Let’s help you find the best DIY Facebook Ads strategy for your small business.
When you started your business, I bet you didn’t think you’d need to learn the skills that you now have, right? As a business owner, you wear all of the hats. You’re the marketer, bookkeeper, salesperson, HR manager, social media manager, and admin person. You’re also the office manager, operations manager, chief pep talk giver, orderer of the pens, and the toilet paper… The list goes on and on (and on!) And, I hate to break it to you but I’m about to add yet another hat to your brilliant head. Ads! As a business owner and marketer, it’s up to you to develop the best Facebook Ads strategy for your business.
As a small business owner, you are officially the ads manager.
You might be thinking… “Laura, I post on social media. I promote in my email list AND I shout my offers from the rooftops when things get really desperate, but paying for Facebook Ads? No thanks!”
Do you need to be running paid ads for your small business?
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but to cut through the noise online, you need to have a Facebook ads strategy for your small business. So I’m here to help you get on your merry advertising way. I know you’ve got questions and I hear you. I had questions (and reservations) when I started running ads too. But the first big question you need an answer to is this: which is the best advertising strategy for your business?
That’s a great question! Across Instagram and Facebook, there are two main ways you can be running ads. You can either used Boosted posts or run Facebook Ads through Ads Manager. Just like social media platforms themselves, both ad options have their pros and cons, and different things work better on each platform.
Before you start, you need to be registered as a business account on both Facebook and Instagram. Being a business account gives you loads of benefits, like being able to run ads and receiving free doughnuts every second Friday. Okay, that last part was a lie, but there are lots of positives to having a business account, I promise.
If you’re not set up as a business account, that is your first task. Meet back here when you’re done. Want tips on how to do this? Head on over here.
Let’s take a look at Boosting and Facebook Ads; the two main advertising strategies you can employ to get the word out about your small business.
What are Boosted Posts on Facebook and Instagram?
Boosted posts are sponsored posts that are created through the little blue “boost” or “promote” buttons on Facebook and Instagram. Boosted Posts are:
- Quick and easy to setup in a couple of clicks
- Streamlined and simple for advertising newbies
- Have simple targeting parameters such as demographic, location, and interest targeting. You also determine a budget, a call-to-action, an objective, and the length of time that you want the post to run for.
Boosted Posts are very simple and straightforward, and are the perfect place to start if you’re an advertising newbie.
Why I prefer Facebook Ads over Boosted/Promoted Posts for my small business
Before we dive into all the benefits of Facebook Ads, here is a tip that will hopefully prevent you from one day finding yourself in a whole jumble of ad confusion: Facebook Ads run across Instagram as well as Facebook. (I know, weird right?) Do not let the name deceive you. Facebook Ads are setup in Facebook Ads Manager which you can sign up for and access through your Facebook Page.
Facebook ads are more targeted for your audience than your regular boosted posts.
In Ads Manager, you can add interests, behaviours and look alike audiences (audiences that are similar to your existing audience) to narrow down your viewers.
Created for your particular objective and ads strategy
You can set your marketing objectives and setup your ads based on your goal. There are three main goals: awareness, consideration and conversion. These are all stages of a typical sales funnel, they act as steps which guide your audience down the path to buying your product or service.
In depth reporting and analytics on your ads
Facebook Ads provide results with in depth reporting, allowing you to see metrics such as cost per click, cost per conversion and so much more. This can help you to have a deeper understanding of your return on investment.
Setup for retargeting
The Facebook Pixel allows you to send ads to people who have visited your website and have maybe left items in their cart, or have not followed through with their purchase. Here, you can remind people of just how much they’re missing! In order to access retargeting capabilities, you need to install your Facebook Pixel on your website.
What is a Facebook Pixel?
Great question! Facebook pixel is a piece of code for your website that lets you measure, optimise and build audiences for your advertising campaigns. It is a tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your ad campaigns by tracking actions on your website. Essentially, it stalks your customers 😉 and tracks the actions they take on your website. This means you know if someone has viewed your blog, made a purchase, booked a call or opted in to your mailing list (and so on) through your Facebook ad.
You’ll also have options to reach those customers again through retargeting campaigns. If you need some help installing your Facebook Pixel on your website, check out this step by step guide by Facebook.
You have more flexibility in your ad creative, placements and formats
With Facebook Ads, you are at liberty to set different ad formats so they’re fit for any occasion. You can customise your ads for Stories, or you can make your ads on Instagram slightly different to your ads on Facebook. The power is in your hands, my friend.
Ability to run ads across all placements
While Boosted posts only appear in the News Feed, Facebook Ads campaigns appear almost everywhere. This includes Instagram, Instagram and Facebook Stories, Facebook Marketplace, the right-hand column, Instant Articles, and even Messenger. You get a much broader reach by advertising across all these placements.
Set up for testing
With Facebook Ads, you have the option of A/B testing, so you can try out your content in different forms and optimise your ads further before running a full campaign. This means you have more feedback and results to fine tune your ads before you invest in your full campaign.
While a Facebook Ads strategy is a little more complex to set up, they are well worth the effort with the plethora of targeting functions and metrics they offer.
What is the best ads platform for your small business?
If you are new to the world of running ads and want a simple, easy way to start getting your ads out there, I would recommend you to begin with Boosted Posts. They can be set up in a few clicks, and still give you all the essentials of a call-to-action, a budget, and a time period so you’re in control of your ads. But might I encourage you, set yourself the goal of running ads with Facebook Ads. Get to know what works best with your ads, and when you feel ready, start experimenting with the refined targeting and extra measurements in Facebook Ads Manager.
If you have been running ads for some time now, and you’re ready to get serious, Facebook Ads Manager is the place for you, my friend. Facebook Ads will help you execute the best advertising strategy for your business, and it is where you want to be if you want to run major campaigns and see real measurable results. You can define your objectives, your audience, and your conversion. Using the metrics in Facebook Ads Manager also means you get a clearer understanding of what’s working and what’s not.
I hope this helped you to gain a better understanding of the difference between Boosted Posts and Facebook Ads, and which platform is going to help you reach more of your customers.
PS: if the idea of setting up and running your own paid ads makes you feel like your head is going to explode- check out our blog post on how to streamline your marketing tasks so you feel less stressed (its a game-changer).