Facebook remains the dominant social media platform. In a recent earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared that there are more than 2.2 billion monthly actives, with almost 1.5 billion using it every day. That means that small business owners who are not advertising on Facebook are missing out on an opportunity to connect with about a third of the global population.
If you’ve been thinking about Facebook advertising but are intimidated by the process of starting an ad campaign on the platform, never fear. This simple guide will help you get your first campaign up and running.
Start by Setting Goals
What are you really hoping to accomplish with your Facebook campaign? Yes, you’re hoping for more business, but how will you measure success? Set clear goals with firm numbers. Something like, “We’re hoping to increase website traffic by X percentage” will help guide you through the process much more effectively than a goal like, “find new prospects.”
Establish Your Budget
Before you dive into the actual creation of the campaign, you’ll want to know the limits of what you can actually spend. A lot of small businesses don’t set a firm budget for Facebook and end up increasing their spend month after month, chasing greater results.
That is a recipe for spending well outside your means, and will also allow the Facebook advertising platform to run you, rather than you working intelligently within a budget to get the most out of what you can actually afford to spend.
It’s best to set a daily budget when you’re first starting out. This allows you to monitor your spend more closely, and you can adjust or pause spending as you learn more about your ad costs.
Find Your Audience
Facebook advertising can allow you to stay top of mind with your existing customers and also reach a whole new audience who might also have interest in your products and services.
You should already have some information about the customers you interact with regularly. Things like age, location, and gender are ways that you can narrow down the audience for your ads. You’re able to customize all of this information, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing that just yet, Facebook can auto-select your ad placement for you.
You can also target your advertising towards people who have interacted with your business in person but haven’t necessarily encountered it online. By creating a custom audience for offline activity, you can present your advertising to people you’ve either met at in-person events or at your brick-and-mortar store (more details on how to establish a custom audience for offline activity can be found here).
You can also use the Facebook Pixel tool to install a line of code into your company’s website. This code tracks those who visit your site and will send them targeted Facebook ads based on their behavior. For example, if you own a shoe store and someone recently browsed your site for women’s shoes, you can target them with Facebook advertising for your new wedge sandals.
Facebook also allows you to create lookalike audiences using information you have on the demographics of your existing customers. You upload the information on your current customers into the Facebook ad platform, and they will generate a list of users who have similar attributes.
Settle on Your Ad Type
Facebook offers a variety of ad types of businesses. The type of ad you choose to create will depend on the goals you’ve set for your campaign.
- Link click ads and video ads are probably what comes to mind when you picture a Facebook ad. They’re incorporated into a viewer’s newsfeed. They contain either a static image or video, and will direct traffic to your external website, to a landing page or blog post of your choice.
- Boosted page posts are a little different. You can always post something on your business’s Facebook page for free, but you can choose to boost the post for a cost, amplifying the reach of the original post.
- Carousel ads and collection ads also appear in viewer’s newsfeeds, and they provide them the opportunity to scroll through a variety of images. These are popular with retailers offering a variety of similar products.
- Dynamic product ads are those ads linked up with the Google Pixel code. These ads are displayed based on a visitor’s past actions on your company’s website.
- Lead ads contain a form within the ad, allowing viewers to download your ebook or sign up for your newsletter all from within the Facebook platform. This allows you to eliminate the steps of asking them to travel to your external website and click a call to action button there.
- Page like ads allow you to drive visitors to your business’s Facebook page. They contain an image and text, plus a button for them to like your page.
- Page post photo and video ads allow you to share photos or video from your Facebook page with your chosen audience.
- App ads allow you to present viewers with a photo and an accompanying link encouraging them to download your business’s mobile app.
- Event ads and offer claims allow you to promote a specific upcoming event or promotional offer for your business.
- Local awareness ads allow you to target viewers within a certain geographic location. This is a great option for small local businesses hoping to reach people in their neighborhood.
- Messenger ads are incorporated into the viewer’s Facebook Messenger feed. These messages appear alongside chats with their friends, and when they click on the ad, they can chat with your business.
Check out the guide in this article for more on which types of ads best align with which goals.
Check Your Progress
Once you’ve selected your ad type, you’re not done just yet! You’ll want to check in on how your ad is performing against the goals you set for the campaign. Continue to refine your approach as you go, tweaking your images and messaging in the ad, adjusting your target audience, or considering another ad type if you’re not getting the desired results with your present type.
If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Social Media.