Wondering how to start running Facebook ads for your small business? In this week’s PosterMyWall free class, Morgan Myers, marketing coach at LYFE Marketing, walked us through the basics of Facebook advertising for small businesses.
Navigating Facebook ads can be a complicated process — how much should you spend on a campaign? What should you be looking out for? How do you know you’re getting the results you want? Morgan answered all of these questions and more. She also shared small business case studies to demonstrate the intricacies of building your audience, retargeting ad campaigns, and lead generation.
Read on to learn the basics of Facebook advertising. Or check out the class replay video above. We also shared a link to bonus content — Morgan’s social media ROI calculator and a glossary of Facebook ad terms — which you’ll find at the end of this article.
What is Facebook advertising?
Facebook ads is a paid service where Facebook shows ads you’ve posted to people who fit into a target audience, that you have specified, over a specified amount of time. Facebook advertising is run and monitored through the Facebook Ads Manager.
“There are billions of active users on Facebook. So the chances of your marketing efforts bearing fruit are extremely high,” Morgan said.
What is the minimum budget that will produce results with Facebook ads?
Be ready to invest at least $600 a month in your Facebook advertising if you want to see good results, Morgan said. A well-rounded campaign will last roughly three months, including the time you spend monitoring campaign results.
“There is no magic formula for an effective Facebook ad campaign. But putting in the right time and money is crucial,” Morgan said.
What is the difference between Facebook ads and boosting?
Boosting is the simplest way to place a Facebook ad. For as little as $5.00 or $10.00, you can get more eyeballs on your organic content. According to Facebook, boosting is best for optimizing Page likes, comments, and shares, or overall brand awareness.
Facebook ads are a lot more focused and are placed through the Facebook Ads Manager. They offer more sophisticated targeting and tracking, and allow you to add a call to action button. Facebook recommends Facebook ads for optimizing app installs, website conversions, video views, shop orders, and more.
How to advertise on Facebook?
Case study 1: Restaurant
Goal: Increase brand awareness and build an audience
Strategy: Run a traffic campaign i.e. drive users to the restaurant’s menu and contact information, then inspire them to purchase
Details: The first step in launching this campaign was to test the creative/graphics. Morgan and her team created two versions of their ad and tested both out to see which performed better. This is called an A/B test.
In order to run a successful A/B test, Morgan recommends that your two ads be identical except for ONE thing. That could be the graphics, the caption, the call to action, or anything else.
Each ad cost $20.00 and was monitored for 30 days. The target audience for the ads was selected to match the business. In this case, the business was a single-location sports bar — so a local audience was targeted.
What is the difference between a cold audience and a warm audience?
The goal for the ad was to bring in new customers, so it was targeted towards a cold audience.
“A cold audience is comprised of anyone who doesn’t know about your business at all. They may have an interest in your service or product, but they don’t know about you specifically,” Morgan said.
This is the opposite of a warm audience, which already knows you. Members of this audience may have clicked on a video on your website or purchased from you previously. Because they know you already, warm audiences are more likely to buy from you.
How many people should your Facebook ad target?
For a local business that doesn’t ship its product (like a bar, restaurant, or nail salon), Morgan suggests that you select a target audience with between 5000 and 10,000 members. When you select an audience, Facebook’s ad interface tells you how large it is — so you can adjust the audience size before finalizing your ad order.
How do you monitor the results of your A/B test?
You can monitor the results of an A/B test directly on Facebook. In this case, version B performed a lot better with audiences than version A.
- Got more clicks
- Had a much lower cost per click
- Had a higher click-through rate than Version A
“Once you have your winner, you can ditch the other ad and run the winning one longer,” Morgan said.
How do you decide when to stop running a Facebook ad?
When an ad stops getting clicks, it’s time to stop the campaign. Morgan said that sometimes ad performance will go up and down, so if your ad gets to zero clicks, you should let it go to more days and watch to see if it recovers.
Morgan said you should also track the “frequency statistic.” This statistic tells you how many times the ad has run on the same people’s feeds. When this number exceeds 3 or 4, it’s time to change your ad so your audience doesn’t get bored.
The total reach of the winning ad was 33,000 people, 30,000 of which were within the target location. The ad also drove 792 website clicks and a lot of foot traffic.
How can you entice the people who clicked on your ad to buy?
The next step would be to create a retargeting campaign to reach the 792 people who clicked. After all, they’re now part of the restaurant’s warm audience. In this case, Morgan’s team followed up with a coupon offering a discount on upcoming purchases.
Case study 2: Clothing retailer
Goal: Convert warm audience members to customers
Strategy: Target people who visited the website over the last 30 days with an ad that encourages them to purchase online
Details: Installed a Facebook pixel on the brand website to track visitors for 30 days. These visitors were then shown a carousel ad showcasing the retailer’s products.
What is a Facebook pixel?
A Facebook pixel is a piece of code that, installed on your website, lets you measure, optimize and build audiences for your ads. Get your Facebook pixel from the Facebook business manager when you create your ad account. There will be specific directions that will walk you through installing it on your website.
In 30 days, the campaign drove 21 website purchases. Morgan also monitored the ad spend, which is the amount of money the retailer spent on the ad versus the sales volume that resulted from the campaign. The result was an amazing 900% return on ad spend.
How many retargeting campaigns should you run at a time?
Morgan said it’s okay to run multiple retargeting campaigns at the same time. Remember to be patient and not pull ads immediately if you see a dip in engagement. “An effective campaign is all about experimenting until you find something that works and being patient during that process,” Morgan said.
Case study 3: Real estate company
Goal: Lead generation
Strategy: Run ads that entice prospects to share their contact information and request information from the company
Details: “In a case like this, you’re not trying to drive an immediate sale. Instead, you’re trying to get people to contact you in some way, i.e. you’re generating leads,” Morgan said.
This campaign used cold targeting, meaning that the audience had no prior awareness of the advertiser. It was a broad approach as audience members were selected solely for their interest in the location and in buying a home.
For Facebook ads like these, Morgan recommends posting a longer caption. Since the full offer isn’t obvious from the graphic alone, the longer copy allows people to get more information and make an educated decision about whether or not they want to contact you.
The graphics and copy for this campaign articulated the fun, carefree lifestyle that this particular development offers. Clicking the ad brought the user to a separate landing page with a form that they could use to contact the real estate company. (It’s easy to create your own landing page by publishing your design as a web page hosted by PosterMyWall.)
The first week of this campaign drove 163 clicks through to the landing page, with a 9.5% click-through rate.
Does Facebook capture your results, or do you need a third-party tool?
All monitoring and measurement happen through the Facebook Ads Manager. While you can double-check the data through third-party analytics, Morgan says that the Facebook Ads Manager’s analytics include every statistic you’ll need.
Are you ready to start experimenting with Facebook ads?
Facebook ads have the potential to build your audience, gain exposure for your brand, and gather new clients and customers.
If you’re ready to experiment with Facebook ads, check out PosterMyWall’s library of ad templates.
Bonus: Get Morgan’s social media ROI calculator and a glossary of Facebook ad terms.