Digital Prof: Thoughts on Digital Marketing

In which I provide my thoughts on the digital marketing field; from upcoming strategic and tactical opportunities to identifying challenges and limitations of outreach.

How to Get the Most Out of Facebook Advertising

Facebook Ads provide one of the best advertising platforms on social media to date.  In addition, these ads are inexpensive, offer psychographic targeting methodologies, and are potentially visible to a significant audience.

When considering advertising on Facebook, it is important to first clearly define your objectives so that you can determine which ad type to use.  Facebook offerse two main ad types - internal and external.  External ads drive users to exterior content, similar to a display ad.  Internal ads drive users to content within the Facebook platform.  

External Ads

Similar to display ads, external ads should be utilized to drive users to valuable content, promotions, products, etc, with the intention of encouraging a pre-defined conversion metric.  The true value of Facebook advertising for external ads is the targeting methodology that allows advertisers to segment the market by demographic features as well as psychographic features.

Internal Ads

Internal ads are ideal for prompting follower engagement, and as such provide pre-defined formats for promoting events, specific engagement stories, and applications, as well as the traditional ad format.  These apps provide a number of metrics to analyze their effectiveness in regards to CTR and social reach.

  • Traditional Facebook Ads
  • Sponspored Stories
  • Event Ads
  • Application Ads
  • Places Ads (Page Like Stories, Check-In Stories, Page Post Stories, and Page Post Like Stories)

For businesses new to social media, I’ve seen a high success rate for an initial fan-driving campaign to jump-start your Facebook presence.  If your brand is event-driven, then you certainly want to take advantage of the Events Ads to promote attendance and social interaction through Facebook.  If your business is location-driven, you can drive fans and engagement through the variety of Places Ads.


The key to getting the most out of your targeting is to use a combination of tools to identify the widest variety of “interest” phrases for your audience.  I prefer to use the Google AdWords and Wonder Wheel tools (recently disabled, although I hope it will return) to discover and mind-map a wide variety of similar phrases.  Of course, this functionality can be fairly easily replicated with a good, old-fashioned brainstorm session.  Mind-mapping may also help us discover new audiences that we might be able to target and position our products as a complementary or substitute good.

For example, for a client who sells premium pet supplies, the mind-map might brand out from pet supplies to designer pet clothes to raw food treats, as a start.  These keywords can then be tested in the Facebook interest targeting application to ensure that we have captured the widest range of interests for our audience. 

With the wide range of affordable advertising options offered, Facebook presents an impactful way to reach specific audiences efficiently and conveniently.


The one area that I really wish offered greater flexibility is in ad design.  At the moment, we are limited to one format (for each ad type, but still similar among all), and one image.  For this reason, it is crucial that you not only select enticing imagery, but that you test multiple images and ad copy to ensure that you’re delivering the highest CTR.


Facebook advertising offers a rich advertising opportunity that will ensure, with a little trial and error, that you reach and engage with your ideal market(s).  

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