Facebook is an effective, low-cost, and easy advertising platform that all small businesses should consider. Many small businesses already take advantage of the many benefits of social media marketing, which we’ve discussed at length in our past blog posts. However, because Facebook advertising is new and evolving, many are surprised by the wide range of opportunities it offers, especially to small businesses.
Facebook allows small business owners to communicate unique and creative messages to their specific target customers, without having to rely on an agency. In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about creating and executing effective Facebook advertising campaigns.
What Are Facebook Ads?
Small businesses can publish Facebook Ads to show up in a user’s Facebook news feed to communicate a message. When someone logs into Facebook and views their news feed, they’ll see their friends’ comments and posts, as well as Facebook Ads, which are subtly labeled “Sponsored” posts. These ads will be mixed in with the users’ other posts, and appear on your target audience’s Newsfeed (seen on the left) or on the right column (seen on the right).
As you can see, ads blend in seamlessly to the Facebook experience. This encourages the user to engage with the ads. The ads also work on mobile.
If you do not yet have a Facebook Page for your business, you can create one using the link attached. Once you create a Facebook page, you can create a Facebook Ads Account. If two or more people will need access to review these ads, we recommend creating an Ads Account through Business Manager. Business Manager is a tool for managing access to your Business’s Ads.
Once you create your Business Manager, you will need to set up an Ad Account, shown in the screenshot below.
After you do this, you’ll need to navigate to the “Payments” tab on Business Manager, and add your payment information. You will only be charged when you specify budgets and spending information on specific ads.
Once you follow these steps, you’ll be ready to start Advertising on Facebook!
Define Your Objective
Facebook Advertising is extremely versatile and can be flexible to your business needs and objectives. As you’ll see in the following screenshot, Facebook offers 10 different ad formats so small business owners can chose the one that best fit their goals. Different ads address different business objectives, from increasing brand awareness online to increasing your foot traffic in your store.
The goals that fall under “Awareness” category generate interest in your product or service. Those that fall under “Consideration” are objectives that get people to start thinking about your business and look for more information about it. Finally, those that fall under “Conversions” encourage people interested in your business to purchase or use your product or service.
Take some time to consider which of these objectives best matches your goals. If you want to learn more about which objective is best for you, visit Facebook’s guide on Advertising Objectives.
Targeting Your Audience
Once you define your objective, you must define your audience. Thanks to the extensive amount of user information in the Facebook database, Facebook allows small businesses to create ads with extremely detailed targeting. You can target by highly specific demographics, location, and even interests.
For instance, if you own a book store in Greenville, South Carolina and want to raise awareness of a new promotion for college students in the area, you can target men and women who live within 50 miles of Greenville, South Carolina between the ages of 17 – 24.
You can narrow these even further and target your audience based on more specific demographics, interests, and behaviors.
For instance, you may want to target students at specific Universities, or people who are interested in reading. If you hope to reach your actual, current customers, you can even create ads that only reach users with a specific email addresses!
After you set your target definitions, Facebook will show you details about your audience size and your estimated daily reach.
Small businesses should definitely take advantage of Facebook’s advance targeting tools to reach the audience that best matches their objectives.
Determine Your Placement
Once you define your target audience, you can edit where your Ads will be placed. Facebook provides an “Automatic Placements” option, which they recommend. With this option, Facebook only places your ads in the places where it will get the most value, based on your objectives. However, if you want to go the manual route, you can tell Facebook which devises to show your ad on (Mobile or Desktop), whether to show your Ads on News Feed or Right Column, or whether to show you ad on Instagram.
Set your budget limitations
The next step is defining your budget limitations. There is no one-size fits all approach when it comes to how much to spend. You’re daily budget is the amount that you’ve indicated that you’re willing to spend on a specific ad set per day. You can allow your ad to run continuously, or you can set a start and an end date.
You’ll see that as you increase your Daily Budget, your estimated daily reach increases. If you want to learn more about choosing a daily budget for your ad set, Facebook offers a great resource.
Develop Your Creative
You’re now ready to create your ad! Facebook offers various formats and lets users chose how their ads will look. The formats available include:
- Carousel: One ad with 2 or moer scrollable images or videos
- Single Image: Up to 6 ads with one image each, at no extra charge
- Single Video: One ad with one video
- Slideshow: One looping video ad with up to 10 images
- Canvas: Facebook’s new ad format that tells a more immersive story by combining images and videos
Within each specific ad format, you can add your own creative that will best resonate with your specific customers. You can first upload and add the ad’s images and/or videos. If you are using images, it is important that these have little to no text. Facebook advises that “to maximize ad delivery, use an image that contains little to no overlaid text.” If you include too much text, Facebook will alert you that your ads reach will be significantly lower.
Facebook also offers the following Image Specifications:
- Recommended Image Size: 1080 x 1080
- Recommended Image Ratio: 1:1
You will then enter an attention-grabbing headline, and an ad description that describes why people should visit your site to learn more. Per Facebook best practices, it is better to write copy that is concise but compelling, giving the user incentive to click to read more.
Last but not least, include a compelling Call To Action button. This will be an additional way to entice your audience to take action.
Above all else, your Facebook creative should be visual, relevant, and include an enticing value proposition. Hubspot showcases various Facebook Ad examples that fall under this category in a recent blog post. Facebook also provides tools that help small businesses tell their story in creative ways, including Creative Inspiration, Creative Tips, and Story Packs.
Once you’ve created your ad, you’re ready to go! After you place your order, Facebook will review your ad in 24 hours or less. When the ad is approved, it will go live on your specified starting date.
Facebook Advertising has proven to be highly effective for small businesses, and requires only small amounts of time and resources. Facebook Ads are extremely easy to create, and Facebook provides extensive free resources and customer service for small business owners.