Essential Guide to Facebook Advertising for Local Business

Local business strategies to market their businesses using Facebook

Local brands are always trying to compete online. But, it can be tough going up against the big guys without the time, manpower or budget.

Here’s the thing, though, there’s a secret weapon out there to help local brands that is both cost effective and easy to use…

Facebook advertising.

Using Facebook ads is the perfect way to highlight your brand to your specific target market without blowing your budget. And that’s where this post comes in.

In this guide, we’re going to cover everything you need to get started with Facebook advertising.

Facebook Advertising Overview

Before we jump into the details, let’s take a minute and just give you a quick overview of what Facebook advertising is and how you can use it.

Facebook ads are a form of paid advertising on social media. Once you have a Facebook page created for your local business (we’ll cover that in a minute) you can create ads that are designed to show up in the feeds of your target audience.

Being able to dive deep on local areas through Facebook ads is important for a couple of reasons.

First, it allows you to hone in on your local area. Facebook has over 1 billion monthly users. At this point, most people would be pretty hard pressed to find someone they know who isn’t on Facebook, so there are plenty of potential customers just waiting to hear from you.

Second, there are lots you can do with Facebook ads. From sharing your content to offer discounts and coupons, there are plenty of choices for a local brand to drive traffic.

Facebook Advertising vs. PPC Advertising: An Overview

Before you’re ready to go all in on Facebook advertising, you might be thinking what about PPC (Paid Per Click) ads?

If you’re not fully aware of what a PPC ad is, this is very good and easy definition:

PPC, or Pay Per Click, is pretty simple: Search engines like Google and Bing allow businesses and individuals to buy listings in their search results. These listings appear alongside, and increasingly above the non-paid organic search results. The search engine is then paid every time a user clicks on the sponsored listing.

PPC ads are what are known as paid search, they have a very deep focus on keywords (specific terms). The most common place to get started with PPC is through Google AdWords.

So, let’s say a local bookshop wanted to use a PPC ad, they would want to have a keyword like “London Bookshop” or they could get every more specific and say “Leicester Square Bookshop.”

Then, when someone typed in those words above as keywords, their ad would appear. They’d want to make their ad compelling enough (generally using just text) to get the potential customer to click on that ad which would then link to their bookshop’s website.

Facebook Ads, on the other hand, are known as paid social. Rather than relying on keywords, these ads rely much more on their potential customer’s interests and behaviors instead.

Facebook, being the biggest social network in the world, has an incredible monthly reach, more than most people could ever get from PPC without paying a substantial amount of money. In essence, Facebook Ads let the customers find you.

Facebook Advertising vs. PPC Advertising: Advantages

Depending on your target audience, reach, and budget there are some advantages and disadvantages to each type of advertising.

For PPC, some of the advantages include:

  • A potential audience of billions of people through Google AdWords
  • High quality and relevant ads are usually the most successful
  • A number of different types of ad formats

For Facebook, here are some of the major advantages:

  • Ability to get really granular on the audience
  • Visual ad options versus just text based ads
  • One of the best values around in advertising today

Now, depending on the needs of your brand and the budget, you can choose what is going to work best for you. But, for local businesses, the advantages that Facebook Advertising offers really sets it apart.

Look at this mini chart from ConversionXL. Over a dozen ad experts were asked for their thoughts on Facebook versus PPC and found this:

  • If you’re looking for superior targeting? Facebook.
  • If you’re looking for higher intent traffic? AdWords.
  • If your industry is small and you need a wider reach? Facebook.
  • If you want a greater variety of ad types? AdWords.
  • If you want to try retargeting? Facebook.

For the local business owner, the primary goals of any online ad campaign are going to be more aligned with Facebook. Most are going to be looking for very specific targeting, working in a small area that needs a wider reach, and are interested in retargeting (that means showing ads to people who have already visited your website).

So, if those are your main needs, Facebook is the way to go.

Now that you’re on board let’s get started with creating Facebook ads.

Step 1: Create a Facebook Page

If you’ve already got your Facebook page up and running for your local business, feel free to skip ahead to Step 2. Remember, though, you have to make sure you’ve got all your important information like what your business does and it’s contact information set up before you move forward.

But if you still haven’t created a page for your business yet, right now is the perfect time to start.

In our Definitive Guide to Facebook for Local Businesses, we take you step by step through exactly how to set up your page on Facebook and the basics of posting.

Here’s a look at the Chestnut Book Shop example page we use in the Definitive Guide above. We’ll keep referring to this (as well as a few other examples) throughout this guide.

book-shop-example

So, before you do anything else, stop and check that out first. Once you have your page up and running (it will only take you about 15 minutes) you can move on to Step 2.

Step 2: Understanding Ad Goals and Objectives

Before you create any ad, the first thing you need to do is have a goal in mind. What action do you want customers to take?

It might be as simple as liking your page, or something more involved like claiming a coupon offer, or even RSVP-ing to an event (that means indicating whether you’re going to be able to attend an event – think of a birthday party invitation). Whatever it is doesn’t matter, if you don’t know exactly what you want people to do, there is no point in creating an ad.

Here are a few examples to think about:

Type Of Business

Example Advert

Restaurant

Special anniversary event night that customers are invited to and want an RSVP

Hairdresser

Redeemable coupon for a cut

Plumber

Ask more people to like their page where they share all sorts of good tips on home improvement

Mechanic

To let area car owners know he can now service luxury cars as well due to recent training and certification

Web Designer

Encourage people to like their page to download their new ebook full of hints and tips

Personal Trainer

Let both customers and people in the local area know she is running new classes right after the holiday season

Accountant

Special promotion for small business owners who are looking to register their new business

Cleaning Company

Opening a brand new operation in the area and want to let everyone in their new neighborhood know

Printing Company

Advertise a coupon to other local businesses who open a new account

This part is important because in the next step we’re going to cover how to choose the right ad for your goals. So be sure you know what those goals are before you get started.

Once you’ve got your goal down, it’s time to start creating your ad.

Step 3: Understanding Ad Choices

First, you need to head to your ads manager. Currently, there are two different ways to create ads on Facebook, the Power Editor, and Ads Manager.

The Power Editor is more powerful, but it has a learning curve compared to the Ads Manager which is very easy to get started with. So, for people who are new to Facebook Ads, it’s perfectly fine to use Ads Manager, that’s what we’re going cover here.

Once logged into Facebook, go to Ads Manager by clicking the triangle drop-down in the upper right corner of Facebook and select “Create Ads”.

Here’s the dashboard. As you can see, there are some options, which is why it’s good you set your goals up ahead of time.

marketing-objective-option

There three columns: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. Under each column, you’re going to see a bunch of ad choices.

We’re going to focus on only a handful of these options, the ones that a local business is really going to benefit from, especially when just getting started.

Let’s go over each of them starting with the Awareness column.

Awareness

Essentially, each of these is geared towards making potential customers realize that your business is out there.

  • Boost your posts: Use this to create an ad out of one of your current posts. These usually help with page engagement (people liking and commenting on posts).
  • Promote your page: Use this to promote your business page. These will get people in your local area to like your brand.
  • Reach people near your business: Use this to really target locally, you can show your store’s address, website, and even phone number to potential customers who live within a specific geographic area.

Consideration

Think of the consideration ads as sort of the middle ground, it’s where potential consumers are feeling out your brand and seeing if you offer something that might interest them.

  • Send people to a destination on or off Facebook: Use this to get people clicking to your brand’s website, it’s a good way to increase web traffic.
  • Raise attendance at your event: Use this to let people know you have an event going on, that they are invited, and ask them to RSVP to it.
  • Get video views: If you’ve created videos for your business either as ads or explainer videos, use this option to highlight those videos to a bigger audience.
  • Collect leads for your business: Use this to collect real leads. People will be asked to take action like sign up for your email newsletter, call for a price quote, or schedule an appointment.

Conversion

The conversion ads are geared towards really having potential customers turn into real clients.

  • Get people to claim your offer: Use this to highlight special deals or coupons that potential customers can claim and then use in your store.
  • Promote a product catalog: Use this one to highlight any specific products that you offer in your store, it will work really well especially if you have a catalog of products to offer.
  • Get people to visit your stores: This one is pretty self-explanatory, use it to promote your store location to people in nearby geographic areas.

It might feel like there are a lot of choices, but trust us, that’s a good thing. Once you’re comfortable with Facebook, you can run a number of different ads depending on your needs.

The good news is creating a Facebook ad follows basically all the same steps no matter what kind of ad you choose, so once you know how to create one, you can create them all.

Step 4: Choosing the Right Ad

Now that you’ve seen all the ad choices that are available to you, there’s no doubt that a handful of them immediately popped out as ones that could be useful for you.

So let’s take a look at a couple of the options a bit more in depth.

Promote Your Business Locally

The fastest way to get more people to visit your site and the easiest ad to get started with is the Promote Your Business Locally ad.

You can create this ad right from your page, there’s no need to go into ads manager. Click the blue button that says “Promote” and you’ll see a pop up appear that looks like this:

ad-promotion

From here, you can see first what the ads will look like on both a mobile news feed and a standard desktop news feed (generally this will be your profile image). You will also see a number of options on the left hand side, which we’ll cover a bit more in another step.

The main thing to notice here is the map and target location radius. Clearly for our example pretty much any location in New York City has millions of people close by, but if you ran a plumbing shop in a smaller suburban area, you could easily still target quite a few people by simply expanding out your radius a few miles.

Promote Your Page

This is another easy ad that can be accessed right from that blue “Promote” button. Click “Promote” and then “Promote Your Page.” Here, you’re going to be asked to fill in a little bit of information, in 90 characters or less, about what your local business is all about.

promote-page

You can see this ad is a bit different from the one above. The image is the cover photo, and you can choose to include a general description of your business or use this opportunity to include a call to action. A ‘Call To Action’ (also known as a CTA) is a bit of text or an image that asks the people who see it to do something specific.

Here are a few typical CTAs that you will see and can use:

  • Schedule a Call
  • Download Your Ebook
  • Visit Our New Store
  • Make an Appointment
  • Attend Our Event
  • Get a Product Demo
  • Redeem Your Offer

So let’s look at a few more examples:

Type Of Business

Desired Outcome

Call To Action

Plumber

More page ‘Likes’

Like our page to learn all our best tips and advice for keeping your home in top shape

Printer

Get more clients

We’re offering a new customer promotion to other local businesses. Call to find out more

Web Designer

More website traffic

Want to make your website pop? Check out our page and download our free how to ebook

Personal Trainer

Post holiday client sign ups

Ready to get in shape after the holidays? We have new classes starting now. Find out more!

Restaurant

Highlight new menu

We change our menu daily to feature only the freshest meat and veg, see what’s on today!

Mechanic

Expand client base

With a new certification, we’re now servicing luxury cars, get a system checkup today!

You can see that this ad also does not rely on a specific radius to target like a neighborhood, but rather a more general geographic location like a city or town.

Promote Website

The final ad you can create right from your Facebook page is the Promote Website ad. This ad is going to drive people to visit your local business website.

promote-website

You can see here, since your website is the big draw your website address (also called a URL) is needed. The image is your cover image, and you want to put something catchy to catch people’s eye. There are two spaces to add your own text, in the text box and in the headline box.

Think about ways of being creative and clever to make your website stand out, because anyone who clicks on this ad is going to be taken to the website address you specified.

So, let’s say if you ran a restaurant and wanted diners to check out your website for special Valentine’s Day dishes, you might make your URL http://www.myrestaurant.com/valentinesday. That way, anyone who clicks on it will be brought directly to the page that features all of those Valentine’s Day specials rather than being taken to your home page (which may not mention them).

This URL is dedicated to to the special event and is therefore called a ‘Landing Page’. It’s sole purpose is to get visitors to perform a particular action – they are really focused.

This page is going to feature very specific information that is targeted to the visitor. Whenever you can, you want to create a landing page for every ad both Facebook and PPC this is where you want people to end up and take action.

So, here are some key things you want to have on a landing page:

  • Limited navigation: Don’t give people a million other buttons to click, you want to keep them focused on this page
  • Share buttons: Be sure to include social media share buttons on this page so people can use their social media to highlight the information to friends
  • Keep it Simple: The landing page doesn’t need to be complex and long – keep it nice and simple
  • Action: Your landing page needs to have an action you want completed, it could be to schedule a call, make a reservation, download a coupon, etc.

All of this can apply to any type of local business here are a few quick examples:

Type Of Business

Focus Of Landing Page

Accountant

Schedule an appointment on the calendar

Restaurant

Make a reservation

Hairdresser

Make a call for a haircut

Web designer

Download book on best tips

Mechanic

Download a coupon for an oil change

Bookshop

Get on the email list to notify for upcoming events

Any other ad you’re going to want to create needs to be done from the Ads Manager. So, in the next step, we’re going to move to the ads manager and cover more of the details like looking at customer interests and demographics.

This is the stuff that, if you get right, will really set your ads apart and start attracting your target customers.

Step 5: Targeting the Right Demographics

In many respects, when dealing with Facebook advertising, having a local business is a bit easier when it comes to choosing through all of those demographic options Facebook Ads Manager gives you.

It’s easy to get lost when you have so much information at your fingertips, but in this section, we’re going to walk you through each of the categories and how to use them one by one.

So, let’s get started.

For this example, we’re going to work through the Event Responses Ad, something that would probably come in handy for a lot of local businesses. Essentially, an Event Responses Ad is one where the goal is to get people to attend your event.

This can come in handy for the following:

  • Your business has just opened, so you’re celebrating a grand opening to get people to come in and find you
  • Your brand might have just opened a new franchise so you want people to know this new spot is open for business
  • Maybe you’ve just totally revamped and redesigned your store, so you want to let people know that the store has a brand new look
  • You’re having a launch party for a brand new product or service that will help local customers so you want to let them know
  • You’re having a special event, plenty of companies host special events during the year, maybe a charity drive around the holidays or a spring garden party
  • A gym or fitness professional might be launching a new set of classes and is giving a free class to get people excited
  • You’re having a speaker give a talk, a lot of bookstores will have speakers in to read from their book and answer questions

event-response

Here, you can see from the Ads Manager we’ve picked Event Responses. You can keep that as the name, or you can cite a specific event. Let’s go back to the example of the restaurant that is offering a Valentine’s Day special.

They might call this event “Valentine’s Day 2017.”

Any ad you pick from that main dashboard is going to start you right here at a screen that looks like this:

audience

You’re going to want to create a new audience here, since this will be your first ad.

After you’ve created your target audience for a specific event or type of customer you want to attract, feel free to save that audience so you don’t have to fill out this information again unless you want to do something different.

Location

For location, this is easy, you want to pick your local geographic area. Simply type in your location to start. Facebook defaults to a 25 mile radius, you can raise or lower that depending on your needs.

Age and Gender

Age is pretty self explanatory, as is gender. Remember, know your audience. A restaurant or book shop will likely target a wide age range and both genders. However, if you run a upscale barber shop, for example, then you might narrow your age from 25-45 and the gender to just men.

Language

The language will also depend on your situation and where you live. In most places like the UK or US the default will be English. However, if your business in is an area that is more international with lots of people from different countries like London, then you might consider running your ads in English another language for the specific people you’re trying to attract.

Detailed Targeting

Detailed targeting allows you to break down people into interest groups and behaviors. These will vary depending on your business, and this is one reason why it’s always good to know who your ideal target customer is at the end of the day.

Remember, the real benefit to Facebook Ads is that it is all about the interests of your audience. If you can find just the right combination of those interests and target them, then you’re going to see a lot of success with your ads.

When you target by interest, you want to think about all the things that are going to excite and interest your potential customer and tap into those. Start broad and then try to break it down even more. So your first pass might be that a target customer has Liked the Food Network Facebook page, but keep digging into those interests and you’ll see that the ideal customer really loves Jamie Oliver too.

When it comes to location, it should be pretty easy, you always want to start with your local city and metro area. If the area is limited in population, then expand out. But if there are a lot of people in your area then consider expanding in. After all, how many people are going to drive an hour to use a £5 coupon?

Also think about targeting by job role too. This is perfect for B2B brands who are looking to open new clients. So, a print shop who wants to grow the business locally with new business accounts would want to target job roles. Look for the person who actually has the power to make the buying decision, target chief executive, managing and financial officers, also look to founders, managing directors and marketing directors as well.

You can also target people based on their level of income. If you have a high ticket product or service this could be a very good option. Let’s say a local mechanic specializes in luxury cars, this type of targeting is great. Start by finding the most affluent postal codes in your geographic region these areas are likely hotbeds for luxury cars.

Now, if we combine everything from above you can really see a nicely targeted ad.

Let’s keep the mechanic example. From inside the Ads Manager Audience section we are targeting men between the ages of 30-60, who live within 10 miles of our Central London location, have a job title of CEO, Founder, or Entrepreneur, and own BMWs, Mercedes, Audi’s, and Land Rovers.

estimated-daily-reach

 

The reach of this group is about 16,000 people. Yes, from a city like London that’s small, but this is a very targeted group right here.

For a daily budget of something as small as £20, around 800-2,000 people will be reached each day. The likelihood of getting one customer out of that (with a compelling ad that has a good offer and call to action) is pretty good. And, the value of that one customer will be much more than the cost to run the ad.

That’s the real benefit of targeting.

We’ve added in a few more examples to give you some ideas of how some other local businesses could get started with targeting:

Type Of Business

Example Targets

Restaurant

people who are into fine dining, people who have married as their relationship status, and people who have liked the Food Network page

Hairdresser

people who have an interest in hair products, people who have bought hair care products, and people who have a home value of over £300,000

Plumber

People who have an interest in home improvement, people who have recently moved

Personal Trainer

People who have an interest in fitness, people who have tried a weight loss challenge, even new moms buying baby products

Mechanic

People who own certain brands of cars, who run their own business or are in senior management, people who have recently moved to the area

Printer

People who list small business owner as occupation, people who have gotten a new job in the area

It gets pretty amazing just how far down you can dig for information that Facebook collects. You can either choose from the dropdowns or start by writing in your own ideas and seeing what populates.

After you’ve finished with your targeting, you can click “Save This Audience” to keep this specific set for the future.

Audience Definition

Now, you might have noticed this little graphic on the side of the page that moves as you change your demographics and targeting:

audience-defition

This gives you a heads up on how many people your ads could potentially reach. The very important thing to remember here is you do not want to have a massive reach.

As fun as it might be to see over 8 million people with the potential to click on your site, it’s just not going to happen, especially for a local business.

So you need to be on the much smaller end of the spectrum, depending on the size of your local area anywhere from 5,000 to 100,000 people. It could even be as small as 1,000 people if you have a very specific target audience who you know will buy.

Placements

Next, you’ll see two radio buttons about ad placements:

ad-placement

For this, it’s basically best to go with the recommended automatic placements. Here are all the options for your ad to be seen by Facebook users:

ad-placement-screen-type

As you can see, on a desktop they go in either the main newsfeed, or on the right sidebar. And on a mobile device, they are on the main newsfeed.

Now that you have your demographics set, it’s time to look at your budget.

Step 6: Setting the Budget

The great thing about Facebook Ads is that they are still quite cheap for the amount of reach that you get from them. Prices will likely continue to rise in the coming years, so if you can get in on the action now and start developing an active customer base through Facebook, it’s going to pay off over the long term.

Here’s what the budget section looks like, you’ll find it right under the demographics section as you create your ad:

ad-daily-budgetad-delivery-optimization

 

Start with the budget box. You can choose between a Daily Budget, or how much you’re willing to spend each day, or a Lifetime Budget, or how much you want to spend over the entire course of the ad.

The minimum for daily is £1, and the minimum for lifetime is £1 per day that the ad is run. So, if it runs for 7 days, then the minimum is £7, 30 days, the minimum is £30 and so on. Obviously, there is no maximum, but it’s always better to start small until you really get a good grasp on how the ads run.

Optimization for Ad Delivery

Again, here Facebook will pick a default option for you.

Since we created this ad around an event, it’s defaulted to Event Response, but you can override that and instead have the ad target impressions (the number of people who see the ad) or engagement (the people more likely to like or comment on the ad).

For another ad option like “Get People to Claim Your Offer” the choices would be a little bit different and look like this:

optimization-for-ad-delivery

In this case, the ad is going to be optimized for Link Clicks. No matter what ad style you choose, Facebook will pick a default option that they think will be best.

Bid Amount

In this ad, you can see there are two options: Automatic and Manual. If you pick “Automatic,” Facebook runs everything for you and will set the bid that will maximize the result you want for your budget.

If you select “Manual,” then you will be asked to bid on a price for each action. Facebook will provide a suggested bid and a range if you aren’t sure what this should be.

As always, Facebook will default to the option that they think is best for you, which is Automatic bidding. For beginners, it’s a good idea to stick to this while you’re just starting out.

Lots of people make the mistake of playing around with these options before they know how the ads work and can end up costing themselves quite a bit of money. So, here stick with the basics.

Once you’ve set your bid, all you have to do is name your Ad and click “Continue” and we’re off to the final part!

Step 7: Choosing Your Text and Images

Now, we get to the fun part. Choosing the images and text to put in your ads.

Here’s what this section looks like. It’s broken into to two sections: Images and Pages and Event. Remember, we’re still working with the Event Ad here, but we’ll show you another style too so you can see what they look like.

ad-format

This part is pretty self explanatory. You can pick a single image, a single video, or a slideshow of up to 10 images for your ad.

One thing to note though, Facebook only allows a maximum of 20% of your image to have text on it, so rather than going through the hassle of uploading all your photos to find out they don’t work, use something like the Facebook Grid Tool to make sure you’re images are all set.

If you don’t have any of your own photos, Facebook provides free stock images that you can use as well.

Page and Event

Finally, we get to the last part, the page and event section. This is what it looks like:

ad-page-and-event

Since the restaurant is holding an event for Valentine’s Day, you’d want to enter that URL we had above, here it is again: http://www.myrestaurant.com/valentinesday.

Next, make sure you connect the right Facebook page. And finally, add in some compelling text that highlights the event you have going on.

Remember, it’s the text that sells you ad. Even though Facebook doesn’t give you much space to work with, you have to try to pack a punch with your text.

Here are a few examples:

  • Join us for a book launch and author reading with John Smith. There will be a Q&A and autograph session after the event!
  • It’s the grand opening of our Leicester Square Shop! Come and see the new store, refreshments will be served.
  • We’re showing off our new fall menu. We’ll be dishing out some of our best tasty treats, join us!

The Ad Preview box is going to show you exactly what your ads are going to look like in the desktop news feed and right column, as well as on mobile devices.

If you’ve uploaded multiple images for your ads, you will be able to click through them and see what each one looks like, Facebook will switch up how they display the ads, so everyone won’t see the same thing.

Page and Links

Now, if you want to create an ad that is going to send people back to your website, the final page is going to look a little bit different.

The images part is basically the same as you can see here:

create-ad

Again, you have a number of options of images and videos to upload. Simple enough.

page-and-links

From there, you’ll come to the page and links section. Here, you want to make sure you’ve connected the right Facebook page. You also have the option of adding an Instagram account if you have that for your local business as well.

You also want to include some compelling text that makes people interested in clicking off to your site.

You can see what the ad looks like here:

ad-preview

Again, the text is important. You want to make it engaging and compelling so that anyone who reads it is excited to click to your website. Here are a few examples:

Type Of Business

Example Text

Personal Trainer / Gym

For the next week, we are offering a buy one gym membership, get a family membership free

Accountant

Questions about your taxes? We can sort them out in under an hour, find out more

Mechanic

Our shop is certified to service luxury vehicles like Range Rover, Mercedes Benz, and Audi. Bring your car in today!

Cards

The next section is called cards. Cards just refer to the images in your ads. Since most people upload a number of images to see which performs best, Facebook keeps track of that for you too, so if it turns out you have one image that is really generating a lot of clicks and likes, that is going to be shown first over the rest.

cards

You can also use this section to enter your headline. Headlines are quite important because they are the first thing your target audience is going to see. As famous advertising man David Ogilvy once said, “On average, five times as many people read the headlines than the body copy.”

So, even though you only have a few characters, you want to make them as exciting as possible. Here are a few examples:

  • Free 30 Day Trial! No Credit Card Required.
  • New Year, New Look. Come In For a Stylist Consult
  • Save Room for Dessert! Our New Menu Will Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth.
  • New Job? Get New Business Cards Today!

Also include really short description if you want, tackle this the same way as you would with the text in the last section. And then the URL you want anyone who clicks to go to. This could be your main site, or a special page that you made to welcome Facebook visitors.

Once you have all that set, give everything a once over in the ad display section, and then scroll to the bottom of the page and click the green “Place Order” button.

Congrats! You just placed your first Facebook ad.

See, that wasn’t too hard, right?

Ads typically take anywhere from a few minutes up to 24 hours to be approved, and you’ll get a notification once that happens. If your ad doesn’t get approved, that’s ok, Facebook will let you know what needs to be fixed and you can just try again.

Now that you’ve got your ads up and running, we’ll come to our final step, understanding how they are doing in the Ads Reporting section of Ad Manager.

Step 7: Understanding Facebook Ads Reporting

Inside Ads Manager is where you’re going to be able to see exactly how much you’ve spent on ads and how your ads are performing.

It’s easy to get to, you can just click the main dropdown on Facebook and right under “Create Ads” you’ll see “Manage Ads.” Click on this and it will bring you to your ads account dashboard, click on your name and you’ll be brought to the dashboard for your business.

Here’s what you’ll see:

ad-reporting

This shows your ad spend, how much money you’ve spent on ads over the last 7 days. This way you can have a very quick snapshot of how much money you have invested into your ads.

ad-report-snapshot

Before you start your ads, you can set up your billing preferences, this will allow you to set up your payment methods, and set a spending limit on your account that will automatically shut it off.

This isn’t a bad idea for just getting started!

ad-campaign

Finally, you’ll also be able to see all of your ad campaign info.

So the name of the campaign (ads) you’ve created, as well as the delivery, that just means if the ads are currently running or not. It will keep track of ads that are active and ads that are inactive. You’ll also have the option to turn off or pause an ad if you need to.

Results, reach, and cost give you the real data behind your ads. They tell you how your ads did, how many people clicked or converted, how many people were reached, and the cost per result.

Here’s an example:

ad-performance

As you get more familiar with ads, it’s these numbers you want to pay attention to and try to improve upon as you go.

Finally, you’ll see amount spent, which is the total amount you spent on the ad, and the end date when the ad stopped running.

Additional Features of Facebook Advertising

After seeing some success with Facebook Ads, it’s only natural to want to take things to the next level and try out some advanced advertising.

In this section, we’re going to give you a basic overview of some of the more common advanced ad techniques that would work for local business owners.

If you’re getting pretty comfortable with the performance of your current ads and want to improve your ROI (return on investment), then give some of these a try.

Pixels

Inside the standard Facebook reporting tool, most people will measure the success of their campaigns by results like ‘cost per thousand people reached’ or ‘cost per click’ or ‘cost per impression.’

But these numbers don’t really tell the whole story. They don’t tell you anything about actual conversions. That is, the people who did the action you wanted them to do with your ad.

So if the goal of your ad was to have people click on your website and download an ebook, a metric like cost per click isn’t going to actually tell you how many people followed through and downloaded that ebook.

We’ll cover the different options for Pixels more below, but here are a few examples of some of the more advanced metrics you can track:

  • If a good or service was actually purchased
  • If a good or service was left in the shopping cart
  • If offers, like coupons, were accepted
  • If a specific page on your site was visited
  • If someone subscribed to a newsletter
  • If a book or coupon was downloaded

That’s where pixels come into play. A pixel is a small piece of code that is placed on your website. In then tracks the actions that are taken by potential customers after they have seen your ad. This allows you to optimize your ads.

Here’s how to start with Pixels.

First, from your Ads Manager, click the dropdown on the left and then select Pixels from the Assets menu.

ad-manager

Next, you’ll be brought to the create a Pixel screen, click the green button to get started.

create-pixel-screen

A pop up will appear asking you to give your Pixel a name, do that, accept the terms and click ‘Create Pixel.’

Pixel Code

The code will look something like this:

pixel-code

There are two things two note about this bit of code, called the ‘base code’ by Facebook.

First, you can only create one Pixel per ad account. Because this code needs to be installed on your website, you can’t have more than one going at a time. That doesn’t mean you can’t run multiple ads, you can. In order to get the most out of your Pixel you will have to use the “Create Audiences” and “Create Conversions” options.

Second, this piece of code is very specific to your Facebook account. So do not share it with anyone outside your company or post the entire code publicly as other people could use it.

Once you’ve got your Pixel created, you’ll have to add it to your site. If you have someone who manages your website, just share the code with them through Facebook. Or you can copy and paste it and then email it to them.

If you’re going to do it yourself then you want to paste this code in between the <head> </head> section in the HTML of your website on each page, or on your main page template. If you’re unsure of exactly how to do this on your website, Facebook has a little help page that covers most of the sites out there.

Now that you’ve got that done, you need to install what Facebook calls the ‘event code.’ This is the code that tracks the actual events that happen on your website. You will need to install this code on every page where the events will happen.

Facebook has nine events or actions and has a small piece of code for each of them. So, you’re going to want to consider what you want your final outcome to be before you paste this code.

Here they are, we’ve included both the name and description as defined by Facebook in their Facebook Pixel Implementation Guide (which you can consult for more information):

  1. Search – The search event should be placed on any search results page to track when people complete a search.
  2. View Content – The view content event should be placed on any content or product detail pages to track when people visit.
  3. Add to Cart – The add to cart event should be triggered when a person adds an item to a shopping cart on your website.
  4. Add to Wish List – The add to wishlist event should be triggered when a person adds or saves an item to a wishlist on your website.
  5. Initiate Checkout – The initiate checkout event should be triggered when a person enters the checkout flow on your website.
  6. Add Payment To – The add payment info event should be triggered when a person adds payment information to an account or in a checkout flow.
  7. Purchase – The purchase event should be placed on an order confirmation page or be triggered from a complete order button, indicating that a person has purchased a product.
  8. Lead – The lead event should be placed on a form confirmation page or triggered by a submit button when a lead form is completed.
  9. Complete Registration – The complete registration event should be placed on a registration form confirmation page or triggered by a submit button when a registration form is completed.

Facebook gives you three options of code for each of these: basic, recommended, and advanced. The code will be slightly different based on which you decide to go with. Essentially, the more advanced the option the more in depth the tracking becomes.

code-option

Once you’ve picked which event you want to track, it’s time to paste more code. Facebook gives you two options here depending on your ideal outcome.

code-option-a

This option could be used for anyone downloads an ebook, signs up for a newsletter or RSVPs to an event and is taken to a separate thank you page.

code-option-b

This option could be used for anyone who schedules a consultation call or makes an appointment or downloads a coupon.

Now that you have all the code pasted, you need to confirm that the Pixel is up and running.

pixel-status

Once you see that active green light, you’re Pixel is good to go. If you run into any trouble, Facebook recommends checking out the Pixel Helper.

With your Pixel installed, you can start measuring which of the ads you are running are truly having a positive return on investment and impact on your business.

Remarketing Audiences

Another advanced tool that Facebook provides is remarketing audiences. Essentially, Facebook tracks all of the people who have visited your website already, this allows you to set up a remarketing campaign that send targeted ads only to these people again.

Remarketing has been shown to really improve conversion rates over time. Typically the first time someone visits your website they aren’t ready to take action, they are just exploring. But, if they are made aware of your site again, and click the ad to visit they are more likely to take action.

Here’s a quick overview of how remarketing happens. Let’s say you’ve got a bookshop and would love for new customers to join your email list so you can send them updates on book sales and author events:

Let’s say a person sees your Facebook page and visits your site via the special landing page URL you’ve created with your offer and call to action (to sign up for your email list), however they don’t sign up.

Now, normally, you might be worried that once this person has left your site you might never get them back again. Not so with Facebook remarketing.

Since you’ve already installed the ‘Complete Registration’ Pixel event code on your thank you for registering page you’ll know exactly who makes it to this page (meaning they’ve signed up for your email list) and who has visited the page but didn’t sign up.

These are the people you want to remarket.

You can set up a new ad that is only targeted to this custom audience, the group of people who have visited your website but didn’t take any action. In this case, since the people you are targeting are very specific, you’re going to want to create a new ad that really speaks to them and drives them to finish taking action.

Maybe that means you try experimenting with a coupon code. So, anyone who signs up for your newsletter gets 10% off their next book purchase. Or, create a special VIP list where anyone who signs up to the email list through the ad will get first notice of big or private events with new authors.

These ads are then shown only to the people in your custom audience who have visited your site. It’s giving them a little extra push to re-engage and come back.

While it’s likely you won’t be able to get everyone to visit your site again and convert, these ads just might tip the scales in your favor and bring in a few extra customers, which is what makes them so worthwhile.

So let’s look at how to get started with remarketing.

ad-manager

First, from your Ads Manager, click the dropdown on the left and then select Audiences from the Assets menu.

Click the green ‘Create Audience’ button and select Custom Audience from the dropdown. You’ll see a menu that looks like this:

create-custom-audience

You’ll see a number of different options to choose from here.

If you already have a list of customers or a solid email list, you can choose the Customer File option. In this case, you will have to upload this customer data via an Excel spreadsheet, or if you use MailChimp as your email service provider you can login to your account via Facebook and have the information imported over.

The most common choice for local business owners will be the Website Traffic option. This creates a list of people who have visited your website URL or who have visited specific pages that you’ve designated.

website-traffic

The above image is an example of what this one looks like. You can pick a number of options from the dropdown if you want to customize this a little bit more, and change the number of days to suit your needs.

The Engagement on Facebook option is something that is new, but looks to be very valuable. It lets you create an audience based on people who have engaged with your brand’s Facebook page.

They offer a couple of options to choose from:

audience-engagement

There are four main options here to choose from when it comes to engagement. What this means is you will be able to target people who have interacted with some part of your brand.

It could be that they watched a video you posted on your Facebook page, or maybe they visited your page and Liked a post. Or they took some action on one of the ads you created where you sent them to a landing page or to download a coupon.

Finally, the last option is for the Canvas feature. Canvas is geared towards mobile devices. Basically it’s a way of displaying ads developed by Facebook that includes combine everything from images to video to call to action buttons in one ad that takes up the full screen of a mobile device.

So, if you want to target potential customers who use Facebook strictly on mobile, this is a good option.

Now that you know a little bit more about what each one entails, pick the option that’s best for you. If you’ve never run video, it’s safe to say you want to leave that out, and if you’re still relatively new to ads and getting started, then page interaction is a great choice.

Once you’ve done that it will take anywhere from a few minutes to about an hour for your Facebook custom audience to be created.

Once it has been, you can start creating new ads using this custom audience. Note that you’ll need at least 20 people in a custom audience before you can start creating ads.

So, if your audience is too small, you might want to play around with the levels of engagement a bit to try to raise the numbers. Or you can run a basic page promotion or like campaign to get a few more clicks.

Power Editor

Finally, there is the Facebook Power Editor. If your company is planning on running a lot of ads and wants something a bit more robust than the standard Facebook ad creator, then you might want to consider giving the power editor a try.

You can find it from your Ads Manager. Click the dropdown on the left and then select Power Editor from the Create & Manage menu.

ad-manager

Learning the ins and outs of the Power Editor can take a little bit of time, but it’s basically the standard Ads creator on steroids.

You can create ads and campaigns in here, and you can also easily edit any ads that you’ve created before that are already running.

To create an ad is really easy now, since Facebook has basically taken the standard way of creating ads and imported that feature inside Power Editor. You can choose it from this screen here, after you’ve clicked create new ad:

campaign

Just click “Use Guided Creation” and you will be able to create an ad exactly the way you’ve been doing inside the regular ad creator.

Being the Power Editor, there are a few advanced features that you’ll want to know about when it comes to creating ads. Using the Power Editor you’ll be able to:

  • Schedule ads to run at specific times during the day
  • Run duplicate campaigns and test different audiences
  • Expanded text limits
  • More bidding options
  • The ability to add Pixels to campaigns

The Power Editor will take some time to become second nature for you, but if you do dedicate time to it, then you’re going to see better results than with the standard Facebook ad campaigns.

Being able to dig into the details of your ads and create new and improve ads based on the data will help you see higher conversion rates, which in turn, will mean more business for your company.

Not a bad thing, right?

We recommend getting comfortable with Facebook Ads through the Ad Manager first before you jump into any of these advanced techniques. But once you do, you’ll be glad you did!

Final Thoughts

Well, you made it.

Now you know how to get a Facebook ad up and running for your small business. A couple of final things to keep in mind before you get started;

  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ads
  • Keep your budgets small to start, you can always increase them over time
  • Work on creating really engaging images that capture attention
  • Always give your copy and text lots of thought, it helps drive people to take action

Once you’ve got a few ads up and running, and start seeing results, you’re going to be sold on the power of Facebook ads. For so many brands, especially local businesses, there is no way they’d be able to reach as many people without the power of these ads.

Start practicing now, and you’re going to become a pro in absolutely no time at all!

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