When it comes to Facebook Ads there are a bunch of pitfalls you need to look out for, however, there are loads of opportunities to help grow your business. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before making an investment in Facebook Ads.
1. What is the size of your Business?
Truthfully, it doesn’t really matter if you’re a solopreneur trying to sell your own gear on Facebook or whether you are a multinational business that is turning over millions of dollars. Facebook has offers for both options.
What really matters is:
- how you understand Facebook ads,
- what campaigns do you desire
- and what budget you have.
For example, if you’re a small business, with less than five employees, and cash flow is usually tight when things are small, then learning how to understand FB Ads and doing it yourself is probably more recommended, because paying somebody usually ends up being a bit more expensive.
There are many free courses from reputable places out there for you to learn from. The only part that costs anything is the official certification. Here at TheOnlineCo., we have a few different workshops for you to consider when it comes to educating yourself on Facebook ads.
If you plan on doing your Facebook ads yourself, then it is very important for you to properly educate yourself first so that you won’t end up being one of those businesses that end up advertising to people who are never going to see them.
If you are a larger business and you’ve got a bit more budget behind what you can do, you’re more likely to have more solid objectives for your ads to go with the higher budget. Paying somebody to run your Facebook ads for you is probably going to be the best idea in this case because you can get really bogged down in the details of Facebook. This then means that it could be taking you away from other areas of your business. By having somebody who’s an expert and who can look across multiple industries and see what Facebook is doing in different campaigns you will be ahead of the game. This process offers us a much broader understanding of what Facebook ads are doing as the algorithm changes regularly. Unlike Google, Facebook doesn’t tell us when they change it so it’s a nice little surprise when they move things around on you too.
As a business owner it’s important to understand what your customers are responding to and get your hands dirty in doing that. Some business owners are really gifted at marketing, it’s their thing, and it’s possible that they can take it quite a long way themselves. However, there are others who are very innovative and they’re great at making products, but not so good at promoting them. If marketing is not your thing, your time is going to be best spent doing other things, maybe bringing in new clients or hiring new staff, and at that point, it makes sense to get someone else on to manage your marketing.
2. How much time does it take to set up and manage campaigns?
Setting up your campaign is always going to take the largest amount of time. Setting it up, especially now that Facebook has introduced the meta business suite can be quite tricky, so we often find that clients come to us and don’t even own their own assets. They don’t know what they don’t know which is a common issue. If you are going to be pointing people to your website to purchase a product, make sure that you’ve taken time to install Pixel, which is a Facebook tracking code. Pixel can see what people are doing and where they land on your website. This ensures that you’re not aimlessly taking visitors in a direction without any hope or idea of knowing where they’re going to be visiting. This is why it is so important to make sure that you take the time to set those up properly.
Once you’ve got it all set up, optimizations become a lot easier and a lot quicker, especially once you understand what optimizations to make. Also, you’ll eventually get a feel for whether you’re hitting the right audience or whether you need to adjust. What’s great about Facebook, is that it’s really responsive. You could start running five ads and it will show you within a couple of days which ads people are responding to more than others, so it’s fantastic for learning about what campaigns are working best for your business.
With Facebook you can be so quick and agile and within a couple of days, you’ve got a decent amount data! From there you can start making those optimizations and making changes to help improve your campaigns.
One thing we need to remember is that chewing gum eventually loses its flavour. So, those campaigns that may have worked 3 months ago may not work now and that is just the nature of Facebook ads. This is why it is important to stay on the front foot of your Facebook marketing purely to keep your ads interesting and to give your target what they need in the best way possible.
Can I just ‘Boost’ Posts?
You absolutely can boost your posts on Facebook, you just really need to make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. We had a client come to us once saying that one of their organic posts wasn’t doing as well as they had hoped and planned on just putting $20 behind it to boost it and make it perform better. We kindly suggested that it wouldn’t be a good idea because Facebook would just take your money especially if the initial post already wasn’t performing well. If Facebook is telling you that organically the post isn’t doing well, you may want to consider trying a new strategy or a different kind of post that might do better. What’s great about Facebook is that it will tell you whether your audience is receiving your posts well or not, so don’t bother putting money behind and boosting posts that haven’t performed well organically.
Doing some different organic posts to test what works well and what your audience responds well to could be a great way to determine what organic posts you should focus on.
Another thing to note is that if you are going to boost something, Facebook will suggest a post for you. However, boosting in this way is only a limited portion of what you can do if you set ads up properly in the back end in ads manager. Think of ads manager as a way of being able get access to all the goodies.
When you’re boosting on the platform, you are boosting a post, you only get access to about 30 to 40%. Also, you don’t get access to any of the real data insights, and you don’t get to see who’s clicking on those ads, who’s watching them or where they’re going.
You get none of that kind of insight boosting posts in this way. So, you can absolutely boost a post by putting $10 to $20 dollars behind something to get it out there. If you still want to do that, we suggest picking your best-performing post and then pushing it out to an audience beyond your followers.
How much is your time worth doing your core business v paying someone to do it?
Time is money. When you are first starting out you may have the time to do your own ads, and that is fantastic. But as your business grows and becomes more profitable, doing your ads yourself could end up losing you money. One of our clients who is a lawyer, came to us and said that she could not justify doing her marketing in her own time and found that it was cheaper and more time efficient to have us doing her digital marketing for her. As a business owner, what is your time worth to you?
A secondary idea is giving the Facebook marketing to someone within the business such as the office manager or receptionist, this could be a practical way of using your team in an effective way. However, it is also important to think back to point 1 – do they understand marketing? Are they interested in marketing? Will they need to do a course? Whilst in theory it could work, the reality is that their initial job will always take priority which means that the marketing could potentially be left untouched. This could cause trouble because when it comes to marketing, especially Facebook ads, it needs to be consistently updated to be effective. By hiring a marketing agency, your marketing will be consistently moving and getting done professionally by people who have expertise in this area.
3. Can you set up tracking to measure results properly?
You can set up tracking to monitor what you are doing really well. This is going to require you to set it up in the back end of Facebook. When you are in the ads manager, business manager, or even the meta suite version of Facebook, you can set it up to track exactly what you are doing. There are options for tracking for you to consider as well.
- Setting up Pixel: which is the tracking pixel to see what people are doing on your website
- Integrate Facebook into your database: if you have, for example, active campaign or mail chimp and you want to feed people into that database, you can set up lead ads to go directly in there and then send them automation and do all these cool things that you can leave and let the automation do the work for you.
- Vanity metrics: tracking who likes a post or when people see a post. This helps you understand your reach.
If you are going to run ads, make sure that you are asking people to DO SOMETHING. It could be asking them to watch a video or asking them to go to your website or to fill out a form. It needs to be actionable. It is important to set these things up, see how people respond and then create benchmarks of what is actually achievable for your business on the platform.
Measuring results and gathering data is important. If you are not measuring the results for your Facebook ads, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. You need the hard data to determine what’s working, what’s not working and then deciding what you are going to adjust from there.
4. What do the recent changes to Facebook ads mean for small to medium businesses?
Last year, due to the change’s apple implemented through IOS 14 update, it blocked being able to see a lot of the metrics that were coming back to advertisers. This meant that while you were sending people to your website on their phones, people could choose whether their data was shared with the advertisers. This also means that Facebook is getting less learning data back and the algorithm is much different than it was before.
This year, targeting also got updated. Which meant that Facebook was cutting out a bunch of options regarding interests we were targeting people for. Therefore, we were no longer allowed to target people for things that they considered to be too personal. It ended up being keywords, for example like optometrist. Keywords that are actually really helpful. This meant that retargeting became really important.
There are so many updates that roll out all the time when it comes to Facebook marketing. Which is why it is important to make sure that you know and understand the ins and outs of all of Facebook.
As a team, it is great to be able to navigate these changes together by bouncing ideas off each other when it comes to creating new strategies that fit with the new updates and making the right adjustments for our clients so that their campaigns still came out with the best results we could get them regardless of the updates.
5. What if it doesn’t work? Can you problem-solve to get it working?
Yes, you can! When people say that their Facebook ads aren’t working, it usually comes down to the way they were utilizing the platform. Sometimes we think we are doing well, and Facebook is disagreeing, then we jump to the conclusion that Facebook ads don’t work. When really you may need to approach it differently and go for another strategy that could end up working really well for you. This comes with a lot of time and experience to be able to troubleshoot and reinvent another way to make it work for you.
We would love to sit down with you to brainstorm a whole bunch of ideas to ensure that you are getting the most out of Facebook Ads. Then if something isn’t working, we can create new options to test and work it out together.