How to Use Facebook Advertising to Reach Your Target Audience
With Facebook Advertising, local businesses can suddenly leapfrog larger competitors and gain tactical advantage due to your more narrow target market.
In other words, you get to focus your ads on a very specific geographic area and market segment, while your competition has to cover more ground, expending more dollars and resources.
Here's how Facebook Advertising works:
First, you set up one or more ads. There are different kinds of ads that you can place on Facebook, but they generally fall into three types;
- Page Likes
- Promoted Post
- Website Clicks
A Page Like ad appears in the stream and sidebar of targeted Facebook users and prompts them to Like your Page. While there's no guarantee that those new fans will take any further action at that time, it does give you opportunities in the future to reach them at no or reduced costs once they're already following your Page and posts. You pay per Like, and that cost will vary depending on your audience and competition, but will typically range between $1 - 4.
A Promoted Post ad is when you share a post to Facebook, like a link to a new blog post, and then pay to get that post seen by more people. The ad audience can be people who have already liked your Page, or not, and can include additional interest and demographic filters, ensuring that only potentially interested readers will see your ad. You will pay for every action that's taken, including likes, comments, shares and clicks. Costs will vary wildly, but the goal for most promoted post campaigns is to get CPC below $1.
A Website Click ad is when an ad directs Facebook users to click a link and visit a page within your website. These are the most effective ads for driving actual leads and sales, and tend to cost a bit more than promoted posts. However, with a website click ad, you only pay for click-throughs to the link. If someone likes the ad or likes your Page, that's a bonus action.
When creating a Facebook ad, you get to decide the Headline, Text, Description and one or more images (unless it's a promoted post, in which case those fields are set by the post). The headline is 25 characters in bold and appears below the image. The text is 90 characters and appears above the image. The description is optional up to 200 characters, below the headline. You can also choose to use a call to action button (Shop Now, Book Now, Learn More, Sign Up, Download).
The image selection is nice because you can choose to use up to 6 images. When you do, Facebook will create up to 6 variations of your ad - one for each image using the same ad copy. You can upload your own or choose from images in Shutterstock's library which you can use for free.
Once you have your "ad creative" set (and you should determine most of this offline before jumping into Ads Manager), it's time to determine who should see your ad. You can limit geographically, all the way from country down to individual zip codes and mile radius. For most small business owners, this is the place to start. Make sure that no one outside your service area is going to be shown your ad. You can then add additional filters such as age, gender, interests, behaviors and so on. Since Facebook is learning about us daily through our posts and likes and profiles, this level of filtering and targeting is what makes Facebook an incredible advertising medium.
Once you've determined the optimum target for your ads, you set a daily budget. Again, this is usually something I think about offline. When working with clients, we determine total monthly budgets, then separate that into different campaigns (page likes vs. website clicks, for instance), and then derive a daily budget. The daily budget for any given ad must be at least $1, and while you can certainly start at that level while you're getting your feet wet, I do recommend a more robust budget in order to see real success from your advertising.
At that point you're ready to submit your ad for approval. If it meets all of Facebook's terms, it will begin showing to your target audience within the hour. At any time, you'll be able to open the Ads Manager and see how your ad(s) are performing. You'll be able to see how many people potentially saw the ad (reach), which actions were taken, and how much of your budget has been expended. Once the daily budget for an ad is spent, the ad will stop displaying until the next day. At any time, you can pause ads, ad sets or campaigns.
That, at a high level, is how Facebook Advertising works. Here's what I do.
First, I work with you to create a Facebook Advertising Strategy. Who are we trying to reach, and what's the most effective way we can think of to do so? What kinds of ads should we create? How many? Where should we send them? This typically takes 30 - 60 minutes to discuss and work out. After the discussion, I document the strategy so that we're all clear on it. These strategy sessions cost $100.
Once we have a strategy in place, it's time to implement it. Implementation will vary depending on what we're trying to accomplish, the size of the campaign, and the complexity of the ads themselves. If, for instance, we're going to run Website Click ads, we will ideally send them to a specific "landing page" within your site that has been designed for this purpose - the most effective ad campaigns are targeted to specific sets of users and send them to a specific page that has language suited to that user set - but most businesses don't already have these pages so we may need to set them up for you. If your website doesn't easily support creation of pages, third-party services can be used instead. Implementation includes coming with individual ad campaigns, the text for them, and the selection of images. So between the number of ads and the potential for needing new landing pages, the cost of implementation can vary quite a bit. We will know at the conclusion of our Facebook Advertising Strategy session exactly what's needed, but most small businesses can be accommodated within $200-300.
Finally, once a Facebook campaign is in progress, it's important to monitor it, adjust ads for performance, and potentially create new ads and ad sets to better meet business goals - Ongoing Management. Advertising is always a bit of a guess as to what will resonate with your target audience, so it's important to understand that Facebook Advertising is no different. Any campaigns and ads you create will be experiments. You begin the test and then monitor results. If you find you aren't getting the level of results you wanted, you learn from your first test and start a new one with different variables and see what happens. So, similar to implementation, the cost for managing a Facebook campaign will vary from business to business, and I will be able to provide a specific quote for you once we've determined the strategy.
So it all starts with the Facebook Advertising Strategy session. Within that first critical hour, we'll determine your goals and assets, and put a plan in place to help you meet those goals. You're under no obligation to move forward after that session - you can use that time and the documented strategy to implement your own ad campaigns if you wish.
Get started here:
Once payment is received, I will email you an assortment of times to choose from within the next week for our initial call, so we'll find a time that's convenient for you.
Just to review:
- Start with a one-hour Facebook Advertising Strategy session
- The Strategy will determine what's needed for implementation (optional)
- The Strategy will determine what's needed for ongoing management (optional)
The purpose of going through an exercise like this is to make sure that your advertising dollars are put to as good a use as possible. By drawing on my years of experience in online marketing and Facebook advertising, you're able to save potentially huge amounts of money that might have otherwise been wasted. Make sure that you're taking advantage of the enormous potential Facebook's targeted marketing has to offer. Schedule your Facebook Advertising Strategy today.
When you're ready to delegate administration of your Facebook Page and advertising, here's how.
Mike Allton is a Content Marketing Consultant who works with businesses an entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. and around the world. Mike has established a reputation as a prolific blogger and social media expert, and is the author of "The Unofficial Book on HootSuite, the #1 Tool for Social Media Management." He has managed Facebook ad campaigns from as little as $100 a month up to $10,000 a month, and is uniquely suited to advise any business on how to successfully drive traffic, leads and sales via Facebook. While Google+ may be Mike's preferred social network for personal use and engagement, there's no equal when it comes to creating highly targeted and affordable advertising like what's available through Facebook.
If you're also interested in getting help with content marketing, other social networks, or other social advertising opportunities, please ask.