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How to Leverage Facebook Ads
How to Leverage Facebook Ads
Interview with Digital Insomnia’s Stephanie Smith
This week we’re very excited to sit down with Stephanie Smith of Digital Insomnia. Stephanie is the founder and Chief Insomniac at Digital Insomnia, an Atlanta-based consulting firm offering social and digital advertising help to small and medium-sized businesses.
How did Digital Insomnia get its start?
I started my career at a startup called BLiNQ Media, which was one of Facebook’s first API partners. I’ve been doing Facebook ads since before there was a platform to manage them; I would have to build ads piece by piece manually. I was at that company for almost four years; it’s been my favorite experience, but I digress. After I left there, I became the “millennial job hopper,” averaging ten months at a company. I was looking for that same contentment I had at BLiNQ but couldn’t find it. Eventually, I realized I had to create it for myself. I was already doing some side hustle work helping friends and old colleagues. I noticed a gap in the market where there were businesses that had budgets to run campaigns but not enough to hire an agency that I would typically work for. I created Digital Insomnia to service those businesses by bringing my agency and Fortune 500 experience to their pockets. As of late, I noticed another gap of entrepreneurs working on even tighter budgets but still needing the knowledge to move their businesses in the right direction, so I started teaching what I know. I host workshops ranging from 15 to 250 people, I’ve taught classes, and I just launched my online course teaching everything you need to launch and manage an ads campaign on Facebook and Instagram.
So you found a calling and decided it was time to turn that calling into a company helping businesses with advertising needs but not the right resources. It sounds like a perfect match! Thank you so much for hanging out with us to talk a little more about social and digital advertising. We were hoping to focus specifically on how to leverage Facebook ads.
What are the benefits of using Facebook for an ad campaign? Why not other social media platforms?
Well, to be honest with you, Facebook isn’t the end all be all. It’s really about the nature of your business and where your audience is. It’s essential to understand the behaviors of your audience, so you know where to find them and speak to them. For example, if your customers are younger, they probably aren’t on Facebook. However, the buying power is substantial on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Facebook is a go-to in the strategies that I put together because they have the most active users, and their tools/features are the most robust. I can find the right audience and do some cool stuff to impress them at the same time that some other platforms are lacking.
In that case, a business looking to leverage Facebook ads will love the robust tools and an active audience, but how can we make sure the right people see our advertisements?
Well, first, you need to know who the right people are. Identifying your audience as an entrepreneur or business owner is crucial to the success of a campaign. When I teach people how to strategize and manage their own ads campaigns, we start with creating ideal customer personas, at least three. At that point, you can create audience categories based on the details within those personas. You then allow those categories to guide you when building your audiences on the platform.
Three personas. That’s a great way to view creating a target demographic and paints a clear image of what a business needs. Identifying the right audience is one of the biggest challenges next to figuring out the right budget. On that note, is Facebook good for a business on a budget?
Absolutely. But you can’t nickel and dime the system. Trying to spend $5-10 per day won’t get you any results; just take that money and go to lunch instead. If you are working on a tight budget, then you need to plan. Save money until you can contribute at least $500-750 per month. With a tight budget, make sure to get a niche for your audience. Don’t try to spend $500 with an audience size of 20 million; it’s like getting nosebleeds seats and yelling at the QB.
In March of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic hit American businesses hard. How should global issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic affect our strategies?
Typically with natural disasters or even mass shootings, the recommendation is to shut off ads for a while to allow the news to blow over. However, this is different. Right now, people are on their screens more than ever, and brands should be taking advantage of this time. It’s not insensitive to be advertising right now. Especially as a small business, you will need this just to survive. No one wants to see a small business die during a time like this, so people are still supporting their favorite brands. Don’t suffer in silence; use ads to share your story and let your audience know that supporting right now is keeping a small business alive.
As much as we hate to accept these kinds of things do happen, it’s good to have a plan in place. Sometimes, changing up a strategy or creating a brand new one is the right option. Thinking about the bigger picture is tough, but making sure your audience knows you’re a small business needing support is worth the money right now.
What is the best piece of advice you can give to someone starting their first campaign on Facebook?
There are a few things:
- Don’t click that Boost button. Facebook designed it to spend your money quickly and not give you any real results. It will tell you that $5 will get you whatever reach. Which leads to be #2.
2. Budget to spend no less than $30-50 per day. Facebook/Instagram are pay to play platforms, so trying to nickel and dime the system will get you nowhere.
3. Learn how to use the tools properly. This may be a shameless plug, but I mentioned earlier that I created my online course to teach entrepreneurs and small business owners how to manage their own Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns. Don’t waste money fumbling your way around Facebook’s platform; learn from an expert and get a 7-10x return. Interested? Socialbysteph.teachable.com
Nothing shameless about a little self-promotion! We know the value of creating an online course. On that note, what’s one thing you know now that you wish you’d known when you started in digital media?
I really didn’t know what digital media was before I started. I randomly fell into an internship with BLiNQ. I went to Georgia Tech to be an engineer and ended up switching my major to Business Management and Marketing. Digital media was a way for me to mix my interest in marketing with my love for numbers. One thing I do appreciate with the way I started is that I learned what all the metrics and equations were before doing any real media management. I began by doing reporting in the most old-fashioned way possible and also how to tell a story from the numbers. So if I could pass advice to anyone looking to get into digital media, it’s learning the numbers first; it will help with intuition as you are managing campaigns.
That’s excellent advice for anyone using digital media! Well, we really appreciate your time, Stephanie. This conversation has been great for anyone learning how to leverage Facebook ads into their marketing campaigns but also for anyone using digital marketing in general. Head over to Digital Insomnia’s site to learn more about what Stephanie and her team do, so you can rethink your marketing strategy.
We’d love to chat about your website goals too! Advertising for a website doesn’t do any good if you’re missing the essentials like a fast, reliable server and relevant content. Schedule an appointment with the experts at Shamrk for a website assessment and take steps toward a better site!
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