Paid or Free Facebook Advertising: Choosing The Right Strategy For You


Whether you spend any amount of time using it, when it comes to advertising and marketing, Facebook has become a valuable platform.

One example was a business that wanted to do a promotion around the holidays. They were in the process of releasing a new app, so they ran some promotions and gave new users a 50% off coupon for signing up. They created a huge amount of organic content from the promotion and were very successful with it.

Now, it should be relatable that it’s easier to achieve this type of success around holidays or other big events, but how do you stay successful during the rest of the year? To answer that question, you have to look at two things: creativity and targeting.

In a basic sense, with better creative and better targeting, you have better performance. What is less obvious is that, because you have better creative and better ad targeting, you will also have a higher click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate. Directly, that means a lower cost per click (CPC) and CTR, implying you’ll achieve 10% – 30% more clicks for the same budget, which translates to better performance in the end.


When it comes to creativity, it’s recommended to jump on new things that Facebook releases.

When Facebook releases new features, it seems that they give those features extra exposure on the platform because they want them to perform well. This is similar to lead ads; they’re simple and effective. A user will see an ad and click on it. They select what information they want to share, and then the email address is sent to the advertiser. When paired with local incentives or opportunities, it becomes a really nice method for collecting email addresses for businesses in which past advertising performances weren’t that great.

So, it’s good to hop on new Facebook features as they’re released because, if you’re first to adopt – and, thus, get the leverage effect of being the first mover – you’ll likely have higher performance. What’s nice about this is that an audience network will grow out of this mobile space and into the desktop environment, where you can buy more targeted ads across different devices to continue with your social campaigns.

This is a huge step forward – and a direct response to those who say Facebook hasn’t worked well in the past for advertising – as they continue to evolve and figure things out just as the industry does. Dynamic product ads (DPAs) were once considered only for retail or ecommerce; but lately, there are other businesses leveraging the dynamic retargeting functionality – even those that are not retail clients such as the travel vertical.


Another important concept with regard to targeting is that you shouldn’t overlap. Overlap tends to waste delivery opportunities due to a frequency cap of two per day. In fact, separating your audiences is key to targeting specific users with specific content and not overexposing your content to uninterested people. When it comes to customer audience, one interesting strategy is to use lookalike audiences based on your initial custom audience.

Lookalikes involve choosing an email list that’s derived from your first-party data, and then Facebook figures out groups of people – or audiences – that look similar to the ones that you have. This is also called a tiered lookalike strategy.

With this process, you start with, let’s say, 1% of a target audience, and you bid to the right amount. From those results, you select a second customer audience based on the same criteria, or you select the same customer audience and build a second lookalike tier, excluding the first one. This results in specific tiers containing the 1%, the 2%, the 3%, and so on.


In the end, when it comes to Facebook advertising, you have to ask yourself, “What do I want to optimize toward?” This could be conversions, clicks, video views, or any other metric that your business is focused on.

The next question is, “What am I willing to pay?” In this case, you want to ensure that you’re receiving true value out of your investment. Here, true value means that you shouldn’t underbid – invest too little and you won’t get the delivery in the ads – but, you also shouldn’t overpay. Make sure you’ve done your research on what is an acceptable price for the intended return on investment.