by Evan Knight
It seems like every small business owner is interested in Facebook Ads in 2018. Perhaps you’ve heard about your colleagues trying them, a marketing agency has pitched them to you, or the collective hive mind (read: social media) has lodged them into your subconscious.
Whatever the case may be, Facebook Ads are a hot topic for healthcare professionals and business people.
The real reason? They work.
Plain and simple. I’ll repeat that: They work like gangbusters. One caveat, they only work if you do it right. If you don’t, then you will waste a lot of money. There are three things that Facebook excels at: Keeping people on Facebook, collecting their personal data, and taking your money.
That’s why I’m going to use this article to share 3 tactics that you can use to avoid wasting money on Facebook ads, and instead use them as a growth engine for your business.
Let’s dive in.
Tactic 1: Don’t Annoy People
Elephant in the room: A great deal of advertising is annoying. And yet, here we are. Advertising.
Don’t ruin the business reputation that you have diligently built over the years by blasting people with “BUY NOW” or “BOOK APPOINTMENT NOW” messages every time they open Facebook.
Think about it. Why are people on Facebook in the first place? For most, it’s to stay connected with friends & family, engage in online communities, and to watch hilarious cat videos.
Let’s resolve together that we will devote at least 80% of our advertising dollars, time, and effort to helping people, not selling to them. The best way to do this on social media is usually to teach something useful in a way that is easy for the audience to digest.
Here are three ways to do that:
- Shoestring budget – Find a piece of content (article, video, infographic, etc.) that will be genuinely useful to your audience and share it will them. Then boost it with some ad dollars.
- Medium budget – Maybe you have a blog that is geared towards helping and educating your target audience. Perfect. Create an ad sending people to your best blog article.
- Larger budget – Write a guide that solves a serious problem for your target audience. You don’t need to go Hemingway here, but a well written “The Hearing Aid Buyer’s Guide” can truly help the people that you are trying to help.
Tactic 2: Don’t Waste Money Showing Ads to Everyone
The defining feature that makes Facebook Ads so powerful is the targeting. You can target people so specifically that you might not even believe it’s possible.
Age, gender, geolocation, family situation. Those are the basics. You’ll save some money using these.
Do they have kids? Are they in a retirement home? Are they Mariners fans? Have they been researching hearing aids? Has their behaviour indicated a healthcare purchasing history? These are some more complex options that you have access to. This is the intermediate level. If you research and employ these options, you’ll be spending your advertising budget pretty darn effectively.
But let’s look at what advanced marketers are doing. Remember those educational materials we talked about? The ones we spent money promoting? Here’s where we start making money from that investment. Facebook allows you to target your ads to a variety of special “audiences” including:
- People who engaged with your posts
- People who visited your blog
- People who downloaded your guide
These are the people you want to find. They are familiar with you. You’ve helped them. They’re now primed for more action-oriented advertising like “book an appointment”. The best part is that they’ll likely be happy to receive these messages now. Win win.
Building up these audiences by helping people is absolutely essential for effective advertising on Facebook. Remember, this isn’t Google. They’re not searching for you. You’re interrupting their cat video browsing experience so make it worth their while.
Tactic 3: Don’t Set it and Forget it
People are obsessed with technology that makes their lives easier, and that includes advertising technology.
I’ve worked with hundreds of agencies and small business owners over the years and what always surprises me the most is the common perception that an advertising campaign can be plugged in, turned on, and forgotten about while it pumps out paying customers. Unfortunately, you won’t make a million dollars by turning on your Facebook Ads and walking away.
What’s the upside? A well-run campaign can result in thousands, or even millions, of dollars in sales if it is approached correctly, and nurtured regularly.
This including logging into your advertising dashboard on a regular basis, looking at the numbers that matter, and making informed decisions on what to change and what to leave as is. There are all kinds of things to look at such as ad creative, copy, the offer you’re promoting, and who you’re targeting, to name a few. A full rundown on this methodology is well beyond the scope of this article.
Since that is the reality of the medium, if you want to use it you have two choices:
Option 1. Take the time to learn how to manage campaigns and schedule campaign maintenance sessions into your calendar. If you go this route then you should check out some of the big names in the Facebook ads space such as Jon Loomer, AdEspresso, or Facebook’s own Blueprint Certification course.
Option 2. Hire someone who knows what they’re doing. Emphasis on “knows what they’re doing”. Don’t hire the kid down the street who did a Facebook ad for his etsy business once. Definitely don’t hire a marketing agency that says they’ll get you lots of likes. Find someone who has run profitable campaigns in your industry before.
Facebook ads can be an incredibly powerful growth driver for your business, when used correctly. Put these tactics into practice and you will be ahead of 95% of your competition.
Evan Knight is the co-Founder of AudMetric and a serial online entrepreneur. He’s spent his career founding, scaling, and selling businesses in the online space. His true passion is helping other small business owners find their own success.