On Tuesday, I blogged about 7 Steps to Using Social Media to Enhance Program Delivery. If you missed that post, I highly encourage you to read it first, here.
If you did read it, you might remember that I left you with a cliffhanger on Step 7: Using Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads are the newest "rage" for online advertising, mainly because Facebook is such a widely used social platform, and because their ads are quite budget-friendly.
Facebook Ads offer a unique channel for you to recruit dads because you have a lot of control over who sees the ad—meaning, you can target the specific types of dads you want to recruit into your center or program based on age range, interests, geographic location, and more.
So are you ready for the low-down on Facebook Ads? Here we go!
What are Facebook Ads?
According to Facebook themselves, Facebook ads are paid messages from businesses that are written in their voice and help reach the people who matter most to them. Advertisers create campaigns that have specific goals, which they call advertising objectives, and they create ads within those campaigns to help them reach those objectives.
For example, a business may create a campaign because they want to get more people to visit their website. When they create ads within that campaign, they’ll choose images, text and an audience that they think will help them get that increase in visitors.
In that same vein, you may want to use ads to recruit fathers into your fatherhood program. You would create ads that target fathers in your geographic region, and possibly in a target demographic, to encourage them to sign up for an upcoming event or program.
Ads can appear in a user's main Facebook news feed or on the right column (example below).
How Much do Facebook Ads Cost?
According to Facebook, when you run ads on Facebook, you'll set a budget for each ad you run. You could spend as little as, say, $50 to test out some ads for your organization or fatherhood program.
The budget you set for each ad is spent over the ad’s "lifetime" as people see, click or engage with your ad (a lifetime could be one week or one month - however long it takes to spend the money you have designated for the ad). How fast your budget is spent depends on a few things:
Your bid to reach your audience
Still Not Convinced Facebook Ads are Worth Trying?
–Only 2% of organic posts typically reach followers on Facebook. Organic posts are the kind that you would just post in the normal way on your Facebook page. Because so many users follow so many people and businesses on Facebook, their news feed "goes fast" and your post may not be seen.
–Emarketer reports that 96% of social marketers consider Facebook an effective channel for advertising. Facebook Ads have "backing" so to speak from experts in the field.
–Facebook advertising is targeted and cost-effective (as little as .10 - .30 per click). Again, depending on your target audience and its size, ads can be very inexpensive and easy to test!
Steps to Create a Facebook Ad
- You must have a business account of Facebook to run ads. When logged into Facebook Business Manager, click to create campaign. Under People and Assets click on “Ad Accounts”, then “Add New Accounts”.
- Enter payment information.
- Develop a monthly campaign budget.
- Set-up notifications.
- Identify the audience(s) you want to target with your ad campaigns. (You can run several campaigns and ads at once.) Think about the demographics, age range, gender, interests, and behaviors you want to target with your ads.
- Identify your ad goals: how many click through's you want, the action you want people to take (an event sign up for example)—basically, what would success look like to you.
- When you're ready to create your first ad campaign, select “Audiences” from the top right drop-down menu. Your options here will include:
Saved audiences: these are target audiences that you create for Facebook Ad Sets and save so you can choose to use them again for different ad sets. They're helpful when you want to target the same audience among multiple ad sets; it keeps you from having to re-create the same audience from scratch. Learn how to create Saved Audiences here.
Custom audiences: these are generated from a customer list you create of your existing clients. Basically, you are targeting fathers and families that you have interacted with at some point in the past. Once you upload, copy and paste or import your "customer list", Facebook uses the data from it to match the people on your list to people on Facebook. This allows you to show ads specifically to people from your own database. Learn how to create Custom Audiences here.
Lookalike audiences: these are groups of Facebook users that Facebook deems are similar to existing groups of users you have as an existing audience. This can be a powerful option for advertisers looking to expand their reach in the Facebook platform but aren’t quite sure where to go. Learn how to create Lookalike Audiences here.
Monitor Your Results and Tweak or Discontinue Under-Performing Ads
What you determine as "success" will differ from other companies who run Facebook ads. Refer back to your plan when you created the ad to remember how you defined "success". Now, review your ad campaign results. If you're not seeing the click through numbers or actions taken that you wanted, it's time to tweak or discontinue some ads.
Ads that are preforming terribly, simply discontinue them. Those that are preforming "OK" could likely benefit from a change to the text or imagery (be sure to copy the ad before making the tweaks so that you can clearly see how the tweaks affect future results).
Facebook Ads are not a science. They take experimentation and some trial error, but I'm confident you will be able to find some success in using them to meet your goals.
Where Can I Learn More About Facebook Ads?
We certainly cannot cover all there is to know about using Facebook ads to recruit fathers and families into your program here in a little blog. There are tons of expert websites that can help you understand how Facebook ads work and where to begin. I recommend:
- From AdEspresso by Hoostsuite: The Beginner's Guide to Facebook Advertising (2017)
- From Facebook themselves, checkout their Guides for Beginner Advertisers
- Fred Lam offers a free 45 min video explaining the different types of Facebook Ads (Note: while his video positioned toward companies that sell a product, his overview of the types of ads and each kind's purpose is very good)
Wishing you much success using Facebook Ads to recruit dads!