Advertising your Promotion on Facebook - 3 Helpful Tips

Posted by Danny Wood

Facebook advertising can be a great way to give your promotion a “strong start”, generating the initial interest that is necessary to gain some momentum and gain an audience for your contest or sweepstakes. But at the same time, it’s important to build your advertising campaign properly in order to ensure that it provides the results that you’d like!

#1: Select your Delivery Method

Facebook offers a number of different “Campaign Objectives” for advertising, which in layman’s terms means ways that your advert can be displayed to your audience. If you’re advertising a promotion, you’ll most likely want to select “Page Post Engagement” for promotions being hosted on Facebook, and “Send People to your Website” for one being hosted as a microsite or IFrame.

Although “Send People to your Website” will technically work for any Promotion, “Page Post Engagement” can be more desirable if your promotion is hosted on Facebook. Although it’s hard to prove, many marketers believe that Facebook ads that do not take users away from Facebook result in lower click costs, making “Page Post Engagement” ads preferable. (Just make sure to post something to your Facebook page first that can be used as your ad.)

#2: Choose your Audience Effectively

The number-one advantage of using Facebook ads in any case is the ability you receive to target your audience; ensure that you capitalize on the ability to set things such as:


An often-overlooked targeting tool, age can be quite useful. It’s important to think about age in terms of your target market; if you sell snowmobiles, it can probably be safely assumed that the majority of your customers will be younger than 60, and it won’t be worthwhile to advertise to them, even if they might still want to enter your promotion.

Geographical location:

Geographical restrictions are critical, as you never want to waste your budget showing advertisements to people who either aren’t in your market or cannot enter due to legal restrictions.

Other demographics:

Although they may not apply to you, consider whether or not other demographic restrictions might help you to better reach your target audience; if your customers are mostly women, consider only advertising to them. Be careful with some demographic restrictions, though: using more specific ones such as targeting by job title can be incredibly useful, but may filter out users who are in your audience but have not filled out that field in their Facebook profile.

Other page likes (“Interests”):

Perhaps the best and most underutilized targeting tactic is by “Interests”. Don’t let the name fool you, targeting by interests allows you to “target people who liked X”. In a highly competitive market? Add your competitors’ Facebook pages to the list. Have a good idea of what other brands your customers enjoy? Add them also.

Facebook Ads Interface

#3: Take Control of Bidding

Facebook would love you to put your budget entirely in their hands, but we know that this might not be a good idea! Near the bottom of the page, use the “Optimise For” menu to select “Clicks”. Facebook will advise you against this, but this will avoid wasting your budget on things other than actual visits to your Promotion.

Additionally, change “Pricing” to “Set the max.”. It sounds scary, but Facebook will give you a range of what it feels you’ll need to spend to hit your target audience, and you can adjust this upwards or downwards at anytime, even after your ads go live.

Bonus: Aim to Not Need Ads

Ultimately, the best advertising that you can receive is by “word of mouth”. Not only is it free, studies show that people will always choose recommendations by other people over advertising. Not needing ads can be achieved by either offering social share rewards for a Sweepstakes, or running a Contest in which voting is involved, which will encourage participants to share their entries in order to get votes, thus sharing your promotion by extension.

In my personal experience as a marketer, my most successful promotions have always run this way, beginning with driving entries from ads, but ultimately receiving the bulk of entries from social referrals. If you’d like to get feedback on your ad campaign, I’d love to help, so just leave me a comment below in the comments section.