Getting started with social media advertising can feel overwhelming to newcomers. We’ve all heard it is powerful, and many of us have been tempted to try it. But then many of us have also felt completely lost looking at the set up for an ad campaign.
There’s a lot to know, but thankfully, you only need a few nuggets of information to get started. So I want to encourage you to start with reading this general overview to get an understanding for how targeted advertising on social media works.
There are three short sections here; which cover who to target, what kind of ad to start with. And as a bonus, what kind of retargeted ad to follow up with. That third one is optional, but really increases your overall conversion rate.
Let’s keep things simple and look at an overview of social media ad targeting for your small business.
Understand who you are targeting
As with any form of marketing, it pays to know your customer avatar really well. When you try to appeal to a very wide audience, you will generally miss the mark. It is important to be specific.
The products or service that you sell will be for a certain person. If you haven’t ever defined your customer avatar before, then this is a foundational step not to be missed.
- Where do they live?
- What’s their gender, age and marital status?
- How about their employment or interests?
- What languages do they speak?
- How about culture or beliefs?
More by design than luck, these are exactly the demographics you can target for in Facebook’s Ads Manager. You can create a Saved Audience of Facebook users who look similar to your avatar.
When you are targeting the right group of people, and doing so with adverts written to appeal specifically to them, then you are off to a great start.
What kind of ad should you target people with?
Do you want to raise brand awareness, gather leads, or drive clicks and conversions? These are all options in Facebook’s Ads Manager. And in case you hadn’t heard, Facebook owns Instagram. If you want to run ads on Instagram too, then you set those up and manage them in the Facebook Ads Manager. This is great news, as it means you don’t have to learn an additional tool – the one tool covers these two popular platforms.
On the many other social media platforms that you can advertise through, and there are many, the ad objectives are fairly similar. You can choose to focus on leads, purchases or general brand awareness.
Whichever kind of ad you pursue, there will always be an element of brand awareness involved by default. Any time people see your ads, your name and logo will appear next to the ad creative. So make sure your brand is professional and memorable.
Also check out Facebook offers, which works well for ecommerce, but is also commonly used by salons and spas. This is a new kind of promotional tool offered within the Ads Manager. Offers allows you to target people by their birthday for a special, birthday-themed deal.
Increase conversions with retargeting
If you thought targeting was clever, then hold on to your hat. Retargeting takes things to another level, and has an impressive success rate.
Retargeting is just what it sounds like. It retargets people who you have possibly targeted once already. They have at least been to your website once, as determined by cookie tracking.
If you run an ecommerce business, then you may already know that the average rate at which people abandon shopping carts online grew past 70% in 2020.
When you can target product-specific adverts to people who previously abandoned that product in their cart, you can win many sales back.
It’s fair to say that designing and implementing these very specific adverts is not the quickest or easiest thing to do. Especially if you’re brand new to social media advertising. But with that said, it is not hard to learn, and Facebook has guides you can follow.
So there you have a very simple overview of ad targeting, and how it could benefit you.
In small businesses there isn’t much room for wasted budget. But with retargeting, you have the opportunity to encourage more sales from website visitors by re-engaging them. These retargeted ads serve as a great reminder to online shoppers who might otherwise forget about your offer and move on.
And of course, when you remember who you are targeting, that helps your intended audience to connect with your advert. Once you get started with targeting you may wonder how you managed without it.