How to... create bespoke social media ads

When it comes to boosting an individual post on Facebook, it’s a simple enough process with the instructions clearly laid out under the ‘boost post’ button. However, when it comes to creating bespoke ads tailored toward meeting specific targets, such as growing brand awareness or encouraging users to head to your online shop, it’s not initially as clear how to go about doing this. We thought it would be helpful to write out some guidelines in how to set up successful ad campaigns.

Firstly, head to the drop down bar in the far right hand side of your Facebook account and go into ‘create adverts’, which will direct you to your adverts manager. You’ll see a list of marketing objectives, such as ‘awareness’, ‘consideration’ and ‘conversion’ with more options in how you’d like to go about achieving these objectives displayed. Select the one most appropriate to what you’re wanting to achieve, for example if you’d like to grow your following and get more Facebook likes, select ‘engagement’ then ‘page likes’ and give your campaign a name.

You’ll then be asked to choose which Facebook page you’d like the campaign to run for, so simply choose the correct one from the drop down menu. At this point, you’ve reached the most important part of the process—creating a custom audience you’d like your ads to reach. This is key in creating a successful campaign, as you’ll need to make sure you’re putting your ad in front of the right people who’ll be most likely to engage with the content. Choose the location or locations you’re wanting to reach - it may be better to aim at local users to begin with (particularly if you’re an independent business) and try expanding your reach after you’ve tested a couple of campaigns and assessed how well they’ve worked.

The age, gender and languages are simple enough to select if you know your target audience well, but the detailed targeting options are endless so it’s important to get this part right to narrow your audience down. If you’re a historical tourist attraction based in the Peak District, you can choose to target people with interests such as ‘Peak District’, ‘Living History’ and ‘Cultural Heritage’. You could go on and add more, but it’s best sticking to 3 or 4 so as not to broaden your audience too much and risk reaching people with limited interest in what you have to offer.

When it comes to selecting the placement, bid strategy and optimisation of your campaign, Facebook will suggest what it thinks are the best options for you, and it’s usually best to go along with these. Choose your own running schedule and budget, perhaps run your first couple of adverts for a week or two and when you’re confident you’ve found the best combination, run it for an extended period of time.

Then you get to the fun part - adding media and text to the advert! Select attractive and appropriate images or videos of your business or product, add some engaging text to indicate a call to action, check your advert looks good in the previews and you’re good to go.

Keep an eye out for future tips and guidelines in our blog, and let us know if there’s anything you’d like us to cover.

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