Facebook remains the dominant social media platform. In a recent earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared that there are more than 2.2 million daily users on the platform. 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Check out the guide in this article for more on which types of ads best align with which goals.
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.
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