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Everything Your SME Needs to Know About Facebook Ads

You’ve probably heard the news in recent months. The word is out.

You’ll have to pay for Facebook ads to get your business in front of your customers’ eyes.

Contrary to somewhat popular belief you can still get organic reach on Facebook, but the game has certainly changed.

With an ever growing number of advertising objectives and a suite of tools to boot, advertising on Facebook is a sure-fire way to promote your business in front of the world’s hungriest buyers without breaking the bank.

Facebook’s flurry of advertising options can be overwhelming at first.

But it is essential to choose the ad that fits your social media goals and objectives.

In this article, we’ll cover the basic for 11 of the Facebook ads available to you.

You will learn how to take advantage of them to grow your business.

11 Facebook Ads Explained

facebook ad boost your sales

Before we begin, click “create your first advert” here and take a look and familiarise yourself with all 11 Facebook advertising objectives.

1. Boost Your Posts

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As it suggests, this option will boost your company page’s posts into prospective customers’ news feeds, helping you get more reactions and clicks.

Once you have selected the post you wish to boost, pay particular attention to your chosen demographics.

With Facebook ads you can get as granular as you want to be. Take a moment to look at your buyer personas and select the closest demographic options.

Placement is just as important. Once you have created your advert, Facebook shows you how it could look in 3 different spots: The news feed on desktop, the right column on desktop, and the news feed on mobile.

2. Promote Your Page

This ad option will promote your Facebook business page to gain likes.

Be sure to upload an image of 1200px x 444px (recommended).

If you’re unsure which image will give you the best bang for your advertising pounds, then be sure to upload several images and create an ad variation so you can see which image gives you the best results.

Top tip: Underneath the ‘advanced options’ toggle you can change your headline – which is essentially your page name.

For the text you only have 90 characters, so put your copywriting hat on and think of something short, sweet and effective to attract people to your advert.

3. Send People to Your Website

If you want to send targeted traffic to your website then this is your best option.

You will have to provide a landing page you want people to click through to, and you’ll have to select your audience and demographics.

Facebook’s advertising platform is very powerful as it allows you to create custom audiences in the following ways:

  • Website traffic – analyses your website traffic to find similar people.
  • Customer list – identifies people with similar interests and characteristics from your email list.
  • App Activity – targets users based on what actions they take in your app.

Once you’ve chosen your preferred audience you can further segment it with age, interest and location demographics.

Here is a good example of a Facebook ad from App Sumo for sending traffic to your website

facebook ads appsumo

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4. Increase Conversions on Your Website

With this option you can implement a tracking pixel (a code which monitors activity on a web page) on any page of your website which notifies Facebook when a conversion has been met.

Some custom conversion examples include:

  • Customers adding items to a cart
  • Registrations
  • Checkouts
  • Page views
  • And more

Top tip: Cast a critical eye over your custom conversions before you start your advert, as you only have a maximum of 20 which cannot be edited or deleted. Once you’ve created a custom conversion goal for your website, you can’t change it.

5. Get Installs of Your App

FishBrain facebook ads

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Got an app? Great!

Use this ad option to get more people to install your app so you can drive engagement and sales.

Top tip: Be specific with interest targeting. Facebook knows what people’s interests are, based on the information they provided when they filled out their profiles. Take advantage of this by targeting users whose interests are closely aligned to your product’s offerings.

For example, if you’ve got a vegetarian food app, you may wish to target people in the following ways:

  • People who are 18-34 years of age and/or
  • People who have liked or taken part in vegetarian Facebook groups and communities

6. Increase Engagement in Your App

You’re app is getting installed and you have in-app purchases. Fantastic!

Now you need engagement. This Facebook ad helps increase engagement in your app by directing users to a place of your choosing. This adtype is very similar to the one above, except that the call-to-action button copy is “use app”, rather than “install app”.

facebook ads nandos

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Top tip: Before choosing a deep link (URL that points to a place within your app), take a look at your mobile user analytics to identify where users drop off.

Place your ads there to send them to places where a conversion, activity or milestone takes place.

7. Reach People Near Your Business

facebook ads for business sme

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Facebook’s local awareness ads are perfect for targeting prospective customers who are located near your business.

You can choose the distance around your business and the age and gender you wish to target.

Top tip: Make sure you only use one location per local awareness ad campaign. This enables you to optimise performance for each specific campaign. For example, if your business is based in London you could set up two local awareness campaigns. One for London, and another UK-wide.

8. Raise Attendance at Your Event

jaspers facebook ads for your SME

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You’ve worked so hard to build an amazing event, but it won’t be great if nobody attends. Use this advertising option to boost your attendees.

Top tip: Start your copy with phrases such as “Join us”, or “Be a part of”. This highlights that it is indeed an event where people will congregate. Also ensure your picture captures the essence of what the event is about. For example, if you’re holding a video gaming event, then show a game which will be playable on the show floor.

9. Get People to Claim Your Offer

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Facebook offers are a great way to reward your most loyal fans whilst increasing your sales.

Top tip: Make it very easy to claim or buy immediately. Use Dark Posts from within the Facebook Power Editor so that you don’t need to update your timeline and can target your fans directly.

Facebook Dark Posts are basically news-feed ads that are visible on your timeline only to the users you have decided to target. Learn more about Facebook dark posts here.

10. Get Video Views

jasper facebook ads for SME

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Facebook Video Ads are one of the fastest ways to build a custom audience.

You can use remarketing to target everyone who has watched a video and drive them back to your landing page.

Top tip: Put your main CTA above the “see more” link. This allows you to write more copy which aids conversions, without forcing people to get to the bottom to find your link.

11. Collect Leads for Your Business

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You have a lead generation form which requires users to give personal information?

Use Facebook Lead Ads to auto-fill lead gen forms to drive conversions and subscriptions.

Top tip: Tell users what you want them to do. “Click below and confirm your details.” (Facebook fills it in for you). It is a great way to get your lead to drive conversions. The less people have to do, the higher your conversion will be.


Facebook’s advertising platform is a beast.

And now, with Instagram fully integrated, it is a vital tool you can’t afford to ignore.

Which tips have worked best for your business? Let us know in the comments below.


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