A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Facebook Advertising

June 4, 2019 - 11 minutes read

How to harness the power of Facebook advertising.




“Social media is about the people, not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide you.” – Matt Goulart


There’s no denying it: Facebook is the most powerful social media platform in the world.

Despite the constant emergence of new social media platforms, Facebook is still the most widely used social media site on the planet, with 68% of adults in the US alone confirming that they actively use the platform.

To engage, inspire, and form valuable relationships with your target audience, investing in social media marketing is a must. If you’re looking to attract the right people to your budding business, using Facebook Ads will help you expand your commercial reach. This will ultimately help you boost your bottom line.

Facebook Ads are a powerful tool. If utilized correctly, this platform will allow you to:

  • Drive web traffic from engaged and motivated customers that are likely to convert.
  • Target potential customers based on demographic information such as age, sex, location, and personal interests.
  • Boost brand awareness by getting your inspiring advertising in front of the right people.

Sounds great, right? We thought so. To help you on your journey to social media marketing success, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use Facebook Ads for your budding eCommerce or brick-and-mortar empire.


1) Set Up Facebook Business Manager and Pixel


To lay the foundations of your ongoing Facebook advertising strategy, the first thing you need to is set up your Business Manager account.

The Business Manager will host your Facebook Ad account, business pages, and any other tools you may need to run your various social media promotions.

To create your Business Manager account, head to the account management page and click on “Create Account.”

Once you’ve created your account, you’ll be prompted to add all of your most vital business details, including your business name and email address. Here’s an instructional video to guide you through the process:

When your Business Manager account is all set up and ready to go, the next stage is installing the Facebook Pixel.

Many business owners overlook the Facebook Pixel, but this is an invaluable tool as it provides data on the success of your advertising campaigns, including sales and revenue metrics. The Pixel is a middle point between your online shop (or website) and your Facebook Ads account. Here’s a guide on how to install it on various sites and platforms.


2) Get to Grips with Your Facebook Audience


Now that you’ve laid the foundation, it’s time to start thinking about your audience.

If you know who you’re aiming your efforts at, you’ll be able to create promotional communications that engage and inspire on a deeply personal level.

One incredibly effective way to understand your audience is by creating targeted buyer personas based on what you consider to be your model customers. Here is a step-by-step guide to creating effective buyer personas for your business.

Once you’ve painted a comprehensive picture of your consumer base, you can use Facebook Ads’ Custom Audiences and Demographic Targeting features to develop targeted promotions aimed at prospects based on specific demographic data, including preferences, interests, age, gender, geographical location, and  additional elements such as:

  • Previous website visitors: You can target these users based on the pages they’ve interacted with or their on-site browsing behavior. This is useful for brick-and-mortar store owners – you can use it to attract web visitors to your store through targeted ad content.
  • Contacts lists: Customers that have shared their name, email, and phone number with your business.
  • App users: Any consumers that have downloaded and used your app.

While Demographic Targeting is primarily used to reach new consumers, Custom Audiences is effective for retargeting those who have interacted with your store in the past. Both of these features will help give your Facebook promotions shape and direction.


3) Create Your Campaign


Armed with a newfound understanding of your customers along with your targeted ad features, you should start thinking about your first official Facebook Ads campaign.

Whenever you see a Facebook post or promotion on your feed accompanied by the word “Sponsored,” it was created with Facebook Ads. Many brands and businesses use Facebook Ads to create a cohesive mix of strategic posts, ads, graphics, and content as part of a campaign.

To get your campaign off to the best possible start, you’ll first need to set a clearcut objective in your Ad Manager tool, which you can find in your Business Manager account. By clicking on the “Create” button, you’ll be able to choose from three objectives: awareness, consideration, and conversion.

Once you’ve established your campaign’s key objective, you’ll be offered a host of more detailed options for your promotional content, including video views, traffic, and increased catalog sales.

The cost of each advertisement will differ depending on your key objective and the way you tailor your content. As a general rule of thumb, awareness goals cost less per impression compared to conversion-based objectives.

To ensure maximum success, take the time to consider your campaign’s main priority based on your unique business goals and the needs of your audience. Once you have a clearcut direction, you’ll be able to set up your campaign, clearly labeling each ad for quick reference once you start to populate and publish your promotions.


4) Build Your Ads


You have your buyer personas at the ready, you understand how to target your ads, now’s the time to start building those ads.

Here, you will put your demographic targeting into place, set your ads budgets, decide where you’re going to place your promotions on Facebook’s network, and most importantly – create your content.

Starting from the ground up, you should set a maximum budget and timeframe (the length of time you want your ad to run) for each advert before filling out your demographic targeting information based on the information from your buyer persona and the research you conducted in step two.

This video will guide you through the process:

Once these fields are populated, you’ll be free to get creative and start crafting content for your adverts. The sky is the limit, but here are a few essential components of a great FB ad:

  • Compelling copy that speaks to your audience
  • At least one striking visual
  • A clear call-to-action (CTA) that encourages users to interact with your content.

Here are some cutting-edge Facebook campaigns you should explore for creative inspiration:

  • Promo by Slidely: This campaign is aimed at small businesses. It is fun, inspiring, and highly visual, and it earned a total of 2.2 million social media views.
  • Google’s ‘Build What’s Next’ campaign: This reactive feat of Facebook marketing used consistent branding, aspirational language, and solid incentives to yield a host of positive results.

There is a wide range of ad templates for creating inspirational promotional content – from carousels to video-based adverts and more. Take the time to explore this rich tapestry of templates and utilize a balanced mix of styles.


5) Deliver. Optimize. Repeat.


Once your ads are out there for people to see, make sure you consistently monitor your results by analyzing the data served up in your Ad Manager account (to visualize real-time ad performance) as well as the insights collected by your Pixel (to gain an understanding of how your ads have affected website traffic, in-store visits, and conversions).

Monitoring your results will help you determine your overall return on investment (ROI). You’ll also be able to optimize your future campaigns for success by digging into what works and what doesn’t.

When analyzing your Facebook ad data, look at the times of day during which your audience is most engaged, the individual value each piece of content offers for meeting your objectives, and what content-based weaknesses you need to work on.

“Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage.” – Amy Jo Martin

Optimizing your campaigns is an ongoing process. By learning from past mistakes and triumphs, you’ll be able to scale, evolve, expand your reach, and boost your profits over time. Facebook Ads doesn’t offer a shortcut to success, but if you invest ample time and resources into your campaigns and get to know your audience, you will reap great rewards.

For more social media-inspired insights, check out our guide to Instagram marketing success.