Photo Credit: flickr
For small business owners, Facebook Ad billing can be a bit confusing at the outset. And rightfully so – Facebook requires you to be much more proactive about your ongoing ad campaign than traditional forms of advertising. And it also requires you to make some serious choices about your overall budget and how those funds will be allocated over a specific time period. But here’s the thing, with Facebook Ads, you’re always in charge of how much you spend, and you’ll never be charged more than the budget you have set (in fact, you might end up being charged LESS than your overall budget if your ads are not getting any traction). That being said, here are three keys to maximizing your next Facebook Ad campaign…
Key #1: Decide on the overall length of your campaign
Facebook Ad campaigns are designed to be short-term in nature, giving you plenty of flexibility to adjust and tweak your ad messaging. If everything is working as planned, then you might want to keep a successful campaign going for months at a time. However, if you see that you are not getting the type of traction that you would like, then you can just as easily call a halt to a campaign after just a few days. This is why you need to be much more proactive with a Facebook Ad campaign. Sure, you can always “set it and forget it,” but you’ll end up getting a much higher return on your investment if you keep a close eye on overall performance. If you’re running a Facebook Ad campaign, you might decide to limit your first ad campaign to 1-2 weeks, just to get a feel for overall performance.
Key #2: Decide on your overall budget
With Facebook Ads, you have two basic options: daily budgets or lifetime (i.e. total) budgets. With a daily budget, you decide how much you would like to spend on average each day that your campaign runs. With a lifetime budget, you decide how much you will spend total over the entire course of your campaign, and then it’s up to Facebook to allocate that spending as evenly as possible over each day of the campaign. It’s entirely conceivable that both approaches will end up with your business spending the same amount of money over the course of a campaign, but if you’re still concerned about “overspending” (despite all the safeguards that Facebook puts into place to make overspending impossible), then a daily budget approach might make sense. You will have the peace of mind that your total advertising spend for a single day will not exceed a certain dollar amount.
Key #3: Become familiar with A/B testing
In the world of advertising, A/B testing simply refers to the practice of seeing whether Ad Unit A or Ad Unit B performs better over time. In a best-case scenario, one of these two options will be a clear winner over a very short period of time. Say, for example, you have decided to launch a new ad campaign for a brand new line of umbrellas just in time for the start of Fall. Your first ad unit (option A) might focus on all the performance aspects of an umbrella (an umbrella that won’t collapse with the first gust of wind!). Your second ad unit (option B) might focus on all the pretty colors and designs of your umbrellas. Within a short period of time, you should be able to tell whether your customers are more influenced by message A or by message B. Then, it only makes sense to run ads with the “winner.” That’s the type of approach that you need to take with Facebook Ads. Keep running a variety of campaigns, until you find a “winner” that results in higher revenue and sales.
If you’re still not clear on how Facebook Ads work, Facebook actually has a simple primer to follow [here] called “How Ad Billing Works on Facebook.” The big takeaway here is that, as a small business owner, you are always in control of how much you are charged, and you have complete flexibility in how long a campaign will run. Test out a few different ads, and within a short period of time, you’ll be well on your way to a successful Facebook Ad campaign.