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Image Credit: Sproutsocial.com

Facebook’s universal appeal make it a powerful resource for businesses looking to reach new customers. Facebook is well aware of its unique marketing value, and has met the demand with a comprehensive menu of advertising options. In this post, we’ll take a look at the best formats for Facebook ads, so that you can make this revolutionary social network your business partner.

Building a social media presence? Check out our guide to managing social media campaigns

First, let’s review the way that Facebook Ads work. Many websites and platforms include ads – for example, bloggers will use sidebar ads to offset hosting costs and earn a supplemental income.  Facebook Ads are especially powerful because of Facebook’s instinct for integration.

If you launch a Facebook Ads campaign, you won’t just get advertising. Facebook provides a dashboard that allows you to view your active and past campaigns, compare impact, and track expenses. This interface makes it easy to design campaigns that incorporate multiple ad types and target particular groups of readers.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most successful Facebook Ad strategies:

Incorporate Visual Content

Whatever the format or platform, visual content is effective content. It’s more likely to attract attention and clicks. It stands out from a field dominated by text and catches attention during a quick scroll on a mobile screen. Facebook’s algorithm is also biased towards visual content, and studies show that it’s more likely to be shared than text alone.

Add Incentives

If you want readers to click through or share, give them a reason. If you can incorporate discounts, promotions, or sales alerts into your Facebook ads, they’ll be much more effective.

Include a Clear Call-to-Action

A Call-to-Action is a time-honored marketing technique that motivates action with a simple instruction.  “Buy now!” “Call now!” “Click here!” are all simple examples. Combining a call-to-action with an eye-catching image and an incentive will make your ad content dynamic.

Read our guide for more tips on writing and implementing effective Call-to-Action strategies

Target Specific Groups

Common commercial sense, right? Direct ads to people who will respond to them. This is where Facebook’s uniquely comprehensive social media platform can be extraordinarily helpful – you won’t just have the chance to reach large numbers of people, but to target and re-target customers based on their behavior.

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Image Credit: Sproutsocial.com

Next, let’s look at some examples of ads that incorporate these techniques:

Right-Column Ads

The first Facebook ad option, right-column ads are less central – literally! – than News Feed ads, and they tend to get fewer clicks, but they’re cost-effective and versatile. Incorporating visual content into right-column ads maximizes their impact.

Mobile News Feed Ads

Similar to the Desktop News Feed Ads that all Facebook users will be familiar with, but streamlined for the Facebook mobile app. Like their desktop equivalents, they usually consist of an image and a headline. They’re visually-oriented and straightforward, and they can be easily formatted to include a call-to-action button or link.

Video Ads

Visuals take visual content to a higher level. An embedded video will stand out, just like a photo or still image, but it will also keep your audience engaged for several extra seconds or minutes – as long as it takes the video to play. Videos are also more likely to be shared than other forms of content, which can carry your ad further and faster. Incorporating a promo code into the video will motivate viewers to watch to the end.

Looking for inspiration?  Read our guide to creating budget-friendly videos on Instagram

Retargeting Ads

“Retargeting” ads target customers based on past behavior – for example, if you check out blazers on Anthopologie, you’ll probably see Anthropologie ads popping up on websites you visit. Facebook has the same capability –upload a list of email addresses from existing leads and customers into Facebook’s Power Editor to create a customized retargeting group. These ads work best when they offer related products and services instead of saturating viewers with content they’ve already seen.

Event Ads

These ads can help draw a targeted crowd of people to your event, whether it’s a concert, a store opening, a book signing, or a special sale. The call-to-action usually directs viewers to buy tickets or sign up. Incorporate a promotional poster or preview video to increase visual impact. You can also incorporate a Facebook-specific promotion, like a discount for viewers who “like” your page.

Multi-Product Ads

These ads are like a mini-catalog for your products, an embedded slideshow that appears in Facebook’s News Feed. They’re centered on visual content, but their interactive format makes them even more appealing – plus, viewers who “flip through” the collection of images in a multi-product carousel are already engaged, and more likely to click through to your website. Use the selection of slides to target a diverse set of customers.

Boosted Posts

Boosted posts are posts that were originally posted to a company’s Facebook page, and then “boosted” to appear on news feeds using advertising money. These posts have no word limit, which allows you to add more information to your copy. They may also seem more “organic” to viewers. Since these posts aren’t created in Facebook Ad Manager, they are limited in other ways – fewer options for targeting and pricing, and fewer options for measuring effectiveness.

Facebook’s success is in large part due to its desire to be all things social media to all people – witness the recent advent of Facebook Live. They hope to be indispensable to companies and consumers alike, with the result that Facebook Ads are an unusually versatile and integrated resource. With this guide, you’ll be able to create Facebook Ads that work for you.

For more information, check out our Guide to Facebook Advertising, Part One and Guide to Facebook Advertising, Part Two

Are you interested in learning more about the latest digital advertising options?  At Square 1 Group, we believe that an effective digital marketing plan incorporates multiple levels of strategic innovation. We stay on top of the latest technological developments so that we can provide you with the best solution for your company. Call us for a consultation today!