Small Businesses Advertise on Facebook
Now that you’ve established a Facebook page for your small business, you can start thinking about the next step for your business. You will definitely want to post content on your page but posting on your page may not be enough. In today’s world, paying to advertise with Facebook could be critical to a business’ success. Don’t believe me? Just check out the success stories of some small business on Facebook here.
How Do Ads Look to Customers?
First thing to understand is how these ads reach customers. If you create an ad with Facebook, you can choose the kind of people you want to see your ad. You can set a certain geographic range, age, gender, or you can even target people by what they like and dislike on Facebook. Now if these ads find there way into a persons feed there are different forms the ad may take (seen below).
As you can see in the middle example, the ad mentions the friends that like the page, this is because people may be more inclined to like something if their friends are already. The ad at left would be an ad likely seen on a mobile device and the ad on the right is a small ad that one may see on the side of their Facebook.
Starting a Facebook Ad
Now if you decide to create an ad, here are the eleven objectives you can choose for your ad:
- Boost your posts
- Promote your Page
- Send people to your website
- Increase conversions on your website
- Get installs of your app
- Increase engagement in your app
- Reach people near your business
- Raise attendance at your event
- Get people to claim your offer
- Get video views
- Collect leads for your business
So you’re probably wondering how this helps impact who sees your ads. Well if you choose “promote your page” as your objective Facebook will show the ad to people that are more likely to like your page. However, if you wanted to choose the objective, “send people to your website,” it would instead target people that are more likely to visit your website.
Choosing an Audience
Once you decide on your objective, you’ll then be prompted to start choosing the audience you target. As a small business you may want to restrict the ad to your location, or maybe you’re more ambitious and can handle some national or even international attention.
From there decide whether your targeting a particular gender or age group. These should likely align with your current customer base unless you’re trying to broaden out beyond that. You can even develop a list of interests that you may want to target. Say you’re a small sporting goods store, try soccer, basketball, baseball, etc. as some interests you want the ad to target.
You can go a step further by deciding what connections to include, as mentioned earlier some ads can show users which of their friends already like that particular page. It can also ignore those that already like your page. It could be highly recommended to take advantage of the connections option to spread the word to people who may not have heard of you but have a friend that has. It can start a dialogue about your business between the two and lead to even more future customers.
Keep in mind you’re not just limited to this one ad, Facebook will always allow you to create more that can target different people in different ways. So while you may want one ad to target friends of people that like your page, you can also make another that targets the people who already do.
Budgeting for Ads
Next in Facebook ad creation is setting a budget for your ad. Facebook gives you the option of choosing an amount to pay per day for your ad or a lifetime amount that will cover your ad throughout the duration of your campaign. This means that while a pay per day budget will always spend the same amount every day, a lifetime budget may spend more one day and less the next day. To get an idea of how many people you will reach a day Facebook gives an estimate on the right side of the page that should look like the image below.
There are more advanced options that depending on your objective may be slightly different. But in the advanced options you can decide whether to use the automatic or manual bid process and whether to pay based on impressions or clicks.
The automatic bid process means Facebook decides what ad will perform your objective with the most attention at best price. Manual you can decide what to bid on and when, this would be recommended for experts that know exactly what they’re looking for. Depending on the objective and what you decide there may be different things your paying for.
The two most common are CPC (cost per click) and CPM (cost per mille). CPC means you would be charged for overtime there is a click on your link for example. CPM would charge you based on how many people the ad was shown to. Facebook though will already have what they believe is the best option selected for you based on all the information you’ve given them.
So once you decide on a budget, based on understanding that there are a variety of different options for how ads work and how you pay for them, you will then be ready to create your ad.
Creating the Ad
First you should have an image in mind to use for the ad unless you have a video you would rather use. If you’d rather opt for an image, Facebook even offers design tips that you can find here. After you decide on an image or a video, you can then decide on the text you wish to include. From there you will see a preview of your ad and what it looks like for users.
Once you’ve created this ad you get to choose ad placement, which is fairly straightforward. There are only three options, the news feed for a desktop user, news feed for a mobile user, and the right column for a desktop user.
After all that you have created an ad on Facebook, this process can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. If you need more help navigating the complex world or Facebook ads and in particular understanding what you’re paying for here is an excellent offering from Wishpond.