Facebook ads are a relatively cheap way to not only advertise your business but also only put those ads in front of people who would be interested in your product or service.
However, before we go much further, we want to make one distinction: There’s a difference between boosting a post and running an ad campaign.
A boosted post is taking a post you have already made and paying to have it shared to a wider audience than those who like your page. You can only get more views, shares, and likes out of it.
This article is not about boosted posts. It is about ad campaigns.
Facebook ads allow for different formats, allow the consumer to click through to your website or landing page, and, ideally, make a purchase or become a lead for your business.
Now, with that out of the way we can get down to how to create more effective Facebook ads.
To help, we reached out to Lindsey Davis, a digital marketing consultant and fellow oddball here in Springfield, Missouri!
If you’re wanting to try to get this done without help, she has a little disclaimer of her own.
“When you first start doing your Facebook ads that ads manager is going to look really overwhelming,” Davis said. “You can get yourself in trouble if you don’t keep it basic [at first]. Don’t try to get super fancy the first time you run an ad. Get to know the platform. Just see what you get.”
Determine the audience of your Facebook ads
Before you start putting together your ad, you need to decide who your target customer is so you can create a custom audience for your ad campaign.
You can get this information from newsletter signups, any customer lists you have, or even people who have interacted with you on Facebook or Instagram.
If you don’t have this data, take a look at your current, regular customers. Who are they? What is their age range, suspected income, interests, etc.
When you get into creating your ad in the manager, it’s probably smart to select “targeting expansion.” This lets Facebook find users that are similar to those you specified in the “interest targeting section.”
This oftentimes lowers your cost per conversion and gets your ad in front of more people.
If you are a brand new business or you seem to get a very diverse crowd, take a look at your competition’s content, customers, and marketing efforts.
Who does it look like they are targeting with their Facebook ads?
Just be a little careful that you aren’t copying them because, one, you could get into some legal trouble there. Also, Davis says you could tick off your current clients who chose you over your competition for a reason.
“You want to gain market share from them,” she said. “But you also have to be careful because you don’t want to alienate your bread and butter customers.
“It is a fine line.”
One benefit, of many, of working with a professional like 2oddballs is we can easily scrape data from your website or your competitors to find out who is interested in your business.
We also have industry data at our fingertips (quite literally) that we can pull from and have, at the very least, a best guess of who your audience will be.
What’s the goal of your Facebook ads campaign?
Now that you know who you want Facebook to be showing your ad to, it’s time to decide what you want the people who see it to do.
You’re essentially choosing among three goals for your campaign:
- Brand awareness – Get eyeballs on your content or the word out about your business
- Engagement – Interact with the content, like your page, etc.
- Conversions – Buy your product or service, subscribe to your newsletter, or fill out your contact form
You may want your ad to do all three of these things, but you should structure the ad with only one of these goals in mind.
Be aware, though, once you get into Facebook you will be asked to choose from more than those three objectives we just talked about.
However, Davis says to ignore all the extra stuff at least at first.
“What’s the most basic action you want to happen from your ad?” Davis asked. “Maybe I want people to see my ad a couple of times and start to think about the name of my company. OK, great. All you need is a basic brand awareness ad.”
This is the part that can get frustrating for business owners.
There’s a lot of noise out there and a lot of experts that will say, “If you don’t have X amount of dollars you shouldn’t be toying around with Facebook ads.”
That’s discouraging to small business owners who have a stretched budget for their marketing plan. But it’s not true!
“You can spend as much or as little as you want but your results will be directly proportional to what you spend,” Davis said. “That being said, I’ve run ads for a total of two days for a total of six dollars and got three bookings from it.”
A helpful tip Davis provided is that you can take the maximum amount of budget you have set aside for Facebook ads this month and plug it into the ads manager. It will give you its best guess for results like reach and clicks.
Then you can halve that amount and write down those numbers.
Finally, you can put a small amount and write down those predicted results.
Through all of this, you can make a decision as to what makes the most fiscal sense for your business.
Where to place your ad
Great. Something else to consider.
Yes, you can put ads pretty much anywhere on Facebook. Even outside of their own website and app:
- Directly in news feed
- Off to the right of the news feed
- Facebook messenger
- Facebook’s audience network (on websites outside of Facebook that are contracted to show ads for Facebook)
Where you elect to have your ad shown each have their own pros and cons.
For example, ads to the right of the news feed may not get as much engagement as the ones directly in the news feed, they can have a lower cost per click and conversion.
Targeting your ad
Something you’ll notice with your Facebook ads manager is that you can target your ads to specific people with specific interests.
You can go really crazy with this, but Davis says sometimes less is more.
“When they’re first starting out with ads I often start by just doing a geographic radius around their location,” Davis said. “Because, a lot of times, when you’re thinking of your target customer or looking at your current customers the attributes you would assign to those audiences won’t necessarily line up with the options Facebook makes available to you.”
So, she suggests going as broad as possible and see who is showing interest in your ad.
Start with the geographic region in which you know there are customers you can help.
Then, think if there are other very specific demographic or psychographics that are associated with your business. For example, if you’re a women’s clothing brand you probably don’t need your ad showing up for men.
Then, take the data you get from that and analyze it.
Is there an overwhelming interest coming from specific demo or psychographics? That could be a trend you need to be aware of for future tweaks.
You could start showing your ad to only that new target audience. Or maybe you need to make two versions of your ad. One for a broader audience and another for this new target audience you found.
Let your ad campaign run a little bit
One common mistake made with Facebook ads is editing it too early.
For one, your numbers will fluctuate — sometimes a great deal — for some time before they even out and start to show a good average.
Secondly, you want to look at trends over time to get a good sense of what copy, visuals, and targeting is most beneficial.
“In order to do that you’ve got to let things run,” Davis said. “I always recommend throwing some things against the wall, see what sticks over the next 30 days, and then re-evaluate.”
Sure, there are times that plan doesn’t make sense. You might run a back-to-school sale ad in which your ad won’t even need to run that long. But by implementing this strategy otherwise, you’ll continue to get good data to look at so your shorter campaigns can start off on the right foot.
The only other time you want to tweak things right away is if you are getting no results through a couple of weeks or your cost-per-acquisition is consistently at an unprofitable amount.
“I like to go in about every two weeks and look,” Davis said. “But not really make huge changes. After 30 days, then I kind of compare everything. Month over month and year over year, if I have that information.”
The only time you want to blow things up and start all over is, again, if you pop in to look at your campaign after an appropriate amount of time and see your cost per lead is unprofitable.
How you determine this is take your cost per lead and compare it to the average amount the leads that convert and make a purchase have spent with your business.
Are they spending enough to cover your cost per lead and remain otherwise profitable? If not, then you may stop the campaign and make appropriate adjustments.
Get help from an expert
Does this sound like a lot of work that you can’t fit into your already busy schedule as a business owner?
We get it. There’s a lot to consider when you want a carefully-planned Facebook ad campaign that achieves specific results.
That’s why 2oddballs is around.
We’re not gonna lie. You could 100% do this on your own if you took the time and money to make mistakes and learn from them.
But perhaps you don’t have the time. Or the money. Or either.
“It’s better to spend your money to have someone help you than it is to throw away money on ads that don’t work,” Davis said.
So, drop us a line on the form below or call us up at 417-986-ODD2 (6332) and we’ll come up with a plan together.