How to: Facebook advertising on a budget


This blog post is part of our Lessons from SMSS15 series. Legendary Social Media is taking part in Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Success Summit 2015, which is the world’s largest online social media marketing conference. This blog series covers the points and ideas we’ve taken from the course that we’ve deemed to be eye-opening and highly useful for other marketers and for small- and medium-sized businesses. To discuss any of the ideas in these blogs or other ideas about social marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.

For most businesses, Facebook advertising can be hugely successful for brand awareness, lead generation and even sales. But many (most) businesses have a tight advertising budget. With so many types of Facebook advertising options available, where should you focus your limited budget?

Just a few types of Facebook ads include:

  • Website clicks
  • Website conversions
  • Page likes
  • Use your app
  • Watch your video
  • Email optin

In SMSS15, Facebook advertising expert Andrea Vahl recommends using Facebook as a “warmer” for your customers or clients. Facebook isn’t ideal for leading to sales, however it’s great for building your email list and just getting your brand recognized so the sales can come later.

Here’s where Vahl says your Facebook advertising spend should go:

  • Email optins: 70%
  • Building page likes and post engagement: 20-30%
  • Sales: 10% max

First, though, Legendary Social Media, like Vahl, recommends you create a pixel so you can focus your ads on customers who are most likely to buy from you. Here’s how to do it.

Go to the Facebook Ads Manager.

  1. Click Tools.
  2. Click Pixels.
  3. Create a pixel by following the instructions, and install your pixel in the <head> section of your website. This will track people who came from Facebook to your website and will allow you to group these people into a Custom Audience, so you can send ads to them specifically in the near future.
  4. Next, test your demographics. Contrary to many experts’ advice, Vahl recommends testing your audience first and your ads second. I tend to agree with her methodology!
  5. Create one ad that you believe will be effective for your target audience. Now, go to the Facebook Ads Manager. Create a campaign based on your objective (from the Facebook ad types above). Now, create three highly targeted audiences at the Ad Set level.
  6. If your target audience is women aged 35-55 in Vancouver, base all your audiences with that demographic. But split the audience into three using interests and other variables. Save each audience separately at the ad set level.
  7. Now add the ad you created to each audience, using the same text, visuals and links for each, and run each ad set for three days with identical budgets.
  8. After three days, go back and check which audience responded best to your ad, by checking which resulted in the lowest cost per click/conversion/optin. Use this audience as you create multiple ads to maximize the effectiveness of your campaign for your budget.

Struggling with Facebook ads? If your cost per click is over $1.50, you could probably use some help. Contact us today so we can help you create more effective campaigns with Facebook advertising, Twitter ads, Google Adwords and more!

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