Welcome to the final episode of the Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising. We started out this series talking about the structure of a Facebook Advertising campaign. We learned that Facebook campaigns are made up of three components – campaigns, ad sets and ads. We learned about the marketing objectives that you must choose while creating a campaign and the targeting as well as other critical components of an ad set. Our final episode is dedicated to the ad itself.
When creating an ad, the first question that the Facebook Ads Manager asks is if you would like to create a new ad or use an existing post. At this point, the Ads Manager is basically asking if you would like to create a new ad or “boost” an existing post. Ads Manager will allow you to take an existing post and advertise that post to a variety of different audiences (even with different objectives). If you have a post that is performing well organically, advertising that post could be an effective marketing strategy.
For this conversation, we are going to assume you are going to create a new ad. The next question becomes, from which Facebook page and/or Instagram account would you like to advertise. It’s important to know that you don’t have to have an Instagram account to place an ad on the Instagram network, but we strongly advise that you do. Choose the correct page/account and proceed.
The next question is one of the areas where you can be most creative when designing your ad… choosing the ad type. There are five different kind of ads that we will discuss: single image, single video, carousel, slideshow and canvas. Instead of describing each ad, I am going to finish the guide for each different ad type because the options are different depending upon the ad type.
Single Image Ads
The Single Image ad is the simplest of ad types. The ad has a single image and usually some text above and below the image. When creating a Single Image ad, you can select multiple images, but it will basically create different versions of the same ad using the same photo.
Ad photos should be 1200 pixels wide x 628 pixels tall for Facebook and a 1200 pixel square for Instagram. Some people may disagree, but we believe that you should create separate ads for Facebook and Instagram. People view these ads and platforms differently. If you take the platform and this fact into consideration while creating the ads, you will be more successful.
Ad photos also should not contain more than 20% of overlaid text. Until recently, Facebook would simply deny or disapprove any ad that had more than the acceptable amount of text. Now, instead of completely stopping the ad, Facebook will just limit the ads exposure. With this in mind, we recommend using a powerful image as the ad graphic and using the surrounding text for the ad copy.
Once you choose your ad graphic, it’s time to construct the rest of the ad. Start by adding the ad text. The ad text is displayed above the ad graphic. At one point, it was restricted to a limited amount of characters but about a year ago, that limitation was lifted. You can be much more wordy now. But Facebook will cut you off and insert a “Read more” link if your ad text exceeds a certain character limit.
Your next option is whether or not to include a website link. There are very few situations in which you should NOT include a link to your website. In almost all cases, you should include a link to your website. First of all, it increases the size of your ad and secondly it drives your website and powers remarketing campaigns.
If you choose to add a website link you will be asked to specify: the website URL (where you want the traffic to be directed); an optional display link (a shortened link that is displayed on the ad); a headline (which is the largest text in the ad and is displayed in the desktop newsfeed only); a newsfeed link description (which displayed below the headline and only seen in the desktop newsfeed as well); a call to action button that will link to the website URL and any pertinent URL tracking extensions.
A new addition to Facebook ads is the branded content policy. If you are including 3rd party product information in your ad, you must tag the business whose product you are advertising. Basically if you sell other people’s products or service, you need to include a tag to their FB page in this area.
Finally, Facebook allows you to track conversions (or people completely specific actions on your website) through the Facebook pixel. If you have a pixel set up and would like to do that, you can enable that feature here.
Single Video Ad
The next type of ad is the single video ad. Like a single image ad, this ad includes a single video. This video can be uploaded when you create the ad, previously added to Facebook, or hosted on a 3rd party site like YouTube. If you are uploading to Facebook, you should be have a QuickTime (.mov), .MP4 or .GIF file with a resolution of at least 720p. The file should be a 16:9 widescreen formatted video with a a maximum file size of 2.3GB. The maximum length of a Facebook video is 60 minutes. The maximum length of an Instagram video is 60 seconds. Once you have the video uploaded, you can add titles, subtitles and tags to the video.
Next Facebook will continue to ask you about including a link to your website, branded content tags and pixel tracking parameters. These details are the same as in the Single Image ad.
Carousel ads are a relatively newer kind of ads. They are a group photos and/or videos that scroll horizontally. You can create different “cards” that scroll either by popularity or in a pre-defined story order. Photos should be sized as 1080px squares. Videos should be formatted as described in the video ad description.
Carousels are a fun ad type. There is a lot you can do with them. If you have a store, you can feature different products. If you are planning a conference, like our Chicago Social Con, you can have a card for each speaker. You can tell stories, continue panoramic photos. There are so many cool options. Furthermore each card can have it’s own headline, description and destination URL which can also be used creatively.
Once you create the carousel, like the previously mentioned ads, you can add an ad level link, branded content tags and pixel tracking features.
Slide Show Ad
The slide show ad is another of the new Facebook ad types. Basically Facebook allows you the ability to take 10 photos and make them into a short video that you can use as an ad. These photos should follow the same formatting as a single ad format. Once you upload the photos (up to ten), Facebook will ask if you would like to add a website link, branded content tags, and tracking to your ad.
The Canvas ad is different than any other ad currently available on Facebook. It combines photos, videos, text blocks, carousels, buttons, and headers into one enhanced experience that users see on their mobile devices. It launches from either a post or ad and is so much more than what users expect in a “normal” ad experience. These are complicated and take some time to produce.
A canvas experience can be added to any of the previous ad types. So to create this ad format, you start with one of the previous four ad types and then add a canvas. The canvas will launch on the mobile experience.
When creating your ad it is important to do your research. Start by defining you target audience. Who is your perfect audience? Who do you want to reach? Once you have done that, you can choose a platform where you can reach them. Chances are, they are on Facebook. Then build a campaign that fulfills your marketing objective, reaches the right audiences and delivers ads that impact and motivate prospects to become customers and customers to become brand advocates.