Advertising 101 on Facebook for Startups and Businesses

Facebook is one of the most effective ways to advertise online. You can target your audience by country, age, interest and habits. Below are useful tips that will help you get results with Facebook ads. 


If you are targeting cold traffic, Facebook will allow you to filter their massive audience by using a number of targeting parameters. You can target people by career, location, demographics, interests, life events, and favorite Facebook pages. The more targeting criteria you use, the more targeted your audience will be. And the more targeted audience you have, the more effective your ad campaign will work. 

What to Offer in Your Ad 

To capture your audience’s attention, you should use an enticing offer to get clicks. Some offers that you can use may include a low priced sample, a free eBook, contests, a free demonstration or consultation, a free trial or a limited time discount. Internet marketing expert, Neil Patel calls it the Tripwire, the strategic first step towards leading you further down the sales funnel.  Once users opt in to the tripwire, you can upsell your main offers which are the higher priced items. 

How to Make Your Ad Effective

To make your ad more effective, you will need to capture people’s attention with a headline. The headline should be benefit driven, conversational, shocking or based on solving a problem. This is because distractions on Facebook newsfeed are aplenty. Your ad must be able to stop users in their track as they scroll through Facebook. Text aside, the image of the ad should stand out. The image can include a human face, text, an emotional or professional image. The single most important part of your ad is arguably the headline, situated below the image. You should have a headline that clearly articulates the benefit of your offer. Finally, on the bottom right hand side of the ad, you can include a Call-to-action. We recommend using a ‘soft’ call-to-action such as ‘learn more’ because it makes it less intimidating for users to click on it as opposed to a call-to-action such as ‘buy now’.

Types of Ad Formats 

Facebook allows you to use a variety of ad formats. You can select video ads which should have an attention grabbing thumbnail, an understandable subject manner and a runtime of less than 90 seconds. If you are selling multiple products, use the carousel ad. Finally, you can use an image ad to test different images.

Powerful Words for Your Ad Copy 

Certain words have been shown to lead to more clicks. This is because of the heuristics of the human brain reacts better to certain triggers. These words can include, “New,” “Free,” “Instantly,” “Now,” “Secret,” “You,” “Because,” or the phrase “How To.” If possible, try to add one or more of these words to make an even bigger impact on your audience. 

What Campaign Objective Should You Use 

Facebook allows you to pick a campaign objective for you ad. The various campaign objectives offered fall under three categories: “Awareness,” “Consideration,” and “Conversation.” If you run a small business and want to get leads, select the “send people to your website” objective under the “Consideration” category. Or use the “Increase visits to your website,” objective under the “Conversions” category. These are the most commonly used objectives.

Useful Facebook Ad Tools 

Facebook offers a number of ad tools which will help you create your campaign. These tools include the Knowledge Graph. The Knowledge Graph will help you find the favorite pages and interest of your audience. The Audience Insight tool will help you gather demographic and insight information of your audience. Finally, the Power Editor has now been integrated with Ads manager.

Overall, Facebook advertising is extremely effective for small businesses. It is one of the fastest and most effective ways of reaching your target audience and driving sales of your products or services. Learn the platform well and you will reap immense rewards.