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7 Things You Need to Know Before You Launch Facebook Ads

When it comes to effective online advertising, there is no more powerful, yet underutilized resource than Facebook advertisements. While some people shy away from Facebook ads, these little online advertisements are some of the best ways to get the word out about your company and reach new customers and clients online.
 
When you think about it, Facebook is the most popular and most visited social media site in the world. Advertise on Facebook and you are advertising to more than a billion people.

If you have never created a Facebook advertising campaign before then you may have some questions before you start.

1. Trust that Facebook ads will work for your business.
This is the first thing that many people want to know about Facebook advertising before they get started.  No matter what industry you are in, trust that it will. This is because Facebook has people from all over the world and from all walks of life on its website.

According to Ben Simkin, CEO of  BusinessNET, "There is a common myth around what types of businesses can sell their products and services on Facebook. I often hear business owners and executives tell me that it'll never work, or they tried it and it didn't produce a good result for them. Having spent millions of dollars on Facebook advertising and generated over $1 billion in sales from the platform, it's a misconception people tend to have because they don't realize the same people who are CEOs, housewives, blue and white collar workers, and consumers in general are all on Facebook."

If you are worried about reaching the right people with this type of ad, rest assured that more people than you think are on the social media platform and even if you assume your typical customer isn't a Facebook user, you may be surprised to find they are on the site just waiting for an ad like yours to come their way.

2. You need to have a goal in mind.
Facebook advertising is a great platform to consider because it puts you in touch with all types of potential customers and because it is really easy to do yourself. However, just because Facebook ads are relatively easy and affordable, it doesn't mean you should just jump into a new campaign without thinking.

If you want Facebook ads to work in the way they are supposed to, then you need to start the process with a goal in mind. You need to have a clear understanding of what it is that you want to accomplish with your ads. Make sure that you write these goals down as they can govern the decisions you make with your ads. Do you want new customers? How many? Do you want more visits to your website? Are you looking to get people to register for your event? The more specific you are with your goals, the more you can tailor your ads to help you reach your goals, and the more you can track your progress to make necessary tweaks to your ads.

Tracking your progress is a great way to see what is working and what isn't as you continue with your advertisements.

3. Take advantage of Facebook's promotional tools.
If you want to make the most of your Facebook ad, then you need to be aware of Facebook's Promotional Tools, and actually know how to use them to your advantage. One of the biggest problems that people have with these promotional tools is that they don't understand what they mean or how to use them.
  • Boost Your Posts: Remember when you post an update on Facebook, only a fraction of your fans will see it. If you promote your post, it will extend its reach.
  • Promote Your Page: If your goal with your Facebook advertisements is to grow your Facebook page, then you need to use the Promote Your Page feature. Facebook gives you the option to test different images and add a call to action to your posts if you utilize this feature.
  • Send People to Your Website: If your ultimate goal is about getting more people to your website, then you can utilize this feature, designed specifically to help drive traffic to your site.

This is why having goals is so important. If you have goals for your Facebook ads, then you can decide which promotional tools will best fit your needs.

4. Know your KPIs.
If you want to find success with your Facebook advertisements, then you need to know your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). You need to be able to focus on actual net profits with your Facebook ads, and then you need to focus on your actual net profits instead of just trying to drive down your cost per action or your engagement.

According to Simkin, "You don't want to get caught up trying to drive down your cost per click to 10 cents if that means you are going to make less sales, or lower profit sales. So we keep metrics on our marketing on Facebook and we can often turn $1 into $20 once we have a campaign dialed in. For instance, just before Christmas in 2015 we ran a campaign, where we spent $15,491 on Facebook 
Advertising and generated $360,000 in sales."

5. Create a small target of potential customers.
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when creating Facebook ads is to target in on a small group of potential customers. Yes, Facebook gives you access to millions and millions of potential customers, but you want to make sure that you take advantage of Precise Interest Targeting to really focus in on who will see your ads. Targeting the largest group possible is a mistake.

When targeting a Precise Interest Group you can focus on defining characteristics of your ideal customers, including their likes and interests, the pages they follow, the apps they use, and more. You will need to do some research yourself and look for individual publications and blogs your ideal customer will likely follow and use this insight to focus in on what pages your customers likely follow. This is one of the most effective ways to ensure your ads are getting to the right people.

6. Create rotating ads.
Before you start your Facebook ad campaign, remember you need more than just a single advertisement to create an effective campaign. Make sure you make at least three ads with the same targeted interests and the same goals. Rotate these ads within your given campaign. If you do this, it allows you to gather individual information on each ad you create. Try to keep your number around three, you don't want to bother with too many at once.

After a few days of your campaign, look at which ads have the lowest CTRs (click-through rates), and delete these. Try to aim for at least 01 percent CTRs as a benchmark, but remember it may take a while to get there. The more you focus on keeping your winning ads running and eliminating the underperforming ads, the better your campaign will do.

7. Make sure your split tests are statistically significant.
You need to run a split tests and you need to run them long enough to know what strategy actually does work for you and your company. Anytime you're testing an ad or landing page, you should look for at least 1,000 unique experiences or impressions before jumping to conclusions about whether the page works or not.

Simkin always emphasizes the importance of these test: "When running a split test in your marketing," he says, "you never want to act too quickly, as that will often mean you'll never find a winning campaign. It's always better to wait longer and spend that extra $50 to $100 to know for sure if you need to change your campaign than to cut it too early. Err on the side of spending too much in the first few weeks, as that will lead to a faster learning curve, and any extra money you've thrown at it in the first few weeks can easily be recouped with new-found profits."

From an article by BY JOHN RAMPTON for Inc.


Entrepreneur and investor

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