In the age of digital media and computer screens, engaging an audience and creating a following has never been so accessible. If you are an aspiring business owner, musician, actor, agent or even an established company, marketing and advertising has gone digital and has become a do-it-yourself industry. With social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr attracting audiences ranging from elementary school children to retirement home senior citizens, reaching a new audience and engaging your current following is easier than ever before.
While media platforms like Twitter and YouTube allow you to connect to your followers, fans and customers with little difficulty by allowing you to speak directly to them, Facebook has made advertising accessible and easy to understand. If you are looking to expand an already existing audience or build a brand new following, Facebook has tools to help you promote products and services by creating a business page or designing traditional advertisements.
Advertising on Facebook
There are several ways you can advertise on Facebook. One method is simply creating a business or company page. This will allow you to share pictures of your company, employees, current projects, even your company building. By creating a business page you can share the logo you want associated with your company, cover pictures of your products and easily bring attention to upcoming events your company may be putting on or attending.
Managing Your Facebook Business Page
On your business page, you can share a little bit about your business, such as a slogan, a mission statement, your founding or other information that will tell your customers more about your products and services. If you have an eye catching slogan, mission statement, logo or cover image, people will be more inclined to visit your page and spend time learning about your company.
With a business page you can create text posts, events and share pictures; this variety of shareable posts will allow Facebook users who follow your page to receive updates on what your company is currently working on and events that are coming up. While it is excellent to keep your current audience informed of your company’s work, it is important to remember you must continue to expand your following.
Creating Text Posts
You can do this by ensuring your text posts are eye catching and easy to read. While boosting your posts will allow them to reach a larger audience, according to Facebook’s statistics in the WikiHow article “How to Advertise on Facebook” keeping text posts limited to 100 to 250 characters will increase the number of likes, comments and shares by 60%. Including pictures or short videos will also appeal to audience members who respond more to visual cues than text.
Facebook Ad Options
If you are looking for a more traditional form of advertisement Facebook offers a Create Ad option on your sidebar. In her article “How to Advertise on Facebook: The Complete Guide” on Hootsuite Blogs Christina Newberry writes about the 10 campaign objectives Facebook offers which allow you to think about and decide what you hope to achieve with your ads. You can pick and choose whether you want your ad to promote app installs, brand awareness, conversions, engagement, lead generation, reach, product catalog sales, store visits, improve traffic to a certain webpage or increase video views to promote brand awareness.
When you have settled on an objective for your ad, you must then target your audience. In order to advertise successfully online, you must make sure you narrow your desired audience as much as possible. As Nick O’Neill and Kristi Hines point out in their articles “10 Rules for Advertising on Facebook” and “Beginner’s Guide: How to Advertise Your Business on Facebook” respectively, the best way to build an audience is to keep in mind the age group, gender, location, interests, financial situations, marital status of the group you wish to target; anything that will help you narrow your target audience will help you promote your products more easily and more efficiently.
When creating your business or product, you already have an intended audience in mind; be sure to make notes of the demographics you consider to be most important and work them into your marketing strategy while you are deciding which form of advertisement to use. Facebook also offers tools that will assist you in narrowing your audience by monitoring things like online behaviors, or you can customize your audience by reaching out to people who have already interacted with your business on Facebook. Facebook provides a step-by-step guide that will help you target your audience before you create your ad.
Setting a Budget
After taking into consideration the objective of your ad and the following you hope to build with it, you must then decide how much you are willing to invest in your advertisement. Facebook will allow you to choose daily or lifetime budgets and schedule whether your ad is launched right away or on a specific date. Facebook is excellent at assisting you in working out the fine details of how your money is spent on your ad; with its advanced budget options you can select bid amounts, schedule the ad’s posting, when you get charged and how often your ad will be shown.
Once you have decided what you want your ad to achieve, the audience you want to reach and the financial details, you can start thinking about the type of ad you want to invest in. Christina Newberry also discusses each of Facebook’s offered ad formats in her guide on Hootsuite. She explains Facebook’s wide variety of ads such as: Photo ads which focus on a single image and minimal text, Video ads which are excellent for massive engagement, Slideshow ads that showcase up to 10 still images, Carousel ads that allow you to combine still images and videos, Collection ads that are designed for mobile use and showcases several products or features, Canvas ads which combines photos and text that works to promote brand awareness and conversation, and finally Lead ads which require interested audience members to show their interest in a product by filling out a contact form.
Once your ad is launched be sure to rotate your ads regularly so that audience members are always seeing something new; take note of what your audience responds best to and keep it in mind for your next campaign and be sure your audience will feel compelled to seek a relationship with your company. As Nick O’Neill points out in his article, it is important to keep in mind that Facebook advertising is more about developing a rapport with your audience rather than sales. If you have a customer or audience member who keeps coming back because of the relationship they have developed with your company, your sales and company notability will surely begin to grow.
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