If you paint the next Mona Lisa and keep it in your attic, it’s almost like you didn’t create anything in the first place. The same goes for your business; you’ve got to put your website, products, and services in front of potential customers! How do you do this without breaking the bank? Facebook – the social media platform represents one of the best bang-for-your-buck marketing solutions available to small businesses.

Before we take you through the steps to launching your effective Facebook ad campaign, make sure your page on the site is as accurate and aesthetically pleasing as possible. Choose an image for your page that will draw people in and populate the about section and news feed with sharp and appealing content. Re-examine Facebook’s easy-to-use classification tools and make sure you’re using the right one for your business. If you’re an established brand, don’t use the local business page, and vice-versa. Now, let’s use Facebook to get some attention (and revenue) for your business!

Determine Facebook Campaign Objectives

Before you start, examine what your competition does regarding their Facebook ads. See what you like, take a look at what you can improve, and make sure your content stands out from that of your competitors.

Then, decide what you’re trying to accomplish with your Facebook campaign and set some clearly defined goals. Choosing an objective is made easy thanks to the site’s well-designed interface, and below you can see how to align your digital strategy and goals with one of the corresponding options.

objectives

The first three options (boost your posts, promote your page, and send people to your website) are likely going to be the most important for your business, as this will get people to your Facebook page and website, which will increase the number of followers for your brand. We will examine these options and walk you through the process of successfully reaching these objectives (as well as discussing the new collect leads for your business feature).

When you boost your post, you select one specific piece of content to reach a larger audience. You can see below that this post was boosted, and that it reached 2,619 people (Facebook allows you to see a more detailed breakdown of the post’s performance via the “view results” button).

boost

This type of engagement is difficult to get organically – simply via word of mouth and through peer engagement and without putting money behind it – so it’s necessary to boost posts in order to put your content in front of a large audience. When boosting your post, you can adjust the parameters so that your reach is as targeted as possible.

Ad Design and Customization Can Make or Break Your Campaign

Make sure the post itself has a grabbing headline – lists, questions, and declarative statements all work well here – snappy language, a call to action, and a picture that draws people into the content. The importance of the image cannot be overstated, as you should really try to use a unique picture to differentiate your content from the rest of what’s on peoples’ feeds. Stock images are fine, but if you can use a screenshot or product photo that would be the ideal choice. Write a one or two sentence description of the post to get people interested – asking a question or positing a theory usually works well here.

You will need to select your audience, determine a desired budget (a little money goes a long way on the site), and play around with how the post will appear on peoples’ feeds. Before you boost, make sure that you like the appearance of your post on both the desktop and mobile news feeds, as you can see below.

post

You need to pump some money into your posts to see a real impact. Be realistic about the posts, however, as you should spend more on content that you know is going to deliver than an article that isn’t really going to garner that much attention.

You also need to come up with a bidding/budgeting strategy, as you should have an idea of what you’re willing to spend per day. When bidding – this is basically Facebook’s competitive marketplace for impressions (how many times your content is seen) – remember that the more you pay, the more potential engagement you will get. You can do this on a cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand-impressions basis – I would recommend the former.

You’re targeting people in order for them to engage – this means “like,” share, or, comment – with your post, and this will help to bring them and others to your site.

If you get likes and shares, then you can gain traction in certain circles. Liking the post simply means that their friends will see this post on their feeds. If someone shares the post, it will appear higher up on their feed and will remain there for a longer duration. Ideally, people will be sharing your content, but getting likes is a great place to start.

Get Those Customers to Your Page!

You can also take a broader swipe when marketing on Facebook. If you want to gain followers and generate leads via your page, and not a specific post, then you should promote your page. Here, you will need to really rely on Facebook’s unrivaled ability to reach a specific audience. The site has so much information on people that it really makes it quite simple to target individuals based on a number of demographic/geographic/interest-based factors. This allows you to build a following that’s actually interested in your brand, not just people who may be inclined to like individual posts that you boosted. Below you can see how to adjust the copy and desired audience for your ad.

cop

When people like your page, they will see all of your posts and be more likely to engage with your content. It’s impossible to build a following organically, as you need to have people following you in order to see your content. No one is going to become a fan of your brand’s page out of the blue – you need to direct them to your content. Once they like your page, posts will show up in their feed directly, or on the side of the page as an advertisement.

If your business has a dynamite website, and you’d prefer to have people bypass your Facebook page and head directly there, then there’s an ad campaign option for this route. Select the send people to your website option, and you can create a targeted ad that directs people to your site.

As you can see below, this ad is very simple, but it’s this simplicity that will draw people to your site.

tips

The minimal nature of these ads make it easy for people to be turned off to your brand if you don’t include the right mix of words and images. Come up with a creative tagline, choose an image that really shows what your company is about, and narrow your brand/business down to a short phrase that says what you’re all about.

You can easily target a specific group/demographic with this option, and your content will be populated within a news feed or on the side of a page as an advertisement. The site also pushes content out onto the Facebook Audience Network, only further increasing visibility for your posts.

By using one of the three aforementioned ad campaigns, your content will surely reach your desired audience. The amount of money you spend on these options will influence the effectiveness of the respective campaigns – devoting as little as $5 a day to a Facebook campaign will likely pay dividends for your business.

Newsletters, Conversions, and More

Though you should concentrate your Facebook marketing efforts on boosting your posts, promoting your page, and sending people to your website, there are other ad campaign tools that may help your business.

Facebook allows you to direct people to sign up for your daily or weekly newsletter through the new collect leads for your business campaign objective– this is one of the easiest ways to retain and engage customers. Below, you can see a sample post for this type of effort, complete with the numerous ways you can promote your newsletter via targeted language and actionable copy.

below

The social media network also has options to direct people to download and install applications, go to specific events, buy products – there are options and customizations for each of these actions.

If you have an e-commerce-based business, then you should look at Facebook’s options for tracking and increasing conversions on your website. They offer a number of tools that let you see where your business is coming from, which allows you to adjust certain strategies accordingly.

Testing and Trying Your Way to Success

There’s a lot to consider when you launch a paid Facebook campaign, but the site provides unparalleled access to your potential audience. If you are consistent, persistent, and patient in your approach, you will significantly grow the number of people who interact with your brand. The best way to determine the best approach is to constantly try, test, and measure the effectiveness of certain methods. Fine-tune your campaign after testing and trying a number of different approaches, and then settle on the most effective effort.

Also remember that you need to always be boosting and promoting your content. You should also create ads akin to display advertisements to get people to come to your site; Facebook’s ads are more expensive than Google AdWords, but the targeting is much better.

Always think about aligning your strategy with your branding goals. Throw money at things that will benefit your business, especially when they are related to timely and trending events, and remember how little you’re spending on Facebook compared to other marketing efforts.

Join related groups – there are many “groups” of businesses within a specific industry – on Facebook to get more traction within your industry. These groups are sometimes private, so it’s important to reach out to administrators or people within the group in order to gain access. Also, try to connect with other brands and businesspeople who may provide a mutually beneficial relationship down the road. If they share your posts, and you share theirs, you may be able to give each other access to customers that were initially out of your reach.

And finally, make people share your content! Tell your friends, your relatives, and even that person from college who annoys you with their posts. The more people who see your posts, the more people that will like your content.

Facebook allows you to put in a small amount of effort and reap a potentially big reward. Having a static page with no money behind it isn’t enough – your business deserves more!

Bob Adams is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of BusinessTown.com.