Small Business Marketing 3 Questions To Ask Before You Create a Facebook Ad

Published on March 18th, 2014 | by Derek Overbey


3 Questions to Ask Before You Create a Facebook Ad

Advertising is part of our everyday life. Whether it’s billboards on the freeway, ads on the side of a bus or adsticks at the grocery store, businesses are vying for your attention everywhere. And Facebook is no different.

Facebook started supporting advertising soon after it launched in February, 2004. The ads have grown and matured over the last 10 years and today the ad platform is utilized by businesses both large and small.

No matter what size your company is, some questions need to be asked regardless of whether you’re running a multi-million dollar campaign or creating your first self-serve ad on Facebook.

What are you trying to accomplish with your Facebook ad?

There are several advertising options you can choose from when creating an ad on the Facebook platform. You’re provided with eight different choices that will more than likely meet your advertising objectives. From clicks to your website, to app installments and event responses, make sure to choose the one that fits your goals to leverage Facebook to the maximum.

What do you want to accomplish on Facebook?

Where do you want your Facebook ad to appear?

Facebook provides the ability to place your ad on the right side of the feed (right rail), in a user’s news feed or utilize both options simultaneously. There are pros and cons to each placement. The pro for news feed placement of your ad is the fact that it appears right in your followers news feeds where they spend the most time looking. If they’re skimming their news feed, they will most likely run into your ad if they’re in your target audience. But this could also be seen as a con to some. When some people see these ads in “their” feed they perceive them as spam. And they’re not afraid to let you know about it.

The pro about right rail placement is that ads may be perceived as less intrusive than their news feed counterpart. But again,  from your perspective as an advertiser this ad placement may be less desirable. Some Facebook users disregard the right rail all together because they know that’s where the ads are. Plus, some Facebook users implement ad blocker plugins that hide ads completely. For most situations it’s a good idea to test both options and continue with the ad placement that performs best.

Where does my Facebook ad appear?

How do you want to pay for your ad?

Facebook provides many different options when it comes to paying for your ad. One option that is available for any of the eight ad choices is Cost Per Click (CPC). Other options for specific ads include Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM), bid for Page likes, bid for Page post engagement, bid for website conversion, bid for desktop app installs, bid for app engagement and bid for event responses. Since most small business owners will be focusing on the “clicks to website” ads, we’ll concentrate on the CPC and CPM payment options.

If you’re trying to drive traffic to your homepage or a special promotional landing page, the CPC option might be your best bet. If you’re trying to raise awareness of a new product or service then CPM might work best. Again, there are particulars to each option that you should be aware of.

If you choose CPC, you will be charged for every click from Facebook to your chosen destination. Whether they go deeper once they hit your website makes no difference. You could have a very high bounce rate on your site and you would still be charged. So make sure you have a strong Call To Action (CTA) once they come to your site. That way you won’t be paying for unqualified traffic to you web properties.

If CPM is more inline with your goals, you will be charged every time 1,000 Facebook users see your ad. Just be advised that “seeing your ad” does not mean the user actually looked at your ad. All it means is that the ad was served up on the Facebook users account so that they have the possibility to see the ad. This makes some people uncomfortable because they don’t have hard data backing who actually viewed the ad. This is why if you choose the CPM option, you have to make sure the creative for your ad is compelling and engaging to make the user more likely to remember your brand.

Cost Per Click Option

Cost Per Thousand Impressions


So there you have it. Three questions you should ask yourself before you create and ad on Facebook. We’d love to hear any other questions you have about Facebook ads in the comments below.

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© 2014 – 2015, Derek Overbey. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

Derek Overbey

Derek Overbey is a contributing author for VerticalResponse.

7 Responses to 3 Questions to Ask Before You Create a Facebook Ad

  1. Hi Nicole. Advertising is an interesting thing. In most cases when you are targeting, you’re usually not exclusively going after just an older or younger demographic. Most companies would love to sell their products or services to a diverse group in order to broaden their reach and hopefully increase revenue.

    I think Snapchat and Facebook have widely different users and you would approach marketing on those in very unique ways. But as a future marketer, I would not discount a social network just because it might appeal to a certain demographic. This would leave you missing a big piece of the pie IMO.


  2. Nicole Caley says:

    Recently, my Marketing Management class had a discussion that Facebook is becoming the ‘social network for old people’ and that Snapchat is and will be the new ‘thing’ for Social Media and advertising, for Generation X, Y, and so on. Do you think this is still a good time to heavily invest in advertising via Facebook?

  3. Mathew says:

    Thank You for the reply!

  4. Kevin Gray says:

    Would you recommend Facebook Ads over “boosting” a post? We have been boosting our posts and have great success with website traffic and our CTA’s get noticed but I am wondering if Ads would produce more results.

  5. Derek Overbey Derek Overbey says:

    Unfortunately Mathew Facebook doesn’t provide that type of detail in Facebook Insights. Plus I’ve found their click through numbers are slightly inflated compared to Google Analytics. They do have systems in place to try to curb individual or bot clicking but it is not perfect.

  6. Mathew says:

    If we opt for a CPC (Cost Per Click) payment program, does Facebook send us exact information on which Facebook profiles are clicking through to our website? Or do they generalize by categorizing into the target market(s) we may have selected? Essentially, is there a way to tell that People and not a single Person or Bot is responsible for clicking through our advertisement?

  7. Good points. I don’t think I understood Facebook ads before this. I didn’t know there was a difference between cpc and cpm.

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