“Whether you’re wholesaler or selling directly to consumers, marketing and advertising are an inseparable part of running any business. However, it can seem like a huge investment for small businesses with tight margins. Luckily, social media has made advertising easily accessible to companies of any size. Facebook is especially a great place to invest some of your advertising dollars and see a return on that investment.
If you’re just starting to think about Facebook ads, you’re in the right place. We’ll walk you through the basics, so you feel even more confident getting started!
Facebook Ads 101
The best way to get started is by making sure you’ve already set up a Facebook Business Page for your company. Having one will not only open up more options for ad creation but will also give you more tools for managing your presence on Facebook. Once you have one, you can use the Business Manager that comes with it to set up ads by either boosting existing posts or by creating one from scratch in the Ads Manager. Here’s a breakdown of both:
Boosted posts are the number one way that people dip their toes into the world of Facebook advertising. It’s the simplest and quickest way to set up an ad. A boosted post is exactly what it sounds like — an ordinary post that has been “boosted” with a budget to reach more people.
You can set these up directly from your Facebook page by selecting “Boost Post” directly on any post in your timeline. This will open up some options for setting a budget and audience targeting.
You can also create Boosted Posts in the Ad Center, but, as you will see, the Ad Center will give you many more options for advertising.
The Ad Center is going to be your home base for Facebook ads. Here you’ll be able to view a list of all your current and past ads, as well as, their performance stats. You’ll also be able to create ads directly from this center.
Types of Ads
When getting started with creating a Facebook ad, Facebook will ask you the objective or goal of your ad. Basically, it wants to know what you want to get out of this ad, so it can help suggest the next steps that’ll work best for you. Think about what the end goal is — sell more products, get more people to sign up for the email list, grow your fanbase, or maybe you want to drive more traffic to your main website.
Once you’ve selected your objective, you’ll see that there are so many more options for the types of ads you can create vs a boosted post. You can set up a single or multiple image ad, a video ad, a slideshow that combines both photos and videos, a carousel of up to 10 images, each within its own link and much more.
Don’t get too overwhelmed by the number of choices you have. Once you get the hang of setting up a basic image or video ad, you can start experimenting with some other types, as your goals and needs get more specific.
Types of Targeting
The most important piece of setting up your ads is the audience targeting. This allows you to define the types of people you want to reach with your ad based on demographics, location, interaction with your accounts, past purchases and more.
There are three types of audience targeting you can use to your advantage:
- Core Audiences: These are audiences you create based on interests, age, location and more.
- Custom Audiences: These can be created using email lists or you even can curate them based on interests, age, education, location, etc… The sky is the limit here.
- Lookalike Audiences: These are audiences of potential new customers who match similar qualities and behaviors to your past customers.
Narrowing your reach down to the people who would be most interested in your product, will give you a better chance of converting ad dollars into sales.
Unlike boosted posts that show up in the Facebook feed like a regular post, creating ads in the Ad Center allows you greater control over where your ads are shown. For example, you can choose to place ads only on Instagram or only on Instagram Stories. You can also choose to have your ad shown in every placement possible to reach the greatest amount of people.
Best Practices for Starting with Facebook Ads
The Ad Center may seem a little overwhelming, but don’t forget you can still easily get started with Facebook ads by using Boosted Posts. The big difference is the level of control you have in Ad Center vs when creating Boosted Posts straight from your Facebook page.
No matter which way you decide is best for your business, you’ll want to keep these things in mind:
- Budget: It’s best to start small and increase this as you learn more about setting up ads. You don’t want to spend your whole budget on one untested ad that ends up getting no sales or traction.
- Audiences: You know your customers the best. Think of what your ideal customer looks like when creating your first audience — how old are they, where do they live, what kinds of websites do they visit — the more details you can get, the easier it will be to find that perfect formula.
- Testing: Test, test, and test again! Testing your ad copy, images, and even audience selection will help you improve your ad performance.
Don’t be scared to dip your toes into the world of Facebook advertising. By starting small, with really tight budgets, you can still see a big return and success from your investment. Facebook ads are an investment in your business and with some time and commitment, they can be one of the best investments you’ve made yet.