The Advantages & Disadvantages of Running Facebook Ads for Your Small Business

July 11, 2017

Whether or not to run Facebook ads is a question that more and more small business owners are being confronted with. This is due in part to conflicting reports that show that Facebook ads are both effective and ineffective as part of your digital marketing strategy. While many Facebook users say they have not bought something directly from a Facebook ad, statements like these often incorrectly measure the results and benefits of advertising on Facebook. Though a user may not buy a service or product directly by clicking on a Facebook ad, this does not mean that Facebook ads don’t influence their purchasing decisions down the line. Despite differing reports relative to the success of Facebook ads, they can be very useful in building brand awareness and staying in front of your target audience. Just as with any other forms of marketing, Facebook will work well for some and less well for others. So, should you spend money on running Facebook ads for your small business? Let’s dig a bit deeper!

Brand Awareness & Google Ranking

Each type of marketing avenue provides unique opportunities and benefits, and Facebook ads are no different. Some business owners doubt the effectiveness of their Facebook advertising because the ads do not always produce direct or easy to identify leads. Where Google AdWords excels at creating hard leads right when a user is looking for a particular product or service at their moment of need, Facebook ads often produce leads in a subtler way.

Facebook instead excels at increasing brand awareness and social engagement. A successful ad allows your Facebook ad to target the people most likely to be interested in your services, to remember your ad, and to want to visit your website/landing page to find out more. Also in contrast to Google AdWords, people on Facebook are generally more open to reading ads. Many users on Facebook are scrolling through their feed simply looking for some snippet of interest. A well-made ad can be that item of interest! That ad is then something that sticks with them when they need your service.

Another perk of Facebook advertising is the ability to positively affect your Google ranking. By increasing your social signals, online social engagement, and traffic to your website, Google can reward you by placing a higher value on your position within search results. While an increased Google ranking should not be the driving reason behind running a Facebook ad campaign, it can be an added benefit.  

Mobile, Social & Trust

As first and foremost a social sharing network, Facebook allows you to see what your friends and others are into. We trust our friends, and when we see them “Like” a product or a business we are more apt to trust the brand or actually purchase a good or service from the company. Our friends’ opinions matter to us, and this is an incredibly powerful part of what makes Facebook marketing different to more traditional online marketing. Additionally, once you’ve gained Likes and collected some information on your audience, you can tailor offers and incentives based on this information.  

Facebook is mobile! According to some reports, there are 1.15 billion mobile DAILY active users on Facebook, with the most common demographic being those aged 25-34. If this is your business’s prime demographic, you cannot count Facebook out! And given that we live in the age of visuals, you should definitely include an image or video in your Facebook ad. Facebook carousel ads contain 3-5 rotating images, and videos can be included in these as well. Many Facebook ad statistics show the importance of using strong visuals in your ads.
Additionally, because Facebook is an escape for many people, one of the biggest benefits of advertising on Facebook is that you are reaching your target demographic in their comfort zone and when they are in a relaxed state of mind. When a Facebook ad is made properly, users identify with it and experience it in a different way than traditional advertising that screams “I AM AN AD!”. Rather, the ad appears to be an interesting bit of information that is in their Facebook feed and the user may casually Like or Share your ad/page just as they would with any other post.

Audience Targeting & Ad Cost

In terms of low cost and ease of set-up, Facebook offers more options and data than any other online marketing opportunity out there today. You can use data to target ads to highly specific audiences. For example let’s say you own a neighborhood ice cream shop and you just created a new flavor called Peyton Manning Pistachio. You can create ads to target to a specific group of people in your ZIP code, who also love ice cream and are Broncos fans. Or if you are a staffing firm that specializes in Denver construction jobs, you can target an ad to hiring managers that work for construction companies in Denver. The options are pretty much endless, and that gives your business access to marketing gold. However, while pretty user-friendly, Facebook currently does not offer any customer service support for their ads services, so that could be a deterrent to some business owners who do not have a dedicated marketing person.

The low price of Facebook ads is among their most appealing features and this makes it even easier to test ads to see what works and what doesn't. This is one of the major reasons your small business should at least consider the option of Facebook ads. To point, Facebook ads can cost as little as $5 a day or as much as you want. This means that in an average 30-day month a small business’s monthly ad spend is only $150. This is incredibly low in the world of paid, online marketing. Of course, each business is different and you can certainly choose to spend more than $5/day to achieve better results but this relatively low cost allows businesses and marketers to A/B test - test several ad types, images, and landing pages with a small investment. When you get your process dialed in, pick your best performing ad and put a larger budget behind it! Additionally, as an advertiser, you can control how much you spend by setting daily and lifetime budgets for campaigns, and Facebook ads can vary in cost depending on your target audience.

Data Gathering, List Building & Conversion Tracking

Facebook ads that are set up properly – with associated forms and landing pages to capture potential customer information – allow you to create a continually growing community of potential customers and build your lead list. From an initial Facebook inquiry you can follow up with targeted email marketing campaigns to further move the individual from a lead to a customer.
Additionally, Facebook has a fairly robust system for measuring your campaign or ad effectiveness. The Insights tab allows for marketers to see things like page likes, engagement, conversion tracking, your best performing posts and more. This helps to track your progress in real time and to make course corrections quickly rather than wasting money on a campaign that is underperforming.

In summary:

  • Audience & demographic targeting
  • Softer leads
  • Building brand awareness
  • Lower CTR
  • Easy to A/B test & track conversions
  • Fake clicks 
  • Inexpensive
  • Irrelevant ads

Still not sure? We can help. Give us a call today at 303-498-9000, and we will provide you with the information and data you need to make an informed decision about whether your small business should be using Facebook ads. We have experience and measured success using Facebook advertising with the right candidates. We know how to target the right audience and create an impactful ad for social media. No matter the size of your business, Denver Website Design can make your digital marketing vision for success a reality. 
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