If you are a small business owner using Facebook as part of your marketing strategy then it’s likely you’re going to need to run Facebook ads at some stage.  Maybe you already have? 

Before you start spending money on Facebook ads, there are 5 things you need to do so put your wallet away and get stuck in.

Get your website sorted

Before you start spending money on Facebook and Instagram ads you need to make sure your website is ready for the traffic you’ll be sending over to it.

  • Check you are fully optimised for mobile.  Most of your visitors via ads will be using mobile so this is vital
  • Check your load speed and improve it where possible.  Mobile visitors coming via social media are time poor and very impatient.  Waiting even a few seconds for your website to load will mean you’ll lose them.
  • Make sure you have a great offer.  If your ads are working well but you’re not getting conversions then it’s likely that its not the ads that are failing, its the website that isn’t converting the visitors.  Get this sorted beforehand so you aren’t wasting money.  

Install the Facebook pixel

The Facebook pixel is a piece of code that sits on your website to collect data.  Its vital if you are a business owner as this is how you can send ads to your hottest leads, the people who already know about you and are interested in what you do / sell.

The pixel works by collecting information about people who visit your website whilst logged into their Facebook account (eg everyone!).  Maybe someone checked out a product, even added it to their basket but never clicked to buy?  Facebook will know who they are and can sent your ads to them to encourage them to return!

So, even if you don’t plan to run ads now, next week or next month, the sooner you get this code installed, the more data you will have collected by the time you do want to run ads.  

Create your audiences in ads manager

Facebook ads manager offers 3 types of audiences: custom, lookalike and saved.  To save yourself time and stress when it comes to running an advert it is a good idea to create your audiences in advance.

Custom audiences

These are created using the data that Facebook has collected from your pixel, Facebook and Instagram pages.  You should also create custom audiences using customer files such as your mailing list.

Your custom audiences will be your hottest leads and can target very specific groups of people.  Including the person who added something to their basket but didn’t check out, or the people who watched your latest Facebook live.

What are Facebook lookalike audiences?

These are audiences created to be similar to your custom audiences.  So you might create an audience of people that ‘look like’ your Facebook page fans or people who have purchased from your website.

Facebook is very clever and knows who these people are based on their activity online.  These will be cold audiences but are likely to be interested in you as they are similar to those people who are already engaging with your website, Facebook or Instagram page or other customer files.

Saved audiences 

Saved audiences are also known as interest based audiences.   You’ll create using interests within ads manager.  This can take some time so don’t rush it.

The great thing about this is that you can be super specific with a saved audience.  Want to find Mums with kids under 3 who live in Brighton and like to shop at Marks and Spencer and Boden but don’t like Mothercare?  Saved audiences are for you!

Create your ad

Your ad copy needs to be thought through, so it’s best created in advance before you even get into ads manager.  Think about who you are calling out on Facebook, what you want them to know and the action you want them to take.  

Start paying attention to ads in your own newsfeed to get inspired and understand what kinds of copy draw your attention or get you to take an action.  

Are you using an image or video? Are you using one image or a carousel of different images?  Does your creative stop people from scrolling long enough to read your caption?  

Picking the right creative is vital to a successful ad campaign.  Sometimes an ad that looks like an ad works well, but sometimes it doesn’t!  What will work for your audience depends on your audience!  So be prepared to test your creative and your copy and adjust if it isn’t bringing the results you need.

Work out your budget

If you really want good results from your Facebook ads it is important to understand how their pricing works so you can budget properly.

In simple terms, the bigger your budget, the more people within your audience will see your advert.  So therefore the more people you are likely to find who will take the action you are after.

So, if your budget is only £1 a day, you’re not going to get the same results as someone spending £20 a day.  

Your budget will depend on your objective, your business and their overall lifetime value to you.  Eg. If your customers lifetime value is £1000 you won’t bat an eyelid at spending £50 to get the lead to convert them to become a customer.  But if your customers tend to spend less than £20 then your budget may be lower and this in turn will affect your results.

Nail these 5 things before you run your first ads and you’ll find the process far less stressful.  

If you’re unsure how to get started or want to work with an expert then I can help, get in touch!  

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by Laura Moore

Laura is a Facebook marketing consultant specialising in Facebook and Instagram ads.  She works with businesses to help generate leads and increase sales.  To find out more about how Laura can help you click here

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