For more than a decade Facebook has been using its targeting capabilities to lure advertising dollars away from eager marketers. It’s understandable. The social media site is the most popular in the world with more than 2 billion average monthly users. That’s a lot of people to include in your potential audience.

But Facebook making tweaks to its platform is as predictable as advertisers spending money on Facebook ads.

In just the last few years, the targeting that everyone loves so much has undergone a change thanks to data privacy concerns. So, with the ongoing changes, what do you need to keep in mind if you are just starting to dive into Facebook advertising? We have a few ideas.

Know Your Goals and Who You Are Trying to Reach

Facebook ads are a great way to do a lot of things. They can drive sales. They can increase awareness and registrations, or boost the number of visitors to a website. But before you create an ad campaign, you need to know specifically what it is you want people to do when they interact with your ad. How that ad looks and what it says is going to vary depending on your goal, but you do need to have one.

Depending on your goal, the images you use will be different. The copy you write will be different. The call-to-action (CTA) you leave the audience with will be different. Facebook will help by making some suggestions of ad types depending on your goals, but what Facebook can’t do is help you pick the most effective imagery or write the most effective copy. That’s up to you.

Also, we’ve mentioned the targeting capabilities of Facebook. They don’t do you any good if you haven’t determined who you are trying to reach before you dive into advertising. If you don’t start that process until you’re in Facebook’s ad manager platform, it’s too late.

You can actually use Facebook to do the research needed to determine your audience. Have an email list you’re working from that’s well targeted? Load it into Facebook and let the platform build a similar audience.

Test, Test, Test

We are our own worst critics, and that can be especially true when it comes to advertising. We can create an ad that we love, but once it hits the market and gets in front of our target audience, it doesn’t convert. But then we can slap something together quickly, and it gets a huge return. Talk about frustrating.

Turn that frustration into curiosity instead. You’ve accidentally stumbled into an A/B test. Next time, do the testing intentionally. Experiment with creative. Play with new copy. Find the kind of images and language that resonate with your audience, then use more of both.

Consider Video

Video is everywhere on social media because it is effective. That’s why you should consider making the creative in your ad a video instead of a photo.

These videos don’t have to be long. In fact, they shouldn’t be. And before you complain about not being able to produce videos because of either cost or expertise, there are plenty of free or low-cost tools available online. The videos we are talking about don’t even need to involve a camera. A few still photos, some panning and a little text, and you have a video ready for a social advertisement.

Get Help

With its constant changes—from tweaks to targeting to new ways to advertise—the Facebook ad platform can be a lot to manage. It’s even hard for professional marketers to keep up with all of it. If your job is something other than marketing—like running an organization or planning an event, it can seem impossible. That’s why many consider partnering with a company that specializes in digital marketing.

At ACTIVE Network, we have a team of digital marketing experts who are always up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices of Facebook advertising. Plus, we have more than 20 years of experience in the activities industry, meaning we know your customer base. Learn more about ACTIVE’s Digital Marketing Agency, here.