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Facebook & What it Can Do For Your Business – Part 2

Determining an advertising budget that’s appropriate for you. Wait…Advertising? That’s for national companies, right? The kind of household-name brands that can afford to drop millions on prime-time TV, and drive-time radio spots? Not necessarily. Advertising for small business is absolutely… Read More

Determining an advertising budget that’s appropriate for you.

Wait…Advertising? That’s for national companies, right? The kind of household-name brands that can afford to drop millions on prime-time TV, and drive-time radio spots?

Not necessarily. Advertising for small business is absolutely a viable channel for promoting your enterprise, and can be surprisingly affordable given the potential return. Of course, spending smart and optimizing your focus is essential for getting back more than you put out. And, increasingly…small businesses are turning to Facebook to reach current and potential customers.

Facebook is still the single largest community of users online anywhere in the world, so it makes sense to look for customers where they congregate.

But, how should you get started? What are the processes, and pitfalls? And, most importantly, how can you take the necessary steps to help make the most of your ad budget?

 

 

1.) What is Paid Social? — You may have heard the term “Paid Social” getting thrown around, and may not have known what the person throwing it was talking about.

What Paid Social refers to is pretty simple. Any post you make on Facebook using the standard process is just that — standard. Whether you post it on your personal page, or on your business page, it’ll get shown to a selection of users who’ve already chosen to interact with you by liking, friending, or following you. How many people see it, and who they are is determined by a complex, closely-guarded algorithm that Facebook doesn’t share the specifics of.

That said, the best way to cut through the algorithm is through Paid Social — a.k.a., Facebook ads.

According to recent estimates, 93% of businesses both small and large are making use of Paid Social to reach customers. And of those, 95% have indicated that Facebook provides the greatest ROI of any other advertising platform. Even further, 26% of Facebook users who clicked on an ad report then going on to make a purchase. So clearly, there is some benefit to the strategy.

Facebook ads can be shown not just to your friends and followers, but also to a selection of people who live in your area — including those who have shown interest in your brand, and plenty who may not even have heard of you yet. It’s a great way to reach people who may not yet have made the decision to buy with you in any case.

And, like anything else, there are ways to optimize the process for the best possible result. It all begins with the budgeting.

2.) Getting Started. — Once you set up your brand’s page on Facebook, it’s time to figure out how to get the most bang for your ad buck. And step one is deciding your demographic (i.e., the group[s] you most want to reach). According to one of Facebook’s own case studies, demographically-targeted advertising resulted in a return that was three times the initial ad spend.

When creating your first Facebook ad, you’ll begin by selecting the reach; essentially, the groups you’d like to see the ad. A form will appear that allows you to determine the width of the audience you want to market to. You’ll be able to focus your targeted reach by location, approximate age of customer, and several other criteria. 

Of course, the wider your audience, the more you’ll be asked to spend in order to reach them. But by strategically targeting certain groups, you’ll only reach the customers most likely to want what you’re offering.

Do you deal in tools, or firearms? You’ll probably want to focus primarily on men, 30-65. Musical instruments? Those skew younger, and closer to urban areas. Fashion resale? Women from 25-50 will likely be most interested. By selecting the traits most likely to be shared by your target audience and focusing on your target demo, Facebook can help you determine the most practical reach behind the numbers.

3.) Determining Ad Types. — There are many types of Facebook ads. Static-image ads, carousel ads, sidebar ads, even video. Ultimately, the type of ad(s) you run will be informed by the kinds of products you sell, as well as the budget you have to promote your business. Facebook maintains a breakdown page of different types of ads they offer, with both an overview and a deep-dive page that illustrate the what’s and why’s behind each type of ad.

These resources can help you better plan and decide which kinds of Paid Social are most appropriate for both the focus of your business, as well as your intended ad spend.

4.) Budget, Budget, Budget. — Once you work with Facebook’s tools to determine your intended style of ad and intended reach, you’ll be asked what you’d like to spend to achieve these. Ideally, your budget, vision, and intended reach will all be in line with each other. If not, you may need to make a few adjustments. Facebook’s tools can help you refine these boundaries in a way that will work for you. Once you bring everything into focus, you’ll see a graphic that will let you know you’ve optimized your reach given what you’re willing and able to spend.

(As with most things, your ultimate return will depend on your investment. But bear in mind that, given the metrics, it’s readily apparent that Facebook’s baked-in processes have proven remarkably successful at helping small businesses realize a worthwhile ROI.)

That said, sometimes dialing in the optimal ratios can take some trial-and-error. If you’re not seeing the results you’d like at first, it may be worthwhile to do some tweaking of the parameters. This can take a little patience, additional research, and fine tuning. Thankfully, Facebook’s comprehensive and easy-to-parse analytics reports (which include overall impressions, click-through stats, and more, all broken down categorically) are a big help in determining which parts of your approach may need a bit of a nudge one way or another.

5.) Hang in There. — Once you’ve got a few months’ worth of data to work with (both from Facebook’s analytics, as well as sales and foot-traffic numbers), you’ll have a clearer picture of how best to dial in your budget and projected results. From there, you’ll have a better idea of what your monthly ad budget should look like based on what’s been effective so far.

And what’s more, you’ll learn as you go. Facebook is great about providing small business owners with great data points to analyze in order to drill down to the most effective strategy. You’ll be able to see fine details like what each impression has cost you, what your click rates are, demographic interaction numbers, and a host of other useful info.

Many different factors influence both the reach, and the cost. As with most things, the more you interact, the more you’ll learn. Before too long, you’ll be navigating the process with ease. And your budget vs. your return will start to reflect that.

6.) Reap the Rewards. — We’ve done our level best to give you a generalized overview of Facebook’s ad platform here. But as usual, the best way to learn is to do. So, start small. Experiment. Tweak, and refine. Mitigate your risk. Above all, don’t be afraid! Yes, leaping into a new avenue of promotion can be a little intimidating at first. But Facebook has made the process as user-friendly as possible.

Again, there’s a good reason why more than 9 out of every 10 businesses not only utilize Facebook’s Paid Social, but also report the platform offers the most substantial return on their ad spend. It may take some time to pin down the learning curve, but the numbers don’t lie. The juice is definitely worth the squeeze when it comes to Facebook ads.

If you need help applying Facebook Paid Social to your brand advertising strategy call us at 888-407-6287 with questions. See you back soon for our ‘Facebook & What it Can Do For Your Business’ Series Part 3 or if you have not seen our Facebook Series Part 1 – check it out.

 

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