As a social media platform, Facebook serves a large audience (6.2 million daily users in Russia). And the platform’s advantages are not limited to the userbase. Look at these figures: 26% of people that click on these ads finally make a purchase. Just imagine how many people see ads in the network, and you will realize that the result is pretty worthy. Impressed already? Nice, let’s keep things moving… toward CPA marketing.
Handling affiliate programs in Facebook Ads is not a big deal for a publisher. However, one may still run into some difficulties, and this is where our guide may come in handy. One of the most yielding and efficient CPA-based models is arbitrage. Under this principle, a marketer drives cheap traffic to the advertiser website through affiliate links. Profit!
What is Facebook Ads
As the name suggests, Facebook Ads is a tool for creating ads on Facebook. It accommodates a personal account, where you can view ad campaign details and analytics, launch new ads, and modify the existing ones. Your work starts in that advertising account that is called Ads Manager.
Mind you, marketers use that very advertising account to launch — and handle — Instagram ads, but that’s another story.
Depending on the settings, ads you create with Facebook Ads will show up in users’ feeds, the ad section, Messenger chats, Stories. The first option seems the most efficient, as the ad blends in with a user’s news and they naturally read your ad, as it was a regular post.
Well, let us pile up all the benefits of using Facebook Ads:
- broad audience reach, diverse audiences;
- interested users;
- numerous targeting options (e.g. gender, age, region, interests, preferences, occupation) and qualified audience;
- wide choice of ad formats and placements.
Not a single thing can be flawless though. Advertising with Facebook Ads requires a publisher to be an inexhaustible source of creativity so they could attract more audiences. Besides, Facebook offers a magic button dubbed Report Ad. If you go too far with spam, splash out annoying or obtrusive content, or show ads to an irrelevant audience, chances are you will fall under Facebook’s displeasure. Long story short, the core principle is as old as the hills (and the Internet): improve your content! Remember that it is imperative that you analyze your campaigns, scrupulously monitor results, and be ready for testing every change you are going to implement — all to avoid budget wasting.
Another drawback is that Facebook is not very fond of affiliate links. However, we will tell you how to fix it below.
How to use Facebook Ads
Let’s get to work. Facebook advertising account could never be called a user-friendly interface. But, its Help Center, lending support in the form of step-by-step guides and FAQ, comes as a killer feature. All the instructions given there are very comprehensive, so we will only talk about the main things publishers need to know before starting their journey in Facebook Ads. And, of course, we will tell you how to use affiliate links without falling into disgrace.
Here we go!
1. Create an advertising account in Facebook Ads. An advertising account is an interface where you launch Facebook advertising campaigns. Click Create Ad on any ad (you can see the button in the first screenshot) or here. The link will redirect you to your account in Ads Manager. Here’s what it looks like:
Go to Campaigns and click the large green Create button on your left.
Service-minded, Facebook will offer you two modes of advertising campaign creation: Guided and Quick. For beginners and those who need more settings parameters, we recommend staying with Guided Creation, where every button and action you come across while starting up a campaign is accompanied by tips and hints.
Articles from the Facebook Ads Help Center that will facilitate your startup process:
2. Now, let’s get to the CPA model. The main monetization method will be traffic arbitrage (aka media buying). Where do you get cheap traffic to sell it at a higher price? Where do you get affiliate links? Myriads of questions pop straight away. But keep calm. Nothing will be left uncovered.
First, choose programs you are going to drive traffic to. Those may be products from online stores, finance programs from banks and credit organizations, services (healthcare, online education, entertainment), or traveling.
Important! Always check whether the advertiser allows social media traffic. You can check it in the affiliate programs catalog or in an advertiser card.
If the advertiser does not allow social media traffic, first redirect users to your landing page or affiliate store, and then send them forth to the advertiser website. But such a method has a heavy shortcoming: you will need to invest much time, effort, and money in creating a landing page. So, you’d better find advertisers that don’t mind Facebook traffic.
How to choose what program to promote? First, read program terms (approval rate, advertiser’s length of experience with an affiliate network, average earnings and conversions), and consider brand popularity. Beginner publishers should be guided by their interests and preferences as it’s way easier to find a target audience and craft attention-grabbing creatives for programs you like personally.
Keep in mind that Facebook will never let pass ads promoting cigarettes, medicines, healthcare services, dietary supplements, weaponry, financial schemes, hacking software, or adult content. Here are detailed Facebook advertising rules and information on how ads are validated.
3. Let’s move further and find out how to take to traffic arbitrage (aka media buying). Again, in arbitrage you buy cheap ads and resell them for actions of a higher worth. In other words, a media buyer buys cheap impressions in Facebook Ads and then sells that traffic to advertisers, under a more expensive model.
● Targeting is a process of showing ads to people selected based on specific criteria. This is what we love Facebook for. The network accommodates a large audience, knowing everything about every user. Such insights help media buyers connect users to appropriate advertisers. To be a master of targeting, you need to understand needs and wants of your target audience.
Setting up targeting is all about creativity. Contrive to segment out the audience so you show the target users as relevant ads as possible. For one, you can leverage regional settings. Apparently, it does not stack up to show UK users products of an advertiser that serves the US only. Hint: Admitad programs catalog allows filtering programs by region. Also, check out program names for further filtering.
Try to focus on the most appropriate, specific audience — such people will be more likely to respond to your ad, and you will avoid annoying people with irrelevant content. Possibly, unmarried ladies, 25-45 years old, with children, living in southern regions of the country, or married men, 50+ years old, suffering from diabetes and fond of sports, are what you are looking for.
Facebook developers created a comprehensive guide for publishers to help them master targeting.
● Retargeting (aka remarketing) is a process where you show ads to users who have already visited the advertiser’s website. in that case, it does not matter whether a user purchased anything. However, we recommend segmenting the retargeting audience into those who made a purchase and those who did not.
If, for one, a person visited a home appliances online store, roamed through the toasters section but got nothing checked out, you can net them later — with an ad that will remind them of a toaster waiting in the store. To skyrocket the chance, you can offer a discount. On the other hand, if a customer visited a website and did purchase a toaster, you can show them ads like, “There is no better accompaniment for morning toasts than fresh juice. Get yourself a juicer!”
Keep in mind that advertisers are not always ready to provide visitor data. Without such insights, you will not be able to enable retargeting. However, it will pan out if a publisher has a pre-landing website. In such a case, they can set up retargeting based on the pre-landing page’s data.
Apart from that, there is the Audiences tab in Ads Manager that is designed for publishers concerned with retargeting. There you can set up retargeting audiences based on your user data and data Facebook gathers. Here’s an article about working with Audiences.
● Your own database. If you already have a user database compiled based on specific parameters, you can upload it to Facebook Ads and show your ads to similar audiences, which can be considered warm users — i.e. the advertiser’s potential customers. For that, go to Audiences and then, Create a Lookalike Audience. Based on the profile of an input audience, Facebook identifies the common features of audience representatives and finds people similar to them.
Example: you have compiled a base of users who live in New York and hit Like on baby-related posts. The tool will find other New York citizens who are interested in baby-related things. They can be shown ads of stores and brands manufacturing baby products. This can work not just for a city you chose: Facebook employs built-in algorithms and seeks similar people in other regions (if you need it). It’s more than convenient!
● Mobile programs. Traffic from mobile devices plays a special part. Facebook easily identifies a type of device and mobile platform so you can tailor your targeting settings to these parameters. Facebook Ads allows configuring ads so that only mobile users will see them. It may come in handy if you drive traffic to, say, a mobile app. Affiliate program catalogs have a special section with mobile-friendly programs.
Facebook has a guide on creating a campaign to promote a mobile app.
Facebook advertising formats. There are plenty of them: images, videos, slideshows, carousels, collections, Stories ads, interactive. You can read more about each of them here.
Quite often, advertisers suggest desirable banners, images, and videos in the Creatives section of an affiliate network. If you prefer creating stuff from scratch on your own or order it from freelancers, it is advisable to seek approval of creatives from the advertiser. Do not forget to read Facebook’s rules for using creatives; there are numerous restrictions you need to keep in mind.
Recommendations on the use of creatives from Facebook.
4. Analysis. Using affiliate links in Facebook Ads (and in other advertising services) is an on-going process that involves continuous testing of programs, audiences, and creatives. It is imperative that you analyze the yield of your advertisements. Use your personal account in an affiliate network to monitor your progress.
Ads Manager will provide you with detailed stats. In your account, you can view various metrics, compare them, and generate a report. Read more about how to handle statistics here.
What else you need to know about Facebook Ads
● Keep track of what users say about your ads. Handle objections: you need to do that as negative comments result in lower conversions. By treating objections, you will boost engagement, enhance your brand image, and realize how people react to your creatives.
● Facebook filters advertising traffic strictly — especially affiliate links in the feed and stories. This poses a problem. So, experts recommend to first redirect people to pre-landing pages, and embed affiliate links there. However, when driving users to a pre-landing page, remember that Facebook is very meticulous in verifying whether a pre-landing page is relevant to content of an ad that leads to that pre-landing page. This is all about honesty. Anyway, only use quality pre-landing pages to redirect traffic to the advertiser website from.
● Also, to win Facebook’s trust, it is advisable that you start with internal ads — i.e. ads leading users to pages within the network rather than external web pages. For instance, you can allocate small budgets to test-drive promotion of your own profile. Another tip: launch ad campaigns from an advertising account created from a user profile with good activity, much data provided, and many friends.
● Facebook Ads employs a bidding system. You choose what bid to place to win in an advertising auction. If you think you always have to place the maximum possible bid, you are wrong. There are target cost bid strategies you can read about in the Facebook Help Center.
● In the second half of 2019, Facebook’s mobile version generated 94 percent of advertisers’ earnings. Be careful when tailoring ads to mobile device users and never exclude them from the audiences that are going to see your ads.
● Be careful when designing creatives. Facebook rarely admits before-after images, trap buttons (buttons that look like a Play button but turn out to be a disguised link), clickbait phrases referring to a user’s defects (e.g. “Look chubby? Buy our body-builder now!”), or misleading ads.
● Make sure that, in image+text creatives, text occupies not more than 20% of the ad. Facebook sets out such a recommendation so publishers could achieve better results. You can calculate how much space your text occupies here.
● To seek inspiration, check out the Ad Library.
Thousands of people use Facebook Ads and make money out of that tool; most of them are not even professional marketers. Be ready that it will take you some time to make sense of the advertising account and test your campaigns. Eventually, your stubbornness will pay off and you will enjoy high conversions and earnings.
Our text was created to introduce you to the basics of what you need to know to make money out of CPA advertising in Facebook Ads. Stay with us, and we will tell you more.