I was talking to a chiropractor this morning. He asked me if Facebook advertising is worth it?
My answer was this: it depends on how you use it and what you expect from it. I explained that you usually don’t get sales directly from it but you can make connections and get referrals. Indirect sales. It’s an easy way to get the word out about your business. You can reach a lot of people and you can target who sees your ads. But is it worth it?
It may be a question that each individual business should try to answer for themselves. It’s worth it for some and not for others. It depends on your business, your products and services and offers, and your messaging. It also depends on how you use the tools within Facebook and the strategies you use. It also depends on how much of a chance you give it. How much you spend and how long you run ads. It depends on how many different ads you try. How much testing you do. How many different audiences do you try.
A while ago I wrote another article about Facebook Advertising called Does Facebook Advertising Work for Small Businesses. That article talked about whether you should hire a consultant or not and what the advantages and disadvantages are. It also made the point that if you try Facebook advertising without paying much attention to it, it probably won’t work. So basically it might be worth it if you try hard enough.
But how do we answer the question? Is Facebook Advertising being worth it?
First we should define what that means. Is it worth it if you get one new customer per month or one per week? What if you spend $1000 on Facebook ads in one month? How many customers do you need from that expense to make it worth it for you? How much value do you put on the branding and awareness effect (which is hard to measure)? Some businesses might be happy to spend $200/month for the branding of their business and not worry about sales resulting directly from the ads. In other words they just run the ads and pay the money. Just knowing their ads are running on Facebook is enough for many of them.
A lot of businesses throw a lot of money at advertising without knowing if it works. Or some may have a general idea of what works.
Is Facebook advertising worth it? My answer is this. Yes it’s worth it if it helps you reach and acquire customers.
So let’s ask it this way.
Can Facebook advertising help you reach and acquire customers?
Yes it definitely can help you reach customers. It can also help you reach non customers. That’s the first tricky part. You need to minimize wasting money showing ads to people who are not customers. You do that by targeting the people most likely to become customers. You can use Retargeting (showing ads to people who have already visited your website or engaged with your Facebook content) to do a much better job of reaching only customers and potential customers. There’s a lot more information about Facebook advertising in that section of my blog. Reaching your customers with your Facebook ads while preventing your ads from showing to non potential customers is the most efficient and desired goal with ad targeting.
Can Facebook advertising help you acquire customers? It probably can for most businesses. Various types of businesses need various types of strategies. For example you generally shouldn’t try sell expensive products or services directly. Get potential customers to take a small step towards a trusting connection with you. Hopefully those people will become customers and clients. For lower priced offers such as what’s sold by restaurants and local stores you might get direct sales easier. Invite people to a local event and offer coupons for the very day they’re displayed. People will decide to go to a restaurant based on an ad but they won’t decide on a financial planner or chiropractor based on an ad. It takes more than a single ad to make a sale for those larger decisions.
If your answer to the second part about acquiring customers is no, then you may or may not consider Facebook advertising worth it. As I mentioned earlier, you might still value the branding part of running Facebook ads and would then consider it worthwhile. As an example, you can reach 3500 people for $10 using a Facebook ad. That sounds pretty good and can be effective if you have a good ad that reaches the right 3500 people. By the way, if you’re running ads to a small local audience you should change the optimization setting for boosted posts from engagement to reach. You’ll reach more people with your boosted post if you do.
If your answer to the second part about acquiring customers is yes, then you’re in a good position. You can scale up and test variations of your ads and your audience targeting.
Getting Facebook advertising to work to your benefit is not always easy but it can be done. People are doing it. It requires some thinking and some testing. And of course some knowledge about what works and what doesn’t work. At least we can say this. It’s worth a try.
PS: I searched YouTube for the question “Are Facebook Ads Worth It” and found several videos with the title and topic. However, most of them don’t really answer the question. They’re really just promoting themselves as Facebook Ads consultants. I hope this article helped you think about and understand the possible answers to the question. And if you’ve got questions, or comments, please ask or comment below. Thanks for reading!