Maybe you’re considering Facebook ads for your local business. But, you’re asking yourself some important questions like…

What is all the hype about?

Facebook ads sound too good to be true… it can’t be true, right?

Does Facebook advertising really work for the “local guys” and small businesses? I doubt that my business could benefit.

How do Facebook ads differ from other forms of advertising? My billboards and flyers are working just fine.

Can I afford Facebook ads? It sounds like this can get expensive.

Welcome! This post is for you.

In general, I believe that Facebook ads an excellent choice for small businesses… especially small businesses with physical locations that are trying to reach some customers in their area. When compared to other forms of advertising and marketing, Facebook ads excel in several ways. One of the biggest is targeting.

Targeting

A huge benefit to running Facebook ads over other types of traditional marketing are the targeting options available.  Reach customers based on location, interests, habits and so much more! Here’s a breakdown on some of the ways you can reach your customers or clients using Facebook Ads:

By Geographic Location

With Facebook ads you can reach customers that are in the geographic vicinity of your physical location.

While you may be saying, the billboard I just purchased for the month on I-81 is also targeting people in my geographic area… you can’t really say that the billboard is targeting your ideal customers.  I suppose some of them are. Most of them probably are not. Can you tell if you’re investment has been worth it?

By interests & habits

Facebook ads can target customers based on interests. I’ll give you a few examples:

Real Estate Agency: When choosing a real estate agent, potential clients will want an agent in the geographical area where they want to buy a home. What’s also important when targeting this person is whether or not they are looking for a home! Targeting options within Facebook can find you leads that not only live in the area, but are also looking to move, or renting, or perhaps even visited a popular real estate listing site within the last 30 days. This targeting is all possible through Facebook ads.

Yoga Studio: Again, potential clients will want a yoga studio that is close to home or work, so geographic targeting is important. But how do we know these people are interested in yoga? Facebook would allow you simply target users that have an “interest in pilates.” Want to get creative? How about a woman who shops at Lululemon or even Whole Foods? Now we’re really targeting.

By age, sex & household income

Oh how fun! You’re about to sell that $1.2 million dollar home… let’s only show that to people who can actually afford it. Facebook ads can do that!

Or, maybe you’re selling your salon services and have a special on Brazilian blowouts. Let’s target just women on that one.

Mix and match your targeting

Not only can Facebook ads target all of the things mentioned above (and tons more I haven’t even mentioned), but you can also mix and match these.

So, you could target men that make $65,000-$100,000 that live in a 25 mile radius of XYZ Country Club with an interest in golf to get sponsors for your upcoming charity golf tournament. The possibilities are endless, really.

Measure the ROI of your ads

Billboards, flyers, direct mail and most types of marketing local businesses are engaging in are really just brand awareness campaigns. Displaying your brand to the masses and hoping that someone who sees it is the type of person that needs your product or service.

This is me. This is what I do. Remember me the next time you need me.

And yes, this is incredibly important for local business. I always recommend running brand awareness campaigns. But the problem with basic brand awareness is that it’s really, really hard to measure your return on investment (ROI). How many leads or customers did that billboard bring in? Your guess is as good as mine. It’s so hard to know if the money you are investing is actually worth it.

Imagine knowing that you’re running ads to attract new customers to your business and knowing that each new customer is worth $100. Now, imagine optimizing your Facebook ads so you’re able to acquire those new customers for $5 each.

This is pretty much a fancy faucet that you can turn on any time you get thirsty (or, need a new customer). I mean, it’s a little more complex than that, but the numbers are all there and you can easily tell whether or not the cost per acquisition makes sense for your business.

Retargeting

Retargeting is an incredible feature of Facebook ads. This is what takes customers from that “brand awareness” campaign of just getting to know you all the way to becoming a customer. The average person takes about seven touches with a company or brand before they’re actually ready to make a buying decision. So, let’s go through a scenario here to show you the power of Facebook ads (and email marketing) that gets you to seven touches with your ideal client:

  1. Run video view campaign to build some brand awareness
  2. Retargeting anyone who viewed that video for more than 10 seconds with an interesting blog post from your website about the same topic
  3. Retargeting anyone who visited that blog post with an offer to sign up for your email list.
  4. Pop into their inbox with some helpful information about who you are and what you do (more brand awareness)
  5. Shoot them another email to tell them about your awesome event happening next weekend.
  6. Retarget your email list (or anyone who viewed the video, or anyone who visited the blog post) with Facebook ad with a special offer if they attend the event.
  7. Send out an email the day of the event to give them the special offer (maybe they missed it on Facebook, or just got busy).

There you go. Seven touches just like that. With retargeting, you can reach the same customer over and over again. And, if you’re doing it all right, that person will be more likely to buy from you as they are slowly introduced to the ways that you can help them.

Are Facebook ads affordable for local businesses?

Ok, so maybe you’re convinced to give Facebook ads a try. But… you’re still wondering whether or not you can afford it. Facebook ads aren’t as cheap as they used to be. But, as you can see they are extremely effective at reaching exactly who you need to reach, which makes them an attractive and affordable solution for business owners without a huge amount of money to invest. Your message will be laser-targeted and will only be shown to your ideal customer. That’s the superpower of Facebook ads.

To clarify a bit further, Facebook ads are a pay per “click” style of advertising. Basically this means that each ad will have a conversion objective. The objective can be a click, but it can also be many other things, like page view, video view, email list signup, or even a purchase. There are a lot of options here. I called it pay per “click” because you only pay for advertising when you achieve your conversion objective.

How much should I spend on Facebook Ads?

This is a loaded question as it really depends on your industry and what your marketing goals are. But, if you’re just starting out I’d estimate that a local business should budget between $300-$500/month for ad spend. Just note that this number does NOT include the cost of an Ads manager (if you are planning to hire this out).

Facebook Ad Strategy Session

Ready to get started? Great… I can help you come up with a clear strategy or game plan to get you started with Facebook ads. Contact me today to get started.

-Amy