Last week, we discussed how email marketing is a key strategy for new e-commerce entrepreneurs. But what if you want to expand your reach and build a new audience? In today’s blog, we outline how paid advertising, like Facebook ads, will help grow your customer base.
If you’re new to e-commerce, paid advertising can seem daunting. You might wonder how much money to set aside for a marketing budget, or whether you’ll see a return on investment. These are valid concerns; no one likes to waste money!
Facebook is a great place to start with paid advertising. Why? Because it’s the most popular social media platform to date. With 2.65 billion active monthly users, everyone is using Facebook. If your goal is to grow your audience, you are likely to reach your desired customers on this platform. In addition, Facebook boasts an accessible ad creation system. Whatever your ad objective is, it’s easy to set up a targeted campaign. Fortunately, Facebook provides tons of resources for those of you just starting out.
Today, we discuss four important considerations for getting started with Facebook Ads. If you haven’t already created a Facebook Ads Manager account, get started here. Our tips will make more sense once you have your account up and running.
1. Clarify Your Ideal Customer Avatar
When new business owners are asked about their target demographic, it’s common to hear them say “everyone.” Of course, it makes sense that you want your product or service to resonate with lots of people! However, in trying to reach everyone, you’re more likely to reach...nobody.
The more specific you are about who your ideal customer avatar is, the further your ad dollars will go. When we say “ideal customer avatar”, we mean defining the type of client or audience that is going to give you the best return. Think of them as the client you want to replicate. They are your dream customer, if you will.
Paint a picture of your ideal customer. What’s their name? How old are they? Where do they live? What gender are they? What are their hobbies and interests? It is much easier to attract your dream client if you have a clear picture of who they are. The more specific you are, the more likely you’ll be able to reach them with your ads.
2. Define Your Ad Objective
After you clarify your target audience, identify a clear business objective for your ad campaign. Examples might include increased traffic to your website, purchases, or brand awareness.
If you feel unclear about your ad objective, Facebook has a helpful list of options to get started. For example, they have automated ad options for getting more website visits, promoting directions to your physical store location (if you have one), requesting contact details, and promoting specific webpages.
If you sell products online, you probably want to direct potential customers to wherever they can make a purchase (i.e. your website). You might even want to direct customers to the webpage for your best-selling product. If you’re a service-based business, your goal might be to generate more consultations. Encourage potential clients to get in touch by directing them to an email contact form or a direct messaging tool.
Once you’ve selected an appropriate business objective for your ads, Facebook will automate where customers can see the ads. For example, viewers will see the ad on their Desktop News Feed, Mobile News Feed, Facebook Stories, and so on. Optimal ad placement options depend on the business objective you’ve selected. Although you have the option to turn off automatic placements, Facebook recommends keeping them on, especially if you’re just starting out.
3. Align Your Objective, Image, and Copy
This might seem obvious, but it’s still worth noting: be sure to align your ad objective with the ad image and copy. For example, if your ad objective is to promote a specific product or service, use an image that highlights that product or service rather than, say, something completely unrelated. You’ll see better results overall if the image and objective are in sync.
The same is true for the copy, which is the written portion of the ad. Well-written ad copy encourages customers to follow through on your desired action. If your goal is for more orders, the copy can be as simple as the words “FREE SHIPPING” paired with an image of a best-seller. Another example would be something like, “for a limited time, get 50% off your first order!”
Think back to your ideal customer avatar. Reflect on how they would most likely communicate. What words or tone of voice would you use? For instance, the language and tone used to communicate with young men between the ages of 18-25 living in Brazil differs from how you’d communicate with women between the ages of 50-65 living in Germany.
The copy doesn’t have to be long. In fact, most successful Facebook ads are less than 20 words. For some concrete examples of well-written ads in action, check out Digital Marketer’s recent post.
4. Analytics Are Your Friend
One of the best ways to drive results is to make ad decisions based on analytics. The Facebook Ads Manager displays data for all active ad campaigns in one location, which allows you to see what is and isn’t working.
The Ads Manager shows the number engagements with your campaign, the cost per engagement, and how many people were reached. Taken together, this helps you understand how much each campaign costs. You can further break down the data by Gender, Age, Placements, and Location. This tool helps you see if the ads are actually reaching your ideal customer.
Sometimes one ad might perform better than another. If you’re unsure why, the Ads Manager has a built-in A/B testing feature. A/B testing produces the exact same ad, but with one differing variable. For example, this could be the time of day you post the ad, the placement of the ad, or the ad copy. To accurately assess results, it is essential to only test one variable. The A/B testing feature helps to identify what to replicate for successful future campaigns.
When you clarify your ad objectives and audience ahead of time, image selection and copywriting become much more straight-forward. Analytics help you understand which ads are most impactful to your target audience so that you can adapt as necessary. Taken together, these points will help you optimize your Facebook Ad performance so that you can see a greater return on investment.
Get in Touch!
If you have more questions about Facebook Ads, get in touch with us. We offer a full suite of digital marketing services, including running your ads, to help you grow your business.