Looking to make best use of advertising on Facebook? Here's a quick, 5-step guide to all the essential features and functions of a paid Facebook outreach campaign.
1. Why should you consider advertising on Facebook?
It's easier than you'd expect and almost everyone you'd want to reach is there.
"While nonprofits are often on a tight budget, Facebook ads can be a cost-friendly way to quickly expand your audience and increase the reach of your Facebook posts," says Alex Pomer, Senior Project Manager at New Media Campaigns. "Facebook Ads can be especially helpful for non-profits that don't have a large collection of followers when they first create their Facebook Page."
It's Where Your Audience is
More than 1.6 billion people use Facebook, and more than a billion visit every day.
"With Facebook Ads, you choose the type of people you want to reach and we deliver your ads to them. This makes your ads more relevant for the people who see them and brings you real results," according to Facebook.
Users go to Facebook to learn about their friends and family, to see their pictures, to hear how they are doing. Facebook ads are placed among this content in the stream. Your message will appear among vacation pictures and "life events".
It's Good for Mobile
You've been optimizing your website for mobile. So has Facebook. Almost a billion people visit Facebook every day on their phones and tablets. Facebook ads are meant to be viewed via mobile. The picture is the right size. The text is easy to read.
It Can Match Your Goals
With a Facebook Ad, "people can get directions to your store, download your app, view your videos, add an item to a shopping cart, or take another action on your website". They can donate to your organization. They can become a member of your group. They can sign a petition.
It's Totally targetable
You can be very specific about who you'd like to reach with your ads.
You can target people according to:
- Location - Reach people according to where they live or where they do business with you. You can target a country, state, zip code, or even the area around your business.
- Demographics - Target who sees your ad according to age, gender or language.
- Interests - Target people who share the interests of your organization. "Choose from hundreds of categories like music, movies, sports, games, shopping, and so much more to help you find just the right people."
- Behaviors - You can target people according to the things they do, including "shopping behavior, the type of phone they use, or if they're looking to buy a car or house." Did they give to a charity in the last year?
- Connections - "Reach the people who like your Page or your app - and reach their friends, too."
- Custom Audiences - Facebook's Custom Audiences feature helps you find your existing customers. "You can create a Custom Audience using a customer contact list, your website traffic or activity in your app."
- Lookalike Audiences - Facebook's Lookalike Audiences feature helps you find people "who are similar to your best customers."
2. How to Get Started on Your Campaign
Facebook offers a variety of ad options and placements, but all ads can be broken down into three elements:
- Campaigns - The campaign houses all of your ads.
- Ad sets - If you're targeting separate audiences with different characteristics, you'll need an individual ad set for each.
- Ads - Your actual ads live within your ad sets. Each ad set can hold a variety of ads that vary in color, copy, images, etc.
You set up your ads via Facebook's Ads Manager - Ads Manager is designed with your campaign objective in mind, according to Carly Stec at Hubspot.
"Before getting started, Ads Manager will prompt you to choose an objective for your campaign. There are 10 different objectives to choose from. The list includes everything from sending people to your website to getting installs of your app to raising attendance at your event."
Choosing an objective gives Facebook a better idea of what you want so they can provide you with the best-suited ad options. Ad options include:
- App Engagement
- Event Responses
- Offer Claims
- Video Views
- Local Awareness
- Page Post Engagements
- Page Likes
- Click to Website
- Website Conversions
- App Installs
Pro-tip: When you're creating ads, be sure to create a unique tracking URL with UTM parameters to ensure that you'll be able to keep track of traffic and conversions.
You can choose a daily budget or a lifetime budget.
- Daily budget. If you want your ad set to run continuously throughout the day, choose this option. "Using a daily budget means that Facebook will pace your spending per day. Keep in mind that the minimum daily budget for an ad set is $1.00 USD and must be at least 2X your CPC," says Carly Stec.
- Lifetime budget. If you want to run your ad for a specified length of time, choose this option. "This means that Facebook will pace your spend over the time period you set for the ad to run," says Carly Stec.
4. Designing Your Facebook Ad
Choose a great picture. Photographs of people tend to do best for nonprofits. Write text that will grab your readers' attention. Then upload it to Facebook.
You may want to try a few different versions of the ad with separate tracking URL to see what images and text work best.
Facebook requires users to adhere to certain design criteria. For single image ads, they ask that users adhere to the following considerations:
- Text: 90 characters
- Link Title: 25 characters
- Image ratio: 1.91:1
- Image size: 1200 pixels x 627 pixels. (Use a minimum image width of 600 pixels for ads appearing in News Feed.)
5. Measure Your Facebook Campaign's Success
What key metrics should you look for when you are measuring the success of your campaign? Facebook provides its own analytics dashboard. Facebook suggests that you should measure:
- Performance - Includes metrics like results, reach, frequency and impressions.
- Engagement - Includes metrics like Page likes, Page engagement and post engagement.
- Website - Includes metrics like website actions (all), checkouts, payment details, purchases and adds to cart.
- Apps - Includes metrics like app installs, app engagement, credit spends, mobile app actions and cost per app engagement.
- Events - Include metrics like event responses and cost per event response.
- Clicks - Includes metrics like clicks, unique clicks, CTR (click-through rate) and CPC (cost per click).
Pro-Tip: "Use conversion tracking to monitor actions people take after clicking your ads, such as making a product purchase or signing up for a newsletter. For best results, optimize your ad bid for more conversions."
Does It Work?
The Environmental Defense Fund used targeted Facebook link ads to drive donations on Giving Tuesday, on December 1, 2015, which resulted in "63% more revenue from Facebook than the previous year."
How did they do it? The Environmental Defense Fund built segmented groups of contacts, using their own lists, and uploaded them to the Custom Audiences feature. The campaign's cost per acquisition was less than $40. "They created different ads for each segment so that the creative and copy were uniquely relevant to the customer's personal relationship with the nonprofit," according to Facebook.
Would it help to watch a video that takes you step-by-step through the process of creating a Facebook campaign? We thought so: