There are many Facebook ad formats to try out when testing the power of Facebook advertising, but not all of them are equally effective.
Facebook recently announced that it is planning to withdraw the ability to boost a list of post types from its available ad formats, as they didn’t seem to align with most brands’ objectives when using Facebook ads.
As a result, from September 15 brands won’t be able to create ads for these types of posts:
- Boosting shares of products from shops
- Boosting shares of a story about a for-sale post
- Boosting a check-in on a map, at a restaurant, or in a city
- Boosting shares of a note
- Boosting shares of a poll
- Boosting place recommendations
- Boosting shares of cultural moments
- Boosting shares of comments
- Boosting change of a Profile picture
- Boosting a file upload or share
- Boosting a sports event
- Boosting a video or image uploaded through the Facebook camera
- Boosting attendance for an event
- Boosting shares of a video playlist
- Boosting status of watching a television show, movie, or other types of programming
- Boosting a post from an app posted to a Page’s timeline
- Boosting a political endorsement
If you’re planning to promote any of the above post types, you may need to reconsider your strategy to fit your advertising plans to Facebook’s new guidelines.
For example, if you wanted to boost the shares of a note after the 15th of September, you might need to think of an alternative, such as an ad that leads directly to your site, or the part of a note shared as an image, leading to the complete note through it.
Facebook hopes to strengthen their existing ad types by creating more solid formats that contribute directly to a brand’s objectives.
If you’re looking to reconfigure your strategy in the wake of Facebook’s announcement, what options do you have, and which are the most effective? Here are five that you should consider.
It is estimated that one out of every five minutes that people in the US spend on mobile is on Facebook or Instagram. The increasing usage of mobile devices brings out more opportunities for the promotion of new applications.
If a company creates a new app, Facebook can offer a useful platform for its promotion with the App Install ads. These ads have a very specific goal, which is the increased number of users who download an app.
The focus is not on engagement, but rather on the promotion of the app, offering an overview of its features. Thus, an App Install ad would highlight what makes this app special, finding the best ways to appeal to the target audience.
It may be useful to test until you find your ideal audience to target for these ads. A few examples include:
- people who have downloaded ads in the past through ads
- early adopters
- people who follow similar apps or pages
- people with a specific interest or purchasing behavior, depending on the type of app
- people who mostly use Facebook on mobile
All these options can be adjusted while creating the ad until you pick the best audience for your app’s promotion.
The App Install ads can reach both Facebook’s desktop and mobile users, but also Instagram users and Instagram Stories. This increases the chances of finding a mobile audience who would be interested in downloading your particular app. As the ad is focusing primarily on mobile users, it is a good idea to align the design with the wider consumption of mobile content.
For example, the image shouldn’t include more than 20% text, as Facebook reduces the reach of ads containing images that are heavy on text.
According to Facebook, there are 100 million hours of video watched on the platform every day. Video consumption has been on the rise and brand publishers already take advantage of the creativity that Facebook videos offer.
Video advertising can be very effective to appeal to Facebook users, contributing to brand awareness, engagement and extended reach.
Video content can include:
- Customer stories
- Product launches
- Behind-the-scenes content
- Branded stories
- How-to content
- Exclusive content
Moreover, in-stream video advertising allows brands to create 5-15 second mid-roll video ads among other publishers’ Facebook videos. This is an option that undergoes strict criteria for the selection of the ads in order to ensure that user experience is not affected by low-quality advertising.
If you want to create a video ad to boost the views of your content and reach a larger audience, it’s useful to bear in mind Facebook’s design recommendations, from the number of characters to the ratio that the video appears on desktop and mobile. These will ensure that your video ad will be optimized for all devices.
- Text: 90 characters
- Aspect Ratios Supported: 16:9 (full landscape) to 9:16 (full portrait)
- Mobile in feed: Videos will be rendered as is up to 2:3, with masking to 2:3 for aspect ratios between 2:3 to 9:16
- Desktop in feed and desktop player: For desktop in feed, vertical video will continue to be letter-boxed to 1:1. For desktop player, vertical video will be 9:16 with no black bar letter-boxing
- Recommended Aspect Ratio for Vertical Video: 9:16 (full portrait), ensuring core content falls in the 2:3 mask for mobile News Feed
- Video: H.264 video compression, high profile preferred, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan
- Format: .mp4 container ideally with leading moov atom, no edit lists
- Audio: Stereo AAC audio compression, 128kbps + preferred
Lead generation ads
Lead generation ads aim to capture intent from people interested in your business. The idea is to facilitate the process of filling a form to help people show their interest in the easiest way.
Facebook offers newsfeed and full lead ad forms, with the latter allowing you to design the form, the fields, the T&Cs, all taking place on Facebook. Moreover, it can also pre-fill users’ information to speed up the process. It’s common for users to abandon the filling of an online form if it’s:
- long and complicated
- not optimised for mobile devices
- asking for too many details
Thus, Facebook lead ads aim to increase the completion of forms, boosting interest in your business, offering you qualified leads through the right targeting.
What’s even more interesting is that Facebook allows you to sync the newly acquired leads with your CRM, updating the lists of your leads directly to your CRM platform. This is a very interesting opportunity to find new customers in a cost-effective way.
One of the most common goals when creating Facebook ads is to gain conversions. Conversion ads on Facebook aim to make this strategy easier by helping people take specific actions on your website, such as signing up to a newsletter, filling a form, or showing interest in a product.
By creating these ads, you are setting a specific goal and defining the particular action that you want to drive and track. For example, you can define that the desired action is to have people visit the site more than once.
Conversion ads can be a very powerful means by which to increase page visits, sales, or form submissions, especially when you set your ideal audience parameters.
Most conversion ads have a call-to-action button that encourages users to learn more about the particular offer or ad. Although this can be effective, it can also be interesting to A/B test the copy of your ad, along with your call-to-action buttons.
For example, instead of simply creating a general ad that invites users to “learn more”, you can also create an offer with a button of “sign up”, or “request demo”.
Also, it’s useful to notice that this ad type works after installing the Facebook pixel on your website, a code that allows your ads to track users’ visits and understand the ones that came from the particular ad. It is a quick process and it works with all your conversion ads.
Another useful and sometimes overlooked ad type on Facebook focuses on brick-and-mortar marketing. Ads that entice store visits bring together online and offline marketing to combine a more effective multichannel retail strategy.
If your page is also promoting the physical address of your business, then you can create this type of ads to invite more people to your store.
These campaigns take advantage of location marketing, and the optimization of the audience starts with the particular location that you’d like to focus on. This can be very specific to people in your area, or it can also extend to a distance that would still make people visit your store.
It is estimated that over 90% of retail sales in the US still happen in shops, but online channels are becoming important for the stage of research and purchasing decisions.
The goal of these ads is to increase awareness, promote a sale, or simply blend online and offline marketing to strengthen your strategy for all the future campaigns. For example, you may have a loyal Facebook audience that shops your product online, and also a local audience who hasn’t liked your Facebook page yet. This type of ads can help you build a more engaged audience who takes advantage of your latest offers, either through local or online marketing.
Once again, it’s important to create visually appealing ads that help users click on them. As the focus on this type of ad is to local users, the copy should speak to them, inviting them to your store with the right offer.
All the suggested ad types mentioned above indicate that there is indeed an ad format for every kind of objective. Whether it’s awareness, reach, engagement, or store visits, every goal can be boosted with the right ad.
The challenge comes in using your advertising budget wisely on ads that bring your brand closer to its goals. Hopefully this guide has helped in determining what those should be.