The first step of an effective inbound marketing campaign is identifying the right market. But after answering the “who” question, the next task is answering the “how.”
Luckily, you don’t have to do this from scratch. Online tools like Facebook ads target your intended audience with high precision and accuracy.
What Facebook ads look like
You’ve seen them before – they’re the ads in the news feed with “Sponsored”. These ads are designed to look like a typical post made by a friend. On a desktop they appear in your sidebar and can be images or video. Some are specifically created as an ad setup and launched. But some are posts that have now been “boosted”. If you have a popular post, it can have a wider reach by paying to boost it.
How they work
Facebook offers a dashboard to manage your ads and monitor their performance. Like the search engine Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, you design the ad, specify the budget, and pay out for every click on the ad. There are other options as well such as paying per impression (when an ad is seen).
There’s a corresponding cost for every click on your ads, but you can manage your spending by setting a per day budget. This will spread out your total budget across several days.
So far, Facebook ads sound like PPC ads, but what makes them different? The answer lies in the targeting options Facebook offers. If you’re a Facebook user, you know how much information people share on the network. And we’re not talking about what they ate for breakfast. We’re talking about gender, age, languages, locations, and interests, not to mention “likes” and what page they comment on.
As a result, you can target your ads by choosing from the massive filters available. Make your ads visible to everyone, or you can limit your audience by geographical area, gender, age, language, and/or specific interest. You can be as broad or specific as you want, though it’s advisable to start with a wider audience and just narrow it down as you go along.
Exclude people who already liked your page (you potentially don’t want to preach to the choir, after all) and include a tracking pixel for monitoring actions performed on your website. After that, you can set the schedule for your ads and choose where to run them.
How to create effective ads
Of course, without great ads, your campaign won’t be successful no matter how targeted your ads are. They should be intriguing enough to make people click.
Start with a relevant and compelling photo or short video. You can shoot your own images, use Facebook provided images or buy rights to some stock photos. If you’re tight on budget and time, use your own or Facebook’s.
Choose crisp, high-resolution pictures and pair them with a few lines of text. Add an action button and finish it off with a catchy hook. Think short and snappy, not long and overly detailed.