Facebook Advertising 101: Types of Facebook Ads

by | Mar 24, 2020 | Facebook, Social Media

Facebook advertising is the most popular social media advertising platform, and one of the most popular digital advertising platforms, surpassed only by Google Ads. 

In the beginning of Facebook Ads, super low-cost ad prices were drawing advertisers to the platform to supplement pre-existing Facebook followings (tips on how to grow a FB following here). Now, digital marketing agencies recognize Facebook as a powerful tool for narrowly targeted ads (a great way to see quality conversions, especially if you apply inbound marketing methodology to your Facebook ad campaigns).

Whether you’d like to segment by interest, age, occupation, income level, or more, Facebook makes it easy to drill down on an ad set that’s highly specific. The key is to choose the right ad type for your social media ad campaign goals. To do that, it’s important to understand the different types of Facebook Ads. Let’s look at a comprehensive breakdown of each type of Facebook ad, with examples, here:

The Different Types of Facebook Ads

There are a number of different types of Facebook ads, each with their own pros and cons depending on what your objective is for your Facebook ad campaign. Let’s take a quick look at the different types of Facebook ads available:

Brand Awareness

Facebook Ads

If you’re new to Facebook, or are hoping to get the word out about your product, a brand awareness campaign can help you get new followers and let people know that your brand exists. Facebook’s brand awareness ads are pretty flexible, so you’ll see them used often, even for campaigns that aren’t related to brand awareness. 

To get the most out of these ads, though, you’ll want to create some show-stopping content. The goal is to make an impression that helps people remember you.

Facebook Brand Awareness Ad Example

This ad from Promo is a great example of a brand awareness ad that makes people stop and look. The creative for this ad is a bright, powerful burst video that catches the eye. 

They’ve included a “learn more” button for those who are interested in checking out their brand, but even if you don’t click on the ad, you’re likely to remember its vibrant colors and associate them with the Promo brand name. Brand awareness mission accomplished. 

Local Awareness Ad

Got a local company or brick and mortar store? Local awareness ads work just like brand awareness ads, but they’re tied to your specific location. If you’re trying to create awareness for a new store you have opening up, these ads can be targeted to specific geographic locations, ensuring you’re only spending money on ads going to people in your area — people who will actually be able to visit you. 

Store Visit Facebook Ads

If you’re trying to drive foot traffic, a store visit ad is the way to go. Store visit ads not only target audiences based on geographic location, but they can provide a “get directions” button so your followers or new ad recipients can figure out how to get to you at just the push of a button. 

Website Conversion Ads

Brand awareness campaigns are a great way to drive long-term success. If you’re looking to see immediate conversions though, a website conversions ad campaign is a better choice. If you have a quality offer, like a discount or a cool ebook you know your target audience won’t be able to say no to, a web conversion ad is the way to go. 

Website Conversion Ad Example

Check out this simple web conversion ad from The Sill. It’s bright, eye-catching (it’s a video ad) and it speaks to millennials by encouraging them to grow their “indoor jungle”. Their “Shop Now” button links right over to their website, where visitors are immediately met with their newsletter sign-up CTA. A quick, easy way to add to an email list.

Just make sure to use web conversion ads intuitively — you’re spending money to get people on your website, after all. Make sure they’re headed somewhere useful, like The Sill sending users to their newsletter sign-up CTA. 

A landing page or a content offer download would also work to collect that contact information. 

Clicks-to-Website or Traffic Ads

If traffic is what you’re after, the clicks-to-website ad type is Facebook’s best option. Possibly one of the easiest ads to develop, they look just like a sponsored post, but link over to your latest blog post or product offer, or even a landing page on your website. 

Clicks-to-Website Ad Example

This click-to-website ad from Inside Weather is particularly effective, as it’s a video ad. The video works to show off the customization and ease of assembly their product offers, and the ad doesn’t ask too much from the viewer. 

A simple “shop now” CTA ensures ad viewers make it to the website. Inside Weather isn’t asking much from consumers, probably because they know that if they get consumers to their page, the rest of their marketing strategy will work to capture contact information, and close on a sale. 

This is a simple, effective example of a click-to-website or traffic ad you’ll see often on Facebook. Here, the goal is just to get the viewer to the advertiser’s website. Then, its optimized marketing strategy can do the rest.  

Facebook Event Ads

Hosting an event? Have a booth at an upcoming festival or show? Let people know, and get them excited about it with an event ad. These ads are designed to help you promote events. They do a great job of getting the word out and give you an idea of how many people are interested in the event; plus, they’re shareable, so you can hope to gain more exposure there too. 

If you’re looking for event signups, though, you’re probably better off using a website conversion ad to meet on-page goals and collect contact information. 

Offer Claim Facebook Ad

An offer claim ad is a great way to drive sales if you have a specific offer or discount you’re promoting. Offer claim ads allow you to customize your CTA, and can be used for both in-store or online promotions. 

Whether it’s a 20% off discount code or a free coffee thermos with purchase, Facebook will keep track of the people who have claimed the offer, and send them notifications when your offer is about to expire, helping drive traffic to your site. 

Example of an Offer Claim Ad

Check out this offer claim ad from HelloFresh. It’s simple but attractive, and $80 Off makes a pretty compelling offer. 

When you click the “get offer” button, you’re taken right to their site, and the discount is loaded into your cart immediately. Then, users can check out with the click of a button. Pretty effective. 

Full-Form Lead Generation Facebook Ads

One of the biggest issues with most Facebooks ads that work to drive conversions is that they require the user to leave Facebook. 

Facebook has addressed that issue with their full-form lead generation ads. These ads actually allow users to fill out your lead generation forms in-app, and Facebook will help by auto-filling their contact information for some of the more general fields. 

Take a look at this one we created for our client, Renewed Homes: 

When a Facebook user clicks on the “learn more” button, they get this pop-up, still on the Facebook website or in the Facebook app:

You can see that the form will auto-populate the user’s information, so all they have to fill in are the three top fields and their ZIP code, and then submit the form. Once they hit that submit button, their information goes to our client, and the user can go right back to their social media surfing. 

The lead generation ads are perfect if you’re looking to capture contact information. They offer the most seamless conversion experience possible, and you can sync Facebook to your existing CRM, so those leads are waiting for you the moment you log in on Monday morning. 

Facebook Like Campaigns

If you’re just looking to get the word out about your brand or company and expand your reach, a page like campaign is another great way to go. Unlike an awareness campaign, a like campaign does offer a little measurable engagement. Instead of linking to your website or an offer, like campaigns encourage users to like your Facebook page, so they’ll see your organic content in the future. 

Example of a Like Campaign Ad

This Funny or Die ad is a great example of like campaign that also works to generate engagement. It’s a video — which will help boost engagement right off the bat, and it features two well-known comedians. 

That’s a pretty good way to drive up those reactions, comments, and shares, while reminding people to like your page at the same time.

Engagement Ads or Boosted Posts

Engagement ads are similar to boosted posts, in that they mostly look like organic Facebook posts. The difference? You can target who your post goes to, and you can encourage engagement with comments, shares, and reactions. You can tell you’re looking at an engagement ad by the little “sponsored” indicator just below the title of whoever has created the ad. 

Example of a Boosted Post

Check out this example. This is an ad that’s been created by a blogger, to promote a brand she’s sponsored by.  It shows up in my feed like a shared article or blog — I wouldn’t know this was an ad if I didn’t see the “sponsored” tag.

Since there are no buttons to “Learn More” or “Shop Now” this just looks like an organic post within my feed. The difference is that it has been boosted, and specifically targeted to a demographic of Facebook users likely to appreciate the brand this blogger is promoting.

App Engagement and App Install Ads

If you’ve got an app, Facebook’s got an ad for you. Choose from their app install ads that encourage people to either engage with your app (usually targeted to people who already like your app) or download it (encouraging new people to try out your app). 

How to Choose the Right Types of Facebook Ads for Your Campaign

Clearly, Facebook offers a ton of different ad styles, each better for different objectives. So how do you choose the right ad type? First, think about what your objectives are:

  • Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? 
  • Are you hoping to boost lead generation? 
  • Maybe you want to jumpstart sales with a discount promo. 
  • Or maybe you’re just launching your brand on Facebook and you need a boost to get started. 

Whatever your objective, it’s important to choose it before you choose a Facebook ad type, because each Facebook ad type is optimized to deliver different results based on your objectives. 

For example, if your goal is to drive traffic and conversions to your site, a like campaign won’t work. It’s an in-app Facebook ad type that doesn’t encourage users to navigate away from Facebook. Instead, a web conversion or click-to-website, or even an offer claim ad would make more sense.

If you’re not sure which types of Facebook ads are right for your goals, a digital marketing agency can help. It’s their job to optimize ad campaigns for optimal results based on your campaign objectives. Here at Evenbound, that’s something we do every day. If you’d like a bit of guidance on your Facebook ad campaigns, or you’re looking for permanent support, we can help

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