If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve seen us talking a lot this spring about what’s changed as a result of COVID-19. The economy has changed. Online advertising has changed. For most industries, the marketplace has changed. Your business goals have probably changed.
But in terms of running a small business, let’s talk for a minute about what hasn’t changed. We’re all juggling a thousand competing priorities, but if you own or run marketing for a small business, that’s totally old hat. You still have to find and retain talent. You still have to maintain a healthy cash flow, although that’s a bigger challenge now than ever for many small businesses. And you still need to find and connect with your target audience—people who resonate with your brand and would be interested in paying for your product or service.
That’s where Facebook and Instagram come in. And our newly updated Facebook Grader can help make sure you’re getting the most out of your advertising on these platforms by answering key questions about your account performance.
But first, let’s talk about why Facebook advertising is key right now.
Why Facebook, and why now?
For small businesses looking to grow and scale, Facebook and Instagram have become increasingly inescapable parts of any marketing strategy.
Whoever your target demographic is, you’ll probably find them on Facebook and Instagram—especially in the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns. Last month, Facebook hit a record high of 2.6 billion active monthly users: a 10% increase year over year. Include Facebook Messenger and Instagram, and you’re talking up to 4.8 billion active monthly users. Whether your ideal customers are Boomers or Gen Z, located in India or Ireland, their social media usage has increased dramatically this spring.
Plus, when you run a branded Facebook ad campaign, our analysis shows that you could see an average 34% increase of searches for related brand terms (your Google ads’ keywords!) on Google Search. So if your Google Search campaigns have been suffering from the recent 6% decrease in search traffic, shifting to Facebook could also push more high-intent, ready-to-convert Google Search traffic your way. Simultaneously, the actual cost of advertising on Facebook has dropped, making it a more cost-efficient means of reaching your audience than ever.
And, let’s be real. During a pandemic, with less cash on hand than ever, you’re only going to pursue marketing strategies that you know will work.
That’s why we’re excited to share our new Facebook Ads Grader with you: It’s a quick, easy, free tool that shows where you’re taking advantage of all Facebook and Instagram have to offer your business—and where you’re missing out. The Facebook Grader should also provide value to those who have been advertising on FB for a while and have been too busy to learn the best practices; or who are looking to gauge their success as they recover and ramp-up their accounts post-pandemic.
Let’s take a closer look at how our Facebook Grader can answer some big questions you may have, whether you’ve started advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the last few weeks, or you’ve been on the platform for a while and just haven’t had the time to do this kind of detailed analysis yourself.
Question #1: Am I doing this right?
No kidding here: getting started with Facebook and Instagram advertising is no walk in the park. But with this platform in particular, properly laying the correct foundation for your account—building solid account structure, ensuring you’re automatically advertising on all available platforms, and setting up the Facebook Pixel—is the most important thing you can do to unlock everything Facebook has to offer.
Because this is so important, our Facebook Grader looks at your foundation from several angles. We’ll give you a score, too, based on five key areas of any Facebook advertising account:
- Ad sets
- Ad frequency
- Location targeting
- Conversion targeting
- Actionable organic posts
These five areas are key in any Facebook advertising account, but what settings and strategies work best for you will differ based on your business, your target market, and your goals. Of course, it’s always best to master the rules before you intentionally break them in the name of innovation. So whether you’re a Facebook and Instagram advertising newbie or not, our Facebook Grader will arm you with the information you need to find and fill any cracks in your account’s foundation—so you can build from there.
Question #2: Am I doing the right things to achieve my goals?
If you’re anxiously poring over Facebook Ads Manager with this question on your mind, you’re already doing something right! The easiest way to not hit the business goals of any marketing effort is to not identify and clearly define those goals in the first place.
Fortunately, Facebook requires you to set a campaign goal whenever you start a new ad campaign; your campaign can be designed to boost awareness, nurture consideration, or drive conversions. You’ll want to maintain a mix of these three campaign types to make sure that you’re speaking to each part of your marketing funnel, but you’ll also want to make sure that mix is aligned with your primary business goal for social advertising. For example, if objective number one is to increase brand recognition, gain new leads for your business, or boost branded searches on Google, you’ll want to lean more on awareness campaigns. If you really need to get cash in the door, particularly from repeat customers, you’ll want to run more conversion campaigns. It all depends on your business goals.
At WordStream, we’re all about helping small businesses like yours reach their goals. In normal times, that’s generally about growth; right now, it’s resilience, agility, financial health, and keeping your marketing funnel strong. Accordingly, our Facebook Grader analyzes your campaign goals in detail and shows you a performance breakdown of your campaigns by type.
With this information, you’ll be able to discover whether or not your advertising really is driving impactful results that will help make your business goals a reality.
Question #3: Am I reaching the right people?
Another great question. Remember how we said there are now 2.6 billion monthly active users on Facebook, not to mention Messenger and Instagram? When the pool of people you can reach is that vast, how do you make sure that you’re reaching people who are actually likely to resonate with your message—and someday purchase your product or service?
To deal with this, Facebook has built an audience targeting apparatus that’s unlike anything on any other advertising platform. You can use precise location targeting (zip codes, cities, etc.) to reach your specific neighborhood, serve up unique messages for past customers, or zero in on potential new customers based on their past purchase behavior and personal interests.
Since reaching the right people at the right time is so important—and one of Facebook advertising’s main value propositions—our Facebook Grader analyzes your audience performance in detail. We’ll show you your best and worst-performing demographics, as well as opportunities to expand your audiences across our top four recommended audience types.
Let’s get your questions answered
Sound helpful? If a detailed analysis of your Facebook and Instagram ads would help you understand how to market your business, our new Facebook Advertising Grader is ready whenever you are. Just go here to run your report for free!