Facebook has cut back on a lot of ad formats that brands can promote. This is their attempt to make Facebook advertising more effective and as a result, has put restrictions in place. These restrictions remove the ability for brands to take any post published on their Pages and pay Facebook to promote them. Boosting these ads will make it so they show up in newsfeeds. But here's the thing, Facebook is incredibly specific about what those promoted posts include. Today, we'll take a look at the ad formats that have been retired and what you can do instead.
What is a boosted post?
Facebook's "boosted post" initially started out as "promote post" and has since been refined. Over the past few years, their organic reach continued to decline. And many page owners are now turning to "Boost Post" as a way to get their messages to their followers. There are two options when it comes to boosting a post: driving website visits or driving engagement in the form of comments, reactions, and shares.
Facebook Target Options
- People who like your page - this targets all of your existing fans
- People who like your page AND their friends - this targets all of your existing fans and their friends
You can optimize both ad groups in order to target individuals by their location. Or, you can create a new audience based on age, sex, location, and interests.
Granted you CAN choose specific interests to target with those boosted posts. Unfortunately, the target choices continue to be fairly limited. Just keep in mind that you can't use Detailed Targeting as a way to reach people who are interested in two different interests. However, you CAN'T exclude or include your page fans or Custom Audience from seeing your post.
Types of Posts You Can't Promote On Facebook
So, what's happening with Facebook and what types of posts can't you promote on Facebook anymore? Last year Facebook's Chief Operating Officer emphasized these business results. Facebook's product manager echoes this approach in an email statement to Marketing Land, stating:
“We want businesses to utilize Facebook ad products that give them the best opportunity to achieve their business goals, and removing these inessential boosting options will reduce complexity and help them find the right products to get the best results.”
There are 17 types of posts that you can't use anymore and they include boosting posts that are:
- a check-in on a map
- Page sharing a shop, then boosting it to a story
- a share of products from shops
- the share of a note
- the share of a poll
- change of a profile picture
- the share of cultural
- a file upload or share
- the share of comments
- a sports event
- a video or image uploaded through the Facebook camera
- a post related to attending an event
- the share of a video playlist
- the status of watching a television show, move, or other types of programming
- a sponsored post that is an app posting to a Page's timeline, the boosting that story
- a political endorsement
- place recommendations
What CAN You Post?
You might have noticed that since September of last year, you weren't able to boost the posts listed above. Now it's time to rethink your Facebook advertising strategy. And now that you know what types of ads you can't do, finding what works for your business might be a little difficult. You can choose to boost different types of posts, or you can even decide to create optimized Facebook Ads targeted at the right audience. Optimized ads can help you spend your PPC budget wisely.
As a result, you can earn a positive ROI. Below are three different types of Facebook ads that can help you successfully promote your brand.
How To Create Succesful Facebook Ads
Let's take a look at the four components of a successful Facebook ad:
1. It's visually striking. Facebook's algorithm treats visually content more favorably. In fact, it's more likely to be shared and remembered than written content. You need to make sure that your post (whether boosted or a unique ad) contains images that will invite your audience to learn more.
2. It's relevant to your audience. Relevancy is the most important element of Facebook advertising. If your ad isn't valuable (and relevant) for your intended audience, you're wasting your time. Not only that, but you won't see much success. Whenever you create a Facebook ad, you'll receive a relevancy score from Facebook. This score rates your ads similarly to the way Google does with Ad Rank in Google AdWords. The more relevant your destination page, copy, and images are to your audience, the higher your score will be. As a result, Facebook will favor your ads more.
3. It reveals your USP. You're USP (unique selling proposition) isn't just useful in marketing collateral. It can also be shortened and used in your advertising campaigns. This can be a quick way to explain why your product is better than your competitors'. Just make sure that your value proposition is compelling and believable.
4. It has a clearly defined CTA. A visual ad is great but you need to have a clear CTA (call to action). If you don't, your buyer won't know what their next step should be. The CTA needs to have clear instructions on what you want them to accomplish. For example, your CTA might encourage them to visit your website, buy now, or download a piece of content.
2 Facebook Ad Examples by Type
Now that you know what you can't post on Facebook it's time to take a look at some of Facebook's ad types. Now there are more types of ads, but the following two types that have been proven to work.
1. Facebook Video Ads
Whenever a video shows up in the user's News Feed you'll immediately get their attention. If you haven't tried this format yet, it's time to join in on the fun.
Why It Works
- It helps the user to connect on a more emotional level.
- This ad is set up to attract page likes. It also has a clear CTA to "like" the brand's page.
- 85% of videos on Facebook were viewed without sound in 2016. This is great because it lets the user quickly understand what's going on without volume.
How To Create Your Own Video Ad
- Take a look at Facebook's video ad requirements, like length and size requirements.
- Create a video that shows your product or service in the shortest amount of time.
- Upload the video directly to Facebook ads manager by following these instructions.
- If you're just boosting your video, just publish it as normal and hit "publish".
2. The Local Ad
If you want to drive physical foot traffic to your location then Local Ads is perfect for you. You have the ability to target local users which can help you reach your goals. Especially when you target within a specific mileage radius from your store. Then you can create an event and run it a few days beforehand to up interest.
How To Make It Work
- Use an image that's appropriate for the ad.
- Make sure the copy is fun and includes a specific address.
- A clear CTA is the best way to make sure a user finds your local store.
How To Create Your Own Local Ad
- Choose your copy, images, and CTA.
- Determine which type of CTA will maximize your brand's reach.
- CTA's can include "like" page, get directions, call now, send a message, learn more or save (location).
Facebook Is Continually Expanding What They Offer
There are even more ways of advertising that you should check out.
- Facebook Shop: This is how your followers can shop on your page with dynamic product ads, as well as your Instagram Shopping catalog.
- Facebook Marketplace: This is perfect if you want to engage in Etsy-like selling without the fees. Plus Facebook's recent Marketplace update offers Instagram-like recommendation features to expand your store's reach.
- Shopping on Instagram: Followers have the ability to shop for tagged items in your Instagram post. This works for Instagram stories as well. But you need to use Facebook Shop in order for this to work.
- Facebook Dynamic Retargeting Ads: If you want to retarget users who landed on your site with similar products to what they viewed. Facebook uses an algorithm to pull products from your feed that have the highest engagement. Again you have to use Facebook show for this to work.
How To Create A Successful Facebook Ad
1. Understand your target audience.
First things first, you need to truly understand your target audience before you can move forward. Mainly because it’s pretty hard to create an effective ad if you don’t know your audience. Subsequently, this will help you in a lot of different areas of your business too.
Consider the demographics of the people you want to reach. What industries do they work in? What is their income? Do they fall into a certain age group or are they a certain gender? Take time to think about all the buyer personas as well.
2. Create a compelling Call to Action.
You need to be able to decide what you want your audience to and then, ask them to do it. Maybe you want them to purchase your product. Or you want them to sign up for your email list.
A compelling call to action contains several elements:
- An offer they can’t refuse. What will your audience get when they click on your ad? A coupon? A free download? You need to offer something for free because it’s a great way to get people to click.
- A sense of urgency. Make them want to click right freaking now. For example, you could have your coupon expire tomorrow. This makes them feel like they’ll miss out if they don’t click on your ad.
- Action words. Remember this from elementary school? The use of an action word literally tells your audience to do something. Like “Buy Now!”, “Hurry before it’s gone!” “Get your free eBook.” “Join now.”
3. Be visual.
Whenever someone scrolls through their Facebook newsfeed, they’ll most likely scroll right past your ad. This is why you need to visually catch their attention. Because your image needs to stand out and encourage them to stop whatever it is that they’re doing.
In addition, you need to be sure to choose a high-quality image that isn’t blurry or out of focus. You should also consider contrast. A light, primarily white image, will blend in with the page. Focus on color to draw even more attention to your photo.
4. Connect with your audience.
Remember that audience you defined earlier? Well, they have needs and wants – just like you. They’re on the hunt for something. Ask questions that relate to their pain points. Don’t forget that people don’t purchase a product or service based solely on its features.
Focus on the benefits, not the features. Like what can you do for them and how can you solve their problem.
5. Follow through and be consistent.
So what happens once someone clicks on your ad? They need to be directed to a page that’s all about that product or service you mentioned in the ad. This could be a landing page for your service with more details about what you have to offer.
Make sure that the language you use in the ad is duplicated on the landing page.
6. Test different ad options.
This is where a little trial and error comes into play. Go ahead and create two or three versions of your ad. Use different language and images in each one. Furthermore, you can run a couple of small campaigns just to see which ones get the most traction.
The ones with the initial responses will be the direction you take for the big campaign.
7. Continue to monitor your ads.
Don’t just put your ad out there and forget about it. You need to actively track your ad and see how many clicks, leads and purchase you actually get. However, if the return on the investment of Facebook ads doesn’t make sense, then don’t continue to run that ad. Consequently, you probably need to revisit one of the items listed above. So make sure you covered all your bases, and if you haven’t, try again.
Hopefully, this will help you with what you post on Facebook. Are you worried about what types of content you'll post? Or do you have a better idea after reading this article? Let us know in the comments below, so we can discuss! Don't forget to check out our article on 10 Tips to Expand Your Reach On Facebook.