Maximise Facebook ads for your startup
As a start-up, the biggest challenge you'll face is trying to maximise profits from the limited funds that are available to the business. At the same time, you will also discover that it is essential to advertise the new business and create awareness about your products among your target customers.
Traditional advertising avenues like newspaper ads, events and campaigns would be too costly for many start ups. In such a situation, Facebook Ads would come in handy, given its lower marketing cost.
As of January 2017, there were 1,871 million active users of Facebook (FB). Research said that 1 out of 5 minutes on a mobile are spent on exploring FB. If we go with the statistics, then that means most businesses would have a target audience that is actively using FB.
How can you use FB ads to your maximum advantage? To answer this question, let’s take an example of a bakery start-up we'll call Sweetie Pies. Established for just one year, the business had broken even in recent weeks. The management decided to start a company FB page that would help to drive its growth further.
If Sweetie Pies wanted to use FB ads for its business. there are many ways they could do that to promote their business.
These are some tools that are made available by FB to Businesses that use Facebook Ads. These tools would help Sweetie Pies gain an insight into their customers, their customers' demographics, and other relevant information.
Page Insights helps the startup understand the number of audience who is engaged, identify their demographics like their age, geographic location, and where most of them reside. Sweetie Pies can use the information available on Page Insights to see the feedback received from their customers, their comments, and their preferences.
So, if Sweetie Pies was planning to introduce three new cakes to add to their menu, out of six that it had shortlisted, they could put up a picture of each of the six cakes, along with a brief about each cake, on Facebook. Feedback received from their followers would help Sweetie Pie decide which three cakes to select, based on customer preferences.
This tool helps starts-ups learn more about their target audience. So here, Sweetie Pies wants to know how many of their followers live near the store. This can be extracted using Audience insights.
Apart from this, it can also extract demographic information, the number of people who liked similar pages, their purchase activity. This information can be further adjusted to include information from the general public on FB, or only the people connected to Sweetie Pies' page or event, or people in a custom audience that is set by Sweetie Pies.
An audience insight is different from page insights as the former looks at trends while the latter focuses on interactions.
Using ad sets efficiently
Campaigns help businesses to organize, optimize and measure ads for a business. If Sweetie Pies is hoping to create brand awareness and local awareness about the bakery, the startup can develop two ad sets for each of these areas and track the results individually.
Businesses should therefore include only one interest in each ad set. This will help them to understand which ad brought about better results.
Using Facebook Offers
Start-ups can also advertise online and in-store sales using FB’s new ad unit – Offers. These help businesses to highlight existing promotions to a larger audience in the Facebook ecosystem in comparison to their regular posts.
For example, if Sweetie Pies is running a promotional offer of 5% discount on all products for college students, they would reach a larger audience using Offers, and this may drive traffic from students who are in the vicinity to visit the bakery.
In a similar fashion, businesses can promote their events, or discount coupons, through Facebook offers.
Connecting to existing and potential customers
Facebook page can help to connect to existing & potential customers. Existing & potential customers can ‘talk’ to you through Facebook. Sweetie Pies can promote business and build long-term relationship with its audience by posting simple recipes, sharing information on bakery products, calorie content or similar information that is related to business.
Dark Post is an excellent way to advertise to a specific audience, as these posts only appear to them. Start-ups can use this feature to advertise to their targeted audience regarding personalized offers, without spamming their entire social audience.
With the example of Sweetie Pies' 5% discount offer for college students, the startup could create dark posts targeting the college-going age group. The benefit here is that ads have a more personalised touch.
A company's fan page content can also generate favourable search engine results for businesses. This is possible as Google’s new social search feature have started indexing content that is created on websites like Facebook. So Sweetie Pies' fan page content would have better odds of getting traffic from search engine results for its business.
Sweetie Pies can even link their fan page to their website to drive the Facebook traffic there.
Power editor helps you control every aspect of your ad. This tool is for large advertisers who wish to publish multiple ads after creating & editing it. As a start-up this tool should be used only when you are already familiar with ad managing tools.
Facebook can be an effective marketing tool but it does require research, testing and frequent tweaking. To ensure Facebook ads benefit your business, it is necessary to have a bid strategy and a fixed budget in place. At least for a start, Facebook ads help a start up to achieve the twin benefits of reaching a wider audience at a lower cost.