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Seven Questions and Answers About Facebook Ads

Facebook is an important tool for nonprofits. It allows you to connect with your current supporters, find new ones, and be part of newsworthy conversations. In addition to posting regular non-promoted content, nonprofit organizations can gain a lot by creating well-thought-out paid ads. Ads Manager has tons of options, so it’s important to use the right combination of settings to achieve the conversions you want.

To help you get started, we gathered seven common questions we get from clients about Facebook Ads and answered them here.

1. Who should I target?

One of the biggest decisions you’ll make with your Facebook Ads is who you want target. There are a few ways to build an audience. You can create an audience based on demographic information, geography, or a specific interest that people have noted on their profiles. You can also create a lookalike audience—these are people similar to those who already like your organization’s page or are similar to an uploaded list. For the latter, you will need to upload your email list and Facebook will match as many records to active profiles as it can based off the information you provide. When creating an ad you can set it to be delivered to a lookalike audience, a custom audience, or a combination of both. Facebook will give you a projected reach based on the audiences you choose, unless it’s only an audience based on an uploaded list. In this case you won’t get an estimate due to privacy concerns. 

2. How much should I spend?

The old adage that you have to spend money to make money is true when it comes to Facebook Ads. If you’re going to put the energy into this platform, you need to be comfortable dedicating funds to make it work. For an initial campaign we suggest a budget of $2,000 – $3,000. Another way to approach this is to think of a daily budget of around $80. When you set up your ads you have the option to set a total spend limit. You can either let the ads run continuously until you get the results you’re looking for or set a limit that cannot be exceeded. Don’t let that dollar amount scare you away. While it’s a good place to start, we can work within any budget restraints to set up a successful campaign.

3. What makes a well-designed ad?

Successful Facebook Ads need to be eye-catching and clearly branded, but simplicity is also important for three reasons. First, you don’t want there to be any confusion about the goal of your ad. Second, you want your ad design to be legible on smaller devices. And third, Facebook guidelines limit the amount of text an organization can overlay onto an image to 20%, so you have to come up with the right message that is also short and sweet. You can use the Facebook Creative Hub to create a mockup that will meet these guidelines. Every ad you design will be reviewed by Facebook before it goes live.

4. Can I test my ads?

With all the variables, you may be wondering how to choose the right combination of text, images, and audiences. Like any good marketing tool, Facebook offers the option to do split testing. With this strategy you can create multiple versions of one ad within a single campaign, each using whatever images, text, and headlines you put together. Facebook will track each version and select a winner based on the goal you identified when you created your campaign. You can choose the timeframe of the test, and even give Facebook the ability to automatically select a winner when it collects enough data.

5. What if I want to make edits to my ad?

One feature we really like about Facebook’s platform is that you have the ability to edit and update ads at any time. Don’t like what you’re seeing in terms of results? Just sign into Ads Manager and update different elements until you hit on the most successful version. Just keep in mind that each time you edit and publish the ad, Facebook will need to review and approve it again.

6. What is a Pixel and what can I do with it?

A Pixel is a snippet of code that you place on your website that allows you to see details about what Facebook users do on your site—from user demographics to journeys people take within your site. You can also set up events with your Pixel such as signups, registrations, and donations. You can use this information to retarget individuals who have taken certain actions, and engage with them in new ways. You can also build new audiences of people with similar characteristics to those who have taken actions on your site. 

7. How long should I run my ad?

The length of time that you choose for your ads should depend on the ask. If you’re trying to get people to complete an advocacy action that is time-sensitive, or donate during a specific time of year, then it’s pretty obvious that you should limit your ad window to the days that your message is relevant. If you’re using Facebook Ads to try and generate awareness, or get people to join your email list, then you have more flexibility. For these types of goals, we typically suggest a six- to eight-week window for a single ad campaign. You can track your ads and increase the length of time (or end them early) depending on the results.

Whether you’re trying to grow your list, looking for more year-end donations, doing some cross-channel marketing, or need to generate letters to elected officials, Facebook Ads should be part of your larger marketing strategy. If you want to dive deeper into this platform, and how it can move your organization forward, reach out to our team of experts today.

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