Advanced Facebook Ads Videos, Canvas Ads, Local Ads, and Lead Generation

| April 20, 2017 | Business Strategy

Digital advertising has historically offered two options: branding (cost per impression) or visitors (cost per click). Now Facebook, using the power of its social data, is changing the game by providing an extensive selection of advertising options to drive better results for your business. Let’s take a look at four of these advanced options.

Video Ads

Over 100 million hours of video are watched every day on Facebook.  With auto-play as the default setting, these visual stories are often more appealing for users and enable you to convey your advertising message in both a visual and textual format.

Facebook video ads can either be an uploaded video or a slide show that stitches together images or video.

With video, you can insert text and music. Each ad has a call to action, the regular Facebook post text, and a link to drive the user to your advertising objective.

The slideshow option is powerful because it doesn’t require you to have the budget or talent to create videos; instead you can combine images and even text into a rotating presentation that plays as a video.  You can use your own images or choose from the thousands of stock images supplied by Facebook.

What I found most powerful about combining videos with a click to website objective was the ability to communicate a convincing message to the user before they even click to your site and before Facebook charges you for that click.  You can also review detailed viewing statistics to identify where users are dropping off in your messaging.

When using video ads, it is important to select a good thumbnail image that inspires the user to click play Using subtitles or text to enhance the message is also incredibly important since it is reported that 85% of all videos play without sound.

Local Ads

Facebook has expanded its advertising options to allow you to target users within a specified radius of your business, including users that are only one mile away.  With local ads, you have the standard options of advertising content such as videos or slides (as I discussed above) or images, but with the addition of special call to actions.

With each ad, you can select a special call to action based upon your business. You can choose “Directions,” which if clicked, gives directions to your store or “Call Now,” which on mobile, calls your phone number or “Save,” which lets people save your business location so they can stop by later.

When using local ads, it is important that your ad content is relevant to the call to action. Ensure you are giving them a compelling reason to visit your store or to call you.  Unlike other ad options you can only target by age and gender instead of more specific interest, language, or demographic-based targeting.  Thus, reaching the right client for you can be difficult and is one of the reasons I have not invested heavily in local ads.   It is worth trying however, but you should carefully monitor your costs and measure your conversion.

An alternative to local ads that I have used to draw people into my business is the events option.  I create an event on Facebook and then use the event promotion advertising option to promote it.  I have found it to be very effective because I can use the targeting based on interests and demographics and the ad has a very local and relevant feel.

Lead Generation

The goal of many advertisers is to drive a visitor from Facebook to their company’s landing page, capture that lead, and then market to them. In my personal experience, I discovered two factors that led to increased cost and reduced impact. First, was the fact I saw a discrepancy in the number of people who clicked and the number of people who landed on my website.  This was due to people clicking, but then not wanting to leave Facebook or some other technical factors. Second, was the low conversion rate of people who completed the form once they were on the site.

Facebook has made it a lot easier to acquire those same leads by providing the signup form inside of Facebook and pre-populating the form information with the user’s Facebook account data.

Lead generation ads allow you to use the standard highly specific targeting and the usual creative. The difference is that if the user clicks on the ad they go to the form within Facebook. This increases the leads you receive, since sign-up friction is reduced. And, as a bonus, you can still send the user to your landing page after the form has been submitted.

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Canvas Ads

The final advanced advertising option is canvas ads.  Think of this as a miniature website that you can create in Facebook and present to your target audience.  The canvas ad can be very effective, but admittedly a bit time consuming to create.

Facebook provides you with various components that you can use to create your canvas.  You select the layers you want to add and the actions you want the user to take.  Layers include a header, image container for one or more images, text block, call to action buttons, and a video container.   Combining these all together into a mini-site website within Facebook can deliver a captivating story to the user.

Canvas ads are interesting because of the details and images that you convey, all with the user never leaving Facebook.  That means users are not lost going to your website and the ads are optimized for the Facebook experience.

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Tracking Results

No matter what advertising option you use, it’s important you have the tools in place to track the results and optimize future ads.  Ensure that your Facebook pixel is installed on your website so you can use their reporting tools and track conversions from the ads.

For business owners that want to measure the effect of ads on offline events like sales in their store, Facebook has introduced an advanced concept of Offline Events for tracking.

There are many options for your business to advertise on Facebook.  Choosing the right ad type is important, but so is selecting the right interests and demographics target. It is important to experiment with these advanced ads and determine the mix that delivers the best results for your specific business.

Follow Ian Haet on Twitter @IanHaet and learn more about his experience in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Ian Haet
Ian Haet
Ian Haet was the CEO and Co-Founder of the Startup Stock Exchange (SSX) headquartered in Curacao, Dutch Caribbean until he sold it in April 2016. He has started and operated numerous online businesses in the Caribbean and Latin America. He is an expert in business development, digital marketing, and startup operations. He is currently focused on building his next business in LATAM.

See all posts by Ian Haet