If you haven’t yet explored advertising on the massive social platform, which offers a two-billion-person market opportunity, then I urge you to read on so you can take advantage of one of the greatest online outlets to help increase your sales.
Why Your Small Business Should Explore Facebook Ads
Why should you sell on Facebook? If you wanted to crack the most populous geographical market in the world, you would target the 1.4 billion people of China. But with Facebook, you have access to more that 2.2 billion active users. Chances are your target audience is found somewhere on the giant social media platform.
That said, small businesses often have a learning curve when they choose to advertise on Facebook. Stats show that as many as 62 percent of small business owners feel that their Facebook ads miss the mark.
The answer to the issue is not to ignore the potential of trying to advertise your business on Facebook but to do it correctly. I know that for many, Facebook Ads can be confusing and a bit overwhelming. But, with a little bit of guidance and a solid marketing strategy, it can prove highly successful in growing your revenue.
Gone are the days when businesses could rely just on organic reach to hit their intended audiences, appearing in their newsfeeds. In order to get your marketing message out there, it’s often a great idea to invest some money in Facebook ads.
The good news is to advertise your business on Facebook doesn’t have to cost much (it’s much cheaper to reach a prospects than by conventional means, such as TV, radio and print advertising). It’s easy to target very specific audiences, to find qualified leads and to connect your online ads to an effective sales-conversion strategy.
Types of Facebook Ads
Over the years, Facebook has gone on to experiment and release a variety of different advertising options. The four that have worked the best for them have continued to stick around. They are:
- Marketplace Ads: These are the most standard Facebook ad type and are usually the starting point for many small- and medium-sized businesses.
- Page Posts Ads: These ads show up on a user’s newsfeed. Known as native advertising, the ads appear and blend seamlessly into a newsfeed like any regular status post.
- Sponsored Stories: These ads help people engage with brands that their friends like, and only show up in a user’s newsfeed if a friend has engaged with the company recently.
- Promoted Posts: The funny thing with Facebook is that even when you post an update, it doesn’t necessarily reach your entire fan base. If you want to reach everyone, you need to boost the percentage of the audience you reach, which of course costs money.
You also have a choice of formats to use to advertise your business on Facebook. These include:
- Carousel: Up to 10 scrollable images or videos.
- Single image: A good choice for a sponsored ad that you want to look like a typical Facebook user post.
- Single video: Video content often has high engagement.
- Slideshow: An ad with a looping video and up to seven images
The first step in finding success in Facebook Ads is perfecting your Facebook audiences and targeting to ensure you are reaching those in your defined market who are most likely to buy.
Defining and Targeting Your Facebook Audience
To begin building your custom Facebook audience, you need to be crystal clear on who you are targeting and the specifics about those targets. Facebook allows a ton of options for segmenting your audience. To simplify the options, WordStream created a fabulous infographic that outlines all the options you need to be thinking about.
For the greatest success with conversion, it is worth it to spend time on this phase of the process, to be about who is most likely to purchase your products. What do they look like? What are they most interested in? What most influences them?
Answer these questions and get specific about the “who” so you make the most of your advertising dollars.
In identifying your ideal customer, you have a number of different options:
- Demographics: Including age, gender, relationship status, education, workplace, job titles and more
- Locations: Good if you serve a particular geographic region or have a bricks-and-mortar store.
- Interests: Target people according to their hobbies, favorite movies and bands, sports teams and many other criteria.
- Behaviors: Here you can drill down to buying behaviors, device usage and other activities of interest to your business
- Connections: Include or exclude people who are already connected to your Facebook business page.
To create and manage your Facebook target audiences, you’ll have to use the Audience Manager tool. You can find this tool in the Business Manager, by clicking on the top-right menu and selecting “Audiences.”
Choose Your Objectives
When running a Facebook ad or campaign, it doesn’t help to throw words and images blindly into the ether. You should have a clearly defined objective. Generally, this can fall under one of three broad categories, delineating the progressive stages of the sales funnel.
- Awareness: Facebook is about relationships and trust. Create content that your intended audience would find interesting and useful, and present it in a way that blends in with their Facebook feeds. Reach new people to create brand awareness.
- Consideration: Once you’ve established a relationship with people – showing you understand their pain points – create advertising content that shows how you are the best in your field and the one to solve their business challenges.
- Conversion: Having established trust and your authority, here you can start to convert people to paid business with an ad that has, say, a call to action, urging them to contact you for a free consultation or sample.
While it’s a smart choice to advertise your business on Facebook, you must do so intelligently—and strategically. Most people are here to interact with friends and families. Hardcore sales messages out of the blue can be met with indifference or outright hostility. Providing useful content and establishing trust can lead you down the path to paid-for products and services, and new, loyal customers.