The Definitive Guide to Using Facebook Ads to Drive Leads and Increase Sales

Content is the lifeblood of effective Facebook advertising.

If you want your Facebook ads to get clicks, and drive leads and sales to your business, you need to embrace content marketing.

The truth is, Facebook advertising channel is a goldmine for online marketers. If you do it the right way, you’ll not only grow your revenue, your brand would become known to your target audience.

Your ideal customers visit and use Facebook religiously. You can’t afford to ignore it.

The numbers are equally staggering: According to Statista, 22.9% of the world’s population is on Facebook. The social media network recorded well over 2 billion monthly active users on June 30, 2017. In fact, Facebook has recorded a 17% growth year over year.

Looking at this statistics above, you’ll notice a consistent increase in their user base.

Data from Buffer shows that in 2016 alone, over 91% of marketers used Facebook ads.

That being said, it’s crystal clear that Facebook advertising is what no marketer will want to avoid. Besides, it’s cheap compared to other ad channels and has a place for your budget.

Since this article is focused on how to use the right content to power your Facebook ads and grow your sales, I’ll split it into two-part:

The first part will take you through the process of starting a Facebook ads campaign while the second part will deal extensively on content audit—and what type of content page to have on your landing page before sending Facebook users to it.

Getting started with Facebook ads

Content marketing is truly a phenomenal medium to winning the Facebook advertising game.

While a lot of people send their Facebook ad clicks to generic articles and landing pages, you want to take a different approach—directing users to your compelling content pages.

We’ll discuss content audit later on, but right now, you need to get started with Facebook ads. What exactly do you need to set up a Facebook ad campaign?

i). You must have a Facebook account: I understand that some people still do not use Facebook, maybe for personal reasons. However, right now you’ve got to create one if you want to set up a campaign.

ii). You must create a Facebook page for your business: You probably already have this. If you don’t go create one here.

iii). Have a budget: It’s important you plan an explicit budget for your Facebook campaign from the start. You can increase your budget as you discover the ads that perform better.

That’s all you need to get started.

Next, log into your Facebook account and navigate to a drop-down menu at the top of the screen. Click on it and you’ll find several options.

Click on the “Manage Adverts” option—you should be in your dashboard already.

Next, you want to create your campaign. Facebook provides two tools to help you create your campaign: You have the Power Editor and Adverts Manager. To see the tools, click on the drop-down menu at the top left of the page.

If you’re new to Facebook advertising, of course, Power Editor might sound strange to you. Basically, Power editor is a tool that bigger companies use to help them manage multiple campaigns, Ad sets, ads, and more.

It allows you to create, edit, manage and optimize campaigns, ad sets, ads and Page post in bulk across a large number of different Facebook accounts and Pages.

But it can be a bit complicated for people who are new to Facebook advertising. I suggest you start with Adverts Manager — it’s the default tool.

So, here’s how to create an ad campaign on your Facebook ads dashboard.

Click on the “Create Advert” button at the top right-side of your dashboard.

To continue with this part you need to understand the different Facebook ad types:

1). Brand Awareness

If you’re looking to use Facebook to expose your brand to as many people as possible, then this ad type is what you should use for your campaign.

Even though, technically, this ad type can be used for any campaign, it’s meant to be used to promote high-quality content that drives brand awareness by seducing Facebook users as they scroll to see their news feeds.

For this ad, you should focus on creating remarkable content that will entice your prospects to want to know more about your brand. So, don’t think of what you’ll get out of it.

You’ll notice that this ad doesn’t ask you to do anything. Dollar Shave Club takes pride in producing valuable content, anyone who’s interested in their offering will most likely want to know more about them. So, they’ll click.

Here’s how you can create a Brand Awareness campaign from the Ad Manager dashboard:

From where we left off, click on the Brand Awareness campaign.

Enter the name of your campaign and continue.

Next, you want to create your audience. Enter your Advert set name. You can always re-use a particular audience setting in your next advert through the “Use saved audience option.”

So you can set the country, the city, the age, etc. If you scroll down you’ll see other options.

Go ahead and choose the age, gender, language, and connections of your target audience.

And finally, the budget and scheduling section: With the budget, you define how much you want to spend for the advert for the period it will run.

You can set a start and end date or just let it run automatically.

Once you’ve set everything up. Click on continue.

You’ll be redirected to the final stage where you’ll upload your ad design.

The first thing you should do is to add the Facebook Page. You can add either a carousel, a single image, a single video, or slideshow.

I have chosen a single image.

Upload your design with the stipulated dimensions (1,200 x 628 pixels)

After that, write a great ad copy, fill in the boxes on the left and preview it at the right.

When you’re okay with everything hit the “Confirm” button at the bottom of the page and you will be referred to a page where you’ll make payment—and that’s all, your ad will start to run.

The process is pretty much the same for other ad types. If you get need any advice on this setup process it may be helpful to reach out to a social media advertising agency.

2). Reach

Facebook Reach ad type and the Brand Awareness are a bit similar.

However, while Brand Awareness ads get your brand in front of people who will remember your brand later on, the Reach ad type is used when you want to reach a specific number of audience on Facebook and you also want to control how often they see your ads.

3). Traffic

As the name implies, if you’re looking to drive traffic to your website or your Facebook page, this is the ad type you should go for. Here’s an example of a Facebook ad directing people to Buffer’s website:

4). Engagement

With the Facebook Engagement, you will not only get more people to see your ads, you will get clicks, comments, likes, event responses, and you can allow people to claim your offers.

5). App Installs

If your goal is to increase your app Installs? Use this ad objective to boost your app install rate in app stores.

6). Video Views

This is usually one of the most interesting ads if done well video ads can improve your conversion rate to a large extent. In fact, recent statistics by HubSpot show that 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers.

The same statistics also show that 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.

As an example, this video ad has over 49,365 views, 523 likes, 10 comments, and 15 shares. That’s engagement.

It’s basically meant to raise awareness about your brand. All things being equal, the content on the page matters—it’d either hook the people who landed on the page from a Facebook ad click or discourage them. Hence you need to conduct a content audit to determine what type of content to refer your Facebook users to (more on this later).

7). Lead Generation

With Facebook Lead ad type you can quickly collect your leads information on Facebook without making them leave Facebook at all.

When the user clicks on the register button then this page shows up. Users can sign up to your campaign without exiting a Facebook page.

So once the user submits the form, they can go back to Facebook.

8). Conversions

This is one of the marketers favorite ad types. Every business owner wants conversion. However, it depends on what conversion means for your business.

Facebook Conversion allows users to click your ads, go to a specific page of your website and perform a specific action. This page must have the right kind of content—compelling, relevant, and easy to read.

It could be to buy your product, submit their email addresses in exchange for a free offer, or just anything.

In the above ad, you will notice that the sense of urgency “For a limited time” helps drive conversion rate by letting the user know that the offer is for a Limited time.

Essentially, you want to ensure your copy is clear and catchy. Your CTA must be inviting as well. Now you can see that compelling content is important for driving your Facebook ads and boosting your sales. They both work hand-in-hand.

9). Store Visits

Last but not least, if you’re looking to get people to visit your offline shop? Facebook Store Visits allows you to get your customers to visit your offline store.

At this juncture, you’ve got to understand that no matter the Facebook ad format you choose, the content page you direct clicks to matters a lot.

However, there’s no straightforward way to know which content is ideal for your audience. Consequently, you need to conduct a content audit—and it’s important for us to discuss how to achieve it, step by step.

Getting started with content audit

Here’s the deal:

Whether you’re a PPC or Facebook advertiser, you’ll agree with me that content audit is one of the scariest terms in the digital marketing space. And truly, it’s a time-consuming process. It’s equally boring!

Most marketers think that embarking on such a massive project may not be the best use of their resources and energy.

However, if you dare to devote your time, invest in the right tools, and actually do a complete content audit, the benefits will overwhelm you.

In fact, when you conduct a content audit, it will give you insights and direction when you’re running a Facebook ads audit that will boost your revenue.

I’ll highlight some of the core benefits below, so you know whether this is stacked up against or for you. But first, the basics…

What is Content Audit?

Content Audit is the act of analyzing the entire content on your website determine what’s working and what’s not working. With that, you can determine which content to improve, and which to remove or consolidate.

Why you need a content audit

Aside from determining which content to send your Facebook ad clicks to, there are several other reasons why businesses go through the rigorous process of content audit.

The truth is, if you don’t know you have a problem, you won’t attempt to solve it, it’s that simple.

In the same way, if you don’t know the quality, effectiveness, and weakness of your content, you wouldn’t know you need to improve it. You’ll keep doing the wrong thing and of course, you’ll be hurting your bottom line without even knowing.

These are some of the many reasons businesses do content audit:

  • To increase conversion rates on your Facebook ads when you direct clicks to a rich and high-converting content page.
  • To enable you to escape a content-related search engine ranking penalty.
  • To discover content that requires copywriting/editing for improved quality.
  • To update content that needs to be updated and made more current.
  • To determine content that needs merging due to overlapping topics.
  • To discover content that should be removed from the website.
  • It’s the best way to prioritize the editing or removal of content.
  • To find content gap opportunities.
  • You will uncover the strongest pages on a domain and how to leverage them.
  • Find undiscovered content marketing opportunities.
  • Due diligence when buying/selling websites or onboarding new clients.

What does a content audit include?

Most marketers record their audit on spreadsheets, which is great. Spreadsheets are very flexible.

I even like it more because it can hold a large amount of information in a fairly manageable way. The best part is that it’s easy to share them with other people easily.

It’s important that your content audit includes the following:

  • Page name: Collect information aboutthe displayed page title.
  • Navigation Title: Get information about the title of your posts links.
  • Comments: Notes of things you should remember.
  • Content Type: What type of content is on your website, basic text content, is this a basic page, publication, news story, article, technique, FAQ, or something else?
  • Basic content description: A brief reminder about what’s on the page
  • Topic, tags or category: Metadata for products, articles, news, blog posts.
  • Author: Who wrote this content?
  • URL: You may want to display the URL or just link from the page name.
  • Content hierarchy: The way to show your content relationship with other content items.
  • Owner: Who is responsible for the content?
  • Date last updated: When was the content last updated?
  • Attached files: How many files are attached, and what type of files are they?
  • A numbering system: An index to help you when referring to each content item.

With that in mind, here are the proven steps to conduct a successful content audit:

Step 1: Start with your content assets on spreadsheet

The first step to your content audit is to find all your content. There are two ways you can do that.

Use a tool like Screaming Frog — it allows you to crawl up to 500 URLs for free — use it to identify all the URLs on your website. You also have the ability to download the data as a CSV file. Just hit the export button and viola, there you have it.

Now, you can manually enter all your URLS into an Excel Or Google Docs spreadsheets.

It’s easy to upload a CSV file to Google Docs spreadsheets. Go to File > Import > Upload and select the saved file from your computer.

Even though most marketers do audits with spreadsheets it’s not the only way. If you don’t want to border yourself with spreadsheets, you can use the WordPress “Content Audit plugin”—It allows you to create a content inventory right in the WordPress Edit screens.

More like the process you might use to assess your site’s content in a spreadsheet, all you need to do is to set a few conditions (tick some checkboxes and select some options) and you’re good to go.

I’m an Excel junkie. Not everyone is. You’ll likely be more productive if you choose the tool that you’re most comfortable with.

Next, let’s collect some data we need to track:

Step 2: Collect content and page data

You can use data to make informed decisions as it concerns your Facebook ads. Unfortunately, many people miss out on this step. According to AdWeek, “Not customizing ad content per audience segment and refreshing creative” are some of the common Facebook ad mistakes you must avoid.

In line with that, there are no specific data points you must track. You just need to be tracking the data points you know will help you make scalable decisions.

This is where some of the data we mentioned earlier will be used, and we’ll use them as items menu name in our spreadsheet.

Interestingly you can use Screaming Frog to automatically get some of the data. For example, you can get the link titles and length of the titles from Screaming Frog.

You can also leverage Google Analytics to get some insights as well. Like the page views your content is getting, the content with the highest bounce rate and the average time your audiences are spending on your content.

Here’s how you can find that in Google Analytics.

From the left column you’ll find “Behavior” click on it, then click on “Site Content” and finally click on “All Pages” (Behaviour> Site Content > All Pages)

Then, you can now export it in a CSV format and import it back to your spreadsheet. Pretty easy.

You can also use tools like SharedCount to show the number of shares a post has.

Since you have the links, it’ll be a lot easier to enter multiple links here and get the result you want than opening your post one after the other to find out how many social shares they have got.

Great job you’ve done there. Next, start scoring each page on a scale of “A – F.” The pages that receive “A” score are regarded as the top performing content while those that receive “F” are regarded as your worst content and needs improvement.

Now you have a bunch of data at your disposal. Let’s get started analyzing them.

Step 3: Analyze each content at scale

When you hear success stories of companies that grew their leads and sales by 30 – 100%, you might be tempted to believe they’re lying.

But here’s the truth:

These companies know that if their Facebook ad is in sync with the page the user lands on after clicking on the ad, the conversion rate will be high.

Hence, you need to analyze each content at scale on your website or landing page. Be sure that the content is relevant and persuasive.

For large websites, gathering this data might be difficult, takes longer time, and in some cases not feasible.

However, once you have this data ready, it’s high time you start analyzing them to help you gain more insights make better decisions that’ll help you improve your content and to boost your Facebook ads conversion rate.

You remember you’ve scored your content, right? Great. Make your spreadsheet.

With the above data, you’ll notice that:

1. Your users spend more time on your video content than your text content: This insinuates that you should produce more video content. However, more to that its conversion rate is higher than your text content apart from your list content.

In this case, creating a video ad on Facebook might get you more conversions—because your target audience has already indicated an interest in the type of content they prefer.

2. Your infographics have more shares than any other content type: This is an indication that your audience loves your infographics. Even though they do, the conversion rate is still very low.

And that suggests that you could be targeting the wrong audiences or creating infographics on the wrong topic. Looking into this will allow you decide if you should update your audience persona.

It’s also important to note that the demand for infographics has increased 800% in the past year. So, if you’re not getting good conversions from your infographics, you might want to look into that.

There are plenty of insights you can get from the data assuming it’s your website’s data. Go ahead and explore it.

After your analysis, the next step is to start working to improve your content, which is the main reason for the audit in the first place. You can also use Google Analytics to find out what happens when users reach your website.

Step 4: Use these questions to improve content

Now you’ve seen your best performing content and some other insights about it.
It’s important that you move towards solving them, and answering questions like these can give you an idea of what exactly to improve.

Note: This is an important step before you set up your Facebook ad campaign. It’s fine if you want to build awareness for your Facebook page (where a website or landing page isn’t required). But if you want other objectives, you need an external web page.

Improving your content and pages (including the design) is critical.

About 73% of B2C marketers have considered improving their content creation strategy in 2017.

i). Is your content accurate and up to date?

Google and social media users love updated content. Even though that’s true, your update shouldn’t be for updating sake but you should update your content to make it more relevant to your users.

For example, when Geoff Kenyon updated his post on Moz, He noticed a significant boost.

ii). Are people accessing the content and using it

With over 2 million blog posts published per day, it’s easy for your content to get buried.

Are you using the right keywords your users are using to search for your product? Ensure you research your keywords properly and use them effectively in your content to allow search engines to quickly crawl, index, and increase your organic search visibility.

More importantly, ensure that your content is relevant to your business — it should help in attracting potential customers to your business.

iii). Does the content answer a question?

If you have mapped out your user persona very well, you most likely know your customers well enough right now — the questions they are asking, their pain points and everything in between.

If you streamline your content towards answering your potential customers you’ll likely improve your visibility and conversion rate.

iv). Is the page optimized for a keyword?

You might want to check your pages to ensure that they’re optimized for the keywords you want to rank for. And don’t over do it by adding spammy phrases, you might hurt your site’s SEO.

v). Does the content have good formatting?

For your readers to be able to easily read your content without being bored. You should consider formatting your content appropriately with subheadings. According to HubSpot, 55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website.

vi). Does the content meet basic SEO best practices?

Overall, your content should be appealing to humans and search engines. Creating high-quality content that follows SEO best practice is a must for any brand that wants to move ahead and stay in the spotlight.

Step 5: Improve your content with visuals

Visuals make content entertaining, easier to read, and valuable. Usability expert Jakob Nielsen has written that the average user reads at most 20 – 28% of words during an average page visit.

Interestingly, posts with images get more Facebook shares. This tells you that including catchy visuals on your Facebook ad and making your landing page visually-appealing will likely get you more results.

To make your content more enjoyable and to attract more shares and traffic, consider improving your content with visuals.

More so, an estimated 84% of communications will be visual by 2018. Every forward-thinking brand using Facebook ad must consider including visuals in their copy and landing page.

You can look into your A-list content, maybe some of them don’t have images or video content. Update them with relevant images to make them stand out. You can also do the same for your other content as you work on them.


I see content marketing and Facebook ads working together to help digital marketers achieve their ultimate objectives of generating targeted traffic and growing sales.

Facebook advertising is an exciting PPC platform that you can rely on because it’s helped small, midsize, and large businesses to scale.

Of course, there are a lot of factors that contribute to the success of a Facebook ad campaign, compelling copy and the right targeting, however, are the two most important factors.

I’d love to hear from you. How do you use copy/content to power your Facebook ads and increase sales? Share your comment in the box.

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