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3. A Straightforward Guide To Facebook Advertising For Small Businesses

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A Straightforward Guide To Facebook Advertising For Small Businesses

Jul 06, 2023 • 10+ min read
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      Social media can be a highly effective tool for small businesses. But when you think of social media, you’re probably thinking about its organic marketing capabilities. Having said that, though, there’s another facet of social media that shouldn’t be overlooked: Facebook advertising.

      According to Facebook, Facebook ads offer 80% greater discovery rates than on brand or retailer websites. In fact, over 10 million businesses have used Meta advertising. In short, Facebook has a significant amount of ad dollars going into it every day. 

      Facebook ad revenue continues to grow, which means other small businesses still find it a worthwhile investment. While it may not be for everyone, it’s absolutely worth a try to see how it works for your small business. To grow your business, it’s important to try new tactics to find additional methods to grow your revenue. 

      Ready to go beyond your organic reach and give Facebook ads a try? Here’s a guide to getting started on Facebook ads for small businesses.

      What Are Facebook Ads?

      Facebook ads are paid posts from businesses that promote services or products to Facebook users. You can identify a Facebook ad by the “Sponsored” label that always accompanies it in the Facebook feed. Facebook ads also have more features than normal organic posts, like links, buttons, and more.

      If you’re a Facebook user, you’ve likely experienced the phenomenon of looking at a product online and later seeing an ad for it in your Facebook feed. Facebook ads show up based on users’ demographics, interests, location, and other relevant targeting information. You might see ads based on pages you’ve liked, a site you recently visited, or other ads with which you’ve recently interacted.

      How Much Does It Cost To Run Ads On Facebook?

      There is no set budget recommendation for Facebook ads because it depends on the size of the business, the size of the campaign, and the size of the intended audience. The only hard-and-fast number Facebook recommends is to allocate at least $1 per day for daily budgets.

      Some factors that determine overall Facebook ad spend for small businesses include:

      • Audience targeting – The more specific and narrow the audience, the more it will cost to target.  
      • Competition – Some industries are more competitive—therefore more expensive to win in—than others. 
      • Time of year – Certain seasons are costlier for ads than others. The holiday season, for example, is always more expensive due to the high volume of ads.
      • Location – Targeting costs change based on location, both regionally and globally. 
      • Duration – The total time a campaign is running plays a role in cost. The longer a campaign is live, the more you’ll have to pay.

      One way to maximize your budget is by selecting the right objective. Whatever objective you select will serve as the benchmark statistic of the campaign. Your objective is based on the intention of the ad. If you’re looking to grow overall brand awareness, impressions or reach are good objectives. If you’re promoting a specific product or service, try the conversion or link click objectives.

      What Types Of Businesses Should Advertise On Facebook?

      Facebook offers some of the most detailed advertising targeting on the market. This accuracy makes it an appealing ad platform for businesses of all sizes. Being able to target users by interest is a unique feature and can prove incredibly effective for small businesses.

      Facebook ad insights also enable you to see what is working in a campaign and what isn’t, making it a great budget-friendly option. With this information, you can adjust a campaign to drive greater ROI and get more out of your investment.

      Certain industries tend to perform better on Facebook, as shown by this click-through-rate data from Databox.

      Who Shouldn’t Use Facebook Ads? 

      If your target audience isn’t on Facebook, you likely won’t get a great return. If you’re trying to scale rapidly, it also probably isn’t the best platform, as it can take some time to cultivate an audience. And if you haven’t defined your audience at all yet, then you should prioritize that strategic work before launching any ads.  

      How To Create Facebook Ads

      1. Choose your objective – Log into Facebook Ads Manager with your personal Facebook account. From there, select the Campaigns tab and click ‘Create’ to start a new ad campaign. You’ll be prompted to choose an objective (i.e. the driving purpose of your campaign). There are several to choose from, but here are some of the most popular options:
        • Brand awareness – This introduces your brand to a new audience.
        • Traffic – This sends traffic to a specific web page.
        • Lead generation – This aims to find new prospects.
        • Reach – This lets you target the largest number of people possible within your audience.

      2. Name your campaign – You’ll be prompted to name the ad campaign and designate whether the ad falls into any special categories, like politics.

      3. Set your Facebook ad budget and schedule – Here comes the money. You can set your budget with either a daily or lifetime limit. Then, select your start and end dates. Campaigns can either start immediately or in the future. You can also create a schedule based on when your audience is online.

      4. Designate your audience – As you scroll down, you’ll see the audience section. This is where you’ll start to define the receptors of your ad by location, age, gender, and more. As you make more selections, you’ll see the audience size change, as well as see estimations of daily statistics based on your objective. For brand awareness, you’ll want a broader audience. For lead generation or conversions, you’ll want to be more precise in your targeting.

      5. Choose your ad placements This is where you decide where your ad will appear. Facebook will automatically display your ads across Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram unless you select ‘Manual Placements’. You should make your selections based on where your audience is present. 

        Should you share your Facebook ads on Instagram? If most of your customers are on Instagram, yes! You’ll still create Instagram ads in the Meta Business Suite, but at this stage, you’ll select that they only appear on Instagram.

        When you’re just starting out, it’s best to use the default option to maximize your placements and learn more about where your ads are most effective.

      6. Set controls – Next, you’ll see the Brand Safety section, where you can elect to avoid and/or block certain content. This helps control where your ad appears and can prevent it from showing up alongside sensitive content.

      7. Create your ad – Finally, it’s time to make the ad itself. This is where you’ll upload your imagery and add your text. You’ll want to have this designed and written ahead of time so that you don’t also have to spend time deliberating over the ad’s appearance. Additionally, you’ll be able to be more strategic with your ad targeting if you know its look and feel beforehand. Be sure to check the latest Facebook ad specs, as their recommendations can change. When everything looks good, you can hit ‘Publish’ to set your ad live (or schedule it).

      How To Run A Successful Facebook Ad Campaign

      Follow Bidding Best Practices

      Bidding strategy can make or break a Facebook ad campaign. Once you’ve set your targeting parameters, Facebook will automatically suggest a bid range. If you’re just starting out, you should bid near the low end of this range. Suggested bids depend on the CTR—the higher the CTR, the lower the suggested bid, and vice versa. 

      Your bid also impacts how much of your intended audience you can reach. A bigger budget will help you reach more people. If your ad is already reaching a large portion of your target audience, increasing budget will mean that users will see it more frequently. 

      Use Eye-Catching Imagery

      What’s the first thing you notice in an ad? The answer is probably: how it looks! So, it’s important to use something intriguing that will stand out among a user’s Facebook feed. The image should be compelling yet relevant. There are certain specifications for how much copy you can include on the visual of a Facebook ad, so be sure your design complies. If it doesn’t comply, your ad may be rejected and you won’t be able to run the campaign with that design.

      Write Compelling Copy

      Copy is the support element to the visual for your ad. Ensure it is clever but direct so users know where they’re being directed. It should support the imagery, but not repeat it word-for-word. Be sure the copy fits within the designated copy limits so it doesn’t get cut off.

      Use Smart Targeting Tactics 

      You should continually test and tweak your targeting strategy to see what yields the best results. Here are a few tips for Facebook ad targeting for small businesses:

      • As you get started with Facebook ads, begin with a broader audience. A broad audience pairs well with brand awareness campaigns. Use this approach for a period of time, assess the insights and see what kind of people interacted with your ad(s), then use that information to create a more detailed audience for the next campaign.
      • Use Audience insights in Meta Business Suite Insights. The ‘Potential audience’ tab enables you to filter targeting options and compare which of your competitors are using each option.
      • Use Lookalike Audiences to expand your reach. You can upload your existing customer email list to find similar users to target, which can be an effective way to grow your overall audience. 

      Create a Landing Page

      An ad is just the first step in the conversion process. Once a user clicks on an ad, they’re sent to a landing page. You’ll either direct users to a particular product or service page, or you might create a custom page specifically for an ad. Why? Because ad landing pages should be simple and promote conversion. 

      If an ad sends a user to a homepage, they likely won’t convert because there isn’t a clear conversion path to follow. If an ad instead sends a user to a simple product page that is reflective of the ad content, it’s bound to perform better because the user is being guided to the intended action: making the purchase. 

      A/B Test

      Testing is one of the best ways to optimize your ads and get more out of your small business Facebook ad investment. There is an A/B test section in the campaign setup where you can turn on A/B testing for an ad set. You’ll then upload different versions of the ad, where you’ll have different images or copy for each option. Don’t change more than one element for each ad, otherwise you won’t know what element helped one ad succeed more than another.

      How Do You Measure Facebook Ad Results?

      The primary way to evaluate the success of a Facebook ad campaign is ROAS (i.e. return on ad spend). ROAS calculates the amount of revenue generated for every dollar spent on the ad. To calculate ROAS, simply divide your ad spend by revenue. 

      You can view your ROAS, alongside other metrics, in Facebook Ads Manager. A positive ROAS number means you’re earning money; a negative number means you’re losing money.

      Facebook provides a number of metrics that give invaluable insight into what’s working (and what isn’t) with your ads. Get to know the insights dashboard to gain a better understanding of what different metrics mean. Conversion rate and click-through rate might be familiar, but others might be new to you.

      Launching Your Small Business’ First Facebook Ad Campaign

      You can now see that, with so many features and capabilities, Facebook ads can become a highly effective paid marketing strategy. While there may be a learning curve, Facebook ads prove to be an invaluable tool for countless small businesses. Use these tips to grab attention with your ad strategy and help grow your business.

      About the author
      Maeve Ginsberg

      Maeve Ginsberg is a copywriter & storyteller. She is a marketing strategist a Picante Collective where she helps businesses with marketing strategy and brand voice.

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