Chapter 1: Facebook & Instagram Ads For Beginners – What Are FB & IG Ads & Types of Ads
Welcome to the first chapter of our series on Facebook & Instagram ads for beginners! If you are brand new to digital advertising, congratulations, you’ve found the first step in using the power of the internet to start selling your products and services as soon as possible.
The age of the internet has had a resounding effect on how we use marketing to sell and promote.
Newspaper adverts, word of mouth, and magazine promotions have fallen out of the limelight. In its place is social media and its cost efficiency for businesses and brands.
Marketing has changed drastically over the last two decades. With this change comes the opportunity for you as a small business owner, organization, or even influencer to stand out, generate leads, and help sell your products and services from advertising online.
A decade ago, who would have thought that your personal computer would be the portal to your next client or customer.
Digital marketing campaigns using social platforms like Facebook and Instagram are powerful. However, there are barriers to entry for those looking to create their own promotional content.
With how important having an online presence is in the 21st century, this can be an unfortunate sticking point for some.
This series is for Facebook & Instagram ad beginners using some of the most powerful tools in the digital marketer’s toolbox: Facebook and Instagram ads.
Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads & Digital Advertising
So what are digital ads you might ask?
Digital ads are the online equivalent to what you’ve probably already seen in newspapers and magazines. These ads are displayed in strategic locations online. They offer much more customizability as well as insight than more traditional forms.
Digital marketing allows you to tap into the world of social media and the internet, which has surged to 3.96 billion and 4.66 billion users respectively in 2021.
Through different online channels, digital ads help you spread your brand, message, products, through social media.
The most popular social media platforms are Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. These have all been started in the last 20 or so years.
What Are Facebook Ads
Before we help you build and optimize your ads from A to Z, we first need to understand what social media ads are and the types of ads as beginners using Facebook and Instagram ads. We need to know what they can accomplish for us who want to connect with our customers.
Facebook ads are advertisements that show up on Facebook in various locations. This includes the news feed on both desktop and mobile, and the right panel for just desktop users.
Because of Facebook’s deep user base, Facebook ads allow you to get your brand, product, or service in front of the right audience. This can help you sell to people that are actually interested.
Why Use Facebook Ads
With a number of platforms and means for advertising, what makes Facebook stand out above the rest, and why should you be using Facebook ads?
With 2 billion people using Facebook worldwide, Facebook commands the lion’s share of overall internet users when it comes to social media.
A human can’t even begin to visualize what 2 billion customers or clients would look like, but even if you can break into a tiny percentage of this massive user base, you can easily build a devoted community that will follow your businesses every move.
If there are people that are going to want to buy your product, and engage with your brand, you will most definitely find them amongst these 2 billion users.
Tailoring your ads to specific communities, demographics, and users is a big reason why you should be advertising on Facebook. Being able to segment your customers based on how they think, how they live their lives, their purchasing habits, and their beliefs and values is what Facebook does well with their extensive targeting capabilities. This includes Lookalike audiences which targets those users who have already engaged with your business based on shared similarities.
Facebook also allows you to set budgets for your ad campaigns in case you want to scale your marketing efforts, create various types of ad creatives like video ads, and even lets you monitor how everything is working. Facebook allows you to customize your ads for tangible results based on data that they have collected and will collect.
Bottom line is that Facebook ads are some of the most powerful, far-reaching, high-converting ads that you can create, which is why so many businesses are already using them.
Types Of Facebook Ads
Because audiences engage with different styles of advertising, ads on Facebook can vary. They all typically have copy above the ad image or video and a call to action or link for people to click. This lets them find out more about the product or service under the image. Here are a few examples:
Facebook Image Ads
These are simple images of your product, brand, or service. Your image can have some text on it as well, to highlight what’s written in the copy above or below.
Image ads offer the easiest way to create ads on the fly. Facebook has gone on record mentioning that “photo-only ads outperformed other formats in driving unique traffic.” This means that this format is the best bang for your buck when you are looking for clicks.
If you are a small to medium business owner, influencer, or freelancer, image ads can speak to your audience the most effectively.
(Tip: High-contrast photos draw in the eye and will help your ad stand out on the page. Because we are social creatures, photos of faces also draw us in. Use either (or both) of these strategies to make your ads extra effective!
Left: High contrast image / Right: An image showing a face
Facebook Video Ads
Video ads, replace images with videos. Because videos are a great way to engage with an audience, videos can help tell a more in-depth story. This can up the ante on your brand awareness.
Similar to image ads, video ads offer the best bang for your buck solution to driving engagement, traffic, and ultimately business.
With over 4 billion video views happening every day on Facebook, video ads are some of the most powerful ways for you to capture your audience’s attention.
(Tip: Make the thumbnail eye-catching as well, to make it more likely someone will want to watch!)
Facebook Carousel Ads
Carousel ads expand upon image or video ads with the ability to add up to 10 images or videos within one ad. Each of these ads may have different links or calls to action. This gives you better coverage over your different audience types within your niche.
Facebook Instant Experience Ads
Instant experience ads are full-screen image or video ads that use all of your device’s screen to showcase a product or service. This format allows users to focus on what’s on-screen, eliminating the distractions when a user is scrolling.
Facebook Collection Ads
What a carousel is to video and image ads, a collection is to instant experience ads. Collections allow you to chain multiple instant experience ads together showcasing multiple products.
With over 2 billion active daily users, these types of Facebook ads allow you to tap into as broad or narrow an audience as you want.
What Are Instagram Ads
Similar to Facebook Ads, Instagram ads are sponsored posts displayed on the Instagram “feed”. This photo-sharing platform is more visual in its content, meaning high quality and engaging imagery goes a long way. After all, they say a picture is worth a thousand words!
With just under a billion active users, Instagram is a platform that swings more to the younger demographics of the Millenials and Gen Zs.
Because of Facebook’s ownership, detailed statistics and analytics of your audiences is also available. This is a benefit when it comes to advertising on Instagram.
If your business is more about grabbing and engaging the eye, then visual storytelling via Instagram ads can be the most natural fit.
Why Use Instagram Ads
Because Instagram falls within the Facebook ecosystem, the reason to use Instagram ads are more or less the same reasons to use Facebook ads. The platform does however lend itself to more visual content, which may suit your business better.
Audience targeting for Instagram is more simple than on Facebooks and may be better for newbies, while the type of content again promotes using your images and photos. If you have a very visual business by nature, Instagram and the younger demographic that frequents Instagram is perfect for your vibrant, hip, young business.
Just think of Instagram as the trendier, younger brother to Facebook. Using Instagram Ads if you think the largest percentage of your audience is born no earlier than the mid 1980s.
Types Of Instagram Ads
Much like Facebook, there are a couple of different formats of Instagram ads. These will appear in either the Instagram or stories feeds.
Instagram Image Ads
The most basic of Instagram ads, and the most common are the single image ads. There are more options here than with Facebook when it comes to the format of the images, which you can edit to display in square, landscape, or vertical orientations.
Businesses can also advertise via sponsored stories. These are timed snapshots of what is usually a regular Instagram sponsored post.
Image ads perform well on Instagram because they blend in with the standard posts. From a marketer’s perspective, this means the user is more receptive to these types of ads. Users will likely stop and read it like any other post, instead of scrolling away to the next image of interest.
Single image ads mostly outperform ad types like carousel ads because of their simplicity, which leads to more engagement.
Instagram Video Ads
Again, similarly to Facebook, video ads can help connect with an audience better and can also be displayed in different orientations.
Instagram video ads are powerful, and with many platforms taking their video more seriously, so too is Instagram. With time limits being extended, video views have grown. Video ads have the highest average click-through rates out of all digital ads.
Instagram Carousel Ads
Instagram also offers the user the ability to display multiple images or videos within one post, a popular option if you have multiple product offerings. Users are used to swiping, and so it also engages your customers to interact with your brand with little friction.
Instagram Story Ads
Stories were Instagram’s response to Snapchat and have been an overwhelming success for the platform. Instagram stories allow businesses to display their ads within the horizontal feed at the top. It can support video and imagery making it quickly accessible and to the point.
Instagram IGTV Ads
IGTV is a long-form video integration within Instagram, akin to YouTube or Vimeo. Ads up to 15 seconds can be displayed on these longer videos.
Instagram Reels & Reel Ads
Reels are permanent stories that can be saved to your Instagram profile pages. They are queued in the same way as stories are, and have some added benefits. This includes the ability to appear in the explore tab, different editing tools, and the ability to be shared.
Hopefully, this introductory chapter gives you a basic understanding of the 2 most prominent social media platforms for advertising.
Although powerful, they can be confusing to dive into for a beginner. You may need something more streamlined to help you create interesting and engaging content for their audiences.
Highest Converting Facebook & Instagram Ads For Beginners
For your business and brand, the metric that matters when it comes to your advertising is if your ads are performing well. This means getting clicks, leads, positive impressions of your business or brand, and inquiries.
When using social media for your digital marketing, simple is typically better. This means that video and image ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram are going to be performing the best for your business.
While more niche advertising types have their uses, for the beginner who just wants results, a combination of video and image ads is an effective strategy.