Must-know for Entrepreneurs: How to Advertise on Facebook, Part 2

Part 2 of JumpThru intern’s @_jgao helpful tutorial on how to advertise on Facebook.

Advertising on Facebook: The Importance of Niche Targeting and Relevant, Compelling Content

Think not “cereal” but rather “honey bunches of oats”.
To increase your chances of securing a really good click-through rate (CTR) and ultimately improving your return on investment (ROI), you need to spend the most of your time not designing your ad, but rather targeting your ad.  The broader your estimated reach, the more you’ll be paying for each click/impression (CPC/CPM) and the lower your CTR will likely be.  So in most cases, smaller is actually better.

In order to really hone in on your targeting, you need to switch from “Broad Category Targeting” to the “Precise Interest Targeting.  This method allows you choose your target market based on the interests you put in.  Avoid generic interests, activities, books, and pages; people put those on their profile on a whim. Instead narrow down your estimated reach by specifying rather than generalizing. For example, test what you put in: instead of targeting people who have “fashion” as an interest, you may want to target those who like “haute couture” instead (if that’s who you want to target, of course).  Lastly, create different ads for different targets—-don’t enter, for example, 10 different interests or pages to target for one ad—-and try to relate your ads to those specific targets.

The content of your ads and how relevant it is to your target audience is probably the 2nd most important part of Facebook advertising, after actually specifying your target.  Now here’s a startling statistic Jason gave: ads with relevant imagery and copy are 50% more likely to be successful (having a CTR of 0.1% or more) whereas ads that don’t use relevant imagery or copy have only a 27% chance of being successful.

The image in your ad is the most important and should be compelling in a way that isn’t too professional-looking (avoid stock images at all costs!!) or too unrecognizable. The image is responsible for roughly 70% of clicks, so your image should stand out and grab attention. But keep in mind, whatever your image ends up being, it has to be relevant to your audience and overall ad—-not only is it against Facebook’s advertising guidelines to use irrelevant imagery, it also doesn’t work to your advantage (remember the 50%/27% successful/unsuccessful statistic?).  It turns out amateurish-looking images tend to draw more attention if not clicks since Facebook users have grown so accustomed to seeing “real” pictures and ultimately branding anything that looks too professional as “fake” and just another ad.  Another good way for your image to grab attention is to use colors that contrast with Facebook’s overall blue color scheme.

The Good:

Good Facebook Advertisement

The Bad:

Bad Facebook Advertisement

The Ugly:

Ugly Facebook Advertisement

The next priority should be the copy—-what is actually said in your ad—-, which should be straightforward and engaging.  Contrary to popular belief, no reverse psychology is needed. Ads that have a call-to-action are most effective, and typically tell you to “Like” a page if you’re interested in something specific, or to enter a contest/ receive something of value. Remember: it’s the image that grabs their attention, but the copy that keeps it!

So when running an ad on Facebook, first think specific targeting, then relevant compelling imagery, and then relevant commanding copy.  And if in need of some ideas of what to do and what not to do, real examples are always best—-you can view a collection of suggested ads here: as well as the very best ad campaigns featured on Facebook’s “Studio”:


An awesomely ambitious intern, Jasmine is an entrepreneur at heart and is always looking for new opportunities.  She has experience in a breadth of fields such as marketing, finance, public policy, and amateur gaming.


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