Facebook ads are adverts that you can place on the popular social network to promote your products, services and brand.

Facebook ads can appear in several locations on the network’s desktop and mobile interfaces. First, there are ads that businesses can insert into the user’s News Feed on desktop – the traditional ads that dominated the network for more than ten years. Next, there are mobile News Feed ads. These slots into the scrolling feed users access through their Facebook smartphone apps. Finally, you can pay for adverts to appear on the right-hand column on the Facebook desktop site. The format of ads can be important, but mostly it is their content that counts.

How Do FB Ads Work?

Facebook advertisements are a “self-serve” tool. Unlike traditional advertising where you approach a TV or radio network that places ads on your behalf, Facebook lets you set the parameters of your outreach efforts directly. It is your choice how much you want to bid for advertising space and the type of users you’d like to prospect.

Businesses manage Facebook Ads through the platform’s Ad Manager. This simple tool provides all of the options that you need to conduct an effective campaign and has tools that guide you through the process. The platform will ask you who you want to target, what type of campaign you’d like to conduct, and how much you want to spend. You can target FB ads to different groups of people, such as those who read your blog, people who’ve purchased from you before, and even those who view your contact page.  Unless there’s a compelling reason to drill down into the details, there’s no need to provide anything other than high-level instructions. The algorithms will do the rest.

The Purpose Of FB Ads

The purpose of Facebook ads is the same as other forms of digital marketing: to encourage prospects to convert into paying customers. But how firms use FB ads differs from alternative channels on the internet.

When a user types in a product-related search term on Google, there’s a good chance that they’re looking for something specific. So, if somebody searches for “gold rings,” you can be pretty sure they’re in the market for jewellery and adjust your advertising accordingly.

On Facebook, though, that’s not how it works. People don’t use the platform with an aim in mind. Instead, they browse their friends, post the odd update and maybe send a message.

Companies, therefore, need to be sensitive to these differences. Facebook ads aren’t usually about making an immediate sale. Instead, they’re generally about raising awareness of the products and brands. Most see FB ads as early-stage marketing, designed to capture potential customers and get them moving down the sales pipeline. Lead conversion is possible, but it is not common.

In light of this, most companies using the platform focus heavily on building what they call a “community” – a group of engaged users who are fond of the brand. These ambassadors, they hope, will then comment, like and share content, amplifying its reach.