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How to Create the Best Facebook Advertising Strategy


Facebook has changed dramatically since its inception in 2004. From introducing the “Like” button in 2009 to acquiring Instagram in 2012 and being renamed Meta Platforms Inc. in October of 2021. Today, Facebook boasts 2.93 billion monthly active users and is one of the go-to social media platforms for social advertising. Therefore, your multi-location business must have a well-planned and executed Facebook advertising strategy.


With these numerous changes and its colossal user base, Facebook has created one of the most in-depth advertising platforms on social media. In fact, the advertising revenue generated by Facebook worldwide in 2021 was $114.93 billion.


As Facebook advertising continues to grow and change, it’s worth making changes to your business’s advertising strategy as well. We’ll discuss in this blog how to keep your Facebook advertising strategy up-to-date, along with best practices.


Decide on Advertising Objectives


For any advertising strategy, you must first decide on your advertising objectives. These can vary from increasing brand awareness to introducing a new product or service to acquiring more customers.

Facebook makes it easy to choose your advertising objectives in its Meta Ads Manager. Facebook used to have 11 objectives placed under three categories: awareness, consideration, and conversions. However, Facebook introduced a new set of consolidated campaign objectives in late 2021, which all businesses will use today.


Below are the six new objectives and the available conversion location and event options according to Facebook. 


*Note, conversion location is the place where your desired business outcome will occur and an event is an action taken place by a user.

  • Awareness 
    • Show your ads to people who are most likely to remember them.
  • Traffic 
    • Send people to a destination, like your website, app, or Facebook event.
  • Engagement 
    • Get more messages, video views, post engagement, page likes, or event responses.
  • Leads 
    • Collect leads for your business or brand.
  • App promotion 
    • Find new people to install your app and continue using it.
  • Sales 
    • Find people likely to purchase your product or service.


Below, you’ll find a screenshot of what a new campaign looks like when selecting your campaign objective.


A screenshot from Meta Ads Manager showing the six main objectives for ad campaigns


After selecting a campaign objective, you need to set a daily or lifetime budget. A daily budget is how much you’ll spend each day for however long your campaign runs. According to Facebook, a lifetime budget is “how much you’re willing to spend over the entire run-time of your campaign or ad set.”


A screenshot from Meta Ads Manager showing how to create a budget


Now that you’ve set your campaign objectives and budget, it’s time to set your conversion location and/or event. Again, Facebook explains that “the conversion location is the place where your desired business outcomes will occur.” Below is a screenshot of what conversion location in Ads Manager looks like. For more information on Facebook’s conversion location and event options, visit Facebook’s help page.


A screenshot from Meta Ads Manager showing a conversion location example


It’s important to note that most objectives will require you to choose a conversion location and possibly a conversion event. 

It’s also worth mentioning that reporting has not changed; however, you might see an increase in uncalculated results in your Ads Manager, which “will appear as either a blank or a dash in the results column of the campaign tab.”


Try Multiple Audiences


The next step in setting up your Facebook advertising strategy is setting up your audiences


Why are audiences important to advertising? A target audience helps you craft your campaigns and messages directly to consumers who are more likely interested in your business offerings and solutions. 


Target audiences give your Facebook advertisements a much higher ROI. For instance, a multi-location steak house wouldn’t want to advertise their new special to vegetarians, and selecting a target audience can help you avoid that. 


Facebook’s Audience Types


Meta Ads Manager has three primary audiences for Facebook. We’ll discuss each in more detail below:


  • Core Audiences: Adjust your audience on criteria like age, interest, geography, and behaviors
  • Custom Audiences: Contact lists, site visitors, or app users who’ve shown interest in your business
  • Lookalike Audiences: You can reach new consumers whose interests are similar to those of your best customers


Core Audiences


When getting started with Facebook Ads, we recommend starting with a core audience. Setting a core audience will help you adjust and define your target audience. According to Facebook, you can adjust your core audience based on these parameters:


  • Location: Advertise in specific countries, cities, or communities
  • Demographics: Choose an audience based on age, gender, education, job title, and more
  • Interests: Facebook has nine main interest groups with dozens of interests within each group. In total, there are over six million interests you can choose from
  • Behavior: Based on consumer’s prior purchases and device usage
  • Connections: Include people who are connected to your Facebook Page, or exclude them, which broadens your audiences

Custom Audiences


Custom audiences help you connect with online users who’ve shown interest in your business already by visiting your website, being a loyal customer, or downloading your app.


You can create custom audiences primarily through the following programs:


  • Contact lists: Format customer lists from emails, phone, mobile advertiser ID, and Facebook App’s User ID. You can also use demographics like city, state, date of birth, zip code, or age.
  • Site visitors: This audience setup requires Meta Pixel and lets you set standard or event rules to target people who take specific actions on your website.
  • App users: For multi-location businesses with an app, you’ll have to install Facebook SDK (software development kit) to influence app users to take specific actions.


Screenshot of Facebook Audiences on Desktop


Lookalike Audiences


You can reach people who are likely to be interested in your multi-location business with lookalike audiences. With lookalike audiences, your ads will reach people who have similar interests to your current custom audiences.


To create a lookalike audience, you click on “create new audience” and in the drop down where it says “create new” simply select “Lookalike audience.” Below is an image of what it looks like to create a lookalike audience in Meta Ads Manager.


 A screenshot from Meta Ads Manager showing how to create a lookalike audience


Retarget Audiences


There’s an old saying or rule in marketing that a consumer needs to see an advertisement seven times before making a purchase. With social media marketing and advertising, it’s much easier and cost-effective to engage your target audience at least seven times. 


One way to strategically get your message in front of consumers over and over again is by retargeting audiences. To successfully retarget audiences in Ads Manager, you’ll need either Meta pixel, app events, or an Advantage+ catalog ad.

You can get to these products in Meta Ads Manager and can use a mix of custom and lookalike audiences to create your retarget audiences. For a more in-depth guide, read Facebook’s retargeting campaign help page.


A screenshot from Meta Ads Manager showing how to select a connection type


When retargeting audiences, you don’t want to show the same ad repeatedly. It’s best to switch up your content type, which often leads to more engagements, allows you to optimize Facebook ads further, and gives better results overall.


Choose Your Content Type


The average person sees around 10,000 ads per day. Note, not all of these are Facebook ads; many are search advertisements or radio and television ads. You need highly engaging content to stick out from the crowd of advertisers. Here are Facebook’s eight ad types and formats to choose from.


Facebook Ad Types


Photo ads help you increase brand awareness with unique photos that contain compelling imagery and persuasive copy.


Video ads can run from 5 seconds to 10 minutes long and can be played in-stream, on feeds, or in stories. However, Facebook recommends most video ads last a maximum of 15 seconds.


Story ads last up to 20 seconds in length. They can quickly immerse people into your community and share your brand.


Messenger ads are direct messages to consumers’ inboxes on Meta’s Messenger as seen below. They help show off products or answer questions and are great for Facebook users in the decision stage.


Screenshot of Jasper's Marketing Meta Messenger Ad overlaid on iPhone

Source: WordStream


Carousel ads allow you to showcase up to 10 images or videos in a single ad with links to each one, which the image below showcases. They’re best for showing multiple products or telling a brand story.


Facebook carousel Ads Example gif of a shoe product by Tieks

Source: Buffer


Slideshow ads create a looping video with up to 10 images. They’re like video ads with still images that mix motion, sound, and text.


Collection ads allow consumers to tap and learn more about a specific product. Similar to carousel ads, they’re best for showing off multiple products.


Three iphones showing a Facebook collections ad with Adidas

Source: TechCrunch


Playable ads are an interactive preview of a game that starts with a lead-in video, allows for a game demo, and ends with a call to action to install the app. Companies should only use them if they have an app. 


Facebook and Instagram Shop ads are part of your Facebook and Instagram shops. Within your Facebook or Instagram shops, you can create ads that contain product tags. These ads with product tags allow users to see a specific product and purchase it directly on Facebook as if they were on your company’s shopping page.


Two iphones showing a white jacket in Instagram shops ad with a blow up of a white woman sporting the white jacket

Source: TechCrunch


Tips for Choosing and Developing Engaging Ads


Now that you know the different Facebook ad types. Let’s discuss how to use them best. Part of your decision process when choosing an ad type will depend on the ad’s objective. Is your campaign goal to get more sales? Or to bring awareness to your multi-location business?


Bottom of funnel ads:


If you’re trying to increase sales or conversions, you’ll likely want to use shop, carousel, or collection ads which are best for showing off new products or on-sale items. 


Top of funnel ads:


If you want more top-of-funnel ads connected to your awareness or traffic campaigns, consider using a photo, video, or story ad that entices Facebook users and stops them mid-scroll.


Short-form video content:


It’s worth noting that short-form videos are particularly effective and engaging. Their popularity is one reason platforms like TikTok are on the rise and Meta Ads Manager offers stories, reels, and video advertisements. Short-form videos are best used for awareness campaigns to draw attention to your brand.


Localized content:


It’s also important to mention that localized content receives 12x the engagement rate of more general or “non-localized content.” Thus, multi-location businesses need an effective local social content strategy. If you need help creating this local content, read our Localized Social Content Guide.


Green, black, and white download button for SOCi’s Localized Social Content Guide Description: Green, black, and white download button for SOCi’s Localized Social Content Guide


Add Compelling CTAs


Every advertising campaign needs a compelling call-to-action (CTA) — regardless of the content type. A good rule of thumb is to be concise and overt with your CTA text. Keep your text short and to the point to ensure that viewers know exactly what they’ll receive when they click on the CTA. 


Here’s one of Momofuku’s Facebook ads. The photo is bright and exciting while the text evokes a sense of urgency and hype around a specific product.


A picture of pad thai noodles with white text over them from a Facebook advertisement


Utilize and Boost Organic Posts


Sometimes, your best Facebook posts are organic. They pick up steam with tons of engagements like comments, likes, and shares. Use these popular organic posts to your advantage. You can quickly produce an ad campaign from an existing post in your Ads Manager.


Another tactic is to create ads that are similar in style and copy to high-performing organic posts. This option also presents the opportunity to conduct A/B testing further and optimize your ads.


Lastly, you can boost organic posts. Boosted posts are still technically considered an ad and occur when you apply money to a post in your Facebook page’s timeline for a select audience. This audience will then see your boosted post throughout the time you’ve set. Note that you boost a post via your Facebook Page rather than through your Meta Ads Manager.


Be Aware of Apple’s iOS14 Update


Lastly, it’s important to discuss Apple’s iOS14 privacy update, which occurred in April 2021. In essence, the iOS14 update allowed Apple users to opt out of data sharing every time they download an app. This limited apps, like Facebook and others, the ability to access Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA).


Thankfully, Meta has already taken action. Meta’s Aggregated Event Measurement and Apple’s SKAdNetwork “allow for measurement of web and app events from people using iOS 14.5 or later devices.” However, Facebook recommends taking the following steps to best measure web and app events.


It’s also worth monitoring what social advertising looks like in the future without cookies. Our blog on social advertising without cookies discusses the most-recent significant updates and how you can prepare to advertise on Facebook and other social platforms in a cookie-less world.


How SOCi’s ADs PLUS Can Help

If you’re a multi-location business, one of the main limitations of Facebook is the ability to run social ads across all of your locations. SOCi Ads PLUS allows you to build 100s or 1,000s of customizable ads that you can distribute to multiple locations. 


With SOCi Ads PLUS, you can also track and measure your ad spend, reach, and engagements across regions and individual locations — giving you essential insight to optimize your Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns better. 


If you’re short on bandwidth, SOCi Assist is our team of professional content creatives and paid social media specialists who can help you perfect your localized social advertising strategy. For more insight into how SOCi Ads PLUS or SOCi Assist can help your multi-location business create a winning advertising strategy on Facebook, request a demo today!


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