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Ignore the gurus - advertising is deceptively simple. It’s about creating the right messages and putting it in front of the right people. But there’s a knack to enjoying effective Facebook advertisingFirst, why target Facebook advertising? Well, it’s the third most popular website in the world (after Google and YouTube), which makes Facebook advertising extremely powerful for businesses.

With this social media platform, we’re talking about well over 1 billion users – that’s a lot of potential leads. But while the concept of advertising is straightforward, here are 10 top tips to make sure your digital messages cut through the clutter.

1. Listen to Facebook.

When it comes to creating your ad in the first place, use Facebook’s professional ad tool – the power editor. It’s simple to use, but it gives you greater control over your campaigns, so it’s worth wrestling with it initially.

2. Make sure your ad has an appropriate URL.

For SEO. For analytics. For sanity. Individual URLs will make your ads easy to find, easy to assess and easy to see after the event.

3. Choose your audience carefully.

Most advertising experts will tell you to be niche, to be on brand and to focus on the people you want to target. That makes sense because not everyone wants to hear what you have to say. But, in a nutshell, Facebook advertising is different. The success of a Facebook campaign is directly related to clicks and if people don’t see your ad, they can’t find you. Don’t be proud when it comes to filters; this ad scenario is a different ball-game altogether.

4. Separate your mobile and desktop campaigns.

If you want to advertise in these two areas, treat them as separate campaigns. Put simply, your conversion rate for mobile advertising will most likely be far poorer than its desktop counterpart, so separating them is key for accurate analytics.

5. Time your ads well.

Pay attention to when your ad runs. There will be optimal times and days for your subject matter, so don’t waste your hard work by running an ad in the graveyard shift (whenever that might be).

6. Be decisive and leads shall follow. Probably.

Include a clear call to action on your ads wherever possible. Don’t fudge anything or leave anything to chance. If you’re in any doubt whatsoever, get a relative or family friend to read over your ad – if they can’t explain the ad back to you then there’s a problem.

7. Include lots of images.

For both ads and personal use alike, images are the lifeblood of Facebook so you may as well get on board the bandwagon. You have to tailor your ads according to the platform you’re using, so confronting people with a wall of text on Facebook is advertorial suicide.

As an important side note to this, Facebook’s advertising rules state that image-based ads that are set to appear in users’ news feeds won’t get approved if the copy takes up more than 20% of the image space. In other words, be succinct.

8. Update your mailing list to Facebook.

If you’ve gone to the effort of building a mailing list, it’s probably accurate, so upload it to Facebook and put it to work on the social media scene. Targeting people you’ve already established a relationship with is a no-brainer and can easily get Facebook ad campaigns rolling very quickly.

9. Be an active Facebook user yourself.

This might sound obvious but it’s often overlooked. Even the best Facebook ad campaign will lack oomph and appear disconnected if you haven’t updated your company page recently, or if you’re not posting regularly. Join the dots for your audience.

10. Know your goals.

And lastly, probably the most important advertising tip also applies to Facebook advertising – go into a campaign with realistic, defined goals. Whether it’s page likes you’re after, increased leads or a wider audience, know what you want to achieve before going to any effort.

Topics: Facebook New Feed Advertising, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Ads, Social Media Advertising, Social Media, Facebook

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN and Milwaukee, WI.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.