With over 1.3 billion active users, a treasure trove of user data, sophisticated targeting options and the opportunity to place content directly in your target audience’s line of sight (the News Feed), Facebook is a very appealing advertising platform for online marketers. And if the rapid rate at which Facebook is rolling out improvements to their advertising platform is any indication, it’s only going to become more and more appealing.
2013 was a big year for Facebook’s advertising business. The company revamped the ads platform and their Power Editor. This gave users a cleaner, friendlier interface, more useful and advanced reporting options and an objective-oriented ad experience. They also launched conversion tracking, allowing advertisers to directly attribute conversions on their websites and landing pages to Facebook ads.
We’re only a few months into 2014 and Facebook has already announced the rollout of Ad Sets, which allow users to organize their ads into sets within each campaign.
All these changes can make it hard to stay on top of best practices for the ad platform and ensure that your business is fully exploiting everything Facebook ads have to offer.
Don’t worry: I want to make your life easier! I’ve collected the best resources on Facebook advertising from around the web with a focus on what you need to know about the platform to stay ahead in 2014. This way, whether you’re just getting started with Facebook ads or looking to brush up on new features, you’ll know exactly where to go.
The Basics — Getting Started
1. Why Every Business Should Spend at Least $1 per Day on Facebook Ads — Consider this: “[Facebook Ads] are the lowest cost per 1,000 impressions ad in history. They average around $0.25 per 1,000, which is only 1% of the cost of TV.” If that doesn’t convince you that Facebook Advertising is worth investing in, I’m not sure what will.
2. 2014 Marketer’s Guide to Facebook Advertising — This eBook offers a comprehensive overview of the Facebook Advertising landscape in 2014. It is also a great resource for understanding the full gamut of features and functionality you can take advantage of within Facebook’s advertising platform.
3. The Complete Guide to Getting Started with Facebook Ads — This step-by-step guide to getting started with Facebook Ads is a great place to start if you’ve never used the platform before.
4. How to spend your first $100 in Facebook Ads — Growth hacker and super-successful entrepreneur Noah Kagan explains how to get started with Facebook Ads on just $100 a month. He also suggests conversion rates you should aim for and explains how to make sure you’re making more money than you’re spending on Facebook ads.
5. How to Optimize your Facebook Ad Based on Objective — This article provides an in-depth look at how to create ads around the four major objectives now available in the Facebook Ads Manager. The author also covers tracking pixels, Facebook’s ad pricing structure and how to calculate the ROI of your ads.
6. A Deep Dive Into Facebook Advertising — Although a few years old, this guide to Facebook Advertising contains some gems, such as its tips on writing effective copy, choosing engaging images and leading people to relevant landing pages.
7. Facebook Advertising Options That Won’t Break the Bank — This article recommends two Facebook Ad objectives for those who want to explore Facebook advertising without spending a lot.
8. 105 Facebook Advertising Case Studies — Looking for proof that Facebook Ads really works? Maybe you need to convince your boss that it’s worth giving it a shot, or maybe you still need to convince yourself. Check out these 105 success stories outlining stellar results that companies big and small have had with Facebook Advertising.
9. How To Make Money With Facebook Ads, Part 2 — While a bit outdated (it’s from 2012, when Facebook had just 800 million users!), this article offers valuable insights into how understanding the psychology behind why people are on Facebook can help you create better ads.
10. How To Cheat Your Way To Eyecatching Facebook Ads — With so much content competing for Facebook users’ attention, creating ads that stand out is critical if you want to get results. This article talks about formatting best practices for ads that appear in the sidebar of the Facebook homepage.
11. 10 Examples of Facebook Ads That Actually Work (And Why) — I always recommend looking at what other brands are doing with a platform before getting started. This article was written before Facebook launched News Feed ads, so it focuses on how to format ads placed in the sidebar (which are still relevant, and which you should definitely try out!).
Strategy & Optimization
12. Cost Per Action (CPA) Bidding – The What, Why, Who & How — One of the newer additions to the Facebook Advertising platform is Cost Per Action (CPA) Bidding. Learn what it is and how it compares to Cost Per Click (CPC) and Optimized Cost Per Impression (oCPM).
13. How to Target Your Email Subscribers with Facebook Ads — A step-by-step guide to reaching your email list with targeted Facebook ads.
14. You Are Probably Using Facebook Ads Wrong: Here’s Why — Nathan Mendenhall reveals why a recent viral video stating the Facebook ads are a sham is just plain wrong. In this article you’ll learn the importance of granular targeting for effective Facebook advertising.
15. Converting With Facebook Ads: “The Promoted Post Retargeting Loop” Strategy — This interview is packed with high-value tips and tactics to make the most of Facebook ads. Trust me, don’t skip this one!
16. How to Target Facebook Ads Based on Purchase History, Lifestyles and More — This is a straight-forward, super useful overview of the value of the Partner Categories targeting functionality in Facebook Advertising (and how to take advantage of it).
17. A Marketer’s Guide to Retargeting Facebook Ads — This infographic explains how retargeting on Facebook works as well as how to choose whether to advertise in the sidebar or the newsfeed.
18. How To Use Facebook Power Editor’s New Call-to-Action Buttons — Have you noticed those cool new call-to-action buttons popping up in the ads in your News Feed? Learn how to include them in your ads in this step-by-step guide.
19. 5 Tips for Using Facebook News Feed Ads — One of the coolest recent developments in the world of Facebook ads is the ability to advertise directly in the News Feed. Learn five things you can do to make the most of this ad type.
20. Facebook Advertising Costs: CPC, CPM, CPA & CPL Guide — How much should you spend on Facebook advertising and what metrics should you be tracking? Wishpond answers these common questions.
21. How to Measure Facebook Advertising Success: Monitor These 5 Metrics — Are you wasting time and money focusing on metrics that don’t matter? Discover the five metrics that will tell you if your ads are really working.
22. How to Track Your Facebook Ad Conversions — Your step-by-step guide for tracking conversions via your Facebook ads with offset pixels.
23. How to Use Facebook Power Editor: A Detailed Guide — You’re not truly taking advantage of everything you can do with Facebook ads until you start using the Facebook Power Editor to manage your advertising campaigns. This guide gives you a detailed overview of why the Power Editor is so awesome and how to use it.
24. 7 reasons to start using Facebook Power Editor today — Learn where the real value of the Facebook Power Editor lies with this post covering 7 features and benefits you won’t find in the Ads Manager.
25. Get Unbelievable Engagement With Facebook Power Editor — This article will walk you through creating your first ad in the Facebook Power Editor so that you can get the most out of Facebook ads.
26. Exploring Power Editor’s Recent Changes — Don’t overlook these recent changes to the Facebook Power Editor that will make using the tool much more enjoyable.
27. Facebook Advertising / Marketing: Best Metrics, ROI, Business Value — This monster of a post is a couple years old, but it’s still well worth a read. In it, Avinash Kaushik compares Facebook advertising to other types of digital advertising and shows us how to think about measuring the ROI of your paid efforts on Facebook.
28. Benefits of the New Facebook Ad Reports — A quick video that explains the awesome new features available in Facebook’s Ads Reporting tool (released in mid 2013).
29. Facebook Ads Reports: A Tour of a Powerful New Tool — Jon Loomer, the maker of the video above, takes a closer look at the Facebook Ads Reporting tool and how to take advantage of it to create reports that give you actionable data.
Facebook Ads In 2014 And Beyond
As I mentioned the beginning of this article, Facebook made several important changes to their ads platform within the past year that have made it an even more attractive option for marketers. Below is a selection of articles that will help you understand these changes, how they fit into the context of the field of online paid advertising and what they mean for your business.
30. The New Facebook Ad Campaign Structure: Here is What You Need to Know — Learn about the new structure for Facebook advertising campaigns that the company started to roll out in early March and what this means for your business’ advertising strategy.
31. Facebook Revamps Ads to Compete With Google — The New York Times shows how small businesses are using the revamped Facebook ads platform to boost sales and growth.
32. Facebook Radically Simplifies Ad Buying — Mashable gives a quick overview of the most exciting new features in Facebook’s revamped Ads Manager.
33. Facebook’s mobile ads promise riches to developers — Wired speculates what a rumored new Facebook mobile ad service could mean for app developers.
34. The Future of Facebook Ad Revenue: Small Businesses — Learn how Facebook is priming its ads platform to be the choice online advertising venue for small and medium-sized businesses.
There you have it! All the resources you need to be a badass Facebook advertiser in 2014. Are you already using Facebook ads to grow your business? I’d love to hear how in the comments section below.
About the Author: Chloe Mason Gray specializes in digital marketing strategies for startups. She currently leads the marketing team at the Big Data company Ondore. Be sure to say hi to her on Twitter. You also can follow her on Google+.