Is it worth getting Facebook ads for your business?

Rachel Klaver is a marketing strategist. She leads identification marketing.

OPINION: There have been many times over the past two years where I have shaken a metaphorical fist at Meta (formerly known as Facebook) and their overwhelming desire to add to our constant change as business owners. , marketers and humans.

I think we’ve all had a hard time, and small business owners have felt the brunt of so much change, upheaval, and unpredictable events. I’ve been helping small business owners and creators with digital marketing in one form or another since 2006.

Thinking back to those early days, the strategy was so simple and predictable. Previously, you could create two or three Facebook posts and be done with it. Now there are several platforms, their use is more and more complicated, and as soon as you get used to something, the algorithm changes.

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Working with a wide range of business owners, from some who aren’t sure about using Facebook for themselves, let alone their business, to others who are dopamine-ridden and love building community. Whatever the stage and level of confidence, one thing is certain:

Being able to do your own marketing is getting more and more complicated and time consuming.

As an agency, we decided to focus on strategy, action plans and training. I want you to keep your marketing in-house as much as possible.

Hiring people is expensive and you need to have some return on investment to make it viable. Hiring an agency is even more so. That’s why we love to train, share new ideas and help you improve your skills. (For the record, freelancers and agencies can do amazing work. However, your business needs to be at a stage where you can afford the investment.)

Along with the strategy, we focus on educating business owners on how to run their own Facebook ads, especially for e-commerce and retail. So this week, on my IT Marketing MAP podcast, one of our Facebook Ads Strategists, Susie Klaver, shares what’s working, what’s changed, and what you need to be aware of when running your own Facebook ads.

Before we jump in, eagle eyes might notice that she has the same last name as me. Susie is one of our two adult children who work in our business. Identify. She started in 2019 and has now transitioned to part-time as she completes her studies at Victoria University.

I’ve loved watching her grow in marketing and can confidently say that her knowledge and talent with design and Facebook ad funnels far exceeds mine.

One of the biggest mistakes online retailers make is creating one or two ads or “boosting” a post and then expecting it to attract a huge amount of ads.

If the product is really innovative and timely, it can work, but for the vast majority of retailers, you need to create a series of ads that take people from “oh what is this” to “take my money”. It’s called a Facebook funnel.

Susie explains what this trip is like. “You have to make your client travel. You can’t speak to people who are about to buy in the same way as to people who have never heard of you. We start from people who have no idea who you are. They have never visited your website. They don’t follow you on Instagram or Facebook.

“They’ve never heard of you, but they might be vaguely interested in something you do. You have to get that group of people and turn them into being really buyable. They can visit your website and add items to their cart.

“These people need a different type of message to prepare them to buy. Then people who have already bought from you or liked you on Facebook need another message. Advertising creative must reflect each step. »

It used to be so simple, but now social media advertising can be very complex.  Determine which is the right path for you.

Richard Drew/AP

It used to be so simple, but now social media advertising can be very complex. Determine which is the right path for you.

With the growth of design solutions like Canva, it’s become simple to create your own branded ad copy.

“I spend a lot of time on Canva. I really like creating ads that are unique and brand specific, but unique and creative, creative and having the opportunity to play and create beautiful ads. I really like creating ads with a pretty aesthetic,” says Susie.

When designing, it’s a good idea not to get too attached to your ad creative because what you think will work might bombard. It’s often because there’s a disconnect between what you like and what your audience wants.

As Susie creates, she reminds herself that “not all companies do marketing for me. In fact, many of them aren’t, I’m not the target. I’m not the one watching the ads, and I’m not the one who has to click on them.

“So what I think is beautiful doesn’t really matter. Sometimes very simple ads, with basic colors that are very easy to read, work very well. And it’s very frustrating. Sometimes the great ads just don’t resonate.

For this reason, Susie recommends creating at least three or four different ad types at each stage of the customer journey. We will often create many more, so if you want to try different styles, don’t hesitate! It’s also a good idea to test whether your audience wants short captions or long stories.

“I think there’s a really interesting balance between images and copy. Because some images speak for themselves.

“We also don’t want to overwhelm the person seeing the ad with lots of text. There’s an important balance in using a mix of long text and short form. For example, a reminder ad for really “hot” audiences don’t really need much.

“You just remind them to come back to you, unlike cold audiences. In my experience, cold audiences work best with long-form copy. »

If you’ve created a series of ads to try out, you need to give them time to work. It’s tempting to turn them off after about a day, but Facebook tests them for at least seventy-two hours, and sometimes up to a week.

Rachel Klaver, successful marketing columnist.


Rachel Klaver, successful marketing columnist.

As Susie likes to describe it, “Even though Facebook is like a social media platform, it’s kind of like a grumpy cat. You push him too much, and he just won’t want to deal with you. If you sit up in bed, then walk to your office, then go to the kitchen, this cat needs to be done with you. Facebook is the same. They don’t like frequent changes or frequent big changes.

With IOS14 changes around this time last year, Facebook ads have become more complicated to measure accurately. Facebook Pixel allows you to track behavior outside of Facebook. It gives you the “god moment” Even if you know this is how ads work, it’s hard to be immune to their power.

“Sometimes I find similar shoes and I think they’re nice, but they’re $300. That’s a bit much for me. And then you’re on Facebook the next day, and they show up in your feed and you say, Well, that’s a sign from the universe,” Susie laughs.

The impact has made it harder to measure results, it can take up to four days for a sale to be reported in the ad account, and you need to check your results alongside actual sales and Google Analytics.

“The accuracy of your reporting correlates with several things including how many of your customers tend to use and buy on a phone with IOS14 or IOS15 installed, your social media engagement, how well you use marketing organic on Facebook and Instagram, and how effectively you use email marketing.

If you’re running your own Facebook ads and you’re not getting the results you expect, Facebook ads might not be the culprit. Susie suggests checking the following before blaming a lack of sales on ads.

  • Does your website seem trustworthy?
  • Do you have testimonials and an about us page with a real person on it?
  • Are your product images clear?
  • Do you have informative and interesting descriptions of your products?
  • Is your website accessible and easy to use?
  • Is the payment process simple?
  • Are you converting between 1-5% of your website visitors into buyers?
  • Do you use Facebook and Instagram organically?
  • Do they grow without paid ads?
  • Are people commenting on your posts or sharing them?
  • Do you use video and reels to increase your reach?
  • Do people feel like they are building a relationship with you and your business?
  • Do you have the store linked on Facebook and Instagram?
  • Do you use Instagram stories to share your products?
  • Do you email your existing customers?
  • Are they buying from your emails?

Having strong social media engagement has become so critical to the success of Facebook Add, that we’ve now issued the call to help train small business owners on Facebook Ads only if they already have an engaged presence on social networks on Facebook and/or Instagram.

If you’re still building your engagement and still want to try advertising, we recommend skipping Facebook’s full advertising funnel and setting up a simple traffic ad to drive more people to your website. .

These are one of the cheapest ways to pay to get more people to come to your site, and they’re pretty simple to set up on your own. If this is new to you, I have a free video tutorial on YouTube on how to do this.

Then, when you’re ready, experiment with different ad types.

“When talking to someone who wants to run their own ads or needs to get started, my biggest piece of advice is to not be afraid to play around with it and test things. very detailed help to help you learn new skills,” encourages Susie.

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