The Complete Guide to Facebook Ads cover image
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Facebook Advertising Handbook 2019

April 22, 2019

Can brands still grow a massive audience and drive a ton of conversions using Facebook?

You bet!

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Even since the devastating Facebook newsfeed update of 2018?

Heck yea!

Plenty of brands are thriving on Facebook, and yours can be one of them.

Facebook advertising gives brands a way to boost their growth, traffic, and conversions in massive numbers.

There’s a small catch, though.

Facebook offers so many choices that it can be overwhelming when you’re just getting started.

We’ve got you covered.

This Facebook ad handbook gives you the 3 most important Facebook advertising tips that all brands MUST know.

Then, we walk you through all the different types of ads, using examples to show you how it’s done.

Finally, we explain the different goals you have to choose from and show you what type of ads you can use to achieve them.

Save this handbook! It’s packed with tons of detail that you can refer back to later, and we’ve made it super-easy to find your way around.

3 Facebook Advertising Tips All Brands Must Know About

Review these 3 tips before you invest your advertising $$$ on Facebook. These tips will help you get more for your Facebook advertising $$$.

1. Research Your Competitors’ Ads

Before you invest in Facebook advertising, find out what’s working for your competitors. Here are a few ways you can learn from your competitors’ Facebook advertising.

Follow your competitors.

Following the Facebook pages of successful companies in your industry lets you in on some of the ways they’re using advertising. Plus, you can gain ideas and inspiration about the types of campaigns that are working for your industry.

Check out their Facebook ad history.

Brand advertising is public, and you can gain some valuable insights by checking out what your competitors have done and are doing with Facebook advertising. The ads and info section of any company page show you:

  • Current advertising
  • Past advertising
  • Political advertising

To view your competitors’ ads, go to their home page.

If you’re using a desktop or laptop, select the ads information tab in the left-hand column.

Faebook ads information tab in the left-hand column
Source: Facebook

From a device using the Facebook app, look for the section titled “Page Transparency.”

The section titled Page Transparency opens a section that lets you browse the ads they’ve placed
Source: Facebook

This opens a section that lets you browse the ads they’ve placed.

For more insights, visit the “ads related to politics and issues” page to learn what social causes the company invests in. This page also reveals some of the ad spend information related to the social cause.

toms-social-cause-ads
Source: Facebook

Use paid advertising research tools.

Tools like Social AdScout and AdSpy are some of the best ad research tools available and can offer valuable insights about how ads work in your industry.

Aocial Ad Scout Interact with live ads
Source: Social Ad Scout

Ad research tools help you learn from other’s experience by accessing millions of pieces of data worldwide to offer insights that help you get a step ahead.

Researching your competitors by following them, investigating their previous Facebook ads, or using paid tools will help you create more successful Facebook advertising.

How to Research Your Competitors’ Facebook Ads infographic

2. Create a Facebook Ad Funnel

Tailor your Facebook ads to the different stages of audience intent, creating different ads for people in different stages of the purchase process.

Below is one example of how you might approach creating sales funnel advertising. Tailor the ideas to your own industry and experience.

Stage 1 – Begin with a lookalike audience: Create a lookalike audience based on people who’ve purchased from you before.

Stage 2 – Target interested visitors:  Retarget website visitors who are close to buying. For example, you can retarget people who’ve added something to their cart on your website but haven’t made a purchase yet.

Stage 3 – Target visitors who are closer to purchasing: Target people who are one step closer to purchasing. For example, you could create an audience of people who have begun the checkout process but never completed it.

How to Create a Facebook Ad Funnel infographic
Source: Shopify

3. Use Event-based Custom Audiences to Create Lookalikes

Event-based lookalike audiences are the most effective way to target new people, according to a report by Social Media Examiner.

What’s an event-based audience? To be clear, it’s not about people who attend your parties, webinars, or in-store events!

The term “event” refers to the interactions users have with your brand. For example, an event might be a purchase, email signup, or engagement with your brand.

Using the Facebook Pixel and custom conversions, you can create an audience of people who’ve taken specific action on your website, such as purchasing a product.

Once you’ve created this event-based custom audience, then create a lookalike audience to mirror it. Advertising to that group of people expands your reach to an audience more likely to convert.

Bonus Content: Three Steps to Get Your Brand Ready to Advertise on Facebook infographic

Guide to Facebook Ad Formats

In this section, we’ll show you all the different formats you can use for Facebook advertising, We’ll also share tips and recommended marketing goals for each format.

Scroll to view the most popular ad formats, or jump to:

Photo (Image) ad format

Video ad format

Carousel ads

Slideshow ads

Collections ads

Photo (Image) Ads

Also called “image ads,” Facebook photo ads are a simple 1-image format that are quick and easy to produce.

image ad toms shoes
Source: Facebook

Photo ads are excellent when your goal is to:

  • Drive people to your website
  • Raise product awareness
  • Create an ad quickly

Photo Ad Tips

According to Facebook Business, the following tips will help your photo ads become more successful:

  • Show people using your product
  • Use minimal amounts of text
  • Create a focal point
  • Keep multiple ads visually consistent
  • Use high-quality, high-resolution images

Where to Use Image Ads

Image ads can be used for:

  • Feed ads
  • Right-column
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Facebook Stories
  • Audience Network, Native, Banner, and Interstitial
  • Sponsored Message ads
  • Messenger Inbox ads

Facebook image ads are a popular format, and they work for almost any type of message. Use your best, most stunning images to catch attention in the newsfeed!

Video Ads

Show off your brand message or offer with sound and motion. Facebook video ads allow you to use a variety of lengths, depending on the ad placement.

Facebook video ad example, Margaret Atwood MasterClass
Source: Facebook

Video ads are great for:

  • Expanding your reach
  • Boosting engagement
  • Increasing video views
  • Driving conversions

Video Ad Tips

  • Shorter videos have higher completion rates.
  • Longer videos allow you to share more in-depth messages.
  • GIFs can also be used as videos!
  • Lead with your most compelling elements. According to Facebook, nearly half of a video’s value happens within the first 3 seconds of a video.

Videos can be used in almost every type of Facebook ad, including:

  • Feed ads
  • Instant Articles
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Facebook Stories
  • Audience Network, Native, Banner, and Interstitial
  • In-stream video ads
  • Messenger inbox ads
  • Suggested video ads

Facebook claims that nearly 80% of all mobile data will be video by 2021.

Facebook users say they watch videos on Facebook to feel connected to their friends and family (41%), and because it gives them something to talk about (39%).

Create videos that give people something to talk about, and you’re sure to win over your audience on Facebook!

Carousel Ads

Carousel ads show several images or videos (up to 10) that users can right-click through.

Below is an example of a Carousel ad.

Facebook Carousel Ad Example
Source:Facebook

You can use Carousel ads with the following goals:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Boost conversions
  • Expand reach
  • Increase store traffic
  • Boost site traffic

Carousel ads can be placed in the following areas:

  • Newsfeed
  • Right-column
  • Instant Articles
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Audience Network, Native, Banner, and Interstitial

Carousel ads are a great way to tell a story or show off your best products!

Slideshow ads

Slideshow ads combine images, video, and text into one ad. Each slide fades out and into the next quickly for a hard-to-resist video experience.

Below is an example of a Slideshow ad from Jasper’s Market.

Facebook slideshow ads example
Source:Facebook Business

When to Use Slideshow Ads

Slideshow ads are great for people with slow internet connections or old computers. They use less data than regular video ads, so they load quicker and play easier.

The slideshow format is also great for showing different angles of the same product.

For example, Felix Gray eyeglasses uses a slideshow ad to show a pair of glasses from 2 different angles.

felix gray slideshow ad
Source:Facebook Business

Collections Ads

Collection ads are for products. They allow users to browse products from your catalog in video, slideshow, and image formats.

Users interact with collection ads to learn more about product features in full screen — without leaving the Facebook app.

Below is an example of a Collection ad from Adidas.

Facebook collection feed ad
Source:Facebook Business

Collection ads can be used with the following goals:

  • Boost conversions
  • Increase traffic
  • Drive in-store traffic
  • Sell products

The Collection ad format is an excellent fit for ecommerce online businesses who want to boost sales conversions.

Guide to Facebook Ad Placements

Ad placements are the different places your ads can appear on Facebook, like newsfeed and messages. Read on to learn about all your ad placement options.

Feed Ads

You can place Image, Video, Carousel, and Collection ads in the Facebook feed.

Facebook Feed Ads appear in your newsfeed as you’re browsing Facebook.

facebook feed ad example 2
Source: Facebook

Image feed ad:

There are 4 ad formats to choose from when placing ads in the newsfeed.

1. Image Ads In Feed

Image ads in Facebook look like any other post but have the word “sponsored” written beneath your company name.

Below are examples of Facebook image ads.

Image Ads in Feed

Examples of Facebook Feed image ads on mobile and desktop.
Source: Facebook

2. Video Ads In Feed

Use videos to captivate viewers with Facebook Feed video ads.

Below are examples of Facebook feed video ads.

Video Ads in Feed

Facebook Feed Video Examples on mobile and desktop
Source: Facebook

3. Carousel Ads In Feed

Carousel ads let you include up to 10 images or videos, with their own links, in one ad.

Below are examples of Carousel ads.

Carousel Ads

Examples of Facebook carousel ads in Facebook feed
Source: Facebook

4. Collection Ads In Feed

Collection ads allow people to browse and purchase your products or services from a mobile device. They include a cover image or video with a collection of product images beneath it.

Facebook Collection Feed Ads in Examples

Examples of Facebook feed Collection ads
Source: Facebook

When people click on a collection ads, they’re directed to an Instant Experience ad.

Instant Experience ads are fullscreen “experiences” whose goal is to drive engagement, interest, and intent.

instant experience ads
Source: Facebook

Right Column Ads – Desktop Only

You can place Image and Carousel ads in Right Column.

Right Column ads appear only on desktop, and usually show up in the right-hand column of Facebook pages. Sometimes they appear in other areas of Facebook, too.

1. Image Ads In Right Column

Right Column image ads appear smaller than Feed ads, but they scroll with you as you browse the newsfeed.

Facebook right column ad example
Source: Adstage

2. Carousel Ads In Right Column

Right Column Carousel ads appear in the right hand column of Facebook pages on desktop devices, but they may also appear in other areas of Facebook.

You can include up to 10 images, each with their own links, in Carousel ads.

Below is an example of how one brand used a Carousel format for its Right Column ad.

facebook carousel right column ad
Source: Facebook

As a reminder, Right Column ads appear only on desktop and do not show up on mobile devices.

Instant Articles Ads

Instant articles can contain CTA’sImage, Video, and Carousel, link page post, and mobile app install formats can be used for Instant Articles.

Instant Articles is a paid format that allows brands to post fast-loading articles to the Facebook app.

Instant Articles is optimized for mobile.

Instant article appearance
Source: Facebook

You can place CTA’s in your Instant Articles, so viewers see your it when they view your full article.

Courtesy of Instapage, below are examples of what an Instant Article looks like in the newsfeed and what it looks like after a viewer clicks.

Instant article example 1 from Instapage
Instant article example 2 from Instapage

Consider Instant Articles format only if your brand is serious about publishing unique or breaking news content that your target audience can’t resist.

According to Facebook, Instant Articles

  • Get 20% more clicks than regular articles on mobile devices
  • Are 70% less likely to get abandoned, mostly because there’s no long delay during loading
  • Get 30% more shares than other mobile articles

Keep in mind that typical articles on mobile load very slowly, often causing viewers to cancel out before the article opens. This may account for the high comparison rates above.

Instant articles data from Facebook
Source: Facebook

You can include the following types of CTA’s in your Instant articles.

  • Subscribe forms
  • App installs
  • Page likes

Below are examples of the CTA formats offered in Instant Articles.

Instant Articles CTA Formats

Samples of CTA's for Facebook Instant Articles
Source: Facebook

Facebook Instant Articles were initially created for publishers, but now brands can use them also.

For step-by-step instructions on placing Instant Articles, visit Facebook Help Center.

Facebook Marketplace Ads

You can place Image, Video, and Carousel Ads on Facebook Marketplace.

Facebook Marketplace is a user-generated “for sale” community. Users can place ads for free and often purchase used items in their local area.

Businesses can place paid ads that appear on Marketplace while users are shopping.

You can use the image, video, or carousel formats for Facebook Marketplace ads.

Below are mobile and desktop ad examples from Facebook Marketplace.

Marketplace Ad Examples

Examples of advertisements on Facebook Marketplace
Source: Facebook

Facebook Stories Ads

You can place Image and video ads in Facebook Stories.

Ads in Facebook Stories are fullscreen vertical format ads that show up between Stories for about 5 seconds or until the user swipes away.

Below is an example of an ad in a Facebook Story.

Facebook Stories Ad Examples

Examples of image and video ads in Facebook Stories
Source: Facebook Ads Manager

Audience Network, Native, Banner, and Interstitial Ads

You can place Image, Video, Rewarded, and Carousel Ads in Facebook’s Audience Network.

Audience network ads about
Source: Facebook

Facebook Audience Network is advertising outside of Facebook that reaches its target audience, offering a broader reach for marketing campaigns.

Audience Network Ad Examples

Examples of Facebook Audience Network ads in image, video, and carousel formats
Source: Facebook Ads Guide

Find out how to place ads in Facebook’s Audience Network by visiting the Help Center.

Rewarded Video Ads for Audience Network

Rewarded video ads a full-screen videos that users watch in exchange for a reward such as:

  • Virtual currency
  • In-app items
  • Exclusive content

Rewarded video ads play in Facebook’s Audience Network, allowing you to reach a wider audience through high-quality mobile apps and websites.

An example of a rewarded video ad is shown below.

Facebook video audience network rewarded video
Source: Facebook

In-Stream Video Ads

In-stream video ads are 5-15 seconds long that interrupt videos people are watching on Facebook.

An example of a video about to load an in-stream ad is shown below.

Facebook in stream video ad
Source: Facebook

The experience of in-stream advertising is similar to watching commercials that appear during a television show.

Sponsored Message ads

Image-based advertising

Sponsored messages are shown to people who already have an existing conversation with your brand.

Below is an example of what a sponsored ad looks like in Messenger list and opened in Messenger.

Sponsored Message Ad Examples

Examples of sponsored message ads in Facebook
Source: Facebook Ads Guide

Messenger Inbox ads

You can use Image and video formats for Messenger ads.

Messenger Inbox ads are advertisements that show up in the Messenger home screen. Below are examples of Messenger inbox ads.

Messenger Inbox Ad Examples

Examples of Facebook Messenger Inbox ads
Source: Facebook Ads Guide

Suggested Video Ads

Clicking on a video from Facebook newsfeed opens the video player, which includes suggestions of videos the user might like to watch.

You can insert your company’s video ads between the suggested videos.

Facebook Suggested Video Ad Examples

Examples of suggested video ads on Facebook
Source: Facebook

Facebook offers many different formats and placements for advertisers.

If you’d like step-by-step instructions for placing any of the Facebook ads mentioned above, visit Facebook’s Business Help Center ads section.

How to Align Ads with Your Marketing Goals

In the following section, we’ll show you what types of ads and placements you can use with Facebook’s different ad goals.

Plus, we’ll show you examples of brands who’ve achieved success with the different goals.

Expand Your Reach

Find out what it means to expand your reach on Facebook, and learn what types of ad formats and placements can help you meet your reach goals.

“Reach” refers to the number of people that are exposed to your brand message.

In advertising, “reach” is the number of people who see your ads. In other words, how many potential customers your ad reaches.

Expanding your reach with Facebook advertising helps you get your message to new people who are not already following your page.

What type of Facebook ads can expand your reach?

Here’s a list of the type of Facebook ads that allow you to choose “reach” as your objective:

  • Newsfeed ads: image, video, and carousel formats
  • Instant article ads: image, video, and carousel formats
  • Facebook Marketplace ads: image, video, and carousel ads in
  • Facebook Stories ads: image and video ads
  • Messenger Stories ads: image and video ads
  • Audience network ads: image, video, carousel, and in-stream video ads
  • Messenger inbox ads: image, video, and carousel ads
  • In-stream video ads
  • Suggested video ads

Tip – Pair Facebook advertising with influencer marketing to expand your reach

Aligning your Facebook advertising with influencer marketing campaigns can massively expand your reach.

Did you know? A recent survey found that nearly 70% of people are most likely to discover new products, services, and events from people they follow on Facebook.

Good news for small businesses!

The majority of people (80%) think of influencers not as celebrities — but as people with a lot of social media followers or anyone who promotes a product on their social channel.

So, your brand doesn’t need celebrities to influence its followers. Instead, try micro-influencers.

Micro-influencers are affordable for any size business, and they have more influence over their audience’s buying decisions than mega-influencers.

Influencers are an excellent way to expand your reach, build your following, and increase brand awareness.

Raise Brand Awareness

Facebook brand awareness ads target people that are most likely to remember your brand’s ads.

Facebook allows you to use any of the following ads when you choose brand awareness as your objective:

  • Image, video, and carousel ads in feed
  • Image, video, and carousel Instant article ads
  • Image, video, and carousel ads in Facebook Marketplace
  • Image and video ads in Stories
  • Image and video ads in Messenger Stories
  • Image, video, and carousel ads in Messenger inbox
  • In-stream video ad
  • Suggested video ad
  • In-stream video ads in audience network

Boost Traffic

Facebook allows you to use any of the following ads when you choose traffic as your objective:

  • Image, video, carousel, and collection ads in feed
  • Image and carousel ads in Right Column
  • Image, video, and carousel Instant article ads
  • Image, video, and carousel ads in Facebook Marketplace
  • Image and video ads in Stories
  • Image and video ads in Messenger Stories
  • Image, video, and carousel ads in audience network
  • Image in sponsored message
  • Image, video, and carousel ads in Messenger inbox

Increase Engagement

Facebook allows you to use any of the following ads when you choose engagement  as your objective:

  • Image and video ads in feed
  • Image and video Instant article ads
  • In-stream video ad
  • Video ad on Facebook Marketplace
  • Suggested video ad
  • In-stream video ads in audience network

Event Responses

Facebook allows you to use any of the following ads when you choose event responses as your objective:

  • Image and video ads in feed
  • Image, video, and carousel ads in Facebook Marketplace

App Installs

Facebook allows you to use any of the following ads when you choose app installs as your objective:

  • Image, video, and carousel ads in feed
  • Image, video, and carousel Instant article ads
  • Image and video ads in Stories
  • Image and video ads in Messenger Stories
  • Image, video, and carousel ads in audience network
  • Image, video, and carousel ads in Messenger inbox
  • In-stream video ad
  • Suggested video ad
  • Audience Network Rewarded Video

Generate Leads

Facebook allows you to use any of the following ads when you choose generate leads as your objective:

  • Image, video, and carousel ads in feed
  • Image, video, and carousel Instant article ads
  • Image, video, and carousel ads in Facebook Marketplace
  • Image and video ads in Stories

Boost Conversions

Facebook allows you to use any of the following ads when you choose conversions as your objective:

  • Image, video, carousel, and collection ads in feed
  • Image and carousel ads in Right Column
  • Image, video, and carousel Instant article ads
  • Image, video, and carousel ads in Facebook Marketplace
  • Image and video ads in Stories
  • Image and video ads in Messenger Stories
  • Image, video, in-stream, and carousel ads in audience network
  • Image in sponsored message
  • Image, video, and carousel ads in Messenger inbox
  • Suggested video ad
  • Audience Network Rewarded Video

Generate Catalog Sales

You can use the following types of ads to generate catalog sales:

  • Image, video, carousel, and collection ads in feed
  • Image and carousel ads in Right Column
  • Image, video, and carousel ads in Facebook Marketplace
  • Image and carousel ads in audience
  • Image, video, and carousel ads in Messenger inbox

Drive In-Store traffic

Facebook allows you to use any of the following ads when you choose in-store traffic as your objective:

  • Image, video, carousel, and collection ads in feed
  • Image ad in Facebook Marketplace

Increase Video Views

Facebook allows you to use any of the following ads when you choose video views as your objective:

  • Video ads in feed
  • Image ad in Facebook Marketplace
  • Image and video ads in Stories
  • Video Instant article ads
  • In-stream video ad
  • Suggested video ad
  • Video ads in audience network, native, banner, and interstitial

Encourage Messages

Facebook allows you to use any of the following ads when you choose Messages as your objective:

  • Image, video, and carousel ads in feed
  • Image ad in Facebook Marketplace
  • Image in sponsored message
  • Image, video, and carousel ads in Messenger inbox

It’s Still Possible to Grow an Audience and Boost Traffic On Facebook

Since Facebook updated its newsfeed in 2018, many brands have struggled to build and engage robust audiences. Publishing quality content is an excellent way to engage current followers, but it may not do much to help you add new ones.

Facebook advertising is THE way to expand your reach and raise brand awareness on Facebook. It can also help to significantly improve your conversions and traffic.

Use the right type of ads in the best possible places, and your brand can enjoy massive success on Facebook.

Share your favorite Facebook advertising tips!

If you’ve got a unique tip for Facebook advertising, share it with us in the comments section below! We may even include your quote in a future article, so be sure to include your business link!

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