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April 27, 2016

Creating Facebook Ads (4)

Choosing your creative


We're still on the first page of the Ads Create tool. And as a quick reminder, we got here by using the drop-down arrow in the upper right hand corner, and selecting Create Ads. Now, earlier we talked through all of the objectives that are available to us. I'll be focusing on the Clicks to Website objective. But you'll be able to apply the same principles to any of the other objectives. Since this objective requires the most effort to configure, we'll use it to explore all the options Facebook provides. So to start, I'll select Clicks to Website.




And immediately, we have the option to enter the URL that we're promoting. We want to link to the page the traffic should arrive on, preferably a landing page that is unique to this advertisement as opposed to your homepage. Now a quick tip for you, Facebook is going to automatically pull images and assets from this URL, or at least it's going to do its best. It usually grabs your logo and maybe an image or two from the actual page. This might be useful in saving time if you want to include that in your ad, but it might not work properly if you're using custom tracking codes from Google or another third party.
From here you'll type in the URL that you want to promote, and then select Enter. So the page refreshes, and now we're going to start configuring this advertisement.




If you do want to automatically pull images, use the URL without the tracking appended. You can then modify the link later, and add the tracking back in. At the very top, we have the URL that we just entered. So, if you need to change it, say to add tracking, you'll do so from there. Clicking back will return you to your list of objectives.


First of all, you will need to fill out Your Account Information, who do you want your adverts to reach and how much are you willing to spend on your advertising campaign.


In Step 4, you begin the process of creating your Ad




Next, you'll see the list of images that I mentioned earlier. Now, depending on how your site is configured, you may find this section empty, or the options may not be relevant to your advertising objectives.


If it does find something, it's important to double check that the size meets the requirements. And to do that, you'll look in the lower left-hand corner of the thumbnail. In this case, we can see the image is 950 by 369. We can compare that to the recommended image size, which Facebook has conveniently listed for you. In this case it recommends an image size of 1200 x 628 pixels. If the size of your image is smaller, Facebook will downgrade the type of ad that's available to you. Meaning you'll be getting subpar results.


I highly recommend using the largest image possible as this will not only ensure that you get the largest advertising unit possible, but it will also display the image in high resolution, which is important for newer computers and devices that feature retina displays.


The largest image possible will increase the value of your advertising spend, which is always a good thing. Now, each image that is presented, or that you choose to upload, will become an advertisement. You can have up to six images, meaning this particular campaign will have six advertisements associated with it. They'll all run simultaneously. However you can edit them individually later. When starting out, I recommend you select one or two images to keep things simple for yourself. Use two different images as a way to test your creative and determine which concept works the best.


You can choose Upload Images, Browse Library, or Find Images to create our visual content. If you have an image you'd like to use, be sure it meets the recommend image size listed and then select Upload an Image to choose it. In the pop up dialog, select the image and then choose Open.


And there you go, Facebook will upload that image and provide its use for your campaign. Let's take another look at the remaining options. If I select Browse Library, I'll get a new pop up window. This section contains images uploaded previously in the Ad tool. Or those that you've included on your Facebook page. There's a helpful filter at the top of the page which will let you toggle between the types. You can also use free images from Shutterstock, which is actually a pretty great option. If you choose an image from Shutterstock, the watermark will be removed once the advertisement goes live.


Once you've selected your choice, choose Done to exit this window. One last thing you want to double check is the position of your image. And you'll do that by selecting the Reposition Images option. And here you'll get a new dialog with some additional options. Here we can click and drag this window to select the appropriate alignment. And in the upper right hand corner, we'll get a preview of how that image will appear.


Once you're satisfied with the positioning, choose Done in the bottom right. Take your time selecting impactful images. The choice you make here can really be the deciding factor between a successful campaign or a failing one.


Writing your content


Now that I have our images dialed in, it's time to focus on my content and review some options related to the link. Now, I'm still in the Ads Create wizard, only now I've scrolled further down the page to the next section, titled Text and Links. First thing I need to do is connect this advertisement to a Facebook page. Doing so will enable the news feed ads, which have a strong performance advantage over the sidebar ads. To do so, I'll click Turn On News Feed Ads in the left corner. And then you just select your page from the drop down if it hasn't done so already. If you're an Admin of multiple pages, you'll see them all appear on this list.



In this case, I have chosen the DM Advertising page. Right away we get a preview of our advertisement on the right-hand side of the page, and we'll use that to verify all of our creative, but let's focus on the information in the left column for now. First up, we have our headline. Based on the link we've shared, Facebook is going to take a guess at creating some content. And 99% of the time, it's not relevant to your objective, so it's best to delete it and start from scratch. Now, since this is a link ad our headline will actually appear below the image..




Think of this more like an intriguing statement. The title of the page they're visiting or a short clickable call to action. Take your time to craft something meaningful. I've already gone ahead and come up with a headline. Now, back up to the headline section. The number in the upper right hand corner indicates how many characters you have remaining. I have used all my allocated 25 characters.


Next up we have the text and, again, they've pre-filled this so I delete their text. Here I can see the number in the upper right hand again, indicating that I have 90 characters available for this section. Now, this is the text at the top of the advertisement. You'll use it to create the main content of your ad. This is the sales pitch. It's what you want to communicate. I'll go ahead and type one in that I've created, and we can see it appear on the right-hand side. At this point, our ad is really taking shape.


In fact, you could call this complete but there's two more features I want you to be aware of. Below the text we have this option called Call To Action. Fom this drop down you can select from some pre-determined options. When you find the one you want, select it. What it does is adds a button in the lower right hand corner of the ad. I highly recommend using this option. In my experience, ads with a call to action outperform ads without them. It not only gives another indication to the user to click it, it increases the overall visibility of the advertisement.




But as with everything, test and see what works for you. Okay, so last but definitely not least is this hidden ability to add a description to your link. Essentially, this adds more text to your advertisement. To show you what I mean, we'll click the Show Advanced Options tab here on the left. In this dialog box, we can include up to 200 additional characters. Anything we want to say about our advertisement, the link, or maybe the terms and conditions of the offer. Now, Facebook will shorten the text on mobile, and this section will not be displayed for a sidebar ad. You can decide if this is right for you and how you want to use this section.


But a good place to start is to think of this section as the elevator pitch for your company. This describes the page they're about to arrive on. For this ad, I'll include a tiny snippet about an what Online Business Website is to provide more context to this advertisement. This section is optional. And while I normally argue that less is more, you do gain quite a bit of extra characters and a more visible ad when you include some text. Try it out and tests what works for you. Once you're done, you'll be able to see the preview of your advertisement in the window on the right.




As with the images, take your time crafting your messaging. Be concise, but relevent. And use attention capturing headlines, and clear copy. I'll be writing more about how to write a really great ad in a later blog, but I've covered all the basics for now.

Next time, I'll be Introducing Managing Facebook Ads.


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About Andrew Scott

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