Your 7 Step Guide to Getting Started With Facebook Ads

Melinda Emerson, the Small Biz Lady

Ads on social media platforms like Facebook can provide you with an easy way to reach a specific demographic. But ads don’t work overnight. You need an ad campaign and some goals. You also need to be willing to lose a little money to learn. If you can’t invest in a campaign at least three months, you might not want to start. For optimal results, you’ll need to put effort into your ad campaign, and test it from start to finish.

1. Define on Your Goal

What are you hoping to achieve with a Facebook ad? Get more Facebook fans, traffic to your site? Increase sales for a particular product? The more specific your goal, the easier it will be to measure. Set a number for your goal, like to increase traffic to your site in the next month by 25%.

The Facebook ad platform will provide you guidance when you select a goal and make suggestions for optimizing your ad for that particular goal.

2. Choose the Advertising That Fits Your Goal

When it comes to Facebook advertising options, most people think of those ads with an image and a bit of text on the right side of their page on Facebook. But there are others to consider, depending on what you’re trying to do:

  • Offers: great for promoting a special discount for a product. Viewers click the offer to go to a specified page on your site.
  • Boost: allows you to amplify a particular Facebook update on your business page to a wider audience.
  • Event: as you’d guess, promotes an event for you.

3. Get the Headline Right

Because you only get 25 characters (including spacing and punctuation), it’s important getting to the point with your ad headline. Make it engaging and obvious. In the examples below, you can see how the ad creators boiled down what the ad was about in a few words.

4. Include a Call to Action

This is the copy that motivates the readers of your ad to get moving and click, read, subscribe, or buy. Again, space is a limiting factor: in the body of your ad, you only get 90 characters to entice people to click.

Consider including numbers if you’re offering a promotion, such as in the “Writers are Waiting” example above. Doing so helps people quantify the offer you’re presenting.

Also use words like the following to spur action:

  • Click
  • Call
  • Join
  • Subscribe
  • Act now
  • Save

5. How to Target Your Audience

The wonderful thing about Facebook ads is that you can really zero in on who sees the ad. And you want a very small niche of people to view your ad; these need to be your target audience, and those most likely to buy from you.

So if you sell wedding-themed products, you might select your ad audience to include:

  • Women
  • Between the age of 18 and 30
  • Whose relationship status is “engaged”

If you know your customers tend to have a college education, live in a certain area, or work in certain industries, you can narrow your field down even further. Your goal here is to make sure the ad is highly relevant for the people who view it.

6. Watch Your Budget

Unless money is no object (and of course that’s not the case!), it’s important to set budget restrictions so you don’t spend thousands of dollars on Facebook ads without seeing results.

You can choose between establishing a daily budget, so that once this number is reached, your ad won’t appear again on that day, or a lifetime budget, where you set the amount as the maximum you’re willing to spend.

Start by setting your budget low and then looking at results. If you’re getting tons of clicks or even purchases as a result of your ad, you might consider increasing that budget. But on the other hand, if you’re spending money and not seeing a boost in sales, it might not be the best tool to send new leads to you.

7. Test Your Campaign

The first ad you write might not appeal to your audience the way you hope it will. It’s a good idea to create 3 to 5 versions of the same ad and then test them out for a week or two to see which two ads people respond to best. Once you have your best ads that are converting, use those two for the duration of your ad campaign. You can always make changes to the image or wording for better results.

Facebook ads should be one of many tools in your marketing toolbox. Continue using content marketing, PR, and social media to complement your ads and drive traffic to your site.

 

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