How to Create a Small Business Facebook Ad Without a Super-Sized Budget
January 31, 2017
With the Super Bowl right around the corner, the advertising industry is buzzing around the country because the spotlight is always on the highly anticipated commercials. While commercials still have a part to play in advertising for larger businesses or in extremely local markets, the digital landscape has allowed smaller businesses with smaller marketing budgets to get a piece of the advertising action. If you are wondering how you can take your business to the next level and capitalize on the marketing momentum that surrounds Super Bowl time, Facebook targeting is one of the most cost-effective and precise ways to get your brand in front of potential customers. While other forms of social media, such as Twitter and Instagram, are gaining in influence, Facebook still remains one of the most popular ways that people engage with social media. Another benefit of using Facebook as a platform for your advertising campaign is that, unlike monitoring results from radio or television commercials, tracking your influence on Facebook is much more accurate and insightful. To make the most out of your Facebook advertisement campaign and produce an inspiring ad, consider the following advice. Remember that while marketing your business on Facebook can be lucrative (and fun), you should consider protect yourself with professional liability insurance to avoid potential marketing related lawsuits like libel or slander. Understanding the Different Ad Options on Facebook There are two ways that you can have an ad appear on Facebook. The first is a sponsored post that will appear in the feeds of Facebook users you target using Facebook's tool. The second is an ad along the right-hand side of the screen, which is typically used for re-targeting campaigns after a specific user has already visited that particular website. If you are just starting out with your first Facebook ad campaign, a sponsored post offers you the most prominent opportunity to engage with Facebook users and have your brand noticed because it displays the same way that a post from a user's friend would. Identifying Your Target Audience The very first step in designing a super Facebook advertisement is to have a clear picture of your target audience. If you are trying to reach mothers of young children, your advertisement should look very different than a campaign targeted at college students on a budget. While it can be tempting to think that you simply want your post to reach as many people as possible, this can lead to a shotgun approach to ad design, which is not effective in the long run. Instead, you have a much better likelihood of generating actual sales by selecting a specific kind of customer to engage with and investing your time and resources in creating a post that connects with that specific target. Once you have identified your target audience, you can use the targeting tool offered by Facebook to select which groups of users will be exposed to your sponsored post. For example, you can narrow your audience by gender, location, age, behavior, interests and connections. The Right Image Even if you have the most compelling content in the world on your post, the first thing that a Facebook user will notice is the picture. You do not want your amazing content to get overlooked because you selected a standard or stock photo that fails to convey the best image of your brand. If you do not have a specific picture already in mind, consider working with a photographer to capture something unique about your business. For example, if you are in the food industry, it would be more compelling to a potential customer to see a picture of an actual dish from your restaurant's menu rather than an overly edited stock image of a meal. Customers are looking for authenticity in your brand, which is especially important in an age when almost anything can be doctored up to look better than it really is. You Only Need One Call to Action It is important that your sponsored post communicates a sense of urgency for your audience to buy your goods and services. In this respect, less is more. If you hit your viewer over the head with repeated sales pitches, you are then less likely to fully convey the value that your product or service can add to your viewers' lives. In general, if you include one statement that your viewer should contact you for purchase, that is sufficient for a sponsored post. Value Is King Your sponsored post should be created with the goal of communicating to Facebook users how your product or service will benefit them. The central message of your post needs to emphasize how the potential customer would be better off by using your company or buying your products. The text and image should compel the Facebook user to want to click on your post and find out more about your opportunity. Content Matters It is not enough to have a visually stimulating sponsored post on Facebook. You also need to have the meaningful content to back it up. This means that once users click on your ad to read more, you need to find a way to keep them engaged. Although you need to provide some valuable information to your target audience, you also want to inspire them to engage with your company. There needs to be the right balance of entertainment and facts in order to convert viewers of your Facebook-sponsored post into actual customers. Flexibility Is Key The beauty of marketing in the digital world is that you can easily adapt your strategies as needed. Make sure that you are getting constant feedback from your Facebook ad and watching the data closely to determine how your ads are performing. This will allow you to take the steps necessary to change any aspect of your advertising or work with new insights that you have gained about your target customers' online behaviors. Data is a wonderful resource as long as you take the time to interpret it and make necessary adjustments. Like this article on social media for small business? Check out our recent post on Marketing with Snapchat for small business.