In my previous post, we introduced the reasons why your business, most every business, should be using Facebook ads as part a paid advertising campaign. However, should is one thing, the how-to is something else, am I right?
Here’s the rub: the options that make Facebook an excellent platform to market your business are the same options that can make it confusing. As a result, if you’re not careful, you can waste a shit ton of money on your Facebook ads and see little to no results from your efforts.
The trick is to weed through the vast population of users, dig into the goldmine of Facebook data available, and tweak your ads to get optimal ROI. To get maximum results from Facebook advertising, it just takes a few key steps. Let’s get started, shall we?
10 Steps to Effectively Market Your Business with Facebook Ads
Facebook advertising is extraordinary in offering the ability to select a particular target audience, monitor the effectiveness of your ads, and modify the ads to adjust to responses.
Keep this in mind as you’re reading: S.M.M. – Select, Monitor, Modify.
1. Start with a clear goal.
Everything about your Facebook ads should be constructed with your primary goal in mind. Two of the most common goals would be to generate sales directly from the ad or to increase awareness of your business while building a contact list for future marketing efforts. See below for a couple of examples.
Example 1: If the goal is to generate sales directly, the call-to-action button should take users directly to the relevant sales page where they can hit BUY.
Example 2: If the goal is to increase awareness of the business, you can create a special landing page for Facebook visitors on your website, where you share a bit about your company, your products/services, with an optin offer of some sort.
2. Choose the geographic area.
Does your business only serve your local area? Do you sell products that can easily be shipped anywhere in the world? For either of these cases or anything in between, you can tailor the regions where your ads will appear to match your needs.
Keep in mind, you do not have to sell to everyone on Earth with a single Facebook ad. For example, if your business is selling homes in Atlanta, you can create an ad that includes special local elements that may appeal to people looking to move to Atlanta, such as the most famous restaurants, shopping districts, historical neighborhoods, or even the Atlanta skyline. Then you can create an ad targeted to a specific income segments based on the prices of the homes you have available. The better you can hyper-target your audience and corresponding ad, the better chance you have at capturing interest and achieving your goal.
3. Customize your Facebook ads for the demographic you want to reach.
Because of the information Facebook collects about its users, you can define the advertisement’s target market based on age, gender, location, interests, or several other criteria. Combining those criteria allows you to be specific when you construct your ad for that target.
This is the meat and potatoes of your ad. Who are you talking to? Who EXACTLY are you trying to reach? Let me give you another example.
So you know I’m a Social Media Manager, right? I manage social media for small businesses. This statement, at its core, means I can market to EVERY SMALL BUSINESS, right? Well first of all, no thank you. Next, how in the world am I supposed to create a Facebook ad that targets every small business in every English speaking part of the world? This would be a big ol waste of money and time.
When I am looking to create a new Facebook ad, I would target specific audiences. I might create ads targeted to:
- desserts shops in the Southeast US
- wedding planners in the Northeast US
- hair stylists that specialize in African-American women with natural hair
- personal development coaches that follow specific influencers
- nonfiction book authors who read the top business magazines
As you can (hopefully) see, each ad would still be targeted to my core audience of “small business”, but each ad’s image/video/content can be customized to appeal to a specific niche. Like, if my goal is to generate leads that are wedding planners, I’m going to use wedding images and language. If I’m marketing to the hair stylists, I’m not going to put a dessert tray in the ad. Make sense?
4. Direct your ad to your existing contacts.
Upload a customer or contact email list. Yeah, this is a real thing marketers do! Any of the people on that list that are also Facebook members will receive your ad.
5. Set your ad budget.
Set your budget BEFORE you begin a campaign, so you know what you’re working with before you get starry eyed at all of the options in the ad platform. You can choose to run ads continuously or for a particular period, and you can select how much you are willing to pay. Budgets are set as a maximum daily expenditure or total expenditure over the duration of the campaign.
New to spending money on social media ads, or marketing in general? This li’l section is for you:
If you’re new to this, and you’re laughing thinking “what budget” or “I don’t know how much is the right amount to spend” look at this as simply another element of your marketing. How much are you spending on marketing in other areas of your business? What is your goal – sell a product, get leads? How much can you afford to spend this month on Facebook ads?
A modest start of $25-$50 can produce results! But first things first, it’s time to learn HOW to use Facebook advertising. You have to learn how to use Facebook ads BEFORE you spend a butt load of money. So start small – select, monitor, modify – and you’ll be motivated by those results. It ain’t easy, but it’s worth it!
6. Use image ads AND video ads.
Images receive far more interest and generate higher response rates than text-only ads. Remember the “monitor the effectiveness of your ads, and modify the ads to adjust to responses” blurb from earlier? Consider creating multiple ads with different images to examine their relative effectiveness.
In case you are unaware, a video ad converts even better! Facebook gets over 8 billion average daily video views, and more important, Facebook prioritizes video over ALL other content. Enough said!
7. Use Facebook Ad Manager.
Ad Manager accumulates metrics on responses to your ads and presents them in comparison to goals established when the campaign was initiated. Using the information available, you can alter the campaign, changing the budget or target market or even completely re-creating the ad. A big plus – Facebook Ad Manager is available as a smartphone app.
8. Use conversion tracking, aka the Facebook Pixel.
Among other things, you can determine how many people clicked to view your website or made a purchase after seeing your Facebook ad. This helps you to measure the effectiveness of your ad and understand the results.
For example, let’s say you’re running a Facebook ad to sell a dress, and the ad is generating targeted traffic to your website. But you haven’t sold a thing. (This scenario happens all the time) What does this tell you?
At first glance, I’m going to say you have a conversion problem. Your ad promise does not correlate well to something on your website. If people see an ad with a dress and they click, they’re clicking because they a) like the dress and want to buy it, OR b) like the dress enough that they want to see more of what you have to offer.
This means something on your website is screwing up your conversions. Are Facebook visitors adding to cart, but abandoning their cart? Could be your checkout process, shipping fees could be too high, etc. Are Facebook visitors landing and simply disappearing? Could be a clunky website, could be the “buy” options, or it could simply be too damn hard to figure out how to buy the dress. It’s up to you to figure out where the leak is and plug it!
Of course, this is simply an example, and I would investigate different metrics further to figure out why the ad is not converting. However, I hope you get the idea of why conversion tracking is important. This is true whether no matter where your traffic comes from!
9. Boost your posts.
Boosting a post is a different type of advertising, and it is the easiest way to get started with advertising on Facebook. You create a post as you normally would, and hit the Boost Post button. This will take you to a few options, where you can select the daily budget, duration, geographic region, audience and their interests.
Boosting a post causes it to appear higher in the News Feed of the ad recipients, thus raising the likelihood that it will be seen. You can have any post boosted, increasing its exposure. This is a great option (in my opinion) to expand the reach of your regular posts on your Facebook page. If you are using Facebook pages, you already know reach is about nil, so I won’t even get on a soapbox about this.
Note: I prefer boosting posts on the desktop version of Facebook as opposed to the smartphone app. Once you have your custom audiences created, refined and saved, the Pages Manager app is fine because it becomes a one-click function. But it’s a pain in the butt to create custom audiences from the phone. Just my 2 cents.
10. Every Facebook ad must include a Call to Action (CTA).
Salespeople know the adage “Always ask for the sale.” Professional salespeople do not present information to prospects and hope they will choose to buy. Nobody can eat off of a hope! Pros offer the information and ASK the prospect to ACT – to make the purchase. You need to do that in every ad you create – ask the prospect to act in every single ad. Depending upon your desired response, include call to action buttons or links asking the reader to respond. “Click Here to Buy,” “Like This Page,” or “Click Here to Receive My Hot Tips” for example. You MUST ask for the people to DO SOMETHING.
Follow these tips in creating Facebook ads and expect a transformation of public response to your advertising.