If you’ve ever created and/or managed a Facebook page, you’d know where to find that ubiquitous Boost A Post button because it appears on virtually all of your page’s posts. It’s quite simple to get started with boosting a post - all you have to do is just click on that button and follow the onscreen instructions. In just a few minutes you'll have your very first Facebook advert.
However, if you want more control over the creatives you can use for your advert, as well have more campaign objectives to choose from, you should use Facebook Ads. It’s more complicated, yes, but you get far more out of Facebook Ads than just a simple boosted post.
Here are three reasons why Facebook Ads are more effective than boosted posts:
1. You’re not stuck with using a boring, old post
With boosted posts, you can only boost published posts. This means that you need to write a post first, publish it, and only then can you boost it. With Facebook ads, you have so many options to choose from – you can even create dark posts which are posts that are created specifically for ads. Dark posts don’t appear on your news feed, unlike boosted posts.
2. You have plenty of choices where you want your ad to appear
Facebook Ads allow you to post your ad not just in the news feed but also in the right column, on Instagram, on the Audience Network, and more. You have a lot of options that are just not available with boosted posts. If you boost your post, it will only appear on mobile and desktop news feeds.
3. You can’t schedule your boosted post.
Though you can set an end date with your boosted post, you can’t set a start date. Once you boost your post, it will start automatically. With Facebook Ads, you can set a start and end date. This means that if you plan on being away on holiday for the next week or so, then you can schedule your ads in advance.
With that being said, boosted posts do have advantages. It’s a great way to test the waters, so to speak. You can get a taste of advertising on Facebook, but pretty soon you’d want to scale your ads. When you do, you’ll need to get up to speed with Facebook Ads and the Ads Manager.
There are plenty of Facebook Ads marketers who are reporting conversion costs of anywhere from a few cents to a fraction of a penny. Others aren’t so lucky. In fact, most inexperienced marketers are reporting quite the opposite and are getting burned due to astronomical ad costs.
Now there are plenty of factors that come into play when talking about Facebook ad costs. But obviously, before you even get started you should have some sort of budget in mind (unless you have an unlimited supply of money).
Here are three ways you can lower your Facebook ads budget:
1. Know your target audience
Ideally, you should already have an idea of who’s going to be interested in your product or service. Whether you are a first-time entrepreneur or a battle-hardened businessman, you must know who your target audience is. Is your product geared towards women or men? Are you targeting young professionals or travelers?
Knowing your target audience will help lower your ad budget because there’s a higher probability these people are going to be interested in what you have to offer. Targeting an audience who doesn’t fit your ideal user will lead to higher ad costs because they won’t be paying your ad any attention.
2. Set a bid cap
You can set a daily or lifetime budget for your Facebook ads. But did you know you can also set a bid cap? If you didn’t know before, well now you do. A bid cap is like what the name suggests – Facebook will put a cap on your bid. So, for example, if you can only afford to pay $0.5 per click, then you can put that amount as your bid cap. Otherwise, Facebook may charge you $1 per click, or more, depending on the competition. A bid cap helps ensure you don’t go beyond your budget.
3. Don’t advertise around the holidays
During holidays, people tend to buy a lot of things online. This buying frenzy drives marketers and businesses to create Facebook ads to get buyers’ attention which in turn drives up the advertising costs for everyone. So if you don’t want to compete with many other businesses, it’s best to not advertise during peak seasons like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other important holidays. There are 365 days in a year – you can always advertise before or after the buying season to help lower your ad spend.
The buttons have been pressed on the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine, and now much of the talk in the business world is focussed on growth. The country, via LEP’s, Growth Hubs and Investment businesses, seems to be awash with cash to support organisations who are looking to grow. Therefor the temptation is to say “Yes, we’ll have some of that thank you very much”.
However, growth is not suitable for every business and is full of pitfalls. It's important to weigh up the pros and cons of growing or not growing. Too much growth can in fact destroy a business if not carefully planned at the beginning.
Very often growth will push into a different and possibly more competitive market with more experienced and larger competitors. You have to be ready for any changes in the game.
This Small Business 11 point Growth Assessment Tool is designed to help you focus on the challenges you could face on the road ahead. They look pretty simple questions but the answers you get may not be quite so simple.
1. Why should we grow?
2. How will we grow?
3. How much should we grow?
4. Over what period of time?
5. How much growth can we afford?
6. Do we have enough people?
7. Do we have the right people with the right skills?
8. Do we have hiring and training processes?
9. Do we have adequate financial processes?
10. Do we have the necessary supply chain?
11. Do we have adequate quality controls?
Many businesses will have processes in place but the question is whether those processes are robust enough, at present, to cope with the journey you are about to embark on.
A guide for small businesses and others
Despite the onward march of digital marketing there is still an important place for print advertising, particularly for small local businesses. Well at least there appears to be judging by the number of monthly and bi monthly local business directories that come through my letterbox. However, judging by what these directories contain I wonder about the effectiveness of many ads and actual return on investment for many companies.
Recently out of 43 ads there were only 3 that actually had something to say so here are my top 8 tips for small local businesses to consider when thinking about placing a print advertisement or producing a flyer.
1. Think AIDA. Your advertisement should attract Attention, it should then provoke Interest, leading to a Desire to want the product/service and provide the means for the customer to take Action
2. Your headline is important. To be effective you need to know your customer. You are an A1 roofing company, so what? There are several others out there. What problem are you solving for the customer and what makes you different. Decide on one key element that will stand out.
3. Hopefully your headline has grabbed the reader’s attention, now the first paragraph must create interest. This can be done by keeping it short and using something like a surprising statement, a news item or simple story. Just make sure it's related to the headline.
4. Now for desire. The body copy should not talk about you, instead talk about the customer. State the benefits clearly and show why you are different to your competitors. Talk in the language of the reader – no jargon – and emphasise things like No Obligation and Free. If you're advertising an offer, try to create a sense of urgency by setting a response deadline.
5. Hopefully by now the reader is interested enough to take action. Make it is easy for them. Don’t be afraid to tell them what to do and make sure the contact details are clear and any email addresses are working.
6. Keep the layout clean and easy to follow. If you are using images Please Please Please don’t use photographs that have been stretched or shrunk to fit; unless of course you want to be seen as a cowboy business. There are lots of free image editor software packages around so there’s no excuse.
7. Include a reference code. I have seen businesses use the same ad in several publications without any identifiers so how they can tell which magazine is working for them I don’t know. The reference code can be included in coupons or asked to be quoted when calling or emailing.
8. Finally, don’t be afraid to test different advertisements to see which works best. If you are using 2 directories to the same area then use 2 different adverts. You may be surprised.
If you need any help or advice please give me a call.
David has worked in advertising and marketing services for 30 years both client and agency side. Having worked with local, national and muliti-national clients, he set up DLH Marketing to help small organisations, owner managed businesses and those organisations without in-house marketing.