1. Getting Started
The first thing to consider is how easy (or not) it is to get started. If you want your paid advertising campaigns to start delivering results fast, you don’t want to spend months learning how to use the platform.
Getting started with Facebook Ads
Let’s start with Facebook. To be honest, it takes some time to get prepared for running Facebook ads unless you’ve already done your groundwork. You need a strong Facebook page before you start. Before Facebook starts running your ads they take a look at your page stats to decide whether you’re a genuine business or a scammer. If you’ve been posting to your page regularly, sharing high-quality content and getting good engagement, your Facebook ads are far more likely to be approved straight away.
The next thing to do is install the Facebook tracking pixel on your website so you can track the performance of your Facebook ads. If you’re a dab hand with coding or are using a hosted website provider like Shopify or WordPress, this is pretty easy to do. Otherwise you may need your web developer to add the tracking code for you. Once it’s done, a whole world of data opens up to you, which helps not only with monitoring your ads but crucially, making ongoing adjustments to improve performance.
Installing the pixel also gives you a new set of potential customers to talk to. With the pixel in place, Facebook will let you retarget ads to people who visit your website (whether through clicking on your ads or not). So you have a warm list of potential customers to show ads to, who already have some level of interest in your business. Plus, you can now create lookalike audiences – so you can show your ads to people who Facebook knows share similar characteristics to those who’ve visited your website.
As long as you have an active, high-quality Facebook page, getting your Facebook ads account up and running is a very quick process, but there’s a lot to be taken into consideration.
AdEspresso have published a really clear guide to help you get started with setting up Facebook Ads.
Getting started with Google Ads
With Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords) on the other hand, you can pretty much leave the setup to Google. As with Facebook though, there’s some preliminary work to be done before you launch.
You need to undertake keyword research before you even think about launching any Google ads campaigns. Understanding which search terms you want your ads to show up for and which you don’t is the biggest single factor in reaching the right audience. Next you need to make sure your content is organised according to your account structure but that’s more to do with ongoing management than deciding whether Facebook Ads or Google Ads are best for your business.
Setting up your landing pages is possibly the most important factor in getting ready to launch your campaigns. Google looks at the correlation between your paid ads and the URLs they point to when deciding how relevant and valuable they are, which can affect performance. The content on your landing page needs to closely match that in the ads to ensure optimum results. Moreover, you want users to find what they’re looking for after clicking on the ad, so they’re more likely to convert. Think about your CTAs, how easy any data capture forms are to fill out and whether your content is compelling enough to convince them.
For crash course in getting started with Google Ads, this article from Wordstream is a great place to start.