(Today’s guest article is from Mojca Mars of Super Spicy Media. Take it away Mojca!)
It’s the feeling of freedom and financial independence what makes being a business owner interesting, fun and fulfilling.
A lot of us would never go back to working in an office ever again. After all, we’re smart. We’re grown up. We know what we’re doing, and we don’t need someone else to tell us how to do what we do best.
But it’s not always rainbows and butterflies when it comes to running your business. The sole fact that you are totally free when making business decisions can be damning and outright scary as well.
Suddenly you’re responsible for your decisions and your success. No one brings projects to your table anymore. Business growth is in your domain, and if you don’t make it work, scary things can happen. And by scary things I mean going back to working 8+ hours in an office. Imagine the nightmare!
But business growth can be hard, especially when you’re working with a small team or by yourself.
The feast and famine cycle is something you grew accustomed to. You’re convinced that this is just the way things are.
But they shouldn’t have to be! And fortunately there is a way out.
So, how can you get out of this cycle without reinventing the processes and spending weeks changing your business in a way that won’t help?
From feast and famine to a constant stream of leads
New leads and sales are the lifeline of your business. But we all know how hard it is to come to a point where they’re coming in regularly without you desperately chasing every person that comes your way.
Luckily we’re living in 2016 where it’s more than possible to go from feast and famine to constant stream of leads. You can do that with Facebook Advertising.
We’re past the point of ignoring that Facebook Advertising is working. Fact is, it works and many companies, including small businesses and freelancers, proved us that.
When you know how to approach Facebook Advertising in a professional way, you’re opening your business to countless opportunities just waiting for you to grab them.
The key element that makes the difference between a business owner who has trouble growing his business and the one who makes it look like an easy-peasy job is in being proactive about getting leads, clients and customers.
Nothing good ever happened from laying back and waiting for your opportunity. You have to make that opportunity happen, and take it.
You can be proactively collecting leads with different approaches, such as cold email, email courses, referrals. However, all of that takes days if not multiple weeks to get up and running.
Instead you can invest one hour and a couple of dollars and try Facebook Advertising.
Why exactly Facebook Ads?
To grow your business to its full potential, you have to continuously introduce yourself to audiences who are ready to grab you by the hand and give your offering a try.
A few years ago this was very hard to accomplish without proper knowledge (that took years to obtain) and massive budgets. But not today.
Facebook Advertising is all about making that first step with investing a couple of dollars into your campaign and building your empire from there up.
It suddenly exposes you and your company to an audience that couldn’t reach you otherwise. Your Facebook Page and Facebook ads can be the first step in your sales funnel: with all the detailed targeting capabilities, you have an excellent chance of reaching only highly-interested people for very little money.
But how to make that first, but solid step? What should you figure out first to be able to launch your campaign as soon as possible and guarantee success in the first round?
Focus on one goal
Before you start setting up your first campaign and fidgeting with all the settings, you have to figure out what goal you want to achieve with that campaign.
Each Facebook Advertising Campaign you create needs to be centred around one goal you wish to achieve.
You have multiple goals to choose from here. Some examples:
- New signups,
- New purchases,
- New app downloads,
- Increased traffic to your webpage,
- New Facebook Page likes …
Maintaining that sharp focus will help you progress faster and do whatever it takes to achieve that goal and optimise your ads and other details in that manner.
So plan your campaign, and break the process down when doing so.
How are you going to achieve your goal? Which steps do you need to take to accomplish it? What should you be careful about? What can you experiment with?
Identify your target audience, then narrow it down
Keep that focus when it comes to the audience too.
Which target audience is going to help you achieve the goal you set out to accomplish?
- What are their characteristics?
- Is this an existing audience of yours? Can you use Custom Audiences and make everything easier for you?
Remember to narrow down your audience as much as possible.
Not narrowing down is a big mistake many marketers do when creating their advertising campaign. They’re willing to spend money on a broader, uninterested audience just because they’re afraid to leave out a couple of leads along the way.
But think about it. What’s better? Targeting and reaching a very broad group of people (which will be mostly uninterested in your services or products, perceiving you as spam) just to be sure you don’t leave out any leads? Or narrowing down instead and reaching only highly interested and engaged people who will click and convert?
‘Everyone’ is not your audience. When you’re targeting a very broad audience, you’re actually targeting no one.
Spend your money only on highly-interested people, not on those who aren’t into what you have to offer.
Sometimes in life looks play a big part in your success. That ‘sometimes’ definitely applies Facebook Ads.
How your ads look plays a vital role in their performance. But before you start digging around for fancy badges to put over your photos, we have something important to discuss.
Let me ask you a question. Why do you visit Facebook? To check up on friends and family, or to see some ads?
People go on Facebook because they want to hang out with friends online and see what they’re working on. So when marketers create an ad that just screams ‘THIS IS PROMOTIONAL CONTENT’, they will avoid it like the plague.
I call this The Blending Paradox.
The more you blend in on Facebook, the more you actually stand out.
If your content and ads look like just another friend’s update, you’re going to get noticed. Your ad is going to get consumed and clicked on.
Don’t be overly promotional. Instead, act as natural as possible. Provide lots of value to the end user and avoid cheap marketing tactics (= sales on every step) each time you create a new campaign.
And if you want to be as natural as possible and appear in the News Feed with the rest of the audience’s friends, you have to create a Facebook Page. Not only it opens you up to a full list of features, but it also makes your ads significantly cheaper because of better-performing ad placements.
While a lot of business owners create their campaign and let it run, it’s not the right way to do it if you really want to ensure your money brings you great results.
If you want to improve with every campaign you launch, you have to optimise your ads along the way and analyse the data at the end of each campaign.
Each Facebook Advertising Campaign is like a garden.
You can follow the right steps at the beginning and implement all the best practices, and you’ll be up for a good start.
But if you don’t take care of that garden or water it regularly, it’ll die, and you will have to clean up the mess.
Apply that to Facebook Ads: no matter how much you follow the instructions and professional tactics, if you fail to take care of a campaign that’s already launched, you will end up losing the big bucks and fail, even if your foundation was solid.
So analyse the data while running a campaign and after it ends.
You should check in with your campaign multiple times while running it. Experiment and test different ads, leave them running for a while, then turn off the ads that aren’t performing well and spend money just on those which bring you good results.
See which audience responded to your ads in the best way and optimise it based on that data. Make sure you really reach the people that are highly interested.
To take your ads and messaging to the next level, make sure to do a thorough analysis after the campaign stops running.
Which ads worked? Why? Which section of your audience responded to the ads in the most positive and efficient way? How can you optimise the campaign based on the results? How can you implement that knowledge in the next campaign?
Every campaign is a win when you take this learning approach. You implement, measure and modify. You learn and you get better and more successful with every campaign you launch.
Invest in your business
You can’t grow your business by thinking about growth. You have to be proactive if you really want the change to happen. You have to take matters into your own hands.
You’ve been doing this for a while now, and it’s time to get serious. Start investing in your business and see for yourself how far you can go with just a couple of dollars invested.
Each Facebook Advertising campaign you do always has two outcomes:
- The campaign is successful — you achieved the desired goal, and start creating a new campaign.
- The campaign didn’t go that well — but you learned a lot about your target audience. You start creating a new campaign which is undoubtedly better than the previous one.
You’re closer to your goal with each outcome while your competitors are postponing their Facebook marketing to the next year. And then the next. And next.
Social media advertising is about experimenting with different approaches while making solid progress towards your ultimate goal. It’s about being proactive and investing in your business, rather than waiting for something good to happen.
It’s about knowing what it takes to build a great business. And you know it.