Facebook Ads for Small Businesses

The featured picture on this article catches attention. Right? It’s different than most pictures you’ll see on Facebook. Being different and catching attention is the first part of what you need to succeed with Facebook Advertising.

dog in suit - facebook ads for small business

Using Facebook Ads for a small business is generally a wise thing to do. If done right it’s not hard to get it going then make it work well and be successful at it. But it’s not hard to do it wrong and waste a bunch of money. There are a few important points that make all the difference. That’s the point of this article. Follow the steps below and you’ll be way ahead of most businesses, and your competition, using Facebook Ads.

We’ll cover some very powerful and advanced concepts. But much of this is easy to implement and use. You’ll see how to use the most powerful advertising system in the world, along with some very powerful insights, without having to do too much work.

Watch the video below for the same information about Facebook Ads for Small Businesses:

Top 3 Things You Need for Online Success

First you need to get attention. Your business must get it’s name out there. It must let people know it exists and what products and services it offers. But of course that’s not quite enough for most businesses.

To get attention you need contrast. Contrast means “strikingly different”. This applies to how people think of your business, how you deliver your products and services, and to your advertising and marketing messages.

A business with competition must differentiate itself from the others. It must try to compete and stand apart. It has to appeal to customers in a way that it’s competitors do not. This applies to the business at the higher level of planning and strategy and flows to specifics such as the copy in advertisements themselves. There must be a unique selling proposition.

What could be unique about a business with a lot of competitors? Think lawyers, chiropractors, dentists, contractors, and lawn care businesses. These are just a few that have many local competitors. Price is the obvious competitive variable used. Be cheaper than the rest. Another is quality. Being better than the rest. Better service or better products.

But how does this apply to Facebook Ads? Does it even apply to your Ads? Yes it surely does. Your Ads are the message between your business and your potential customers. Your Ads have to send the message that your business is different, better, unique, and provides something the competition doesn’t. Your Ads have to give the reader a reason to choose you above the competition. Of course if you’re running Facebook ads and your competition is not that gives you an advantage right there.

But how do to do this? How do you become unique if your prices are already set and your services or products are already set? Lowering prices is not a good option. Improving quality of service or the quality of your products is definitely a good thing to do, but maybe you’re there already. You can bundle together your products and services in a way your competition has not. Think of new ways to deliver your products or services. Maybe be faster or more efficient in some way. Then promote that uniqueness in your Ads. Become known for the unique things that you provide above and beyond your competition. You should try to answer the question that the shopper has. That question is “Why should I choose you instead of others selling the same thing?“.

To get attention and to get chosen you need to be different and better than your competition. You need to stand out. It starts with your business itself then flows into your messaging in your advertising. This includes your Facebook Ads.

With Facebook advertising, not only do you need to stand out among your competitors, you need to stand out in the Facebook news feed where Ads are shown. This can be even more difficult. Your Facebook Ad must be in contrast to everything around it. This means being as different as possibly from both the other Ads and the Facebook posts that are not Ads. I always say your Facebook Ads should not look like an Ad because people don’t want to see Ads in Facebook. But you still need to get attention. You need to get the Facebook user to stop scrolling and “notice” your Ad.

A Clear Message
This is easy to explain but still takes a little effort to get right. Confusion and uncertainty result in failed advertising. Your Facebook Ads must be clear and easy to understand. They must get your message across with simple concrete words. They must be compelling and use a clear call to action. Keep it simple. Use short sentences. Use short, easy words. Use a call to action. Be specific but don’t explain unnecessary details. If someone wonders if clicking your Ad might obligate them to do something they aren’t ready for they won’t click. Make your Ads so simple that a child could understand them. Your offer should be clear. The benefits of your offer should be clear.

Make a Connection with your Audience
Your Ads must be relevant and resonate with your audience. Using Facebook Retargeting helps with this. We’ll talk about that in a minute. It’s kind of obvious that people would be more attracted to an Ad that’s relevant to them. But that doesn’t keep advertisers from doing it wrong anyway. Stop thinking about your product or service in a bragging or selling way. Think about it in a “how it helps my customer” way. More of your audience will become your customers if you talk about them rather than yourself. You can still include your products and services. Just make the customer first. Even in your Ads.

What is ReTargeting – Why Use it and Does it Work?

Retargeting is the process of showing your ads to people who have already engaged with your Facebook content or visited your website. It’s very effective because these people are likely the ones most interested in your products and services and you can spend money advertising to only them. You avoid spending money advertising to non interested people. It’s like a filtered group of people who are more likely to buy from you.

A retargeting audience is often referred to as a warm audience.

In general terms a Warm Audience:

  • Has Heard of You or,
  • Knows You or,
  • Visited Your Website or,
  • Purchased Something from you or,
  • Called You or,
  • Visited Your Facebook Page or,
  • Liked Your Facebook Page or Posts or Ads

The benefits of advertising to a warm audience is lower cost for ads and a more responsive audience.

Conversely a Cold Audience:

  • Has Not Heard of You
  • Doesn’t Know You
  • Has Not Visited Your Website
  • Has Not Purchased
  • Has Not Called Your
  • Has Not Seen you on Facebook

It’s more expensive to Show Ads to a cold audience. They’re not very responsive either.

The diagram below shows an example of how Retargeting works. Notice that Retargeting is also available in Google Advertising. Also notice the price per click difference between advertising to a cold audience vs a warm (retargeted) audience. These numbers are just examples and may be even more lopsided in reality.

retargeting chart

Build a Strong Foundation for Success

To get the most from the web you need the items in the diagram below. You don’t absolutely need everything. You can still achieve quite a lot without Google Ads. However, for some businesses it can be very worthwhile. An email list is more work to set up but still worthwhile in most cases. The Google Maps listing should always be claimed and filled in, even if your business is not one where customers come to your location. Your website is the central point of everything.

strong foundation for online marketing

Make Your Boosted Post Reach 5 Times More People

A boosted post is probably the most often used and well known form of Facebook advertising. But I’ve found one setting that can drastically improve the reach of a boosted post. You really can almost Flood the Local Area with your Ads. With your boosted post. The default setting for how the ad is delivered is set to “optimize for engagement”. This means the ad gets shown to people most likely to engage with the post. But if you think those people may not necessarily be the people you’re after and maybe in fact you want more people to see your ad instead of limiting it to just those who engage a lot with Facebook, you’ll want to change the setting to either “daily unique reach” or “impressions”. This opens the gates and gets your ad out to more people. In a test I actually reached 5 times more people by changing this setting. People who engage a lot with Facebook may be younger people than the people you are trying to reach. In that case you’d definitely want to make this change.

Change “Optimize for Engagement” to “Optimize for Reach” in the Ad Set
My own Example:
2 similar Ads with $10 Ad Spend on same Local Audience of 17,000
Ad Set Setting Engagement Number of People Reached
Number of people reached with the “Optimize for Engagement” setting: 611
Number of people reached with the “Optimize for Reach” setting: 2738
On screen instructions included in the Followup Video

3 Reasons Facebook Ads Fail

  • BAD Offer
  • Showing to WRONG Audience
  • Poorly Written Ad or Post
    • The Ad Doesn’t Grab Attention
    • The Ad Is Not Clear, No Call to Action
    • The Ad is Too Boring – Doesn’t Resonate or Connect with your Audience

The easiest way to make a big improvement with your Facebook Ads is to try to improve on any or all of these 3 reasons. Also remember to use “Retargeting” because it does the work for you in terms of getting your audience right. And that makes it easier to grab attention and be relevant. Why? Because they already are interested. Otherwise they wouldn’t be in your Retargeting audience.

3 Huge Tips to Make Your Facebook Ads 10 Times Better

TIP 1: Focus on Customer’s Problem Rather than Your Solution. Your Ad will Resonate More with viewers if you focus on “THEIR” problem instead of “YOUR” solution.

TIP 2: People on Facebook Are NOT SHOPPING. So you have to be fun or helpful or both!

TIP 3: Make Your Ad About a Side Topic. Why? Because information about your business is probably not that interesting. If you can connect because of a side topic then you’ve started to make a connection.

3 Ways to get your Facebook Ads NOTICED

  • Use a Colorful image that’s different than everything else. I’ve heard that yellow is the least often used color on Facebook. So try something with yellow to make it stand apart from everything else.
  • Use an Image and Headline that both introduce the same compelling topic or story. You can tell a story. In fact it’s a great idea and highly recommended. People like stories. So make your ad into a story. In a way your ad doesn’t need to be an ad, it can be a message that starts a connection and builds a relationship that turns into a customer.
  • Match your Ad to your Audience. Of course this is very important but not that easy to do. But if your Ad makes sense to your audience and resonates with them it has great potential to be a winner.


Segmenting is one of the key points that advanced online marketers use to succeed. You can segment your audience for targeting but you can also segment your products and services. Consider these two headlines: “American Food” vs “Juicy Hamburger Specials”. Which one sounds better. The more general it is the more boring it is. Be specific and segment things down. You might sell more things than Juicy Hamburgers but you can make more than one ad. Make several specific ads. It just works better.

As an example of segmenting your audience, which is actually retargeting, a seafood restaurant might run a Facebook ad for a Seafood Special. 200 people click the ad but only 50 people take the offer (coupon or call or whatever it is).
Cost to run Ad: $100

The next month they run the Ad again but this time against the segmented audience (which is actually the retargeting custom audience). The ad promotes the seafood special to the 200 people who clicked the previous ad. So the ad is showing to those 200 people who are familiar and interested in the special.  Again 50 people buy the offer. But this time the cost to run the ad is only $10. The reason? Your ad is showing to a much smaller audience so it’s much much cheaper to run.

This is one of the most effective methods you can use to make Facebook ads work for your business. It’s just amazing that more people don’t use it because it’s so amazingly powerful and it just works!

Please comment below and ask questions if you have them. I hope this has been helpful!

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