Editor’s note: This is a guest contribution by Rae Steinbach from Taktical Digital
The launch of a startup can be an exhilarating time. You’ve developed your business plan. Put in a lot of work to get to this point, but you still have one very significant hurdle. At this point, very few people know your business exists. This is where our Facebook Ads guide for startups comes in.
Maybe you started out with a few customers or clients waiting to buy from you. But, if you are going to build a sustainable business. You’ll have to raise awareness and promote your startup.
Marketing can be a challenge for any small business. Since you’re just starting, your budget may be limited, and you probably do not have access the resources available to your larger competitors. Fortunately, advertising on Facebook is the perfect place to start. The platform offers a range of advertising opportunities that make it easier for newer, smaller businesses to reach the right consumers.
The Value of Facebook Advertising
Facebook has the potential to reach a vast audience. With more than 2.2 billion monthly active users, it is the largest social media site in the world, so you know your target audience is on Facebook.
The large, diverse user base is one obvious factor that positions Facebook as an attractive advertising platform, but that is just the beginning of what makes it such a great place to promote a startup. Along with the large audience, advertisers get access to a range of tools that make it easy to target the right audience for their ads.
With the ability to take the large Facebook user base and narrow it down to the most relevant segment, you can increase the effectiveness of your ads and maximize the ROI of your marketing campaigns. You even get access to some of Facebook’s user data, which can be good for learning more about your customers.
When compared to other marketing channels, Facebook offers one of the most cost-effective ways to reach a large audience. The cost to reach 1000 people is just $0.25 with Facebook advertising. Compare that to $7 for cable TV or $20 for magazine features, and you can see that Facebook advertising is one of the best options for a business that is trying to reach a lot of people on a smaller budget.
Facebook Ads Guide For Startups
Create Custom Audiences
You can manually build a Facebook audience by going through all of the categories and selecting the features that match your ideal ad target. However, the custom audience options offer some of the best results and are very easy to set up.
Custom audiences allow advertisers to target Facebook users based on different types of connections they may have with your business. With custom audiences, you have the option to create audiences based on:
- a list of email addresses
- phone numbers
- activity on your website or app
- offline activity,
- engagement with your Facebook page or posts.
Let’s imagine you have a blog post that discusses the benefits of one of the products or services you sell. You can then use a website custom audience to retarget those people with Facebook ads. As another example, you could create an engagement custom audience out of users who have interacted with one of your posts or ads. Both of these are easy ways to create an audience of people who have had some previous contact with your business.
Once you have some custom audiences, you can expand your reach even further by using lookalike audiences. With this feature, Facebook analyzes the original audience to identify the traits they have in common. Using this information, the social platform can give you a new audience that is very similar to the original group.
Sticking with the example of a website custom audience, you could create a lookalike audience that shares the same traits as a group of website visitors that took specific actions. You could create a custom audience out of people that visited a product page on your site. If your ad is successful with that group, you could then build a lookalike audience based on that group of website visitors.
Test Your Ads
If you want to take your advertising to the next level, you are going to want to do some split testing. Split testing allows you to set up different ad sets to see which features of the ad provide the best result. You will want to test different images, CTAs, keywords, etc.
The idea is to create two ads that are almost the same, but which feature one key difference. Let’s say they are virtually identical, but with different headlines. By running this type of split test, you can find out which version of the headline provides the best results.
Facebook even makes it easy to perform this type of split testing by providing the option to set up a split test on the conversions page. The CPC and CTR numbers will be tracked for each version of the ad, and then you can use this data for future campaigns.
Wondering what to test? Check out: Facebook Split Tests To Improve Your ROI
Learn From Audience Insights
One of the most significant advantages to advertising on Facebook is that you get access to some of the customer data. With Facebook Audience Insights, you can learn more about the people in your Facebook audiences. This can help you to create ads that are more effective for your target market.
For example, you might create a custom audience using a customer file, but maybe you do not know too much about the people in the list of email addresses or phone numbers. You can use the Audience Insights to learn more about these users.
You could gather information about how different age groups are represented in the list, geographic location, the types of Facebook content they are most likely to engage with, how frequently they use the platform, purchasing behavior, education level, job titles, and more.
Of course, none of this is specific information that is tied to an individual user, but it will be useful when you’re trying to learn about the general types of people in your custom audiences. It’s also helpful when trying to narrow down an audience that is a little too broad. When you get to know your audience better, it will be easier to find the segments of the audience that can be excluded from an ad campaign.
Put Your Audience on the Right Path
Developing successful ads and getting people to click is a good start. But you want to make sure you are directing them to the right online asset. Sending people to your homepage or your Facebook page can work well if you are just trying to raise awareness of your brand. However, there are better options for campaigns that have more specific goals.
Instead of linking visitors to your homepage or your Facebook page, send them to a page that is aligned with the intentions of the campaign. If you are trying to promote a specific product or service, you should link the ad to its relevant landing page.
When someone clicks on your ad, it means they are interested. However, if they end up at your homepage, there might not be a clear path leading them to what you want them to do. By developing a landing page that is specific to the intentions of the ad campaign, you make it much easier for visitors to know what actions to take once they get to your site. This ensures that more of your clicks turn into actual sales.
Facebook offers some of the most valuable opportunities for new businesses that are trying to promote their brand and products. The key is to start by following some of the best practices for Facebook advertising, and then test your ads, track the audience insights, and continually refine your campaigns to maximize the return on investment.
About the author
Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing (of course).
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