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So you have decided to start promoting your business on Facebook? That’s exciting! Facebook ads are a great way to get your brand in front of new audiences. Whether you are going to run the ads yourself or planning to pass them off to an agency, these steps will help you know what to expect out of the first few months of running Facebook ads.

A good thing to keep in mind when starting Facebook advertising is that not every business will be a perfect fit to advertise on Facebook. Some businesses will perform better on other advertising platforms such as Google Ads. If you don’t know where to start with your business’s digital marketing strategy, set up a free consultation with Set Fire Creative. We can help you figure out where you should focus your digital marketing. That being said, let’s move on to those steps I was talking about earlier.

1. Facebook Pixel and Product Catalog

Facebook ads manager, just like a couch from Ikea, requires some setting up first before it can do its job. The first thing you need to do is to set up a Facebook Pixel. A pixel connects your ads manager account to your website. This is vital for tracking the success of your ads as well as getting your ads in front of the right audience (more on that later).

If you need help creating the pixel you should check out Facebook’s help page, or I would recommend watching this tutorial on YouTube. Remember to only create one pixel per ads manager account—it makes everything simpler down the road. 

If you sell physical products, you will also need to set up a product catalog. A catalog is a great way to expedite the buying process for those who see your ads. You can show all of your products or a specific set of products in catalog ads. The ad will display each product in a carousel and if the product is clicked on, it takes the user straight to the product page where they can then make a purchase. Pro tip: a catalog performs much better when lifestyle images are used rather than the image on a white background.

2. Audiences

What makes Facebook advertising so unique is the ways that you can define your audience. You are able to decide your target audience based on age, location, gender, and interests that they have. So the more you know about your audience the better. If you can accurately target your audience based on demographics, geographics, and interests then you will see more results from your ads faster. It’s okay if you don’t have your audience figured out because Facebook lets you build audiences based on your website’s pixel data.

This is why the Facebook Pixel is so important. It will track every conversion on your site from a website visit to a purchase. There are two kinds of audiences that you can make based on pixel data.

Custom Audiences

Custom audiences consist of those who have interacted with your brand in the past (retargeting). You can create a custom audience of any size, but it is best practice to only use a custom audience if it has at least 1,000 individuals in it. Keep in mind that custom audiences can also be built from an email list, so if your pixel is still brand new you can still benefit from retargeting if you have an email list.

Lookalike Audiences

 For a lookalike audience, you need at least 100 individuals that performed the same action in the past 60 days. A lookalike audience is exactly what it sounds like. It takes the people that have already interacted with your brand and targets the people who are most similar to them. If you are a small business trying to figure out a perfect target audience then lookalike audiences are your best friend when it comes to Facebook ads.

3. Patience is a Virtue

Getting your very first ad up and running on Facebook and Instagram can be extremely exciting. It can, however, be very tempting to judge the success of your ads off of the first few hours (or even days) of data.

Though paid social media ads may seem like a flip of the switch solution, you are often far away from receiving a steady flow of customers from your ads after you’ve pushed them live. Building a successful ad campaign takes time. How long it takes really depends on where you start. If you really understand your audience and know how to write copy that effectively speaks to them, you will see results much faster.

If you sell a more expensive product or service, you may need to wait even longer. You can’t expect someone to buy a $200/month subscription to software after just seeing a Facebook ad. You will have to teach them more about your brand and get them familiar with your brand. Once they understand how your product will help them then they will be interested in purchasing the subscription.

Facebook ads act exactly like a marketing funnel. At the top of the funnel, you introduce people to your brand by creating awareness. At the middle of the funnel, you work on building interest. And at the bottom of the funnel, you help lead people to the point of purchase. In any good Facebook ads campaign, you need to start at the top and move your audience down the funnel. In fact, when creating a campaign in Facebook, you’ll be asked to specify your Campaign Objective which includes three categories—Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion. Getting people in and through the funnel is the most effective course for long term success. However, it does take time and patience.

In summation, don’t give up on advertising too quickly. If you don’t have any sales in the first month, that doesn’t mean that you’ve been throwing your money away. The first month is often dedicated to ad testing, data collection, and to better understand your audience.

4. Ad Spend Budget

Running Facebook ads without seeing a return on your investment right away can be discouraging. It’s also a good sign that you should mix things up. After all, Einstein said that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Sometimes the thing that you need to mix up is the budget. As a general rule, the more you spend on advertising the quicker you will get results.

Speaking of Einstein, let’s go through the math. If you spend $16/day and 2,000 people see your ad, it’s safe to say by doubling your budget to $32/day you’ll have over 4,000 people see your ad. Increasing your budget will increase your reach. This will help you learn about your audience faster and help you target the right people to get results.

Sometimes all you need for your ad to be successful is to spend a little more on it. Even if your ads don’t show results immediately, the money you spend on them is an investment. An advertising budget isn’t only to increase the bottom line, it also helps you understand your target market better and build brand recognition. If someone sees your ad today, but isn’t ready to purchase right now, don’t sweat it. They may be ready in six months.

5. Be customer-oriented 

Perhaps the most important thing to remember in any sort of marketing is that you are marketing to other people and not just to numbers on a report. When making your ads go through the user experience from when they see the ad to when they make a purchase. Make sure to adjust your ad for each step in the funnel. Put yourself in their shoes. Is the process confusing? Is there too much/not enough text on the landing page? Does the landing page match the ad? Is this their first experience with your brand or are they already familiar with you? These are a few questions to think about when trying to make the experience as seamless as possible for your customers. If you need a new, better-performing landing page we can help with that. Check out our landing page service page. We can help build you one.

Keep these steps in mind throughout your journey with Facebook ads. They will help you remember the big picture purpose of your advertising and will help you get more out of your ads while they’re running. If you feel a little overwhelmed after reading this, don’t worry we can help. Set up a free consultation with a Set Fire Creative client strategist today!