Running Facebook Ads, It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3
As I mentioned in my last post on Social Media Management, paid advertising can be an extremely beneficial way to help your business reach a larger audience that they may not otherwise reach organically. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the types of ads available to run on Facebook, though you can also sponsor ads on Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. Before you get started, you’ll have a few things you’ll have to decide prior to running any ads.
- What are you trying to accomplish with your Ads?
This is actually the first step in the Facebook process to run your ads….but you should have already decided this in advance of even going through the Ads Manager steps. What end goal do you want to accomplish? More “Likes” for your business page? More engagement? More traffic to your website? More conversions on traffic on your website? Once you have determined the end goal, the next step is the one I think is the most important overall. Whichever ad goal you have chosen, the next step is where the magic happens (or doesn’t happen) for an Ad.
- Choosing your demographics and visuals…
This is where you craft your message and choose the right wording (within the allowed number of characters) to engage your audience. You will also select an image to run with your ad. Luckily, Facebook now allows users to select from a built-in stock photo search, rather than having to create (or pay for) their own graphics. You also have the option to run multiple images as a part of your ad campaign. Choosing the visuals and wording is a science unto itself. What colors will pop against the Facebook white and blue theme, what feeling is evoked by certain colors and certain images? I like to choose images that are mainly warmer colors and include a smiling face, but you may find that nature images or infographics are your brand’s sweet spot.
Choosing your demographics also happens in this step. Choosing your demographics can turn into quite the experiment if you haven’t already taken some time to identify your prime audience. Facebook allows you to select your audience’s sex, age, shopping habits, interests, and so much more.
For example: if you were promoting a website with handmade craft and kid’s items, you might want to try to target young moms who like crafting. That ad set is likely to run with more success than if you tried to target both men and women, between the ages of 18-65 who like arts and crafts. Being as specific as you can with your intended audience tends to yield a more engaged following.
- Choosing your budget
Choosing your budget is the final step in the process. If you already know you only have a monthly budget of $200 to work with for online ads, you may want to decide if running this particular ad set for the entire month works with your advertising plan, or if you prefer to run it for a week or two at a lower budget to get a measure of your results. The nice thing about Facebook ads is, you can tweak them subtly during the ad run, and Facebook will re-approve them to keep the ad running within your pre-determined budget. You can also select different budget options like a total spend for the entire campaign, or a daily spend. In my experience in running ads, it seems like the longer I am able to keep the ad set in my audience’s faces, the better the ad does. So if you are considering running an ad for a weekend or 3 days as a test, you may not yield the kind of results you are seeking, versus running your ad for 2 weeks or a month.
Bonus Tip: “Boosting” a particular post you have already shared on your Facebook page, is a good and quick way to test the waters with Facebook Ads. It is as easy as clicking the “Boost Post” button next to the status you have previously shared, selecting your target demographic and budget (outlined in the steps above) to reach a wider audience. It is almost a mini version of running a full-fledged campaign, and it has the benefits of increasing engagement on your Facebook Business Page (and/or sending traffic to your website if the post you are boosting includes a link to your website).
What successes have you found in using paid advertising like Facebook Ads? What lessons have you learned along the way? Please share them!