Advertising on Facebook is really, really easy. Advertising effectively on Facebook is not.

Like most platforms, Facebook has evolved its advertising interface to make it super easy and intuitive to use. A few clicks and you can very easily boost a post to put it in front of a bunch of eyeballs.

But are they the right eyeballs? And are you optimizing your ad spend in a way that achieves your goals? Have you spent your money in a way that helps your business grow?

Here’s a (very) brief introduction to getting started on Facebook advertising.

What are your advertising goals?

The short (and obvious) answer to that is: to make money! But that’s the ultimate goal of virtually all marketing efforts, digital or otherwise. Why else would we bother?

While sales may be your true goal, how you go about generating those sales may vary depending on how you want your target audience to connect with you, whether they’re at the top, middle or bottom of the sales funnel, and what enticement(s) you’re offering to get them to hand over their cash… in short, your advertising goal can take on many forms.

Facebook gives you a number of options to consider (excluding boosting the post):

  1. Get more website purchases
  2. Get more leads
  3. Get more bookings
  4. Get more messages
  5. Promote your page
  6. Promote your business locally
  7. Get more website visitors

These are very different goals to consider when choosing to advertise on Facebook. When someone sees your ad, how do you want them to respond? Do you want them to visit your website? Buy stuff from it? Book calls with you? Message you? Learn more about you?

All of these are valid advertising goals – but which one best matches your reason for promoting? 

Decide your goal up front and let Facebook guide you as you move through the ad creation process.

Who is your audience?

Facebook knows a LOT about us (what a surprise!). It knows that Bob is the kind of person who engages with ads and is more likely to click through to a website than Sue, who prefers to message businesses with questions about their products. And it knows that Fred owns a small business and Sally is retired. And that Blair is a runner and Gary plays the guitar.

Facebook understands your interests, your hobbies, and your behaviours based on how you’ve interacted with content on its platform in the past. That means it can target us with ads that are unnervingly relevant!

So determine who your target audience is. Are they women under 30? Men over 60? Are they located geographically close to your business, if yours is a brick-and-mortar establishment? That demographic data is key to putting your ads in front of valuable eyeballs.

Facebook also gives you the ability to target your ads based on psychographic information. That means that it lets you choose an audience based on personality, interests and hobbies, lifestyle and opinions and attitudes. And spending habits

Demographics define who your audience is. Psychographics define why they buy.

You need to define a buyer persona to describe your ideal buyer, taking into account both demographics and psychographics. 

For example, maybe this describes your audience:

  • Married moms over the age of 40
  • Work part time and have a household income of $50,000 – $70,000 per year
  • Spontaneous shoppers who make purchases using their phone
  • Like to laugh at naughty memes and enjoy a glass or two of wine
  • They share a lot of content, post a lot of pictures and are endlessly looking for something new to experience online
  • They always have Facebook open and engage constantly with the posts of their friends

We’re going to call this persona Simone. Now: how do you use what you know about Simone? 

First, you know that Simone is an impulsive online shopper, so you may decide to market to her (and others like her) by creating an ad that’s optimized for mobile website purchases. And you know she lives on Facebook, so that’s where you’re directing your dollars. 

Knowing your audience has already helped you make a few decisions about your digital marketing campaign!

What is your sales pitch?

Now how do you plan to catch Simone’s eye and convince her to spend some money on your site? You know she’s got a sense of humour and enjoys wine, which is great because your product features naughty sayings about a number of things – including wine! 

Your sales pitch, then, should be lighthearted, funny and clever enough to catch Simone’s eye. And your Call to Action (what you’re asking Simone to do) should be direct and to the point. You’re more likely to get her to spend money if you ask her “wine not?” than if you come right out and say “buy funny wine stuff here”. 

And to properly leverage Simone’s habit of sharing funny content, you probably want to make the pitch clever enough that she’ll share it without overtly asking her to. You want her to want to share it, rather than feel like she has to.

(Making a share request part of your Call to Action can be valid, but that may not resonate with the Simones of the world!)

What’s your visual?

When you decided to market to Simone, you determined that she’s visual, loves to share (what a bonus for an advertiser!), and likes wine. So, your visual has to speak to her.

Which of these images is more likely to appeal to Simone?

Option 1:

a funny picture of spilled wine

Option 2:

4 glasses of wine

Your visual, combined with your sales pitch, should reflect what you know about Simone: her interests and sense of humour. 

You’re going to want to give her a taste of your brand, your products, and how they are a good fit for her personality and interests. So, even though you may sell funny stuff that an engineer or an accountant might love, that’s not what you’re putting in front of Simone. Save that for Ted or Frances or whoever those personas are!

There’s more that goes into effectively advertising on Facebook, including the best way to squeeze the most value out of your budget, duration and timing of a campaign, but knowing what you’re trying to achieve in the campaign, who you’re selling to, and aligning that with the right message and visual are key to catching the eye and interest of your audience.

Kicking it up a notch

This Facebook advertising 101 just scratches the surface! In future blogs, we’ll talk about the Facebook pixel, remarketing, and the many ways you can structure an ad campaign to reach multiple audiences. Check back or subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with the information we share!

Shameless self-promotion

A successful ad campaign can take time and money to do well. And while you can definitely put it together yourself, you may find that leaning on someone else’s expertise (*coughLikeOurscough*) can make the process less painful and more successful. If you’ve been thinking about dipping your toes into Facebook advertising (or advertising on any online platform), give us a call to see how we can help!

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Gary Pitcher

Web Developer

Gary has forgotten more about technology than most of us will ever know. He’s worked in dozens of industries in a wide variety of roles and solves difficult problems recreationally. By the time you’ve formulated your question, Gary already has an answer, which would be annoying except he’s so darned nice about it.

Adrian Proctor

Web Developer

When you put Adrian behind a keyboard, magic happens. On stage, that means he’s making music. At work, he’s bringing website designs to life. Adrian is probably the quietest member of the Unrivald Digital team, but when he speaks, we all listen because we know he’s got something important to say.

Shaheen Bhimani


Shaheen is the guy you want in your corner when you’ve got a complex problem to solve in the next 15 minutes. He’s part MacGyver, part Tony Stark and part while still being the nicest guy in the room, hands down. His soft-spoken, down-to-earth vibe and ability to deliver makes him a client favourite.

Blair Shunk


Whether leading a meeting, riding his motorcycle, or running in the Banff Jasper Relay (for which he was Race Director for many years), Blair connects with the world around him. He inspires his team to work hard while never forgetting the value of the relationships he builds with clients.