Are you ready for Facebook advertising?

With 1.56 billion people using Facebook daily, there’s every chance your ideal customers are among them. Add to that the people who spend their time on Instagram instead (because Instagram is simply another placement for sharing Facebook Ads), and it becomes a bit of a no brainer to consider adding Facebook advertising to your marketing plans.

But are you ready for it?

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you get started with Facebook Ads:

1. Do you know your customers really well?

One of the reasons Facebook Ads work so well is the ability to target audiences with a laser focus. But if you don’t already know who your ideal customer is and what makes them tick, it’s going to be hard for you to make the most of these targeting capabilities.

This means digging much deeper than ‘entrepreneur’, ‘fashionista’ or ‘ethically-minded’. It means more than understanding demographics or geographic location.

You need to understand who this person really is – their goals and desires, their frustrations and pain point. You have to understand their behaviour, where and how you can connect with them through social media, what is likely to make them engage with your product/service/business and what the barriers to them doing so might be.

Getting to know your target customer will stand you in good stead in every aspect of your business, but particularly when you’re trying to reach, engage and connect with this person on social media. Spend time learning about your target customer before you start spending money on Facebook Ads and I talk more about this in a previous blog.

2. Do you have an offer that your customers want to buy?

If you don’t have the right offer, even the best Facebook Ads won’t convert.

Before you start to invest in Facebook Ads, you need to know that you have an offer that speaks to your target customers and is something they actually want to buy. Otherwise, you could waste a lot of time, money, and energy getting going with Facebook Ads only to find that you have an offer that no one really wants.

The offer isn’t just about price (although a discount offer might be part of it, especially if you are an ecomm business trying to attract people to trial your product). It’s also about the product/service itself and the user experience around it.

If your product/service is already on the market, you should have a good idea as to whether your offer is right based on sales performance and customer feedback. If you’re about to launch a new product or service, it’s a little harder, but still possible to validate your offer through activities such as market research, social media listening, creating a waitlist or testing the offer with a warm audience (people who already know your brand or business) through organic social media or your mailing list.

With all the will in the world, a well-crafted Facebook Ad can’t persuade someone to put their hand in their virtual pocket to make a purchase if the product itself isn’t up to scratch or the service doesn’t meet their needs. Once you have a validated offer, you’re a step further forward in being ready for Facebook advertising.

3. Is your website working well enough?

If your website isn’t up to scratch, you risk spending money driving people there only for them to be put off by what they see. So, make sure you consider the entire customer journey before you start running your Facebook Ads.

Does your website have a fast page load time? Encouraging people to click on a link is one thing. Getting them to stick around while a page loads is another. Check out free tools such as Google’s PageSpeed tool, which will assess your page speed and point you in the direction of how to make it faster.

Is your website mobile friendly? As many as 96% of users worldwide are accessing Facebook via a mobile device so it figures that they’ll be viewing your website that way too.

Does your website contain any hidden surprises? For example huge postage costs, payment in an unexpected currency or via an unfamiliar method, or unexpected terms and conditions.

Have you installed the Facebook Pixel? This is a small but mighty piece of code which collects data to help you optimise ads, build targeted audiences for future ads and remarket to people who have already visited your website. Not having when you start running ads is a huge missed opportunity.

Are you GDPR compliant? Make sure you have the necessary Privacy Policy and cookies in place to meet these requirements.

And finally, is your website consistent with your ad in terms of copy and creative? It’s important that the person clicking on your ads finds what they’re expecting to see on your website. Facebook is a clever beast and it looks not just at your ads but where they lead a customer to if they contain a link. It scrapes your page to check that the copy, creative and offer are all congruent with the ad so not only are you likely to annoy customers if you draw them over to your website under false pretences, Facebook will penalise you too.

4. Do you understand Facebook’s advertising policy?

Rejection hurts – or in the case of Facebook Ads wastes time. Facebook will reject your ads if you’re advertising something prohibited/restricted, you’re not following community standards, or you’ve made a mistake with your ad creative or landing page. Take a moment to read Facebook’s advertising policy so you have the best chance of getting your ads approved first time.

5. Are you ready to invest?

Lots of businesses buy into the idea that Facebook Ads are a cost-effective way of selling their products or services. Fewer have an appreciation of the sort of budget that is needed to make them work.

So how much do you need to invest?

This depends very much on your objective. It figures that it will take a smaller investment to raise brand awareness or drive engagement than generate a lead or a purchase. It depends too on how much you are asking your customers to pay for your products/services (consider not just the price but the average order value or lifetime value of a customer if you are offering a subscription or service).

As a minimum, you’re looking at an ad spend of £300 per month or £10 per day per Ad Set (the level at which you select your target audience for Facebook Ads). If you are looking to retarget customers using even a simple funnel, I’d recommend a minimum budget of £1k+ per month.

And be prepared that it can take time for Facebook Ads to start delivering a return. Testing is a key part of any Facebook Ads strategy – testing audiences, creative and copy can take time and, while you might get lucky with your first ads, the likelihood is it could take a month or two before you start to see a return on your investment. For this reason, I always recommend budgeting a minimum of three months for running Facebook Ads.

If you can answer yes to all of these questions, the chances are you’re ready to start running Facebook Ads … and now the fun really starts!

If you need a hand getting Facebook Ads ready or are looking for someone to manage your ads for you, I’d love to help.