Part 2: 3 Simple Ways for Local Businesses to Win New Customers and Keep Them Engaged
Facebook advertising is one of the most cost-effective ways for small local businesses to find and reach out to their prospects where they hang out online. It works because your potential customers are receptive to well-targeted adverts and offers on Facebook, if they’re relevant and eye catching.
Get Your Facebook Page Right First
- Choose the right category for your business type, as this will affect where and how your page is shown on Facebook. For instance, a page for a local business will be more likely to appear in local search results than a page for an organization or brand.
- A name and description for the page. The name itself can be your business name, or a relevant search term that your buyers might use to find you – such as “London Boiler Repair.”
- A short description or intro blurb gives you the opportunity to highlight the most important elements of who you are and what you offer.
- A call to action. Decide on what you want your business Facebook page to achieve – such as encouraging people to message you, driving traffic to your website, or giving you a call. Set up your “action” button to support this.
- Populate the “business information” section of your page with your website link, contact details, opening hours and anything else relevant.
- Start adding content and posts to your page immediately – there’s no point promoting your page or running Facebook ads if there’s nothing for your prospects to see when they get there. Keep your posts interesting, entertaining, and not too long, and integrate a good mixture of images and potentially, videos as well as text-based content.
- Invite your friends and colleagues to like and share the page, gaining as much interest as you can to lend authority to your page and increase its search ranking before you start promoting it in earnest.
- A profile image and cover photo. These should be taken and/or edited to ensure that they’re the right dimensions for the provided spaces, should be relevant to your business and support your content.
Decide On Your Target Customers
When you have a solid business page up and running, you can start thinking about setting up a targeted Facebook ad campaign. In order get the most bang for your buck, you need to decide on your target demographics – the people that your Facebook ads will be shown to. There are a huge number of different variables that you can control to narrow down your target demographics to specific niche groups. These customisable targeting options include:
- Demographics – such as age, gender, relationship status, education, workplace, job titles etc.
- Location – such as setting a radius around your shop
- Interests – such as hobbies, favourite movies and even fad diets
- Behaviours – such prior purchase behaviours, device usage and other activities
- Connections – such as those that like your page already, or only targeting new prospectsThe more you narrow down your demographics to target potential buyers, the better chance you have of generating enquiries from relevant potential customers.
Constructing The Perfect Advert
Fine-tuning your Facebook ads to yield the best result involves a reasonable amount of trial and error, and you might want to split-test your ads to determine the most effective approach. However, just by taking a closer look at the type of ads that Facebook shows in your own news feed, you will soon get a feel for the type of ads that perform well and those that are boring or irritating, and likely to alienate their viewers.
Here are some tips for constructing great Facebook adverts.
- Visual ads work best – use images as appropriate to draw the eye and give an at-a-glance pointer to what is on offer.
- Avoid the hard sell approach – Facebook advertising is most effective when it plants the seed of an idea in your prospect’s mind organically and makes them want to know more. Pushy or shouty ads rarely work well on social media platforms.
- Don’t make your ads too obtuse – if viewers have no idea what you’re offering or selling, they’re unlikely to pursue it.
- Integrate incentives and teasers but avoid clickbait – most Facebook users are savvy enough to spot clickbait ads and avoid content that starts with lines like “this one trick to banishing belly fat is all you need to lose 100lb in a month!”
- Try to make an emotional connection with the viewer – providing a solution to a common pain point or giving the viewer an actionable means of fulfilling a need.
1. The bold text immediately makes a personal connection with targeted viewers – in this case, cat lovers.
2. It provides enough information to let the viewer know what the ad is about, integrating an emotive image that cat lovers will find hard to ignore.
3. It clearly and succinctly provides a description of the offer (a lottery) with the unique idea that playing this lottery also helps cats.
Many people who use Facebook ads concentrate too heavily on their click-through stats rather than impressions. Impressions provide more value in the long term, because they increase familiarity with your brand – something that people remember (even if unconsciously) when they come across the same ad or brand again in the future.
Finding the sweet spot when it comes to ad frequency – how often any individual Facebook user sees an impression of your ad – is the key to turning your ad spend into conversions and profits. If a prospect only sees your ad once, the chances of them clicking it that one time are low. The number of times that your ad appears for each viewer has to be frequent enough for their mind to make a connection and consider clicking it another time.
However, the same ad repeated too many times can lead to the viewer unconsciously tuning it out entirely, meaning that after a certain number of impressions, it’s time to move on to targeting someone else.
So, what is the optimum number of impressions per viewer for an ad to stand the best chance of performing well? That largely depends on what your ad offers and who you are targeting.
If you’re a well-known brand offering a popular product that is similarly well known and well regarded and that most of your viewers will already be aware of, capping impressions per viewer at a frequency of one or two per month is likely to return the best results for your ad spend.
If, on the other hand, you’re a new brand promoting a new product without any existing market share or viewer awareness of your offerings, this probably won’t be enough. Most experts advise capping your ad frequency at around five or six impressions per viewer per month, to get the balance right between raising awareness and bombarding your viewers with the same ad to the point that they start to ignore it.