Facebook Ads 2019 – Questions, Answers, and Myths Busted
Facebook Ads Q&A - Everything You've Ever Wondered and More
"Why" Fb Ads For Small Business and Entrepreneurs
Q: Why do Facebook ads work?
A: Facebook ads work because they reach people where they are. Good ads reach your ideal customers in a place they’re already spending their time. From there, they build trust, excitement, and a connection that people need before they buy.
Successful Facebook ads “meet people where they’re at” - emotionally.
Facebook ads are “interruption advertising”. So, they have to be a good interruption. Great ads are made to be better than the other content in the feed.
Q: Why do people say Facebook ads aren’t worth it?
A: Most people who fail with Facebook ads haven’t spent the time/and or money required to do them well (Or, they have other issues related to product-market fit, on-site conversion, or weak offers.).
Entrepreneurs who succeed with ads either:
a) Recognize the skill required, and pay someone appropriately to do it for them.
b) Become an expert by learning and mastering ad skills themselves.
You get what you pay for, so you can't just go cheap, either. I've seen some terrible results when people hire the wrong person, and it costs them more money anyway.
Your choices are simple:
Get really good at ads, or pay a professional handsomely to do it for you. Choose any other route, and you too will think Facebook ads are not worth it.
Q: Why are Facebook ads important?
A: If you’re wondering why Facebook ad are important, you can look at a few statistics and see why.
- Facebook boasts 2.32 billion monthly active users, as of Q4 2018
- Over two-thirds of adults in the US use Facebook. 51% of adults in the US use Facebook every single day.
- Daily Facebook users average approximately 41 minutes on Facebook, each day.
- Facebook is deeply tied into our culture, making it hard for businesses to ignore. When you consider what advertising channels to use, you at least have to consider it
Q: Why are Facebook ads better than Google?
A: If you’re wondering why Fb is better than google ads, I’m guessing someone told you that while trying to sell you some type of Facebook ads service.
For example, you can run a Google search ad for a highly informational article, that only someone looking for your product would read. You can build an audience of the people that read that article, and then use Facebook to show them another piece of content that leads to buying your product. If they don’t buy then, you can reach them again cheaply through retargeting using both networks.
Nobody can truthfully say Facebook ads are better than Google ads. It’s also impossible to say Google ads are better than Facebook ads.
The two platforms work completely differently, and they work best when used together to achieve your desired result.
Q: Why are Facebook ads effective?
A: Facebook ads are effective because you can reach so many of your ideal customers at a lower cost than almost anywhere else. For some niches, there may be better options, but for many, Facebook ads offer the best cost/benefit ratio for outbound advertising.
Q: Why run Facebook ads?
A: You are probably in business to make money, by helping people in some way. That’s why most small business owners run Facebook ads to connect with customers and grow sales.
You run Facebook ads to introduce people to a product they’ll love and help them make the decision on whether to buy it. You may also run ads to build trust, inform customers and prospects, and show them the human side of the business. All of these things help to grow sales and build long-term growth.
With more sales, you can turn around and help even more people.
Scaling your sales using ads allows you to to reap the rewards of your business.
At the same time, it allows you to reinvest and grow the business.
Help more people, while improving your own quality of life. Everyone wins.
Q: Why run Facebook ads in videos?
A: If you’re talking about in-stream ads, that isn't always a good idea. Your reason for doing so has to be very specific.
In-stream video ads are some of the most interruptive ads you can have. You have to be extremely dialed in to your audience. This means:
- Targeting has to be even better
- Creative has to be good enough to take them away from their binge of hilarious and awe-inspiring videos.
- Wherever you take them from the ad, has to be better than those addictive videos.
Q: Why do people do Facebook ads versus boosting?
A: Because Ads Manager is a better tool than "boost post" in so many ways.
Boosting is an easy shortcut, and Facebook encourages it. Encouraging boosting of posts is Facebook’s way to make easy money. Easy money for facebook = no money for you.
It’s just their way of getting people started with spending on Facebook ads. It’s not a viable tool for the advertiser, though.
Every time someone boosts a post, an angel loses its wings.
Don't be responsible for that kind of horror.
Q: Why are Facebook ads not effective?
A: Facebook ads are effective, when done well. Many people get discouraged because they’ve been led to believe that Facebook ads are easy money. They’re not easy, but they still work nicely.
Generally, when Facebook ads are not effective, they lack a good strategy, creativity, a strong product/offer, or a combination of the three. More on diagnosing ads here.
Q: Why have Facebook ads stopped working?
A: This is a myth. Facebook ads still work. Most people who say they don't work fall into two camps: a) They had a failed experiment that has nothing to do with you, or b) They are trying to sell people on another solution.
Another solution may work better for your business, depending on your market, product, and resources. But, that's specific to your own product and market.
If your Facebook ads were working, and aren't anymore, you should try to diagnose that issue. What changed? What variables did you change, before they stopped working, if any? What variables can you test to try to adapt to changes in the algorithm?
Facebook has made changes that have affected some advertisers. Review your ad copy and creative first. Is it aligned with your audience? Does it engage quickly and hold attention? Are you getting positive/negative feedback?
Understanding the Facebook Ads Platform
Q: How well do Facebook ads work in 2019?
A: They still work well, actually. Facebook ads still worked very well in 2018 and continue to work in 2019.
As most will admit, it’s not "the good ol' days" anymore. Not everything works as easily as it did.
You have to put thought into your strategy and execution, more than you used to.
Q: How can Facebook ads help my business?
A: Facebook ads can help your business in many ways, whether your business is brand new or well established. Facebook ads can help you launch new products, find new customers, and sell more products to existing customers. With this platform, you can reach more of your ideal customers than is possible with most other forms of advertising.
Q: How do I know where to create Facebook ads?
A: If you’re serious about advertising on Facebook (which you should be, if you’re going to do it at all), always make Facebook ads in Ads Manager.
As of this writing, this is the only place you have all the options you need to create an effective ad. “Boost post” doesn’t give you enough tools. “Quick Creation” doesn’t either. Go to Ads Manager and make a full campaign, ad sets, and ads.
Q: How does Facebook Ads Manager work?
A: Facebook Ads Manager changes regularly, so I can’t be too specific here. As of this writing, here's the basic steps to make an ad in Ads Manager.
You start by naming your campaign and choosing an objective, and hitting continue. For this example, let's say you choose Conversions as your objective.
Then you are in the Ad Set screen, where you name your ad set. Then choose your sub-objective - let's say 'Add to Cart'. Select and/or create your audience, then set placement, budget (lifetime or daily), and schedule. Then choose your intra-day schedules (only if you chose a lifetime budget). Next, choose what you want to bid for and at what bid cost (no need to change anything here as a beginner).
Continuing from there, you then name your ad. Then it's time to create the part that actually shows up for users. This is where you put in ad text, images, videos, slideshows, carousels, etc. Enter your headline, along with your link and link description. You can also build a URL parameter there, which will help you track Facebook ad results in Google Analytics.
Then, you choose which pixel to use in tracking your ad, as well as offline conversion sets. Once you’ve made those choices, you can hit "Publish" to finish and submit your ad for review. Or, hit review to see the details of your campaign, ad set, and ad on one screen. You can also edit the names of each one there.
Hitting confirm there will send your ad to review with Facebook, and you’re finished with that ad.
Q: Tell me how the Facebook ad algorithm works.
A: For Facebook, the algorithm is a lot like Fight Club. The first rule of the algorithm is, you don’t talk about the algorithm. BUT you can still understand how to make it work for you, despite Facebook’s secrecy about how it works.
If you want to make money, the most important thing to understand about how the Facebook ads algorithm works is this: It values User Experience above all else. The algorithm will do whatever it can to keep people on Facebook, engaged, and happy.
If you create ads that reduce people’s time on Facebook, they have to be that much better at converting - because Facebook makes these more expensive for you.
If you create ads that people don’t engage with, the algorithm makes them more expensive, or knocks them down altogether. Engagement doesn’t just mean likes and comments, but reading and watching all the way through the end of your ad in the feed. The longer people spend doing that, the better off you are.
If you create ads that make a lot of people angry (red angry face reaction) the algorithm might make them more expensive, or knock them down completely, not to be seen at all.
Avoid making ads that annoy people to the point of hiding your ad. Sometimes in advertising you have to take a stance and make a point that some people may not like. On Facebook, making this too strong can hurt you, when people get bothered enough to hide your ad.
They do that by clicking the menu icon at the top right of your ad, and selecting to hide it. They can even choose to hide everything from you after hiding that ad. They can report it for being inappropriate or irrelevant, as well - Again, bad for you.
The algorithm takes into account tens of thousands of factors that nobody outside of Facebook can truly know. So instead of guessing at these, focus on the things above to make the algorithm work for you and not against you.
Q: How to start with Facebook ads for beginners
A: The first thing I recommend for beginners in Facebook ads is to learn from someone who has done it for a long time and seen things evolve. And then practice, using your own money. More on the best way to learn Facebook ads
Learn the basics of Facebook Ads Manager and the fb algorithm
One strategy you should try to learn early on, is the Facebook ad funnel, which I describe here below
As a beginner, focus on one market, one product at a time, and one strategy.
Don’t “spray and pray” by trying five strategies to sell ten different products - That’s a good way to go broke quickly.
Q: How do I run Facebook ads without a business page?
A: You can’t. See details here
Q: How do I learn Facebook ads?
A: As I mentioned above, Facebook Blueprint is good for learning how to use Facebook Ads Manager. As far as strategies go, you have to take Facebook’s advice with a grain of salt. Facebook has a conflict of interest with you.
That means, that what’s best for Facebook is not necessarily best for you and your ads, your sales, etc. Facebook has their interests, and you have yours, and those aren’t always aligned.
I personally learned through trial and error, because when I started, there was no other way to learn.
After a few years learning by doing, I did buy an “Advanced Facebook Ads Course” as part of a larger course. That supposedly advanced course was very basic and only showed things that didn’t actually work (or stopped working several years before).
You can find Facebook Blueprint courses here.
Q: How do I make Facebook ads that convert?
A: Learn the basic fundamentals of advertising. Learn how to research your audience. Learn about your ideal customers. Listen to them talk in person, and read what they write online. Read the books they read. Read the reviews they leave on those books. Read the reviews they leave on products like yours, and competitors products. The good ones and the bad ones.
Learn why they buy, and incorporate that along with everything else you know about them. That way you can help them see clearly how your product will help them.
Hint - their reasons for buying are not always on the surface. Sometimes you have to dig deeper.
Use your understanding of your customer to create stories, informational ads, and images that speak to them.
Don’t forget that people buy on emotion and justify it logically. You have to go for the feels, more than the logical details.
Facebook Ads and eCommerce
Q: How do I run Facebook ads for eCommerce?
A: To run Facebook ads for eCommerce, you first have to set up your product site or landing pages. You can use a full platform like Shopify or BigCommerce to do this. If you have a WordPress site, you can use WooCommerce to add a store.
You can also use simple product funnels to sell physical products, but your choices there are vast.
Once you choose a solution and get it set up, make your product pages into high-converting pages, so that you don't waste ad dollars. You need well-designed pages that include everything your customers need to see before buying.
If you're on a budget, try running some organic traffic to them first. If your pages don't convert organic traffic, fix that before running ads.
Then, decide what product to advertise first. Generally, choose one with clear benefits that is easy to demonstrate visually. Narrow it down to a few products and see which ones inspire you most to create an ad. Brainstorm on ideas, and pick the one that comes easiest.
You might also consider offering a product in your ad that is an introductory product, and then up-sell to people who buy that product.
Once you've chosen your product, use a series of ads to introduce prospective customers to your product and guide them towards buying. You can build a Facebook Ads funnel for this, among other strategies.
Q: What about Facebook ads for Shopify?
A: Facebook ads work well for Shopify, provided you do the things I’ve already mentioned. Make sure your product-market fit is good, and design your pages well as I mentioned above.
I don’t recommend using the Facebook ads tool inside Shopify. Use Ads Manager. It will take a little more time, but you’ll save money and get better results on average.
Installing the Facebook pixel in Shopify is extremely easy. All you have to do is enter your Pixel ID in the designated space inside your Shopify store preferences, as explained here. That and the other “plug-and-play” aspects of Shopify make it a great platform for e-commerce.
Shopify and Facebook ads is probably the quickest plug-and-play way to get a physical product business online and selling.
Facebook Ad Text, Images, and Videos (Advertising Creative)
Q: What is a good Facebook ad video length?
A: Short! Of course, there are exceptions to this, but short is the best practice for most people. Less than 20 seconds is best.
The exceptions begin when you get really good at creating video ads. If you can hook people and keep them engaged in your video for 30, 40, 50 seconds, go for it. But most people simply won’t watch that long on Facebook.
If they watch the beginning and then click through, that’s fine (assuming you’ve also covered that information or included your full video on the destination page). If they watch the beginning and drop off, you have a problem.
For example, if the video ad has a call-to-action button, and you want people to take an action, monitor your success rate for that action. If you reach 100 people, and 30 of them watch 10 seconds, you want at least 5 of those people to be clicking through. If those 30 people watch 10 seconds and aren’t clicking through, but dropping off, you need to make a more compelling video.
Your video should only be as long as your ability to keep someone enthralled with it.
It should then end in a way that leads them to take the desired action (click through, etc).
Q: Do my Facebook ads have too much text?
A: “Too much text in a Facebook ad” is subjective. If you have a long copy ad that isn't working, the culprit could be something missing or "off" with your copy - not necessarily the length.
A long, badly written ad won’t likely perform well. Expert copy that happens to be long can work very well.
With less text, bad copy can still hurt you, but it’s harder to screw it up. Short copy doesn't have to hold people's attention as long.
Just like Facebook video ads, text should only be as long as your ability to hold your audience's attention.
If you’re a copywriting whiz, don’t hesitate to go long.
If you’re not great at writing copy, keep it as short and concise as possible.
Q: Facebook ad Copy - How do I write it?
A: This is a big important topic, but let's keep it simple here. Here are three of the basic formats and how to write Facebook ad Copy using each.
Short form copy - This usually brags on one strong, specific benefit I want that specific audience to see. It’s one to two sentences. The goal is to get them to click to my page or to an instant experience (formerly Facebook Canvas) that will continue talking about that one benefit.I also use short Facebook ad copy for quick retargeting ads to people who abandoned cart, etc. When possible, I include some type of urgency (i.e. "Only five left until next season!").
Medium-form ad copy: This typically looks a lot like the short form copy, except the first sentence will be designed to get the user to keep reading on. I’ll generally have a set of bullet points below that, and a conclusion statement with a call to action for the next step.
Long-form ad copy: Long Fb ad copy is very challenging, but it can work well. With a long ad post, you’re trying to close 90% of the sale right there in the feed. You address everything you would on a sales page. You hit all the buying reasons, all the benefits, and cover all the objections. This is an advanced strategy for people with great copywriting skills (which you should work on anyway, if you’re going to do your own ads!)
The only thing left for the user to do will be to click through and buy. But don’t get discouraged, these still don’t convert that much higher than shorter form posts. You generally still need to do some retargeting. In general, though, advertisers are recognizing that longer copy works.
One of the benefits of long Facebook copy is that if the ad is well written, people will spend much more time reading and engaging. That alone really lowers your ad cost, and it makes your ad more memorable as well.
Q: How do I make Facebook ads with videos?
A: If you want profitable ads, you should run at least a few Facebook ads with videos. But there’s a catch - You have to make a compelling video.
Don’t stress, though. It doesn’t have to be movie quality. You don’t have to try to win Videographer of the Year when making videos for your Fb ads. Some of the most profitable video ads I’ve seen are made by amateurs. They are professional in that they hit the mark with their audience.
A compelling video hooks your audience immediately and keeps their attention to deliver the big idea quickly. A great video ad doesn’t have to be long - less than 20 seconds is great. If your product has a lot of benefits to demonstrate, and you can do that well, you can test longer videos. If you have a knockout message that is longer, give it a shot. Just watch your metrics on video view time, clicks, conversions, etc.
I usually run tests that put the first 15-20 seconds of the video in a clip for the ad. Then I show a longer version on the next step. That could be on my sales page or instant experience, or both. Test, test, and test some more!
When you start to plan your video, use a storyboard to draw it out.
That will help you translate your message well into visual form, and it will be a big help when you go to film your video.
Q: Can I run Facebook ads without sound?
A: Yes, you can. If you make a video that has sound, and you don’t want that sound to play, you have to remove the sound before uploading it.
Facebook makes it easy to add captions to your video. You can have them created by their bot, and then you edit them to perfect them.
Q: Facebook ads with emojis - Do they work?
A: Like most things Facebook ads, consider your audience first. Does your audience use a lot of emojis on Facebook? If so, emojis may help your ad copy.
You can check the groups they hang out in to see how often people comment on posts with emojis and stickers, etc. The more emojis you see, the more likely your audience is to respond to them.
However! Even if your audience doesn’t use a lot of emojis, you can still test emojis in your copy. In this case, be more selective with your emojis. Use them sparingly, when it helps you prove a point or highlight important pieces of information.
Emojis work well as bullets, too. Bullets make text easier to process, but regular bullets don’t catch the eye on Facebook. Emojis as bullets do catch the eye. If the emojis are related to your offering, they’re even better. Some emoji best practices:
Don't use a million emojis. Less = more.
Always know your reason(s) for using an emoji.
Don't assume your audience is too sophisticated for emojis.
Q: What Facebook ads tools should I use?
A: When you’re starting out, you don’t reeeally need any specific tools outside of Facebook.
Facebook Ads Manager, Page Manager, and Audience Insights are all you need. And of course, your own Facebook feed and the search function.
Outside of that, it helps to have a basic image/graphics editing tool (Try Stencil and Affinity Photo). Or, contract someone else to make graphics for your ads.
For your ad copy, use tools like Hemingwayapp to keep your writing clear and simple. That will also help you avoid overuse of passive voice, which isn't best for your advertising.
A basic video editor will help a lot. There are countless options, even mobile apps that work well. On a Mac, you can use iMovie for free. On PC, I recommend Cyberlink Power Director. Of course, there are fancier more expensive options, but you don’t need to spend that much to succeed. You can contract to have someone else do your editing, as well, but that can get a little expensive.
When you become more advanced in your use of Fb ads, you may want to invest in additional tools like AdEspresso, but it isn't necessary.
Q: What are Facebook ads banned words?
A: This is an ever-growing list, and Facebook doesn’t publish or share it.
There are words that will decrease your organic Facebook reach and make your ads more expensive. These are words Facebook considers promotional or spammy. Here are some examples:
Then, there are words that Facebook ads review outright rejects. These fall into these categories:
- Trademarked names or phrases
- Personal Attributes: Any phrase using the word “your” is usually going to get your ad rejected - which is unfortunate since it’s one of the most useful words in ad copy. Ex: Your eyes, your hair, your headache
- Political references
- Controversy: This can encompass many things. I had an ad with an elephant get rejected because it mentioned that they are endangered. Facebook doesn’t want anyone getting upset or triggered by your ad.
Facebook Ad Targeting
Q: How do Facebook ads target?
A: Facebook ads can target by many factors such as interests, demographics (age, gender, profession), behaviors (like shopping), employers (whom people work for) and more.
Facebook ads can also target people who’ve engaged with your business in some way. Facebook combines pixel data, app data, and facebook engagement to do this.
That targeting data can include people who've visited your business, been to your web site, watched your videos, reacted or commented on your posts, bought from you before, etc.
Fb can target people who added something to their shopping cart but didn’t checkout, or someone who didn't finish checkout. These are important features for retargeting.
Q: How should I use Facebook targeting?
A: Use Facebook targeting to reach the people who are most likely to be crazy about your product AND your ad content. Choose one customer persona, and make the ad for them, then target that persona.
Facebook ads are great for targeting based on interests, behaviors, life events, and demographics. There are endless possible combinations of these factors, and Facebook is always changing them.
The way the information is gathered is always changing, as well.
You should generally try targeting one specific interest, and maybe cross that with a behavior like “engaged shopper”. Use one interest (or two, max) per ad set, and use multiple ad sets to test your various audiences.
When targeting demographics, start broad. Facebook optimizes well for age and gender without you telling it to - and sometimes you’ll be surprised how popular you are with the 50-65 year old ladies :). You can always tighten these up later once your ad has given you lots of data about whoever is converting.
Q: Who to target on Facebook ads - how do I know?
A: The best place to start, is your own customers. Build personas based on your best customers. Be picky here. If you don't have customers yet, build a persona based on who buys similar products from competitors.
To build out those personas, do in-depth research on who they are, what they love, where they spend their time, etc. If you like to learn about people, which most advertising nerds do, it’s actually interesting. If not, it can be a little tedious. Either way, it’s the best way to find who to target on Facebook ads.
Inside Facebook, you can research using Audience Insights, Facebook groups, and interest pages. Interest pages alone will give you tons of ideas you can then search inside audience insights (or adset audience selection) to find sets of people to target. For those, just search your market in the Facebook search bar at the top.
Outside of Facebook, the sources are endless. Industry magazines, blogs, events, and shows. Google, YouTube, Instagram, Forums, etc.
Q: Should I use Facebook ads zip code targeting
A: If you are a local business, or targeting for a service or event for a specific area, yes.
If your product is of particular interest to people in a certain zip code, then yes. Example: If I’m selling Austin-themed shirts about life in the ‘04, I would want to show that to people who live in that 78704 zip code.
Other offerings that may have a heavy demographic who lives in a certain zip code can also benefit from this targeting. But, those are somewhat rare.
Q: Can I run Facebook ads without targeting?
A: No. You have to set an audience of some kind.
You can go super-broad on your audience if you want, but I don’t usually recommend it. You should at least choose one factor to select an audience that would want what you sell. You don’t want to show ads for baby strollers to people who don’t have kids and don’t want them.
Audience targeting makes Facebook advertising the great tool that it is. Use that to your full advantage.
When you run high-quality ads to well-targeted audiences, you'll be blown away by the power of it.
Q: Can Facebook ads target individuals?
A: No, technically Facebook ads cannot target individual people. In fact, if your audience is too small, Facebook won’t even show the ad. They also won't show you the audience size, it sill just say "Audience too small". They added this feature to avoid *most* possible situations where an individual could be identified in targeting.
They also used to allow targeting by general names (i.e., if I wanted to target everyone named Steve), which they removed from the platform a couple of years ago.
There are some tricks to get around this limitation in some cases, but I would guess they're against TOS and can get your ad account shut down, so be careful out there.
Do you really want to try targeting an individual? It may even be less expensive to just target a small group of people with that person in it.
Besides, what are you going to do? Call that person out by name right in their Facebook feed? Yeah....that won't be creepy for them at all (sarc).
Q: Can Facebook ads target groups?
A: No, Facebook ads cannot target fb groups. You can target people based on their interests, which will likely reach some of the people from the groups you want to target.
Facebook has been testing monetization inside groups, but it is currently not an option within Ads Manager, and I doubt it will be anytime soon (except maybe with groups you own).
Note: there is a roundabout way to target the people inside those groups, but it takes some extra effort. If you want me to publish a tutorial on this, hit me in the comments.
Q: Facebook ads re-targeting - Should I run it?
A: Absolutely. It’s as close as it gets to easy money in advertising. Even if you aren’t running a full campaign, Facebook retargeting can boost your bottom line.
Bidding, Budgets, and Billing
Q: What do Facebook ads cost?
A: This varies from $5/day to $50,000/day or even more. It totally depends on your budget and whether you have successful ads running. I generally advise starting with a minimum of $1500/month budget. If you can't swing that, go for at least $450/mo
Sure, you can make profitable ads with a little less. It's possible. But you’ll work ten times harder and have a much smaller chance of success.
The minimum budget ensures you have enough room to run the proper tests needed. You often have to run a number of tests before you can determine the audience, copy, images, videos, and landing page configuration that gives you the profitable conversions you need.
Each variable, or ad set, in a test, should cost you around $5/day
Each test should have a bare minimum of 3 variables.
That alone equals $15/day per test. If you run four of those tests, for one week each, you'll spend $420.
If you don't have much of a budget for ads, I recommend starting with organic strategies until you get some sales going.
If you don't have money to spend, you have to spend more time.
Q: What’s the best Facebook ads bidding strategy?
A: The best strategy depends on your objective for the ad, but generally you want to bid manually on whatever your objective is (if possible). If your objective is App Installs, you want to bid manually for app installs, and make your bid equal to whatever your “break-even” cost is. This doesn’t mean you’ll always pay that.
Bidding directly for conversions requires a larger budget, however. So it's important to note that bidding for impressions can still get you conversions. I still get plenty of App Installs paying by impressions (when someone's budget doesn't allow for bidding on installs).
It’s also important you know that Facebook won’t allow you to bid manually on any conversion until you’ve logged a certain number of them through your ads. They don’t tell you what that number is, but I’ve seen it be as low as 50 and as high as 2,000.
At this time, Facebook doesn’t allow you to manually bid on web site purchases. Which, makes it kind of a non-factor for most eCommerce users.
Q: What should be my Facebook ads billing threshold?
A: Whatever you can afford to spend each time before paying your bill. Some people like to keep it low and then reset it every couple of weeks, just so they get reminded of how much they’re spending. Make sure to stay on top of it though, so you don't miss out on conversions!
Q: What is a lifetime budget for Facebook ads, and should I use it?
A: Lifetime budgets allow you to specify the total amount you want your ad to spend over a certain period.
One advantage to this, is Facebook then gives you the option to edit your hourly schedule for each day of the week. Some people refer to this option as "dayparting". Optimizing the hours in which your ads show can save you money and increase your reach. It's helpful to save a little budget once you know what time your audience is engaging/buying through your ads.
A word of caution: Facebook will warn you that your budget may be spent unevenly using a lifetime budget, and it’s true. Therefore, you should only run lifetime budgets on ads that have already proven effective. Why? Because if you run an ineffective ad, the Facebook algorithm may go nuts and spend your whole budget in one day just trying to find someone to show it to. It does happen.
Lifetime budgets are a great tool, but don't start with them as a beginner.
Use daily budgets and get some successful campaigns going, then see if you can optimize those in new adsets using lifetime budgets.
Q: Should I use Facebook ads budget optimization?
A: You can always give it a shot and see if it improves your results on a campaign that is converting. So far, I haven’t seen an instance where it was effective in lowering cost per conversion.
Facebook did announce that in September 2019, all budgeting will happen at the Campaign level (as opposed to ad set level now). That will make this a moot point, since all ads will use Campaign Budget Optimization. It remains to be seen what effect this will have on performance.
Q: Can I run Facebook ads without a credit card?
A: Yes, you can run Facebook ads by connecting a PayPal account. However, you’ll have to meet the requirements of PayPal that allows you to set that up, which typically involves adding a credit card.
Q: Are Facebook ads free?
A: No, but it’d be a whole lot cooler if they were. Think about this though...Every ad you create has the potential to be free, by paying for itself.
If your Facebook ad brings in customers for an initial, low-price purchase, and the profit you earn there outweighs your ad-spend, you have a free ad. It’s making you more than it costs, so you can continue to run it without any additional investment.
Use that initial purchase to get people into your customer base and nurture them. Turn them into long-term customers with a high LTV (long term value), and you’ve gained a very profitable customer, for free!
Facebook Ads Best Practices
Q: What is a Facebook ads funnel?
A: “Facebook ads funnel” refers specifically to a funnel that takes place mostly on Facebook. As opposed to driving ad viewers into a specific off-site funnel, you walk them down the funnel path using different Facebook ads and retargeting.
Work by warming up your audience with an entertaining introduction to your product, service, or whatever you’re selling (even if it’s yourself!). I recommend a video for this.
Then, follow up with those people who watched your video by creating an audience out of them. Show that audience additional ads, with each ad talking about a specific benefit or set of benefits that were mentioned in the video.
Next, follow up with an ad showing proof it works. Testimonials in Facebook ads work well. Ratings and reviews in fb ads work well also. Quick videos or images showing results help a lot.*
*Note: Be careful, be honest, and be clear about it if results aren’t typical. If your ad talks about results, or makes claims, you should consult an attorney to stay out of trouble. Facebook also doesn’t usually approve ads that make claims about making money, losing weight, etc.
Keep following up with your audience and showing them more ways your product will improve their life. Show them new ads, new creative, and new benefits. Always keep it interesting and engaging.
Q: What Facebook ads work?
A: There’s a market for almost every type of Facebook ad currently available. In my experience, there are a few that are likely to work more often than others, across different niches:
- Short-form video (less than 20seconds) in the Facebook feed.
- Long-form written ad copy in the Facebook feed
- Expertly crafted memes that sell, in Facebook feed and Instagram feed.
Yep, I said memes. But, not just any meme will work. You’ll have to follow along to see what I mean by “expertly crafted memes that sell.”
Q: What are some Facebook canvas ads best practices?
A: Instant Experience ads best practices vary based on your goals, the objective of the ad, and your production budget.
The advantage of Instant Experience Ads is speed. Because they're native on Facebook, they load more quickly on average than your standard landing page. You can get really fancy with these ads, but that requires a lot of production work. If you have that at your disposal, great. Otherwise, treat it like a basic landing page.
Most entrepreneurs and small businesses should keep it simple and to the point. Keep it congruent with your ad, just like you would when building a landing page. Your customer clicked on your ad for a reason, so satisfy that reason. Did they click to get information? More pictures? To shop?
Don’t make it a wall of text, whatever you do. Any text should be brief, preferably in bullets. Remember, your audience will be on their smartphone looking at this. Images are good, but don’t bog them down with 30 pictures. Videos are good, if you have the ability to publish tall video (these are always viewed in tall portrait mode on mobile).
Include plenty of buttons that take them to the next step in your sale process. That way they don’t have to enjoy the entire instant experience to get closer to buying.
Don’t go wild with different fonts, colors, and text sizes.
One or two fonts max, one or two colors max. If you’re not a graphic designer, don’t try to change those much beyond the default settings.
Q: What is Facebook ads “use existing post” feature?
A: This is a good one to know. When you get to the ad creative, you have the option to “Create ad” OR “Use Existing Post” The latter allows you to take advantage of all the engagement you get across multiple adsets, by letting it pile up on one ad.
Ever seen ads with 2,000 reactions, 300 comments, and 200 shares? Do you know how much money that engagement is worth? Well, it's hard to quantify, but it definitely matters.
People are more inclined to pay attention to ads with tons of engagement. It's one form of "social proof".
If you’re making a new ad that isn’t based on an existing post, of course you have to choose “Create ad”. The opportunity to "Use Existing Post" comes after you’ve created that ad and submitted it for approval, though.
Q: Facebook ads with testimonials - yay or nay?
A: Yay! Do it.
Facebook ads with testimonials can work very well as part of your Facebook ads funnel. They can reinforce your product, brand, and positioning to people who have been to your landing page but haven’t taken an action.
They should only be shown to people who are familiar with your offering already. Otherwise, users won’t care. Show them the product, then follow up with the testimonial.
I’m not a lawyer, but keep in mind to follow FTC rules about testimonials. See those here.
Also, keep in mind that if your testimonials include any claims about results, Facebook ad review may reject them, and even if they don’t, it may put you on the FTC’s radar - especially for digital products.
Never underestimate the power of proof. Use social proof like ratings, reviews, or testimonials liberally.
Don't be shy about sharing real results, either. If your product does amazing things for people, show how.
Q: What’s better, Facebook ads vs Google ads?
A: Neither. They are different platforms that should be used in different ways. They work best when combined, actually.
Q: What are the advantages of Facebook ads vs Google ads
A: It's hard to call them advantages and disadvantages, really. They are two separate platforms working differently.
Facebook advertising is pure interruption advertising. It is 100% outbound, and your audience may or may not be looking for what you are offering. If they are looking, and see your Facebook ad, that is mostly coincidence, unless of course you're retargeting them from a search campaign.
With Google Search ads, you are serving an ad to someone who is already looking for what you are offering. They searched your keywords, and Google showed them your ad with those keywords.
Assuming your keywords are good, and your landing page matches those keywords, the Google ad simply helps them find what they already wanted to buy (or to research, at least).
In that way, Google Search ads are more of an inbound ad.
Q: How do I know when to scale Facebook Ads?
A: A profitable ad is ready to be scaled. You can get more complicated with it, but that’s the gist. If your cost-per-sale through the ad is less than your profit-per-sale, you can scale it.
Now, the more complicated part…
If you take time to optimize it first, you can probably make more money. In other words, the more you can lower your cost of acquisition (cost-per-sale), the more money you’ll make when you scale. Usually, lowering that will allow you to scale larger and for a longer time, as well.
Test additional audiences and audience tweaks. Test copy variations, images, videos, and headlines.
Test until you’re satisfied with a healthy profit per sale after ad-spend, and then scale it.
For most people, that translates to a ROAS (Return on Ad Spend - *based on revenue*) of 2 or higher. 2 is generally the minimum, unless you have exceptionally high margins. 3 is better. 5 is even better. There’s no reason not to shoot for 8 or 10, but you don’t have to wait until then to scale.
Any profitable ad can be scaled.
But, if you want to increase profits, optimize the ad for a high return on ad spend before scaling.
Q: What are the Advantages of Facebook ads vs boosted posts
A: As mentioned here, Facebook Ads Manager gives you the power to create an effective ad. As of this writing, the boosted post feature does not.
With boosted posts, you only get to choose from 2 of over 50 objectives and sub-objectives. This is probably the biggest weakness
Boosted Facebook posts give you only a few options of audiences to choose from, regardless of how many you have. You can create a new audience, but again the tools for that aren’t as robust here. You also cannot combine or exclude audiences.
Boosted posts don’t allow you to enter tracking information, change pixels, schedule ad delivery, or eliminate unprofitable ad placements.
The platform always changes, but from day one, the boost post functionality has limited you to creating ineffective ads. That is not expected to change.
Q: What times work best for Facebook ads?
A: There are people on Facebook all day, every day. You won’t know the best time for your people, until you’ve run a significant number of ads across all days and times. Then and only then will you have numbers large enough to recognize a pattern you can act on.
Once you have that pattern, you can determine when you schedule your ads. Until then, just get started, run the tests, and build a mountain of information you can learn from.
Q: How do I know when to post Facebook ads?
A: Test! Run ads all day and night for weeks at a time. Run multiple campaigns, multiple objectives, multiple audiences, and varied creative. If you notice a pattern in conversions, you can act on that.
Until then, you have no way to know when is the best time to post Facebook ads, and nobody can tell you! Every market is different. Yours might buy only on Mondays, while mine is at home frantically shopping on Friday nights. Some markets shop all week!
The only thing I’ve seen consistently with eCommerce is that online purchases in the US decrease sharply on Saturdays. Yet, I still test this proven theory at least a few times with each new project.
I don’t want to miss an opportunity by assuming I know what days and times are going to work. The money is in finding that out through testing.
Q: Facebook ads vs email marketing - which one is best?
A: These compliment each other. Neither Facebook ads or email marketing is “best”.
If you don’t have an email list, you need to build one so that you can do email marketing. You can build an email list through a Facebook ads campaign. You can run lead ads (especially if you’re selling a service). You can run ads that entice people to get a “lead magnet” by providing their email. You can offer an introductory product that people can’t pass up (this is one of my favorites).
Then, you use email marketing to build trust and grow your relationship with those people. Eventually you can turn prospects into buyers and buyers into long-term customers.
Facebook ads and strong email strategies go together like cookies and milk. They make each other so much better.
If you're doing one but not the other, I highly recommend changing that.
Q: Should I run Facebook ads for black Friday?
A: This depends highly on your Black Friday offer. You also need to be especially unique and catchy in how you present it. Generally, running sales should be used sparingly.
Specials can be great for creating urgency, and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). But, you must understand what you’re doing and avoid tarnishing the value of your product and brand.
As for advertising during the weeks and days surrounding black Friday - You are competing with a lot more advertisers and ad dollars bidding for space in the feed during that time. The same goes for most of the holiday shopping season. Ads will be more expensive than average during this time, although conversions are typically higher throughout the holiday season.
Facebook Ad Tracking & Analytics
Q: How do I use Facebook ads and google analytics?
A: Use utm tags in every ad. Your utm tags are set when you “Build a Url Parameter” inside the Facebook ad creation tool.
Then you can go into Google Analytics, and traffic & conversions from those campaigns will be there. Find them in the “Campaigns” section, which is under “Acquisition”.
Q: How do I use Facebook ad url parameters?
A: Use the “Build a URL Parameter” when you’re creating your Facebook ads, to track your results in Google Analytics.
Here’s a good template for that:
Of course, you can enter whatever you want in these, but most people find it easy to keep those simple. Then, use a naming structure for your campaigns, ad sets, and ad names in order to differentiate each - both in Ads Manager and in Google Analytics.
Campaign Name: [company name abbreviation] [campaign number] | [Ad Creative Description (Abbreviated)]
Ad Set Name: [company name abbreviation] [campaign number] | [ObjectiveSubObjective] | [AudienceName] | [Ad Creative Description (abbreviated) | [Any Additional Variables Changed]
Ad Name [company name abbreviation] [campaign number] | [Ad Creative Description (abbreviated)]
Mine is probably overkill, and you’re welcome to develop your own. With mine, I always know what I’m looking at when I see it in Google Analytics, and it’s easy to reference back to compare with Facebook results.
Q: What Facebook ad metrics should I watch most?
A: Profitability is number one, and trumps all the others, no matter what.
Figure out what average ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) you have to get to make a profit, and keep that as the number one priority.
- conversion rates (these vary depending on your goals)
- Link CTR
- Cost Per Link Click
The rest is only supporting data. for most purposes. Reach, CPM, Engagement, etc. mean nothing without the above metrics.
Facebook Ad Landing Pages, Chatbots, and More
Q: How do I run Facebook ads without a landing page?
A: One way is to set up a Facebook Shop section on your business page. Here’s how to do that.
You can also run ads to messenger bots, which I would recommend. Bots can be very complex, but simple bots are easy enough to create using ManyChat or Chatfuel.
You can use the messenger bot to capture leads and sell through messenger directly. You do have to stay within the Facebook Messenger Terms Of Service, so be careful. Read an overview of those here:
Q: How do I use Facebook ads with ManyChat?
A: ManyChat is a chatbot tool that opens up a lot of possibilities for your ads.
You can build (or have someone build) a chatbot to walk people through a sequence that gets them closer to buying. You can then use ads (used to be free, but isn’t anymore) to send broadcasts out to your bot subscribers later. Note: you can still send free broadcasts to people who’ve engaged with the bot in the last 24 hours.
You can also set your bot up so that it messages people who’ve commented on your ad. This works best when you have a specific type of comment they’re leaving on that ad. If all the comments are different questions, your bot introduction needs to be more generic.
You can do a lot of interesting things with your subscribers immediately after bringing them in from those ads, as well. I highly recommend learning more about chatbots once you’ve made some successful Facebook ads.
Q: Can I run Facebook ads without a website?
A: Yes, you can. You can try to sell directly through your Facebook page. Here’s how to set it up on your page:
Since Facebook shop doesn’t give you a way to emails, etc. of the people who shop without buying, you’ll want to have some other way of doing that. Why? Because you’re spending all that money to run Facebook ads without a website and therefore without a pixel. So you have to have some way to contact those people again.
Facebook messenger bots can be helpful for this. If I was to set up a business selling products only through Facebook Shop, I would send all my ads to a messenger bot sequence to open a line of communication with them before they shop. This can be done using a relatively simple bot on Chatfuel or ManyChat.
Q: Should I run Facebook ads to messenger?
A: Only if you have either a) A good chatbot set up to interact with them or b) 24/7 live chat agents who know your customer avatar well, are experts on your product, and can provide support and sales.
What You Can and Cannot Do With Facebook Ads
Q: Can I run Facebook ads without a page?
A: No, Facebook doesn’t allow an ad to be run without a page attached to it. You have to have a business page to run an ad.
However, you can run a joint venture with another page owner in your market. You have them run the ads, and you both benefit from it. In addition, you may get more reach if it is well-established page with a large following.
Q: Can I make Facebook ads with multiple images?
A: Yes, you can make Facebook ads with multiple images. There are a number of ways you can do this:
- Create a carousel ad. This will allow you to create “cards” that can be clicked or swiped to scroll through. Each card will have its own headline, link, and link description. You can select to have the best performing cards shown first, when you create that ad.
- Test multiple images. Facebook now allows you to upload several images for one ad, and it will create an individual ad for each picture. The ads will all have the same text, headline, link, and link description. Facebook is testing which image performs the best. This saves time, since it used to have to be done manually.
- Create a slideshow. Facebook ad creation in Ads Manager will help you turn your pictures into a slideshow if you wish. The option is right there in Ads Manager and it’s quick and easy - no external software or skills required.
Q: Can Facebook ads be shared?
A: Yes! And you should be thinking creatively to make ads that people can’t wait to share!
Each ad includes a “share” button. With changes in early 2018, Facebook did announce that these posts shared from pages will be de-prioritized in the feed. In turn, organic shares of friends’ own posts will be prioritized.
So, when someone shares your ad, it doesn’t help as much as it used to. But, it still helps!
What’s often better than a share, is an ad that makes people go wild tagging their friends in the comments. Usually they’re tagging that friend because they immediately thought of them when they saw the ad. More often than not, that tagged friend will be in your target market.
Q: Can I run Facebook ads without comments?
A: No, Facebook doesn’t allow you to run Facebook ads without a comments section. There are plenty of reasons they don’t allow it. And since comment engagement is good for your ads, you want comments.
Unless of course, you’re ripping people off and don’t want them calling you out in the comments. If that’s you, stop being a loser. Seriously. The world has enough scammers. Quit being an asshat, and sell something that helps people.
If you’re just concerned about people spamming your comment thread, you can always hide those. Or, if you’re witty, you can make smart, smooth replies that position your brand even better. You can also filter in advance for specific words, to auto-hide any fb ad comments that could cost you money.
Don’t feed the trolls with an argument. You’ll only lose. But, a quick witty comment to show your humor and authority can boost an ad significantly.
Think of ad comments as someone walking into your store and asking about something they clearly want (or they wouldn't be asking). It's an opportunity, even if sometimes a challenge. It's all about how you handle them.
Be polite, witty, and use them to inform. Handle objections immediately while positioning your brand. Then, use what you learn to improve your product pages.
Q: Can I run Facebook ads without a personal account?
A: Technically, you can create a page without creating a profile, but you do still have to create an account. Create a biz page, business manager account, and ad account. You will still have to enter a birth date, full name, and email in order to do this, and you'll have to add a credit card later. You can start that here
Q: Can I run Facebook ads without a pixel?
A: Facebook does allow it. However, you will get no feedback on how your ads are performing, and you won’t be able to retarget anyone. Only 1-2% of people typically buy a product on the first visit to your site. Without the pixel, you’re letting the other 98-99% walk on, possibly without ever hearing from you again.
That would be a waste of money, even if you still made a profit up front with the ad. Much of the value you want comes after someone has visited your site multiple times, purchased, and come back repeatedly.
Yes, you can run Facebook ads without a pixel. But, you shouldn’t.
Running ads to a landing page without a pixel is like throwing gold coins into a piggy bank with a giant hole in the belly.
Q: Can Facebook ads be blocked?
A: Yes. People can hit the “hide this” at the top right corner menu of your ad. You don’t want that, since it gives them the option to also block all ads from you. This is another great reason to focus on making ads people love and targeting them well.
In addition, some ad blockers can hide some Facebook ads. Facebook is always working against this.
Q: Facebook ads for local businesses - Can they work?
A: Yes, they can. Facebook ads are great for local businesses, but you have to think outside the box. Running awareness ads for your local business won’t work that well.
Hosting a local event and advertising that, however, can work very well. Then you get to meet your potential customers and build on that relationship.
You can also generate lead ads for people looking for specific things in your area...Insurance, mortgages, real estate, and more. The possibilities are endless.
Q: Do Facebook ads for Amazon fba work?
A: Sometimes yes, but usually no. This one gets complicated, and you have to get very creative to make it work. Generally speaking, amazon presents some specific challenges: lower margins, very limited customer data, limited analytics, and zero tracking ability.
To run profitable Facebook ads, you need decent profit margins on your products. Profit margins on Amazon items, on average, are significantly lower than with independent online stores.
You don’t get your customer’s email when they buy. Sure, you can email them through Amazon’s system, but you have very little control over that.
You don’t get to see where your customers came from. Did they even come from an ad? You don’t get to retarget them outside amazon. The ones who shopped but didn’t buy are all but gone.
There are third party services that will allow you to use a redirect link to get a pixel on those people who click. However, that records all people who click, and that’s not as helpful as pixel events like Viewed Content or Add to Cart.
On top of that, Amazon shows them your competitors right on your listing. Once they get to Amazon, they belong to Amazon. I’ve made sales on Amazon using Facebook ads (sent through a squeeze page.
But, even more of those people went and bought something else (tracked through the affiliate data). Since those affiliate commissions are small, it isn't enough to offset the lost sales of your own product.
Facebook Ads and Amazon:
People get wildly distracted on Amazon, which is the opposite of what you want for your paid trafic
Drive traffic to places where they can’t easily get distracted.
Q: Does Facebook ads allow affiliate links?
A: Technically, yes. But, be careful. And remember, your affiliate product still has to comply with all advertising policies. Your ad copy and images still have to comply.
And technically you have to disclose your relationship as an affiliate of the company (this is a grey area, since it’s already declared “sponsored”. Affiliate disclosures are legally required by the FTC, and I recommend you read the guidelines here. As for Facebook specifically, this is up to enforcement, which is often subjective.
Amazon specifically forbids you from using your amazon affiliate links in Facebook ads.
Facebook has continuously avoided mentioning affiliate links in their terms of service. In fact, when you search for it, you see they explicitly avoid the word "affiliate"
Q: How do Facebook ads and SEO affect each other?
A: They don’t, typically. Facebook ad links don’t get crawled by search engines, so they won’t help or hurt your SEO.
SEO doesn’t help you perform better in search.
However, conversion rates from search correlate with conversion from ads. Why? If you haven’t given people a good enough reason to convert on your page when they come from search, they’re even less likely to convert from a Facebook ad.
What You Should and Shouldn't Do With Facebook Ads
Q: Should I run Facebook ads to instagram?
A: If you mean running instagram ads through Facebook Ads Manager, then yes. If you mean sending people to Instagram from the Facebook feed using ads, probably not.
There aren’t many scenarios in which that would be a profitable idea.
Q: Should I run Facebook ads to increase page likes?
A: Typically, no. Likes are pretty worthless by themselves. If you get highly-engaged fans through some other effort, that's more ideal - but still not extremely valuable.
Page likes only get you so far. Even after people like your page, you will not be able to reach all of them easily. You have to have fantastic content to get in front of all those people regularly. And you may still have to boost posts to reach them.
Page Post Engagement ads work well for increasing page likes. The Facebook “Page Likes” objective is not something I recommend using. It doesn’t get you the most engaged audience, even though it might get you page likes more quickly.
Your goal is to make ads that sell a product people love, using content they love just as much.
That way, you get sales - And the 'likes' or fans are a byproduct. Never pay for likes as your goal.
Q: Should I run Facebook ads to groups?
A: Facebook ads are a great way to grow a group.
Whether you should do this or not depends on two things: The quality of your group, and what specific benefit people will receive by joining in this moment.
So, you have to make it an active group, even if it’s small. You also have to provide some incentive for joining. In the early days, an engaged group was enough. Now, you need something more specific to offer.
So, if you’re going to run Facebook ads to promote a group, you still have to come up with something people really want...in addition to the help inside the group.
Q: Should I run Facebook ads to make money?
A: Yes. This is the only reason I run Facebook ads. Otherwise I would just spend all that time fishing.
Q: Should I run Facebook ads to build my email list?
A: Yes. Assuming you have some knockout offer to give people in exchange for their email, it works.
If your offer is only so-so, it won’t work that well and might not be worth your money. Also, only do this if you have a great follow-up sequence in place and send out emails regularly (multiple times each week).
Q: Should I run Facebook ads, or Instagram ads?
A: If you’re running Facebook ads, you should at least test an Instagram placement as well. And, vice versa.
Sometimes, it turns out one platform is more effective than the other for your brand. For an entrepreneur or small business, it’s good to test both and focus on the one that works best.
The demographics are different, but there’s lots of overlap. Currently, Instagram has younger average users, but that can change, too.
Q: Should I use Facebook ads Blueprint?
A: Facebook ads blueprint is a great place to learn about the platform. You have to take any strategy advice there with a large grain of salt, since what it tells you to do isn’t always in your best interest.
Facebook doesn’t particularly care whether you make money with your ads or not - they care about the user experience. And in this case, you're not the user, you're the advertiser.
Q: Should I use Facebook ad quick creation?
Much like the "boost post" feature, it is not recommended.
Q: Should I run Facebook ads, or boost posts?
A: Run Facebook ads using Ads Manager. Friends don't let friends boost posts, either. See more here
Q: Should I run Facebook ads, or Google AdWords?
A: Test both, then focus on the one that works best, for you. At least until you have successful campaigns on one and have the budget to test further.
If you have budget for both, you can then use them in combination.
Q: Facebook ads vs Instagram ads - Which should I do?
A: Test both. Stick with the one that works best for you.
Wherever your audience spends most their time is the likely winner.
Q: Facebook ads vs YouTube ads - which is for me?
A: Again, this depends on your market. Where is your market spending the most time? Do they prefer long-form video or short, quick clips? Do you want to get them while they’re searching for specific videos, or while they’re scrolling their feed?
People are in a different mindset when binging YouTube vs scrolling the Facebook feed. You may be able to reach them well in both channels. You might be able to show a long YouTube ad to someone who watched a short Facebook ad and viewed your product.
One may be better for you than the other, but the platforms work differently so it’s hard to compare apples to apples. I’m going to sound like a broken record saying to test, but it’s true...test both if you want.
Q: Should I use Facebook ads with Mailchimp?
A: If you’re referring to Facebook campaigns created from within mailchimp, I don’t recommend those. Here’s why:
You miss out on some of the tools available to you in Ads manager. Remember me mentioning above, how important those are?
It will throw off your data in Google Analytics (and shopify, etc.) because anything coming from those campaigns gets attributed to Mailchimp - not to the Facebook ads you created. Bad data is like herpes, it’s hard to get rid of, never really goes away, and pops up at all the wrong times.
Now, if you’re trying to drive people to your mailchimp emails, that can work. Generally that’s an engagement ad that alerts them to something important in an email you already sent. That can increase your read rate as people go search for that email. If your users are in gmail, it may also improve your spam score in the Gmail inbox.
Side note: I don’t usually recommend using mailchimp. It’s overly complicated, lacking some capabilities, and offers poor reporting. For eCommerce, especially Shopify, I recommend Klaviyo.
Q: Should I run Facebook ads for my YouTube channel
A: There are better alternatives for this - like organic blogging, Google Search Ads, and YouTube ads.
Unless you have a specific reason you need people to get off Facebook and come see you on YouTube, you’re going to be paying a premium to send them to what is basically another search engine. Would you pay to send people to a Google search page that has you as one of the results? Probably not.
Q: Facebook ads organic vs paid - what’s better?
A: Good question. All posts on Facebook are technicall ads - whether you pay to spread them or not.
Your organic content can spread on its own if it’s hilarious or mind-blowing. Even with that, reach isn't as easy to get as it used to be, though.
Using that killer content in a paid ad gets it out to more people. Those people, in turn, can spread it and give you more organic reach.
So, you should really focus on making killer ads that get engagement and sales on their own - and make them part of a paid campaign. Of course, someone has to see them for them to spread - so you need to have a few hundred engaged followers before you get that engagement. Running a great ad can get you those early followers cheaply.
Your goal is to create ads that would work well organically, and then put money behind them in order to get reach.
Unless you're starting with an engaged, captive audience already, you usually have to pay to get in front of them.
Diagnosing Facebook Ad Problems
Q: Why do Facebook ads fail?
A: Facebook ads that fail, usually flop due to these main issues: lack of product-market fit, bad targeting, or poor ad creative.
Product-market fit basically means, creating a product people want, in a way that solves the problem(s) they have. Then, bringing it to them in a way that fits with their reasons for buying. Once you’ve managed to do this and your ideal customers are buying consistently, you have product-market fit.
Facebook ad targeting has gotten much more simple over the years. However, it’s still possible to screw it up. Going to broad, too narrow, or targeting for too many different factors can cause problems. Keep target audiences simple and test them against each other to see which ones work best.
Ad creative can make or break your ad. Unless your product is the best thing invented since the smartphone, you need great ad copy, images, and videos that grab people’s attention and make them hungry for more.
Hundreds of different factors can cause your Facebook ads to fail. But, most of them fit inside of those main issues.
Q: Why are my Facebook ads not getting impressions?
A: If your Facebook ads aren’t getting impressions, check these things first:
Audience size: If your Facebook audience is super small, Facebook will have a hard time showing your ad to anyone. People are only on Facebook some of the time. So if your ad is trying to hit a total of 300 people, it will have a hard time finding many them in the first day of your ad. Increase the size of your audience to reach enough people so that Facebook has a reason to keep looking for those people.
Targeting: You should target your ad specifically towards people who are likely to be interested in your product and your ad creative. If you don’t, the first people that see the ad will ignore it, react negatively (worse), or hide it (worst). That will tell the Facebook algorithm your ad sucks, and it won’t be shown much more after that.
Ad creative: If your creative is really bad, you’ll get many of those same negative reactions on Facebook, and the FB algorithm will stop showing your ad.
Q: My Facebook ads are not delivering - why?
A: Chances are, your audience is too small. This can also be caused by too much text in your image (more than 20%, on a 5x5 grid). Bad creative or bad targeting can also make your ad very expensive or cause it not to deliver at all.
Q: My Facebook ads are not working, what is wrong?
A: So many things could be wrong. Read the rest of this Q&A and explore the links.
Q: Facebook says my ad is costing more than it should and not reaching as many people as it could - why?
A: This is the message they give you when your ad has too much text in it.
Facebook uses a 5x5 grid on their photos you upload. If more than five of those squares have any text in them, it's too much. They "demote" your ad in the feed when this is the case, even if it's an effective ad.
If the text in your ad is part of the product, you can request manual review of your ads, and they'll update it. If the text was placed over an image, you need to re-make it using a tool that lets you see a 5x5 grid. Keep the text preferably to 4 or less squares in that grid.
Facebook Ads Terminology
Q: Are Facebook ads and marketing the same thing?
A: Not really. Facebook ads are advertising. Marketing is what you do before that, and marketing drives your advertising.
Marketing is a lot like the title - it’s all about your market. It means choosing a market and getting to know them. When you choose what to make for them, that's marketing. It means understanding the marketplace, your competition, and your differentiators. What are the needs, wants, and values you’re hoping to fulfill with your product?
That process gives you a better product that will sell, and later it guides your advertising.
Q: Facebook ads reach vs impressions - What is the difference?
A: Simply put:
Reach = the number of unique people who saw your ad
Impressions = the number of times your ad was shown, total.
Q: What is Facebook ad CTR?
A: CTR stands for Click-Through Rate. When I use CTR, I refer only to Link CTR. That is the number of unique clicks I get through my ad link (call to action button), divided by people who see my ad.
Be careful - some other providers will say CTR when referring to CTR(All) stats, without disclosing it. CTR(All) numbers are unimportant, and generally higher. That's because they measure all the times your ad was clicked on at all, for any reason - not the people who clicked through to the next step.
Q: What is a good CTR for Fb Advertising?
A: A good Facebook ad Link CTR(Click-Through Rate) is whatever rate at which you make the most money.
That said, you should usually shoot for 4% or higher.
0-1.99% = Poor
3-3.99% = Good
4-5.99 % = Great
6-9.99% = Excellent
10-15%= Outstanding, but only if it's still converting into sales, etc.
If/when you get a Link CTR much higher than 12%, your high CTR is likely to offset by a lower conversion rate.
Q: What is a Facebook ads conversion?
A: Your conversion objectives are up to you, and you have several choices, depending on what you're advertising:
- Catalog Sales
- Store Visits
- Website Conversions
- View content
- Add to Cart
- Add to Wishlist
- Initiate Checkout
- Add Payment Info
- Complete Registration
- Customize Product
- Find Location
- Start Trial
- Submit Application
- App Install
On top of those options, you can add custom conversions. For most people, those conversions will be plenty for quite a while.
Q: What is a Facebook ads lookalike audience?
A: A lookalike audience is when Facebook tries to replicate a certain set of people you’ve chosen.
Let’s say you have an audience of 10,000 people. 100 of them buy your product. Those 100 people may have some things in common. So, you tell Facebook to go find people who are similar to those people.
You do that by: 1) Creating a custom audience out of those people who bought, 2) Creating a lookalike audience based on that custom audience.
You can choose to create multiple lookalikes. Facebook gives you the option to find 2.1million lookalikes, and then additional audiences in increments of a million people or more.
Q: What is the Facebook ads learning phase?
A: The learning phase, according to Facebook, is the period when your ad is optimizing. Facebook says they use this time to show your ad and determine who within your audience is going to want to see it.
During the learning phase, numbers are more erratic. They fluctuate between very cheap and very expensive per impression or conversion.
For this reason and others, it’s best not to worry about what’s going on in the learning phase. You should let each ad set run through the learning phase and for at least a couple of days afterwards. IF you notice that a particular ad set is performing poorly for a few days while the others aren’t, then pause it.
Q: What is the Facebook ads pixel?
A: The Facebook ads pixel goes on your website or landing page. It’s a piece of code that helps you know when someone has visited your page and taken certain actions.
It tracks people who visit, view content (actually read a bit), view product details (where enabled), add something to cart, initiate a checkout, or purchase.
The pixel doing this allows you to create audiences out of those people who took the actions. That way, you can serve ads to those specific people to help them come back and take another action.
Q: What is Facebook ads organic reach?
A: That’s the reach your ad gets from people sharing, commenting, and tagging their friends. They may or may not be a part of your audience, and according to Facebook, they do not charge you for that reach.
The more of this you get, the better! Organic reach on your ads can significantly increase ROI.
Q: What is a Facebook ads landing page view?
A: Landing page views is a relatively new conversion option. You’ll be prompted to use it if you run a “Page Post Engagement” ad and add a CTA (call-to-action) button.
Basically, it allows your ad to be optimized to show to people who have clicked through and landed on the landing pages of ads like yours.
It’s a helpful optimization option if you don’t have enough “View Content” events detected yet by your Facebook pixel.
Facebook describes it here:
Q: What is Facebook ads canvas?
A: Facebook Canvas ads are now called Facebook Instant Experience ads. The instant experience is a mobile destination to which you can send people from your ad. They swipe or click to get there, and it opens natively in their Facebook mobile app.
The instant experience opens more quickly than a landing page outside of Facebook typically would, allowing you to keep more people engaged. The instant experience can be very complex - brands with big budgets can make wild interactive experiences, but those take more creative resources than most small businesses can access.
A basic instant experience can be put together with text, images, videos, slideshows (Facebook can help you make a fancy one), and buttons.
Keep in mind you still have to take your users somewhere from the instant experience, so you must advance the sale with your instant experience, if sales are your goal.
Q: What are Facebook ad impressions?
A: A Facebook ad impression occurs when someone is shown your ad. That’s based on Facebook’s interpretation that someone scrolled to your ad, had it completely in view, and stayed there long enough to see it.
Theoretically this can still mean it was in front of them for less than a second.
Impressions are measured in the number of times, not number of people.
Q: What is a Facebook ad set?
A: A Facebook ad set (or AdSet) is one “level” of a Facebook ad campaign, which most people generally refer to as an ad. Each ad campaign has three levels, and Facebook will prompt you to set them up in the order that follows, when creating an ad from Ads Manager:
The AdSet is where sub-objective (i.e. Add to Cart is a sub-objective of Conversions), audience, placement (feed, stories, etc.), budget, schedule, dayparting (intraday schedule), bid method and cost, and conversion window are chosen.
Q: What is post engagement?
A: Post engagement on a Facebook ad includes any interaction a person takes with your ad. That can be clicking “more” in your text, clicking on your photo, hitting the “like” or other reaction buttons, commenting, sharing, or moving their cursor around your post.
Over time, Facebook has changed what is counted as an engagement, and the more valuable on-post engagements (comments and reactions) have gotten slightly more expensive.
Q: What is Facebook ads Audience Network?
A: Facebook ad Audience Network is a collection of sites and apps that can show the ads you create in Facebook. Thy can show them to your audience in a variety of ways, some of which are less productive than others. This includes apps like Tinder, etc.
From Facebook: "Use Audience Network to deliver ads on apps and sites beyond Facebook where people spend their time. Ads in Audience Network can be delivered across devices into a variety of video and display placements, including native, interstitial, rewarded and in-stream video."
In my experience, Audience Network has never helped a campaign, only made it more expensive. But, you can read more about it here:
Q: What is the Facebook ads relevance score?
A: Relevance score is Facebook’s guess at, based on the algorithm, how relevant your ad is to your audience.
They take into account many factors in order to get this number. They do not share what those factors are, but you can guess it has to do with reactions and other engagement.
Theoretically, they are also analyzing the text, image content, video(s) and headlines in your ad - then comparing those to other content your audience has reacted to, to determine part of this score.
Generally speaking, the higher the score, the more relevant your ad is to your audience. And, therefore, the less expensive it will be to continue reaching people in your audience. There are exceptions to this, and there are some low-relevance ads that still convert. But, those are the exception. You want your ads to be high on Relevance score.
Other Facebook Questions & Answers
Q: Who should use Facebook ads?
A: If your customers are on Facebook, you should use Facebook ads at least to retarget your prospects. Retargeting is relatively easy, inexpensive, and effective.
Who should add full-scale campaigns on Facebook? Everyone whose customers are on Facebook, and has the time and resources to create a good strategy to test on Facebook.
In the early days of Facebook ads, you could just throw money at the feed and get more back. Now, you need a strategy. You need theories to test, based on the offers, targeting, and ad images and wording that you think will work.
Q: Are Facebook ads profitable?
A: For many people, Facebook ads are profitable. For some, they’re extremely profitable.
Those are the people who make the investment of time and money to do them well. Everyone losing money is trying to cut corners, or just doesn’t know what they’re doing.
Lots of people spray and pray. Don’t be one of those people, it’s not profitable.
Q: Will Facebook ads die?
A: I think about this a lot. A lot. The short answer is, I don’t think so.
Everything online seems to have a lifespan. There’s childhood, adolescence, maturity, mid-life, and then...what? Some platforms die, while others just reach equilibrium and hold steady. Some reach a plateau and then decline gradually but remain viable.
I’d say that last one is the likely path for Facebook ads. For Facebook ads to die completely, users of FB would have to leave completely, which could happen, but likely not for a while. It would be unlikely for Facebook to cease to exist like MySpace, though I don’t rule it out.
Fb ads have reached maturity and have gotten more competitive. That means you have to be better, and spend a little more, but they’re still very viable.
Q: Tell me where to learn Facebook ads.
A: You’re in a good place for that. This site teaches based on experience. There are many resources elsewhere online, but not everyone who talks about Facebook ads actually understands them or creates them.
I have been running Facebook ads since 2011, and I’ve run them for many products and services in many niches, for myself and for clients.
To learn the basics of the Facebook ads platform, check out Facebook Blueprint. That will show you the basic mechanics of setting up an ad in Ads Manager. I would create my own tutorials, but they would go out of date too quickly since it’s impossible to monitor all of Facebook’s constant changes.
Q: Advantages of Facebook ads vs SEO?
A: You should definitely do both. There is no “versus” here. Organic search is still an important source of traffic for many small businesses and entrepreneurs online.
Also, when people see a lot of your Facebook ads, many of them will search Google or Bing for you later. It may be days, weeks, or even months, but you’ll see the results in Google Webmaster. They’ll google “[your brand name] [your product they saw, maybe with the right name, maybe not] and they’ll come straight through - click-through rates on these searches are usually upwards of 60% and convert at a very high rate.
So, you want to make sure that when they search that product they saw, they find you. This can be accomplished through Google Search ads, but organic search engine optimization is even better. AND if your organic SEO (on-site) is done well, your search ads are much cheaper, anyway.
Q: Facebook ads vs Amazon ads - which to do?
A: If you’re on Amazon, stick with Amazon ads. If you can’t be profitable with those, Facebook ads are unlikely to do better.
Q: Would you do Facebook ads vs direct mail?
A: That’s a good question. Direct mail can still work, but it’s not nearly as targeted (unless you have a really well-built internal list). It’s also more expensive, and has a slower feedback cycle.
You can’t test as easily, or edit ads as easily when something isn’t working. Everything has to be re-printed, and the smaller batch you have with each variation, the more expensive it is per piece.
So, it comes down to the size of your budget and the quality of your list.
Q: When should I run Facebook ads?
A: The best time to run ads is now., assuming you have an offer that converts.
If you’re waiting for some arbitrary “right time”, it’s never going to happen. If you’re waiting for someone to tell you when to run Facebook ads, you’re missing the point. You’re more likely to lose an opportunity than to pick the right time.
Q: Which Facebook ads are most effective?
A: It varies across niches and products, but on average, I’ve found short video ads (less than 20seconds) in the Facebook feed are most effective.
The next most effective is long-form written copy with a compelling picture.
Q: When should I use Facebook ads vs TV ads?
A: Facebook ads when you’re trying to build sales in a specific niche, especially if over the course of a few weeks or months.
TV ads when you have a 5-year plan of broad market brand awareness advertising, and the budget to implement using memorable TV ads.
Q: Are Facebook ads worth it?
A: For most businesses, Facebook ads are ‘worth it’ - when done well. Nothing half-assed will be worth much at all, and this goes for Facebook ads for well.
Businesses that find Facebook ads worth it, are usually putting significant time into them, as well as money. They spend plenty of time researching their market. They focus on writing great copy based on that research. They make videos that hook users immediately and get the big idea across quickly.
But, that doesn’t come easily or cheap, which leads to the next question…
Q: Do I really need a Facebook ads strategy?
A: Yes, if you want to run Facebook ads, you need a strategy. Do not just spray and pray. If you want to throw away money, you can, but I’d rather you use it to make money.
Get a sound strategy, or else send your ad dollars to a good charity instead.
Q: Are Facebook ads getting more expensive?
A: Yes, on average, Facebook ads are getting more expensive. However, you can combat that by making better ads. I still have many ads that perform at a similar cost to two years ago.
Q: Are Facebook ads expensive?
A: Although they have gotten more expensive, Facebook ads are still relatively cheap. When you compare to other channels, they are cheaper on most metrics. Cost of reach (CPM), COA (Cost of Acquisition), CPC (Cost Per Click) Are still cheaper on Facebook than Google and other networks.
So no, they’re not yet expensive. They will probably continue to get more expensive on average, though. Advertisers will have to continually make better ads, which I think is a good thing.
Q: Are Facebook ads worth the money?
A: When done right, Facebook ads are worth the money. Totally. There have been very few advertising channels that allow the reach and returns you can achieve on Facebook.
Money alone won’t do it. Someone (whether you or someone you pay) must spend time. That person must have the knowledge and experience to make the platform work. If you just blindly throw money at it, you stand to lose all that money.
Q: Are Facebook ads dead?
A: Not at the time of this writing. As I mentioned above, I don’t see them dying any time soon, either.
Q: Are Facebook ads safe?
A: I’m sure you could make some big mistakes and damage your brand with those. That would be your fault though, not the Facebook ads platform. Facebook ads are safe as the content you put on them.
Q: Are Facebook ads legit?
A: Too legit to quit, actually.
Yes. Facebook ads are totally legit. I think this question sits in a lot of people’s minds because there are plenty of scammers out there selling snake oil. Many of them make huge promises about Facebook ads and then don’t deliver. Those people are not legit.
Q: Give me some good Facebook ads tips and tricks.
A: Read the rest of this article, and explore the links.