Top 4 Ways Small Business Can Make Facebook Ads Work

The possibilities of Facebook, as a marketing platform, are almost endless. The problem is, many business owners are still approaching their Facebook advertising campaigns the wrong way.

Take a look at our guide to the Top 4 Ways Small Businesses Can Make Facebook Ads Work, and make your social media marketing campaign a success story.

1. Retargeting Facebook Ads

Advertisements are easily deployed. Unfortunately, they are just as easily ignored. The key to augmenting the power of Facebook ads, and experiencing quantifiable returns from them, is to use retargeting.

Rather than simply placing a Facebook ad on the site, aiming for the relevant groups and hoping for the best, small business owners can specifically target their ads to Facebook users who have already connected with their online presence. This includes users who have clicked and followed a link within email marketing campaigns, or users who have already made an impression via Facebook. Businesses can also use Facebook’s own tools to target an advert directly at users who have already visited the company website.

What is retargeting? It's actually a simple concept, but can get as complex and customized as you need it to be. In essence, retargeting is the ability to have a second chance to present your message to a website visitor on a different platform other than your website.

These are not cold leads with no history of interaction. Instead, they are warm or qualified leads who have, at the very least, expressed an interest in what the business is providing. It is far easier to market to these leads who are already acquainted with the company, than to those who have had no previous contact.

Statistics released by Marketing Sherpa show that 79% of leads will never convert directly into sales, thanks in part to poor nurturing. By using Facebook ads in this way, the advertisement becomes less a lead generation tool, and more of a lead nurturing tool, boosting the chances of that prospect eventually graduating into a customer.

2. Custom Audiences

To effectively utilize retargeted ads, you first need to create custom audiences at which to aim the advertisement. Facebook’s custom audience tools enable advertisers to upload their business contact database to the social media platform, and then craft this into an audience for your sponsored adverts.

This means, you will be able to target specific Facebook users, even if they haven’t liked or followed your page. The information is all encrypted, so you will not be able to gain any additional insight into each lead contact, but you will be able to make sure that your advertisements reach the desired Facebook user.

From here, the advertiser can segment their audience, creating several smaller custom audience groups which can be targeted by specific adverts. These groups may include users who have made certain purchases in the past and might be interested in a similar item, users that have downloaded or otherwise accessed your content in the past, or users who have interacted with you in any way.

Perhaps the most effective use of a custom audience is to reconnect with users who have recently visited your site. By selecting the 'Tools' menu in Facebook, then selecting 'Facebook Pixel' from the 'Pixels' menu, you can create a pixel which will track users who have accessed your site. These users will be added to your custom audiences, allowing you to build your lead databases and nurture leads with minimal effort.

3. Local Awareness Promotion

For businesses who are directly linked to their location and the surrounding area, local awareness promotion is a means of making Facebook ads pack that bit of extra punch. Remember that each impression received on a Facebook ad costs money, which is why these ads must be optimized to achieve the maximum return on investment.

Restaurant chains, for example, may have hundreds of branches spread across the country, but they are far better served by targeting the local aspects of business, as opposed to nationwide. Using local awareness promotion for Facebook ads, businesses like this one can craft ads with specific local details, and then target customers in the relevant area.

This is exactly what the Black Bear Diner did. Black Bear operates numerous restaurants across the country, but by switching to this local targeting approach they were able to achieve an astonishing 2 million impressions on adverts across the whole campaign, at only $0.003 per impression.

The team at Black Bear monitored their progress over a three month period, running from March to June 2016. Over this time they discovered an increase in sales across the whole franchise, compared to the same quarter of 2015. This is an impressive figure for such a short time period, and one that is sure to develop in the future.

Local awareness promotion, as the example of Black Bear Diner illustrates, does not mean thinking small. It means achieving nationwide, or even global, results from local initiatives. By harnessing this power within their Facebook advertising structure, business owners can enjoy the same advantages.

4. Creating a Lead Magnet

The modern consumer is savvy. They understand the nature of Facebook advertising, and they will not allow themselves to be nurtured towards conversion against their will. Instead, businesses need to give something back – something of genuine, demonstrable worth – if they are to undergo a transition from prospect to customer.

Free eBook guides are perfect for this sort of campaign. Facebook users have a tendency to pass over advertisements in their news feeds if these advertisements are targeting a direct sale. Providing a free guide gives an advertiser the chance to build a relationship with the consumer prior to any direct selling. A good example would be for a roofer to offer a guide "10 Ways to Save on a New Roof" and target people within their service area and a 10-mile radius.

It cannot be a cynical endeavor. Consumers will see right through a paper-thin eBook guide with no real worth, and all efforts will have been wasted. Business owners should commit to the content they want to distribute via the ad, ensure that it delivers actionable advice to the user and include sincere information on how their products and services provide the missing piece of the puzzle.

The target here is to nurture and to encourage the movement of prospects along the pathway towards conversion, building trust and developing a relationship. Adopting this approach is far more effective in the long-term than bludgeoning the lead with sales patter.

How are you deploying Facebook advertising for your small business? We'd love to hear your thoughts!

If you're struggling to make Facebook ads work for your small business and don't have the time to learn do it yourself, why not contact us? Get in touch with the team here at BuildYourSite. We create and manage effective Facebook ad strategies for our small business customers.

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Tem is the CEO of BuildYourSite.com, a web agency providing web & digital marketing solutions to small businesses. When he's not producing great results for clients, he's spending time with his boys.
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