facebook ads

How Facebook Slideshow Ads Can Reach More People

how facebook slideshow ads
how facebook slideshow ads

Brands are always looking for ways to better connect with consumers. Facebook Slideshow gives small businesses an easy and cost-effective way to create engaging ad experiences that can broaden reach to emerging markets. Video is booming, but every business doesn't have the time or resources to create them. Here's how it works:

Facebook Slideshow

With Slideshow, advertisers can create a video-like ad by merging 3 to 7 still images that can be from existing video or photos, and stock images from Facebook's library. You can add audio and text overlay to bring your stories to life and send a message to your audience.

Creating a Slideshow Ad

If you are familiar with Facebook ads, you can quickly create a Slideshow through the Facebook Ad Campaign.

1. First, choose your objective. You can add a Slideshow to any objective that supports video.

2. After choosing your objective, choose the Page you will be promoting and add the necessary information specific to your ad campaign (targeting, budget, scheduling).

3. In the Video section, choose the Create Slideshow option and add up to 3-7 images to your slideshow ad. Images can be uploaded from your computer/mobile device or added from your page and Facebook stock photos.

SlideShow
SlideShow

4. You can add free audio tracks to play during the Slideshow and add text with different fonts and colors.

5. Set a total length of your Slideshow up to 35 seconds.

6. Click Create Slideshow again to finalize your video. Then, choose the thumbnail of your video ad and enter the text and any call to action buttons you want to show.

Better Optimization For Emerging Markets and Slower Connections

According to Facebook, users are watching at least 1 video during their time on the platform. And as more people around the world gain access social media, it's important that different variables are taken into account.

Slideshow uses less data and loads faster than the average video ad, making it more accessible for users on 2G or 3G connections. Facebook has demonstrated that a 15-second Slideshow results in a file size one-fifth the size of a video the same length. This is ideal for reaching new users no matter the device, connection, and location.

COCA
COCA

Last year, Coca-Cola ran a brief campaign in Kenya and Nigeria using Slideshows to raise awareness for its Coke Studio Africa Project. Their goal? Reach consumers with slower connection speeds and older technology. Their Slideshow Ad reached 2 million consumers.

The Cost-Effective Alternative

Stance, a high-fashion sock company, used Facebook Slideshow to grab the attention of potential consumers. Instead of spending resources on new photos, they took existing still images from their online product catalog and created slideshow ads. The strategy proved to be a success, as the company increased their CTR by 2.4x, lowered their CPA by 48%, and saw a 1.4x boost in return on ad spend.

Keys to Success

Ready to show off your slideshow ad? There are a few things you want to remember while you're creating a slideshow:

Use High-Quality Images

Photos of your products, services, curated content, and behind-the-scenes looks can determine how much your ad stands out on news feeds.

Monitor Your Conversions

It's important that you track what actions consumers take after clicking your ads, whether it's purchasing a product, visiting your website or signing up for an email list. Monitoring this can help you optimize your campaigns to reach your goals.

Conclusion

Now's the time to strategize with video-like content within your social media campaigns. For businesses with limited resources, tools like Facebook Slideshows have shown that you don't have to be an expert to create engaging and exciting content.

Have you used Slideshow in your Facebook Ads? Did you see a difference in performance compared to a still image ad?

Want to receive information like this in your inbox every week? Sign up for the Social Ape Weekly, a weekly newsletter chock full of social media tips, best practices and productivity tools to help you become a better marketer!

How Facebook Changed The 20% Rule

HOW to start a (1)
HOW to start a (1)

Adding relevant images of your brand or service can make a huge impact in determining the success of your Facebook ads.

For marketers, it's becoming a challenge to keep up new changes Facebook announces every week. You can almost expect strategies you were once using yesterday, to be overhauled tomorrow.

Facebook's 20% rule was slyly changed (but not completely removed) recently as new guidelines were integrated into how much text images could be displayed.

Before the alteration, a basic grid tool allowed you to upload graphics and check how much your image is obscured by text. Now, there are four categories of text overlay:

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 12.06.17 PM
Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 12.06.17 PM

Image Text Ratings determine how much text is in your ad image. While minimal text is still preferred, the new system allows you to run ads that would've been rejected under the old policy. ___

Image Text OK - If your image has nearly little to no text (other than a company logo,) typically your ad will run normally and reach the estimated amount of people.

FB1
FB1

___

Image Text Low - With a low classification, your ads may be restricted in reach.

FB2
FB2

___

Image Text Medium - Ad images with slightly higher text display will reach even lower counts.

FB3
FB3

___

Image Text High - If the image you uploaded is determined to be in this class, you have too much text and your ad may not be displayed at all.

FB4
FB4

___

Keep in mind that logos, watermarks, and numbers all count towards the text amount. There are also a few exceptions that can be automatically identified by Facebook like text-based products (calligraphy, infographics, book titles, etc.)

At this point, changes to your social media campaigns are inevitable because of the constant innovation of these type of tools. Facebook wants what's best for the ultimate user experience, even if marketers are being most affected. ___

Have you tested your Facebook ad campaigns with images that include text and ones without? Let us know your results!

Want to receive information like this in your inbox every week? Sign up for the Social Ape Weekly, a weekly newsletter chock full of social media tips, best practices and productivity tools to help you become a better marketer!

How to Create a Local Awareness Facebook Ad for Your Business

how to create (1)
how to create (1)

Remember the good ol' days when Facebook organic reach was a real thing, and people who liked your page could actually see what you've posted on their news feed?

We live in a pay-to-play world now.

One thing we know about Facebook is that they make it easy for businesses to throw money at them. A plethora of options are offered to help target audiences, but with more choices, comes more confusion.

So, what's the most effective advertising option for your local business?

Simply posting on your page and clicking the enticing 'Boost' button to create an ad and hope you reach audiences with similar interests? It's an easy option to get more people to see what you've published on your business page, but it's less defined in who and what area you're targeting.

While boosting a post is a start, utilizing other advertising opportunities is a more specific way to build local awareness. Here are some tips for creating sucessful Facebook ads for your business.

Ads Manager

The Ads Manager option from your business page is a way to more directly target audiences and better choose goals for your posts.

Untitled design (48)
Untitled design (48)

To create a local awareness ad, click on 'Create Ad' at the top right of your Ads Manager page. From here, depending on what type of content you plan to on using, you can choose the goal or objective for your post.

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 11.03.47 AM
Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 11.03.47 AM

By choosing one of these options, your ad campaign greatly improves a distinct audience reach. It can also help monitor and identify target people who are clicking outside of the Facebook environment (for example; going to your website). If your goal is to convert leads, Ads Manager is the best alternative.

For local awareness ad campaigns, click on the "Reach people near your business" option. On this page, you will define your audience, budget and schedule.

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 11.16.51 AM
Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 11.16.51 AM

Next, enter the street address for your business and define how big of a radius (by miles) you want to reach. Here, you can physically drag the map with your cursor to better target a specific area.

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 11.23.54 AM
Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 11.23.54 AM

Identify your demographic by choosing the age range and gender most likely to engage with your content. Furthermore, define where you'd like your ads to appear. Use trial and error to analyze your audience's usage of Facebook (desktop or mobile).

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 11.36.35 AM
Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 11.36.35 AM

Figure out how much you'd like to spend according to your budget. There is an option for 'Daily Budget' or 'Lifetime Budget' depending on your preference. Schedule your ad so it continuously runs, or set a start time and end date. You'll notice on the right side of the page under 'Potential Reach' that these numbers are an estimate from which preferences you've chosen throughout this page. Editing the location, demographics and budget have an effect on the number of people you can potentially reach.

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 11.44.00 AM
Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 11.44.00 AM

You're almost there! Choose how your ad will look on Facebook feeds by selecting media, texts and links. At the bottom of the page, you'll find a preview of your ad and an option to to review and place your order. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the ad policy to avoid hindrances upon completing your ad campaign.

We hope these steps can ease any confusion about boosting posts and utilizing Facebook's Ads Manager. Remember, not all business are the same, so to better reach a target audience, be specific with your goals and preferences for your advertising campaigns.

Want to receive information like this in your inbox every week? Sign up for the Social Ape Weekly, a weekly newsletter chock full of social media tips, best practices and productivity tools to help you become a better marketer!

How to Better Target Your Facebook Ads

How to (1)
How to (1)

You can run, but you can't hide.

Facebook advertisements continue to pour into our news feeds, flooding timelines with sponsored posts that the platform thinks you're interested in.

Chances are you've asked, "Why is this specific ad on my timeline?" or "How the heck do I get rid of it?"

Advertisements aren't going anywhere, but there are ways to help you better understand ad targeting and the role it plays for your Facebook marketing campaign.

The first step is to find a sponsored post and click the down arrow found on the upper right corner of the ad. Here, you'll find a few helpful options that correspond with other ads as well.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 10.01.14 AM
Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 10.01.14 AM

Click 'Why am I seeing this?' for a few 'explanations' on why this ad is targeting you. Facebook analyzes users interests, likes and online behaviors to target ads to like-minded audiences.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 10.01.52 AM
Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 10.01.52 AM

For a full listing of topics and keywords Facebook thinks you're interested in, click "Manage Your Ad Preferences" from the same page above.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 10.03.10 AM
Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 10.03.10 AM

You can add/remove any preferences to see more of what you like and filter out unwanted or non-specific posts from your timeline. For example, if your preferences include "cycling" you may see business ads that are targeting people that like to ride bikes.

Also, if you remove all of your preferences in hopes to get rid of sponsored ads, think again! "You'll still see the same number of ads, but they may be less useful for you."

We know ads can sometimes be a nuisance but it's necessary for success. As online marketers, our goal is to reach as many consumers as possible with content that serves your interests and likeness. By knowing what and why people (like yourself) are being targeted for and then utilizing these analytics, you can better strategize for your next Facebook advertising campaign.

Want to receive information like this in your inbox every week? Sign up for the Social Ape Weekly, a weekly newsletter chock full of social media tips, best practices and productivity tools to help you become a better marketer!

How-To: Boost A Facebook Post With Targeting

FACEBOOK 101_
FACEBOOK 101_

 

When it comes to Facebook for business, you have to pay to play. As annoying as that is, unless you have a large following (and even then, not everyone is going to see all of your posts), boosting a post on Facebook is a necessary part of Facebook advertising. In this week's blog, I am going to show you step-by-step how to boost a post on Facebook by targeting a specific audience. First thing's first... Make sure that your post includes an eye-catching photo and an informative and engaging caption. Once you have the post you wish to boost, click the "Boost Post" button at the bottom right corner of the post.

boostpost1
boostpost1
boostpost2
boostpost2

Once you click 'Boost Post,' Facebook will bring up a page with several options for boosting posts. You will want to click the 'People you choose through targeting' option in the top right corner to make the most of your boosted post. Since you probably won't already have your audience you will need to click 'Create New Audience.'

targeting
targeting

The next step requires a little more thought. Choose a name for the audience that you ideally want to see your post. Pick the location of your intended audience; Facebook even gives you the option to add 'x' amount of miles outside of a particular city. Next, click on the age groups of your intended audience. We chose the minimum & maximum age for this particular post, however you will need to think about the age groups of your intended audience. If the post you are boosting is for a restaurant that sells alcohol, a bar, or alcohol in general, you must have 21 as the minimum age, otherwise, Facebook will not approve of your boosted post. As far as 'interests' go, it is in your best interest to be specific as you can, and to think about the interests of your intended audience. For this post, which is about an upcoming play in Charlotte, I chose the following interests: North Carolina's Blumenthal of Performing Arts, Discovery Place, Performing Arts, Theatre, Acting, Plays, William Shakespeare & Oscar Wilde; these 'interests' are intended to target people living in Charlotte that are interested in plays, acting, and have kids that are interesting in these activities.

budget
budget

Once you have created an audience for your post, the next step is to choose your ad budget. First, think about how long you would like for your post to run; Facebook requires you to spend at least $1 per day that your post is running. Our post is for a play that is on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, so we boosted it on Wednesday to run for 3 days through Friday in hopes that the audience will schedule the play into their weekend plans. 

reviewboostpost
reviewboostpost

Now that you have set up your targeted audience, a budget and timeline for your post, click 'Boost.' You will then see that your boosted post is being reviewed by Facebook and will take approximately an hour to start reaching your intended audience. Once your boosted post run time has ended, you will be able to check out the results and see how many people were reached, how many interacted, clicked on a link, etc. It's a good idea to look this over and learn what you could possibly do different/better for next time!

Boosting a post on Facebook gives your audience a better chance to see and interact with your post. Without paying for Facebook advertising, you are only able to reach a certain amount of people who 'Like' your Facebook page, so it critical to pay for boosting if you want the right people to see you page, event, etc. If you want to run ads through your Facebook page for more page 'Likes,' Facebook will take you through a very similar process as the one above. As long as you've taken the time to think about who your audience is and budget correctly, you will start seeing results on your business Facebook page.

Want to receive information like this in your inbox every week? Sign up for the Social Ape Weekly, a weekly newsletter chock full of social media tips, best practices and productivity tools to help you become a better marketer!

Why Are You Being Targeted For Specific Facebook Ads?

print-433061
print-433061

While you're casually scrolling through Facebook, you come across an advertisement for a pair of tennis shoes and you probably wonder, "Why is this showing up on my news feed?" It's no new feature that Facebook places ads strategically on your news feed, but why you're seeing these specific ads is kind of ironic. Facebook is now stalking you. These ads are targeted to you through your computer's browser history and through Facebook, in which audiences are segmented by their information connected with their Facebook page (age, location, education, etc.).

Next time you come across an ad on Facebook, click the downward-facing arrow in the top right corner of the ad where a drop-down box of options will appear. Click on the option, "Why am I seeing this?", to find out why you were targeted for that specific ad. You even have the option to opt out of particular ads if you want.

fbad
fbad

As a business or organization that is still figuring out how to market to a particular audience, this feature is a great way to see how other companies are using Facebook to target people. As an individual Facebook user, this is extremely helpful in understanding how Facebook uses your personal information to advertise. You can even go a step further by clicking "Ad Preferences" to manage personal interests in order to influence the type of ads that will appear on your feed. And yes, you can even opt out of ads all together through the Digital Advertising Alliance.

Want to receive information like this in your inbox every week? Sign up for the Social Ape Weekly, a weekly newsletter chock full of social media tips, best practices and productivity tools to help you become a better marketer!

How To Create A Winning Facebook Ad

Creating a Facebook Ad is intimidating enough for those who aren't familiar with the regulations so I've listed a few simple tips to help you create a Facebook Ad that will instantly drive traffic to your page and website, which should result in new Likes and click-throughs.  

  1. Photo: Choose a photo that is simple and conveys a message without even using text. Facebook users have so much to look at when browsing their newsfeed so keeping it simple here is key. Make sure your photo is a clear and captivating image that will catch the attention of the audience you are trying to reach.
  2. 20% text: Any photos that you upload to use in an ad MUST have no more than 20% text within the photo. No exceptions. Your ad will certainly be rejected if there is even 21% text included in the photo or graphic. The only exception; however, is any text that is on a product within the photo. A good point of reference that further explains the 20% text rule can be found here.
  3. Ad Copy: When choosing the caption for your photo, keep it within a couple short paragraphs or sentences if possible and use a call-to-action in the last line of your ad copy. A call-to-action could be asking people to buy tickets for an event, visit your website, LIKE your page, enter in a contest, etc. The more descriptive you are in your call-to-action, the better. Also, make sure that enough info is included in your copy that your audience understands what you're advertising without having to do anything. They should be able to understand the message instantly, not to mention be interested enough that they will click through the Ad.
  4. Include a link: If you do need to include a link to direct people to your website, try using a link-tracking service like Bitly that not only will shorten your link so that it doesn't take up too much room of your ad but also tracks the number of click-throughs to your site. This will give you a good idea of how effective your ad is as well as give you a small piece of analytic info for your website.
  5. Targeting: I could write an entire blog post on Facebook Ad Targeting but I'll keep it simple here. Know the demographic that you are trying to reach with your Facebook ad before you place it. Is your target audience young, old, female, male? Do they live in Charlotte or is your site friendly to all locations? Does your target audience Like other certain Facebook pages that are directly correlated to your Facebook page? What topics or interests does your target audience have? Take advantage of these targeting options when creating your Facebook Ad to see what works for you.

Below is a recent example of a Facebook Ad I created for a client that has been doing very well in click-throughs and new Likes.

Facebook Ad photo
Facebook Ad photo

Want to receive information like this in your inbox every week? Sign up for the Social Ape Weekly, a weekly newsletter chock full of social media tips, best practices and productivity tools to help you become a better marketer!