When you log into Facebook nowadays, you'll find it hard not to notice the ads the social media giant serves up in your news feed. Of course, if you do miss them, it's not because you aren't being observant enough, but because a lot of these ads look like organic posts except for the small "Sponsored" label in light gray. These ads are meant to look less like an ad paid for a brand, and more like a post made by a Page you follow.
You can't blame businesses for turning to Facebook ads, though. By the end of 2018, Facebook had a whopping 2.32 billion monthly active users, roughly the equivalent of a third of the world's current population. As for daily users, Facebook pulls in 1.52 billion people who spend an average of 20 minutes on the app or site every day. With such a big and engaged audience, Facebook ads are sure to have a wide and relevant reach.
But first of all, which businesses benefit by using Facebook ads? Is this form of marketing for everyone, or only for specific types of brands?
The good news is that Facebook ads work for all kinds of businesses and types of brands because the tools provided by Facebook allow highly targeted advertising. The level of granularity offered lets you be as specific as possible with the demographics you want to tap into. Thus, it's not surprising to see popular brands like the New York Times, Amazon, McDonald's, L'Oreal, HSBC using Facebook ads to advertise their goods and services.
Of course, the aforementioned brands and their cohorts all have the budget to splurge on Facebook ads, but what about small businesses? How can these take advantage of what Facebook has to offer?
Another good news is that Facebook ads are fairly inexpensive. In fact, they're among the cheapest forms of advertising you have at your disposal. Yes, big-brand campaigns are undoubtedly expensive, but since the platform on Facebook is flexible, small businesses can start advertising with as little as $10 and still reach as many as 1-2 thousand people or more. You can't get the same exposure for the same amount if you advertise through traditional media such as print, radio, or TV.
Local businesses also do well on Facebook. Since you have all kinds of targeting options at your fingertips, you can tweak the settings and make your ads visible only to a specific location. If you can go as broad as a whole country, you can also be as precise as a tight radius around an exact address.
You can expand your audience on one hand, but can also narrow it down on the other. For local businesses, this is an excellent opportunity. With just a little budget, you can set the location targeting and other parameters to target the exact demographic you have in mind. In other words, you don't have to spend on a big net when you have a small net that can catch the fish you want.
If you ever wonder how you'll know whether Facebook ads are working for your business or not, you can always check the records Facebook keeps. The Facebook ads reporting tools include everything from impressions to conversions, even if you spent no more than a fiver. You won't have to guess because everything is transparent. Also, numbers don't lie.
With these in mind, learn to embrace Facebook ads and find out just how much it can do for you. Don't be intimidated by the well-known brands advertising on Facebook. They don't have the monopoly on the platform, and there's always more room for everyone else, including the little guys like small and local businesses.