Ultimate Meta Ads guide for small business

We have collected some useful tips for those who are running Meta Ads advertising for the first time – on Facebook or Instagram.

Ultimate Meta Ads guide for small business

Unable to hire a traffic or marketing specialist, small businesses are often forced to cope on their own. We have collected some useful tips for those who are running Meta Ads advertising for the first time – on Facebook or Instagram.

Determine Your Target Audience

It is important to create its portrait, even if these are only hypothetical characteristics. Even in case of a new business, studying theories and statistics will help to understand who your target audience may be. Later you’ll further refine this portrait when working with advertising, analytics and customer interaction.

Having determined the target audience, you’ll be able to develop a media plan that covers the budget, expected results and the specifics of the target audience. This will help to plan future impacts and adjust approaches.

Analyze Competitors

First of all, analyze other projects similar to yours. For this purpose, you can use Adheart, a free advertising library, and the SimilarWeb service. Adheart provides information regarding advertising creatives, deployed campaigns, their position and metrics. This will allow you to collect useful references that you can later use to create your own creative solutions.

With Adheart, you will find out what creatives your competitors are launching and which of them are effective. What audience your competitors are working with, where this audience is gathered (geography, interests).

SimilarWeb will help you to analyze your competitors’ websites. You can estimate traffic volume, traffic sources and find additional promotion opportunities that are not limited to just Facebook advertising.

After determining your target audience, you may proceed to creating banner ads, advertisements, and videos that best suit the audience’s needs and concerns. Make sure that your ads attract exactly your target audience.

Analyze Advertising Effectiveness

It is equally important to determine ways to track the results. This includes setting up analytics and identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

When it comes to analytics, it’s worth making sure you’re using Google Analytics for your website and a CRM system to process queries from your sales team. This will help you to track conversions and performance in detail.

When establishing KPIs, it is important to determine what exactly you are going to measure: whether it be the number of requests, sales, profit, number of subscribers or likes. This should align with your business goals.

At the final stage, you should analyze the results and make adjustments. Your media plan, target audience, and advertising approaches will change over time, and that’s okay.

What Is Needed To Start

The main thing we need to get started is a Facebook business page and Ads Manager.

It’s worth considering starting with Instagram. Create an account on Instagram, switch it to professional mode, that is, a business account. Instagram will prompt you to create a business page and will automatically create a business manager for you that integrates the two platforms.

In this business manager, you can then create an AdsManager and manage your entire advertising mix. In addition, there is a Business Suite tool – an interface where all these components are integrated allowing you to manage and monitor all events and processes, starting from creating content to launching advertising campaigns.

Which Campaign Objectives to Choose

After completing all the preliminary preparatory steps, such as analyzing the target audience and setting up accounts, we proceed to launching of the advertising campaign. Here, you have a choice of objectives that meet your needs and goals.

Objectives can be chosen through the Facebook or Instagram advertising manager. In Instagram, you will be asked to choose one of three objectives. You can promote existing content such as posts and stories. Ads Manager provides you with more options and allows to create ads that don’t appear on your main page. This ensures more flexibility.

Here are some objectives you can choose:

● Leads (contact requests). If you don’t have your own website, this is an objective worth considering. You can create instant forms that allow you to receive inquiries from potential clients without leaving Facebook or Instagram.

● Engagement (message). This objective may be an option for you if you don’t have your own website. You can direct users to instant messengers, where they can ask questions or receive additional information.

● Leads (conversion). This objective is suitable if you have your own website. You can create forms to receive contacts or inquiries from your website visitors.

● Sales. If you have an online store, this objective allows you to directly sell products through advertising. You can create product catalogues or promotional offers.

● Subscribers. If your goal is to grow your audience, you can use the engagement objective. This may include promoting your page or individual posts.

● Traffic. If getting more visitors to your website is significant to you, this objective will help you to achieve that. You can specify the URL of your Instagram profile and encourage users to visit it.

Each of these objectives has its own advantages and opportunities. It is important to select the one that best meets your business goals and resources. You need to consider the presence of a website, the type of your business and the way you plan to attract your target audience.

Checklist for Setting Up Advertising Campaigns

In order to start advertising in Meta Ads, make sure you have the following:

Existing Facebook business page, advertising account (Ads Manager). Additionally, business manager, Instagram business profile.

Payment method (Card / PayPal).

Determine the objectives of the advertising campaign (Leads, sales, subscribers, attraction, reach, etc).

How will you track the results? Connection of web analytics systems to the website (for example Google Analytics, Binotel).

Analyze your competitors (Adheart, Facebook library, SimilarWeb).

Create a portrait of your target audience.

Go to Ads Manager and click the green “Create” button. Go!

Choose a promotion goal and then a subgoal at the ad group level:

If the goal is sales, then collecting of the potential clients contacts:

If you have a website: Leads / sales - conversions.

If an online store: sales-sales through a catalogue, conversions.

If you don’t have a website: engagement / Leads-Messenger, Instagram, instant forms.

If the goal is to attract subscribers to the page:

Facebook-Engagement / Facebook Page.

Instagram-traffic / Website (include a link to your Instagram page in the ad).

Instagram – using the “Promote” button, the objective is “more profile visits”.

At the group level: Select an impression period (optional).

Select a budget (if you don’t know which budget to choose, we recommend starting with $5/day (for the CIS) per ad group).

Set up your audience:

Cold audience:

Specify the socio-demographic parameters of your target audience (geography, age, gender).

Choose detailed targeting, preferably 1-3 interests that directly or indirectly indicate your target audience. (For example, the topic of custom-made furniture; interest: Home improvement or Interior design).

Warm audience (audience that has already interacted with your business).

The “special audience” field (suitable for promotional offers, collection of subscribers, repeat sales, etc.).

Create a website audience or upload a database (phone numbers / email) of clients for repeated communication.

Create an audience that interacts with your Instagram or Facebook. (In the absence of website or client base).

Select “placements” (places where advertising is displayed). Select “manual placements”. The most effective placements: Facebook and Instagram news feeds, Instagram stories.

Set up an AD

Select a format (Single image).

Upload a Creative (image or video).

Enter the text (the text must contain a call to action).

Fill out the remaining fields depending on the selected advertising objective.

If you drive traffic to your website, mark the link with a UTM parameter.

Publish an advertising campaign.

After passing the moderation, monitor the performance of your advertising campaign.

Actually, there are no super universal ideas, but you can choose something worthwhile for yourself. In case you have any ideas, share them with us in comments.

Advertising Cost

The cost and results of advertising campaigns are based on several key metrics that determine the effectiveness of your advertising. Let me explain some of these metrics:

CPM (Cost Per Mille) is the cost of displaying an advertisement in front of a thousand users. Your fee depends on the number of impressions. The average CPM in Ukraine is about $1.5. This value may vary depending on market competition, quality of promotional materials and other factors.

CTR (Click-Through Rate) is the ratio of the number of clicks on an ad to the number of impressions. Simply put, it is a measure of how effectively your ad is capturing the audience’s attention. The average CTR for Facebook feed is around 1.00%. A higher CTR can allow you to get more clicks for the same cost.

CPC (Cost Per Click) is the cost you pay for each click on your ad. This metric depends on CPM and CTR. You can use CPM and CTR data to calculate the cost of each click.

CR (Conversion Rate) is the percentage of users carrying out a specific action after clicking on an ad. This can be filling out a form, placing an order, or other desired action. The cost of a conversion is determined by the ratio of advertising costs to the number of conversions received.

VAT (value added tax). In some Eastern European countries, if you are not a VAT payer, VAT (20% or more) will be added to the cost of advertising services. This must be taken into account when calculating the costs.

Budget and goal. Your budget determines how much you are willing to spend on advertising. You can choose various cost goals, such as cost per click, conversion, or other metrics.

It’s a good idea to test and analyze different options for objectives, audiences, and ads to find the best strategies for your business. Remember that advertising campaigns can be somewhat predictable, but are also influenced by factors that you cannot fully control.

To get started, it’s recommended to set up a test budget to gather baseline data and see the way different metrics impact your ad costs and results. As you obtain data, you will be able to analyze and predict costs and results more accurately, which will be of use in planning the budget and advertising campaign strategy.

When planning and implementing advertising campaigns, it is important to take into account the specific features of demand for your goods or services. It is known that the conversion funnel can be quite direct: the user sees an advertisement, goes to the website and places an order. However, it is actually a more complex process due to the varying levels of client engagement and decision making.

You should pay attention to the following aspects:

AIDA model. This model describes four stages of customer interaction with advertising and a product: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. The higher the cost of a product or service, the longer it usually takes for a customer to go through these stages. Ad campaigns can be customized to suit these stages.

Complexity of the solution. It is challenging to sell expensive, complex products or services that require careful consideration and decision making. Such customers often spend a lot of time researching and gathering information before the purchase.

Lead magnets and previous steps. For complex or expensive products or services, it is essential to make lead magnets that will help to attract attention and build relationships with potential customers. This may be free content, consultations, demos, etc. This allows to make the client’s decision process more controllable.

Warm and cold audience. The interests and needs of different clients vary. Warm audience includes those who are already interacting with your brand, while cold audience includes those who are just getting started. For complex projects, it is vital to work with the warm audience, not forgetting about preliminary attracting of new clients.

Sales pool planning. For more complex products and services, it is important to develop a sales pool plan. That is, create a sequence of actions and contacts that will assist customers to reach the point of purchase. This may involve breaking down the funnel into smaller steps such as registration, consultation, demo, and then purchase.

Understanding of demand patterns will allow you to better set up your advertising campaigns using appropriate strategies for different types of products and services and achieve higher conversions.

Media plan

Let’s also look at an example media plan and tools for the result prediction.

You enter a budget, approximately taking into account VAT and other expenses. Considering metrics such as CPM, CTR, conversion, etc., you can already make certain calculations and get a projected amount.

This will show what budget you need to allocate to achieve the desired results. You will be able to provide a specific budget size and the projected amount you will receive based on the calculations.

This approach will also allow you to not only predict, but also scale your results. You’ll be able to determine which metrics need optimization, where changes may be introduced to improve the results, and what opportunities there are to increase your investment budget.

Overall, using prediction tools in media planning helps to make your advertising strategy better grounded, more effective and focused on achieving your goals.

How to analyze AC

First of all, pay attention to the reach - how our audience generally reacts, or to impressions, and, of course, the cost of these impressions, or CPM.

Also, an equally important element is frequency. Typically, if an advertising campaign reaches a frequency of three or more, its effectiveness may begin to decline, and it is important to look at the statistics by day. Sometimes, commonly during certain days, the results may be acceptable, but if we look at the performance of each individual day, it may appear that the cost of customer acquisition increases. In this case, campaign optimization may be required.

Additionally, CTR is an important metric. If your ad is getting a lot of impressions, but doesn’t lead to orders, it’s important to pay attention to your CTR percentage. This indicates what percentage of views are converted into active clicks. We talked about it above.

Also, do not forget about the scope of the results. Quite often we may think that a certain campaign has brought enough results, but it is important to determine whether this is enough to achieve our goals.

Understanding of these metrics and their interrelations will help you to evaluate the effectiveness of your advertising strategy. It’s essential to analyze these data in a timely manner so that you can make adjustments as needed to ensure you’re getting maximum value from your advertising efforts.

Analytics Systems

If you have a website, be sure to use web analytics. This will allow you to gain valuable information about visitors and their behavior on your website. Also, it is of vital importance to use Call Tracking services if you have a lot of calls. For example, as in the case with a clinic where many clients call instead of leaving applications. Call Tracking will allow you to effectively track the sources of phone calls and analyze their effectiveness.

In addition, it is important to use CRM systems to effectively manage your customer base and interact with the customers. This will allow you to store important data about customers, their orders and other significant information.

Another substantial aspect is the use of UTM parameters. These are special codes that are added to the URL of advertising materials, allowing you to track traffic sources and determine the effectiveness of various advertising campaigns and sources.

If you have never dealt with UTM parameters, see free guides on the Internet.

All these components that make up working on Facebook advertising campaigns will help you to gain a deep understanding of how your advertising efforts impact your business and allow you to make more informed decisions to optimize the results of your advertising strategy.