Facebook Ad advice for small businesses and bloggers
When you run your own business or blog, the question of how to reach new customers or readers is never far away from your thoughts.
If you offer great products or content, your business will grow organically. Word of mouth and recommendations will bring new eyes to your website and through your physical shop door if you have one.
If you want to give this natural process a fuel injection, however, you should consider advertising through Facebook.
Here’s a roundup of how it’s quicker, easier and cheaper to do than you might think.
How can small businesses and bloggers benefit from Facebook advertising?
Let’s start with the maths. It’s thought that 80 per cent of Internet users use Facebook. If you want cold hard figures that’s around two billion people, give or take.
Of these two billion people, those who use a smartphone to access Facebook are estimated to check their account around eight times a day.
So what does this mean for small businesses and bloggers? Essentially, the world’s Facebook users are an ever-ready captive audience for your ads.
More than five million businesses already use Facebook ads. So if you’re not connecting with new customers and engaging with existing ones online, there’s a good chance that your competitors will be.
Where do I start with creating a Facebook ad?
Choose a goal
Facebook ads are most successful when they are tailored around a specific aim. For example do you want to increase sales on your website, get more people to download your app, raise brand awareness or get more people to engage with your page? You can’t achieve all of the above in one ad.
Once you know your goal, Facebook will help you achieve it by asking you to select your marketing objective in the first stages of ad creation in its Ads Manager area.
Chose who you want to reach
Once you know your goal, you can decide who you want to see that ad. Facebook gives you three options here:
- You can directly target your existing customers, by displaying your ad to those already on your contacts list.
- You can choose to show your ad to a subsection of people that share the same characteristics such as age and location.
- You can target lookalike audiences – to do this Facebook utilises your existing customer information to find similar people on Facebook.
Choose an ad format
Facebook ads come in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few of the quickest and easiest formats to set up, making them ideal for bloggers and small businesses.
- Image ad: best for raising awareness and inspiring curiosity in who you are and what you do. These are also one of the easiest to set up. First timers can even use a mock-up tool to practice in Facebook’s Creative Hub area.
- Collection ad: best for inspiring people to shop.
- Carousel ads: best for hooking new leads and showing off more products.
- Slideshow ads: best if you haven’t got the budget or time for video ads.
- Offer ads: best for boosting sales.
Think about your design
You don’t need to employ a graphic designer to build a Facebook ad. Most of Facebook’s ad formats make ad creation simple, and you can complete your ad by simply uploading images and inputting text. There are two main commandments when it comes to making your ad appealing, however. These are…
- Thous shalt ensure images are high res. In other words, take your photos using a good digital camera or a powerful phone camera and load images into Facebook Ad Manager from the original source, and not from compressed versions of the image.
- Think about your wording. Facebook users will only see your ad for a split second. The words on your page need to pop. Use action-inspiring language. Use short sentences. Get to the point quickly.
How much should a small business spend on Facebook advertising?
The answer that every business owner or blogger wants to hear to this question is a nice round number. Technically, it’s not that simple. If you’re going to commit to Facebook advertising for the long term, there are much more detailed marketing plans that you can put in place. If you have the time you can do the maths to work out how much you need to spend to achieve a specific return on income.
There’s no need to jump into the deep end before you can swim, though. If you’re just starting out with Facebook Ads, it’s worth getting a feel for what you’re doing by committing to spending between £10 and £20 a day.
When you’re setting up your ads in Facebook’s Ad Manager, it will ask you to schedule your ads, too. Choose the ‘run my ads continuously starting today’ option, so your ads run throughout the week. Also, set your ‘delivery type’ as ‘standard’, so your ads run at regular intervals through the day.
If you use this low budget, steady, all-day approach to start off with, you can use Facebook’s ad analytics to work out when and where your ads are performing at their best. Then you can move on to fine tune your ad strategy.
How do I physically get my ads onto Facebook?
You can build, target, and budget for your ads in Facebook’s Ad Manager. This programme really holds your hand when it comes to creating ads. It takes you through the process step by step. It doesn’t blind you with technical terms and comes with a lot of behind the scenes automation that’s designed to make your ads succeed, no matter how much you spend.
Once you become familiar with the process of creating and launching your ads, you can switch from guided ad creation to Quick Creation mode.
How do I make sure my Facebook Ads are performing as well as they can?
The word analytics may send a shiver down your spine, but Facebook Ads makes it easy to analyse how well your adverts are performing. The programme also gives you tools that allow you to play around and manipulate your ads to see if they work better in slightly different scenarios. Once you’ve been running your first ad campaign for a week or two, you can start experimenting.