How to Sell With Facebook Ads to Get Ahead of the Competition

In my previous article, we covered how to build your brand and sell on Facebook. If you followed my advice, you’re now the proud owner of a fully functioning business page with an engaged audience and a fully functioning Facebook store. Now it’s time to get to the next level: learning how to get new customers by promoting your posts and your brand to a wider audience.

Laying the groundwork

The first step involves installing a Facebook Pixel on your website. It’ll be of tremendous help later, when setting up a custom audience for your ads. The Pixel tracks the activity on your website and helps with conversion tracking; optimization and remarketing by gathering information about your visitors and their behavior on your website.

Facebook Pixels

Once you’ve got your Pixel in place, share content that focuses on telling the story of your brand and building relationships with your audience. For example, if your business is a hair salon you could run a campaign called “I love my hair”. Ask your customers to share their stories about their experience with your salon and talk about how their new do inspired them or otherwise added value in their lives. Whatever your business is, find your story and tell it through engaging content.

Engaging content leads to an interactive audience. This is when the sharing kicks in. Your audience appreciates the content you share because it really connects with them. In turn, they begin to share. This increases the reach of your content.


Unfortunately, Facebook has placed less of an emphasis on organic content, making it critical that you pay-to-play. Pay to boost your posts to people with interests that are in line with your brand. The CPC rate is relatively low on Facebook compared with other platforms, so you won’t break the bank promoting your content.

People who are really interested will click your post and visit your website. Do this several times a week but don’t spam your audience. This method can help increase the amount of traffic to your website and help increase brand recognition.

After a few weeks you can start using these visitors as a custom audience for your Facebook Ads. But, if you don’t have any experience in running Facebook ads, I would advise you to read this guide and follow the indications step by step. Read below for the most critical aspects of this journey you will need to consider.

Setting up Facebook Ads

In the case that you’ve never run Facebook ads before, never fear. I’ve got your back.

Use Facebook Ads Manager instead of Power Editor. The latter is for experienced users and large campaigns while the first is better suited for beginners with small- to medium-sized campaigns.

Choose the right objective for your campaign

If your objective is brand awareness or recognition you should prioritize awareness. If you need to get more page visitors or get more people attending your events, you should focus on consideration. And if your goal is to make more sales, your objective your objective should be conversions. Make sure you choose the right objective before getting started.

Facebook ads

Narrowing down targeting

Targeting the right audience is one of the most difficult things to achieve. Here, you also have three different options:

  • Target by interest: Choose the people you want to see your ads based on the interests they reported to Facebook, such as their passions, hobbies, other businesses they like etc.
  • Target a custom audience: Here you can use the Facebook Pixel installed on your website and target your ads to the people who were interested enough to visit your page in the past. Even if they never ordered from you the last time, the fact that they were interested makes them potential customers.
  • Lookalike audience: By choosing this option you basically tell Facebook algorithms to work for you and find people with similar interests to those of your custom audience. There are great chances that people who share other common treats will also share the interest in your business. However, for “lookalike” to work properly, your custom audience should be formed of at least one hundred people.

ads facebook

Determining placement

Next, you should decide the placement of your ads and whether or not you want them to be displayed on Instagram as well. On the desktop version of Facebook, ads displayed in news feed usually get a higher CTR than those from the right column. However, those shown in mobile News Feed get a higher CTR than both options from the desktop version.

How much will you spend?

After that, it’s time to decide on your budget. Facebook doesn’t ask for a fixed investment or bid, as long as it’s over $1 per day. You can decide to pay a daily budget, forcing Facebook to display your ads for a certain number of times or a lifetime budget, allowing Facebook algorithms to decide how many times your ads will be displayed each day.

You can also decide if you want to pay CPM (Cost per Mille /1000 impressions) or CPC (Cost per Click). This is directly related to your objective so I highly advise you to only choose CPM if your objective is awareness.

Otherwise, for leads or conversions, it’s better to pay CPC to make sure that you only pay for actual results. You can bid as much as you want and the more you bid the more visibility your ads will get. On the other hand, if your bid is too low Facebook might stop showing your ads altogether. So if you’re a beginner I recommend you to accept the automatic bids.

Choosing a layout

The next step is choosing the ad’s layout between Single Link and Carousel. If your objective is awareness or consideration you should choose Single Link as it‘s less costly and one image is enough to serve the purpose. However, if you want to make sales, a carousel displaying 3 to 5 of your products directly in the News Feed of your target audience will be a lot more effective.

Kicking off the campaign

Scheduling your campaign can be done either manually or automatically. You can change the schedule manually only if you’re paying a lifetime budget. If you leave the automatic settings, Facebook will decide when to show your ads. In order to change that, you can choose different hours and days when you consider there are more chances for your target audience to be active on the social network.

Now that you’ve finished with the most important settings, it’s time to create the visual part of your ad, made up of image(s) and text. Basically, this is what your audience will actually see.

Choosing the Best Images

Facebook makes some very specific recommendations when it comes to ad images:

  • Recommended image size: 1,200 x 627 pixels
  • Image ratio: 1.9:1
  • Text: 90 characters
  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Link description: 30 characters
  • Add minimal text within the image: Less than 20% – the amount of text added to your image impacts the reach of your ads so too much text can stop your ad from running.

From a marketing perspective, the best images you can add to an advertisement are those that show your products in action. Take a look at the ads of the most popular retail brands, for example, and you’ll see that they always show people wearing their products.

Facebook ad

Use high-quality and professional images in which the subject and the background are in high contrast. Your images should be visually appealing and conceptually emotional and engaging.

Writing the Best Copy

Facebook is based on personal interactions. Even your advertising should come across friendly and personal. A common trick is to formulate your copy as a question. So if you’re advertising your hairstyle services instead of saying:

Summer is on its way and the heat dries out your hair. Use a high-quality hair spray to prevent any damage. Pick one of our professional products!

you can formulate it as:

Did you know that the summer heat can dry out your hair? Why don’t you prevent the damage by using one of our professional products?

You’re basically offering the same information but the way the message is formulated makes it sound less commercial. The reader’s brain will be forced to actually process the question it reads, automatically thinking it should formulate an answer. This is exactly why questions attract more engagement than statements: people are less aware that they’re being sold to and their brain automatically processes the information instead of dismissing it.

A/B Testing

By now, you should have correctly set-up an ad with a visually appealing image, accompanied by engaging copy. But there’s no way to know if you could do things better unless you try it out. This is exactly why all experienced marketers are running A/B tests using multiple versions of their ads.

In order to do that you’ll need to run more ads for the same amount of time and with the same budget but with alternative text and visuals. Try several images and versions of copy; change the schedule and the interests of your targeted audiences. By running a few versions of the ad for at least three days you’ll be able to see which one is performing better and which is worth investing more money into.

After reading these posts, you may feel ready to dig in and get started, but I urge you to stop and think first. Talk with your team and ensure that you have a strategy in place that’s in line with your business goals and objectives. Once you’ve got that in place, follow the tips I’ve laid out in my last two articles. And feel free to leave any questions in the comments section below.

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Alice Calin
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