If you are a Facebook regular then you must have noticed those tiny displays on the right hand side of the FB page, with heading like ‘Suggested pages’ or an invitation to like a particular business page. Yes I am talking about Facebook adverts which help small businesses get noticed easily on the social platform and beyond. The fact that Facebook is visited by over a billion active users daily, that seamlessly places a small business before a huge audience comprising of visitors from different categories. Yet, 62% small business owners express displeasure with Facebook ad saying their campaigns missed the target audience. This is because they fail to apply the right strategy to promote a small online business with Facebook ads, thus resulting in spending an enormous amount without satisfactory result.
When you are trying to run a small online business it can be indeed painful to spend money on fruitless promotion campaigns. This can result in a belief that Facebook ad campaign is too ‘risky’ or ‘costly’ a venture to invest for a small business promotion. Don’t let cynicism overpower you because missing out of Facebook means missing out on some truly valuable leads and business! Here I discuss 9 easy-to-adopt tips to promote a small online business with Facebook ads, which are bound to show result if applied properly.
Start By Creating A Separate Business Page
I have often seen small business owners selling products on their personal FB pages that simultaneously display pics and information about their family and close circle. It’s neither safe nor professional! This is why Facebook has this excellent option of creating a business page. This way you can divert the target audience to your virtual workplace, i.e. the business page without revealing any personal information. When you use a separate business page to promote a small online business with Facebook ads that assures better result.
Find a nice, catchy name for the business page, matching your specific industry/product/service. If you already have a website then that can be your page name too. Keep the About section short, precise, and informative. You need an attractive profile photo and cover image. I suggest using your business logo as the profile photo (a personal profile pic is a strict No-no!) and the online shop’s product/service pic as the background image. Draw inspiration from some of the successful business pages on Facebook.
Promote A Small Online Business With Facebook Ads Only After Knowing Your Audience
Now that your business page is ready, start creating interesting posts, videos and images for it. Soon you will notice people visiting the page, giving likes, commenting and sharing the interesting updates. Grab this opportunity to KNOW your audience and turn them into customers. When you decide to run the Facebook ad, you can select your business page followers as target audience.
What about those who don’t have a huge fan following on Facebook but have a ready list of customers? Wow, they are the lucky soul indeed! You can directly upload that customer list and inform FB to generate a similar audience for the ad campaign. Worry not, Facebook does it with complete secrecy and precision.
Then there’s the third category of business owners who don’t have significant fan following in FB neither are they prepared with email list (not a desirable situation!). If you are one such unlucky soul looking to promote a small online business with Facebook ads then ad targeting is the best way to make the most of the situation. When you start the ad posting procedure, Facebook sets up a default audience for you. However you can change the audience definition by precisely telling Facebook whom you want to target, i.e. location/profession/age-group/interest and a lot more.
A word of caution: Don’t try to be too specific in selecting the target audience. Remember too broad an audience definition can shoot up your ad cost. On the other hand, too precise an audience definition can reduce the ad’s potential reach, which means you end up spending money on an advert that reaches a limited number of users! Still not clear? Trust Facebook Audience Tool to guide you through the process, matching your ad budget.
Plan the Facebook Ad with a goal in mind
100 likes, 50 comments, 30 shares every day- if these statistics are tempting you to promote a small online business with Facebook ads then wait a sec! Don’t start running an ad just for the sake of it. Ask yourself what exactly you plan to achieve with the Facebook advert? Are you planning to promote a product launch or boost sales of your online store? Do you want more followers and better engagement? Based on the marketing objective, you can pick up suitable ad templates.
Here are the popular Ad templates you can try to generate enough interest in your Facebook advertising campaign:-
Video Ad template – is undoubtedly the most popular one that elicits instant reaction. The fact that more than 8 billion videos are watched every day on Facebook, that makes enough sense to invest in a video ad campaign.
Photo Ad template – is another popular visual content that helps expand your business outreach easily. Make sure the images you use are aesthetically clicked. Try to use original photos. Even if you are using stock images, give them an interesting twist and a personalized touch with catchy titles/lines.
Multi-product template – can be used smartly to showcase multiple products/blog posts/e-books/webinars as slide show within a single ad.
Offer ad Template – is a great way to promote a small online business with Facebook ads, especially when you plan to announce a year-end sale or special discounts which can be redeemed directly on Facebook.
Event Ad Template – can be used to announce and promote an online event/webinar/training, etc. If you have already chosen a specific audience category, the event ad shows up in their newsfeed.
Make the Ad Message As Clickable And Catchy As Possible
By now you have gained enough knowledge to decide the ad goal and the right template matching your business objective. Now comes the most important part i.e. writing the ad copy (that sells) and preparing visual content to complement the text. When writing the ad copy, keep in mind these three key elements:
An introduction/headline that instantly grabs attention – If the first sentence fails to spark interest, there’s little chance readers proceed to read the rest of the ad message.
A smart tip: Start with an interesting question / surprising statistics to grab instant attention.
Short and precise advert message that adds value – Now that you have their attention, act fast and tell them what’s the ad is all about and how they benefit by clicking the ad. Keep it simple, short and sweet, preferably 2-3 short sentences.
And last but not the least, a clear call-to-action – The CTA needs to be very specific. Do you want them to buy a product or subscribe for newsletter or join an online event? Accordingly plan the call-to-action.
A smart tip: The CTA works best with words like ‘Buy now’, ‘Try it today’, ‘click to register’..
Promote a Small Online Business With Facebook Ads That Don’t Sound Like Adverts
You must have noticed how the ad trends have changed in recent time. Perhaps because buyers have now become smarter and well-informed. They don’t want to hear that your product is the best, rather they want to know WHY it’s the best. If you attempt to promote a small online business with Facebook ads that only create noise and no value, then such adverts are likely to get rejected.
A smart tip: Be realistic with your Facebook ad. Don’t promise anything which you can’t deliver, e.g. if you promise a free one-week training session to the first 50 subscribers, make sure you start the training even if only 10 person has subscribed.
Try A/B Testing to Promote a Small Online Business With Facebook Ads
To err is human, don’t we all know that! The same can happen with your FB ads. This is when A/B testing can be of great help. A/B or Split Testing lets you compare different variations of the same advert. Usually the elements that are tested are headings, images and texts.
Facebook recommends testing one variable at a time for at least 4 days. Once A/B testing declares the winning ad set, you can use it as future reference to run the most successful Facebook ad campaign.
The process is a bit time consuming as ad optimization doesn’t happen in a day. However the result is worth the time and money invested! Follow the Facebook guide to set up your first split test.
Use Conversion Pixel To Re-target Casual Visitors
Are you doing enough to capture the leads that might generate from casual visits to your website? Once you promote a small online business with Facebook ads, there are people who get engaged directly with ‘like’, ‘comment’ or ‘share’. It’s easy to capture these leads and divert them to your website. Now what about those who leave no trail behind? It would be foolish to let them go when you have spent money to start an ad.
Facebook offers a great way to re-target these casual visitors by implementing conversion pixel in your website. Learn how to create and install Facebook pixel in your website. Once the pixel code is generated, it tracks user behavior and tells you which ads are clicked the most to reach your website, which category of Facebook users are clicking the most, which pages get maximum clicks and a lot more. This in-depth analysis helps you modify the target audience and the ad style for your next campaign,
A word of caution: The process of adding FB pixel to your website demands a bit of technical knowledge as the code needs to be inserted in the header page of your website. If not sure about the procedure, seek help of a website developer. Those struggling with limited budget, can hire a freelance too for the purpose.
Divert Ad Clicks To A Carefully Crafted Landing Page
Great you are now almost ready to promote a small online business with Facebook ads! But wait a sec! Are you ready with a landing page? While you remain too occupied designing a catchy ad, there’s a big chance that you have overlooked this key criteria. Wondering what exactly is a landing page? Well it can be a well-designed web page with a subscription/contact form to collect the visitor information.
If you plan to promote a small online business with Facebook ads, smartly use the landing page to generate quality leads from casual visits. Of course the landing page needs to be attractive enough to compel visitors to share their information. The most common landing page trick is offering discounts, free service/consultation or a free e-book.
A smart tip: Keep the contact form short and simple because the visitor might not be comfortable sharing a lot of personal/professional details. Information like name, email-id, and contact number is enough to capture a lead. You can request few additional information based on the service/product you are offering. For instance an investment planning portal can ask for few more details like, work profile, age, and income range.
Set Up A Realistic Budget To Promote A Small Online Business With Facebook Ads!
When it comes to spending money on Facebook ads, the ‘the more the merrier!’ adage perhaps suits the best. Initially it might seems too costly to promote a small online business with Facebook ads. However as you start learning the trick it becomes easier to set up a reasonable monthly budget for the promotion purpose. Set up a realistic budget to match the ad objective and time frame. Another cost-effective advertising option offered by Facebook for small business owners is ‘boosting a post’.
There’s difference of opinion though. Some FB experts feel boosting a post is wastage of money since it doesn’t allow the advanced tracking and targeting features like A/B testing, pixel conversion etc. Compare the boosted post and Facebook ad options before selecting the right one.
Here’s a recap of the 9 essential steps to promote a small online business with Facebook ads the budget-friendly way.
- Start by creating a separate business page
- Know your audience
- Plan the ad with a clear goal in mind
- Make the ad message as clickable and catchy as possible
- Create Facebook ads that don’t sound like adverts
- Try a/b testing
- Use conversion pixel to re-target casual visitors
- Divert ad clicks to a carefully crafted landing page
- Set up a realistic budget
Do you find the above tips useful? Have you tried to promote a small online business with Facebook ads? Share your experience with us!
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