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A question that a lot of new entrepreneurs ask is, “How do i advertise my store?” One of the key answers to this question is social media. The reason is that you are able to reach a large audience for less money, or free in some cases. One of the bigger social media platforms out there is Facebook. Aside from having the largest number of audience, Facebook also offers one of the most, if not the most, accurate ad targeting results.  Let’s “face” it and realize that Facebook is a data gathering juggernaut.  User activities on the site are monitored, from what pages you like to the ads and posts you click on, to what your mouse and screen spend time on.  This isn’t news anymore for everyone, but it is great news for your marketing. Cynthia knew this, but was still unsure about how to optimize her ads and how to use the interface.  So she started researching what her options were. The first thing she found out that she needed before any free or paid advertisements was to figure out her “why”. Why she wanted to do this. Why was she passionate about this, what benefits she felt she could bring to others. This was the heart of her creating a business. Once Cynthia figured this out, she was ready to start advertising. Keep reading to find out what she learned, what she did, and how she did it!

  1. Free Facebook Marketing

    Instead, take this new Facebook page you made and add a profile picture and cover photo. Fill out some of the profile information on the left side. Find pages related to your niche (this will come in handy.  You will see why soon) and like them.  After this, start making posts related to your topic.  It doesn’t matter if you have any friends or not.  When people check out your profile you do not want them to see a shell of a page because that makes it look like you could be a potential spammer.

     

    After doing this, Cynthia first wanted to see what kind of communities were around related to the niche she chose (she loved health and beauty products).  She quickly found multiple Facebook communities that focused around this niche but wondered how to engage people without coming across as too salesy and losing her credibility. Cynthia researched online and realized she had to engage with the people in the group first and started to pay attention to the comments of the other members. 

     

    Once she had a grasp of what everyone was saying she started to engage the other people in the group. She started commenting on the posts in response to the posts themselves as well as comments by other members.  She made sure to keep her commentary constructive and positive, and even would comment on product recommendations. She also started posting appropriate and stimulating posts for others to respond to. After she started becoming a known and welcome part of the community, she was able to start making product suggestions with links to products from her own eCommerce store. She had done this with multiple facebook groups/communities, and since many people were members of multiple groups, she made sure that she was diverse with her product recommendations.  She did not over recommend and did so in response to a need for someone asking for help. People listen when you’ve (A) become a trusted and liked part of the community, and (B) when you have shown that you know your stuff through your posts. This experience gave her great insight into trends and what people are concerned or excited about.

  2. Paid Facebook Advertising

    Cynthia knew she needed to expand her advertising past the free options to drive more traffic into her store. She decided she wanted to do more research and add to what she had already learned from engaging with the community. Her ads needed to have color, inspiring imagery, calls to action, and had to catch the attention of those interested in health and beauty products. She also wanted to see how the paid advertisements worked in general.  So she created an ad account.

    Cynthia had to create a Facebook business page before she could take out advertisements. To do this there are a few steps. Do more than just a few and make sure to keep adding to them.  People look at the dates of the posts. Here are the instructions that she found out:

        • You will see “Create” at the top of the page next to “Find Friends”
        • Select this option and then select Pages
        • From here, select “Get Started” under the Business Option and then Name and categorize your business page
        • The next 2 steps will ask you to set a profile picture and a cover photo. It is recommended that you do this, but if you want to do it later select the skip option.
        • This will take you to your brand new Facebook business page!  You will want to start posting relevant posts.  These posts should be a mix of things.  Showing certain products from your store that you really like and starting conversations.  Posting articles relating to your business niche. Things that will constructively engage your consumers

  3.  Facebook Ad Management
    To start an ad campaign, go to the Ads Manager.  If you are logged into your personal page, it should go right through to your Ad Center.  If not logged in, you will need to log in to your account.  It will prompt you to do this and after will take you to your ad-manager.

  4. Objectives
    The first section of creating your ad campaign will be to set the ad objective.  The 3 categories of objectives are Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. When hovering over an option, a little “i” symbol will appear.  Hovering over this will explain what the sub category means to help decide which option will work best for you. After selecting which sub-category to use, scroll down to the bottom of the page.  There is a place to name the campaign, create an A/B test (which is a way to compare results from two different ad campaigns), and a campaign Budget Optimization option.  For beginners it is best to leave these options off and press continue.  The campaign budget can be customized at another point in the ad creation process
  5. Audience

    The Audience portion of the setup process is very important. This is where you can define your target audience. Facebook offers a great tool that is dynamic with the choices selected.  The upper right hand corner has a dynamic gauge that changes with your choices.  The needle will swing to the left or right and have text telling you how specific or broad you are being with your target audience.  The goal is to maximize the gains while efficiently using your advertising budget. Cynthia used the location feature to make sure her ads were only displayed to users in a certain area.
    There is an age, gender, and detailed targeting option as well.  The audience selection, in terms of size at least, is determined by what is entered here.  If the age range is a 20 year span from 25-45, the target audience has been narrowed and the voice of the ad will be more efficient in reaching the audience.  Same thing with gender.

    However, something that is really cool is the detailed targeting option. This allows for the user to include or exclude categories from their target audience. This is a balancing act because whenever a group of people are added it increases the ads potential reach, which means the selection is too broad. Excluding groups of people narrows the ad’s potential reach. Reach is classified as the potential number of new views of the ad. Why does this matter?  Because if it is too narrow there won’t be enough reach to benefit the business, but if it is too broad the message will not be heard clearly and the advertising dollars will not have been spent efficiently.  Doing research on your target audience will help decide which categories are outside of the target range allows for the user to include or exclude categories from their target audience. This is a balancing act because whenever a group of people are added it increases the ads potential reach, which means the selection is too broad. Excluding groups of people narrows the ad’s potential reach. Reach is classified as the potential number of new views of the ad. Why does this matter?  Because if it is too narrow there won’t be enough reach to benefit the business, but if it is too broad the message will not be heard clearly and the advertising dollars will not have been spent efficiently.  Doing research on your target audience will help decide which categories are outside of the target range.

  6. The placements section is also very important to the success of the advertising.  Why?  Because it determines where the ad shows. There is an automatic placement option and a manual placement option. The manual placement option is really good to look at because it gives details on exactly where each of these ads will show and allows for the choice to unselect and reselect them.

    Coincidentally, this is also where the selection to have an Instagram ad placed is.  Make sure the appropriate boxes are checked and it will port that ad right over to the connected Instagram page.  This is doable because Facebook owns Instagram. The ad can be edited and customized in a later section of the ad creation process.

  7. Creating a Business Instagram Account

    Creating a business Instagram account is done straight from your phone.  However, you do need a personal Facebook page to get it started.  If those are already linked, you should be able to skip that step or link it to a new one if you want to. Follow the images at the bottom of the article and it will walk you through the steps.


  8. Budget & Schedule

    Facebook has set up it’s advertising plans in a way that truly does maximize benefits for the user. An ad can be placed on a daily budget of X amount of dollars and Facebook will take the allotted money, calculate your settings, and will place the ad in a way that maximizes its reach. Facebook can do this because their data analytics capabilities are HUGE. These ads can be set up to run indefinitely (until you decide to stop it) or the start and end date can be prescheduled.  How things are charged depends on what the initial objective is.  The included example is a brand awareness campaign, so it would be charged by impression. Impressions are defined by when the ad is viewable on a user’s Facebook related social media platform. 

    However, for converting ecommerce sales, you will want to choose the Catalog or Conversion option. The creation process is the same, but what they do is different.  Catalog Sales option “Create ads that automatically show items from your catalog based on your target audience.” The conversion option will “drive valuable actions on your website, app or in Messenger”.  The Catalog Sales option is more likely to convert a sale, but the conversion option brings people to your site so they can see all the awesome stuff you have available

    There is also a lifetime budget option. This option can still be set up to have a start and end date, and the dollars will be maximized to fit the end budget given.  A cool feature that comes with this method is the ability to select what times of the day the ad should be run.  What these times should be are usually determined by analyzing the dashboard results.  The user has the ability to see exactly what days and what times of day the ad is most viewed, and then edit the times the ad runs to get the most bang for the buck

  9. Ad Creation Process

    This is where the ad creation process gets down to the creative part. The Ad creation process allows a user to fully customize the ad.  A short list of what can be done is:

        • Customize ad name
        • Select format of ad
        • Select which media to use
        • Add text and links
        • Edit languages the ad is in
        • Tracking features + Facebook Pixel – This is a Facebook feature that helps track consumer movement on your website.
        • The customization of these ads can be for the different platforms and in different formats.  You can use different texts, change the images, and determine how it looks on all available placement channels.
  10. Launching the ad
    Facebook requires a method of payment at the end of the ad creation process. While this will be on file for billing purposes, the ads can be turned on and off so the user is only charged when they want to be charged.  It gives you full control over your spendings to the most optimal results.
  11. Tracking the Data
    After launching her campaign, Cynthia learned from her data and kept on optimizing the ads until she got the results she knew were the best. Then she moved on to creating more campaigns and learning more. The ad manager gave her a list of statistics to analyze.  This is where she was able to see where and when her ads did the best, how many results, reaches, and impressions her ad received. She was able to rearrange the data table in a way that suited her liking and when she didn’t know what a category was, she hovered her mouse over the item and a little informational pop-up explained it. She could compare different ad sets together or go deeper into a specific ad she had going.

    We will have an advanced version of this with video included in another article.

    All of this gave Cynthia the tools she needed to get her Facebook and Instagram ads going and keep them effective. Facebook made the whole process easy to put together and monitor. Best of all, it explained what the different factors she needed to analyze were, which is huge. Armed with these tools, Cynthia created multiple ad campaigns and was able to drive more and more traffic to her store. What are you waiting for?  Start your own Facebook advertising campaign today!

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