Date: 1st June 2020
If you’re a business owner, you can’t ignore the fact that social media is a must to get in front of your audience but it can sometimes seem quite a challenge to get noticed. In this article, Janet Bebb, Director of Social Progress, digital marketing agency and social media specialists will take us through some of the things to consider when advertising on Facebook & Instagram.
Janet Bebb is a professionally qualified Facebook Blueprint Trainer Network – Lead Trainer. And both Janet and Esther Orridge, also from Social Progress, work closely with Facebook via Enterprise Nation as two of less than 25 Facebook She Means Business Trainers.
It’s all about being in the right room! Strange statement you might think but I use the word ‘room’ in a physical or virtual way. I use analogies quite a bit when delivering training or webinars.
So think of each social media platform as if you were in a room with others. Are they the people you connect with, can you get along with them and if you were networking face to face, are you networking with the right businesses that need your products or services?
With over 2.6 billion monthly active users Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide. But how do you drill down to those specific audiences that are your customers?
1. Where to start – Goals
It’s often said in business if you don’t have a goal in mind, how do you know where you’re heading and when you’ve got there. Social media marketing is no different. So start with the end in mind.
• What do you want to achieve?
This might sound simple but we’re amazed at how many businesses come to us to manage their social media but haven’t thought of specific outcomes. So try to make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time Bound). When you have these elements they will really help to project your advertising spend.
Goals vary from business to business. It depends on what stage they’re at. Are they a start-up, established, well connected. Goals are not always about an increase in revenue or profit. Sometimes the goal can be as simple as being found or building your network. But more of that later.
Sometimes you might have more than one goal at a time or that one goal leads onto another goal or objective.
A local garage’s goal might be to increase the number of car repairs each month by 30. A new build property developer might be to generate 20 qualified leads with email addresses or phone numbers for new house buyers over £250,000 and a micro-brewery may want to increase their online sales by £5000 per month.
2. Understand your target audience
In today’s world, it’s more important than ever that a business meets its customers where they are: In-store, online through desktop or on their mobile phones.
As a business owner you need to be able to connect with your customers wherever they choose to be. Facebook advertising gives you the power to do just that.
And the adverts you create on Facebook can be seen in Instagram, Messenger, Workplace (Facebook’s online team collaboration tool), and in Audience Network (off-Facebook, in-app advertising).
Take time to understand your audience. Are you looking to engage with those that already know you and are familiar with your business and strengthen that relationship further or do you want to reach a new audience?
To help you define your target audience ask yourself:
- What need does my typical customer have?
What needs do my products or services solve for them? For example, I’m a garage owner – my most typical customer has a car in need of regular servicing and MOTs.
- What does my typical customer look like?
In other words, what is the typical age of your customers, what is their gender, do they have a certain education level, do they have a certain level of income?
And, it also helps to draw a better picture of your audience by thinking through their typical interests.
What are the topics they may have an interest in? Certain hobbies? Certain media? Etc.
The better you know your audience, the easier it will be later to find them on the Facebook network and connect with them through ads.
Then, you also want to ask yourself where your typical customer lives. If you are a local restaurant, your customers may primarily live in the neighbourhood.
For instance: if you sell high-end mechanical watches for men, your typical audience may be between 45 and 65 years old, male, with a relatively high income and higher education level.
Over time, you may have discovered that your customers have an interest in aviation, that they like to read National Geographic and that they like high-end traditional jewellery and they love art and classical music. And, you know that your typical customer is more likely to live in urban areas like Manchester, London or Leeds
Now, you may not have that level of detail about your audience, but it is worth it to try to build it up over time.
You can talk to your customers, or even use surveys to get some of this information. But, for now, it is ok to focus on defining your audience with the information that you have.
- What motivates my customer?
Finally, one last question that can help you when defining your target audience is this: ‘What motivates them?”
More specifically, what moves them to try out my product or service?
For instance: are they motivated by money or discounts? Are they motivated by friends’ opinions? Or, are they motivated by extra care for customer service?
Imagine you have a beauty products business. Your typical customer may be motivated by experiencing your product and you may find that a generous sample may help them to become loyal customers.
So, once you have defined your typical customers’ needs, you understand their demographics and their interests and location, ask yourself – ‘what is the extra thing I could do that would make people buy or use my product or service’?
3. Know your customer’s journey
Once we understand who our target audience is, and we know what our goal is, but how does our target audience also become our customers? To understand that, it is good to put yourselves in the shoes of your customer and the journey they are on.
Your target customer is on a journey and ultimately you would like that journey to lead to an action (often this is a purchase but not always). Your marketing or your advertising is meant to help move your target customer along from awareness to consideration and then to conversion.
Marketers will often point to this process as a funnel. That is because, in reality you will often find that in moving from the awareness to the consideration and then the conversion stage, the group of target customers gets smaller. That is a completely normal pattern.
Even if you have selected your target audience really well, it is normal that not all of them will ultimately become your customer. There may be different reasons for that – the time may not be right, they already made up their minds on a competitor, they cannot afford the product right now, etc.
So, you will find that not all people who are aware of your product will really consider buying it. And of those people who are considering your product or service, not everyone will convert to becoming your customer.
In the Awareness phase of your customer’s journey, you are hoping to find as many potential customers in your target audience as possible and make them AWARE of your business
After they’ve heard about you, it’s time to for these potential customers to learn more about you and understand why they need your products or services, and that they should really buy it from you. This is the Consideration phase of the journey.
When these potential customers are ready to take action and convert into actual customers, leads, or subscribers this is the conversion phase of the customer journey. We refer to this phase as a conversion, a purchase is one type of conversion and you can define others based on your business.
Facebook advertising objectives are divided into three categories. To choose the right objective for your ad, first identify where your overall business goal fits in the following categories:
- Awareness (Get people to be aware of your business):
This category includes objectives that help people remember or learn about your product or service.
For example, A small independent coffee shop we know, Wired Coffee & Cake, Honley wanted to create a campaign that highlights its home-made delicious cakes to people in the local area. The Promote Your Business Locally objective helped them connect with customers nearby.
- Consideration (Get people to consider your biusiness):
This category includes objectives that get people to consider and seek information about your product or service.
For example, a local restaurant we know & use, Mezze a Greek style restaurant in Holmfirth wanted to attract people to its new menu delivery service. The Get More Leads objective can encourage people to sign up for notifications and special promotions of the delivery service.
- Conversions (Get people to take action you care about):
This category includes objectives that encourage people to purchase or use your product or service.
For example, Compo’s, Holmfirth (fish & chips take out & delivery service) wants people to download their new app and make an order for delivery. To encourage people, Compo’s could offer £££ off the first order from their delivery service.
4. Choosing the right advertising campaigns
Advertisers create campaigns that have specific goals, also known as advertising objectives and they create ads within those campaigns to help them reach those objectives.
For example, a business may create a campaign because they want to get more people to visit their website. When they create ads within that campaign, they’ll choose images, text and an audience that they think will help them get that increase in visitors.
Let’s look at the ad objectives one by one and outline the metric that you would look for to evaluate whether your ad was successful.
- Get more website visitors
If your objective is to attract more visitors to your site, success will mean seeing a certain number of people visiting your website after seeing your ad. Since ads that are meant to drive traffic to your website has a link in them that people can click to get to your site, evaluating how many people clicked that link is the right metrics to assess whether your ad was successful.
- Promote your page
If it is your intention to promote your page, success will mean that you get more people to like your page. That way, more people will be exposed to your posts and activity on your page. So, in this case, you would measure the number of page likes that resulted from your ad.
- Promote your business locally
If you want to promote your business locally, you don’t necessarily need people to come to your website. You just want to try to get people to consider you when they need your product or service next. In this case, the number of people reached is a good metric to evaluate how successful your ad was. The number of people reached gives you a good idea of how many people saw your ad, which helps to evaluate how much awareness you are creating for your business.
- Boost a post
If you are trying to engage with people through a boosted post, you can measure the number of post engagements you received as a result of your ad. Post engagement includes all actions that people take involving your ads while they’re running. Post engagements can include actions such as reacting to, commenting on, or sharing the ad, claiming an offer, viewing a photo or video, or clicking on a link.
- Get more website purchases
If you are advertising because you want to drive more purchases on your site, then you would want to measure website purchases to evaluate success.
- Promote your app
If you are promoting an app, then you will want to see as many app downloads as possible, so you can evaluate the number of app downloads to assess how successful you were.
- Get more leads
If your ad is meant to generate more leads, you want to evaluate the number of leads you received as a result of your ad.
- Promote your call-to-action button
If you are advertising because you want people to take action based on your call-to-action button, you will want to evaluate how many clicks you got on your ads to help you assess how many people reacted to your call-to-action.
5. What’s your budget?
So now that we’ve looked at and defined our goals, we understand who our audience is and where that audience interacts and how (locally, online, by mobile) and what ad objective/s might work for our business. The next thing to consider is our budget.
Ads on Facebook can be created with a daily budget or a lifetime budget. Every business is different, and so therefore every business’s budget will be different too. Have an amount that you would be comfortable spending and what you would like to see as a return for that investment.
For example, you might be a local artisan bakery who would be happy to place a small budget of £10 or £20 over a weekend in your local area because there’s a local event happening where lots of visitors might be looking for somewhere for lunch. Or you could be a property developer with 5 houses to sell each being £1,000,000 to buy. For this type of business you might be willing to invest more advertising spend to reach your objective of selling the new build houses.
6. What images or photos will draw people in?
The final thing to consider is the visuals or creatives. What does your ad look like? Does it appeal to your target audience? Will it be a single photo, a graphic, or a number of images in a slideshow, carousel, or video format?
A great place to look for inspiration is Facebook’s Creative Hub which gives you a whole host of different examples of visuals for advertising and how they’ll look on mobile, Instagram Feed, and Instagram Stories.
In essence, the creative you decide to use should be informed by the goal of your ad and the audience you’ve selected to target.
7. Tips for running successful ads
So now that we know the various different components that make up an advertising campaign let’s have a look a bit deeper into where to start and what help there is within Facebook itself to get you the results you’re looking for. As already mentioned, every business is different and therefore it’s impossible to cover every eventuality here.
However, as a start, Facebook makes it easy for you to advertising right from within your Facebook Page by either boosting a post or from the Promote tab at the bottom left of your page.
Each page will see a slightly different set of advertising options based on the type of business you have.
You can also take the ‘Get Started With Automated Ads’. Here you’ll be asked a series of questions about your business, so that Automated Ads can best customise its advertising plan for your business. Select Automated Ads’ targeting, creative, placement, and budget suggestions but you can adjust any of these as you see fit.
You can run up to 6 ad versions at any one time and let Automated Ads optimize to deliver the best performing one. Facebook recommends running the ads for at least 7 days before making decisions about the performance of the ads. Automated Ads learn and improve performance over the time of your ads.
8. Using Ads Manager
Whilst starting to build your confidence by running ads from your Facebook Page, we would highly recommend you look into using Ads Manager which will unlock more sophisticated and advanced targeting tools. Think of Ads Manager as your one-stop shop for all your advertising needs.
We often find that businesses start out trying advertising on their Facebook Page. They initially get some great results but that can drop off over time. Why? Well usually it’s because they’re not changing and adapting the adverts to match their ever-changing goals and audiences. This is where Ads Manager comes in, which gives you much more flexibility to formulate ads based on your goals, audience, budget, and creatives.
Whilst it’s impossible to go into the full extent of options available to you from Ads Manager here, what we can say is that ads created with Ads Manager is in three basic steps:
Campaign level – you choose the objective (or business goal)
Ad Set level – you choose your audiences or people you want to deliver your ads to, the placement or where you want your adverts to be seen (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Workplace and/or Audience Network) and how much you want to spend.
Ad level – what does it look like and what text will be seen as part of the adverts.
9. Aligning your business goals to your advertising campaign results
Remember, before you create your ad campaign, establish a clearly defined goal. That way, you know what you are trying to achieve with your campaign.
Are you a business that is trying to get more awareness? Or are you a business that is trying to increase online purchases? Or are you a brick and mortar business that wants more foot traffic?
Based on your business, you will decide what is the goal that you want to achieve.
Remember, advertising is a continuous process. After you have established your business goal, create your campaign plan, which will consist of a number of Facebook ad campaigns that you would like to test and run. After running those campaigns for some time, you will get campaign results back. Based on those results, you can optimize your campaign so that it’s in line with your business goal.
Your choices at every step should be guided by your chosen marketing objective: What, specifically, do you want your advertisement to do for you? So before you look at your campaign data, take some time to revisit your business goals. Are you trying to grow your customer base? Push a new online product? Bring people into a physical store location?
- Align your business goal to your campaign objective. For example, if you’re an eCommerce site and want to acquire new customers, you would choose the “conversion” objective since your end business goal is online sales.
- Create campaigns using the guidance available either on your Facebook Page or within Ads Manager.
- Customize, Save and Schedule reports to understand how your ads are performing.
- Make optimizations based on ad performance. For example, you can pause ads that are not performing well based on your target cost per purchase, you can increase bids for ads that are outperforming.
10. Accessing Ads Reporting
Once your campaign starts running, you can find the results of your campaign in the Ads Manager Dashboard.
You need to have an administrator, advertiser or analyst access to Ads Manager to access this. Once you have run some campaigns, log into your Facebook account.
Go to your Ads Manager account, and you will land on the Account Overview Page. The default report will be shown here with all of your campaign information and performance over the selected time frame. The results that are reported in your dashboard are dependent on the campaign objective you choose. You can see (1) campaigns, (2) ad sets, and (3) ads tabs, showing your past and current campaigns, and related metrics.
At the account overview level, you can see general trends over time, and some basic information about your ad account overall.
Referencing the different levels, you can look at insights across the account, campaign, ad set, and ad level.
At a glance, depending on your account settings and the type of ads you are running, your account overview may have:
- The number of website sales you’ve had during the selected period of time
- The reach of all your ads
- Ad spend for your account
- And the number of Impressions of your ads
- You may also see an Objective breakdown of your ads
And, in addition, you can also analyze further by clicking on a specific campaign.
At the campaign level you will have an at a glance summary of how your campaigns are performing.
Broken down by campaign you can see:
- Which campaigns are active
- The bid strategy
- Results which is based on the objective for the campaign
- Number of Impressions
And, more based on the additional columns you can add to your report.
Depending on your specific business needs you may choose to add or remove columns in this or other views.
At the Ad Set level you will be able to see a breakdown of how your ad sets are performing.
And at the Ads level you can see a breakdown of how your individual ad creative within your ad sets are performing.
11.Evaluating Your Campaign
So now that you have your results to analyze, take a moment to reflect. After you have run your campaign, remember to ask yourself:
- Who was in my audience?
- What did my ads look like?
- How long did I run my campaign for?
- And how much did I spend?
- Most importantly, did it achieve the goal or objective I set?
Based on that information, you can test and iterate new campaigns that are similar to successful ones. For example, your new campaign could have different images and headlines in your ads, or you could be testing a new audience group or placement channel.
As long as you are always focused on your business goal, and changing and adapting to get better results each time you are on the right track!
If you’re still struggling with Facebook Ads then get in touch with Janet and the award-winning team at Social Progress for additional help and support – Web: www.socialprogress.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Support from Digital Enterprise
If you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to access more knowledge and support from the Digital Enterprise programme, please register for the programme and get fully funded professional training and support including digital audits, webinars, conferences, events, workshops and one to one mentoring.
You can also get in touch with our helpline with all your business questions – email@example.com