Holvi Blog for Makers and Doers

Facebook advertising 101 for your small business: How to get started

Small Business Tips · 09/02/2016, 14:57 · Elena Zozulya

If you’re still doubting whether Facebook advertising works, let us reassure you that if done right Facebook ads can be a powerful source of new customers for your small business. And the best news is, you don’t need big budgets to get involved. You can start small, test it out, and then scale up when you’re ready.

However, if you’re just starting out, the Facebook advertising tools can be quite overwhelming. Worry not, we’ve been there too! That’s why we’ve prepared a list of the most important things you should know as a beginner about advertising your business on Facebook.

1.Decide on the main objective of your ad
Before setting up your first ad, ask yourself what it is that you want your potential customers to do when they see your ad. Do you want to get people to like your Facebook page, claim an offer, read your new blog post or do a purchase in your online store? Whatever your campaign’s objective is, there’s a type of ad for it! When you choose your main ad objective, Facebook will optimise your adverts and measure their results according to it. We suggest you test different ad formats and see which ones perform better for you and deliver the best results at the lowest cost.

2. Be specific about who you would like to reach
Facebook knows a great deal about your customers: where they live, what languages they speak, what they like and what their friends are up to. When you run a Facebook ad, you can choose the audiences that see it by location, age, gender, interests and shopping behaviour. Be specific about who you would like to reach with your ads. If your ads are shown to relevant people, they are most likely to take action you want them to.

For example, as a local coffee shop owner, you can target hipsters from 18 to 30 who live/work in your business postal area, who like coffee, Herschel bags and Uber, and who use an iPhone 6.

3. Decide on the placement of your ads
When creating an ad, you can decide where in people's Facebook feed it will be shown. Ad placements are places where your ads can appear on Facebook. At the moment there are three of them: Desktop News Feed, Mobile News Feed and Right Column on Desktop.

There is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to Facebook ads, but our experience has shown that Mobile News Feed is one of the best places for your ads to be. That is not surprising given that nearly half of Facebook’s active users only access the service on mobile. What’s more, Facebook has introduced ads for Instagram. You can now pay to reach a highly engaged Instagram audience with some beautiful pictures (or videos) of your business.

4. Stand out with your ad image, copy and call to action
Now that you’ve decided who’s going to see your ads and where they’ll appear, it’s time to design your ad! Your Facebook ads will appear along with brunch pictures, school reunion selfies and other ads in the news feed of your potential customers. Think through how you can stand out among all this noise.

Start by choosing an image that your customers will want to click on. It’s often a good idea to add a catchy text to the image. Next, you need to write your ad’s copy – the words you’ll use in your ad. It can be trickier than it sounds, so make sure you spend time thinking how you can grab attention of your audience. Last but not least, we strongly advise you to use call-to-action buttons in your ads. They have proven to be really effective to increase the click through rate to the site. There are many more tips and tricks on ad creative that you can read about here and here.

The good news is that you can easily test multiple ad variations on Facebook. You can show ads with different images, headlines and descriptions to the same audience and see which of them performs better.

5. Test. Test. And test again.
Remember what works for other advertisers on Facebook, might not necessarily work for your business. That’s why you should keep an open mind and test different variations with your ads. If your ads don’t bring great results right away — don’t give up just yet! Test different optimisation goals, target audiences and ad designs. It takes time to understand what audiences are interested in your type of business and what kind of ads attract their attention. Once you’ve matched ad types with the best ad creative to the perfect audiences, you should be right on track.


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