Facebook ads are a key tool for social media marketing, no matter your business. With many design choices, enhanced targeting options, and improved testing and optimisation features, Facebook makes it easy for companies to connect directly with their target market. Still, many healthcare practices either do not have Facebook business pages or would rather increase website click-throughs and conversions than profile likes. Linking a business page to your advertisement may not always be necessary, especially if it does not fit your campaign goals.
Creating Ads without a Facebook Business Page
Contrary to common thought, you do not have to have a Facebook business page to run on-site ads. There are, however, a few caveats. Many ad types are ineligible for businesses without site profiles, including the boosted posts, carousel ads, and dynamic product ads that appear in newsfeeds. Some of the right column ads are ineligible as well, such as the page post link ads that are intended to improve likes, follows, and page engagement.
However, right column domain ads are fair game for all businesses regardless of their Facebook presence. They are also very useful for small practices who wish to send site users to the company website rather than the business’s profile page. You will need a Facebook account to get started, but you will not be able to link the ad to your personal account and do not need to link it to a business profile page. Simply visit ad creation and select “Clicks to Website” as your goal.
At this point, you will be asked to input the website’s URL. It is possible to list your homepage if it has a solid site design, strong copy, and Call to Action (CTA) placement. However, do not put your homepage unless it is high converting. I have stressed the importance of having high-quality landing pages before, but many business owners still assume their homepage is satisfactory. For effective social media marketing, avoid creating a Facebook ad until your website is ready to receive and help convert traffic. The right ad will increase click-through rates, but the right landing page will increase lead conversions.
Key Features of a Right Column Domain Ad
Facebook continues to roll out new ad types and designs, including the newsfeed placements that connect directly to a business page. Right column domain ads are the simplest in comparison, and cannot be displayed on mobile platforms due to the placement.
The style was heavily revamped throughout 2014, however, which improved both visual consistency and appeal. The new style means larger images, the same newsfeed proportions, and fewer pieces displayed per page. These factors help attract and maintain consumer attention while giving businesses room to be creative.
Facebook has many design guidelines to help ensure that the right column piece will appear consistently no matter the browser or screen size. The piece will include a title, displayed URL, body copy, and image. Current recommendations include using a 1.9:1 image ratio, with a recommended image size of 1,200 x 628 pixels.
Due to the simple design of the overall piece, both the image you choose and the copy you include will have a major impact on its success. You will have the option to preview before publishing, and can also publish many pieces at once to compare the rates of success. Targeted market research, effective social media management, and up-to-date analytics will all help you design the best ad for your business.
While exploring Facebook’s business tools, you may run across a text-only option. Although the text-only pieces also only run in the right column, they must be linked to a Facebook business page. Only the domain ads will lead directly to your practice’s website without linking to a business profile page. As a bonus, however, domain ads are often much more effective than text-only pieces since they include a photo.
Benefits of Running an External Ad
Newsfeed ads experience increased engagement, in many forms, thanks to their placement and visibility. Although domain ads may experience a lower Click Thru Rate (CTR), they are typically much more cost-effective. Running at least a domain ad will help increase Return on Investment (ROI) and conversions, plus they are the ideal ad type for many small businesses. Right column pieces are not complicated and have a very simple goal. You can focus on the image and copy, doing your best to convert leads, instead of wasting time trying to figure out how the ad works.
Plus, keep in mind that the piece can have any CTA that your website can support. Ideas include:
- Ebook or PDF downloads
- Email newsletter sign-ups
- Request for information or other input forms
- Product sales page
- Online appointment booking
The flexible nature of the ad allows for various objectives and outcomes.
Did you find this article helpful? What action are you going to take because of it? Let me know in the comments.