We’ll cover the basics plus some creative inquiries like “Are Facebook ads listening to me?” and “What Facebook ads did Russia buy in 2016?”
I should be clear: we’re talking about Facebook ads on Facebook.
With Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and recent changes to their ad platform, Facebook now allows you to run ads on Instagram and Facebook simultaneously.
Bear in mind, Facebook and Instragram are two completely different channels with different audiences who have vastly different habits and motivations (look for an Instagram Ads FAQ in the future).
Facebook Ads FAQ
- Why use Facebook Ads?
- How Facebook Ads work
- Where do Facebook Ads appear?
- What do Facebook Ads look like?
- What size are Facebook Ads?
- Do Facebook Ads actually work?
- How to create Facebook Ads
- What size are Facebook Ads?
- Why are my Facebook Ads not approved? (File an appeal)
- Why are my Facebook Ads not delivering?
- How do I cancel Facebook Ads?
- How to make great Facebook Ads
- Where can I see competitor Facebook Ads?
- How do I target Facebook Ads?
- How can I target fans of a competitor Facebook page?
- How to buy Facebook Ads
- How much did Russia spend on Facebook in the 2016 election?
- What is a good cost-per-click (CPC) for Facebook Ads?
- How can I pay for Facebook Ads?
- When does Facebook charge for ads?
- How do I get a receipt for Facebook Ads?
- How do I get free ads from Facebook?
- Can Facebook ads hear me?
Why use Facebook Ads?
We like Facebook ads because out of all the channels we use — including LinkedIn, Quora, and Google Search — Facebook gives us some of the most granular audience targeting options (more on that in a moment).
If you can master the tools and creative, which we’ll help you with here, you’ll find Facebook ads can be a powerful tactic to grow your business.
How Facebook Ads work
In general, ads on Facebook consist of a Format (what the ad looks like) and the Placement (where on Facebook the ad shows up). You’ll pick the Audience you want to advertise to, a Budget for how much you want to spend, and an advertising Objective like increasing conversions on your website.
*For our thoughts and experience on how to best leverage Facebook’s intelligent algorithms, check out How Facebook Ads Really Work: Facebook Advertising Demystified
Where do Facebook Ads appear?
Ads on Facebook itself can appear in 6 different places:
Your ads appear in the News Feed for people accessing the Facebook from their computers or mobile devices.
Your ads appear in the right-side columns across Facebook for people on their computers.
Your ads appear in Instant Articles within the Facebook mobile app.
Your ads appear as short videos in both Live video and Video on Demand on Facebook.
Your ads appear in people’s stories on Facebook. Ads in stories only appear people browsing stories on Facebook.
Your ads appear in the Marketplace home page or when someone browses Marketplace in the Facebook app on their phone.
What do Facebook Ads look like?
See the 11 different ad types Facebook offers below.
Lead Generation Ads
“Lead ads on Facebook and Instagram help you collect info from people interested in your business. A lead ad is presented using an image, video, or carousel, and followed by a lead form when the user engages with the ad.”
See ad specs | Get creative tips
“Most Page posts on Facebook can be boosted to deliver more likes, comments, shares, and photo views.”
Note: These ads look like standard Facebook posts
See ad specs | Get creative tips
What size are Facebook Ads?
The image or video size for Facebook Ads depends on the ad format.
Video Ads: Any size
Image Ads: 1,200px by 628px
Collection Ads: 1,920px by 3,240px to 5,400px
Carousel Ads: 1,080px by 1,080px
Do Facebook Ads actually work?
Absolutely. Here are two great results we’ve seen from Facebook ads:
- We launched a Facebook video ad with an 11% CTR
- We used Facebook lead ads to decrease our cost per lead by 80%
You just have to be willing to test and learn.
As with any ad execution, showing the wrong ad to the wrong people with the wrong goal in mind are bound to lead you astray. Facebook ads are no different. To run good Facebook ad experiments, make sure you set up your tracking correctly.
How to create Facebook Ads
To get started with Facebook Ads, log in to your Facebook account and find “Create Ads” in the dropdown menu to the far right of the menu bar.
From there, Facebook does some pretty thorough hand-holding.
They take you through setting your campaign objective, creating your ad account (or choosing one you’ve already establish), putting together your ad set — which includes traffic, audiences, placements, budget, and schedule, then choosing and actually building your ad.
Why are my Facebook Ads not approved?
There are a number of possibilities why your Facebook Ads were rejected, including:
- Violation of Community Standards
- Prohibited Content (Illegal Products or Services, Drugs & Drug-Related Products, etc.)
- Restricted Content (Alcohol, Dating, Financial Services, etc.)
- Sexually Suggestive Content
- Ads targeted to “discriminate against, harass, provoke, or disparage users or to engage in predatory advertising practices”
- Ads that are irrelevant to to the product or service being offered and the audience viewing the ad
- Excessive text in ad images
- Requesting the wrong kind of info in Lead Ads
- Misusing Facebook brand assets
- Abusing data collected through Facebook or your ads
Facebook will typically send you an email explaining why they disapproved your ad. You can either modify your ad (or create a new one) for approval, or file an appeal if you think your ad meets Facebook’s standards.
Why are my Facebook Ads not delivering?
Throughout your Facebook ad campaign, your ads can stop (or fail to start) delivering for many different reasons, including:
- Ads Weren’t Approved
- Ads Are Stuck in “Pending Approval”
- Ads Edited Too Many Times
- Results Are Delayed
- Spending Limit Reached
- Billing Failed
- Throttled Ads
- Bid Is Too Low
- Ad Set Budget Is Too Low
- Audience Too Small
- Low Relevance Score (this is very important)
- Too Many Ads
- Overlapping Audiences
- Slow Delivery
Each one has a fix. See how over at Online Advertising School.
How do I cancel Facebook Ads?
To delete an ad, follow these instructions.
To deactivate your Facebook ads account, go here instead.
How to make great Facebook Ads
There’s no magic bullet. Learning how to use Facebook Ads effectively takes time and testing.
Here’s 22 Creative Facebook Ad Design Tactics to get you started.
Where can I see competitor Facebook Ads?
I like the way you think!
What better way to get ideas of what to do (or not to do) than scope out the competition?
In 2018, Facebook released a new “Info and Ads” section on Pages, which allows users to see the active ads currently running on Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger by that brand or business, and provides additional information about that brand or business, including the date their Facebook Page was created and any previous name changes.
It’s a game changer.
Read about all the cool stuff you can do with the Info and Ads section.
How do I target Facebook Ads?
On Facebook, you target ads by creating audiences.
Facebook allows you to target based on location (ex: country, state, province, city, congressional district, zip or post code), Age, Gender, Language, and even Interests and/or Behaviors.
For instance, you could target college grads who are frequent travelers and interested in cooking.
One of the best Facebook ad targeting tactics is Lookalike Audiences.
Here’s a riff from our post How Facebook Ads Really Work: Facebook Advertising Demystified.
Also, with Facebook’s custom audiences tool, you can easily target super fans.
You have five options to help you create a custom audience:
This method allows you to create a custom audience by uploading your customers’ phone numbers or email addresses via a CSV or TXT file.
This method allows you to use the Facebook Pixel installed on your website to target people who visited your website or specific pages within the last 180 days.
This method allows you to create a custom audience based on user’s app activity within the last 180 days.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, this option allows you to target people who interacted with your business in-person, over the phone, or through other offline channels.
This method allows you to create a list of people who engaged with your posts on Facebook or Instagram. This includes activities like visiting your Facebook page, liking a post, or viewed a video.
Another super awesome tactic? Retargeting ads. Deploy them to engage inactive users, upsell current customers, and converting website visitors into paying customers using Facebook.
How can I target fans of a competitor Facebook page?
Simple. Using Facebook’s Guided Creation option, find “Detailed Targeting” in the Audience step and enter your competitor’s name. While you’re not targeting strictly fans of the page, this wider net doesn’t necessarily hurt your efforts, especially with Facebook’s knack for finding people who are likely to convert.
How to buy Facebook Ads
You purchase ads on Facebook auction-style. That means you’ll bid on your target audience along with other marketers. To see strategies around bidding and buying Facebook ads, check out our post demystifying Facebook ads.
How much did Russia spend on Facebook in the 2016 election?
Answer: $1.25 million per month
And while there’s plenty about their efforts that you shouldn’t emulate, there’re also a great deal of things marketers can learn from the most effective Russian Facebook ads from the 2016 Election.
What is a good cost-per-click (CPC) for Facebook Ads?
We audited all our PPC ad campaigns and in the spirit of transparency — a cornerstone value for us Ladder — you can see the full details of our Facebook escapades.How much we spent, what our CPCs and CPAs (cost per acquisition) were, and what our clickthrough rates were.
Our CEO provides his own commentary to give you context for what you should expect.
How can I pay for Facebook Ads?
Tons of ways. Go to Settings > Payment Settings > Add Payment Method to see what payment options are available to you. My account is in USD, so here’s what I’m seeing.
Can I pay for Facebook Ads with debit card?
Can I pay for Facebook Ads with PayPal?
Sure — as long as the currency you want to pay in is accepted by PayPal. Otherwise, you have more of a challenge ahead of you.
When does Facebook charge for ads?
Depends on whether you’ve set up automatic payments or manual payments.
How do I get a receipt for Facebook Ads?
You can find your receipts in the Billing section of Ads Manager.
How do I get free ads from Facebook?
Coupons for Facebook ads exist (I’ll let you Google around for them), but if you’re looking for ways to gain organic traction on Facebook, I recommend you check out these Facebook Growth Hacks. They’re super simple, and you should be doing them way before throwing down any cash on Facebook ads.
Can Facebook ads hear me?
No. But it sure seems like it, right? Those eerily relevant ads that are showing up — they’re just an example of how eerily great at behavioral and predictive targeting Facebook has gotten.
All the more reason to advertise there, right?
Even if Facebook isn’t recording your conversations through a hidden microphone hijack in their app (or a second, well-disguised mic secretly embedded in your smartphone).
Not convinced you can be truly alone with your phone around?
See what happens when a vegetarian starts chatting about her desire for Domino’s Meat Feast.
What’s the business case for advertising on Facebook?
Here’s a few articles where we document the great impact Facebook’s has had in our experimentation:
- 2 Ways To Find Your Super Fans Using Facebook Custom Audiences
- Facebook’s Info and Ads Section is a Game Changer For Marketers
- 22 Creative Facebook Ad Design Tactics to A/B Test
- Facebook Growth Hacks: Actionable Tactics for B2B Lead Generation
- Here’s How We Drove Newsletter Growth Using Facebook Lead Ads
- [Case Study] How Facebook Lead Ads Decreased Our Cost Per Lead by 80%
- How Facebook Ads Really Work: Facebook Advertising Demystified
- 5 Cheap and Effective Ways to Run Facebook Ads A/B Tests