Facebook has almost two BILLION monthly users, so if you are not already advertising there, chances are you are missing out on one of the best ways of connecting with your target audience. Unless your business sells to other businesses instead of to consumers, not being on Facebook could be limiting your local reach. Not only does it have a huge user base, the Facebook ad system is also very easy to use, and highly targeted.
If you have a small ad budget and not a lot of time, Facebook ad are far better to try for the average small town small business owner than Google AdWords, the main pay-per-click (PPC) network on the internet. It is much less complicated to set up and it is cheaper too. Your odds of achieving a better return on investment through more targeted traffic is higher for most small business owners, which means a better chance of getting more subscribers and sales. That’s not to say Google AdWords doesn’t have it’s place, but you’re likely going to be further ahead hiring an AdWords professional than tackling it on your own, which requires a much higher budget.
But before you rush over to Facebook to start creating ads, it is important to understand the different types of ads available. You might run only one type, or several at a time. Let’s explore each of your choices.
1. Page Promotion Ads
You can promote your Facebook page in order to try to get more page likes and follows. Once a person follows you, they will be able to see your posts. This means they can engage with them. The more likes, shares and comments you get, the more Facebook will reward you, with exposure to a larger and larger percentage of your target audience.
Your followers’ activities such as shares will also make your content more visible. It is really easy to promote your page. Just set your budget and target audience. These ads will appear in the main Facebook feed when a person logs on to their homepage, and on the right-hand side (called the rail).
2. Post Promotion Ads
Boosting a post is one of the easiest ways to create an ad. When you start posting content at Facebook, you will start to see a message that evaluates how popular your content is. It will usually say something like, “This post is 90% more popular than your other posts”. Click to boost the post. Set your budget and target audience. These ads will appear in the main Facebook feed when a person logs on to their homepage.
3. Ads You Create from Scratch
For these ads, you need to provide:
A URL to click through to
If you don’t have great images, not to worry. Facebook ads are linked to Shutterstock, a popular stock image site, so you can get some reasonable high-quality images for free. Set your budget and audience. Your ad will run on the right rail and on Instagram too if you choose.
4. Carousel Ads
Carousel ads, as the name suggestions, allow ad images or videos to rotate in the same space. You can rotate the headlines, links and descriptions, with calls to action as well. Users can scroll horizontally on a desktop (that is, from side to side), and vertically on a mobile (up and down). A carousel is great if you have a number of products you wish to sell, and serves as a small but busy shop window for your business.
5. Canvas Ads
A canvas ad allows you to put a variety of content together all on one page, such as text, images, and videos. Use the tools at Facebook to create an impressive brand showcase. Link – https://canvas.facebook.com/
Now that you know about the five main types of ads, take the time to create one of each and track your results.
If you followed the link on our Facebook page to the BDC article on Anti-spam legislation coming into effect in two weeks, you may be wondering what that means for your business and whether you have to change anything to be compliant with the legislation. (Well it turns out the changes have been suspended but good email etiquette still applies!)
The good news is – most small business owners have nothing to worry about because they are not sending unsolicited mail to customers who have not been in touch in over two years. That’s what spam really is, unsolicited commercial mail. The difference between spam mail and business email is simply consent and the ability of the consumer to stop the communications.
I can say that with confidence because I wrote my first article on spam compliance back in 2005! The article was inspired by a popular online marketer who was shut down for emails his affiliates sent (not even ones he sent himself but ones that other people sent promoting his product!) that were not spam compliant with the US legislation of 2004. For those who check out the archived link, you’ll not that the Canadian legislation is called CASL and the US legislation is called CAN-SPAM.
So if a prospect sends you an email asking about a product, it’s perfectly legal to continue the conversation about that product – it is not legal or acceptable to add them to a bulk mailing list without further permission being granted.The proposed (now suspended) changes are simply a new limit on the implied consent that comes through purchases and inquiries.
The number one thing you need to do is set up your email signature in your business email with your full contact information, if you have not already done so. That way anyone who doesn’t want you emailing anymore simply has to contact you to stop the emails. This works for those who conduct all their email transactions through an email account with no automation. This provides the opt-out that has been part of the anti-spam initiatives in Canada for the 20 years I’ve been dabbling online.
For those who have an email list (and those who follow modern marketing best practices really, really should!) you’ll want to make sure it is double-opt in and that you’re very clear in any opt-in invitations that they will be added to your commercial contact list. This is easy to do with most mailing list service providers, including the two I recommend most (Mailchimp and ConvertKit).
Don’t let the new legislation keep you from jumping in to start building a list for your small business. It really is one of the most amazing, powerful and inexpensive tools you can use to promote your business and share your passion. And anti-spam legislations is just common sense that had to be legislated because spammers are scammers and rules make it easier to identify the creeps. Just be respectful of your readers time and interests and you won’t go wrong with your email marketing.
Want to learn more about marketing your small business? Sign up below for the occasional email newsletter known as Futurescape below.
In this video, Patrysha shares the results from the local Facebook advertising experiment conducted at Community Futures Yellowhead East. The experiment cost less than $40 and led to 80 potential customer leads engaging in the ad over seven days.