Understanding Facebook Ads from the scratch

If you’ve been an active social media user in the recent years, probably you have seen the transition from desktop platforms to mobile-only platforms. In the past, you used to access facebook.com from your browser, just like any other website. You would do it a couple of times a day, and you would engage with family and friends by commenting and liking their posts.

10 Years ago we used to access Internet, read blogs and comment in forums from browsers. There was even a huge battle between Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Which one would be the one dominating the Internet for years to come? But a couple of years earlier, Apple and Google released the iPhone and the Android OS, forcing Internet users, years later, to access their favorite websites from their mobile phones.

Since then, platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp emerged. Facebook transitioned from desktop to mobile, by having separate iOS, Android and mobile versions, and this was followed by other tech companies that had to adapt their products in order to keep growing their user base. You would check twitter.com and youtube.com from desktop when you used them for the first time and years later you installed their mobile apps to keep using them when you were away from your desktop.

I created my Facebook account in 2007; I would start blogging in 2008 and I wrote my first tweet back in 2009. For that reason, I’ve been up to 10 years seeing how users interacted with social media content. Back then, there was no ads (except in Google Search results with Google Adwords).

For ages, everything we saw in social media was not promoted content. Even when Facebook released Facebook Ads in 2007, it took a couple of years for marketers and brands to understand how they could target their audience and how to deliver branded content. Social Media Managers and Community Managers had to find out how to set up their first Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts and YouTube channels, among others. The first step was to create a brand persona and start reaching their audience by creating content. Continue reading

Users, cookies and misleading conversion attribution

Have you ever felt that an advertiser is following you? It’s very common, specially after you show some kind of interest for a product. Say you are going on vacations to Berlin and at some moment you were looking for a place to stay in Airbnb. “Forgot it”, you think. “I found a cheaper hotel in Booking.com and I don’t need a place to stay anymore”. Nevertheless, Airbnb doesn’t know that happened and they will keep showing ads to everyone that at some moment got interested for a reservation. There is where the advertiser starts following you. Let’s see how this works.

If you read the post on Google Analytics a few weeks ago, you may know you can track user behavior in our website, by using a Javascript Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) that tracks events and conversions within your website. For instance, correctly installed, we may know how many people are at this exact moment in my website or how many of them purchased a product in the last 30 days, in case we are an eCommerce.

A similar approach is used by social media and search advertisers. Just like GATC, Facebook has a Pixel code we can install so we know what happened during a visit to our website, which products did users visit, if they added a product to a cart and if they ended purchasing the product (or not). Continue reading

Placements, devices and social media advertising

One confusing thing when talking to someone about online advertising for the first time is the question: where are my ads going to be displayed? It’s hard to explain because probably you can mention platforms (Facebook? Google Search? Twitter? – Mobile? Desktop?) but the complexity is more related to at what exact moment and in which placements your ad will have the chance of being shown, generating impressions, clicks, views or whatever KPI we are working on. By the way, what is a KPI?

Let’s just start by saying the definition of KPI: Key Performance Indicator. This is important for two reasons. First of all, because it will define what you consider success (or not). What is success for your business? Getting likes? I don’t think so. But if it was, the number of likes would be your KPI. Think that probably is more relevant the number of leads or new clients, for example. Or it can also be number of new App Installs you drove.

Let’s mention some KPIs:

  • Clicks
  • Impressions
  • Conversions
  • Leads
  • Video Views
  • App Installs
  • etc.
This was important to mention because according to the KPI you decide to work with, you will better understand what a placement is. For example, Snapchat is not the best place to generate clicks. Probably is better for generating video views. Or it wouldn’t be accurate to use Pinterest to generate Leads. Probably it’s better to actually sell products. And Instagram for sure is an excellent platform to promote your new app. At the end of the day, people using Instagram are already using their mobile phone and they are just one click away from a new app install.

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Anatomy of a Facebook Ads campaign

The first time I created Facebook Ads by myself, I didn’t know what I was doing, a common scenario for small and medium businesses. For then, as you may know, I had my personal blog (www.mirincon.co) and something that I actually wanted was that more people get interested in the posts I wrote. Based on this, one of the problems at that moment was that I didn’t know how Facebook could help me reach that objective.

Before understanding the anatomy of a Facebook Ads campaign, ask yourself this question: what do you want for your business? The answer of this question will help us to drive the objective of this post: explaining in detail all you need to know before, during and after creating your first Facebook Ads campaign.
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