Getting Started with Facebook Advertising: December 2020

Have you ever thought about trying out Facebook ads to reach new audiences? Now is a better time than ever to experiment with something new. It takes just a small amount put aside for a test and no more than an hour of your time to set up your first ad.

If you’re wondering why you should bother with Facebook ads, the answer is that it unlocks a new audience beyond just your followers that you can target to your liking. If you’ve found the majority of your visitors come from Kingston, you can target an ad specifically to residents of that city to attract new potential customers.

Do your all-natural products attract vegans? Target an ad that speaks to directly to them. Or if you have a gap in your audience you want to fill – say for example your new cabin caters to families but your regular crowd is 50 plus – find those families through carefully thought-out advertising.

And the best part is that advertising through Facebook doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Here are a few tips for getting started with simple, small-scale Facebook ads.

First thing first: Sit down with a laptop or pen and paper and write down your goals. You’re using your own hard-earned money so you want it to be put to good use. Answer the question: What is the purpose for your advertisement?

  • Awareness
  • Link clicks
  • New followers
  • Engagement
  • Building a mailing list

All of the above are good reasons to try out an ad, but this list is not exhaustive. Other things to think about are who you want to attract. Where do they live, how old are they, what are their special interests? Keeping it broad is perfectly fine too, just plan it out and write it down!

When you’re ready to get started, the easiest option and what I recommend for beginners is simply “boosting” a post. Boosting refers to spending a small amount of money to have one of your existing or new timeline posts shown to a larger audience beyond those who follow your page. Even with a simple boost, you still get full rein on what kind of person you want to see your ad.

Just a few simple steps will get you started with advertising.

Step 1: Choose your post or craft a new one

You want to make sure your message is strong so it might be best to start from scratch. Do you have a new product or offering you’re ready to promote? Create a new timeline post that is short and to the point (ideally 1 sentence), with a link to your website if applicable.

Step 2: Click the blue “Boost Post” button on the bottom of the post to get started

Step Three: Select your goal

The default “automatic” setting is somewhat new. Hitting change will let you choose your own, which I recommend. Find the goal that aligns with your own – like “get more website visitors” if you want to prioritize traffic to the link you included in the post.

Step Four: Set your target audience

Remember you brainstormed who you want to see your ad? Now is the time to set that audience. Select “people you choose through targeting” and input your specifications. Location is probably the most important demographic to target. Age can be broad or specific if you like, and additional interests are optional if you want to ensure your ads are being seen by a specific type of person (ie. cyclists, beer drinkers, etc.) If so, you will be trading a lower reach for potentially more qualified leads.

Important tip: As displayed in the screenshot below, you might find that your audience defaults to Canada. If you start adding in more targeting locations, which we highly recommend, you should remove Canada as an option. Otherwise your ad will be shown to people across the whole county, and someone living in PEI might not care to see your ad about the new menu in your Minden restaurant!

Step Five: Choose your placements and budget

Placements dictate on which channels your ad will be seen. Keep it simple by removing Instagram and Messenger if you want. If you have an Instagram account that you’ve tied to your Facebook account, by all means boost on both!

You’d be surprised how far $50 goes. No need to boost for hundreds of dollars. Start with just $25 or $50 and see how that works out for you.

Step Six: Review and evaluate

First, make sure you’ve inputted everything correctly and that your ad preview looks correct (spelling review!).

Once you’ve hit go, check in every day to see how many new people have been reached by your ad, and how many clicks and engagements you’ve received.

At any point you can end or adjust your campaign if you don’t think it’s going well.

Congratulations, you are now advertising on Facebook! Keep a look out for our January OHTO Insider that will provide more information on setting up your ad account, connecting your Instagram, and much more.

Happy Wandering,

Sara Dunbrook

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