What Are Facebook Ads And Why Do They Work?

Facebook screen on smart phone with headphones, cup of coffee and computer keyboard on desk

Facebook is the largest social media network on the Internet. It has more than 2 Billion members with more than 1 Billion active users every day. Facebook’s sheer size makes it an attractive platform for marketers to run campaigns. However, when it comes to ad distribution, size hardly matters. Unless it can be seen by prospective end users, your ad will be overlooked like a typewriter in an office. Facebook Ads work because they place your ads where your potential customer can see them right away.

8 Reasons Why Facebook Ad Works:

  1. Largest online community with more than 2 billion members;
  2. Largest number of daily active users with 1 billion members;
  3. Highest Return on Investment (ROI) among all social media networks;
  4. Offers 10 campaign objectives that support a variety of marketing goals;
  5. Multiple ad formats to run your campaign;
  6. Targets your audience by allowing you to create a buyer’s profile;
  7. Allows you to set your advertising budget;
  8. Uses 4 platforms to run your ads: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Audience Network.

What Are Facebook Ads?

Facebook ads are paid advertising content that appear on your News Feed and on the right hand column of your home page if you are on a PC desktop. Placement of Facebook ads are based on the following criteria:

  • User activity;
  • Demographic information;
  • Device use information;
  • Information provided by advertising and marketing-partners;
  • Off- Facebook activity.

The keyword is “paid” advertising content. Unlike organic search marketing where you post content for the purpose of attracting the interest of potential customers, with Facebook ads you pay to have your ad featured.

The advantage of paid advertising is that your ad will be placed where potential customers can see it right away. Anyone who clicks on your ad will end up on your website.

Thus paid advertising can give your website an immediate boost up the search rankings. Because these are people who have shown interest in your advertised products or services, paid ads may also increase your sales conversion rates.

Many believe that Facebook began its transition from social media network to media company back in 2012 after its poorly received Initial Public Offering (IPO). However, Facebook Ads origins can be traced back to 2004 when the company offered paid advertising under its Facebook Flyers feature.

Facebook Flyers were simple ads that cost between $10 and $40. They functioned like the notice boards you would typically find in a college campus. Students used Facebook Flyers to promote social events while small businesses ran ads that targeted specific campuses.

As it turned out, Facebook Flyers became the blueprint for Facebook Ads. It carried over its features to customize audiences, create campaigns according to budget and to make the process as simple and easy as possible.

Why You Should Include Facebook Ads In Your Marketing Campaign

Facebook is not the only social media network that offers paid advertising. Instagram, YouTube and Twitter also have paid ad options. Search engines such as Google through its Google AdWords similarly offer paid advertising for its users. However, it may be wise to prioritize Facebook Ads above everyone else.

Here are 5 reasons why you should include Facebook Ads in your marketing campaign:

1. Facebook Is Growing

There is no stopping Facebook’s growth. Whether it is the United States, Japan, Germany, Russia or Australia, the number of Facebook users will continue to grow exponentially over the next few years.

To capitalize on its growth, expect the company to introduce more options for advertising. Businesses will have more tools to reach their target market. For the year 2017 alone, Facebook launched the following advertising platforms:

  • Messenger Day
  • Instagram Stories
  • Facebook Live Video

In addition, Facebook improved its advertising report capabilities. It will be easier to track down the performance of your campaigns.

This means if you haven’t started on your Facebook Ads campaign, don’t worry! There’s no better time to include Facebook Ads in your digital marketing strategy than now.

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2. Social Media Marketers Love Facebook

A 2016 survey by Social Fresh, Firebrand Group and Simply Measured revealed that 95.8% of 551 social media marketers identified Facebook as having the best ROI among social media networks.

Social media marketers are professionals and highly trained in what they do. They have run paid ad campaigns through various platforms and are convinced Facebook Ads generate the best results for B2C and B2B campaigns.

Many businesses report surpassing their marketing goals five-fold after running campaigns through Facebook Ads.

It doesn’t look like the trend will stop anytime now as advertising budgets have been increasing the last few years. Case in point, advertising budgets for social media marketing in the United States almost doubled from $16 Billion in 2014 to $32 Billion in 2016.

As the Facebook global community continues to grow, expect more businesses to include Facebook ads in their Digital Marketing program.

3. Runs Your Ads Through Multiple Platforms

When you sign up for Facebook Ads, your paid ad material will not run through its News Feed. Facebook will likewise run it through multiple platforms for maximum targeted visibility. Presently Facebook has five distribution channels for paid ads:

  • Facebook News Feed
  • Facebook Right Column (Home Page)
  • Messenger
  • Instagram
  • Audience Network

Facebook Messenger is the social network’s chat/ personal messaging system. It is popularly used via mobile phone although many PC desktop users find it a convenient way to communicate with their network.

Instagram is one of the biggest and most popular image-based social media network on the Internet. And Facebook bought it in 2012 for US $1 Billion! Instagram is a wonderful platform to use if your products and services are highly visual in nature. It is one of Facebook’s biggest generators of revenue.

Audience Network is a great tool for paid ad distribution. This is a feature in Facebook Ads which searches the Internet for apps and websites that match the demographics and online behaviour of your target audience.

Having these five platforms will make it easier to reach your target audience among Facebook’s 2 Billion strong community.

4. Positions Your Ad In Front Of Potential Customers

If you can target your ads to potential buyers, then market size will become a factor. In 2017, more than 1.6 billion people saw paid ads that were posted through Facebook’s Audience Network feature.

Now factor in the number of people who will see your paid ad in their Facebook News Feed, Homepage, Messenger and Instagram page. Again these are not just randomly selected people from the community. These are targeted users of Facebook who fit your buyer’s profile.

How does Facebook do this?

Facebook Ads has a Detailed Targeting feature. You have the option of publishing your ad to a new audience simply by choosing the “Exclude people who like my page” option.

However if you are launching a new product or service, it would be better to choose the “People who like my page” option as these people are already familiar with your business.

You also have the option of customizing the search parameters of your target audience. Facebook has a step-by-step guide which will take you through the entire process of creating an audience profile. Facebook will use the information to find the best, most ideal sites to place your paid ad.

5. Allows You To Stay Within Budget

Most businesses, especially small enterprises and startups are hindered by tight budgets from starting an advertising campaign.

As we discussed in our articles, “How to Set Up a Low Budget Digital Marketing Campaign” and “How to Launch a $100 Digital Marketing Campaign”, it is possible to succeed even with a restricted budget.

However the articles discussed organic search marketing strategies. Paid advertising as the term implies, carries a cost. However, with paid ads you only pay whenever someone clicks on your ad.

Therefore, if your ad gets seen by 1,000 people but only 10 click on it, you will only pay for the 10 clicks. With Facebook Ads, you don’t need a million dollar budget to get started.

Depending on the location of the ad, you can start driving people to your website for as little as $0.10 to $0.30 per click.

Here’s the breakdown of the Cost Per Click (CPC) by placement in Facebook Ads:

CPC chart based off ad placement

Chart courtesy of AdEspresso

As you can see, Instagram has the highest CPC. Still there are 5 million business profiles in Instagram. The volume alone should give you the confidence to have your paid ad campaign go through Facebook Ads.


Facebook Ads is a great platform to run your paid ad campaign. Because it has features that allow you to target your intended audience, you will be able to capitalize on Facebook’s massive 2 Billion community of users.

Your paid ad will also be posted in multiple sites that will enable more people to see it. Facebook’s 2012 acquisition of Instagram was a big winner for the company. Instagram has 800 million active monthly users and 300 million daily active users.

When embarking on a Digital Marketing campaign, it is a good idea to mix organic search marketing with paid advertising.

Organic search marketing will build your business reputation and visibility over the long term. Paid advertising will drive inbound traffic to your website immediately and help your business gain traction right away.

This way while you are developing markets and an audience for your business, paid advertising through Facebook Ads can help you find potential end users who may have immediate need for your products and services.

If we got you interested in starting out a Facebook Ads campaign, please do not hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We will get back to you right away.

Remember, now is the best time to start your Facebook Ads campaign as the social media network is still growing!

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