Ad Buys on a Budget: Five Things to Consider BEFORE You Run Your Facebook Ad

You finally got your Facebook Business Page up and running. You’re posting great content every day and you’re beginning to see some engagement but you’d like to see more. Facebook is nudging you to boost posts or run ads but you’re hesitant to go down the rabbit hole because you don’t know what you don’t know…today we’re going to look at the five factors you should consider when you’re setting your ad budget.

First Things First: Define the Goal

Facebook ads can accomplish several things so, in order to choose the right tool for the job, you’ve got to figure out what you’re wanting to accomplish. If your goal is to collect LIKES for your page, Facebook will charge you more per like so you’re going to want to set a higher budget. If a successful outcome on your LIKES campaign is to create a wider fan base who you hope to convert to clients or customers using an ad funnel, you’ll want to think of the likes as leads. How much is a lead worth to you? This will help you with your mindset about paying more for more specific results. (It’s not unreasonable to expect to pay .80 to well over $1. per click for page LIKES.) When your goal is something easier: video views, link clicks, or engagement, Facebook will charge less per click so you can set a lower monthly budget for these.

Second Consideration: How Often Do You Engage with Your Audience?

If you have a thriving Facebook page with daily posts and regular interaction, your Facebook ads will be an enhancement to your regular activity. If your page goes dormant from time to time and you’re using ads to breathe new life into a page that has had ups and downs, you should budget more because you’ll need the ad to do more for you. Regular posting and running ads regularly are (obviously) the best approach and will create the best results. Expect a longer timeframe if you’re just getting started with ads. Like everything else, there will be a “getting to know you phase” before you see the needle jump significantly as a result of an ad campaign.

Third Consideration: Compare the Cost & Results with Other Marketing Strategies

While it may sound like I’m trying to discourage you about the effectiveness of Facebook ads, let me reassure you, Facebook ads work, they work well, and they’re still the cheapest game in town. Let’s compare the value of a $500 mail campaign to a $500 Facebook ad funnel. For the mail campaign, you’ll need to pay for the print, paper, copy, and postage. You send out your mailer and you MIGHT see some return on your ad, but you’ll never know what actions were taken as a result of your ad except when it turns into an actual sales call. A $200 Facebook campaign can be broken up and you’ll receive analytics on each action. Let’s say you pay $100 for new likes. Next, you run an ade for engagement with your page and you focus on those who have already liked your page and their friends. You spend $50 on the engagement ad. Next up you run a video ad for $50 for the same audience you ran the previous ad for. After that, you create a sales ad for anyone who watched the video ad 25% or more of the way through.  For $200 you have a targeted audience who has gathered information on your business and your products or services three times with a final call to action to buy.

Fourth Consideration: Consider Your Timing

For most businesses, it makes sense to build your budget with seasonal considerations in mind. If your biggest months are during the holidays then you’ll want to build toward those months by starting small on LIKE buys and hitting the gas in October and November. Remember that other businesses will be doing the same so there will be more competition and Facebook will charge more because they can. For businesses with other busy seasons (real estate businesses that do most of their sales in the spring and summer, or accountants who are busiest during tax season) the same principles apply but you’ll want to do spend your ad dollars during the season leading into your busiest quarter.

Finally: Spend Smarter

If you pay attention to your analytics, you should know when your demographic is most active online. This is great information to use when choosing the length of your ad buy. If your audience is most active near the end of the week, it’s far smarter to run an ad on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday than to run a 7 or 14-day ad that won’t connect with the audience you’re most interested in.

By taking a look at your goals, your patterns, your seasons, and your audience, you can create Facebook ads that engage, connect, and convert. Take the time to get to know your audience, to understand what their questions and challenges are, and then strategically put a solution right at eye level. By working smarter you’ll find you’re able to reach your ideal audience and grow your business without breaking the bank.