do facebook ads work for a small business

Do Facebook Ads work for a Small Business?

If you’ve ever boosted a Facebook post to drive a little more traffic to your website or Facebook page, you'd be forgiven for asking yourself, do Facebook ads work for a small business? Facebook is espoused as a sea of potential customers just waiting to be plucked, but so many small businesses find the only customer in the process is them. When they send their money to Mark Zuckerberg.

And still, a quick Google search will show you hundreds of experts espousing how they built a business on Facebook. Are they lying? How can they have such drastically different results from you?

To know exactly why Facebook ads worked for some these experts, you’d have to read some of their story and decide for yourself if their method works for you. What I’m going to share with you today are some tips and best practices that can help make Facebook ads work for a small business.

This is the first of three posts I’ve written to help small businesses get better results from advertising on Facebook. Be sure to subscribe to the blog to be notified when parts two and three drop, In this post, I’ll show you where to start, how to make your ads more meaningful, and tell you why funnels are important to Facebook ad success.

If you’ve read this far, you’ve already accepted one truth that I also believe in. That Facebook, as a platform, provides you access to such a massive audience, it’s very hard to ignore. Still, to success with Facebook advertising will take more than just boosting the occasional post that you feel was really good.

Start with Strategy

If you’ve read anything I’ve written, you’ll be familiar with that expression. With Facebook ads, as with anything in marketing, it’s critical to start with strategy.

Facebook gives you the ability to reach a ton of people. Your challenge, to be successful, will be to narrow that audience down as much as possible. You do this by spending some time identifying your ideal customer. If you want more information on how to do that, you can check out this post.

  • Once you go through this process, you should
    Understand your customer’s wants, needs, or frustrations intimately.
    Know what language they use to express those needs wants, needs, and frustrations
    How they frame the issue

Knowing that, you can now look at your business and get very clear about how you solve for that problem and what differentiates you from every other business. More on how to do that can be found in my ebook, 7 Steps to Small Business Marketing Success.

You will use your core difference to craft an offer to solve for your customer’s pain point. Now, and offer is not your actual product or service, but how you position that product or service. That can be a little hard to grasp at first, but think of it this way: Aylmer’s makes glue. All glue does the same, basic thing: it sticks two things together. But all Aylmer’s did was shout at people and tell them how much better their glue is than other glues that wouldn’t get much attention in a Facebook ad.

If, though, they spoke about how their glue could repair a broken china figurine so no one could ever tell it had been damaged, that would sure get the attention of a teenager who had just had a big house party while his or her parents were out of town. Or maybe that’s just me.

Taking Your Customer on a Journey with Your Facebook Ad

Now that you’ve documented what your customers are looking for and how you uniquely solve for their problem, you can begin to craft an ad that will speak to them. And to do that, you want to take them on a journey from their BEFORE state (which is their current reality) to their AFTER state (which is where they’ll be after buying your solution).

Here’s something important to remember: people don’t buy your product or service; they buy a transformation to a better version of themselves. Your advertising should show them how that can happen by letting you solve their problem.

Here’s an exercise I like to use to map that out. It helps me visualize the story my ad needs to tell, so I can put that into words and images for Facebook. Get copy of the Transformation Worksheet.

In the first column you map out their current state. What they have, how they feel about their situation, what an average day looks like, the status that their current situation gives them (or denies them), and the evil of their current situation. Your product/ service and your ideal customer’s descriptions sits in the middle. On the right fill in what they have after you solve their problem; how having that problem solved feels; an average day in this new reality; their new status; and good side of the good vs. evil statement.

Do Facebook Ads work for a Small Business

In your ad, you should be sure to tell a story that captures not just the HAVE, but the FEEL and the AVERAGE DAY.

If you can get clear on this transformation, writing your Facebook ad will be much easier and the end result much more effective.

This brings us to the end of the first post in this series on Facebook advertising for small businesses. You can read part two here and the third installment here.

In the meantime, use what you’ve learned here to get clear on your ideal customer, your core difference, and then worth through the Transformation Worksheet.

I hope this installment was useful for you. Thank you for taking the time to read it and, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out or leave a comment below.