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How Does Facebook Advertising Work: A Beginner's Guide

How Does Facebook Advertising Work: A Beginner's Guide

Facebook ads come in many varieties today. You can promote your business page and posts, actions that users took, or your company website itself.

But if you’re wondering how the whole thing works, that means you want a clear picture. We’re to help just with that! 

What Are Facebook Ads?

Facebook promotions or ads work on a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) model (also called Cost-Per-Click (CPC) where you need to pay each time your target audience clicks an ad.

Facebook advertising helps advertisers boost their ads to reach more people, create brand awareness, and measure campaign objectives to help them create better and more advanced campaigns in the future.

How Does Facebook Advertising Work?

The major difference between paid search and paid social is that paid search assists prospects with tracking down your business, while paid social allows your business to reach prospective clients.

Facebook ads do this by allowing you to target specific people that will probably be interested in your products/services by utilizing the gigantic wealth of information Facebook has about its users.

Facebook advertisements, which show up in Facebook newsfeeds, work by focusing on users based on their locations, demographics, and profile information. The advertiser is charged as soon as a Facebook ad earns a click, an impression, or a purchase.

How much an advertiser is charged mainly depends on their budget and bid, which they set before launching the campaign.

What to Know When Running Facebook Ads?

Identify your goal

While creating an ad, remember that a powerful message has a more lasting effect than visuals.

A touching, powerful message helps make a deep connection with your audience and evoke real feelings assuming your ads are great.

Try to show how your product or service can help them reach their targets, solve their issue(s), and make their lives better.

A Meta campaign provides businesses the great opportunity to test across various channels and find the most effective method for driving more sales.

After all, it’s not so easy to set measurable and realistic goals and expectations for your campaign and your prospects.


To get the best results and value from Facebook ads, you need to make good use of the different targeting options. These options - ranging from location to workstation - are an essential part of how Facebook ads run.

The targeting options are:

1. Gender

2. Age

3. Language(s)

4. Education

5. Connections

6. Location

7. Interests

8. Relationship status

9. Workplace

While targeting options are necessary to launch your campaign, try not to over-target at the beginning of the campaign since you may not get the desired results.

Instead, you can make your targeting broad first and refine it afterward as you get more data about your ads.

Ad copy and images

While thinking about your ad visuals, opt for high-quality pictures and stay away from generic stock photos that have been used many times. You obviously should not use pictures that you reserve no right to use.

If you have a graphic designer in your team who can make eye-catching visuals that stick out, it’s even better. If not, there is no other way but to check out the popular image banks where you can find magnificent visual content without copyright limitations.

Tips: You can try Shutterstock, Unsplash, or Pexels

Regarding ad copy, Facebook right now allows up to:

  • 90 characters for your text
  • 25 characters for the headline
  • 30 characters for link description

This means you don't have many words to play with, yet this isn't something awful.

Ad bidding

Initially, when Facebook released its ad algorithm based on an auction, the first priority was the highest bid.

However, in 2018, Mark Zuckerberg declared that Facebook would be moving to focus on "meaningful social interactions."

Facebook moved more toward the client experience model while coordinating the auction. The bidding is now based on: 

  • Ad rank
  • Estimated action rates
  • Advertiser bid
  • Ad relevance and quality

But it is still largely unknown how Facebook's ad algorithm functions.

Campaign budget

You need to set your budget carefully, especially if this is your first time trying out a facebook ad campaign. 

Just like budget optimization, your ads stop being delivered when the campaign’s spending budget reaches its limit. Facebook will send you a notification to inform you if the limit has been reached so you have the choice to keep it running if you want to.

What to know when evaluating Facebook Ads results?

There are some basic terms you need to know:

  • Clicks: how many clicks does your ad get
  • CTR: the number of clicks received divided by the number of impressions
  • Impression: the number of times your ad entered somebody's screen interestingly
  • Reach: the number of people who have seen your ad
  • Frequency: the average number of times your ad was shown to an individual
  • Cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM): For every 1,000 impressions on your ad there’s an average cost that needs to be paid
  • Cost per link click (CPC): The average cost paid each time someone clicks on your ad (this number is determined by separating how much amount you spent on an ad divided by the number of clicks it has)
  • Conversions: Activities that consumers complete (such as making a purchase or adding products to a shopping cart on a site)
  • Attribution: The different promotional efforts an individual takes before making a purchase

Ad Placements

After creating ads, you will have to choose if you want your ad placements to be manually selected or let Facebook decide and show them in places where they will perform best. This is called automatic placements. 

While Facebook 'recommends' using Automatic Placements, this isn't the best option for your business objectives. This automated feature can lead to the unnecessary or inappropriate placement of your ads. 

Let us take a look at some Facebook ad placement options.

Right Column placement

This is the most common type of ad on Facebook that shows up on the right side of the user’s News Feed.

Ads are shown in the News Feed usually have higher engagement because of their native ad features, the desktop-only right column ads should not be neglected. We usually see more affordable conversions with these ads. 

For your right column ads to have true success, they should be relevant and a source of inspiration with an offer and an appealing visual.

Desktop News Feed Placement

Resembling a Native Ad, this type of ad shows up in a user’s News Feed directly when they login to their Facebook account with a computer.

These ads are more engaging when compared to right-column ads but they will cost you more.

Mobile News Feed Placement

Like the desktop News Feed advertisement, this kind of promotion shows up in the user’s mobile News Feed and appears like a natural post from the individuals and pages they follow.

Types of Facebook Ads

There are various kinds of ads that have exceptional highlights and advantages. Research each one concluding which one will best suit your requirements as well as those of the customer base you're targeting. 

For best results, it's important to know the difference between “Facebook ad types” and “Targeting Options” before you begin your campaign.

In this Facebook advertisements guide, we'll walk you through the whole process, from arranging your most memorable ad to creating and developing advanced strategies. 

There are several types of Facebook ads: 

1. Photo ads

These ads can look like an ordinary Facebook post, and assuming you make a regular post with a picture and a status, you can turn this into an ad.

You can create amazing visuals with static pictures with Facebook image ads for driving action. 

Specs for Image ads:

  • Image type: JPG or PNG
  • Resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Image size: 30MD

Here are some ideas to optimize your Facebook image ads:

  • Show surveys and examples of clients using your item
  • Try to ignore texts
  • Stick to a consistent topic or theme if you’re running multiple ad campaigns
  • Always use high-resolution images

2. Video ads

Facebook video ads give businesses an opportunity to showcase their image in sound and motion. These should be visible in the stream, feed, or stories. You additionally have the choice to make a slideshow.

Specs for Video ads:

  • Video type: MP4, GIF, or MOV
  • Resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Video size: 4GB
  • Video duration: 1 sec to 241 minute

Tip to optimize your video ads on Facebook:

  •  Choose a unique feature, item, or service
  • Keep the crowd engaged with 15-second long clips or less
  • Stick to one message for each video and think about what type of action you expect them to take

3. Carousel ads

A Carousel allows a customer to look at up to 10 photos or videos from your brand and then click through if they are interested.

 Specs for Carousel ads:

  •  Carousel type: JPG or PNG
  • Video File type: MP4, GIF, or MOV
  • Resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Card numbers: minimum 2 to 10
  • Image size: 30MB
  • Video size: 4GB

Tips for Carousel ads:

  • Pick a separate product on every image pair with every product image having its landing page URL
  • Tell a fascinating story that will convince people to swipe for more interactive formats
  • Explain how your products or services work. 

4. Collection ads

Paired together with Instant Experience ads, Collection ads serve a video or a cover photo with four product/service photos. Once the user clicks on the photo, a landing page immediately pops up to activate the Instant Experience feature.

Specs for Collection ads:

  • Image type: JPG or PNG
  • Video file type: MP4, MOV, or GIF
  • Resolution: 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Image file size: 30MB
  • Video file size: 4GB

Tips for collection ads:

  • You can allow Facebook to pick which items you want to be shown. It saves time in the long run.
  • Try to stick to a product list with more than 50 items. Facebook allows you to match a minimum of four items and serves the most notable one to be purchased.
  • Do not forget to add a URL to track your ad data. 

Facebook Ads Benefits

Highly customizable ads & audiences

You can reach a number of your prospects with Facebook ads. But when it’s time to create an ad very much like Google Ads, you can create a custom audience for every ad.

These users are really adaptable, meaning you can target clients by their age, hobbies, interests, and locations for easy reach.

Facebook Ads Are Budget-Friendly

If you compare it with traditional marketing, Facebook advertising is the winner, because it’s cheaper. If the campaign is at a standard level you can advertise your item to 1,000 individuals for $5 to $8. In a traditional ad, you will have to spend $50 to reach a similar number of people.

For more information on how much Facebook ads cost, visit Facebook for Business page for more information.

An effective way to drive traffic from the active users

There were 2.80 billion monthly active users on Facebook in 2021. As the largest social media platform in the world, it has completely changed the online advertising scenario.

As a matter of fact, in the US alone, 51% of complete Ad spend was used on digital ads; many of which was advertised on Facebook.

Also, after owning Instagram back in 2012, your Facebook ads are now seen by way more users. The combination of these two large social media platforms has paved the way for a different set of demographics as a result.

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