If you’re a small business owner, learning how to harness the power of Facebook advertising for small business is definitely something you’ll want to invest some time into.
As Gary Vaynerchuk put it earlier this year during a keynote speech…
“Facebook video is the best ad buy for your money right now.”
Needless to say, Facebook ads are where it’s at right now.
If your small business isn’t running Facebook ads (or god forbid – if your business isn’t on Facebook at all), then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Facebook’s ad platform gives you the ability to advertise directly to your target customers.
You can advertise to certain people based on age range, location, and gender. But what’s even more impressive is that you can target people based on purchase behavior of certain items, if they have an upcoming birthday, if they have kids in certain age ranges…
It’s revolutionizing the world of advertising.
If you have a pet supplies business, you can advertise your dog products directly to people who own dogs and frequently purchase dog products online.
It’s like selling umbrellas in the rain.
The bottom line?
If you’re not using Facebook ads for your business, you’re losing money.
The potential to reach such a precisely targeted audience is why every local business needs to invest in Facebook advertising.
Yet, I talk to a lot of people who run local businesses but have absolutely no idea how to run Facebook ads!
Since every small business should be advertising on Facebook, every small business owner needs to know how to advertise on Facebook effectively.
You can navigate to the Facebook Ads Manager by clicking the link below.
Your Facebook Ads Account is different from your regular Facebook account, so if you haven’t created an Ad account yet go ahead and follow the prompts to do so – it’s pretty straightforward.
Once you’ve got your account all squared away, go ahead and find your way back to the Ads Manager.
Once you click “Create Campaign,” you’ll need to choose what kind of campaign you want to run.
There are a variety of different options here to use depending on what the goals of your campaign are.
The good news is that they’re pretty intuitive and easy to use.
You can choose something general like growing your brand awareness, or something more specific like getting people to install your app.
However, if you’re unsure which campaign type to use, ‘Engagement’ is usually a safe bet. You can use it for sending traffic to your website or landing page, driving engagement (likes, comments, and shares) on your ad, or increasing likes on your page.
Don’t overthink this step – when in doubt, choose Engagement and call it good.
This is where things start to get interesting.
Your ad targeting is where you decide who’s going to see your ad.
So obviously if you own a restaurant and you’re trying to get more people to come for lunch, you’re only going to want to target people in your area.
You can plug your address right in and adjust the radius in which you want people to see your ad.
Then you can adjust the age range, gender, and language options as well.
The Detailed Targeting option is where it starts to get fun. This is where you can target people based on their interests, purchasing behaviors, family life, job titles, birthday months, income levels, employers and much much more.
So if you’re a restaurant owner who wants to promote a buy one get one deal on burgers, you can target people who are like burgers!
Or maybe you want to get more specific with it – you could run a buy one get one burger promotion to people in Atlanta (assuming your burger joint is in Atlanta) who are Atlanta Falcons fans. And in order to claim the BOGO deal, they need to come in wearing an Atlanta Falcons jersey.
You’re only limited by your creativity! I’d recommend going in and playing around with this to see what you can do.
Keep in mind though, this is arguably the most important step to Facebook advertising for small business.
If you’re not getting your message in front of the right people, then you’re doomed from the start. Your message must be served to a relevant audience, or else you’ll just be wasting your money.
Alright, now Placements.
Facebook recommends that you leave Placements on automatic, but I would encourage you to experiment a little bit here.
Once you select Edit Placements, you can decide to have your ads show on Desktop, Mobile, or Both. Pretty simple stuff.
You’ve got some options below as well – Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network.
You probably know what Facebook and Instagram are, but how about Audience Network?
Enabling Audience Network will allow your ads to be served in various places throughout the internet, besides Facebook and Instagram. It’s a good way to lower your ad costs, but it usually doesn’t generate the same quality results. This is something you might need to play around with to see what works for you.
Within Facebook and Instagram, you’ve got a couple more options – again, I would recommend playing around with different options and settings to see where you’re getting the best results.
Now we move to the Budget & Schedule.
Again, quite a few options here.
First, you can set a start and end date for your campaign, or you can just run it continuously. I prefer to just let my ads run continuously to test different targeting, placements, and ads to optimize my campaigns based on the results.
Depending on which campaign you’re using, you’ll also be given different options for optimizing your campaigns delivery.
It’s nice to have all these options and features to be able to use, but most should just be left on their default settings.
This is another one of those steps I wouldn’t overthink. Just set your budget and let Facebook do its thing.
I mentioned earlier that the most important part of Facebook advertising for small business is targeting a relevant audience. Relevant to what, you ask? Relevant to what your actual Facebook advertisement says and looks like – which is the other most important part – the creative and copy of your ad.
So here’s where the image and video comes in.
For your Ad Campaign to be effective, your image or video needs to capture your audience’s attention.
“If nobody’s paying attention to your ads, you’re just wasting your money.”
Even if everything else is in place, having an image or video that doesn’t captivate the viewer will doom your campaign.
Typically, videos will get a better response than images. Hence the Gary Vaynerchuk quote at the beginning of this article
However, images can still be incredibly effective if they resonate with your target audience.
Regardless of whether you’re using an image or video, it should speak specifically to your target audience.
In the example I mentioned earlier (BOGO burger deal for people who are Atlanta Falcons fans), the creative for the ad better include the Atlanta Falcons in some way since I’m targeting Atlanta Falcons fans.
If you don’t have a video to use but you have multiple images, try using the slideshow feature to showcase the different pictures you have. Alternatively, you can create a couple different ads, each with their own picture, and see which picture works best!
The name of the game here is testing, learning, and optimizing.
You should be testing and optimizing your copy as well!
Much like the ad creative, the copy should captivate your viewer by appealing to the specific audience you’re targeting.
The image or video should have the ‘wow’ factor to grab the viewers attention so that they want to see what your ad is all about.
That’s why it’s imperative to have compelling copy – to get the viewer to take action after you’ve grabbed their attention.
Ultimately, the targeting, creative, and copy all need to be in sync to deliver an effective ad that’s relevant to the audience, grabs their attention, and gets them to take action.
Once you’ve got everything in place, go ahead an click place order and see how it goes.
There’s a chance you might not see as many clicks, views, shares, downloads, sales, or what have you as you were hoping.
That’s why, as I’ve mentioned – multiple – times throughout this article, that it’s crucial to always be testing your ads to see which options perform best.
So don’t be afraid to run a few ads, see what happens, and adjust from there.
If you want to get going with Facebook Advertising but you feel like you could use a little more 1-on-1 help, sign up for a free digital marketing audit and we can hash out how to get your ads up and running.