In case you haven’t noticed, we’re pretty fond of Facebook advertising. Why? We love its ability to target incredibly specific audiences, its creative ad formats, its device and placement options, and oh so much more.
As an ode to Facebook, our favorite social advertising platform, we created this list of the six best features and benefits that set it apart from competitors. If you’ve dabbled at all in your own Facebook ad campaigns, you may already know some of these. If not, you’re missing out—time to listen up.
Top Facebook Marketing Agency Favorites
1. Facebook Carousel Ads
Facebook has a variety of ad formats, including carousel ads. Much like a gallery, the carousel format allows viewers to scroll through up to ten images and videos in a single ad. The interactive design promotes engagement, and it’s perfect for advertising multiple products or even different versions of the same product.
Because Facebook lowers delivery of ads that contain more than 20 percent text, traditional image ads can only include so much information. But because carousel ads include multiple slides, they’re a great loophole for those who want to maximize the amount of text overlay. Plus, each slide has its own headline, description, and link.
But carousel ads have the potential to be more than just a standard gallery. Many brands get creative with the format and use it to create unique and memorable advertisements. For example, you could use it like a storyboard and have each frame show a different scene. Or, you could break up a single panoramic image into separate slides. Take a look at this design for a real estate carousel ad:
2. Facebook Video Ads
Videos are known for their ability drive engagement, so using them for advertisements is a no brainer. In fact, in 2016, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook users watch a combined average of 100,000 million hours of video per day. That’s some pretty huge and unbeatable potential for Facebook advertisers.
The key to creating a Facebook video ad that converts is to make it interesting and relevant to your target audience. Inspirational and humorous videos tend to do the best, and viewers often share them with their connections. Capitalizing on these shareable themes can help you create video content that sticks out in the viewers’ minds, helping them remember you for future purchases.
Facebook also allows you to create captions for your videos, which can be a big help in reaching more users. This is because captions allow viewers to watch the video wherever they are, even if they’re in public. You can also use gifs instead of video (a feature just recently added in February 2017), which can be a good option if you’re using an animation or don’t have the budget for a full-length live video.
Check out this short, looping video from ThredUp:
3. Facebook Pixel
If you’re not going to setup your Facebook pixel, you really shouldn’t even bother with Facebook advertising. Yes, you can still advertise without it. But if you don’t know how your ads are actually affecting sales, then how exactly will you know if they’re working?
A pixel is a code generated by Facebook that you must install on your website so that Facebook can track clicks, conversions, and other metrics for your advertisements. For example, the Purchase pixel will let you know exactly how many orders came in from people who clicked your ad, went to your site, and made a purchase. In fact, this is true even if the user doesn’t buy your product right away. Depending on the conversion window you set, they could make the purchase two weeks later and it would still count. And, even cooler, your Facebook pixel can even tell you the number of people who made a purchase after just viewing your ad—they don’t even have to click it.
Take a look at the metrics in the figure above. In this example, 1,395 people purchased after viewing the ad within the last seven days, and 1,026 people purchased after clicking the ad in the last 28 days. Not too shabby.
Another important reason to use a Facebook pixel? Because it tracks the traffic going to your site, you can use it to create retargeting campaigns. Retargeting campaigns are an incredibly effective tactic that allow you to display ads to users who have already gone to a particular page on your site. This way, you can show them an ad for the product they viewed or even offer them a coupon, which will help push them toward conversion.
4. Facebook Ads – Advanced Device Targeting
The device targeting options on Facebook also earn a gold star in our book. For starters, you can choose which types of devices you want your ads to be displayed on. This can be a very valuable tool depending on the type of product you’re selling or the type of audience you’re targeting. For example, if your target audience is mainly older adults who don’t own smartphones, you could choose only to display your ad on desktop devices. On the other hand, if you’re advertising phone cases, you could have your ad only show up on mobile devices.
Seems a bit basic to be on our favorite features list, right? Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Facebook also allows you to target users by their device’s operating system. So, let’s say that the phone case we were advertising in our last example is only for the iPhone 5. Ad manager not only allows you to specify that your ad just be displayed to mobile users on iOS devices but the specific model of the device as well. In fact, if you wanted to, you could even narrow it down to OS versions. Now that’s cool.
5. Facebook Ads – Saved Audiences
One of the best parts of advertising on Facebook is its unique and super-specific audience targeting. Whereas other social platforms are very limited, Facebook targeting includes thousands of choices for demographics, interests, and behaviors. Because of this, you can narrow your audience only to those who are most likely to buy. In fact, one guy was even able to limit his audience to just his own roommate.
So just how specific can you get? Seal Skin Covers, a car cover manufacturer, sells custom-fit car covers for a variety of models. If they wanted to advertise a custom-fit cover for Porsches, what would be the best way to find Porsche owners who would be interested in a car cover? While this may seem like a tougher product to sell, Facebook actually makes it pretty easy. Using the behaviors categories, we can target only people who own a Porsche. And because people who have recently purchased a car are probably more likely to buy a cover to protect their new wheels, we can even narrow it down to Porsche owners who bought their car within the last six months.
6. Facebook Ads – Custom and Lookalike Audiences
In addition to saved audiences, Facebook also offers custom and lookalike audiences.
When it comes to retargeting, custom audiences are your secret weapon. Not only can you use them to target people who have visited certain URLs on your site, but you can target by people’s activity with your app or their engagement with your Facebook content. If you want to run a lead nurturing campaign or encourage existing customers to buy again, you could create a custom audience by importing a list of current contacts. This also comes in handy when it comes to lookalike audiences…
What are lookalike audiences? Based on one of your existing audiences, these automated audiences are created by Facebook and target similar users who are likely to become customers. This is a great tool for those who are trying to get new customers—especially if you don’t have enough data to make your own saved audience.
Good stuff, right? Using these unique features will help you maximize the success of your Facebook ad campaigns, and in turn, the success of your business. As a Facebook marketing agency, we’re always excited to discuss the latest and greatest features from the social advertising platform. If you want more information about setting up your own ad campaigns or you want some help avoiding some common Facebook advertising mistakes, contact us today and set up a free consultation. We can’t wait to show you the full power of Facebook advertising.