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How to Maximize Your First Time with Facebook Ads

How to Maximize Your First Time with Facebook Ads

How to Maximize Your First Time with Facebook Ads

 

Advertising as a small business is daunting. Where do you start? Do you have a budget? Who is your target market, and how are you targeting them? Massive corporations like Nike or Verizon can spend millions of dollars on TV and web ads, but you don’t need all of that to be successful. Marketing for your business is challenging, but you have options for any budget.

Marketing has changed over the past decades. Billboards were the end all be all of advertising once upon a time. While they still dot the interstates, advertising opened to new mediums like TV and radio. The problem was marketing on these mediums was still prohibitively expensive. Relying on word of mouth recommendations and storefront signs only go so far. 

Fast forward to the social media boom. Now small businesses have a diverse collection of options for advertising. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube…you name it, you can pay money to promote your product on it. Social media is more budget-friendly for small businesses. 

The new challenge is learning how to target your market surgically. Trying to attack the whole market is an excellent way to waste money. Identify who you want to reach, and strategize from there.

While there are several platforms to try, here are some ways to maximize your first time using Facebook ads. 

 

Strategize

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin.

Just like starting a business, you need a plan. Marketing is challenging, and trying to “make it up as you go” can be devastating. Start to form a strategy focusing your message on your target audience. What is your goal? Are you trying to drive customers to your website? Or maybe you want to build an email list. 

Build a timeline for your strategy. Decide when to launch or if you want multiple launches based on your campaign. Knowing the browsing habits of your demographic can make or break your plan as much as anything else. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available that can help define browsing activity.

 

Know Your Market

Who are you targeting? This should be the first question you answer when you start. The next question should be ‘why?’ We talked about not trying to attack the entire market. Market researchers exist specifically to give you data on various demographics. Whatever you need to know, chances are they have the data. You know your product better than anyone. You also know who is buying it. 

With Facebook, you can create highly targeted ads focused solely on your market. Be as broad or as surgical as you want. Pick through different keywords and age groups to narrow the crowd, and tailor your content accordingly.

 

Set a Budget

A few months ago, we sat down (virtually, of course) with Social by Steph’s Stephanie Smith to go into a little more detail about Facebook ads. She let us in on a few trade secrets like never hitting the “boost” button. It’s designed to convince you that spending $5 more will help reach more people, but really, $5 won’t do much either way. 

Why? 

Nickel and dining your way through a marketing campaign is a waste of money. Thinking that reaching tens of thousands of people by spending $15 on Facebook couldn’t be more incorrect. Don’t get us wrong, traffic is traffic, but you want the right people. You can expect to spend at least $30-$50 per day. You’ll have a much better chance of reaching the right audience. 

The moral of the story is if this is out of your budget right now, you need to save until you can contribute between $500-$700 per month. Otherwise, you are spending money and not accomplishing much. 

 

Set a Timeline

Setting a timeline can be tricky since you are trying to balance your budget with your marketing goals. Your marketing plan should consider campaign duration, but you need to set a distinct timeline to keep yourself from overreaching. When you start to see success with an ad campaign, the temptation to keep rolling forward is intense, but remember, you have a budget. Stick to it!

 

A/B Testing

No one is perfect. Your first ad campaign won’t be perfect either. However, you can do something called A/B Testing. A/B Testing is a process of showing two variants of an ad to different audiences and seeing which drives more clicks or conversions. In your case, different variants might be writing other text or using a different image. If you’re making a video, you could try different voiceover scripts or narration. 

The goal is to create two different ads with the exact same narrative. A/B Testing is invaluable as you begin a marketing campaign because you can try out different versions before committing your whole budget. The good news is that you don’t need an enormous sample size to figure out which ad tests better, so don’t worry about blowing your money on an ineffective ad. Start small with each version, see which performs better, and then put everything behind the more successful 

 

Learn

Learning from what works is essential. Learning from what doesn’t work is vital. Try using key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor your success (or lack thereof). KPIs are invaluable and used across every industry. When starting your campaign, have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish. Do you want 30k more page visits? Create benchmarks at specific times for 5k, 10k, and so on to monitor your progress. If you’re not hitting your KPIs, learn from your opportunities, and improve. 

Your first time using a Facebook ad may be discouraging if you go in shooting for the moon. It’s ok to be ambitious, but set realistic expectations. Sit back and watch your campaign unfold, and most importantly, learn everything you can about where it’s useful and where it’s not.

 

Commit

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Many first, second, or even third attempts with a marketing campaign can fail miserably, but don’t be discouraged! Learn from what went wrong, and go into your next shot with a better plan. You need to commit, though. We talked about the pitfalls of trying to nickel and dime the system, so go all-in when you go in. 

It feels risky to sink a large amount of money into advertising, but remember, advertising exists on nearly all platforms because it produces results. Commit to your strategy and your timeline. Commit to your budget, and commit to making a successful campaign. That’s the only way to be successful. 

 

Marketing on Facebook

Facebook is one of the most budget-friendly advertising platforms available. We recommend it due to the pinpoint market segments you can target and the ease of use. Ad campaigns are challenging, so choosing a platform that’s easy to use will help immensely. 

Luckily, Facebook provides some guidance as you go about creating your ad(s), so you’re not lost in the weeds. But at the same time, you need to create an engaging ad or watch your money disappear. Do your research, make a plan, set a budget, monitor your KPIs, and commit to the process. Facebook can help to a point, but being successful is up to you.

 

You’re not alone, though. Small businesses need help all over the place, not just marketing. Shamrck is a complete website and business management suite with everything you need to be successful. Start your free trial to see why Shamrck is right for your business.

 

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How to Market to Customers with Your Website

How to Market to Customers with Your Website

How to Market to Customers with Your Website

Marketing is a complicated process. Where do you begin? What’s your overall strategy? How do you even know if your strategy is working?! Marketing, in its most simplistic form, is how you get the word out about your business. So how are you doing it now?

If you don’t see the results you want, you’re missing a puzzle piece. As tricky as marketing is, there’s a winning formula out there. You need to find it. It could be something simple, like adding a Facebook page or starting an Instagram account. Sometimes it’s more difficult like tracking KPIs based on several underlying SEO keyword phrases. But we’ll get to that later.

Don’t have a marketing plan at all? Sure you do, word of mouth! It’s one of the most common and effective strategies ever, but in today’s digital world, you need to reach out more. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter are ways to reach an enormous audience without spending a fortune. On the other end of the budget spectrum, advertising campaigns with videos and billboards are common strategies, but they can get pricey quickly. The good news is there’s a strategy for everyone.

So, where to start? If you’re marketing online, look no further than your Website.

Get your website to work for you

 

Websites are no longer an option. In fact, successful websites can make or break a business. The problem is successful websites take a lot of effort to mange. Managing a site and social media accounts can be a full-time job. For a small business owner, there already isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. With all of the tools available, it’s hard to stay organized and understand everything your website can do. 

The question what your website can do. The only question should be, “how are you using your website to work for you?” The simplest way to tell is to look at your automation. Automations are how we streamline for the most part. They’re designed to handle important tasks for you when you don’t have the time. 

Do you need to send out emails for you automatically? An email marketing platform can do it. Don’t know if your website is performing well? Analytics tools like Google, Facebook, and Pinterest will help you monitor success. 

The more you explore how you can utilize tools to automate your website, the more you see how much your site can save you time. All of which brings us to our next topic.

Organize your website

 

You have a lot to say! A marketing strategy is a bullhorn to get your message out there, but you need to have relevant content. Think about what you want to accomplish and be specific. Now, think of how your information needs to flow. You need to write something people want to read. Make them want to stick around and view your entire website.

However, writing the content is only half the battle. Earlier, we talked about tracking SEO results through different KPIs. Let’s put that in English. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The phrase refers to how well your website (and by extension, your business) shows up on web searches like Google or Yahoo. To put it in perspective, 91% of all clicks from search engine results come from the first page. If you aren’t in that top 10, you’ll have a hard time attracting traffic.

So, how do we get there? We use SEO keywords. They’re “buzzwords” that search engines use to find relevant websites. If you have a cooking blog about recipes with watermelons, “watermelon,” “watermelon recipes,” and “cooking” should be at the top of your list of optional keywords to get noticed. 

After we write using what we hope are the best keywords, we want to measure success. We refer to these measurements as KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. KPIs are how we track our website’s performance based on specific attributes. Without diving too deeply, KPIs like increases in website traffic, sales, and subscriptions are measurable and help us reorganize our marketing strategies to make them better.

Content isn’t the only way to use your website to market to your customers, though.

Other strategies

 

There are limitless options to using your website for marking. Testing new keywords, monitoring your KPIs, using plugins to help with SEO are all extremely creative and efficient routes. However, we want to take a look at some of the not-so-common ways to market using your site.

Allowing guest bloggers to write content for you goes a long way toward updating relevant, well-written content that doesn’t require much work on your end. They also provide a fresh look at different topics giving you a different voice contributing to your business. Most importantly, guest bloggers like to show off their work, so expect links to your site from other pages!

Social media sharing is an accessible tool that many businesses overlook. Do you have a new blog post? Share it on LinkedIn! How about a company event? Share the pictures on Instagram! Post announcements on Twitter. Invite customers to Facebook pages. The options are limitless and, more importantly, free!

Slightly getting away from actual marketing techniques, there are some design and development elements to consider. For the first time in 2018, mobile web browsing overtook desktop browsing in website traffic. If you want to use your website to market to your customers, be prepared to gear your site toward mobile users. This mobile emphasis means your website needs to be lean. Work on things like using small images and shorter videos. Keep your site fast, and you won’t have problems losing traffic due to slow page speeds.

Next Steps

 

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you what to write, what tools to use, or how to track your success. Those elements are up to you to figure out! Fortunately, you have all the resources you need to use your website to market to your customers. Review similar sites for content ideas and see what you can do differently. 

Make sure your website is up to date and working correctly! The best-laid plans can go to waste due to poor website maintenance. Marketing is a complicated process. Use your website to market to your customers, and you’ll be off to the races.

We want to talk more about your needs and how your website is performing. Shamrck is a complete website and business management suite, so reach out to start your free trial, and let’s talk!

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Measuring Success: How is Your Business Performing?

Measuring Success: How is Your Business Performing?

Measuring Success: How is Your Business Performing?

Every business, website, non-profit, or anything else with a product needs to measure success in some form or another. Most use what are known as Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to monitor their production over a given interval. Online, we use programs like Google Analytics or MonsterInsights. An essential factor in measuring success is the ability to be flexible. Some strategies don’t work, and that’s ok! We monitor performance for that exact reason. We want to see where the flaws are and where we can improve. Testing new methods to find more success is the bedrock of a thriving business.

The first question to ask yourself is, “what does success look like?” What are you trying to accomplish? Are you making sales? Do you want to build an email list? Having a clear, defined objective helps direct your website design, campaign strategies, etc. and launching your project is an essential first step. However, no product is perfect right out of the box, and even the best-designed plans can turn out to be duds. The point is to learn from each mistake and build off that experience moving forward.

No one said opening a business or running a website is easy. There is no auto-pilot where you can hit the “easy” button (no matter what Staples says). WPClover has tools to help every step of the way, and we want to collaborate with you to find issues and solve problems. Measuring success is the most crucial step in building a business, and you don’t have to do it alone.

Here are a few strategies to help.

Define your KPIs

Like we said earlier, KPIs are ways to measure performance over time. We want to start with a benchmark, and lay out a reasonable strategy for improvement. We will use a company website as an example. Maybe your current number of unique visits is 1,000 per month. What is a realistic growth expectation for your business on your budget? Key Performance Indicators typically use percentages as measuring sticks. Wanting to leap 1,000 visits to 2,000 visits is a 100% increase. Can you commit to a 100% increase over a specified interval? It depends on your strategy.

Most KPIs tick off several benchmarks along the way. Your overall goal may be a 100% increase in unique visits, but your strategy needs to be more granular to make this goal more achievable. Start with a timeline. Increasing your visits by 100% is a stretch, especially if you’re already getting 10,000+ visits. Try breaking it up into monthly goals where you measure success in bite-sized increments. Some website developers like here at WPClover us a strategy called Agile to break projects up into two-week “sprints” that make large projects more manageable. The same tools apply to set and achieve goals with your website.

For example, let’s say our website gets 10,000 unique visits each month at a bounce rate of 80%. We believe there is room for improvement. Our first step is to set an overall goal. We want to improve our visits to 25,000/month with a bounce rate of 60% or less. The timeline is 12 months. That means to hit our goal, we need to add 1,225 visits and reduce the bounce rate by an average of 1.7% each month. Now we have Key Performance Indicators.

Implementation

We determined what success looks like. We want a 150% growth in page views and a 25% reduction bounce rate. Our KPIs are broken down into monthly goals of 1,225 new visits and a 1.6% decrease. Without those benchmarks, we won’t know where we stand month over month until the 12-month timeline arrives, and we don’t hit our goal.

The next question is what strategies to employ to hit our numbers and how to make changes if we don’t. This task is the most challenging part of expanding your business. How do we market our business to grow on the pace we want? Do we create a marketing budget to blast out advertising campaigns? Do we shoot for organic SEO growth through fresh posts and video content? How can we mix and match different strategies? The point is there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We need a starting point. We need a benchmark

Measuring Success

We already discussed using tools like Google Analytics and Monster Insights to monitor performance. We can measure each day and each visit if we want, but given our overall goal, that is a waste of time. Our focus should be on the big picture. Even week over week is not enough of a sample size to see the effects of our strategies. No marketing or advertising campaign doubled profits overnight, so we need patience. This is especially true when trying to grow organically through SEO. We have to set immediate expectations low and watch for SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) ranking increases. More than 90% of clicks come from the first page of search engines like Google.

Measuring success from ads is different. Advertisement opportunities are changing all the time. Formerly, only major companies with large budgets could afford ad campaigns, but with the advent of social media advertising, almost anyone can get started. Facebook, in particular, allows advertisers to target specific demographics and see how many clicks a post is getting organically versus how many are paid. Twitter and Pinterest work in similar ways, but all of them are affordable enough to meet small budgets.

Summary

Measuring success means comparing our strategy’s performance against our KPI goals. We can’t blindly hope our website is generating enough traffic to sell a product or build an email list. We need to monitor what is creating valuable traffic. Designing a strategy to set a goal, define key performance indicators, and assign benchmarks is a time-honored and proven plan of action. Creating that plan isn’t easy, but without it, we’re merely throwing darts in the dark.

 

WPClover is here to help you with website performance. Reach out for a free consultation, and let’s look at what your goals are and how to get there. Our content team is here to help every step of the way.

Ready to see how your website is doing? Try our no-obligation Website Health Check right now!

 

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