Decoding Facebook Advertising For Brand Managers

Gaurav Mendiratta
New Update

Facebook revolutionized the social marketing space with the 'Like' button back in 2011. Till date over a million advertisers all over the world have run campaigns to get more 'Likes' on their posts or pages. In India itself, there are over 200 brand pages with a million likes each and over 500 pages with over 100,000 likes each.

Most brands, if not all, have run Facebook advertising campaigns to reach these fans. Going beyond the Likes, thousands of marketers across the world run ad campaigns on Facebook targeting people by their interests, demography and psychographics to bring them to their websites and applications.

The 'Push' & 'Pull' of Online Advertising

In some ways, online advertising gives us a unique opportunity to try both the 'Push' & 'Pull' approach in advertising, Search advertising gives a cool way to reach consumers who are looking for things you sell, which can fall under the 'Pull' approach. While display advertising, i.e. the banner ads we see fall under the 'Push' Approach.

Even though Facebook or social advertising is display advertising, it does a brilliant job simulating the 'Pull' Approach or comes close to it. Some marketers even believe that interest based targeting is arguably equal if not better than re-marketing or contextual targeting.

Facebook's Self-Serve and Premium Ad Inventory

As most Brand managers know, Facebook offers both self-serve and premium advertising inventory. The Premium inventory is accessible through a few partners or directly through Facebook ad sales team and is mostly CPM driven. On the other hand, self-serve inventory allows anyone to create an ad on Facebook and pay by your credit card.

In October 2013, Facebook revamped their self-serve advertising and they now offer 8 different types of advertising. It all starts with a simple question… What is your advertising Objective?

The objective could be simply getting more likes or getting clicks to your website. They could be more complex like getting conversions or getting App installs, in these cases Facebook requires you to have the tracking pixel installed on your site or have the app made on Facebook. All details on the different ad types can be found in this article.

Types of Facebook Self-Serve Ads

The most popular and effective type of Facebook ads is the sponsored story. They either show up on the right side of your feed with just a friend's name and brand DP or they show up in your news feed with a friend suggesting it to you.

The second most seen type of Facebook ads is what I like to call "FB Stamp Ads". These ads have a small thumbnail along with limited text and they show up in the right hand side of your feed.

Mobile App install ads and Link Post ads are also supported in different sizes. Recently, a new feature called 'Boost Posts' was introduced which allows users to promote the posts directly from the page and this type of ad is now the most commonly used ad type on Facebook.

Few months back, Facebook started retargeting through FBX, I will discuss this in a separate article.

Talking about business models for self serve ads, Facebook like most other publishers supports CPC & CPM models. They also support CPA models for Mobile App installs (referred to as Cost per install) or Cost per like bidding for fan pages through Power Editor or API Partners. Facebook has introduced a new business model called OCPM i.e. Optimized CPM, where your ad is shown to people who are more likely to like your page/download your app.

To sum it all up, Facebook advertising can be very effective or not so much, depending on the type of your business/product, but regardless of what business you are in or the product you are selling, Facebook does allow you to reach your audience through its various advertising options.

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