Does Facebook Advertising Work?

Posted by Mary Coombs on August 16,2019

Online Advertising card with colorful background with defocused lightsI'm frequently asked, "Does Facebook advertising work?" 

My answer is a resounding YES!

For our clients, FB advertising outperforms Google Ads, radio, billboards, and even organic search results (SEO), and those work too...just not as well.

It's all about the data and measuring return-on-investment. 

If you think Facebook (and it's integrated partner platform Instagram) is simply where you keep up with family and friends, and therefore not a good place to advertise your product or service, that's a good assumption... AND you're wrong.

Q:  Why you ask?

A:  Targeting! 

Because FB has 52,000 data points about each of its profile owners, companies and employees. That's a huge amount to know about a profile, (although not as many data points as Google - a different article)!

Facebook provides its advertisers, not only the data, but also artificial intelligence and machine learning tools too. When you "target" your audience and their desired behavior, with a Facebook ad,  there are a multitude of possibilities in slicing and dicing the data points FB has to offer, and that's great! It's demographics and psychographics working together, and more.

Facebook monitors each ad in real-time, to learn how it's actually performing against the data and behavior you want; filling out a form, clicking to your website, making an appointment, watching your video, etc., and it learns. It learns the characteristics of who is interacting with the ad and their common data points and begins to refine your target better than you could. Your ad is then served to more and better prospects.

Facebook advertising works - if you target well, execute well, and measure your ROI. 


For anyone who advertises on Facebook professionally, it's a love-hate relationship. The algorithms, the interface, the analytics are a nightmare if you don't do it all the time. And even then... 

But, the good definitely outweighs the bad. Facebook is an amazing medium not only for branding, but targeting audience engagement and behavior too. It’s unique and has an incredibly large reach — which is all a good marketer could ask for.

What creative works the best for FB ads?

By far, video outperforms single images for Facebook lead generation ads, in our experience, especially with a complex sale where teaching the prospect about your product, service or solution, is essential to the sales process. “Video marketing” is one of today’s hottest industry buzzwords -- and, of course, we at Coombs agree that video is a priceless tool when it comes to engaging your audience, sharing stories and information, promoting products and services, piquing interest, and more.

We have learned a few things about what you can do to optimize the videos you’re creating for advertising:

  • Go square. Square videos take up 78 percent more space in the News Feed and have consistently outperformed landscape videos. They get about a 50 percent lower cost per click and 45 percent more engagement.
  • Think about your objective. This is important. Your video needs to address this objective. If you want to get traffic to a product page on your website, for instance, you’ll want to make sure it’s clear what your page is about and you’ll need to include a clear call-to-action letting them know where they can read more.

Ad copy

Another crucial part of the creative to pay close attention to, is the ad copy - not only what it says, but its length. Short-form (1 sentence - one paragraph in length), or long-form copy (2 -6 paragraphs)? Which is more effective?  I can say for sure, that long-form copy in our FB ads works well.  Long-form ads, written correctly, take better advantage of the FB learning algorithms, than short-form ads can. We have found that long-form is most effective with a complex sales cycle. It's a great way to educate and qualify a prospect with information before they either fill out a form, or go to the site. 

Facebook has changed its ad structure this week so that only 3 lines of your copy (down from 6) will be at the top of the ad (before the 'More' link). So put the most crucial, compelling information there, then expand on the information lower in the ad.  This is just one of the examples of the love/hate relationship I alluded to earlier.

But Facebook advertising works!

Want to learn more?

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Topics: Social Selling, Online Lead Generation, Content, Digital Advertising