There are many different types of Facebook ads and each type can serve a specific purpose for your business.
When I’m putting together a Facebook ad campaign to help a new or small business grow their community AND their sales I follow a certain formula.
I use right sidebar ads to grow the Facebook community. I use Suggested Posts to help turn the community into customers and I use Promoted Posts to ensure your leads and customers are aware of the company’s best content and promotions.
Here’s how you can follow this formula for your own business:
Step 1: Create Right Sidebar Ads to Grow Community/Brand Awareness
The first type of ad any new or small business should create are low-cost Facebook ads that show up in the right sidebar of Facebook.
These ads are the smallest that Facebook offers but they pack a powerful punch. They are by far the most effective type of ad you can run to grow your Facebook community in a cost-effective manner.
Though these ads are the smallest and arguably the cheapest (as long as you know how to optimize your Facebook ads) they still come with full audience targeting options.
This means you can and SHOULD use all of the ad targeting parameters available to reach the ideal audience for your business.
You will definitely want to use the basic demographic and geographic targeting options such as: location (city, state, zip code, or country), age and gender. You should also use Interest based targeting to narrow down your ads to people who are interested in your industry.
For example, if I am selling makeup aimed at young professionals I might set my targeting options to:
- Females only
- Ages 22 – 40 (exact match)
- In the United States (if my product is only available in the US)
- Who are interested in makeup, cosmetics and whatever other keywords are related to makeup – this might include specific brand names such as MAC, Loreal or Sephora
I would not use Facebook’s Power Editor to select advanced targeting options or use Partner Categories as these targeting options can increase your cost significantly.
The goal of using right sidebar ads is to increase the number of Likes on your page with your target audience at the lowest cost possible.
You may add some people through this type of campaign that only have a passing interest in your industry or company, but that is okay because:
- A) You will have the opportunity to nurture them via content and promotions to convince them to purchase
- B) Even if they only ever engage with your content but don’t purchase you can use them to increase your viral reach – and their friends may purchase from you
The Facebook ads you create to show up in your right sidebar are not going to be aimed at converting people right away into customers. Instead you’re simply focusing on increasing brand awareness and the size of your community. You will focus on conversions in step two.
Step 2: Use Suggested Posts to Convert Community into Customers
As your community is growing in size you should be nurturing them with content. This content could be anything from eBooks to guides to blog posts and fun graphics.
Once your page reaches critical mass (think hundreds or thousands of Likes depending on the size of your industry) you can start using Suggested Posts to convert your Facebook community into real customers.
These Suggested Posts should be targeted at people who already Like your page.
You can use additional targeting parameters if you want to go after a specific location, gender, age group or so on, but you should focus on people who already Like your page because they already have some awareness of your brand.
This means you do not need to explain who you are in these ads – you can get right down to focusing on the conversion.
In the right sidebar ad above we see a Longevity Center and Spa is looking to grow its community with people who are interested in health and wellness tips from nutritionists and doctors.
They then go on to run Suggested Post ads that are aimed at getting people to come to their center and pay for their services:
When it comes to setting the Placement for your Suggested Post you have the option to show it in Facebook’s Newsfeed which is the ideal place for it. I highly recommend that you skip all other ad locations and only run Suggested Posts in Newsfeed where they receive the most prominent placement.
You want prominence because you are trying to earn a hard conversion.
If you have a mobile-optimized website you can set this Placement to show in Newsfeed Mobile or Desktop. If your website is not 100% mobile friendly only set it to run in Newsfeed Desktop.
While a semi-optimized mobile site might be okay if people are browsing for information on their phone or tablet, you need a 100% mobile optimized site if you’re asking for a conversion (lead gen or direct sale). A poorly optimized site can lead to lost conversions which is like flushing ad budget down the toilet.
Be honest with yourself. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile do not pay for mobile ad traffic.
Step 3: Use Promoted Posts for Sales & New Products
While your Suggested Posts are running you can also use Promoted Posts to boost visibility for sales, new product launches or other special promotions.
You can turn an Facebook page post into a short-term ad by promoting it. The promoted post will show up in the Newsfeed of people who Like your page and their friends. You set a specific max budget for the promotion which runs on a cost per thousand views basis (CPM) and once that max budget is reached the promotion ends.
You do not need to log into AdEspresso or your Facebook Ads dashboard to run this type of ad. You can simply select Promote/Boost at the bottom of any of your posts directly from your Facebook Page.
I highly recommend promoting posts that will help nurture your customers. This might include new, incredibly high quality content. It might also include sales (free shipping, BOGO, 10% off, etc.) and/or new product launches.
Promoted Posts can and should be used in conjunction with Suggested Posts and right sidebar ads. It is perfectly okay to run all three Facebook ad types at once. Each has its own function that works within the system.
Your right sidebar ads grow your community. The Suggested Posts help turn your community into customers and your Promoted Posts ensure your leads and customers are aware of your best content and latest sales.
Do you have any questions about anything in this post? If so, please leave a comment or tweet to us @AdEspresso and our team will do our best to answer your questions. If you’re ready to start optimizing your Facebook ads please sign up for our FREE beta.