Everything small business owners need to know about Facebook ads

The search for qualified online leads can feel like searching for a needle in the haystack. In that regard, Facebook advertising is a lifeline. It offers a number of advantages that make it very effective in comparison to other forms of advertising.

Advantages of Facebook ads

  • Facebook ads fit into the news feeds seamlessly because they are seen as a story or post. Even though they are marked as 'Sponsored' or 'Suggested Post', users will look at ads as they scroll down to look at every item on their news feed. In comparison, browsers can block out pop-up ads and ignore banner ads.
  • Another advantage of Facebook advertising is that it is highly targeted. You can target your ad to reach a specific gender, age group, location, hobby group and other demographics.
  • Another advantage of Facebook advertising is that it is very affordable even for start-up SMEs. For just $5 a day, you can reach a given number of people and get clicks on your website. You can even start at $1 a day and start and stop your advertising campaign as you wish so there is no risk at all.

Four components of an effective Facebook ad

1) Visually captivating - with over 90% of information registered on the brain being visual, content with vivid graphics are more likely to fare better in the Facebook algorithm. The better the visual appeal of the ad you produce, the more attention and first-hand impression it will gain.

If you’re wondering, would size matter? Facebook Ad Guide created a chart to guide advertisers out with the recommended sizes for different types of ads.

2) Relevance - Advertising costs money - you either pay more or pay less. To get ads really working for you, make sure the target audience for ads are relevant and are most likely to click and act on the offer.

3) Value proposition - is basically the offer you make to your clients which let’s them know why they should click on your ad and learn more about your services.

A believable value proposition is what you should aim for. An ad saying that you provide the best IT service, won’t make audiences click on your ad, but an ad saying something like "IT Service and Support during Holidays" could sound more intriguing.

4) Call to action - The final piece of the puzzle relies on a call-to-action message. What it does is, simply call for your viewer to act upon the offer, a sentence like "It’s the holidays, leave your IT with us!" can provoke a sense of reliability and relevancy to your ad and encourage the viewer to act right away.

Creating a Facebook Ad

a) Choose one of the two tools Facebook offers for creating paid ads;
Ads Manager or Power Editor.
 Ads Manager works well for most businesses, including SMEs while Power Editor can be used for more precise control over large scale or long running campaigns. Next, choose your objective. Facebook has 10 options ranging from increasing traffic to your website, getting offers to be claimed, getting video views and so on.

b) The next step is choosing your audience.
Use Facebook's targeting criteria to reach the audience that would want or need your products. The criteria has an audience definition gauge. This tool that can be found on the right of the audience targeting fields considers all the properties you have selected such as age, occupation, location and others to come up with a potential number of the people you can reach.

c) Setting your budget will be the next step.
Facebook gives advertisers the option of a daily budget or a lifetime budget. With the daily budget, you set your ad to keep running all day. The minimum daily budget is $1. However, $5 is recommended to get your estimated daily reach, which would be 500 to 1,500 people which should give you 9 to 27 clicks a day with proper setup and optimization.

Choose a lifetime budget if your ad will keep running for some time. Specify the amount and Facebook will pace the ad over this period. You can choose if the ads should run continuously or you can choose start and end dates. You can choose which days and hours you want the ad to run.

Ad optimization and delivery

Another choice you have is how you will optimize your ad. You can do this by choosing who to show your ad to or allow Facebook to advise you based on the behavior of Facebook users who are not within your selected target group. You can also choose for the ad to run throughout the day or at specific times.

The format of the ad

Facebook users don't dwell so much on each post, news feed or ad so cut to the chase. Keep the catchphrase short and make it one that will pique curiosity and interest. You can take one of two formats; links and carousels. Links display a single image while carousel ads have three to five scrolling images at no extra cost.

The ad can appear in the sidebar in news feeds for those using a PC or mobile device. For a first ad, select all three, and evaluate which placement worked best after a while and focus on it.

This is how we do it

Need inspiration?
Log onto Facebook and look at the Rue La La video ad, the NatureBox and Starbucks photo ads and the Shutterfly multi-photo ad. MU Campus Dining is a great local ad and Jasper's Market is a really good offer ad.

Keep track
The buck doesn’t stop with launching a Facebook ad campaign, it is important that you keep checking on how people are responding to the ad. You can check this from Facebook Ad Manager and the software you are using to do your marketing. With this, you can see crucial reports like ad frequency, ad views and cost.

So there go you, everything you need to know - to get started with Facebook ads. Head on over to Facebook ads manager platform for a step-by-step instructions to create your first Facebook ad. 


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