Facebook has over 2.2 billion active daily users. So it’s little wonder that the majority of marketers incorporate Facebook into their content marketing. But since Facebook’s algorithm change, which penalises brand content, Facebook Ads are becoming more important than ever for businesses to reach their audience.
However, the majority of small businesses are struggling to unlock the power of Facebook ads and get real ROI. In fact, half of all small businesses feel they’re not getting a positive return on investment from Facebook.
In this blog post, we’re going to shed some light on the murky world of Facebook advertising and provide some insights into using it properly to generate sales.
Why Facebook Ads
Facebook is an advertising platform. And there are very few ad platforms out there that can compete with Facebook in terms of its detailed targeting and data capabilities.
Traditional advertising platforms, like newspapers or magazines, have a readership or circulation. But of the x thousand people that happen to be reading the publication at that time, only a small percent will see your business ad. Even fewer will be in the market to purchase what it is you’re selling.
By contrast, with Facebook ads, you can target only those most likely to be interested in your product or service. And you can show them those ads when they’re most likely to engage.
Facebook advertising can create, launch and scale any business. It can generate leads for you, so you don’t need a salesperson.
So in order for all of this to work, Facebook ads for service sector must be approached with a clear content marketing sales funnel in mind.
The Content Marketing Sales Funnel
The basic principle of the funnel is that the majority of visitors to your website are in the initial stages of seeking information only. They’re not ready to buy yet. So in order to get them to your website, you have to entice them with zero or low-risk offers, like blog articles, videos, podcast episodes and other free resources.
A far smaller percentage of website visitors – and these guys are further down the funnel – are comparing information. They’re in the market to buy but they’re still weighing up providers. These are leads you can nurture with value-add content, testimonials, FAQs and guarantees to persuade them to choose you.
Finally, at the bottom of the funnel, are the minute percentage of visitors to your website who are going to take action. These are the people that will, with a bit of luck, turn into customers.
Confused about funnels? Contact us for help.
Facebook Ads That Use The Funnel
So, what you have to do in order to be successful with Facebook advertising is develop Facebook ad campaigns that mirror the funnel.
There need to be multiple campaigns, each with different objectives and target audiences depending on where they are in the funnel.
Facebook actually helps you by categorising its campaigns into Awareness, Consideration and Conversion. These reflect the top, middle and bottom of the funnel respectively.
Try overlaying the Facebook advertising categories and objectives onto your content marketing sales funnel to determine what content you should be promoting to which audience and with what objective.
How To Be Strategic
But before you do anything, you need to decide what your business goals are for using Facebook. Do you want to retain current customers, generate website traffic, or simply raise awareness?
Understanding what’s your ultimate goal will enable you to measure success effectively.
Then you’ll need to establish engagement benchmarks. How much are you willing to pay for impressions, clicks, and conversions? This will enable you to view each campaign in terms of monetary value, compare it with other advertising costs and justify the time and resources you allocate to Facebook.
Don’t set your expectations too high. The average conversion rate for Facebook ads for service sector is around 9%. But take heart in the fact that Facebook does produce the best ROI of all social platforms.
Be aware that Facebook advertising requires time to be done well. An hour a week is not enough. Be honest with yourself about what resources you are willing to commit and stick to it. As a general rule, you want one of your ads to appear 3 to 8 times per person over the life of the campaign.
What’s that saying, “it takes money to make money”? Well, unfortunately, it’s true in the world of Facebook advertising. The majority of small businesses allocate way too small a budget to their ad campaigns. Only $50 according to a Weebly survey.
Test & Adjust
Perhaps the most important thing of all is to continuously test your Facebook ads and adjust them accordingly.
Bear in mind that it takes time for Facebook’s algorithm to learn what works best for your specifications.
Test out your ad copy and visuals in numerous combinations to find out what works.
You could test out different offers. This could be e-books or gated downloads on different topics with broad appeal to your target audience. Whichever gets the most downloads is the most desirable information!
Ultimately, it’s about learning what your customers want and giving it to them.
One final word of advice: When creating a saved audience, be really specific about who you want to see your ads. Don’t use the “scattergun” approach and include multiple interests and behaviours at the same time. Or try using Facebook’s lookalike audience tool to target people most similar to your current customers or followers.
Good luck with your Facebook advertising and contact us with any questions. We’re always happy to help!