The thought of using Facebook to advertise your freelance business can seem exciting and daunting at the same time. On one hand, more than 60 percent of the entire adult population is on Facebook, including 72 percent of adult internet users.
Conversely, almost everyone is on it. How can you cut through the big brands and reach the niche users you want to target? With Facebook for Business advertising, the highly segmented options do-it-yourself marketers have make the site's advertising options appealing for freelancers. With ads starting at only $1 for a daily minimum budget, boosting posts, and testing ads is simple and can net a significant return on investment.
Creating a stellar Facebook ad requires thoughtful strategy in terms of targeting, imagery, testing, and copy. Use these tips to get more eyes on your business and more Facebook users turned into conversions.
X Marks the Spot
Facebook recommends targeting a small and specific audience for optimal ad performance, since the ad will be displayed to people who are the most likely to be interested in your product or service. If you simply want to build awareness for your freelancing brand, a broader audience may be the way to go depending on your budget. Because more than 1 billion people use the social network every day, even broader targeting can still be strengthened with specific demographics.
The first step in choosing your advertising audience is examining your current audience. If you have an established Facebook page, start by delving into the Audience Insights to learn who is already visiting your page. Disruptive Advertising recommends that if you're brand new to Facebook and have a minimal following on the channel, use your website analytics site to target a Facebook ad, such as Google Analytics. Demographics ranging from age to location to gender are all powerful insights for your Facebook advertisement. If you're a small local business operating in a specific area, targeting that location is very important for the success of your ad.
The beauty of Facebook advertising is that it allows you to dive even deeper into your target audience, through more focused qualities such as relationship status, purchase behavior, and interests. You can also target the followers of other pages on Facebook people have liked that relate to your brand, allowing you to reach the customers of your competitors. You can exclude the ad for people who are already connected to your page if you want to reach purely new people, while custom audience capabilities allows you to import current audiences such as those from an email list into Facebook and target only those people.
Retargeting allows you to install the Facebook pixel on your website to ensure people who visit your site then log into Facebook see your ad. With so many different targeting options, it's easy for freelancers to set low budgets for a few techniques, then determine their best target audiences for future ads.
Testing, 1, 2, 3
Speaking of trying different targeting options, testing is the key to success with Facebook advertising. Because of the low budget options, running multiple campaigns at once is manageable, allowing you to evaluate and optimize constantly to find your secret Facebook advertising sauce. Econsultancy strongly recommends running different ad campaigns for mobile and desktop devices.
Not only are the demographics different for these users, ads may resonate more strongly on specific devices. Or, your ads may work better for conversions on one type of device over another, and focusing your budget on one device makes sense.
When testing ads for Facebook, experiment with the following factors to find the optimal ad for your freelance business:
- Times of day the ad is posted
- Call to action
- Types of ads, including:
- Clicks to website
- Website conversions
- Page Likes
- Offer claims
- Video views, and many more types
Running two ads that are similar while tweaking one key element can give you immediate insight into what is working. Ads can be further segmented by changing the content shown — for example, posting two ads for two different blogs. Consider the time frame and exposure of the ad when weighing the insights. The larger the budget and the longer the ad runs, the more reliable you can count on the insights being, but even small budgets and short ad time frames can still provide valuable analytics.
Follow Best Practices
Like Adweek points out, the most important characteristic a Facebook advertisement can have is that is engages the Facebook user. It's an ad that makes the user want to take time away from checking out their contacts' content and pay attention to your advertisement. This means veering away from blatantly promoting your brand and hoping users swoon. It's about making a Facebook advertisement that is eye-catching, has appealing copy, and that is useful to the user.
Visual content, whether it's attention-grabbing photography or a memorable video, is essential. HubSpot reports the Facebook algorithm positively rewards visual content, which means a visually appealing Facebook advertisement will be better received by users and will be more likely to be engaged with. Think about your target audience and what they're interested in, and feature visual content and copy that fits the audience. Make the value of your brand obvious, and include a clear call to action to incite conversions.
If you have content on your Facebook page that has succeeded organically in terms of Likes, comments, or shares with people who Like the page, consider “boosting” the post to give it more reach to people who Like your page but who haven't seen it yet, or to expose it to new users who are not yet connected with your page. Continue to test, analyze, and optimize to curate your brand's own personalized best practices when it comes to successful Facebook advertising for your freelancing business.