Do Facebook ads work for a small business?

If you’re wondering do Facebook ads work for a small business, you’re not alone.

Is this something that your small business can do, or is it just for big corporate brands? Maybe you’ve always thought that Facebook Ads is about spending big budgets and you don't feel that's something that your business can do?

So how do Facebook ads work for a small business successfully?

Well the good news is that you can use it the same as any other business.

The only real difference is that often for a smaller business, the budget is smaller, which means it takes longer to build your results.

However, there are some very quick and simple ways that you can use Facebook and Instagram ads on a small budget that will steadily build your audiences and help you create leads, quicker than using organic promotion.

Build your custom audiences.

Custom audiences are segments of people who are already engaging with your business. People who already engage with your Facebook page or Instagram profile, watch your videos, visit your website and read the content that you're putting out there.

These audiences are really valuable as they're already ‘warm’ (meaning they have had an interaction with you already), and often they're more likely to be interested in your offers when you do share them.

You can build these custom audiences in Facebook ads manager, send out your valuable content - your videos, your blog posts – and track who is engaging with them. Basically, saving them for later.

Hit that 'boost' button!

If you use the boost button correctly, you use it to get more engagement and reach on your posts, which is the purpose of it. It sends an engagement objective ad.

Boost your best performing posts. Facebook already tell you which posts you should boost, normally these are the ones that have already got a good organic engagement on them, so you can tell that people like it. Send these posts out to your custom audiences for more engagement and social proof on the post, or even to a wider ‘cold’ audience (people who haven’t yet interacted with you) and get some more engagement on it.

Now, if you do send the post out to people who have never heard of you and you get engagement from them, these are the people that will then go into those custom ‘warm’ audiences we spoke about before. So, they become your warm leads - people that we know are interested in what you've got to say.

For a bricks and mortar business, you could create a saved audience of people (within Facebook ads manager) who live locally near to your business. Again, when you have got a post with good organic engagement and you want to boost it, you could send that out to this saved audience. For instance, if you have a hairdressers you could send out posts showing people around your hairdressers and then you could track people who are viewing that video in a custom audience, and you know that they're interested in your hairdressers and that they live locally to you.

Show your 'warm' leads another offer!

The next thing that I would recommend you do once you are tracking who is engaging with your content in a custom audience, is to then re-target those people with another offer.

For example, you could send the people who have engaged with your ad or watched your video, another ad that promotes your free lead magnet. Or if you are a local business, it might be a discount offer to encourage them to come to your shop and also to sign up to your email list. To get that lead off Facebook where you can nurture them a bit more.

So, you can see that there's a strategy here with our ads. That we're finding people who are interested, then we're retargeting them with another offer, and finally asking them to step off Facebook where we can continue that relationship with them.

In terms of budget, you can do this for a small as a pound a day, if you wanted. As I said before, you're not going to get a ton of subscribers every day with this budget, but over time, you would consistently build your list this way.

The easiest ad for eCommerce businesses.

The other thing that a small business can do with Facebook ads (and again, you don't have to spend a lot of budget on this) - especially if you have an eCommerce shop - is to re-target people who have added to basket, but have not purchased.

So, with my previous clients, we have had up to 20 times return on ad spend just from this one particular ad campaign. You're hoovering up all those people who are looking at your online shop, and adding items to their basket, but forgetting to check out. How many times have you been on Facebook and seen ads from clothes shops that you've looked at?

It's a really simple ad to remind people that they have looked at your shop items and you are encouraging them to complete the sale. You can do this with a catalogue sales objective, which will show them the products from your catalogue that they've already viewed. You can get quite creative with these and a bit cheeky with the copy. Some businesses offer another code to encourage them to check out. You could try that with a 10% off or free shipping code.

So that's some quick, easy ways that I would recommend for Facebook ads to work for a small business. As you can see if you use it with some of these strategy ideas, then it can be a very effective tool to build your audiences online, especially if you can get them off Facebook into your email list to continue nurturing those leads with emails.

If you want any more help with how to build custom audiences, then you can get my mini Facebook/Instagram ads course 'Stop Boosting, Start Advertising' for 21% off for the whole of July, with the code BIRTHDAY where I teach you how to build custom audiences, lookalike audiences and how to set up ads.

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