The numbers are staggering. Facebook has 2.5 billion users, making it the largest social media platform in the world. In 2019, Facebook revenues exceeded $70 billion, according to statista.com.
The question is, how do marketers harness the power of the social media giant to reach business owners with a strategic Facebook advertising campaign?
Preliminary Strategy is a key
The experts say you need to find the right strategy, and that involves messaging, landing pages, and the right offers to generate predictable leads and sales appointments.
Once a digital marketer has focused the messaging, landing pages and a winning offer, the next critical step is identifying your target audience, and that’s where Facebook’s detailed targeting feature comes into play.
I would also highly recommend looking at Facebook’s targeting page, which will help you further narrow down your targeting, and Google’s trend page to help you figure out some relevant trends that can help you optimize your ad to gain attention quickly.
Creating you audience
In order to begin your targeted ad campaigns, you jump into Facebook’s Ad Center where you can customize everything and really narrow the audience for your ad campaign, undoubtedly the most important process of running ads. Within your Ads manager, you will want to first be clear on why you are targeting business owners. Will your campaign be for brand awareness, reach, or lead generation to name a few?
Once you have identified the goal of your campaign you will you will want to navigate to the “Audiences” section of your ads manager, which is located under “Ad Set” as you can see in the picture below. You will then click on “Create New Audience” to begin targeting our business owners.
Side note: In this section you will be able to define the age, gender and location of your audience and make other critical decisions about Detailed Targeting of your audience such as languages and connections.
Facebook made an industry sea change in 2013 when it teamed with data brokers Epsilon, Acxiom, and Datalogix. With trillions of data transactions available to them, these data brokers offered an additional wealth of information about specific visitors, which added to Facebook’s already well established data sets. Acxiom have data on over 500 million active users around the world.
Armed with this additional level of data, advertisers can now reach far beyond their own databases to tap into the spending habits and desires of the shopping public. Facebook uses this data to target audience segments using a myriad of filters, some of which we will discuss in this article.
To reach business owners, there are several strategies available through the Facebook Detailed Targeting capability.
Target Business Page Admins
First, marketers can target Business Page admins, small business owners, or Facebook Page administrators. These Facebook business page administrators are likely business owners or managers; these are the people who you want to reach with your ads.
Secondly, under the, “Narrow Audience” option, you could target people who read online business publications such as Entrepreneur, Inc., Fast Company and Forbes, because they are likely business owners or top managers who are focused on growth. Or you can target anything else that is typical of business owners, maybe a desire to know more about digital advertising growth, or possibly a member of a facebook page dedicated to business success.
Target Industry Specific Admins
Your target audience is likely comprised of certain industries or markets. You can precisely define your audience using these parameters. A deeper dive into the profile of your target audience will allow you to identify specific industries that these business owners or page admins are managing. To narrow these page admin or small business owners down further, we will navigate to “add demographics” then select “Browse”, then select Demographics, then selecting Work, then selecting Job Titles. In the example below, you can select page admins who are managing pages in the Food & Restaurant Space, Travel & Tourism, Health & Beauty, and much more.
Target by Job Titles
An additional method you can use is including job titles, which allows you to focus on the position within a company of the audience you are trying to reach, i.e. CEO, Managing Director, COO, these are the decision-makers you may want to reach with your advertising. If you are having trouble finding the correct positions you are trying to target, there is a button titled “suggestions”, which allows Facebook to suggest demographics, interests or behaviors and a box to check if you want to expand your search further.
The Detailed Targeting feature of creating an audience is designed to help you build a specific targeted group of people who will see your ad.
Another feature in Facebook’s Ad Center is the Lookalike audience feature that allows you to add to your existing client database when Facebook searches the web for similar criteria matches that can be added to your custom audience.
After establishing a comprehensive and targeted audience for your ad campaign, experts emphasize the importance of using the right key words in the ads as well as on your landing pages. Facebook can search the ads and landing pages and create matches with potential clients who match the profile of your audience.
More tools in Ad Center
Another Ad Center tool that can enhance your Facebook advertising effectiveness is the Audience Insights tab.
The Insights tab on Facebook provides helpful data as you manage your campaign. The best posting times, page views, page actions and post reach allow the advertiser to monitor which ads are performing best and optimal times for placement. To gather more information about your audience, Insights gives two options, Everyone on Facebookor People Connected to Your Page.
The Everyone on Facebookoption should be selected to learn how to expand your audience and People Connected to Your Pageshould be picked because it helps you create better content for your current audience.
People Connected to Your Pageallows the advertiser to drill down and view more specific information, such as location, age, interests, education, relationship status and more.
This refined data can help an advertiser customize messages to a narrowly defined target.
Types of ads
Once you have developed a winning strategy and defined the audience, you must continue to refine and split test ads to make sure you are continually getting better results.
Facebook remains affordable for most businesses, but that does not mean you should blindly be spending money without refinement. Choosing the right type of ad will also impact the campaign’s success.
The latest trends move toward more video and animation in the ads with poll ads, slideshows, messenger ads, story-based ads, augmented reality ads and an array of other approaches designed to cut through the clutter.
One of the advantages of Facebook’s analytics is the ability to accurately measure the effectiveness of your campaign. Successful advertising requires repetition, since sales transactions are not consummated with one contact.
Studying the analytics of your campaign during the campaign allows you to modify and tweak your strategy as you go. Plans can be instructive, but it is important to have flexibility built into your campaign strategy.
Facebook’s tracking pixel tool allows you to track visitors who have bounced out of your sales tunnel and reengage them with targeted ads which is called retargeting. Dynamic ads using this feature allows companies to up the ante with a discount offer or other incentive to get the visitor to reconsider saying yes to the pitch.
Additional tips for more effective Facebook ads
Finally, emerging marketing strategies are creating new opportunities in Facebook advertising. Here is a synopsis:
Take advantage of Facebook’s Power 5 set of automated ad tactics. When combined, they can have a striking effect on the effectiveness of your campaign.
Facebook’s Power 5 tactics are dynamic ads, auto advanced matching, account simplification, campaign budget optimization and automatic placements.
According to the company, here’s how the Power 5 work:
Dynamic ads read data from the consumer and deliver an ad matched to their interests, shopping habits and interaction with various website and apps. Ads with dynamic images/videos, headlines, and text will help your campaign punch through the crowd. Facebook’s dynamic ad creative tool uses an algorithm to test which creative approaches work best.
Auto Advanced Matching
Auto Advanced Matching enhances ad performance by tracking where conversions originate. This allows advertisers to better gauge where their sales are coming from and maneuver their advertising strategy to optimize that information.
This tactic allows the advertiser to put its campaign on auto-drive, allowing machine learning to test what creative is driving sales and respond accordingly in real time without human intervention.
Campaign Budget Optimization
Facebook’s CBO algorithm automatically distributes budget to the top-performing ads and ad sets. As a correlating service to account simplification, campaign budget optimization works with a central campaign budget that is spent across ad sets. This produces cost efficiencies and delivers the most economic placements.
With automatic placements, advertisers tap into Facebook’s machine learning to auto test and target their audience with a single ad set placement. This is a time and cost-saver and eliminates manual placements and contract management.
Facebook, which launched in 2004, has changed the advertising landscape.
In 2007, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “Facebook Ads represent a completely new way of advertising online. For the last hundred years, media has been pushed out to people, but now marketers are going to be a part of the conversation. And they’re going to do this by using the social graph in the same way our users do.”
That was an understatement.
Facebook, and social media in general, has changed the advertising industry. Advertisers can now pinpoint an audience and craft messaging of unique interest to that audience. In addition, the advertiser can see in real-time how the audience is reacting, and adjust a campaign accordingly.
Savvy marketers wanting to reach a specific segment of business owners can use Facebook as an effective tool in today’s sales environment.