Facebook and Instagram make up the two most popular social media sites with over 3 million active monthly users combined, and since Facebook owns Instagram, businesses can use one advertising platform to reach people on both sites, making it a powerful tool. As a small or medium-sized local business, you’ve undoubtedly heard over and over that you need to be marketing on Facebook. But you also know that your advertising budget is small, so you need to make sure you are investing in advertising strategies that bring in revenue, not just spending money that disappears into the ether. Maybe you would like to try advertising on Facebook, but aren’t sure where to begin. Or maybe you’ve tried it before but didn’t get the results you were hoping for.
Here at E/Power Marketing, we know how important it is for you to employ profitable marketing strategies because we too are a small, locally-owned business right here in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. So if you are looking for a solid strategy to reach your most profitable audience on these great social channels, read on!
Set yourself up for success
Before you start investing your hard-earned money into Facebook and Instagram ads, make sure you have all the pieces in place to ensure a successful launch. It is important for you to already have an active presence on both sites, posting content that is related to your business and engaging to your audience. If someone decides to look at your business profile to learn more about you and your services after being served an ad, you will want to have your information handy and some recent posts for them to explore.
Next, ensure that you have the Facebook Pixel installed on your site and your goals set up. Whether you are an ecommerce business that needs to track purchases or a service provider that acquires new customers through a contact form on your site, you will need to have those goals set up and tracking directly in Facebook to be able to really see the impact of your efforts and properly target your campaigns.
Gather your data
Once your account and pixel have been properly set up, get to work creating several audience lists! Your audience lists will be crucial to setting your campaigns up for success, but they can take some time to populate to the point where you can use them as targets. So it is good to set these up as early as possible, even if you are a couple months or more away from creating your first campaign.
For the strategy outlined below, you will need the following audiences ready to go:
- Remarketing – people who have previously visited your website.
- Converters – people who took a profitable action on your website, such as a purchase or a form submission.
- BONUS: People who engaged with a post or ad in the past.
Once you have your base audiences all set to go, create some lookalike audiences. Lookalike audiences are a great way to target a new audience without spending too much. All you need to do is tell Facebook which audience source to use and how closely you want your lookalike audience to match it. According to Facebook, “Audience size ranges from 1% to 10% of the combined population of your selected ad set locations. A 1% lookalike consists of the people most similar to your lookalike source. Increasing the percentage creates a bigger, broader audience.”
So to find a highly relevant audience to drive sales on your website, set up lookalike audiences that have a 1% match to your audiences that you created from the previous step. Depending on your budget and goals, you could set up multiple lookalike audiences, ranging from narrow (1%) to broad (up to 10%). We recommend not going any higher than 5% as that opens up your audience to a pretty broad population and can easily waste ad dollars.
Here at E/Power Marketing, we have found success with lookalike audiences for a couple of reasons:
- They allow you to reach new audiences that are still highly likely to convert. Targeting different demographics or interests that are related to your business can open you up to a pretty wide audience that can end up costing you valuable ad dollars for few results. Lookalike targeting uses Facebook’s machine learning to find people with similar behaviors and attributes to your original audience (like a purchaser audience), making for a more cost-effective lead strategy.
- They expand your target audiences. Facebook will not allow you to use an audience that contains less than 1,000 unique users to protect their privacy. So for small to medium-sized businesses that don’t get a high volume of website visitors, purchases, or leads, you may not be able to retarget to past site visitors or people who purchased from you in the past. Lookalike targeting will still be able to use signals from your original audience to populate a list of people large enough to target.
All together now…
With your audiences all set to go, you are ready to set up your campaigns! For businesses that have the website traffic to support a remarketing audience, set up your campaigns to target both your remarketing and your lookalike audiences. This will allow you to re-engage with people who are already familiar with you as well as gain new customers.
Make sure you are segmenting your campaigns by goal and choosing the appropriate audience for each goal. For example, if you are trying to gain more page followers, target your past post engagement lookalike audience. If your goal is to get more leads, target your leads lookalike audience.
Don’t forget the importance of a good message. If you have them, revisit your buyer personas and consider what will resonate with your ideal audience. Consider what stage of the buying funnel your audience is in and how to move them along the journey to purchase. While you don’t necessarily need to spend the time to craft different images for your different audiences, it could be beneficial to adjust your accompanying post descriptions so your lookalike audience gets more of an introductory message while your remarketing audience gets more of a direct call-to-action.
Once you have everything set up and running, make sure you are constantly checking on results and making adjustments to improve your campaign’s performance. Things like minor changes to ad copy or eliminating certain high-cost, low-return placements can have a big impact on your end results. Think of each campaign as a learning experience and take that knowledge of what went right or wrong to your next campaign.
If you think this all seems overwhelming, you are not alone! If digital marketing wasn’t a full-time job, none of us here at E/Power Marketing would have jobs! We have the knowledge, the tools, and the experience to make Facebook and Instagram work for you.
If you are interested in working with a results-focused partner to take your business to the next level, let’s chat.