Facebook advertising offers a massive opportunity to drive leads for small business marketers — more so than any other paid social channel, in fact. In an eMarketer survey, 95.8 percent of social media marketers worldwide named Facebook as the platform with the best ROI. That’s despite the drastic drop in organic reach since late 2013.
And so, understanding how to leverage Facebook ads is a significant factor in the success of just about any social media strategy. If you’re still just boosting posts willy-nilly, read on for our top tips for developing a strong Facebook advertising strategy of your own.
1. Establish your goal — the reason you’re running your Facebook ad.
You can use Facebook ads to reach leads anywhere in their customer journey: from first exposure to diehard loyalty. It’s up to you, then, to decide how you want your ads to work for you. Are you looking for brand awareness to help put your business on potential customers’ radar? Is sending traffic to your growing blog your top initiative right now? Do you want to convert fans into subscribers to your email list, so that you can send them weekly promotions?
Once you decide whether you want your ad to be for awareness, engagement or conversion, you’re ready to begin creating your ad.
2. Understand who you want to reach with your Facebook ad.
Based on your ad objective, you now need to select your audience. Facebook offers a slew of targeting features within its Ads Manager that will help you reach people based on their demographics, location, interests and behaviors. Here’s a breakdown of the targeting categories:
- Core Audiences: Targeting by Core Audience factors is what most people generally think of when it comes to audience segments. If you want to reach mothers between 30 and 45 years old who are interested in fitness within a five-mile radius of your studio, this is where you’d narrow down your audience to that group.
- Custom Audiences: Custom Audiences help you find your current customers on Facebook. After all, selling to an existing customer is generally easier than courting a new one. You can upload data from your email list or via the Facebook pixel on your website and layer on additional targeting from there. Use your Custom Audiences to deepen your customer relationships and drive sales.
- Lookalike Audiences: Lookalike Audiences help you find people on Facebook who are similar to your current customers or prospects. To do so, Facebook will analyze the profiles of users on your Custom Audience list and select similar users to show your ads to. Because they’re so like your current customers, they’re the most likely candidates to respond to your ads. Use your Lookalike Audiences for awareness and traffic campaigns — and then guide them through your sales funnel over time.
3. Set a daily or lifetime budget for your Facebook ad.
When you set your budget, it’s essential to determine the maximum amount of money you’d like to spend. You can choose a daily or lifetime budget and set the start and end dates for your campaign.
If you’re wondering what kind of results you’ll see given your budget, Wordstream has a stellar benchmark report based on 256 U.S.-based advertisers with a $553,000 spend in aggregate. We expect ad prices to increase in 2018, but Facebook will continue to offer small businesses excellent value for those who advertise strategically.
4. Pick photos or videos to feature in your Facebook ad.
Now, it’s time to choose your ad creative: the images or video, headline and body text of your ad. You can use an existing post or create a new ad from scratch. The copy and images are incredibly important to the success of your ad, so keep standard copywriting and design best practices (like color theory) in mind. While Facebook’s old 20-percent rule that limited your text overlay options has been discarded, remember to keep readability, text hierarchy and visual appeal on your priority list.
Launch your Facebook ad and monitor your results.
You’re ready to go live! Keep an eye on your Ads Manager to assess your results. Depending on your budget, you can have a good idea of how your ad is performing in a few days — if not a few hours. As you grow more comfortable with the platform, you’ll want to introduce additional ads and compare their performance to earn the best ROI possible. Need help getting your strategy off the ground? Our talented team of social media strategists is happy to help!