Home » Social Media » Facebook Advertising Tips For Small Businesses

Facebook is not only the undisputed king of social media; with a reported advertising revenue of $9.16 billion in the second quarter of 2017, it is also one of the largest ad networks in the world.

For many advertisers though, Facebook can be a frustrating place to advertise. It seems that no matter what they try, they can’t seem to make a profitable ad. They try different headlines, different offers, different demographics, but nothing seems to work.

The reality is that these ads are often only one or two tweaks away from becoming successful, profitable ads. The trick is knowing what to tweak. With that in mind, here are 6 Facebook advertising tips that can help improve any advertising campaign.

6 Facebook Advertising Tips

1) Pay Close Attention To Your Audience Targeting

A lot of advertisers are drawn to advertise on Facebook because of its incredible reach. The real power of advertising on Facebook, however, is not its reach but its targeting ability. Going beyond simple demographic targeting, Facebook also allows you to target consumers based on:

  • Geographic location. Target your ads to people in your area, down to their postal code.
  • Interests. This information is gathered based on what posts they interact with the most.
  • Other pages that the users like. Use this to target customers of your competitors!
  • Job title. Target your B2B product to the people who will be using it.
  • Behaviour. Target your travel package to people who travel frequently.

Targeting large audiences can end up wasting a lot of your budget. Take the time to narrow your audience so that the only people that will see your ads are the ones that are interested in what you’re offering.

Bonus Tip: Negative Audiences

Another targeting method offered by Facebook is “negative audiences”. A negative audience is a group of consumers that you don’t want to show ads to. Using negative audiences allow you to fine-tune your audience further by excluding people with interests, behaviours or demographics that don’t match what you’re selling. Examples of this are:

  • Targeting iPhone users as a negative audience for your Android-only mobile app.
  • Targeting newlyweds as a negative audience for your engagement ring ads.
  • Adding people working in the legal services industry to the negative audience list for your legal services ads.

To be successful with Facebook advertising requires knowing not only who to show your ads to, but also who not to show your ads to. Before running your ads, it is wise to take a second and think about who you might want to add in as a negative audience.

2) Track Your Results

The second most powerful Facebook advertising feature is their built-in analytics suite. At its most basic, this allows you to see metrics such as how many people saw and clicked on your ad. While these metrics are nice to know, they don’t really give you a ton of actionable information. For that, you will need to go a little bit deeper.

To see how your ads performed in more detail, open up your Ad Manager account. Once there you will see a list of your ad campaigns with basic performance metrics. To get some more actionable statistics, click on the “Breakdown” tab. The “Breakdown” function splits your metrics columns in a variety of ways to show you how different segments of your audience interacted with your ads. For example, you could split your audience by:

  • Age and Gender. Did your ad perform better or worse with different age groups or genders?
  • Region. Did your ad perform better in one region than it did in another?
  • Time. Were there any days (or time of day) that performed better or worse than others?

Information like this can be invaluable when creating new ads or optimizing existing ads. By knowing how your ads performed in the past, you can make changes to improve their performance going forward!

Clicking the “Breakdown” button in Ad Manager allows you to divide your audience and compare how each segment performed against one another.

A Facebook ad that has been broken down by placement. You can see that the majority of traffic from this ad came from the mobile News Feed. You can also see that the desktop News Feed and Instant Articles were the most costly to advertise on.

Bonus Tip: Tracking Your Campaigns In Google Analytics

While Facebook’s built-in analytics does give you some great information, it cannot tell you what happens after the consumer clicks your ad. That is where Google Analytics comes in. Google Analytics is a powerful (and free) analytics suite for websites. It gives you detailed information about how consumers interact with your website.

Using Google Analytics to track your Facebook ad traffic allows you to see key information like:

  • How many of the consumers that clicked on your ad actually stuck around and interacted with your website.
  • How many of those consumers converted into a lead or customer for your business by either filling out a contact form, making an online purchase or e-mailing you directly.

Information like this is essential to know whether or not an ad campaign actually worked. It translates all of those clicks and impressions into dollars and cents.

For a more detailed look at using Google Analytics for ad campaigns, check out our article on tracking the performance of your online ads.

3) A/B Test Your Ads

A/B testing (or split testing) is the practice of comparing two versions of an ad to see which version is most effective. The losing ad is then removed and the winning ad pitted against a new version. Over time, this process creates extremely effective ads.

For best results, make sure that there is only one difference between the two ads. This allows you to zero in on exactly why one ad outperformed the other. If you A/B test two completely different ads, you have no way of knowing what aspect of the winning ad resonated with your consumers. On the other hand, if the only difference between them is the image you chose, then you know that the change in image improved the performance of the ad.

For best results on Facebook ads, focus first on split testing your image, then headline as these are the elements that will make the biggest difference to ad performance. Once you’re confident that you have a top performing ad you can move on to testing out different CTAs and copy.

4) Try Different Ad Formats

Along with A/B testing different elements of your ads, you should also consider trying different ad formats. Facebook offers a wide variety of ad formats including;

  • Carousel ads.
  • Lead ads.
  • Canvas ads.
  • Video ads.

Experimenting with different ad formats allows you to show consumers the same information in different ways. What didn’t work in one format may work extremely well when presented in a different way. Advertising a more complex product? Try using carousel ads to highlight different aspects of that product. Looking to generate leads? See if you can generate more leads by utilizing lead ads. Does your company have a unique story? Show it off with a canvas or video ad.

Facebook offers its advertisers many different ad formats, the newest of which are Canvas ads; an immersive, mobile-only ad format that lends itself well to storytelling.

5) Rotate Your Ads

To avoid ad fatigue with consumers, rotate your ads regularly. ‘Ad fatigue’ occurs when consumers see your ad too many times and begin to ignore it.

In order to avoid wasting your budget on ads that consumers are no longer paying attention to you should regularly change your ads. How often should you change your ads? Generally speaking, once your consumers have seen your ad 4-5 times you should consider changing it. How do you know how often your consumers have seen your ads? For that, we will again turn to the analytics within Ad Manager.

Once in your Ad Manager account, select an ad that you’ve been running for a while. Click on the “Columns: Performance” button and change it to “Delivery”. You will now have a column labeled “Frequency”. Frequency is the average amount of times each person has seen your ad. Once an ad reaches a frequency of 4-5, it is time to consider changing it.

As a rule, expect to have to change your ad creative every 4-7 days. This doesn’t mean that you completely throw out your ad and come up with a new one from scratch, however. Instead, change your existing ad just enough to make it seem like a new ad. Often times this is as simple as changing the image.

While continually changing your ads can seem like a lot of work, it is one of the best ways to maintain interest in your ads. More interest means more engagement, which means more sales!

6) Utilize Remarketing

Of all the ways that advertisers can target Facebook users, perhaps none are as powerful as Facebook’s remarketing feature.

Remarketing is a technology that allows you to target ads to consumers that have already visited your website. 95% of first-time website visitors leave without making a purchase. Facebook remarketing gives you a chance to convert some of that 95%.

To use Facebook’s remarketing feature first requires adding a small snippet of code (known as the Facebook Pixel) to your website. Once added, every time a consumer lands on one of your web pages, that snippet of code will load and place a cookie on that consumer’s computer. All consumers with that cookie are now eligible to see your remarketing ads in their Facebook feed.

You are now able to choose groups of these consumers to target, based on shared behaviours. These behaviours include:

  • Consumers that have visited your site in the past 30 days.
  • Consumers that have visited a specific page on your site.
  • Consumers that have visited a specific page on your site, but not another specific page (great for targeting consumers that abandoned their car before making a purchase).

Remarketing is effective because you are serving ads only to people that have already shown an interest in your business.

Wrapping Up

While Facebook ads can be tricky to master, any business can make them profitable. Although there are a variety of factors that go into making a successful versus unsuccessful ad campaign, following these 6 Facebook advertising tips will help put you on the path to Facebook advertising success.

The success will not come overnight however, you need to continually monitor and optimize your ads to achieve the best results.

If you’re still not sure if Facebook advertising is right for your business, or if you have any further questions about how you can improve your Facebook ad campaigns, please don’t hesitate to contact us by e-mail at info@luremarketing.ca or by phone at 613-329-0980.

Start Growing Your Business Today

We are a digital marketing agency that helps small business owners across North America grow their businesses using progressive digital marketing and website design tactics. How can we help you do the same?

Lure Marketing

Lure Marketing is a digital marketing and website design agency with offices in both Kingston and Belleville, Ontario. We help small businesses navigate and thrive in the online world.

Get In Touch


(613) 329-0980


Business Hours