How Facebook Marketing May Help You Reach Highly Targeted Leads

Facebook has made it easier for businesses to create lead-generating ads. Here's how you can dip your toe into Facebook marketing.
November 08, 2016

Online ads have come a long way in the last few years. Gone are the days of needing an expensive ad agency to create effective ads for your business. Ad networks like Google Adwords and Facebook marketing have helped lower the barrier for creating profitable ads.

You, dear business owner, could create an ad in 15 minutes that could generate actual leads for your business. The best part is that, with Facebook marketing, you can test this process for as little as $5 a day.

The Power of Facebook Marketing

Facebook marketing had a significant impact on the advertising game with their highly-targeted native ads. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars each day to run a website ad for every visitor. You're merely having your ads shown to exactly the people you want, and you only pay when someone clicks your ad.

When it comes to Facebook marketing (or any other marketing, for that matter), you have to be incredibly specific when targeting an audience. A big mistake many people make with Facebook ads is not being specific enough with who they want to reach with their ads.

Many business owners want to make the most impact from their money, so they try to show their ad to as many people as possible. This can work against you. When it comes to Facebook marketing, more is not necessarily better. The social media platform can give you incredibly fine-grained control when it comes to targeting. This audience specificity drives down cost. Facebook rewards ads that are efficient and effective by lowering the cost per click (or action).

Step 1: Get in Your Ideal Customer's Head

Before you start thinking about crafting your ad, it helps to figure out your core demographic first. You can make a quick list of the attributes of your ideal customer:

  • What do they read?
  • What websites do they visit?
  • How old are they?
  • What products do they buy?
  • Where do they shop?
  • What other Facebook pages do they like?

Answering these questions (and more if you can) can help as you start shaping what your ideal customer will look like. You can use these attributes to help show your ad to the perfect people using Facebook marketing.

Step 2: Define the Specific Action

Now that you know who you're making the ad for, it's time to figure out what they're going to do. What action is your ad going to have them take?

This can be a problem with Facebook ad campaigns: They lack a specific call to action. Businesses can often underestimate the motivation needed to actually click an ad. 

Setting up a Facebook ad is fairly straightforward and doesn't require a huge ad budget or an entire ad team. You can set them up yourself for a few dollars a day. If the ads are profitable, then you can invest more time and money into the process.

If you're trying to get a lead's email address, you may want to send them to a subscribe form or lead magnet. If you want people to buy a product, consider sending them to the product page. (Though Facebook ads are generally suited better towards an offer like a coupon or an email signup than selling products.)

You may want to avoid just sending them to your homepage. The idea is that once people click on your ad, they're sent to a page that a) matches the offer they saw in your ad and b) has a clear action for them to take.

Step 3: Create an Irresistible Offer

In order for people to click on ad, they need some sort of benefit for clicking it. What are you providing for them? How are you making their lives easier? How are you making them happier?

Many businesses believe that people will click on their ads because they like them or find them interesting. Consider this: How many Facebook ads have you clicked on in the last week? Probably less than one.

Great ads have an offer that people can't pass up on. Oftentimes a great offer has an incentive like a coupon or a price break, or when it is a time-sensitive offer.

Using Facebook Marketing to Create Your Ad

Now head on over to Facebook Ads website, and you can start building your ad. (Note: Because Facebook often changes the actual steps and process for ad creation, you should follow along with Facebook's own documentation while creating the ad. This article is meant to give you higher-level concepts rather than the actual ad-creation process.)

Ad settings. Once you've told Facebook your desired objective, you're going to start telling Facebook who you want to reach. This is where you'll use the data that you collected earlier when describing the attributes of your ideal customer.

If you're a local business, you'll want to give a radius around your business for the location. If you're not a local business or your operate mostly online, then you may want to just target English-speaking countries (or countries that you ship to). You could also use Facebook's Local Awareness Ads if you want to reach people who are physically near your business.

Ad targeting. For the rest of the targeting options:

  • Gender: You'll probably want to specify a gender, and craft the tone of your ad accordingly.
  • Age: Age is important too, so fill in the ideal age of your customer
  • Interests: Here is where your hard work earlier will pay off. Start plugging in all of those attributes of your ideal customer. Where they shop, what they do for hobbies, other Facebook pages they might like, etc. Remember to be specific, and stay away from generic suggestions that Facebook will try to give you, like “Cars."

Potential reach. As you're filling in these details, you'll see on the right sidebar an “Audience Definition” heading. Under that, you'll find “Potential reach.” You'll want to keep this between 500,000 and 1 million. (If you're a local business, don't worry if this number is much lower.)

Other settings. Set your budget to $5 a day, or even lower if you need. The goal is to just get data. I'd also recommend setting a schedule so that your ads aren't running at 3 a.m., unless that's when your ideal customers are going to be awake.

Building Your Facebook Ad

Refer to Facebook's documentation for building the ad. It consists of supplying a URL, an image, headline and description.

If you don't have any good graphics for your ad, you can use Canva, which has pre-built social media images for free. Make sure the image stands out. If the image has text on it, the text can't cover more than 20 percent of the image.

Because you're just getting started, I would recommend using every placement available—in the Facebook feed or right column—just to get some initial data. You can always turn specific placements off later if they don't convert.

That's it! Now the important part: sit tight and don't touch anything. Facebook will learn over time the best potential people to see your ad, and it takes a little time for it to figure it out. Consider letting the ad run for at least a few days before you start changing things.

You can try split tests of different ads by copying the original and changing only one thing at a time: the title, the picture, the description. Once you start getting data back on what is working, you can eliminate sections of people that aren't clicking, and optimize for the ones that are. This can help drive costs down and conversions up even more.

After you start seeing some success, you could start using Facebook's retargeting to reach people who have clicked your ad, but didn't finish the objective.

If you want to increase your daily spend, consider only increasing by 20 percent every day. Raising your daily spend from $5 a day to $500 could negatively affect Facebook's algorithm for showing your ad to the right people.

Setting up a Facebook ad is fairly straightforward and doesn't require a huge ad budget or an entire ad team. You can set them up yourself for a few dollars a day. If the ads are profitable, then you can invest more time and money into the process.

Read more articles about Facebook.

Photo: iStock