As Facebook’s reach continues to expand, more and more small businesses have Facebook Pages. In fact, a whopping 30 million businesses have a presence on Facebook. Facebook maintains its advantage in providing you with a great way to organically interact with a sophisticated and active audience. One of the best ways to leverage the social site is through Facebook Advertising.
But first: why should you consider advertising on this social channel? It’s come a long way since the early days: now advertisers are seeing a 50% increase in clickthrough rates from 2013, making it one of the most effective and highly-targeted pay-per-click options out there.
And before you assume that advertising here is out of your budget, consider: Facebook allows you to set the budget for each campaign, and due to Facebook’s global reach, you do not have to limit yourself to a specific geographical location. You’ve got the potential to reach exactly who you want to reach with your advertising message.
So what can you do to ensure that your investment delivers helpful results?
- Stick to your branding strategy.
Since you’ve already done the legwork to creating a solid branding strategy, now is the perfect time to execute it when creating Facebook ads. Having a strong brand identity makes your campaign easier to hone. Keep your primary marketing message at the core of your advertising verbiage.
Are you trying to appeal to Facebook users through shock? Lowest price? Helpfulness? Whatever your primary marketing message is on other channels, use it to remain consistent in your messaging here. Too often ads are generic and offer no connection to other marketing and advertising efforts of a brand. Stand out by helping people recognize your brand instantly when they look at your ad.
- Define your audience.
One of the many great things about advertising on Facebook is that the audience tells you who they are. You can dissect your target audience as finely as you need it. If you have a specific promotion for people who like a certain television show and a specific shoe brand, Facebook offers all the tools you need to show your ad to just those people. By targeting exactly who you want to advertise to, you can lower your per-click cost and increase ROI as much as 700%.
- Create strong content.
As powerful as the tools that Facebook offers are, they are not magic. You still need to create engaging, creative, and eye-catching ads that make people want to know more. Use compelling images and limited, but powerful text to grab your customer’s attention.
Here’s an example: both Uber and Lyft, car-sharing services, are investing heavily in Facebook advertising. Because they offer essentially the same services, they’re competing for attention on Facebook to capture more market share. Uber’s ad mocks the fact that Lyft drivers fistbump their customers. Clearly, it’s successful at capturing attention, as many advertising sites have written about it.
- Use Facebook tools to find the most effective strategy.
Of course, Facebook wants you to be a repeat advertising customer, so as a business they make the best tools they can to help you reach your audience. Those tools are worthless if you don’t use them. Look at what others have done to find your own success. Each of these stories is a playbook that you can use to create your own successful campaign. You are only limited by your imagination.
- Be relevant.
Be considerate about what is appropriate for your Facebook audience. Use terms and incentives that are relevant. Remember that you are building a relationship. It may be tempting to go for eyeballs, but you are courting your customer, establishing the basis of a long-term relationship. Make sure your ad campaigns protect your relationship with your audience and only deliver offers they’re really interested in. For example: if you know your customers want to get advice on how to grow their business, you could advertise a free whitepaper on the subject. Once they click and subscribe to your list, you can market other relevant offers to them.
- Test your ads.
Don’t be afraid to run two separate campaigns at the same time to test your theories about your audience. This is a great way to gain insight to what works with your specific audience. The ads don’t have to be hugely different. Test slight variations to see what phrasing or images works better with your targeted audience. This will give you a great first barometer of what your customer wants — one of the most powerful ways to ensure your business’ success. Use Facebook to work for you without investing thousands of dollars on a brand not in demand.
- Be ready for your audience.
There are few things worse than clicking on a link and finding a website that’s not quite ready for the increase in traffic or that takes you to a page that doesn’t have the promised information. Before you launch your ad campaign, make sure that your key pages and programs are ready. Don’t pay all that money to get clicks when you’re not prepared to glean the benefits. Pay attention to details; your business is riding on it.