Facebook Ad Strategy 101: What Every SMB Owner Needs to Know

By Raubi Perilli

      Jun 22, 2017     Solutions    

There are over 60 million businesses on Facebook. More than 4 million of them are advertising on Facebook.

And, most of them are doing it wrong.

Many businesses think Facebook advertising is simply "boosting" a post or paying to get more likes, comments, or shares.

But you don't spend money on Facebook to get "likes." You spend money on Facebook to get customers!

The rest of this post will look at ways that businesses can use a Facebook ad strategy to engage, attract, and reconnect with their target audience -- and turn them into paying customers.

The Real Power of Facebook Advertising

On the surface, Facebook is a place to create a community, share information, and communicate with interested audiences. And, this is all true. Facebook is great for these things.

But it’s Facebook ads that put the real power behind this social media strategy.

Facebook ads are an extremely powerful advertising tool because it allows:

  • Hypertargeting: When you advertise on Facebook, it’s not a guessing game. You can use hypertargeting to tell Facebook exactly who you want to reach. From demographics like age, income, gender, and location to purchasing habits, interests, and hobbies, Facebook targeting enables you to create an audience that perfectly matches your ideal audience.
  • Retargeting: Facebook also helps you directly reach audiences that have already shown interest in a brand. You can use retargeting to connect directly with people who have previously made contact with your brand. You can easily stay in front of audiences who are already interested and engaged.

Facebook’s ability to hyper-target and retarget make it an incredibly powerful tool for advertising. If you aren’t using this aspect of Facebook, you are missing out on big opportunities to connect with both new and existing customers.  

So, let’s look at the tools that can help you implement strategies to capitalize on these opportunities.

The Facebook Ads Tools You Need To Know

To launch an effective Facebook Ads strategy, you need to know about three important tools. 

Tool #1) The Facebook Pixel

The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code from Facebook that you add to a website. The code connects the web property and Facebook so that Facebook can read and monitor what people are doing on the website.

Facebook Ads Strategy Tool

For example, if you have a Facebook pixel on your website and a person who has a Facebook account visits your website, the pixel will track and record their activity while on your site. The code makes note of what pages the user visits, what pages they don’t visit, and when they visited.

The Facebook Pixel is most frequently used by being installed on a business’s website. But, the pixel can also be added to other web properties that a business owns so they can track other types of data. For example, it can be connected to a point-of-sale system (POS), customer retention system (CRM), or third-party tool.  

The Facebook Pixel tool is powerful because it enables Facebook to classify audiences based on their actions on your web properties. You can later hyper-target people based on their activities and retarget people who have already engaged with your brand.

Tool #2) Custom Audiences 

A complete Facebook ad strategy must utilize Custom Audiences. Custom Audiences is a tool that creates a group of people who you want to show your ads to.

Facebook Ads Strategy Tool

Custom Audiences enable you to group users based on a variety of elements such as:

  • Customer File: an audience of people who are on your list of email address or phone numbers
  • Website Traffic: an audience of people who have visited your website or specific pages on your website or performed an action on your website
  • App Activity: an audience of people who have used your app or taken specific actions on your app
  • Engagement on Facebook: an audience of people who have engaged with your Facebook page in a specific way

When you have Custom Audiences, you can create ads that display to only that specific audience.

The Custom Audiences tool is powerful because: you can create hyper-targeted campaigns that are designed to reach a very specific audience. You can also create retargeting ads that are designed to reach people who have already engaged with your website, app, or Facebook page.

Tool #3) Look-a-Like Audiences

Look-a-like Audiences are a tool within Facebook that maximizes the use of your custom audiences. Once you have created a Custom Audience, you can use the Look-a-Like audience tool to create another audience that shares similar characteristics of the original audience.

Facebook Ads Strategy Tool

Facebook looks at the demographics and characteristics of your original audience, searches Facebook to find other people who also share those qualities, and creates a new audience of those similar users.

The Look-a-Like Audiences tool is powerful because: if you have a custom audience that is responding strongly to your ads or messaging, you can create another audience who is just as likely to be interested in what you do or sell.

How to Start Your Facebook Ad Strategy 

A Facebook ad strategy is powerful because you can use tools to hyper-target and retarget audiences. With these tools, you can create dozens of campaigns and digital marketing strategies to engage, attract, and reconnect with your target audience on Facebook.

But with so many possibilities, where do you start?

1. Add a Facebook Pixel to your website and create a website traffic Custom Audience. Even before you have a flushed out your Facebook ad strategy, place the Facebook Pixel on your website and create your first audience of general website visitors. The Facebook Pixel takes time to collect data that you can use to create audiences, so start early and begin collecting data about your general website visitors right away.

For directions on adding a Facebook Pixel to your website, here is a great Facebook Pixel Ads Guide.

2. Create a Custom Audience using customer data you already have. Next, create another custom audience that includes all of the users you have already collected either phone numbers or email addresses from.   

If you don’t want to do this manually, MyArea Network technology solutions can create a tool to automate this process. With our system, as soon as you collect a mobile number or email address, it is added to your Custom Audience. Instead of regularly importing customer files from POS data for example, your user information is automatically updated as soon as you get a new contact.

3. Add a Facebook Pixel to your POS or CRM software. If you use a POS or CRM system to track customer engagement and interaction, connect the software with Facebook. Connecting these systems gives you another tool for creating Custom Audiences based on specific customer actions and activities.

Some CRM and POS systems integrate with Facebook. Check with your provider to see how you can add the Facebook Pixel to your software. The other option is building a custom system to work with your software. MyArea Network can work with you to create a custom software solution for your POS or CRM.

4. Create more specific Custom Audiences. Once you lay the foundation for creating Custom Audiences, create a list of audiences to target based on specific actions and themes. For example, you may want to hyper-target and/or retarget:

  • Website visitors who visit your sales page, but not your thank you page
  • Website visitors who viewed a specific product or service
  • Facebook users who watch your Facebook videos
  • Customers who have purchased a specific product or service
  • Customers who haven’t purchased in awhile

4. Run ads. Once you define specific custom audiences, create ads that directly target that audience. Because you already know a lot about who you are targeting, you can create very specific ads that speak directly to that audience.

5. Create Look-a-Like Audiences. After you run your ads for a few days or weeks, review your campaigns to see which ads are performing best. Identify the Custom Audiences that are performing best and create a Look-a-Like Audience based on that group of users.

If your ads are working for a specific audience, they are likely to work on another group of people that share the same characteristics. By building Look-a-Like Audiences, you expand your potential audience reach using data that targets and finds them.

Ready to Launch Your Facebook Ads Strategy?

A fully developed Facebook ads strategy includes all of this and more. These six steps are just the beginning of what is possible when you harness the power of hyper-targeting and retargeting on Facebook.

If you are ready to tap into the potential that awaits using Facebook's powerful ads tools, let us know if you need help. 

We can help you maximize the use of these tools, build custom solutions that integrate with your current software, create ad campaigns designed for specific audiences, and help you get the most out of your Facebook ad strategy.