In the last column, we saw that a number of different elements make up an effective Facebook campaign. One of the most important elements is ad selection.
In contrast to some forms of digital marketing, which offer almost no variety or evolve very slowly, Facebook is constantly updating their inventory of ads to provide even more choices for advertisers.
Just recently, they introduced the ability to target ads to users on mobile phones. To take full advantage of the platform, it’s key to understand these ad types and which work best with your marketing objectives.
We’ll continue to focus on the ad types available through the Facebook Marketplace, as opposed to Premium Ad Units, but by no means are advertisers limited to Marketplace ads.
No advertising campaign can be successful without clear intent and a means to gauge that success. It’s crucial to keep these goals in mind when choosing ad types.
Different types of ads have unique elements and actions, and selection must be tailored to fit the campaign’s objective. You wouldn’t choose to hang a picture with a sledgehammer, because a regular hammer is better suited for the task.
This is the same approach that must be taken with ad selection; what works best for my campaign’s unique goal? That’s not to say that each campaign requires a single ad type; on the contrary, most campaigns will benefit from a variety.
We’ll focus on scenarios with three basic campaign goals:
1. You Want To Get More Fans For Your Facebook Page
So you want more fans on your Facebook page. The most obvious choice here is the Marketplace “Like Ad.” The Like button is embedded within the ad unit, so a user can Like the Page without having to navigate away from their current window. As a result, in-ad conversion rates are very high.
Alternatively, if a user chooses to click on the ad, they are driven to the Facebook page, where they have another opportunity to Like. The Like Ad also allows for creative control over both the image and body copy.
Here is an opportunity to describe to the user exactly what your brand or product has to offer, and entice them with an image that represents the Page’s content.
The Sponsored Like is another option. At its core, Facebook is a social network, and to ignore the value of the social graph is a mistake.
The Sponsored Story ad type reflects this unique feature of Facebook; it allows advertisers to turn user interactions on their Page into ads, to be served to that user’s friends.
Specifically, the Sponsored Like ad is shown to users whose friends Like your Page. Although there is no creative control, as headline and image are pulled from the Page, these ads tend to have much higher CTRs and conversion metrics because of this social context.
Think about Sponsored Like as a social recommendation: if you see that someone you trust likes Brand X, you will give Brand X a great deal more consideration than you would otherwise. One caveat to the Sponsored Like, however, is reach. This ad type works best for a well-known brand with a large existing fan base.
Both of these ad types get a quantifiable result from Facebook reporting: Page Likes; that is, the number of people who have liked your Page via the ads. With this data, you can assess exactly how effective your campaign has been across a variety of different metrics, including cost.
2. You Want To Drive Users Somewhere To Take A Specific Action
Got a sweepstakes registration or a credit card sign up? Facebook’s robust targeting capabilities lend themselves quite well to this type of campaign, and they offer ad types that align with conversion-focused campaigns.
The most basic, and best version, is what Facebook calls the Standard Marketplace Ad. This Standard Ad permits customization of all three ad elements (headline, body, image).
This makes it an ideal fit for a campaign that requires a substantial action beyond a simple “Like,” and thus a more explicit creative message. Most importantly, these ads allow for the implementation of tracking.
Many Facebook ad types, including those discussed in the previous section, forbid any third-party tracking, and would not be viable options for a conversion-based campaign. Although Facebook itself only returns basic data (clicks, impressions, etc.), the ability to add tracking on Standard Ads allows you to tie down-stream actions back to ad campaigns and determine the campaign’s effectiveness.
3. You Want Users To Engage With Your Facebook Page
You’ve spent time and money building your fan base; now what? You can’t just ignore them; Facebook actually penalizes Pages that don’t interact with their users.
It benefits you to continue to engage them, as more engaged fans results in a higher Edgerank, and a higher Edgerank means more users will see your posts.
There are multiple ad types that cater to re-engagement. Page Post Ads, which turns posts that you’ve published on your Page into ads, are one clear solution. Page Post Ads can feature videos, photos, questions, links, or events.
It’s a great way to showcase your Page’s content, ensure that more of your fans see your recent posts, and encourage your fans to interact with the post by Liking, Sharing, or Commenting.
Creative content is pulled directly from the post itself, along with the Page’s name as the headline. The three engagement options are embedded in the ad as well, and Facebook returns data on all three interaction types, so you can see exactly which posts are generating the most interest from your fans.
These are just three scenarios, and don’t cover all the possibilities; they are meant to serve as a guide.
Because every Facebook campaign is unique, there’s no real scientific method for choosing ad types. Understanding what’s available to you as an advertiser is the first step. Once you know, you can make more informed choices about the ads you will run in your campaign. The better aligned your goals and ad selection, the more successful you will be.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.