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A Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Facebook

facebook homepageFacebook Ads allow you to promote your business, attract more fans for your business Page, and drive more leads for your sales team. Are you experimenting with Facebook ads to help supplement your organic Facebook marketing efforts?

Facebook Ads allow you to advertise a website or content you manage on Facebook (like a Group, Page, or Event). The ad creation and management tools are very similar to the Google AdWords interface. If you're not already testing out Facebook ads in your marketing campaigns, this step-by-step guide will tell you everything you need to know to get started.

1. Get Started

To get started, visit http://www.facebook.com/advertising, and click “Create an Ad." (Note: You must be logged in to create an ad.) Follow the step-by-step instructions to create your ad. You can choose to create a Facebook ad or a Sponsored Story.

First, choose your destination URL. This can be an external website or something you already own Facebook, such as a Facebook Page, Group, or Event.

Next, choose your ad type. ‘Sponsored Stories’ generate more distribution for News Feed stories within Facebook. ‘Facebook Ads’ allow you to promote a Facebook entity on your own website.  

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For Facebook Ads:

  1. Choose your destination tab. This is the landing page that your ad will point to.
  2. Choose your ad’s title. Choose an eye-catching, concise title.
  3. Create ad copy for the body. Create compelling copy to promote your ad.
  4. Choose an image. Images are highly recommended, as they increase your ad’s click-through rate. 
  5. Preview your ad. Then make changes as you see fit.

For Sponsored Stories:

  1. Choose your story type. You can select a “Page Like Story,” a “Page Post Story,” or a “Page Post Like Story.” Click the question mark icons on Facebook next to each option for further clarification.
  2. Preview your story.

2. Specify Ad Targeting Preferences

The second step is to choose your targeting options. Your ad is more likely to perform better and continue running successfully if it’s being displayed to users who are most likely to be interested in your product or service. Select the country you would like your ad to be displayed in. You can choose up to 25 countries, but note that if you target more than one country, you won't be able to refine your targeting to specific cities. Next, choose the demographics you would like to target. You can also target people by likes/interests, and connections on Facebook.

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3. Set Your Campaigns, Pricing, and Scheduling

For the last step, select a payment type and budget for your ad campaign. Scroll down to the “Pricing” section and click on the “Set a Different Bid (Advanced Mode)” link. This will show you a suggested range of bids that are currently winning the auction among ads similar to yours. If you would like to set a different bid, you can do so here as well.

You can choose CPM (Pay for Impressions) or CPC (Pay for Clicks). Because click-through rate is usually low (< 0.1% for most ads), the “Pay for Clicks” option will offer the best value for the cost.

Once you've made your specifications, click “Review Ad” to see a preview of your ad before you publish it.

Facebook has built-in analytics to help you track ad performance in terms of number of impressions, clicks, and click-through rate. Run multiple ad variations at the same time and use the Ads Manager to determine which ones deliver the best results for your business.

Are you using Facebook's advertising platform to complement your business' Facebook marketing efforts? What kind of results have you seen?

This post is an adapted excerpt from our ebook, "How to Use Facebook for Business: An Introductory Guide" for 2011. Download your free copy today to learn more about how to use Facebook for business and marketing.

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