Facebook has an active reach of more than 71% of Australian internet users, and growing.
If you’ve not considered the part Facebook might play in your marketing and outreach efforts, you might be missing out. But what do you do once you have decided to use Facebook for your business? It used to be that you could set up a Facebook business Page, gather some followers and start actively promoting your business, but these days Facebook’s systems have changed.
Reaching your audience is not as simple as it used to be, there are algorithms in place that dictate which users see which posts, based on a range of factors. One way around this is by using Facebook ads – Facebook has the most advanced ad targeting system in the world, and those ads can be comparatively cheap.
How can you effectively utilise Facebook ads to maximise your performance? Here are a few tips.
1. Choose your objective
Helpfully, Facebook have made the ad creation process very simple – essentially, Facebook wants as many businesses as possible using their ad products, so simplifying the details makes logical business sense.
When you click on ‘Create Ads’ from your main Facebook menu, you’re first given a set of options to choose from to define the purpose of your ads. Obviously, the main objective is to ‘sell more stuff’, but there are other elements to consider.
Are you looking to raise brand awareness in order to boost your profile? Are you looking to drive more in-store visits?
Before anything else, you need to establish what, exactly, you’re looking to achieve from your Facebook ad, as this will define the remainder of the creation process.
2. Ad targeting
The next element of the Facebook ad process is the most important – ad targeting.
Facebook has the most advanced ad targeting options available, based on the wide array of data it collects on each of its users. Every time you Like a post, for example, that’s another indicator Facebook can use to track your preferences – and when you consider how many posts and Likes and comments are added to the platform every day, as well as all your personal information, location, job, etc. It’s easy to see why Facebook knows so much about you.
Your ad targeting can be as specific as you like – you can narrow down your ads to show them to a single person if you want (not recommended).
For this to be most effective, however, you need to really think about who you want to see your ad. You can use geography – people living in a certain region. You can use interests, ages, gender.
The more you can use the available options to hone in your targeting, the better – and the great thing with this is you can create very targeted campaigns for specific offers. For example, if you’ve got a special on servicing for BMX riders, you can narrow your audience down by age, interests (maybe ‘extreme sports’), location, all ensuring that the right message is reaching the right audience.
It takes some time to get your head around all the available options, but you can look through them all without committing to any ad spend. Worth having a look to see what’s there.
3. Ad placement and pricing
The final element of the process is ad placement.
You can elect to show your ads on all devices, on mobile-only, on desktop only. You can create ads for Instagram or Messenger through the Facebook Ads Manager, you can show them on the right column or only in the News Feed.
Again, the options here are completely customisable, and up to you.
You then allocate the budget you want to spend – there’s no minimum Facebook ad budget, but the more you spend, the more people will see your ad.
Once these elements are confirmed, you’ll go onto the ad creation phase – which is much like creating a Facebook post, with different presentation options and tools available to customise your ad.
That’s it – those are the basic Facebook ad creation steps. As noted, it takes a little bit of experimentation and testing to establish the right targeting and focus options for each business and campaign, but you can always go through the creation steps to see what’s possible – Facebook will provide automated estimates on audience reach as you go.
In terms of performance, it’s difficult to definitively say what measurement makes a ‘successful’ Facebook ad, as it all depends on the individual campaign focus and parameters. Based on industry research, the average click-through rate for a Facebook ad is around 0.98%, which is similar to other digital platforms in terms of performance. If you can get that CTR up to around 10%, you’ve created a solid Facebook ad.
As noted, there’s no definitive benchmarks or measures to align with, as each business will be different, but it is important to track the data to ensure your targeting, messaging and focus is on track.