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Facebook Ads For Small Business: A Compact Guide (2022)

Launching and sustaining a small business venture today is tough.

Digital marketing has gone mainstream.

Everyone now hangs out their shingle on the internet. So you have a bazillion competitors to contend with. But the internet is also a blessing. Most customers now research products and services online first, whether they will buy in-store or online.

Because the buyer journey has shifted online, traditional advertising doesn't cut it anymore. Brands that refuse to adjust and join the online gold rush struggle to stay afloat. But those that realize the enormous opportunity the internet presents and grab it, thrive. 

In particular, Facebook Ads have become a popular option for savvy small businesses that want to attract customers and grow their brands fast.

This article will show you how to use Facebook ads for small business and why they are a wonderful tool for advertising.

Facebook Advertising: 5 Reasons Facebook Ads Are An Effective Marketing Tool

Facebook Advertising: 5 Reasons Facebook Ads Are An Effective Marketing Tool

Does Facebook advertising work for small businesses?

You bet.

No wonder small businesses use Facebook ads so much. Let’s go over 5 reasons Facebook is a powerful tool for advertising.

Wide Reach

With a staggering 2,9 billion active users spread across 156 countries, Facebook is a small business owner’s marketing dream.

Of these users, 1.6 billion interact with a small business Facebook page. Surely, no matter which niche or demographic your company targets, you will find the right audience on Facebook.

There’s more.

Not only are there billions of people on Facebook, but they are also highly engaged. They spend up to 33 minutes per day on Facebook alone.

Wide Reach

Source: Statista

By advertising on Facebook, you give your business the best chance of reaching an engaged global audience that’ll pay attention to your message at the click of a button. This alone is enough reason for you to take your social media presence seriously. Set up a Facebook page or Facebook group if you haven’t done so already.

Facebook offers deep data about its users. This makes it super easy for you to target the exact people you want to reach.

Speaking of targeting…

Ad targeting

As a small business owner, your goal is to reach the right audience with the right message at the right moment.

The Facebook ad targeting ad feature allows you to do just that. Small business owners can hone in on their ideal audience by targeting Facebook users by:

Location

Hunt for new customers depending on where they live: state, country, region, or neighborhood even.

Language

Find customers across borders and localize campaigns through dynamic ads that adapt to multiple languages.

Age and Gender

Target people by a specific age or gender for hyper-focused marketing campaigns.

Interests

Customers’ interests are similar, so you can use that to attract more customers who share similar online habits with your ideal customers.

Connections

Decide to include or exclude people connected to your Facebook business page or event.

Unlike Google ads that focus on keywords, Facebook ads allow you to reach your target audience in so many ways. This targeting feature empowers small business owners to reach more potential customers and turn them into paying customers.

Facebook Custom Audiences

Another powerful Facebook online advertising feature is custom audiences. 

As the name implies, the custom audiences feature allows you to run tailormade ad campaigns by finding new audiences of people who have the same characteristics as your current customers.   

Here are the 4 types of personalized audiences you can craft using the Facebook Ads Manager.

1. Customer List Custom Audience

Searching for potential customers who match your avatar can be arduous. 

With Facebook marketing, it’s easy. Simply create a list of characteristics that identify your ideal customers and upload it as a CSV or TXT file on Ads Manager. The FB algorithm will quickly match the info you provided with Facebook users with similar identifiers so you can target them in your promotions.

2. Website Custom Audience

This involves targeting your website visitors who have Facebook accounts using a Facebook pixel. There are two ways to do it:

1. Action-Based

Craft a retargeting campaign to follow people who visited a specific landing page but didn’t complete the desired action, e.g. fill out a form or buy a product. Flight an ad on Facebook to lure them back to the landing page so they complete the action.

2. Time-Based

Alternatively, target people who visited your website within a specific period, e.g. in the past 30 days. This ensures that you produce a timely ad creative that converts because their website visit is still fresh in their minds.

3. Engagement Custom Audience

With an Engagement Custom Audience, you target users who engaged with your content across all Facebook apps or services. For instance, if someone watched a video, filled a lead gen form, or attended an event on your Facebook page, you can show ads to them related to the actions they took.

Plus, you can use the Engagement Custom Audience to build a Lookalike Audience of people with similar traits to those who’ve consumed your Facebook page content.

4. App Activity Custom Audience

Another smart way to build a custom audience and boost conversions is to add a Facebook pixel to your app and move data from it to Facebook so you target people who’ve used your app specifically.

The best part?

The more ad campaigns you run, the more pronounced your audience becomes. You end up with a new, tailormade, and high-converting target audience that responds favorably to most of your offers.  

The ‘create saved audiences’ feature makes this powerful function possible.

Clear And Concise Reports

Clear And Concise Reports

Source: Facebook

Another powerful aspect of Facebook marketing is Ads Reporting.

Facebook reporting tracks more metrics and has accurate tracking compared to traditional advertising. 

Here’s a quick run-through of the major metrics.

  • Cost Per Click (CPC) - CPC means how much a click on your ad costs you when someone clicks on your ad. It’s calculated by dividing the total amount spent by the number of links.
  • Link Clicks - This is the total number of clicks on your ad excluding links in the comment section. Link clicks gauge the level of interest your audience has in your commercial.
  • Click-through Rate (CTR) - CTR is the number of times people clicked on your Facebook ad compared to how many impressions the ad got. 
  • Impressions - Impressions on Facebook ads inform you how many times they showed your ad on the screens of your target audience, e.g. phone or a desktop.
  • Reach - Reach is how many people saw your ad at least one time. Reach gauges the exposure of your message. Unlike impressions, reach doesn’t count many views from the same people.
  • Amount Spent - The Amount Spent metric tells you how much Ad dollars you’ve spent on a specific campaign during its lifespan.

With these and other metrics on hand, it’s super easy to track your progress and change things on the fly. Besides, the feedback is instant. In traditional marketing, reports come in after a while. Meanwhile, you pour money into ads that aren’t producing results.

Reasonable Prices

Facebook ads for small businesses are a lifesaver.

Advertising can be expensive—I’m talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. For example, according to Statista, running 30-second TV ads costs $104k. Shocking, I know, right? At this rate, it’s clear running TV ads isn’t a sustainable strategy for cash-strapped small business owners. 

Not so with Facebook marketing.

It’s a pocket-friendly channel.

You can run an ad campaign on Facebook without spending a fortune. With only $50 per day, you can run a successful campaign.

industry benchmarks

Source: Instapage

On average, advertising your business on Facebook costs only $1.72 per click across all industries.

So Facebook advertising is superb for startups with limited marketing budgets.

Facebook Ad For Small Business Best Practices

Facebook Ad For Small Business Best Practices

There are proven standard practices on how to run Facebook ads for small businesses efficiently. 

Let’s go over 11 of the latest Facebook marketing best practices. 

But first.

Set Up A Facebook Page

It all starts with creating a company Facebook page.

You can’t run marketing campaigns on Facebook if you are not on Facebook, right? Here are some quick tips on how to come up with an impressive Facebook page for your small business:

  • Start with your business name and description. Tell users who you are and what you do.
  • Add a colorful cover photo and profile photo. Make sure the photos capture the essence of your brand visually.
  • Add a call-to-action at the top of your page that tells users the next step you want them to take as they engage with your brand.
  • Fill in your location, contact info, and business hours.
  • Add collaborators in the Page Roles section so your marketing team members have access to the page.

With your base set, it’s time to move on to the best practices.

1. Mind Your Budget

1. Mind Your Budget

Source: Facebook

As a small business, you don’t have deep pockets like Fortune 500 companies.

You must stretch every dollar as far as it can go. Keep a close eye on your ad spend.

See what works best for you: spend-based, goal-based, or manual bidding?

2. Schedule Posts With A Content Calendar

Facebook ads have many moving parts, and content is at the heart of them.

Therefore, staying organized can be tough. That’s where the Content Calendar comes in to save the day and help you schedule your social media posts. Content calendars answer 4 key questions:

  • What: what is your post about aka the prevailing theme?
  • When: when do you want your post to be published?
  • Where: which platform will host the content—Facebook or Instagram?
  • How: which format will you use to relay your message—pictures, video, or both?

Your content must be relevant and engage your audience while driving business goals in one smooth stroke. You unlock that relevance at the intersection of your business goals and the needs of your audience as shown by the graphic below.

2. Schedule Posts With A Content Calendar

Source: Facebook

A smart calendar helps you refine your process and share your brand’s posts consistently with your audience.

Importantly, get clues from Page Insights, so you schedule your posts and ad sets at when your audience is most responsive.

3. Create A Facebook Group Page

While your brand’s Facebook business page is a start, you must do more.

For further visibility and customer support, start a community page. A company group page also helps you understand your ideal customers deeply. 

As you interact with them daily on your business page, you pick info about what drives them and informs their decisions. You can use these intimate insights into consumer psychology and behavior to craft potent ad campaigns that resonate instantly. 

Make sure your page highlights your value proposition so people know what makes you different.

4. Optimize Ad Placements

4. Optimize Ad Placements

Source: Facebook

Optimize ads so they work like a well-oiled machine.

In particular, optimize their placement. 

Where your ad appears affects your conversion rates. Specific ads perform better in specific places. Facebook ads for small business placements options include:

  • Newsfeed Ads.
  • Facebook Video Feeds.
  • Facebook Marketplace.
  • Right Hand Side Ads.
  • Messenger Inbox.
  • Facebook Stories.
  • Instagram Explore.
  • Messenger Stories.

By default, Facebook places ads for you where they feel they’ll perform best through their Automatic Placements feature. But don’t let that stop you from manual placement and learning firsthand what works best for your specific brand.

Ad placement affects your expenses. CPC varies widely depending on where you place an advertisement.

CPC by placement

Source: ADEspresso

That’s why you must keep a close eye on ad placements numbers. 

Besides placements, optimize ad formats. Facebook ads for small businesses come in all shapes and sizes.

  • Video: woo potential customers with dazzling videos that draw more eyeballs to your promotions.
  • Image: they support all popular image formats such as JPG, PNG, JPEG, TIF, TIFF, GIF, BMP, and more.
  • Carousel: parade up to ten videos or images in one ad, each with a separate link for users to click and dig deeper about your brand or product. 
  • Instant Experience: give users an immersive full-screen visual experience of your products and services when they open your ads on mobile devices.

5. Perform Split Tests Repeatedly

5. Perform Split Tests Repeatedly

Source: ADEspresso

To win FB ads, you don't just have to flesh out an excellent ad campaign once and forget about it. That would be a recipe for disaster or mediocre results at best. To maximize results, build split testing into your advertising workflow.

Thankfully, standard Facebook ads come with the handy split testing feature. For high performing ads that bring a high return on ad spend (ROAS), test the following:

  • Bidding strategies: test which works best for your brand: spend-based bidding or goal-based bidding?
  • Headlines: experiment with different headline variations to see which one drives more clicks.
  • Body copy: what type of body copy performs best? Try out paragraphs vs bullets.
  • Ad groups: craft a couple of ad groups and run them for a week or so and the one that converts best. 
  • Call-to-action buttons: which button copy or color yields the best results?
  • Images: test different image types and sizes to see which one engages users best.

Test again and again.

Dump the losers and double down on the winners.

6. Don’t Be Obsessed With Likes

Small businesses often obsess over likes. 

Vain metrics are dangerous. 

They give a semblance of progress. But in reality, nothing is happening. In the end, you just earn bragging rights without moving the ROI needle an inch. 

For a tangible outcome, focus on link retargeting instead.

Add Facebook retargeting pixels to your carefully selected content. Implementing dynamic retargeting will ensure all your connections have a chance of seeing your relevant content in their news feeds. More eyeballs on your content mean you generate leads faster.

Comfy, a Ukrainian brand, saw remarkable results through dynamic retargeting.

6. Don’t Be Obsessed With Likes

Source: Facebook

7. Leverage Location Targeting

7. Leverage Location Targeting

Source: Jon Loomer

Do you run a brick-and-mortar business?

Then you must take advantage of location targeting to get your brand message to potential customers with laser precision. Whether you run a flower shop or a local bakery, you can use Facebook’s geo-targeting powers to target consumers in specific locations.

With location targeting, you can create ads that target a specific:

  • Country.
  • State.
  • Province.
  • City.
  • Zip Code.
  • Congressional District.
  • Radius or neighborhood.

8. Align Ads To Your Sales Funnel

8. Align Ads To Your Sales Funnel

Source: Unsplash

Target every stage of the funnel with your ads.

FB ads are versatile. 

You can use them at any stage of the funnel to:

  • Raise awareness about your brand.
  • Lure a new cold audience.
  • Attract visitors to your product landing pages.
  • Deepen the relationship with leads in the middle of the funnel.

9. Tap Into The Power Of Carousel Ads

Carousel ads are trending.

Here are three reasons you must rope them into your ad workflow:

  • Demonstrative: they allow you to show your product in use, which is more convincing than just listing benefits.
  • Accommodative: they can showcase many products at once.
  • Storytelling: multiple moving slides allow you to tell a full story about your product than a single static picture.

Here is a carousel ad illustration from Creatopy.

3. Create A Facebook Group Page

While your brand’s Facebook business page is a start, you must do more.

For further visibility and customer support, start a community page. A company group page also helps you understand your ideal customers deeply. 

As you interact with them daily on your business page, you pick info about what drives them and informs their decisions. You can use these intimate insights into consumer psychology and behavior to craft potent ad campaigns that resonate instantly. 

Make sure your page highlights your value proposition so people know what makes you different.

3. Create A Facebook Group Page

While your brand’s Facebook business page is a start, you must do more.

For further visibility and customer support, start a community page. A company group page also helps you understand your ideal customers deeply. 

As you interact with them daily on your business page, you pick info about what drives them and informs their decisions. You can use these intimate insights into consumer psychology and behavior to craft potent ad campaigns that resonate instantly. 

Make sure your page highlights your value proposition so people know what makes you different.

About the author 

Mike Vestil

Mike Vestil is an author, investor, and speaker known for building a business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months while traveling the world.

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