Sales & Marketing

How To Use Facebook Ads To Grow Your Business

Cameron Fleming | 14 December 2021 | 2 years ago

How to use Facebook ads to grow your business

As an entrepreneur, you will be well aware of the power of Facebook, and it would appear some politicians have fully leveraged this power over the past decade. But let’s not fall down that rabbit hole. Facebook has the potency to reach your maximum potential leads. Hence, it is imperative that it be one of your social media marketing strategy pillars regardless of your personal use of the platform.

In this article, we will take you through how to use Facebook ads to grow your business.

What does Facebook offer your business?

If you have incorporated Facebook correctly into your marketing strategy, it will assist you with engaging with your target audience, give you strategic data on customer behaviour, market your products or services widely and, potentially, boost turnover exponentially.

Professional research companies report that 93% of marketers globally use Facebook as part of their social media marketing.

Facebook marketing can be very cost-effective and, therefore, is suitable even for bootstrap startups who use digital marketing to achieve seven-digit turnovers.

Here are some tips on how to use Facebook to grow your business.

Increasing audience engagement

Your audience likes to be entertained and not pummelled with selling techniques. Post a combination of light-hearted memes (relating to your products or services), photos sent by your customers with your products or services and, most importantly, give away helpful “insider tips” for free. Helpful information boosts audience engagement the most:

  • Share trends relating to your industry (e.g. a kitchen installation company could look at forecasted trends).
  • Interesting facts (e.g. a financial advisor could give examples of clients successfully starting a retirement plan at fifty years of age).
  • Manufacturing advancements (e.g. an upholstery fabric house could share new environmentally friendly printing, weaving or yarn methodologies).
  • Share news about which products or services are selling well and why you think this is the case.
  • Get a graphic designer to create some original images or infographics.
  • Hire a digital marketing videographer to create small videos to post instead of always posting text.
  • Post about other brands that you support.
  • Post about charities you support.
  • Avoid politics, religion and sport brand loyalties (unless you are a sports team).

Increasing engagement through videos

If you are making short videos, the best way to drive engagement is to ask the audience to answer a question in the comments. If you own a restaurant, post a short video about a quick breakfast solution and ask your audience what they eat for a quick breakfast, or ask for additional ideas they would like. Or, ask them if they think any food trends are crazy.

Note: Facebook favours videos posted directly to their stream versus YouTube links. This is because they don’t want people leaving their platform. Twitter (Jack Dorsey) and LinkedIn (Microsoft) are open to the posting of YouTube (Google) links.

Does retargeting apply on the Facebook platform?

Retargeting is a very effective strategy to use and is suitable for companies that have at least 100 visits per month.

People buy from your brand when they trust your brand and feel they know your company. Marketing schools of thought refer to research statistics showing that a consumer needs to see your brand message on seven different occasions before they will consider committing.

A retargeting strategy, via Facebook, Google PPC, LinkedIn, etc., will grow your brand’s visibility to a targeted audience that already has a product like yours in the forefront of their mind.

Facebook retargeting is underutilised by many marketers, which is surprising as it is an option with quick, inexpensive gains.

Facebook uses the snippet of code called pixel that you insert on your website. This retargets your website visitors with products they viewed but did not purchase. This is a more cost-effective form of advertising with a higher conversion rate.

What are look-alike audiences?

Being a mover-and-a-shaker, you will no doubt have been harvesting your audience’s email addresses whenever they have permitted you to do so and are targeting them with engaging, curated newsletters.

This list is a valuable asset and can be used in relation to Facebook marketing. Upload the list to Facebook, and the platform will ingeniously collate a potential audience list with members similar to your original list. This gives you an instant doubled audience and potentially much more.

Don’t forget to use A/B testing

Let’s not hide behind your fingers here ‒ A/B testing is a pain, but if you are not doing it, you would be better off flushing money down the loo. It is a decisive factor in the success of your Facebook marketing strategy.

Always run at least two versions of new Facebook ads. You will have what you believe is your ‘winner’ Ad (Ad A), and then your B Ad will consist of different wording, a different offer, potentially different colours and an alternative image. Select the best performer and create a new B Ad. Run them again. Select the new A Ad and create a B version, and so on.

This approach will highlight what is working for the audience and what is not.

You will need silo landing pages for each Ad group or offer

The death of any Ad Campaign is sending an interested buyer to your home page! You will have different groups in each campaign, e.g. Shoe campaign will have a sneaker group, a high heel group, and a sandal group.

A customised (silo) landing page must be created based on each Ad group, e.g. www.<yourbrandname>.co.uk/sneakers/. Search algorithms favour URLs that match Ad groups, and they also heavily favour landing pages with keywords that match the Ad search criteria. The search algorithms will also evaluate the quality of your content on the silo landing page and penalise you for inter-page plagiarism (repetitive content).

Note: if your advert refers to a discount, then your landing page must refer to the discount. If you promote a deal for ‘followers only’, then insert a sign-up form on your landing page. Don’t be parsimonious with your word count either. Some of the most successful online companies have two thousand word landing pages that:

  • describe the product
    • generally,
    • technically,
    • aesthetically, and
  • address predetermined buyer doubts,
  • give extra tips,
  • list the many benefits,
  • give logistics-relevant details, and
  • generally do a good job of convincing the audience.

Top benefits of Facebook marketing

The Facebook Ads tool and platform is a powerful vehicle for growing your business and launching new products and services.

  • Start with the fundamentals, get those right and then build from there.
  • Use analytics, pixel and retargeting and a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
  • You can schedule your Facebook posts and adverts and check consistently that your retargeting is operational.
  • Create your duplicated audience by uploading your email list.
  • Do not avoid the very important, repeated A/B testing.
  • Create unique content for silo landing pages for your Ads with convincing Calls To Action.
Following these steps will have a profound effect on your business growth.

It is feasible to outsource the work, and most agencies have different packages for different deals. It is important that you understand what the service entails so that you know what you want to outsource, the effort required to do it and what you would like to keep in-house.

But why go the Ads route in the first place?

Facebook Ads versus organic growth

Facebook was always punted as the referrals platform par excellence, and, initially, this was true. The market, as expected, has segments that have tired of the platform, and therefore Facebook referrals (organic growth) have dwindled.

Social media reach is, however, not to be scoffed at. With 3.5 billion users, it is still a vital part of your digital marketing. Your management of it has to change.

The term “organic reach” refers to the audience who see your posts without you paying for them being displayed in their feed. The reach will also incorporate “friends” to which your audience has shared your post, plus any resulting interaction directly with your brand from the “friend”.

The term “paid reach” refers to the audience who receives your posts in their stream because you have paid for it to be there. If that post is shared, then that is a cross-over into organic reach. Ergo, paid reach can increase your organic reach.

The greater the engagement of the audience with your posts, the greater the opportunity for extending your reach. Engagement equals likes, reactions, comments or shares.

Engagement rates, Ads and organic reach

There are no fatal flaws in Facebook affecting Facebook’s organic reach. Here is why:

  • The biggest challenge is, ironically, Facebook’s popularity. There are more posts than news feed space! 8,500 comments and over 4,800 status updates are pouring through Facebook every second.
  • Facebook curates relevant content to each user. To increase engagement and optimise user experience, content is tailored to each user’s interests.
By utilising the ad platform, 9 million users have countered the dwindling organic reach to great effect.

This does not mean that organic reach should be ignored. Here’s why:

Leads

  1. Social media channels are frequently used for building brand awareness, but their lead generation power is not sufficiently leveraged.
  2. Social media is a pillar of digital marketing.
  3. Engaging your audience sufficiently to become leads doesn’t require financial outlay ‒ only your involvement; therefore, sale conversions cost less.
  4. Organic reach is usually where viral happens.
  5. Organic reach gives you fewer leads but greater quality and vice versa for paid leads. Your analytics will inform you when to use each approach.

Costs

Pay per click costs, but it has a role to play. It is not the total solution. Your organic reach extrapolates out the marketing cost per lead.

New Opportunities

Facebook is constantly evolving, and new features like Stories, Watch, Groups and Live are helping recoup some lost organic reach. However, not everyone is leveraging these new opportunities.

Algorithms

Facebook has been actively researching feedback from audiences; for example, their “Why am I seeing this post” feature. Direct feedback from an audience is the most powerful data you could wish for and Facebook are using it. Added to this, the algorithm looks at who the audience is engaging with, media types and post popularity amongst 997 other factors.

As consumers have matured substantially, algorithms across social media have become sticklers for seeking out meaningful content, as well as posts for directly linked friends and family. Other influential factors are:

  • The age of the post,
  • The activity levels of the posting user (or brand),
  • Their average number of engagements (likes, etc.),
  • The potential recipients’ interaction history with the posting user (or brand),
  • The same recipients’ engagement with similar posts,
  • Any negative feedback received per post,
  • And a long, long list of additional factors.
Poorly thought-through posts are not going to cut it, but your organic reach potential is powerful if you get the ‘meaningful content’ sweet spot.

Facebook objectives

Like all smart companies, Facebook knows its power is in its database: its users. Keep them happy and you keep the shareholders happy. Their objectives are thus to constantly deliver:

  • Information that makes their users happy,
  • Premium, relevant content, and
  • A great user experience.

How to be aligned with Facebook’s objectives

Hard sell content is anathema, and user-generated information gets higher rankings over paid content.

Be sure that your social media posts have a distinctively human ring to them. Not even the smartest AI (that we know of) has replaced a human tonality. It is, after all, a SOCIAL platform.

Combine blog notifications and launches with BTS (behind the scenes) and in-house celebrations. Show the funny side or human side of your brand, even if it is a technical side. Share fun facts, e.g. a kitchen company could post a fun fact regarding civilisation’s first use of cutlery.

Build a following and a conversation, many conversations. Use the 80/20 rule – 80% social, 20% promoting.

Mix up your posts with brand stories, thought leadership, lead sourcing and personal posts

The old days of buying likes, clickbait and posting-dysentery will harm your brand severely.

Facebook quickly picks up repetitive posts and deletes what it doesn’t like.

And, you might find this ironic, but do not build a fanbase that you cannot sustain. A massive fanbase equals many, many segments. Now you must create ‘meaningful content’ for each segment. If you do not sustain the engagement to all segments, then some segments will naturally shut themselves down.

Only sow what you can harvest.

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