Over the last few weeks, I’ve been learning a lot about the process of running Facebook ads for my books. I am by no means an expert on the subject, but I’ve come a long way and I thought I would share with you what I’ve learned. There’s definitely a lot of trial and error involved, both with preparing the actual ad and tweaking it to maximize the results.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned:
Basic Facts About Facebook Ads
- Boosted posts are not as effective as actual Facebook Ads. A boosted post is simply an ordinary Facebook post that you promote with advertising money.
- You hand-select the audiences that see your ad. This info is gleaned by FB from people’s profile information: age, location, education, relationship status, interests like favorite movies, music, etc.
- Facebook offers both CPC (cost per click) and CPM (cost per thousand impressions) ads.
- You can select a right-hand column or the newsfeed ad. It’s best to go with newsfeed because the ads on the right are too easily ignored.
- You can run an ad just to advertise that your book is available, but you might get better results if you run it while your book is on sale or even free.
- Ads are always accepted, not like BookBub who rejects a large percentage of ads from writers (including yours truly).
- You must pick a goal – common ones are to add to your email list (called conversions) or simply to sell more books. Your goal could also be to simply get more Likes on your FB Author Page, but this is not really recommended anymore. Due to changes in Facebook’s algorithms, much of the content on pages is hidden from view. You’ll want to choose to track website clicks if you’re trying to send people straight to your Amazon page or other site.
- If your goal is website conversions (I did this when I ran an ad to try to get email list signups) you’ll need to insert a conversion pixel. A conversion pixel is a web landing page what you can track. (I had my webmaster/sister do this because I have no clue about such things…)
- Facebook ads work like an auction to bid for the attention of your target audience.
- You choose your budget and how long you want the ad to run. The ad will end on your chosen end date or whenever the budget is exhausted – whichever comes first.
How To Create Your Facebook Ad
- Video Tutorials from Facebook can be found HERE.
- Go to Ads Manager on the lefthand side of Facebook to get started.
- You can either use Power Editor (more advanced but is better) or Create Advert (simpler). Power Editor only works with Chrome.
- Each time you go to create, update, or tweak an ad, be sure to click on Download to Power Editor. This will save your changes and ensure that you’re working with the most up-to-date information before you begin.
- Make your ad visual. Facebook algorithms like visuals and guess what? So do human beings. Make it look good.
- Canva is a free program to help you format your ad so it fits with Facebook. You can use your own art (your book cover and related photos). Canva has some cheap photos and graphics, many are just one dollar each. You can also find other websites with stock photos for sale (such as http://depositphotos.com/ and https://us.fotolia.com/ )
- You can also use Microsoft’s PAINT program to develop your ad.
- Make sure you have a clear Call to Action. Facebook makes it easy – you can choose an action button from their dropdown menu, such as SHOP NOW, SIGN UP, LEARN MORE, DOWNLOAD, BOOK NOW, WATCH NOW, or DONATE NOW.
- You want your ad to show in both Mobile and Desktop.
Target Your Audience
- Select age, gender, interests, location, etc.
- You can even customize your audience with an existing customer list, such as an excel spreadsheet of names and email addresses/ phone numbers. You can Expand Your Audience and reach people who are similar to those on your list.
- Facebook can give you an HTML code to put on your website to track visitors so you can market directly to those who have visited your site.
Setting the budget
- You can set a per day or lifetime budget ($5.00 per day, or $50.00 total budget for example)
- If you select per day, the ad will stop when budget is exhausted. Otherwise, it will run continuously.
- You can pause or change your ad at any time.
- It’s important to track your results. Be aware of what’s working and what isn’t, and don’t be afraid to tweak your ad frequently. You also might want to pull an ad that’s underperforming, and you can add money to an ad that’s working well. There’s definitely both an art and a science to running successful advertising, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to take me quite some time to master it.
- Speaking of masters, you’ll want to check out Mark Dawson’s thoughts on the subject. The man has made a small fortune on his books from running Facebook ads, and nobody knows more on the subject than he does. Take a look at his FREE three-part video series HERE. Dawson also runs a paid Facebook course. I really can’t afford to take it right now (and I think he only offers it at certain times) but a lot of people have said that’s it really worthwhile.
What about you? Have you tried Facebook or other ads for your self-published books? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section of the blog.
- Linda Fausnet