Facebook Ads have become a popular, cost-effective way to promote small businesses online.
According to MerchantCircle, 22% of small businesses have used Facebook Ads, and 65% say they would use Facebook Ads again, citing ease and flexibility as the top reasons to run another campaign.
However, much like Google PPC, Facebook Ads are not a guaranteed overnight success — about one-third of users who say they wouldn’t run another campaign, nearly 70% say that it didn’t work to acquire new customers. (MerchantCircle).
So why did it not work for the majority? Just like Google PPC, there is a right and a wrong way to approach advertising. Read through the 5 tips below, and contact www.visioncourse.com if you need help or are looking to discuss more strategy and how to successfully run a Facebook Ad campaign without wasting your time or money.
1. Make sure to set your online goals for advertising on Facebook.
What do you want to achieve with your ad? Do you want to:
- Build awareness
- Drive traffic
- Promote a specific product (s)
- Promote an event
- Generate sales
Facebook has a many options that address the objectives above.
For example, to build awareness, I would recommend you begin with standard marketplace ads. Have them click to you “wall” and get people to “like” you. If your fan base is sizeable, try a “Page Like” where the ad shows friends who have liked your Page.
Promoting a particular post from your page, i.e. a special offer or news, you can also use “Page Post” sponsored stories to convert your post into a News Feed item.
Whatever your goals, make sure to track and measure your data. While click-through rate (CTR) is an important metric to track, it’s not as important as Conversion rates (CR).
According to Webtrends, the average CTR for Facebook ads is only about 0.05%, which is half the industry standard of 0.1%. Based on this data, use other data to surround your business with information such as increases in comments, Likes, impressions and active users. It will not matter if you acquire 300 new fans, if none of them are doing what you want them to do, i.e. purchase, engage, share etc…
The easiest way to narrow your target audience and pre-qualify them is through the easy-to-use tool to isolate demographics, and geographical locations as well. Facebook ad interface allows you to select age, sex, location, education level and interests, but it is also unique in its ability to micro-target very specific audiences.
Frank Morrall, founder and CEO of www.PSHelper.com and www.VisionCourse.com notes that “with Facebook, less is more. I would prefer to have a thousand pre-qualified visitors than tens of thousands of casual browsers,” says Frank. He suggests that you focus on specific targets with your ads, even if it means reducing the size of your audience.
Frank also suggests that when trying to identify “local” audiences, “use names of popular local businesses, stores, Universities, Health clubs and basically any other kind of business that may have a similar interest to what it is you are promoting”.
3. Design Images and Text that Bounce
When designing your Facebook ad, remember the following:
- Write clear, targeted ads with concise text
- Speak directly to the audience
- Highlight any special offers or unique features that differentiate you from the competition
- Use your company name in the ad title or somewhere in the body of the ad.
- One focused Call To Action
- Use an image that relates to your site or offer
You’ve heard of the concept, “If you bold everything, you bold nothing”. Well this is also true with the amount of text you could/should use. Just because you are given 135 characters doesn’t mean you need to use them all…often times one single strong headline will due. The pictures you choose for your ad are also critical, since this is what will catch people’s eye, and you should think beyond your logo
4. Test, Test and oh um…TEST
There is no bigger mistake you can make then not testing your creative, headlines, images and offer. This is often times the most difficult given the low click rates one might receive. However, it is probably the most important data you can use to evaluate your online performance in order to increase your overall conversion rates.
Ideas for testing include:
- Landing page (offsite to your website)
Facebook allows for us to “Create a Similar Ad” and simply swap in a new picture or text. Use it!
5. Are you ready for the increase in traffic?
When you decide to run a Facebook ad, please do not neglect your info page and your wall page. The ad will create awareness and engage in direct clicks. Both are as important now as they have ever been before.
For the wall and info page, make sure the content is fresh, and you have a community of dialogue, interactions, and participation. This helps with branding your business and overall professionalism.
Lastly, make sure when someone clicks on the ad, that the page they are landing on works! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen people spend money on ads, then the pages are dead links, or take them to something completely different from what the ad was promoting.
What have you done with Facebook Ads? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.