An Overview of Facebook and Instagram Advertising Options

Earlier this year, Facebook announced that more than 5 million businesses advertised on the social network each month, and that it would update its suite of ad services. With that many advertisers, it comes as no surprise that Facebook ad revenues will be close to $30 billion in 2017.

Clearly Facebook is proving a useful way for brands to connect with their customers and prospects. And those enhancements they announced are pretty exciting. I’ve seen first hand how marketers use Facebook to increase conversions, stay top-of-mind to consumers, gain page Likes, newsletter sign-ups and more.

As we approach the holiday season, I thought it timely to provide an overview of Facebook and Instagram advertising options, and to point out some of the new targeting features that all businesses large and small need to know about.

As noted earlier, Facebook has diversified their services, allowing marketers to create a wide variety of campaigns, from remarketing to website visitors to launching campaigns designed to prompt specific actions (email signup, etc.). They’ve also added new targeting options (as well as restricted some offensive ones that have received a lot of press these days). All campaign setup and targeting options are laid out in the Facebook for Business interface.


The first step is to establish the setting that will apply across your entire campaign: budget, geo-targeting and the like. It’s where you will also:

  • Set Campaign Objective
    • Optimize for apps installs, brand awareness, conversions, lead gen, store visits, likes to your Page, and so on. Facebook provides recommendations for ad types based on campaign goals (e.g. Facebook Lead Ads for lead gen campaigns).
  • Buying Type
    • Decide how you prefer to pay for the and target ads in your campaign. Options include dynamic auction bidding, fixed-price bidding, or reach and frequency buying.
  • Spending Caps
    • Set a daily cap on your spending, and Facebook typically won’t go beyond 10% of your limit.
  • Schedule
    • Set the start and stop dates for your campaign.



Facebook has great options for targeting that will allow you to reach consumers who are most likely to engage with your brand. The list of options is pretty exhaustive. Some of the more exciting ones include:

  • Email Signups
    • Target all of the users on Facebook who have signed up on your website.
  • Website Visitors
    • Target people who’ve visited your site (i.e. remarketing or retargeting campaigns).
  • Lookalike Audiences
    • Create profiles of new users who share attributes of your existing customers for targeting on Facebook.
  • Likes and Fans
    • Target people based on the things they like (e.g. popular singer, food group). You can even search for criteria, and if it’s available it will appear in the drop down menu.
  • Page Fields
    • Target by job titles, place of employment, schools or any other item people have on their pages.
  • Demographics
    • Set an age range, gender, language, and so on.
  • Friends of
    • Target friends of people people who like your page, or people who have another connection to your audience.
  • Audience Network
    • Audience Network lets you extend your ad campaigns beyond Facebook to reach your audiences on websites and apps across devices such as computers, mobile devices and in some cases, connected TVs.
    • We recommend using this feature with caution, as you will not have control over where your ads will appear.


Tip: Now you can home in on your exact audience by targeting people who match multiple criteria. For instance, Facebook now provides and/or targeting options. This is particular useful if you find your targeting options lead to too large an audience.


When you’ve completed selecting your targeting options it’s time to decide where you want your ads to appear. Facebook offers multiple options with Facebook, Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) and the Facebook Messenger app.

  • Facebook
    • Feed
      • These ads appear in the Newsfeed of consumers you target and are perfect for story-based targeting.
    • Instant Articles
      • These ads will appear in news articles that users click on from their newsfeed or messenger.
    • In-Stream Videos
      • These ads appear before, during or after a video users opt to view.
    • Right Column
      • These ads appear in the right hand column of users accessing Facebook via a computer.
  • Instagram
    • Feed
      • These ads appear in an Instagram user’s Newsfeed and are perfect for story-based targeting.
    • News Stories
      • These ads appear within news stories users click on from their Newsfeeds.
  • Messenger
    • Home
      • These ads appear in between personal messages within a user’s Messenger app.
    • Sponsored Messages
      • These ads appear in the user’s Message inbox as messages. We recommend using Sponsored Messages only with audiences you’re confident knows and likes your brand.



Facebook offers numerous ad types. Some of the more notable ones include:

  • Link Click Ads
    • Promote external websites, landing pages, blog posts, etc.
  • Video Ads
    • Similar to Link Click Ads, except with a video in place of a static graphic.
  • Boosted Posts
    • Gets your post out to more people. For instance, you can boost your posts to your Facebook fans and their friends, or reach new audiences altogether.
  • Multi-Product Carousel Ads
    • Shows up to 10 images, videos, links and calls to action in a single ad.
  • Dynamic Product Ads
    • Target users based on past interactions on your website or app (e.g. consumer puts an item in a shopping cart and doesn’t convert). You can present such users with similar products in a carousel.
    • These ads automatically promote products to people who have expressed interest on your website, app or anywhere else on the Web. To use, upload your product catalog and setup your campaign one time. After that, Facebook will automatically identify the right people to target and product to feature until you stop the campaign.
  • Facebook Lead Ads
    • Allows consumers to download your content or sign up for promotion without leaving Facebook.
  • Canvas Ads
    • Allows mobile users in interact with our ads while in Facebook.



Facebook offers a pixel that site owners can install in order to build your audience for targeting (e.g. re-target your website visitors), measure the results of your ads, as well as ensure your Facebook ads are presented to your correct audience.

This pixel may be used for:

  • Conversion tracking & optimization
  • Audience re-targeting
  • Dynamic ads
  • Custom conversions
  • Advanced matching


Facebook offers step by step procedures to walk you through the process. To create a pixel, go the your Pixels tab in Ads Manager.

The Magento Extension

Installing a pixel can be confusing for some people, and if you aren’t quite sure you understand the process and your company uses Magento then there’s good news: A Magento extension has completely streamlined the process, allowing you to easily accomplish the more advanced processes, such as Dynamic Ads Placements for your entire product line. The extension guides you through a simple step-by-step process, and it — not you — installs the actual pixel on your site.

Lindsay Pugh

Lindsay is a voracious reader who also enjoys making and watching films. She’s currently on a never-ending quest to discover the best burrito in the city.