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  • Writer's pictureAlison Ellerbrook

5 Things You Have To Do Before You Even Think About Using Facebook Advertising

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Facebook advertising is an extremely effective way for many brands to reach their target audience, but unless you have things set up correctly from the start it can be easy to throw away money without achieving results.

1. Install The Pixel

You know when you’ve been looking at, say a pair of shoes, on a website and then they pop up on your Facebook newsfeed some time later?

That’s the pixel at work.  

It’s a really effective way of marketing because it enables you to target warm leads; people who’ve already visited your website and reminds them about what they were looking at (like those shoes that call me to buy them!).

2. Define Your Audience

I'm talking pen and paper for this one. It's not about selecting audience interestes from Facebook's lists (at least not yet), it's about sitting down and writing about who your ideal customer is.

Age, income, location, interests, brands they like, websites they visit - the more detail the better.

When I start working with clients this is where we start and it really should be the basis for all your marketing activity, Facebook or not. The time spent on this right at the start will pay back dividends in the future.

3. Decide Your Objectives

Yes, I know you want to advertise 'To make more sales' or 'To get more leads', obviously this is the ultimate goal for all advertising, but if you just want to dive into Facebook Ads and think that an audience who has never encountered your brand before is going to click and buy, then you're wrong.

Facebook Advertising works most effectively when you warm your audience up. In his guide, 'Successful Advertising' way back in 1885 Thomas Smith said there were 20 steps to advertising before a sale. It's unlikely that you'll need this many stages, but you get the idea!

A brand awareness, page engagement or video view campaign is a good place to start. You can then follow this up with a lead generation or conversion campaign.

4. Plan Your Campaign

It may sound obvious, but know what you're doing before you start. Don't just dive in adding content, budget and timescale willy nilly.

Decide how many campaigns you are going to run (ideally 2 or 3 that flow into one another), which audience you are going to target and objective for each campaign. You might like to map it out with pen and paper.

Once you have a plan, you can put it into practice.

5. To Boost Or Not To Boost?

Before you throw £5 or £50 onto boosting a Facebook post, think about the content and what you are trying to do.

Boosting is such an easy way to advertise on Facebook, but it's not usually the most effective. Of course, if you have a bit of content that's performing well on a page, there's no harm in making the most of it and boosting it for additional engagement, but you're not going to get the level of targeting or analysis from this as you will from a 'proper' Facebook advertising campaign.

Ad manager is what it's all about!

Alison Ellerbrook delivers social media management and online marketing for small businesses in North East England and beyond.

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