For small businesses, advertising and marketing is an expense that most don’t want to have to budget for. It’s costly and ineffective unless you know what you’re doing. Not all of us went to college for a Marketing Degree. Luckily, there are ways to bring the cost down and do it all from the comfort of home or office. For any small business online, you need to understand what SEO is and how to do it. Although SEO is a must and it is worth it, these results take time to deliver. In the world of making money, we want results and we want them now.
How do we get fast results? Before we can answer that, we need to ask, where is our target audience? With over 1 Billion active users, I believe the answer to that question is Facebook. If you don’t have a Facebook page for your business, you need to create it immediately after reading this post. One of our previous posts discussed 5 Facebook Updates You Need to Know About and you should read it after you’ve created your Facebook page.
This article isn’t going to explain how to create a Facebook Page and how to create ads. If you need to a refresher or need to get caught up to speed, check out the Facebook Ad Getting Started Page.
If you did Facebook advertising in the past and you haven’t done any recently, then there are probably a few changes that you should be aware of. These are covered in the next sections.
Campaigns / Ad Sets / Ads
Previously, Facebook had Campaigns and Ads. You set your budget in the campaign, then created ads within it. It worked, but it wasn’t amazingly effective. With the new set up, you can create Ad Sets. Virtually, these are what the previous campaigns were. You can set your start / end dates, budget, and pause all ads within the set. Used correctly, this can really help with your testing (discussed below). Usually after starting a campaign, we look at what sets are performing and which aren’t, then pause/stop the ads that we don’t want to spend further money on.
Call to Action Buttons
If you’ve been following our blog for some time, you’ve probably seen our post about Content Marketing and Creating a Call to Action. If you don’t know what a CTA is, that post is definitely worth the read.
Recently, Facebook introduced the Call To Action buttons that are available for Newsfeed and Mobile ad types. These buttons help by saving the few characters you use to write “Learn More Here” and helps create the specific Call to Action that you’re wanting from your viewers.
Types of call-to-action buttons include:
- Shop Now – Sending users to your store to make purchases
- Learn More – Sending users to an informative page, blog post, or landing page
- Sign Up – Creates leads for newsletters and subscription services
- Book Now – Reservations for cruises, hotels, concerts, and more
- Download – Grab a copy of your latest ebook or application
This section isn’t really “new” but if used properly, you can target your customers more accurately instead of wasting money on impressions for people that aren’t in the market for your product.
As you’ll see from the picture, you can real customize everything to target specific people. If you want to choose people from a specific set of cities, states, or countries, it’s easier than ever. Do you want to sell to just men or just women, or maybe a specific age range? Perhaps you want to choose people by interests such as a movie or book related to your product. All of these can be set within the ad creator. To find what works for you, you should test test and test some more.
If you have an email list of your customers or subscribers, then you can make use of the custom audiences. One word for this, awesome. With Custom Audiences you can target people who have expressed an interest in your brand or are already part of your brand. This allows you to promote new products to existing customers, as well as products to people who have subscribed to your newsletter but haven’t purchased anything. What it does is take your list of email addresses and matches them to active Facebook accounts. Chances are, a large majority of your list will have used that same email on their Facebook account. From there, you’re able to market to them. Don’t have a list? Create a blog and allow readers to subscribe to updates.
This is probably the most important section of our article. At the beginning, you will be doing a lot of testing. And to be honest, testing will never stop. What you might find working in one instance doesn’t work in another. Or if you try targeting other countries, you’ll find that different colors mean different things and perhaps a red border works for users in America, but it sends a sign of warning to those in India.
So what’s the best way to test? Ad sets. They are built for testing. Here are some bullets types of testing
- Newsfeed, Right Side, or Mobile – Create an ad set for each of these, then run the same ads within each to see which brings you more traffic and conversions. If you’re not optimized for mobile, make sure you don’t choose the mobile option.
- Country – Can your product be sold globally? Try out different markets to see who is your best audience to target. As you’ll find, some countries are cheaper per click than others. This is because of less advertising competition in these countries. This is also a trick that some companies may use to build their Facebook Page’s audience for cheap at the beginning.
- Cities – If you’re confined to a local area, you can still test the different surrounding cities to see what works best for you in terms of conversions.
- Pictures – With ads, you want to have something that has a picture since it will pop out more. But which picture should you use? Different symbols and colors stand out to people. On right side ads, you can put bright borders to attract the eye to the right side. You can run the same ad with 4 different pictures to see which does better. Then after a couple of hours, pause the low performers and then your money will be spent on the pictures that convert or drive leads.
- Ad Copy – Find out what trigger words get your buyers in the door. Create a few different versions of your advertising text to see what works better for you.
- Call to Action – Are there multiple CTAs listed above that you can use? Try them all out!
Now that you have all of your ads set up and you have traffic coming in the door, you need to be able to see if they’re coming from your ads or elsewhere. That’s why you need some sort of tracking in place. There are so many ways to go with this, but we’ll list a few below:
- Coupon Code – Offer a specific coupon code for your ads to see what converted sales
- Conversion Pixel – Facebook allows you to install a pixel on your sales page that shows after a sale is made. This sends an alert to Facebook to say that a sale was made.
- HostGator’s Free URL Builder – This creates custom campaigns for Google Analytics and it works
- Affiliate Links – If you have an affiliate program, you can create an affiliate account for Facebook and create campaigns with your links to track customers
Good luck with your Facebook advertising and be sure to come back soon for information about Twitter advertising!
Kyler is a Marketing Manager at HostGator. You can usually catch him writing articles or running around to get things done. Other than that, he’s out there fighting crime. It may not be real crime, but someone has to call others out on Reddit. Check him out at KylerPatterson.com