By Emily Long
As business owners in the age of social media, you have probably been cautioned against paying for “likes” on Facebook, as this often results in your Page garnering likes from bogus accounts that will ultimately dilute your post reach. Unfortunately, many independent pet professionals have allowed the fear of fake likes to keep them from utilizing Facebook’s ad platform altogether, severely limiting their ability to reach potential customers.
There are 11 other campaign options available for business owners to create paid advertisements through Facebook. Combine these options with an immense database full of user demographic information, and you have an affordable marketing tool with virtually limitless targeting capabilities.
Selecting the campaign type that is best suited for your marketing goals, and customizing your audience will maximize the effectiveness of your ads while keeping costs low.
Choosing Your Facebook Campaign Type
Facebook offers a dozen options to choose from when designating your campaign objective. This selection will depend on what your overall goal is for a particular ad. If you have two distinct marketing goals, you will likely want to create two separate Facebook campaigns and select a different objective for each one.
For example, if you want to promote a community event your business is hosting, and you would also like to encourage more people to claim a discount offer you posted online, you should create two campaigns using the following objectives: “raise attendance at your event” and “get people to claim your offer,” respectively.
Creating a Target Audience
Once you have selected an objective, it’s time to decide which Facebook users should see your ad. The goal here is to target an audience that will be most likely to need your pet grooming services.
Of course, selecting pet ownership as part of your audience criteria will be vital to your success. But Facebook’s database is filled with detailed demographic information about its users, providing you the ability to get very granular with your ad targeting. Here are some things to keep in mind as you build your campaign audience.
- Custom Audiences: These are used for remarketing campaigns. More on this later.
- Location: Though location targeting is fairly straightforward, I recommend starting off with a manageable radius and expanding it when appropriate, as your campaign progresses. Begin with the geographical area where you receive most of your business, and go from there.
- Age, Gender, and Language: Here you have the option of targeting user groups from age 13 to 65+. Choose to show your ads to either men, women, or both. And select the language that is most common among your target audience members.
- Interests, Demographics, and Behaviors: This is where the real magic lies. Facebook’s detailed targeting allows you to include or exclude people who have expressed certain interests, engaged in specific behaviors, or identified with particular demographics. As you add criteria, your campaign’s audience definition will expand and contract accordingly; this is reflected in the “audience definition” tracker in the upper right-hand corner of Facebook’s ad manager interface (see Fig. 1).
When it comes to defining your audience, oftentimes less is more for independent pet businesses operating out of brick and mortar locations. Targeting 150,000 pet owners within a 20-mile radius may sound fantastic. But if you’re working with a limited budget, these ad dollars will be spread thin, resulting in a low ad frequency. This means that the number of times users see your ad will be very low (typically less than 1.5).
It would be more beneficial to put your budget behind a campaign that targets a smaller, more specific group of people in order to increase the number of times these users are exposed to your brand.
For example, let’s say I own a pet grooming business located in a suburb of Philadelphia. I also sell a variety of pet care products in my shop, and my customer base is primarily comprised of established professionals who live within a radius of about 12 miles, own homes, and love their pets. My ad targeting for a brand awareness campaign might look a bit like this (see Fig. 2).
Instead of limiting the number of times my message is seen by advertising to a larger audience, I can increase the frequency of my ad by showing it to a smaller, more defined group of users who will be more likely to visit my shop.
There are many more demographic options available to narrow down your Facebook audience, which is especially useful when creating campaigns with a very small budget.
• Page Connections: If your business already has an established group of loyal Facebook followers, then you may want to “exclude people who like your Page” when running a branding campaign. This will prevent your ad dollars from being spent on existing customers.
• Save Your Audience: Once you have constructed your audience, I recommend selecting the checkbox where you have the option to “save this audience” for future use.
Additional Ad Setup Information
After you have created the right audience for your message, the rest of the ad setup is fairly straightforward. However, if this is your first time experimenting with these ads, you may want to reference “A Beginner’s Guide To Setting Up Facebook Ad Campaigns”,
The Value of Facebook Remarketing
Perhaps you are already well–versed in the world of paid Facebook marketing. In this case, I strongly recommend that you tap into the potential of remarketing through this social platform. Facebook remarketing makes it possible for you to track users who have visited your website and allows you to place highly relevant ads in front of those users when they are active on Facebook.
Have you ever viewed a product on a company’s website, and then felt like that product was “following” you around the internet via banner
ads and sidebar displays? This is called remarketing, and it is an extremely effective use of your advertising dollars.
Though well worth the time and effort, remarketing does require a bit of basic developer know–how. A Facebook tracking pixel must first be created (free) and placed in the source code of every page on your website in order for your site visitors to be “cookied” or tagged. For additional tips on pixel creation and installation, check out Facebook’s “Pixel Implementation Guide”, (https://www.facebook.com/business/help/952192354843755).
Once your tracking pixel is implemented correctly, you can use the data it collects to create custom audiences. Keep track of any Facebook user who has visited your website, create an audience of those who viewed at least one page of your site without visiting the “contact us” page, record visitors who sign up for your newsletter, and more, using the custom audiences feature.
Does your business already maintain a robust list of email subscribers? Perfect! You can actually upload your list to Facebook and save it as a custom audience. From there, you can show tailored ads to these highly engaged subscribers, reminding them why you are their groomer of choice and strengthening brand loyalty.
Are you ready to get started with Facebook remarketing? Aside from creating custom audiences, the process for setting up a remarketing campaign is similar to that of a basic Facebook campaign. “The Ridiculously Awesome Guide to Facebook Remarketing”,
is a terrific free resource for those just starting out with this strategy.✂
Emily Long is an Online PR Specialist at Web Talent Marketing, located in Lancaster, PA. She enjoys helping businesses find new opportunities to increase their online presence through digital marketing strategies. Emily also enjoys playing volleyball, cycling, and protecting her lunch from Web Talent’s office dog, Marco.