These Simple Steps Will Make You Master of Your Own Facebook Advertising

The Facebook ads game is very competitive. It seems like everyone with a business is advertising there at the moment. And there's a reason for that. Well, two reasons. Facebook on pace to reach 2 billion monthly active users worldwide. And the Facebook algorithm has all but disappeared organic reach. At most, it's estimated that 6% of your followers will see any given post you publish. Unless you pay to get that post in front of more people.

So, for these two reasons, every brand that wants people to know they exist {yes, that means every brand} is advertising on Facebook on an ongoing basis. And all that competition means it'll take time to get your targeting + creative {words + images} refined to get the best response. But don't worry. You don't need a million dollars or an agency to own your Facebook advertising. Just some focus.

these steps will make you master of your own facebook advertising

Facebook Ads Don't Have to Be Overwhelming...Even if You're Small

It's totally ok to start with small daily budgets (you can go as low as $5 or $10 per day at first), and refine your campaigns every few days based on what you learn.

As you’ve probably heard, Facebook knows everything about you. And everyone you know. As an individual, protecting your privacy on Facebook might keep you up at night. But as a business, all this data means that you can spend just a little bit of money to reach a lot of the right people for your business.

Start With Knowing Who Your People Are

If you haven’t defined your buyer personas yet, go do that now. Don’t worry, Facebook ads will still be there when you’re ready. Here’s my advice for understanding who your ideal customer is. Once you know who you’re meant for and what’s important to them, you can launch Facebook ads that have the best chance of getting seen by the right people and inspire those people to engage.

You can start by thinking about the basics -- location, gender, age, etc. There’s value in that for sure. But the power of Facebook ads goes beyond those basics. You can decide to have your ads appear to people based on their interests. A massive range of interests. Pretty much endless. Here are two examples.

Facebook Ads Case Study: The Test Prep Coach

Let’s imagine you’re a test prep coach. You help high school students prepare for the standardized tests that will determine the rest of their lives {I kid, I kid...but it can feel like that, right?}.

You know that parents are more likely than kids to seek out your help. And that parents who’ve attended ivy league schools are more likely to seek out this kind of help for their children, which in turn leads you to make some assumptions about income brackets. Here are some ideas you might try as you test your audiences:

  • Target men vs. women to see if moms or dads are more responsive to your content
  • Target people who have liked the bigger test prep firms' pages
  • Add an income bracket and/or net worth distinction to narrow your audience more
  • Add an education element to target parents who are college grads and/or have doctorate degrees

Facebook Ads Case Study: The Personal Chef

Now, let’s imagine that you’re a personal chef. You prepare meals for people to eat at home. You’re seeking out busy families and young professionals who value healthy, home-cooked meals, and either don’t have the time or interest to plan and cook those meals yourself. What’s more, you know that your clients are not going to be super price-conscious -- your services are worth every penny but will not appeal to coupon-clipping moms who are trying to feed a family of four for less than $20 per meal.

Here are some ideas you might try as you test your audiences:

  • Target women, who still tend to be the most likely to make household purchasing decisions
  • Use age ranges to split campaigns between the young professional set and busy moms
  • Leverage the interests section -- people who like the finer things, such as Luxury Goods or Boutiques; people who care about health and fitness, such as Nutrition, Meditation, or Yoga. And because your business is hyperlocal, think about businesses in your town that proffer the finer things. 
  • Check out the Purchase Behaviors targeting -- are your people Fashionistas, Spa Enthusiasts, Foodies, Trendy Homemakers? Do they buy Premium Brand Groceries?

Pro tip: Just browsing through Interests and Behaviors won't necessarily show you everything that could fit you and your people. Try clicking for Facebook to show you its Suggestions. You might be surprised!

Understand Your Results and Test New Approaches {aka a/b testing}

Before you can understand your results, you need to know why you were advertising in the first place.

Decide what success will look like to you before you start. 

Maybe you’re seeking to grow your Facebook audience by getting people to Like your page, or maybe you’re seeking to drive people to your website or get people to take advantage of a time-limited special offer.

Set a reasonable goal.

Your first campaign might not grow your business three-fold. Take a minute to talk with a marketing pro like me about what you can hope to gain from a Facebook campaign in your industry and at your budget. And don’t give up if the first campaign isn’t a wild success. All marketing is about experimentation.

Test everything.

Some people advise that you try refining your audience targeting as much as you possibly can, and track the results, before you start messing with the creative. The potential downside of this advice is that if your creative isn't right for your audience, the right audience targeting won't help. It's a bit of a chicken and egg scenario.

I suggest you spend at least two weeks, if not a month, fiddling with the audience targeting. Build on what works. And regardless of whether adjusting your audience improves the response or not, move on to refining the creative. That includes the image, copy, and offer or destination link.

When adjusting creative, you can look at changing the copy, the image, or the offer. For instance: try ads that introduce your business as well as ads that promote specific blog posts.

And remember that you can split-test ads, meaning you can run two nearly identical ads against each other.

With any testing, it's best to change only one aspect at a time. For instance, use a different image, or different copy, or different audience targeting, but only change one of those elements at a time. Otherwise, you won’t know which change brought the change in results.

That's your DiY quick start. Good luck!