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An Intro to Facebook Ads

Facebook ads allow businesses to curate audiences that are likely to convert. Read on to learn how Facebook ads work and why you should use them.

5 min read

We all know the feeling: You click on a pair of sneakers or a Kitchen Aid mixer, and suddenly its image follows you all over the internet.

When you scroll Facebook, the product floats on the site's margins. Carousel ads interrupt your newsfeed, imploring you to complete the transaction. 

The product is ever-present, always one click away.

For business owners, Facebook ads' omniscient, omnipresent quality makes them a powerful advertising asset. Facebook ads represent an effective way to reach targeted audience segments. 

Curious about Facebook ads? Read on for a crash course in the basics of what these ads are, why they work and how to get started.

What Are Facebook Ads?

Before we dig into the details, let's start with the basics. Today, social media forms an important component of the modern customer journey.

Customers encounter social media ads alongside posts from friends and family. They can also freely and publicly engage with posts, inviting engagement and building social proof.

Your business has two main options for using Facebook:

  • Posting organic content
  • Paying for targeted ads

If you post, say, a status update without paying, you're publishing organic content. This content can still be a valuable way to engage your audience by attracting comments and likes.

But if you want to make the most of Facebook, you should pay for targeted ads. These ads allow you to boost posts to a specific audience segment.

In other words, Facebook will display your ad to the groups that are most likely to convert. (We'll get into the details of how this works in the next section.) 

Not sure were to put your ad dollars? That's okay! If your organic content is performing well, you can always pay to boost the post for even more traction.

Finally, if someone has clicked on a product on your website, you can use a strategy called retargeting. This type of Facebook ad reminds customers about a product they previously viewed.

An Intro to Facebook Ads

How Facebook Ads Work

Today, Facebook has access to detailed profiles of its 2.4 billion users. The platform records key information, like where you live and who you work for. It knows what restaurants you visit, what bands you listen to. It knows your birthday and can map your family tree.

Here's how it happened: When you created your Facebook page, you shared basic information about yourself. And as you used the platform—possibly for the last decade or more—you shared more information. 

Your likes, friend requests and profile updates all add up to a detailed portrait of who you are. Facebook supplements this information by tracking activity that happens off-platform.

As a business owner, these profiles are invaluable. Let's imagine you run a boat tour company in Hawaii. You want your advertisements to reach people who are planning a vacation, and who can afford to take your tour. How would you reach them? 

If you paid for an ad in a major newspaper, you would reach a large audience. But your ad might not be relevant to the majority of people. After all, only a handful will actually make it to Hawaii. Worst of all, you'd have little evidence of whether the ad was effective.

But Facebook ads present a different story. You could create a post, then curate an audience for your ad. For example, Facebook could display your ad for users who:

  • Are currently researching vacations in Hawaii
  • Engage with boating or water sports online
  • Earn a certain amount of income
  • Have visited Hawaii in the past

Much better, right? These Facebook users are much more likely to book a tour after seeing your advertisement. Once you post the ad, you can even track the traffic it directs to your website. 

When you invest in accessing quality leads, you're more likely to get results.

FB ads

Before Investing in Facebook Ads, Get to Know Your Audience

Before you dedicate your advertising budget to Facebook ads, there's one more step to take. It's crucial that you spend time getting to know your audience first. 

When your business strategy is customer-centric, you'll gain a deep understanding of your audience. You'll gather information such as:

  • Problems or challenges your audience experiences
  • What your audience can afford to spend
  • Where your audience is located
  • Your audience's other interests and preferences

This granular information will help you select the right Facebook ad parameters. 

For example, you might have one product line that appeals to stay at home moms who love indie rock and read magazines. Another product line might appeal to athletic teens planning to attend college.

Cloud-based CRM software can help you gather these details about your audience. With time, you'll have access to your own trove of customer profiles that you can map onto Facebook's parameters. 

Get Started With Facebook Ads

If you want to make the most of Facebook ads, investing in CRM software is the first step. 

GoSite's CRM allows you to build detailed customer profiles that sync across platforms you already use. Ready to learn more? Explore GoSite's Contact Hub today!

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