebook also offers businesses the opportunity to advertise to an international market. If reaching a global audience is a priority for your business, Facebook can provide a guaranteed way to increase your company’s profitability.
Do Facebook Ads Provide Good Value?
Absolutely. Facebook’s advertising services cost less than those available on other social media platforms. Facebook also offers great tools for managing ads on its platform. As such, Facebook Ads come highly recommended for businesses looking to drive growth.
For more details on the overall value of Facebook Ads, see the ratings below.
After analyzing Facebook Ads as well as online user feedback, here’s how we rank it overall as well as for value, ease of use, and customer service.
Overall Rating – 4.5/5
Value – 4.5/5
Considering all that Facebook offers businesses in terms of its advertising services, competitive pricing, and ad management tools, it’s a very affordable option.
Facebook also enables you to control your advertising expenditure to ensure your business never exceeds its intended budget.
Ease of Use – 5/5
You don’t need marketing expertise to start and manage effective ad campaigns on Facebook.
The Facebook Ads Manager will guide you through the process, starting with some simple questions about your target audience and budget. Once your ads go live, Facebook’s intuitive analytics will enable you to easily assess and refine those ads for the best possible user experience.
Customer Service – 4/5
Facebook has a proven reputation for providing great customer service. If you have an issue or question about your ads or your account, you often can find answers in the Facebook Help Community.
If you don’t find an answer there, you can easily submit a personalized query to the Facebook support team. In addition, you can seek timely assistance for more complicated issues from the Facebook Business Help Center.
As the world’s most popular social media platform, Facebook provides businesses of all types with some amazing advertising opportunities.
Specifically, Facebook Ads stand out for these key reasons:
- They allow businesses to easily target a specific audience.
- They increase the chances people will “like” a business given the platform’s billions of users and, ultimately, drive traffic to a business’ website through sponsored ads.
- They offer affordable pricing when compared to other social media platforms like LinkedIn.
- They don’t require users to have any marketing experience in order to create effective campaigns — unlike other advertising platforms.