Google, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube advertising for Beginners

People use the internet now more than ever before. That is, people purchase, peruse, and ply their virtual footprint through the web at an unthinkable pace.

It is no surprise, then, that digital advertising has emerged as a veritable superpower in our time.

And when held up to traditional methods of advertising, digital triumphs.

In Canada alone, 53% of ad revenue is generated through digital ads.

Perhaps this is because prominent advertising platforms such as Google, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram, offer their services to just about anyone, at low costs.

No matter which way you look at it we have entered a technological epoch, and if you’re going to advertise–out with the old and in with the new.

Here’s a quick few reasons why…

First, online advertising provides two potentially significant economic efficiencies.

  1. It reduces the amount of resources devoted to creating content for aggregating and sorting potential buyers. 

  2. It increases the match between advertisers and consumers.

Secondly, because digital advertising has access to the global village, a substantially larger amount of people can be reached.

One can generate brand awareness, increase the spread of information, drive buyer behaviour, provide reminders to curious customers, and many more things, with fewer resources than ever before.

But the name of the game is reaching a specific group within that reach.

The ability to tailor an ad to meet certain audiences is what gives digital marketing its power and is also why digital marketing has diversified through so many different platforms.

Here’s a look at some of those platforms…

Facebook Advertising

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With 2.2 billion monthly active users and 1.5 billion daily active users, Facebook has taken a highchair amongst the most successful advertising platforms in the world.

Advertising on Facebook works in a fashion much like how it connects individuals with other individuals–through behavioural and geographic similarities.

So the process in which you build your ad campaign should be as granular as you need it to be.

And you want it to be as granular as possible to ensure that the aggregate of your ad’s reach encompasses users who are likely to engage with it.

For example, if you’re making an ad for a vacuum, you may want to narrow your ad reach to users who are homeowners, have pets, or maybe even have liked retail stores that sell vacuums.

Connecting your ads with users based on their online behaviours, their known likes, and their engagement with products, as well as through demographic details, like age, gender, and location, will ensure you a greater ROI.

What’s more is the level of customization Facebook offers your ad campaign.

Whether you’re campaigning to generate brand awareness, website traffic, or community engagement, Facebook has your back.

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The table above displays the various ad campaign objectives that Facebook offers when you enlist its services.

As a newcomer to digital advertising, of the 11 ad objectives, the most important to consider are the “Video views” and “Traffic” modules.


If you’re pushing an ad campaign through Facebook, it’s likely that you’re familiar with how trafficked a home feed can become. So throwing ads into the mix can be a risky business. Between pictures, comments, and news, the likelihood of a user giving their attention to an ad is slim.

Don’t fret though.

If an ad is creative, eye-catching, and tailored to meet its audience, it typically performs well. Yet sometimes, despite its quality, a pictorial ad won’t quite secure the click. This is because pictures lack the engagement which video content promises.

Video content can make the difference in securing a click, effectively directing more traffic to your website and boosting your ROI.

Unlike other advertising platforms though, Facebook allows video ads to span up to 120 minutes. It also loops them indefinitely, endowing your ad with a persistence that is bound to challenge the resolve of any disengaged user.

Ads that run between 15-30 seconds, however, have been dubbed the most successful.

The traffic objective, too, can generate ample awareness and purchasing for your business. 

The traffic objective essentially allows you to reroute traffic from your ad to external websites–I.e., your own website or your client’s website. It does this through Link Click Ads.

It is important to remember when you advertise through Facebook, much like any other popular platform, that you are competing with many others, and so you should be prudent in deciding your strategy for ad bidding.

The best bid, relevance of score, and estimated action rates, will determine your ad’s success.

Youtube Advertising

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An advertising platform paralleled by few, Youtube is the second most used online search engine in the world.

Unlike other platforms, Youtube distinguishes itself by existing primarily as a global avenue for video content. Video content

There are three formats for ads you can use on Youtube: Trueview in-stream ads, Trueview video discovery ads, and Bumper ads. If you have used Youtube before, it’s likely you’ve encountered hundreds, or even thousands, of each of these ads.

In-stream ads play before, during, or after videos on Youtube.

Naturally, this is a great option to choose if your ad has a story behind it and needs to be told in a video that is lengthy. However, anyone has the ability to SKIP that ad if they wish to.

Discovery ads appear next to related youtube videos, on the homepage, in a search result, and in a video partner website. Because these ads cannot be skipped, they present themselves as more functional, but they may not engage with as many users as the In-stream ad.

If you’re going to run a discovery ad though, remember that you have no control over what ads appear alongside your own.

Sometimes the grouping of one ad next to another can sully someone’s perception of both.

Bumper ads play before, during or after a video and are 5 seconds long or shorter. These ads cannot be skipped, and they may be your best option if you lack the financial means to produce a long in-stream video.

Bumper ads are also CPM (cost per mille), which means that you have to pay a small amount for every 1000 views. In other words, you can pay as low as 2 dollars to have a thousand people see your ad.

It is likely, too, that if you use Youtube, you’re familiar with ad block software.

30% of internet users have ad block software, which can severely impinge your ad campaign.

Instagram Advertising

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With over 900 million users, Instagram is an incredible platform to run your ad campaign through.

What are instagram ads though?

Instagram ads are posts that businesses pay to put in front of users. These ads are distinct by the ‘sponsored’ label that stamps them. 

Instagram story ads: these are the fullscreen advertisements that play in between viewing other users’ stories. 

Because they function like stories, adding video effects, face filters, and text can help your ad emulate normalcy amongst the other stories on Instagram. 

This is important because you want a seamless experience for your audience.

Photo ads: these ads display your product or business through compelling images.

Video ads: these ads can be up to one minute long, so you have a chance to give users a closer look at your brand, your business, or your products, captivating them with a story to promote conversions.

Carousel ads: these ads present a series of images or videos with a CTA button to connect them directly to your website.

Collection ads: these ads offer an ecommerce feature which allows users the option to purchase products directly through the ad. 

When users click on the ad, they’re directed to an Instagram Instant Experience Storefront.

Sometimes these ads will have a CTA (call to action) button to drive conversions.

Here’s a list of some of the CTA buttons you can implement in your ads:

  • Apply Now

  • Call Now

  • Check Availability

  • Contact us

  • Donate

  • Download

  • Learn More

  • Open Link

  • Play Game

  • Shop Now

Advertising through Instagram is perhaps simpler than any other. You can either do it through your profile by promoting existing posts, or you can do it through the Facebook Ads Manager.

Since Facebook owns Instagram, they have conveniently integrated their advertising tools.

Creating an ad campaign on Instagram through Facebook will present you with the 11 ad objectives discussed in the foregoing paragraphs.

So long as you are familiar with how they work, you can come to master advertising through Instagram simultaneously with Facebook.

Google Advertising

One of the main differences between Google advertising and social media advertising is that social media advertising doesn’t rely on keywords. Google does.

Why is this important though?

Well, if you want to advertise a product on google you should probably know if people are searching for it already, which is very easy to do.

Search ads allow you to connect your business with people searching for related things.

These ads occur in the organic results on webpages (non-paid ads).

Or they can occur above the organic results and provide useful information that is relevant to what a user has searched for.

To create search ads through google, you must have a google account and have an active ad campaign.

Creating an ad campaign through google will present you with similar, but fewer, ad objectives that you have already seen with Facebook and Instagram. 

There are sales, leads, and website traffic.

Again, akin to Facebook and Instagram, with Google you can specify the reach of your audience.

And, of course, you will want to choose a bid strategy:

  • Target CPA

  • Target ROAS

  • Maximize Clicks

  • Maximize Conversions

  • Target Search page Location

  • Enhanced CPA

  • Manual CPC

Remember, again, that Google ads rely on keywords, so you must be scrupulous in what words you elect for your ad campaign.

Think of it like this…

An ad campaign is a collection of ad groups. Ad groups are keywords and their respective ads.

So, let’s say you’re campaigning ads for shoes. The ad group is defined by each type of shoe. The keyword, then, might be Nikes, and so your ad should pop up when someone mentions Nikes.

Keywords give you the chance to show your ad as part of those answers.

But sometimes choosing keywords can be difficult to do. Fortunately for you, Google has implemented a Keyword Planning Tool into the ad campaign creation process.

And it’s very easy to use.

You simply type in important information about your business as well as the URL and it will suggest popular keyword suggestions.

So, now that it has been established that keywords are paramount to your ad performing well, you need to begin crafting great text ads. That is, ads that are written in such a way to maximize the association between your keywords and your ad.

To begin, it’s usually a good idea to give every ad group at least 3 ads.

The reason you should do this is to appeal to as many people as possible.

Think of it like this, instead of having only one opportunity to reach your audience, you have three chances.

After you have followed through with creating your ad campaign, there are a few more steps you will need to do.

You will have to create a final URL. This is the external page someone will be redirected to when they click on your ad.

This webpage should contain some of the keywords associated with your ad.

Google will also prompt you to create headlines and descriptions.

The headlines–there are two–appear above the URL. The first one should relate to the theme of your ad’s keywords. Get creative, but be calculated in how you design this. You want it to be both appealing and associated with your keywords.

The second headline will appear beside the first headline, separated by a dash.

With this headline, you want to consider the needs of your audience and so you may want to display beneficial information, maybe conveying a deal or a limited time offer–something of that nature.

Lastly, Google allows you to create a description for your ad, which will appear below the URL. 

Use this field to tell someone more about your business, but try to be as clear and concise as possible, for people who see these ads are likely going to be presented with multiple at a time.

Simplicity will grab attention.

Akin to other advertising platforms, Google allows you to track the success of your ad campaigns. You do this through conversion tracking (conversions are actions you want your audience to take).

Google also allows you to track sales and other actions on your website, app installs and in-app action, calls from your ads or website, or to import conversion from other systems.

You can do this simply by clicking on the conversions option, and indicating what it is precisely that you want to track.

This is an extremely important feature that, if used right, will ensure that you become consistently successful each time you launch an ad campaign.

Once you have taken these steps, your ad campaign should perform smoothly.

Google, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube advertising for Beginners

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