Advertising on Facebook can be a daunting task, but in a saturated market its an important tool to sell your books. There are many steps when setting up a campaign on Facebook, as well as advance techniques to amplify your reach and results, and I’ll be going over both further. Megan Adams, a Social Media Strategist, breaks down key techniques I will be summarizing in her LinkedIn Learning video “Advertising on Facebook” (Adams, 2020). These tools are not only great for those working for multiple businesses, works collaboratively with other marketing managers and specialists, or those who have multiple campaigns running at once and need help keeping organized; but it is also useful for the average author simply trying to improve their Facebook campaigns. I encourage you to check out the full video for an in-depth look at Advertising on Facebook, but I will be sharing some key steps below and summarizing 5 key areas: Business Manager, Managing Ads and Campaigns, Facebook Pixel, Custom Audiences, and Advanced Advertising Techniques.
The Business Manager is the first place you will go to set up your page(s) for advertising. First, it’s key to note you must have a Facebook Page (either your own or one you will be managing for others) in order to access advertising on Facebook. Go to business.facebook.com to set up your profile.
Facebook does a good job of walking you through the introductory steps, but there are a few key areas here Adam’s (2020) suggests looking into further:
- Business Settings: You will want to go to business settings to update/add your information. This is your dashboard and its where you can update or add users, pages, ad assets, permissions…etc. Be sure to fill out any relevant information.
- Adding a Page: As previously mentioned, will need to be done in order to start utilizing advertising on Facebook, however it is good to note you can add multiple pages. So if you are running social media marketing for more than one page, you can easily organize each one.
- Adding New Users: Users can be added in a variety of ways with unique access. Some may be capable of making new campaigns, adjusting budgets, or admin related items. You can set permissions to allow users to edit and change campaigns, or simply view campaigns or financial information. You can add multiple people to specific access types and to individual pages. For some writers use virtual assistance and this is where you would give them permissions on campaigns if you choose.
- Notifications: With multiple pages or users, you may want to adjust your notifications to avoid seeing every little change other users make, or you may want to be notified of all changes. Facebook can send these notifications as emails or activity updates just like normal notifications on your Facebook personal page.
Managing Ads and Campaigns
Ad Manager is where you will go to create, manage, edit, and oversee your campaigns. There are some great tutorials on step-by-step processes for creating a new campaign, and Adam’s (2020) touches on this in the video as well, but we’re going to go through some of the basic steps:
- Navigate to Ad Manager in the left hand menu under Business Tools.
- Hit Create then choose your marketing objective.
- Enter your ad set specific information:
- Where will it be sent to
- Who is your audience
- Schedule start and end dates
- Budget per day or overall campaign
- Identify the specific information for your campaign:
- Which page is this for? (if you have multiple pages you are organizing)
- What style of image will you use (there are options for carousel images, a single image, split tests where you choose two different images or audiences while leaving the remaining information the same more on that coming up)
- Link or “call to action”
- Text (check out my post on Marketing Copy for Writers for more information on ensuring your text content is appropriate for the campaign)
- Tracking **Adam’s always recommends adding Facebook Pixel, more on that soon**
If you are looking for writer specific advice on setting up campaigns I recommend checking out Bryan Cohen’s “Best Page Forward” page on Facebook. He has many free webinars and tools specific to creating ads on Facebook to optimize results. This will dive deep into ad copy and images for writers, and when combined with Adam’s more advance tools on this blog you’ll be set up for your best ads ever!
Once a campaign is set you’ll be able to view progress and make edits on the Ad Manager dashboard. Edits such as bulk changes can be done there by clicking on the Ad Set tab > check the campaigns you wish to edit on the left hand side > hitting edit at the top > then making changes. Bulk edits will change information on all the selected campaigns. So say you wish to have all selected campaigns targeting USA locations instead of Canada you can do so easily with bulk changes.
Ads can also be managed and edited through Excel. Text can be extracted by choosing the export button under the Ad Set’s tab which will provide you with an Excel sheet to edit easily. You can then import the updated Excel sheet to adjust your campaigns directly on Facebook Ads Manager.
Keeping campaigns organized is super helpful, and Adam’s (2020) suggests using tags. You can edit or add new tags to help filter through multiple campaigns easily through the Campaigns tab in your Ads Manager dashboard. Check off the campaigns you wish to tag, then hit the “tags” button on the top menu. This keeps ads organized and easy to filter for fast reporting and analysis.
The Facebook Pixel is an analytics tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website (Facebook, 2021). This is something I truthfully knew nothing about prior to watching Adam’s LinkedIn video but it is very important to understand if you want to learn who your audience is and what they want to see from you. This tool is set up in Ads Manager and, thankfully, only needs to be done once. Since Facebook is always changing their interface to better serve users, where you’ll find Pixel has changed since Adam’s video was released. You’ll now find Pixel under Business Settings and Data Sources.
What does Facebook Pixel do?
- Track conversions of clicks and sales from the links you’ve set up.
- Optimize future ads through analytics (which allows you to set up better campaigns).
- Build targeted audiences for future ads making it easy to reach those who want to see your product or service.
- Offers re-market options to qualified leads (this is when people have taken some sort of action on your ads but maybe didn’t end up buying the product, Pixel will retarget those individuals again)
When creating a campaign, choosing “conversions” will put Facebook Pixel to work. This is where the specific action you choose for an ad (such as newsletter subscriptions or purchase of services) will be tracked through Facebook Pixel, assisting you now and in future ads. The analytics from Pixel will provide useful information on gender, age, location, bounce rates and when users exit the page. All this information will strengthen future ads.
Now that you’ve done some tracking through Pixel and have useful information on your current users, you can now create custom audiences. These audiences are pulled directly from analytics, improving the effectiveness of your campaigns. Custom Audiences can be created under the Custom Audience link in the navigation panel, and all relevant information previous audience will also be provided.
Lookalike audiences are another helpful tool Facebook provides. This is where Facebook Business Manager takes an audience you know is working, or has purchased items from your website, and create an audience similar without actually targeting those who are in the initial audience. This creates a larger reach and the potential for new customers.
Advance Advertising Techniques
Now that you have the basics, Adam’s offers a few additional, more advanced advertising techniques that are helpful when optimizing your Facebook advertising. Here are three key items Adam’s mentions:
- Split Testing: as mentioned early, this is one option you will have when creating a new campaign. Split testing is where you create an campaign that is split into two or more separate ads with one specific item changes, such as the image, audience, or gender. Facebook will keep all other information the same, allowing you to make one single change to test for optimal results. You will then see on your ad manager Ad A and Ad B with separate analytical information to help you determine if an image or audience, for example, does better.
- Custom Conversions: with Pixel analytics you can see customers who have taken a specific action on your ad but didn’t follow through by purchasing the product. Custom conversions allows you to target this audience which could lead to higher rates of purchase or actions you’ve requested on the campaign.
- Dynamic Ads: many writers have multiple books, and sometimes we have no idea which book will catch a customer’s eye. Dynamic ads will create multiple images using Facebook Pixel analytics to display items a specific person has viewed. If you are utilizing something like Shopify, it will integrate directly with Facebook easily and create a carousel images from your inventory. This is a great way to display all your products in a clean and easy to view campaign for users.
These are advanced techniques are not always easy to remember, and with Facebook and marketing always changing its good to keep yourself informed and watch for updates on videos such as the LinkedIn video referenced today. Check out the full video on LinkedIn Learning for even more information, and explore Facebook Business and Ads Manager to improve your Facebook campaigns effectiveness. There is an incredibly helpful setup guide directly on Facebook Business Manager that will take you through step by step of how to utilize everything, and don’t be afraid to test things out and see what works for you and your users.
For writers, Facebook Ads are incredibly helpful and a growing market for sell your books. Understanding the advance tools mentioned here, along with the basics, is important in an oversaturated market where views on social media are often more important than physical books in stores. With a world wide pandemic, writers like myself have found social media to be one of the only ways to reach readers, and by understanding these more in-depth tools you’ll be ahead of the game. I know I plan to utilize the information I’ve gathered, and will be exploring Facebook Ads even more.
Adams, M. (2020, January 14). Advertising on Facebook. Retrieved from LinkedIn Learning: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/advertising-on-facebook-advanced-3/increase-sales-with-facebook