Facebook advertising is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools available to small business owners, yet many companies shy away from using them. There’s a very common misconception out there that Facebook ads don’t work, but the truth is that they actually work quite well – if you know how to use them.
Focus is the Key to Successful Facebook Advertising
Facebook is the world’s most popular social media platform. 757 million people use Facebook on a daily basis. Yet trying to market to all of those people – a broad shotgun approach to sales – is destined to fail. To get truly meaningful results from your Facebook advertising you have to have the mindset of the dart player aiming for a bull’s eye: focus on connecting with likely buyers.
As an advertiser, you’re provided with many ways to focus your campaign. Ads can be targeted geographically, by age, interest and behavior. A good best practice is to target your advertising campaigns toward people who are very similar to your current customers in one or more of these categories.
Geography: Using your POS data, identify the cities where you’re already successfully selling your products or services. Target your ads so they’re seen within a 10-25 mile radius of these cities. Concentrating your advertising in this way is more effective than deploying a campaign over the entirety of a state or even the entire nation.
Age: Draw on your understanding of your customer base here. If your best buyers are primarily over 40, for example, there’s no sense in marketing to a younger crowd. The reverse also applies: if you’re selling to twenty-somethings, why pay Facebook to show your ad to those who are 65 +? You may want to consider adjusting the targeted ages on a per ad basis depending on the content of the ad as well. A jeweler’s ad for engagement rings is likely to resonate most with the younger crowd, while the same business’s ad for anniversary bands or pricey estate jewelry connects more with an older audience.
Interest: Facebook enables you to target your advertising by interest. Explore this feature: it’s more powerful than you may think. After you enter an interest in this field, Facebook will suggest other interests you may wish to add. Take the time to review these suggestions carefully: they’re generated by a computer algorithm that doesn’t fully understand all the nuances of the English language. If you’re trying to promote a product to Bulldog owners, for example, why waste your marketing dollars reaching out to fans of the former WWE champion?
Behavior: One of the most powerful targeting tools available to you is the ability to target your campaign by the users’ behaviors. If you’re in ecommerce, there are two categories in particular that you want to pay attention to: Online Spenders/Active and Online Spenders/Engaged. Marketing to people who are eager online buyers is self-evidently a wiser decision than devoting your attention to people who don’t shop online.
How many people should you be trying to reach with your Facebook advertising?
Knowing that there are 757 million people on Facebook is an incredible temptation. We want to try to reach them all! But the best results come from Facebook advertising campaigns that are targeted to a far smaller audience. As a rule of thumb, we keep our reach right around the 20K mark. 20,000 likely prospects are far more valuable to your bottom line than an entire world full of people who couldn’t care less about what you’re offering.
The ideal length of a Facebook advertising campaign is shorter than you think.
Facebook users aren’t known for their especially lengthy attention span. Novelty is an essential element in being effective on this platform. For this reason, you’ll want to change your Facebook advertising regularly – ideally, every 3 to 7 days. Changing campaigns frequently gives you plenty of opportunity to assess the effectiveness of your ads as well: embrace what works and move away from what doesn’t. Pretty soon you’ll be wondering how you ever marketed your business without Facebook ads.