If you’re in an SME nowadays, chances are you’re thinking about advertising on social media. It’s the new and better alternative to passing around flyers or mounting posters along the streets. Facebook in particular fully embraces being a platform for digital advertising, which countless businesses utilise. In fact, digital advertising is very much discussed in the Facebook Business section, which provides tips and guidelines for both the experienced and those just starting out.

Facebook names the three steps taken in a digital advertising campaign: (1) increasing brand awareness, (2) getting your brand considered and (3) getting people to make a purchase. The company states how brand awareness is about effectively getting a story or message (relating to your product) to resonate with prospects. The second step pertains to the specific call-to-action that people are impelled to respond to, whether it’s to get more info or to simply register as a member. The last step is closing the deal, which involves an online/offline purchase as well as an established relationship with the customer for future sales.

With Facebook ads themselves, however, making an effective one isn’t so simple. There are multiple factors to consider, constraints to note and questions to be answered. Have you considered incorporating such ads in your marketing strategy but haven’t figured things out? You may want to contact Get Going Media for a free consultation to help you get started!

Below you’ll find some ‘good’ and ‘bad’ practices pertaining to different elements of a Facebook ad. This will be especially useful for SMEs in learning what to do or avoid. As with all other kinds of advertising, however, any dos and do not’s are basically guidelines.

  1. THE END GOAL OF THE ADVERT

GOOD: Knowing the precise purpose

The ideal ad is created upon the solid foundation of what it’s supposed to achieve. Is it promoting a product? Gaining more website views? Instilling more trust in customers? Whatever the aim, it has to be clear and specific to yield the desired results.

BAD: Wrong goals or none at all

Simply put, not having the right goal will lead to undesired results.

  1. THE TARGET MARKET

GOOD: Making an ad/set of ads for each type of audience

At this point, you must be decided on all age groups, interests, locations and other details relevant to your target audience. As mentioned in 2015 by Samuel Edwards, a contributor at Digital Marketing Strategist, it’s easy to create multiple Facebook ad sets to send to different audiences thanks to Facebook’s unique feature. Therefore, it’s pretty much a no-brainer to do so if you want better targeting.

BAD: Relying on one ad comprising numerous interests to reach all targets

Brian Carter, the founder of Brian Carter Group (BCG) consulting/marketing agency and author of bestsellers The Like Economy and Facebook Marketing, considers this a rookie mistake. For him, it’s far more productive to test ads “granularly” and to “slice and dice” in terms of people’s gender, age, lifestyle or other conditions. He suggests testing the exact same creative – headline, body text and image – on different targets by means of several adverts.

  1. THE IMAGE/S INCORPORATED

GOOD: Photos that are well lit and high-resolution

To get pictures of good quality, use your smartphone to capture non-moving objects in areas with enough lighting. You also must ensure that your photo can be nicely cropped into the size specified for the ad (rectangular or square).

BAD: Blurry or pixelated photos, stock art or clip art

  1. THE BAITING OF READERS

GOOD: Ads that are written with the customer in mind

Impactful ads tap into the readers’ mindset and appeal to their emotions. You have to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and consider what would catch your attention and provoke your interest. Also, the limited character count on a Facebook ad is there for a reason. Most people scroll through the site without really reading, which is why you must only include what’s important, especially the CTA (e.g. “Call us” or “Visit our website”).

BAD: No appropriate CTA (call-to-action)

You may have an eye-catching picture or a fantastic product, but without the right CTA, your readers won’t get that final little push to click.

  1. THE USE OF LANDING PAGES

GOOD: Landing pages that educate users before getting them to buy

Never underestimate the importance of landing pages. Keep in mind that Facebook ads require you to pay for every click, which is why you’ll want each to turn into a sale. How to make that happen? Use the page as the best sales pitch you can make. Readers will need to know what, where, how and why before proceeding with the page’s CTA at the end (consistent with the CTA on the Facebook ad).

BAD: Ineffective landing pages or those lacking a CTA

You’ll end up wasting money by taking clickers over to some product page or website that doesn’t direct them to do exactly what they’re meant to