Due to the internet’s consistent rise in popularity – particularly when it comes to social media platforms – online advertising on social media has become an integral part of any solid marketing plan. It is one of the most effective and most affordable advertising channels available; after all, according to Facebook’s newsroom, over a billion people visit Facebook daily, making it one of the largest potential consumer markets available. As a contractor, reaching out to local potential clients and getting your company in front of them is vital, and Facebook advertising is one of the best ways to do that.
We want to help you get your business up and running with Facebook Ads, which is why we’ve developed this guide to help you understand what they are, how they work, and why they’re important. Read on to learn everything you wanted to know about showing off your business on Facebook.
I: Introduction to Facebook Ads
We hear what you’re saying – isn’t Facebook just a website for sharing pictures of your kids and watching funny videos? Well, it can be that, but it can also be a great way to generate leads and revenue for your business at an affordable cost. Facebook ads let you target specific audiences, choose what type of goal you’re going for, set locations or age ranges for your ads, and more. They’re incredibly customizable, relatively affordable, and can be extremely effective if you set them up correctly – but that’s the challenging part.
Many small businesses will boost a post here or there, or perhaps throw 20 dollars at a week of Facebook advertising and wonder why they’re not seeing results. While advertising on Facebook can be incredibly effective, you have to go about it the right way. It’s important to build an organic presence on Facebook (for example, having a business Facebook page connected to your website), and it’s important to be consistent with your social media updates, especially if you’re using your advertising to direct potential customers to your Facebook page.
It’s also important to know which ad types are relevant to contractors. While Facebook offers a huge variety of ads, not all of them are going to be helpful to you or help you reach your target audience effectively. We’ll talk about that in more detail a little bit later.
However, advertising on Facebook is exciting for a few very important reasons:
- Potential Audience Size – with over a billion daily active users, Facebook is the single largest network of potential clients available.
- Captive Network – the average Facebook user spends about an hour on the platform every day, scrolling through their feed (which is where your ad has the potential to appear).
- Targeting – like we mentioned above, the ability to specifically target your ads to your desired customers is very nearly unmatched. When you use Facebook Advertising, you can choose clients by location, interests, gender, age, average income, and so much more. For example, if you’re a home renovation contractor who specializes in high-end custom kitchen and bathroom remodeling jobs in the Tri-State area, you could target a Facebook ad to potential leads who own a home, have expressed an interest in home renovation, and make over $100,000 a year. And that’s just one example!
- Affordability – when compared to other popular advertising methods, such as Google AdWords or traditional print advertising, Facebook Ads nearly always have a higher return on investment and lower overall cost.
II: Pros and Cons to Facebook Advertising
In this guide, we’re going to get pretty specific with Facebook Advertising – the nitty gritty. But before we get into that, let’s talk about the pros and cons of advertising on Facebook, and why it could be a huge benefit for your business.
- You have complete control over your daily budget and maximum cost-per-click, which is generally more affordable than Google AdWords; an average cost-per-click (CPC) for a Facebook ad is around $0.60-$0.70, while an AdWords CPC is very rarely less than a dollar.
- Huge variety of targeting options
- Easy to track your statistics (you can check how well your ad is doing and it’s easier to understand your profit margin)
- Easier to reach people early in their research or even before they’re fully aware of their need for your services, while also getting the attention of people who are looking for a contractor
- Ability to use your own images and video (if you have it) to display your work and capture the interest of your target market
- If your campaign isn’t set up properly, it can be costly – but not as costly as an incorrectly managed Google AdWords campaign
- Not the best platform for B2B advertising; this is much more effective for B2C businesses
- Not as effective if you’re limiting your target audience to a single town or small area; the majority of your potential audience could become irrelevant
While there are some potential drawbacks to Facebook Advertising, we believe that the pros far outweigh the cons, especially if you set your campaign up properly. For more evidence that Facebook ads can work well for local lead generation, check out this case study.
III: Different Types of Facebook Ads
Facebook ads are incredibly versatile and offer a wide array of different options. However, as a contractor, it’s unlikely that you’ll need some of the types of ads that some other businesses, such as e-commerce, use. Ads that increase app engagement or raise event attendance, for example, are going to be less useful to you than some of the other advertising choices.
The Facebook ads most likely to help contractors include:
- Educate your target market on their options
- Sending people to your website
- Increase conversions on your website
- Collect leads for your business
- Reach people near your business
- Boost your posts
- Get people to claim your offer
Each of these ad options – which you get to by clicking the button on your Facebook Ads dashboard – has a unique focus for your business, whether it’s brand awareness, lead generation, or general business promotion. While the setup for each is similar, the different ad types serve different functions, and it’s important to pick the right ad for your desired outcome.
How to Choose Your Ad
We’ll talk more in-depth about the types of ads that may be useful to you as a contractor in a moment. First, though, we want to talk about how to choose your ad. You may be tempted to just select the first option available, but strategically choosing your ad based on the results you want from your campaign is vital to ensuring its success. For example, if your overall ad campaign goal is to generate 10 leads in a month, you’ll likely have more success with a lead generation ad than with a website conversion ad. But if your goal is to drive 100 new visitors to your website, a website conversion ad is exactly what you want to pick.
Many people who complain that Facebook advertising isn’t working for them simply haven’t taken the time to set up an overall goal for their campaign. When you choose to take the time to set up your campaign goals, you have a leg up on your competition, and are more likely to see the results you want from the money you spend.
Now, let’s get into the types of ads that are going to be most useful for you as a contractor:
1: Sending People to Your Website
The most important thing to do when you select this option is to designate the page on your website you want to send a potential customer to. You have a few options to choose from:
- Your homepage: If you have a new website that isn’t getting a lot of organic traffic, sending people to your homepage can be a good way to boost visitors. However, because your homepage is fairly generic, you may find more people bouncing from your website more quickly. If your website is not designed to be a salesperson, to convert visitors into leads, (which most aren’t), you’re likely going to be disappointed with the results with this approach.
- A service page: If you’re interested in increasing your website traffic in a specific area – for example, you’d like to get more clients interested in whole-home renovations – directing potential leads to that specific page is a good way to generate interest. Sending leads to a specific page also works well for contractors who have seasonal lines of business; if you run an HVAC business, for example, having a targeted ad directed towards furnace or air conditioning repair during the appropriate season can increase your traffic. We highly recommend sending people to a specific service page with your advertising.
- A promotions page: If you happen to have a special or deal available – and we know not everyone does – a promotions page can be a good landing page for an ad. However, this should probably be your last choice; you don’t want to devalue yourself to a potential customer!
- A contact page: this isn’t the best page for people to land on, but can be useful if you’re trying to collect information from a potential client. However, we’d recommend having a short contact form on an internal page, rather than sending people directly to a contact page; if your website is designed correctly, your phone number and contact information will be displayed prominently on every page, and you’re not providing any additional information to a customer when they land here.
- A landing page or squeeze page: a landing page is specifically designed to promote one specific offer and includes one specific all to action. After all, the purpose of any marketing channel such as Facebook, is to drive traffic to an offer. The more specific you can be with your ads, with your landing page copy, and with your offer, the more effective your ad campaigns will be.
Once you’ve decided what page you’d like to promote, you also have the option to create a Facebook Pixel and attach it to your website, so that you can track different actions that occur and fine-tune your advertising. For example, a pixel can help you serve ads only to people who have visited your website or landing page, otherwise known as remarketing. You can learn more about Facebook Pixels and how to implement them here.
You’ll then want to set your audience and budget, which we’ll talk about in the following sections. And then you’ll finally get to the exciting part: customizing your ad! We’ll talk about ad customization in the next section, as it’s a similar process for most of the Facebook Ads available. However, there are a few things you want to consider specifically for a “send people to your website” ad:
- Does the page you’re landing on feel consistent with your ad’s copy (wording)?
- Do you have clear calls to action (CTAs)?
- Do the ad and the page feel related?
If you make sure the answer to all these questions is “yes,” you’ll be on your way to having a high-quality Facebook ad! If, however, you find that one or more of these things isn’t true, you may want to look into updating or modernizing your website to make sure that it’s consistent with your current business and marketing goals.
2: Increase Conversions on Your Website
This ad type is very similar to the “send people to your website” ad; the major difference is that you want to make sure you’re using a Facebook Pixel, and that it’s set to “increase conversions on your website.” Facebook does a good job of simplifying that process in this guide.
You’ll also want to make sure that you have call tracking set up on your website; after all, not everyone is going to fill out a contact form. Sometimes people will contact you directly, and you want to make sure you’re tracking those results as well.
For this style of ad, you’ll still be directing potential leads to a specific page on your website. We highly recommend one which encourages clients to fill out a contact form or sign up to receive a lead magnet. That way, you’re getting their information and can follow up with with them, leading to a higher chance of gaining a customer.
3: Collect Leads for Your Business
One of the most important ad types for most contractors is lead collection – getting information from your potential clients so that you can connect with them on a more personalized basis. Facebook lead ads are fairly similar to “boost post” ads, with one notable exception: the Lead Form. The ad will offer you 6 different options for buttons, but you probably wouldn’t use all of them as a contractor. The buttons you’re most likely to use are:
- Get Quote
- Learn More
- Sign Up (for a newsletter, blog notification, etc)
- Download (if you have a white paper, an article, or something else of value for a potential client)
Each of these buttons will link to a form that you’ll be creating within your ad editor. Lead Forms are great because you get to choose from a huge variety of options for information you want to receive; Facebook will suggest collecting your potential client’s full name and email, but there are 19 other choices you can make, and you can also add up to 3 questions of your own, in addition to the client information you collect. While we would suggest keeping your forms short (the longer the form, the less likely it is a potential customer will fill everything out), you may want to request their phone number and their city and state. You may also want to add a question like “What service are you hoping to have done?” or “What questions do you have for us?” as a way of having something concrete to discuss when you reach out to that customer. The full list of potential collectible information includes:
- First and Last Name
- Phone Number
- Street Address
- City and State
- Post or Zip Code
- Date of Birth
- Marital or Relationship Status
- Company Name
- Military Status
- Job Title
- Work Phone Number
- Work Email
Most of these are not particularly applicable for you as a contractor; we wouldn’t recommend asking about their work phone number or email, for instance, unless you’re specifically running ads targeted at potential commercial clients. But the great thing about Lead Forms is that you can customize them to the audience you’re targeting with that specific ad, and change the information you’re requesting based on what type of group you’re focusing on.
While Context Cards are not necessarily something you’ll use in your lead generation advertising, we wanted to provide you with some quick information about them. In essence, these are what a customer sees after selecting your button from your ad but before filling out your form; they let you give a bit more detail, if necessary.
For example, if you were encouraging people to sign up for your newsletter, a Context Card would let you add an example picture and a bit of information – how often your newsletter comes out, what’s generally included in it, if people who sign up are eligible for special deals that are only offered to subscribers, etc. While useful, it’s not a fully necessary step; if you’re working with a marketing professional to arrange your Facebook advertising, you can discuss with them whether or not you want to use Context Cards.
4: Reach People Near Your Business
These localization ads are great for targeting a specific service radius. Unlike other ads, these start out with having you choose an area from a map, which is usually centered around your business’s street address. However, you can choose any address you like and set the radius around it from 1-50 miles – or define a custom mile radius that covers your service area. You also have the ability to select a few different areas, if – for example – you have showrooms in multiple cities, or do landscaping work for several suburbs.
Ads designed to reach people in your target area have four different business engagement opportunities:
- Call Now
- Send Message
- Learn More
- Like Page
As a contractor, your best options will likely be the “Call Now” or “Learn More” choices. If you have someone who handles your social media, “Send Message” could also be a good option; however, you really only want to choose that if you’re able to respond promptly to inquiries. Potential leads don’t like waiting a day or more when they message you on Facebook.
The “Learn More” ad lets you direct customers to a URL of your choosing, whether that’s your homepage or an internal service page, and acts similarly to the ad which drives engagement with your website; the main difference is in how you’re targeting people.
This ad can be super helpful if you’re trying to boost awareness of your company in a specific target area; for instance, if you do a lot of work in your home city, but want to expand to a neighboring city, targeting your ads over the city you want more work in can generate more leads from that area.
5: Boost Your Posts
Boosting posts is often confused with Facebook Advertising. They are not the same thing. While boosting your posts is not the most useful advertising option for contractors, it can be helpful in a few specific instances:
- Trying to drive Facebook engagement with a new business page
- Increasing awareness of a Facebook-specific offer
- Establishing expertise by promoting a blog or article you’ve posted to Facebook
These are one of the easiest ads to create, as you’re boosting a post you’ve already made; the ad creative (where you customize your images and text) is already set for you, as it’s the post itself. You also don’t necessarily have to use Facebook Ad Manager for this post. You can boost your posts directly from your Newsfeed, simply by clicking the “Boost Post” button that’s displayed there. If there’s a specific post you’re wanting to draw attention to, this is a good option to choose.
However, we see too often that contractors engage in post boosting without any type of strategy, which typically results in nothing but a waste of time and money.
6: Get People to Claim Your Offer
If you’ve recently published an offer to your Facebook page, or you want to create a new offer that’s exclusive to Facebook, this is a good ad option. Examples of offers may include:
- Free in-home consultation
- % off service fee
- $ off total cost (if over a certain amount)
You can create offers both from the ad editor and from your Facebook page, and set an expiration date and limit the number of people who can take advantage of your offer (if you’d like). Then just include a promo code or link to a promotions page, and you’re all set!
While these ads aren’t as customizable as others, they still serve a useful purpose if you’re trying to get more clients focused on a specific service or are simply trying to increase your overall lead generation. Promoting an offer can help you reach a larger portion of your target market and can encourage people to opt in to a service they may not have initially been considering, because everyone loves a deal!
IV: Customizing Your Ad
We talked a little bit about customizing your ad in the previous section; here is where we’ll get into the nitty gritty of what that means and how you can best manage your advertising on Facebook.
For most ads, setting the creative elements is very similar; you choose a picture (or pictures) or video, write some text, and preview your ad to make sure that everything looks the way you’d like, then select your budget, audience, and time frame. We’ll talk more about budgeting and how to choose the best audience for your ad in the next few sections.
When you’re selecting images, you have a few options. You can use your own photos – which we’d highly recommend, if you have high-quality images of your work – or choose from the searchable Shutterstock photos Facebook offers. Once you’ve run a few ads, you’ll also be able to choose from a library of previously used images.
Note: Facebook used to have a hard rule that 20% or less of your chosen image should be text, and ads would be rejected if they didn’t follow this rule. Now, that’s more of a guideline. However, we would recommend choosing clean images and leaving the text to your ad’s copy, as images with more text can yield less distribution and a higher cost. Having clean images with ad copy is also the most similar to a standard Facebook post, ensuring that your advertisement won’t stand out in a bad way on a news feed.
You can choose either a single image or 3-7 photos that Facebook will put together as a slidesho. You can also test how different images perform for your ads by creating up to 6 ads at a time; all you need to do for that is upload multiple images on your image selection screen. However, you want to make sure that your images adhere to Facebook’s guidelines:
- 1,200 x 444 pixels
- 8:3 image ratio
- 20% or less text (ideally)
You’ll also want to keep in mind that your ad has an upper limit of 90 characters, so your copy really needs to convey what you’re advertising. For example, if you’re a plumber who wants to help people upgrade old piping, your ad copy may be something along the lines of “Call us to get rid of leaky pipes and upgrade to PEX piping today.” With only 53 characters, you’re conveying the benefit of your service and including a call to action for your business that has a sense of urgency – no one wants leaky pipes! Pair this with a direct link to a page talking about the benefits of upgrading to PEX pipes for maximum customer immersion.
One of the things to consider when choosing your ad copy is what audience you’re writing to. If you’re advertising to more than one target group, you definitely want to customize your content to each group, and make sure that your copy goes with your picture. For each group, you want to make sure they know what you’re offering, how it can benefit them, and what they need to do next. No matter what type of ad you’re showing, whether it’s a lead generation, an offer, or trying to get people to your website, following this standard format will help you create the best Facebook ads possible.
You have a few “advanced options” for most of your ads, such as choosing where you’d like your ad to appear. By default, your ad will appear in the desktop and mobile News Feed, as well as in the right column on a desktop, but you can choose to remove any of these options if you wish.
You can also choose to add a headline to your ad, though this only appears in the right-column advertisements. If you have an ad that’s directing people to your Facebook page, you can also choose where your visitor ends up; though it defaults to the Timeline, if you’re running an ad that encourages people to check out your work, you can choose to have them land on your Photos instead.
And, as we’ve discussed before, you can track conversions as an advanced option, which involves the installation of a conversion pixel. This is something we highly recommend with any applicable ad, because it’s a great way to see exactly how effective your advertising is being and lets you fine-tune your marketing plan to get the best return on your investment.
V: How to Choose an Audience
Once you’ve decided how your ad should look and what it should say, the next most important thing to do is choose your desired audience. This is where Facebook advertising really shines; the customization options for picking an audience are almost endless, letting you target by a number of different factors to make sure that your ad is showing to exactly who you want to see it.
However, if done incorrectly, you run the risk of making your target audience either too broad or too narrow; either of these situations will lessen the effectiveness of your advertising, lowering your ROI (return on investment) and giving the perception that Facebook ads are an ineffective marketing tool. Let’s talk about the choices you have when it comes to audience customization.
1: Custom Audiences
Custom audiences are a cool feature – they let you show off your ads to people who have had a previous relationship with you. You can create audiences using a Customer List or Website Traffic.
- Customer Lists – this lets you upload or copy and paste a data file of email addresses, phone numbers, or Facebook user IDs. If you use MailChimp, you can also pull from existing MailChimp lists to create your custom audience.
- Website Traffic – if you’ve installed a conversion pixel on your website, you can use this option to create an audience based on a variety of different options. In addition to choosing a timeframe for traffic monitoring, you can also show ads to:
- Anyone who’s visited your site
- Anyone who’s visited a particular page (good for when you’re wanting to increase leads for a particular service)
- People who have looked at some pages but not others (good for increasing awareness of your other services)
- People who haven’t visited your website for a while (good for bringing your business back to people’s’ minds)
Once you’ve created your custom audience, you can continue to filter it based on other options (which we’ll discuss briefly in a moment), and you can also save it for quick use in your next ad.
2: General Audience Customization
You can choose to target your audience using several different criteria. Location, age, gender, language, interests, and whether or not they’re connected to your page are just a few options. Once you start digging into these, you can get even more specific. For example, when you’re defining your audience based on location, you can pick more than one area to target and can even choose the people you’re targeting; choose everyone in that location to reach people who have recently been there or who live there, or choose “people who live in this location” to just reach people who are listed as having a permanent address there.
The most complex choices you’ll make will likely relate to interests and behaviors, which include demographics. You can sort by income level, education level, whether or not someone is a recent homeowner, what type of things they’re interested in on Facebook, and more.
When considering your audience customization, it’s really important to sit down and define your ideal customer. Do you want to advertise to everyone who owns a home? Are you looking for more high-end jobs only, or are you just looking to increase your exposure (which we don’t recommend)? Do you want to focus on different types of people for different services? While this can seem complicated, it’s where Facebook Advertising really shines – and it’s important to do it correctly.
VI: How to Decide on an Advertising Budget
Deciding on an advertising budget is often where Facebook ads go wrong. Facebook suggests a default daily budget of just $20, but this generally isn’t enough to reach a significant portion of your target audience. If you’re setting a daily budget, we’d recommend between $60-80+; for a lifetime budget, we’d generally suggest at least $1500 a month, if not more, to make sure you’re getting optimum reach and maximizing your ROI.
We see too many contractors who try Facebook ads with a budget of only a few hundred dollars per month, and they end up disappointed with the lack of results. Just like with any other advertising channel, there is a minimum you need in order to reasonably expect any type of results.
While this may seem expensive, consider the fact that you’re potentially reaching thousands of people a day with your ads, on the most highly trafficked social network in the world. While Google AdWords campaigns, for example, can be good for locking down people searching for a specific term, Facebook Advertising lets you have far more control over your audience, the type of ad you’re running, testing, and more.
Don’t focus on expense. Your focus should be on getting quality leads profitably. This is why it’s so important to track everything. You need to know exactly what you’re paying per click and per lead, so you know what it costs you to get a new customer. The goal is to get more customers profitably. Don’t forget that.
The Difference Between Daily and Lifetime Budgets
A daily budget is the maximum amount you will spend on your Facebook ad in a single day, and is best if you want to continuously run your ad – for example, if you’re running an ad about snow removal and want it to run throughout winter.
Lifetime budgets require you to set a start and end date for your ad, so you can also use this for season-specific advertising. However, this is a standard way to do monthly ad budgets; you can set your budget to $2000 for the month and rest assured that you won’t go over that.
Choosing your budget is a vital part of making sure your advertising works; if you’re not sure what your budget should be, consider working with a professional to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
VII: Understanding Facebook Ad Data
One of the pluses of Facebook advertising is that it offers a ton of data and analysis for every ad campaign you run. You can go from the very basic – like how many people you’ve reached, how much you’ve paid in general, what your results are, etc. – to more specific (if you’re running a bunch of ads). Facebook has charts and statistics available to you for every advertisement you run, so that you can see what’s working and what isn’t, what people are engaging with and what they’re not paying attention to. You can get to all this information from your main ads dashboard, and you can even see multiple campaigns or ads at once for side-by-side comparisons of effectiveness.
Here’s everything Facebook ads lets you track:
- Delivery – whether or not your ad or campaign is currently running
- Results – how many actions your ad or campaign has received; this varies depending on what you’re looking for. You can check for clicks through to your website, lead signups, likes to your Facebook page, and more.
- Reach – how many people have seen your ad or campaign
- Cost – how much you’ve paid, on average, for every action taken. This is a great way to check your ROI. For instance, if you’ve paid $30 per lead form and 10 of those have been filled out, you’ve paid $300. However, if 1 of those leads generated a client who then paid for a $30,000 kitchen renovation, you have an extremely high return on your investment. Even if you’re only making 10% net profit on that project, that’s $3,000. Spend $300 to make $3,000 in profit? Sign me up!
- Amount Spent – how much you’ve spent so far on your ad or campaign
- End Date – if you’ve set one, when your specific ad or campaign will end
One of the ways that Facebook gets data about your ads is through conversion tracking, which we’ve touched on before. Conversion tracking using a Facebook pixel is an amazing tool, simply because of how much information you can get from it. It’s one more way to truly double down on your ad testing and make sure that your ads are working the way you want them to.
One of the most important ways to make sure this is working properly is to have your ads directing to a specific landing page, as opposed to just your home page. That way, you can see which services people are most interested in based on how many people are traveling to that page from your ad.
Pixels also let you track things like lead captures; you can use them to see exactly how many people are filling out a contact or signup form, which can show you exactly how effective your ad is. These are probably the most useful things you’ll be able to track with a conversion pixel. However, you can also track website searches, payment info – if you have an online payment portal for clients – and much more. Working with a professional to fine-tune your advertising campaigns will help you see exactly what you can get out of things like conversion tracking and budget planning.
IX: Popular Ad Strategies
There are a million different strategies out there for how to make sure your Facebook ads perform as well as possible – and what to avoid to make sure your ads don’t become a costly mistake. Some simple tips for creating a successful Facebook ad include:
- Keep your information short – while the content you can include is limited by a character count, short, punchy ad copy is better than trying to cram everything possible into 90 characters.
- Include keywords – your ad should always include a keyword or two so that potential leads know what you’re doing.
- Include persuasive or interesting images or video – it’s true what they say; an image is worth a thousand words. Having compelling images or video makes it more likely that leads will click through to your site, your form, or your Facebook page. And you never want to use low-quality images, generic stock photography, or images you don’t have the rights to use. Don’t go hunting on Google Images for a picture because you think it “looks nice”; you can get in big trouble for copyright infringement.
- Whenever possible, use your own images. Images of yourself or your team can work really well, as can pictures of your work which are high-quality and clearly show what you’re wanting to emphasize. Keep in mind that Facebook ad pictures are small, so you don’t want to use anything too busy.
- Include your URL in the text section – this advice can be controversial, especially if you’re already including a button for people to click through to your website. However, including your URL in your ad copy can help establish trust, as people are more cautious about clicking links when they don’t know exactly where they’ll be taken.
- Use taglines or hooks to draw in potential customers – “Get the house you’ve always dreamed of,” “Create your perfect yard,” “Customize your kitchen today”; using hooks that appeal to a potential customer’s emotions can make them more likely to click on your ad and see what you have to offer.
- Use Facebook ad targeting to your advantage – if you have a potential audience of a million people, you can choose to break those down into more specific groups. Set your general parameters, then create different ads for different specific sections of people you want to target; that way, you can show custom graphics and copy to the people it may appeal to more, and potentially increase your engagement rate.
- Keep mobile users in mind – while you may be using a desktop to edit your ads, the mobile population of internet users is continuously growing. Over 60% of people use their mobile phones or tablets for day-to-day browsing of social media platforms; don’t get discouraged if your ads don’t get many views by desktop users. Instead, consider it a success that your ads are appealing to mobile users – and make sure that your website is also mobile-optimized, to keep those customers engaged with your brand.
Another great tip is to “double down on what’s working.” If you have an ad that’s doing amazingly well, performance-wise – say, generating a ton of attention to your website, or grabbing you a lot of leads – don’t be afraid to increase its budget. It might not work as well down the road, so the best time to make sure you’re getting the most out of it is when it’s at its highest-performing!
We touched on this in our section about ad budgeting, but it really is important; you have to allocate a big enough budget to be successful. Spending $1-2 dollars for an ad is not enough, because you won’t reach many people and you won’t see a big return on your investment. Make sure you’re allocating enough of your marketing budget to test different variations on your ads. Changing your images and copy won’t mean anything if no one is seeing any of your ads at all!
A tip from Jon Loomer can also be useful to keep in mind: sometimes, even if your routine for your ads is working, it’s good to scrap everything and start over. For example, if you’re consistently targeting for people between 35-60 in a specific area for your advertising, maybe your next campaign should open that up. Go 20-50-year-olds instead, or change your targeting area, or the interests you’re screening for. Try different settings for different campaigns. You might learn something new about your advertising, and maybe even find a new population that gets you more results!
Overall, be SMART about your goals – make sure your advertising goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. When you have specific, achievable goals in mind, it’s a lot easier to create an advertising campaign that will make sure those goals are reached.
You may have heard before that you need to set up a “funnel” for your advertising, but it might not be clear to you what that is. In essence, a Facebook Advertising Funnel lets you communicate with different groups of people based on their interest in what you have to offer.
Here’s an example:
You’re a home remodeling contractor that specializes in high-end, custom kitchens. Your ideal target is someone who’s wealthier, owns a home, and has expressed an interest in remodeling their kitchen, but that’s not going to be everyone your ad reaches. And if you’re selling $50,000 kitchen remodels, you’re not going to have a landing page for a free estimate.
Instead, you might advertise downloading a kitchen island guide that you’ve created. This helps establish you as an expert in your field, while also grabbing the attention of people who are within your target demographic. Once you’ve got a list of potential leads from people who have looked at your kitchen island guide, you can remarket – show a new ad to the same group of people that draws them a little closer to becoming a customer. So, for instance, maybe your second ad displays common kitchen remodeling prices, with an emphasis on higher-end kitchens.
What this advertising strategy does is focus on the end-goal of generating leads that are more likely to become clients, instead of spending a lot of time giving out quotes or making appointments with people who are just shopping around. And while it can be complicated, we can help you create an advertising funnel that will increase your overall Facebook ad success.
While we do our best to answer all the questions you might have when it comes to Facebook Advertising, we know there’s some things that might not be covered in our guide. So, we’ve created a list of some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve heard concerning advertising on Facebook. If you’ve got a question that’s not answered here, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!
1: Do I need a Facebook page to use Facebook ads?
While you can create Facebook ads without having a Facebook business page, you’re extremely limited in the ad types you can use – the only ad you’ll be able to make is one that sends people to your website. We don’t recommend this, especially as it’s really simple to set up a Facebook business page. Plus, Facebook business pages are another place for clients to leave you positive reviews and for you to organically share your information, establishing you as an industry expert. And people often search for businesses on Facebook as well as on Google, so it just makes sense to have a page set up.
2: What’s the “power editor”?
If you want to create a large amount of ads at once, the power editor is what you’d use. You can get there through your Facebook Ads menu.
3: What’s the “audience network”?
Audience Network placement extends the reach of your ads by showing them to your target audience on other sites and apps approved by Facebook. This can include Facebook-affiliated sites and can even be extended to Instagram.
4: Do I need a mobile-friendly website?
To get the most benefit out of your Facebook ads, we highly recommend that you invest in developing a mobile-friendly (also known as “responsive”) website. Facebook is the number one app in the world, and the majority of active Facebook users are using their mobile devices to access the website. Advertising on Facebook – especially if you’re trying to get people to click through to your site – works better if your site is modern and easy to use. Check out your site on your phone or tablet and make sure it looks good. Take notes of any improvements or changes you might want to make. Your online advertising revolves around the hub that is your website, so making sure that is as good as it can be will improve all of your other online marketing efforts!
5: How often should I refresh my ads?
You should try to be vigilant when it comes to keeping your ads updated; a good way of doing this is running several ad variations at the same time, and swapping out low-performing ads as soon as you’ve gotten enough data to confirm that they aren’t doing as well as you’d like. Facebook Ads can potentially go stale in a matter of days, and that’s one way to make sure that you’ve always got a fresh version of your ad circulating.
6: Can I advertise for free?
Technically, creating a Facebook business page and being active on it while promoting it on your website and other social media channels can be seen as “free” advertisement; anyone who’s liked or followed your page has a chance to see the posts you create without you having to spend money. However, as organic reach (the percentage of people you’re able to reach without paying) for Facebook posts has dropped over the past several years, you won’t have nearly the impact as you would with a paid Facebook advertising campaign.
Facebook Advertising is a great way to promote your business, encourage engagement, drive clients to your website, generate leads, and increase your conversion rate when it’s done correctly. While this guide is a great start to learning about Facebook Advertising, we know that it can seem overwhelming. At Contractor Dynamics, we’re here to help you create a comprehensive marketing strategy that will help your business thrive. If you want to take the next step in marketing, contact us today to arrange a consultation. We’ll help you understand exactly how Facebook Ads can benefit you!