Guidelines and Key Rules for Facebook Ads

For those of you who regularly work with Facebook, it is known that Facebook ad guidelines have become more strict than ever before. Facebook has increased scrutiny for monitoring and reviewing the content that is promoted by individuals and businesses on their platform. Facebook's Advertising Policies provide guidelines about which ads are acceptable and unacceptable on the site. When advertisers place their orders, their ads are reviewed based on these policies. 


It is important to have a solid grasp of what is allowed, as well as, what isn’t. Read this guide and follow the advice to ensure your ads get approved. Unnecessarily disapproved ads means more unnecessary work for you. So let's talk about the process and the rules. 

Beginner's guide
to facebook advertising

GET YOUR E-BOOK FOR FREE!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Beginner's guide
to linkedin advertising

GET YOUR E-BOOK FOR FREE!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Free revision of your marketing campaigns

request your free revision!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
free webinar series! Facebook advertising tips & explanations

get exclusive invitation
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Review Process

Before any ad shows up on Facebook or Instagram (both are under one advertising platform), they are reviewed, so Facebook makes sure they meet the Advertising Policies mentioned above. Typically most ads are reviewed within 24 hours, although in some cases, it may take longer. 


So what will Facebook check? Almost everything - your ad's images, text, targeting, and positioning, in addition to the content on your ad's landing page. Your ad may not be approved if the web page content isn't fully functional, doesn't match the product/service promoted in your ad or doesn't fully comply with the given Advertising Policies.


Sometimes it happens that your ad is not accepted and Facebook just does not allow you to run that certain ad. Most of the time you can easily find out why. Try to edit your ad, so that it follows the policies. If you are certain your ad does follow the policies, you can ask for your ad to be reviewed again.


You need to follow Facebook’s Community Standards at all times.

Rules


Images

Rule number one is that only 20% of your ad image can be text. So don't include more than 15% of text in any image (better safe than sorry). This does not refer to the headline or body content of your ads, it only refers to text that is applied over the image itself. 


Event posters, book covers, games or product images may qualify for an exception.


Facebook Ad Rules - Image Text
Facebook Image Text

If you are not sure if you are following this rule, you can use this tool to check it before you submit your ad for review. 


The images you use directly impact whether or not your ad is approved. Make sure that you’re not putting your ads at risk and generating extra work for you when they need to be redone. They should represent what you are trying to promote, and they should not show anything from the restricted or prohibited content that is detailed and explained below.

Written Copy Guidelines

Compelling copy is the most important part of your Facebook ads — nail it and see that users are more likely to convert. When you create a copy, it needs to align with Facebook’s restricted and prohibited content guidelines (down below) and be 100% relevant to the product or service you’re offering (the same applies for your images), as well as the landing page the ad directs users to after clicking. 


Watch your language! The ads you create must speak accurately and honestly about the product, service, company, or brand being advertised and have no grammar mistakes. Ads must not contain any profanity or bad grammar and punctuation. Symbols, numbers and letters must be used properly without the intention of circumventing the Facebook ad review process or other enforcement systems.


Targeting Guidelines 

When you’re serving ads to your audience, it's better to make sure the audience is interested in them and finds them relevant to their needs. This helps not only for better conversion rates, but to ensure that you’re in line with Facebook’s targeting guidelines. If you target the wrong audience, or serve them information that is intentionally misleading, your ads will be disapproved. 


Special Categories

You cannot use ads that discriminate against any group of Facebook users. There is a special category for advertising in the U.S. that is reviewed more strictly. In this category, there are ads that offer credit, employment or housing opportunities.  You must choose the category that best describes your ads. These are special categories for which audience selection tools are limited to help protect people on Facebook from unlawful discrimination. That means, for example, advertising of an apartment only to people who identify as white, or targeting people according to their color, race, religion, sex, nationality, disability or family status, will be considered predatory and because of Facebook's anti-dicrimination practices, will ultimately be disapproved. 


Note: Be careful what information you request via lead ads You cannot request information about someone’s political affiliation, race, color, religion, sex, disability, family status or national origin. 


Custom Audiences 

Creating custom audiences is one of my favourite tools in Facebook advertising. Make sure that any audience you create complies with Facebook’s Customer Audience Terms. This is especially important for EU advertisers, because they have to follow more stringent data collection policies.

Landing Page 

Facebook’s review is not only inside the application, it checks all landing pages connected to your ads as well. Make sure your landing page content is relevant! If it is not, your ad will not be accepted. The landing page linked to your Facebook ads must have a good user experience. It must be fully functional and be free of spyware and malware. 


Remember: Your landing page must be compliant with Facebook’s guidelines. That means it must include a privacy policy, clearly indicated pricing and billing where appropriate, an unchecked opt-in box, and information on how to cancel. 


What cannot be promoted?


There are some types of content that Facebook does not accept on the platform at all. 


  1. Selling any kind of adult content as well as adult products. Ads must not promote the sale or use of adult products or services, except for ads for family planning and contraception. Ads for contraceptives must focus on the contraceptive features of the product. Your ads should not promote sexually suggestive or sexually explicit material including nudity, implied nudity, content that alludes to sexual activity, excessive visible skin, or images focused on individual body parts is prohibited. 
  2. Language must also be respectful.  Not that we think you would do this, but let's be clear, hate speech or harassing language are grounds for an outright ban from Facebook. This includes any ad that involves discrimination or encourages others to be against a person based on their race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, disability, medical or genetic condition. Ads must avoid discrimination, as well.
  3. Drugs and tobacco products are a no go. You cannot reference any illegal or illicit substances in your Facebook ads. Only pre-approved pharmacies and drug companies can run ads on Facebook. 
  4. Weapons, ammunition, and explosives are forbidden content.
  5. Unsafe supplements are not allowed either.
  6. Sale of body parts. Just don't do it. I am sure you will need them :)

Etc... etc., there are 32 content sections that are prohibited.


And that is not all, some content is restricted. For example:


  1. Alcohol and online gambling - Facebook will allow only ads for alcohol to age-restricted audiences in countries where it is legal. If you promote any of these, ensure that the correct country and age restrictions are set. Skipping this step will cause your ads to be disapproved. 
  2. Dating websites and adult friend finders 
  3. Weight Loss Products or Weight Loss Plans must be targeted to people 18 years or older.


Many things are restricted and most of the time, it is according to local laws- to read all the restricted content, check this page.


This article will help you get your ads approved quickly and easily. Just follow the rules above and you’ll be serving ads to potential customers in no time. The advertising policies are very complex and complicated, nevertheless the main points and most common rules have been introduced and we hope the policies won't make your life too difficult.

Continue reading

Best Online Channels to Promote Local Business

To someone who’s already run a local business for some time or someone who doesn’t need the know-how of online marketing yet, it might seem it’s not important to get involved with internet advertising, but that’s not entirely true anymore. Approximately 6 out of 10 people search for local businesses online at least once per week. Search engines have a vast database and almost every business is promoted online. There isn’t a simple answer to the question of what’s the best way to promote a local business online. It largely depends on the kind of business. Not every online channel will help every business thrive.

It’s important to focus on the ideal customer. Who is your business targeting? Is your product valuable for women, men or both? Are teenagers more likely to visit your facility than elderly people? Knowing your customers is the first step to choosing the best online channels to utilize for your business’s promotion.

Read >>

10 Facts to Know About Facebook Demographics & Stats

With 400 new users every 60 seconds, Facebook is not only the biggest social media platform, but it is continuously growing. Today, there are more than 2,4 billion users which is roughly 60% of all internet users. Nonetheless, some say its audience is getting older as younger internet users are getting excited about platforms like Instagram, TikTok or Snapchat. In this post, we will dig into the most important Facebook demographics and stats, so that you can get a better idea of who to target while creating your marketing persona and your plan on how to reach him or her.


Having a clear picture of how a channel grows is a key component to starting your marketing plan – promotion and content distribution. If you offer sneakers and target youngsters, relying solely on Facebook may not be the best tactic… Why? This audience is more likely to be found using social media platforms, such as Instagram or Tik Tok. Knowing your audience and stats behind the channels you want to use is crucial.


Let's finally dig into the most important Facebook demographics and stats!

Read >>

How to Target People According Their Location on Facebook

How do you catch potential customers that are near you? How do you target people according to their location?

Do you have a house to sell and you want to find a buyer in your area? Or do you run a small hot dog stand and want to sell more of your delicious repast? Try to target the people that are near your business!

Is your stock full of T-shirts that say, “I ♥ Boston” and you want to sell them? Target the real Bostonians!

Facebook simply allows you to target people according to their geographic locations. You can sort your audience broadly or very specifically. That means you can target the whole country, state or region, city, zip/postal code, and if you have a store, you can use the option for your very own business address that is to be set on your Business Manager page.

Geo Targeting Options Facebook
Geo Targeting Options on Facebook
Read >>

How Digital Advertising and Ad Pricing Works

The world around us has become digital. More than half of the people living on Earth are connected to the internet. That's almost 4.5 billion people. The interesting thing is that this all happened in only 28 years. Yes, 1991 was the year, when the World Wide Web, today's internet, was publicly launched.

Digital Around The World (Hootsuite)

But the biggest internet usage increase came with the arrival of social media platforms. 80% of internet users (January 2019, Hootsuite) are also active social media users. The leading platform, with 32% market share is Facebook. Combined with ownership of Instagram and WhatsApp, it makes 66% market share. Globally. In any case, YouTube, with 27% market share can be considered the second largest platform.

Popular Social Media Platforms

Facebook's market capitalization was 632.43B USD as of January 16th, 2020. This number makes Facebook the 5th biggest company in the world by the market cap. Even bigger, is the Alphabet (Google). It took 3rd place with a 1000.7 USD market cap.

You might ask, why are these companies so big, when their products are mostly free to use? The answer is advertising. Google and Facebook are the world's biggest advertising platforms. Companies spent around 170 billion dollars on Facebook and Google Ads in 2019 alone, and this number is still growing.

Major Global Digital Ad Sellers (eMarketer)

The fundamental difference between traditional and digital media is given by data that these platforms are generating. They capture every interaction of its users, so they know every user in detail. It allows targeting ads with many options, such as gender, age, location, relationship, income, home, interests, connections, generation, life events, ethnic affinity and much more.

Online Behaviors

You and your business can take advantage of it and use this platform to advertise your services or products to a very specific audience for a reasonable price. Usually a lower price (compared with traditional “offline” ads media) brings digital advertising closer to small businesses and freelancers.

Unlike traditional media, advertisers only pay for interactions. There are many cost structures digital advertising platforms are using and these are based on marketing objectives and overall campaign goals. 

CPC

Cost Per Click is the most common cost model used by almost all digital advertising platforms. It charges you, as an advertiser, for every single click completed by a user. It means that your ad contains an external link that redirects users to your website. The average CPC on Facebook is 1.72USD, but it varies across industries.

CPV

Cost Per View is a model built for video ads. You, as an advertiser, are charged every time a Facebook user sees your video. Keep in mind that Facebook considers a video as “viewed” after only 3 seconds.

The average CPV price is relatively low, somewhere between 1c to 15c, but it varies across industries. Price per view should always be compared with other metrics, like CTR, to see if it is effective.


CPM

Cost Per Mille is a pricing model, where you are charged per 1,000 impressions. An impression is when an ad is delivered to a user’s feed. If you are looking for an increase in brand awareness, this is how you will be charged.

CPA

Cost Per Action (Acquisition) is similar to CPC. You are not charged per single click, but for a specific action a user completes on your website. It can be form filling, an app install, event registration or for scheduling a meeting.

The average cost per acquisition on Facebook is 18.68 USD.

CPL

Cost Per Like is a cost model used for gaining business page likes. It is good for building brand awareness. It is usually low cost, so this could be a cheap way to promote your business page. Keep in mind, that this is effective only when your page is active and publishing content consistently.


At first glance, it might look complicated and confusing. But at the end of the day, this is what you and your business needs. It is a groundbreaking feature, because you can focus on reaching your target audience and through that, you can make your campaigns more cost-effective.

How is ad cost determined?

I mentioned several times that ad cost varies across industries and platforms. There is no fixed price per click/action, it is the subject of many conditions. Now, I will explain to you how it works, so you can create better and cheaper ads.

Google

Google's advertising platform, Google Ads, is a keyword-based PPC platform. It shows ads in a search based on the keyword the user is searching. It means, that if a user is searching “family car”, Google will show ads related to this keyword. If you're selling family cars, your ad shows up right in front of the user’s eyes. 

Unfortunately, it's not that simple, because you are probably far from being the only one who is selling family cars and advertising it. Google needs to decide whose ad to show. This process is called Ad Ranking. It takes your maximum CPC bid and multiplies it with the quality score.

Ad Rank = CPC bid * Quality Score

CPC bid

A maximum price you are willing to pay per a single click. This setting is completely in your hands.

Quality Score

Google's rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. It depends on multiple factors…

  • Click Through Rate – if your ad has a lot of views, but only a few clicks, it is a sign that your ad might be irrelevant
  • Landing Page Quality – if you are advertising “family cars,” but your landing page is focused on a sports car, Google will decrease your Quality Score
  • Relevance of your ad text
  • Relevance of keywords
  • Historical Google Ads performance

The higher the Quality Score is, the better price per click you will get. 

CPC = (Ad Rank of ad below you / Quality Score) + 0.01USD

CPC Calculation

Facebook

Facebook and Instagram ads, unlike Google's Search ads, aren't based on keywords, as these social media platforms work on slightly different principles.

Factors, that influence the cost of Facebook Ads are:

  • Ad objective
  • Bidding 
  • Audience
  • Ad quality
  • Industry

Ad objective

An ad objective is a clear and specific aim of an ad. It determines who Facebook shows your ad to. This can have an extreme affect on its cost. There are 3 main objective types that are divided into specific actions.

Awareness

Ads with the Awareness objective lead to increasing brand and local awareness, as well as gaining a higher reach and interest in your product or service.

Consideration

If your goal is to get people thinking about your product, drive more traffic to your web or generate leads, you should focus on this category.

Conversions

If your goal is to convert Facebook users to customers, then these types of objectives are for you.


Campaign Objectives

Bidding

The next factor that influences ad price is the maximum amount of money you are willing to pay. It's called bidding. You set a maximum price manually (or automatically, where Facebook calculates the best price for you) and then it competes with other advertisers in an auction. Take note that a higher price doesn't guarantee that your ad shows up. Facebook considers ad quality and user experience.

Audience

An audience, or target audience, is a group of people you aim your ad at. There are over 350 audience attributes to choose from, so you can be very specific.

Ad quality

Facebook is a visual platform and is considered to be a personal space for its users, where they are looking for creative and interesting content. So your ads should be, of course, creative and interesting. They should also be visually appealing, able to evoke emotions and they should match users' interests. This is what Facebook considers when scoring your ad.

Industry

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, ad pricing varies across industries. Here is a table that you can use as a benchmark and with which you can compare your results.

The Cost of a Click

How can you lower your Facebook price?

Optimizing an ad price isn't an easy process. There are thousands and thousands of combinations and it can take years to find the right formula. You basically have 3 options to optimize your costs.

Become an online advertising specialist

That's perfect advice, right? I know, this is probably not the best way to go for most people, because it takes a lot of time and energy to become a specialist. Being a social media specialist is a regular full time job, so if you are not ready to quit your current job, then this is probably not the way you want to go. 

Hire someone, who is already an advertising specialist

Hiring a freelance specialist or agency can be a way to effectively advertise. This option is usually more expensive, especially if you are a one-man-show and your marketing budget is tight.

Use marketing automation tools that make it easy for you!

There are dozens of marketing automation tools on the market. These tools simplify the whole campaign creation process for people, who have no time to learn everything necessary and don't have a sufficient budget. That's why we created  app. It helps small businesses run their campaigns without extra knowledge needed. Try it here, it's free!

Read >>

5 Tips to Write Outstanding Texts for Your Facebook Post

Most people have been through the struggle and know how you feel or have felt when writing a piece of content for Facebook, “What text am I supposed to put here?”, “Is this gonna work?”, “Is this too informal?”  Writing an engaging post on Facebook – for your business page, as this is what I will be talking about here (not your personal page where you know perfectly who you represent and what tone of voice to use) – can be challenging. You are trying to get the customer's attention, arouse a reaction and avoid ignorance...


How do you write posts that simply can't be ignored? This is what we will explore in the following 5 tips. Keep in mind, that before you write or produce ANY PIECE OF CONTENT, have your targeted audience in mind. What will be appealing to them? What tone of voice should you use? These are some of the questions that you need to answer.


So, let's dive into 5 tips, so that you know how to become your own best-in-class copywriter. Oh, or not yet… I probably did not stress enough how important it is to catch one's attention! So let's take one step back…


The 21st century offers almost unlimited ways to reach out to your desired audience, your potential or current customers. And that's the problem. There are many ways, many advertisers, businesses (like yours) targeting an audience that has its limits. Especially when it comes to attention span. The more stories we tell and the more frequently we are trying to tell them, the less time we have to draw our audience's  attention.     


8 seconds per one piece of content is on average the time span of a person spending time on social media (by the research conducted by Microsoft). In 2000, it was 12 seconds which only shows how rapidly the span decreases. For some of the placements, like Instastories, it is even less – around 3 seconds. That being said, you truly have to catch the eye or remain ignored…


Luckily, I am about to share some tips for you. If you follow them, your chances will increase!


  1. Keep in mind: Your copy is the bridge between the user's desire and your offer

The user's desire. That is your Holy Grail around which your activities should be tied. When you create a copy, make sure to address it. No one is interested in “just another product”. Need or desires to be addressed first, product/ offer comes afterwards…


  1. Bring your audience in (intensify your text)

Don't speak about yourself. With all due respect, no one is interested (unless you own a big and known brand). Bring your audience into your text, speak about them, use words like “you”, use questions to draw the attention, have a dialogue rather than a monologue... 


  1. Attract users' hidden and unspoken values & beliefs

Everyone has them. Values, beliefs and roles we play or want to play in our lives- we rarely speak about them, but have them in mind every time we make a choice when picking your best suit for a date or arriving at a business meeting in your luxury car. Apple is great at attracting our values and beliefs. Is it a piece of hardware, a PC or mobile phone, or rather something else that increases your status in other people's eyes? The answer is clear, I believe… Be Apple. Leverage on these values and beliefs when describing your offer or when designing a catchy headline.


Note: I do not encourage you to be manipulative. If you cannot help your customers with your product, if you truly cannot satisfy their needs and make their desires come true, stop reading this article, please. But if you and your product can help customers, feel free to show it…


  1. Follow a structure

When creating a FB post, there are certain platforms for which you create the copy. Mostly, it is the text above the picture or video, or a headline that occupies the largest place accompanied by a description. There are few models (continue reading) that – if used well – can help you draw the user's attention more effectively. Follow them and…


  1. Test, test, test…

I know. This has been said thousands of times. But how many of you run AB testing every time you create an ad? Do you think thoroughly before creating the second version that is the copy or do you follow the kind of approach: “Oh, I should do a second version… Let me change one word here… and that's it! I will run the AB test now!” 


Testing is the only right tactic to find out what resonates most within your audience. Who does not test, pretends to predict the future or relies on her thoughts…


I promised to present you some models, structures you can follow to create outstanding Facebook posts. Here you go…


But let us first showcase what a Facebook post usually looks like:


Structure of Facebook Post
Structure of a Facebook Post



  1. Question – Answer + Call to Action – Proof

Ask a question in the text section, answer it (by offering your product, service), use call to action in the headline and add a proof that your solution works (testimonials, number of users, …) in the description section. This model works best if your audience already faces the issue you aim to fix or a desire you aim to satisfy. 


  1. Identification – Call to Action – Urgency

Make the reader feel like you are reading her thoughts when reading the text. Make her feel completely identified with what you write there. Use a combination of short stories and metaphors. After she feels like she just read her life's story, make her complete the action in the headline – offer a way out, a way to improve, a way to get what she desires. In the description, use a sense of urgency. There is something called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) that drives people crazy (make sure to read the article after completing this one). 


  1. Come up with yours (tomorrow)

Try to invent your method of approaching your audience in a way that simply cannot be ignored! There are many approaches that can be followed. Go out with your copy, test it and let me know on my LinkedIn profile what worked for you! 

Note: The structure text, headline and description applies for posts that contain a link. If you share a picture, text is the only editable section. Similar rules apply in that case.

Here are some of the posts that were created in a really smart way:

Example of Facebook Posts
Example of Great Facebook Posts

After your post has been published, make sure to check the results! This may seem like a no-brainer, but not everyone is checking how well the content performs. Do not be one of them. Measure and build on what works. Facebook allows you to see the engagement rate (percentage of people who interacted with your posts divided by the number of people reached) in the Insights tab. The higher the engagement rate, the better your post has resonated within your fan base.

Facebook Insights
Facebook Insights

Final touches:

You have been given very concrete instructions on how to write an outstanding Facebook post. Keep in mind this is a lot about testing and finding what works for your business. There are, nonetheless, some rules that haven't been mentioned yet:

  • Keep your text short – no one will read long stories.
  • If you want people to complete an action, guide them: use a call to action.


Read >>

Find Your Customers Where They Truly Are

A  few months ago, I moved to a new flat. Before that, I had been doing thorough research on what part of the city is the most child-friendly in terms of security, what are the prices and how far the flats are from the public transportation. I took many things into consideration before even getting in touch with an agent.

Did I Google things? Of course! Was I keen on reading research on what parts of the city suit my needs? You bet I was! Did I spend some time scrolling on Pinterest for furniture inspiration? Yes, I did.


I was lucky to meet Josh, a real estate agent who has been in the business for some time. We got in touch after I visited his website and read his article about the prediction of real estate prices, plus went through some interesting content on his LinkedIn profile. 


I was astonished by the speed of his reaction. Within two days, I had 5 flats to choose from. And a few days after that, I went to see them all.


What I did, nonetheless, within those two days, was thorough research – again. This time, I examined Josh's Instagram profile and checked out the other flats he had to offer. I read the reviews on his Google listings and read more educating articles on LinkedIn. I am a social media freak and I probably use all of them. But Josh was always there… Offering me exactly what I was looking for. At the exact time I needed it.


What I just described, was a perfect user experience and great customer-centric approach. Josh knew his business would grow if he invested in these channels. He also knew what content to serve on each of them. And I engaged, liked, followed – was totally sold! – Successfully ended my buying journey – call it whatever you want. Josh won. So did I.


Do I live in one of these aforementioned flats today? I surely do and I am happy with my decision.


Reach your customers wherever they spend their time. This is a golden rule Josh and other successful businesses completely abide by. 


The fact that you are missing out on the chance to speak to your customer or potential customer on any channel can only be leveraged by your competitors… If you don't worship the customer-centric approach, they will.

And by customer-centric I mean going beyond on what YOU want to be doing to what a CUSTOMER wants to do – where she spends time, where she expects to get in touch with your business, where she takes out her wallet and pays for goods or services...

We are not talking solely about social media here. Customers visit your store – interact with you personally, get in touch with someone from support or sales, search for a cheaper substitute on Google or Bing and eventually visit your website. To gain trust, users tend to rely on reviews and customer feedback listed on your social media profiles. One customer – multiple channels. And you'd better be on all of them.


Customer Interact with Multiple Channels
Your Customer Interacting with Multiple Channels



Every touchpoint matters. Everyone builds the complete image of you through your customers' eyes. And everyone determines whether a customer chooses you instead of your competitors.


In 2018, the average time spent daily on social media was 136 minutes. That is more than 2 hours of one's precious time. And more than 2 hours for you to catch their attention with what you have to offer.


What you can count on, is the fact that they will search for products like yours. And if they don't find you, they will buy somewhere else…

Read >>