Blasting Off: The Best Ways to Advertise on Facebook.

Without strategies for amplification your content can go unseen. Here’s how to add fuel to your Facebook ads.
Caitlin Brennan
April 19, 2017 - 7 min. read

Imagine a group of kids running scattershot around a playground. Now imagine it’s the end of recess and a teacher has just stepped into the fray to herald the end of recess. A few obedient youngsters put down their balls and file into the school. However the majority of kids don’t notice or ignore their teacher. The teacher now has to try several tactics to get her message across. She raises her voice, packs up the balls and even resorts to threats of detention. It’s not easy to get your message across to a group of distracted people.

As this schoolyard scene illustrates, you need to employ more than one tactic to amplify your message. The same is true for social media. A successful content amplification strategy requires several methods of content distribution. A well executed content distribution strategy will grow your audience, drive more leads and raise your brand’s visibility.

In this article we’re focusing on the best ways to advertise on the world’s most popular social network, Facebook.

What’s the difference between a distribution and amplification?
A social distribution strategy is the ‘point and click’ version of sharing content. When you post content to a social page, you are distributing that piece of content. Whereas an amplification strategy hinges on having your content shared either through paid advertising or shares from fans, customers, employees or relevant accounts.

A large Facebook following isn’t enough to get your message to the masses. That’s why an amplification strategy should include a paid and word-of-mouth component. A paid social amplification strategy is necessary to boost the reach and visibility of your content. When using paid advertising you also have the ability to precisely target your audience.

We’re going to discuss two methods of paid amplification: boosted posts and ad posts.

Boosting Facebook posts
Boosting is the easier and more barebones option for paid promotion. With the ease of clicking on ‘Boost Post’, you can get an organic post in front of more eyeballs.

Boosting doesn’t require Facebook Power Editor or Ads Manager. However, without these programs you’ll be missing out on the advanced targeting and optimization capabilities from Facebook or third-party tools like Falcon.

Just because it’s easy to boost a post, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to thoughtfully consider which posts to boost. You only want to boost your highest performing organic content. Evaluating your organic content is a great way to hone your messaging.

When you decide to boost a post, the page boost options are pre-packaged ads bundles -where most settings are already made for you. It’s like the frozen lasagna in the supermarket; if you don’t know how to cook, it’s probably good enough for you, but you honestly don’t know whether you’re eating cow or mystery meat.

Also be aware that when boosting posts, Facebook always creates a new Campaign and new Ad Sets. No matter the quality of the creative, it will use the budget assigned to the Ad Set.

If it’s not obvious, we suggest using more advanced ad tools over Boost whenever possible, so that you can target your content to relevant audiences and make sure your advertising dollars are optimized for your objectives.

Facebook Ads Manager, Power Editor or Third Party Tools
Now we’ll walk you through the tools you can use to empower your ads.

Facebook’s Ads Manager
Facebook’s Ads Manager has a simpler interface compared to Power Editor. It also makes campaign creation and management easier and faster. The Ads Manager has gone through many major updates over the last years.

It is now comparable with Power Editor in terms of available options and bulk editing possibilities. This means most advertisers can stick to the Ads Manager for all their campaigns. Still, Power Editor has the most advanced capabilities and is the preferred tool by digital marketing managers who are managing and editing campaigns in bulk.

Power Editor
The more advanced features of Power Editor are ideal for managing large campaigns or ads in bulk. You can easily make changes across multiple places at once, such as finding and replacing text in your ads, ad sets or campaigns.

If you are making a lot of changes to your ads and would like to proof them before you make those changes live, Power Editor is also a better place to work in because changes are only applied once you hit ‘Review Changes’ and ‘Apply’.

Third party tools can typically do all the same things as the Ads Manager or Power Editor, but the UI is typically more focused on specialized use cases such as workflow management and automations. So, if you want advanced features, but need something that’s more tailored to your specific organization, a third party tool might be the way to go.

How to promote in Falcon
With Falcon’s seamless integration with Facebook Business Manager and Ads Manager, promoting organic content is faster and easier with the additional collaboration features to make sure your creativity isn’t lost.

A quick rundown of Falcon’s advertising features:

  • Promote organic content faster, easier and professionally.
  • Harness the power of advanced governance and collaboration features.
  • Seamlessly integrate with Facebook Business Manager and Ads Manager.
  • Save time with quick and easy features to promote organic content.
  • Target high value audience segments with promoted social posts.
  • Improve workflows between social media managers and advertisers.

A view of Falcon’s Ad Set creation tool.

Ad formats
Now that we know how to promote ads, let’s delve into the different types of ads you can create.

The five formats for Facebook ads.

Carousel ads
Facebook Carousel ads offer up to five clickable cards for each ad that offer the opportunity to play with imagery, copy links and CTAs. With multiple side-by-sides ads, you have the chance to better tell your story. You can showcase multiple uses or features of a product. You can add a CTA to every frame which offers users more opportunities to interact with you ad. The best part of carousel ads is that you can select the option to automatically put the best-performing images first – it’s self-optimizing! And it works: Research by Kinetic Social found carousel ads achieve ten times more traffic than Facebook’s other formats.

Single image
If it’s not broke, don’t fix it . . . an image is worth a thousand words, regardless of the cliche, single image ads are simple, straightforward and get results. Image ads are a fast way to draw attention and require little production.

Single video
As mentioned earlier, Facebook is heading towards becoming a ‘video-first’ platform. Videos are here to stay on Facebook, however, the way users consume video is changing. According to research conducted by Facebook with Nielsen, 47% of a video’s value is delivered in the first three seconds and 74% of the value is delivered in the first ten seconds.

So, you have to make an impression fast to hold a viewer’s attention. Also interesting, according to Digiday, 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Facebook’s testing revealed that videos with captions increase video views by an average of 12%. Instead of focusing on finding the perfect soundtrack for your video, focus your efforts on telling your story through compelling visuals.

No need to drag out a dusty projector to play these modern slideshows. This ad option allows you to upload or use stock photos to tell your brand story. Your slideshow can contain three to ten images, sound and text. Slideshows are a great way to produce a video without equipment or editing experience. Also, slideshows require less data than videos to play which makes them a good choice if you’re targeting users in areas with slower wireless connections.

Facebook describes Canvas as, “A Full-Screen Ad Experience Built for Bringing Brands and Products to Life on Mobile.” 1.66 billion users accessed Facebook from a mobile device each month. Canvas ads are immersive and interactive, when you click on one it expands to the entire mobile screen. If you have the design resources, here’s your chance to truly make your brand standout on mobile.

Facebook recently introduced Collections, a new ad format for showcasing products. Similar to Canvas, Collection enables brands to tell their story visually. According to Facebook, the format “Showcase up to 50 products at a time on mobile with videos and photos for an engaging shopping experience.” By clicking on an image a user will go to the advertiser’s website where the product can be purchased.

Final thoughts
You work hard to create engaging content, so you need to ensure your message can be seen amid the clutter of a newsfeed. Empower your brand with the tools and strategies you need for a successful content amplification strategy. Your brand will surely see audience growth, new leads and greater brand visibility from your efforts.

The Essential Facebook Guide for Marketers.
Download the guide for more useful tips on Facebook branding and advertising.