Budgets are tight, what should I do?
We get approached a lot by businesses that either don’t have a big budget for Facebook ads, or aren’t prepared to spend much until they start seeing results. It’s sort of a catch 22 situation. It can take a lot of time and budget to start seeing real results with Facebook ads, so a lot of businesses don’t buy into it. What’s really annoying is that most marketers refuse to take on projects with small budgets because they don’t know how to make the most of every penny. It’s simply not true that you can’t get any benefit from a small budget, you just have to understand what’s achievable and remember that every last bit of data is important to you in the beginning.
Run ads that you can learn from
The most important thing to remember if you are just starting out and have a small budget is not to focus on sales. We say that to every client we take on that has a budget of less than £1000 per month for Facebook ads. The important thing to do is learn from the ads you run, whether they lead to sales or not. If you run just one ad set with an audience of 10,000,000 people how are you going to know how to narrow that audience down enough to bring your costs down? Take your time with your targeting and find some small audiences that you believe are highly likely to be interested in your brand. The key is to look at your whole strategy with making assumptions.
Look at your ad creatives and targeting
- You’re assuming you know which ad type and creative your audience will respond to the most
- You’re assuming you know which ad type and creative Facebook will like you using the most
- You’re assuming your ad type and creative will convert
Create small ad sets
- Website Visitors
- Email Subscribers from your list
- Page Fans
- Video Viewers over 50%
- People who have engaged with your page
- Lookalike audiences of all of the first 6 audiences
- Interest/demographic targeting based on your research (cold audience)
Notice that only the last audience is a cold audience. You need to work with everything you have so far and make the most out of it.
Create as many ads as you can
It’s important not to just assume you know what your target audience will respond to. Make as many different creates in as many different styles as you can.
Set up all the ads and run them for 2 days
2 days isn’t very long, but when you’re on a tight budget you don’t have much room to spend on failing ad sets. Run your ads for 2 days so that Facebook can have some time to optimise, and then look out for winners and losers. If any of your ads and ad sets are very clearly not performing then turn them off. If any are doing well then consider allocating more budget to them.
Analyse and learn
Now you need to dig through the data you have gained and work out what is worth learning for your business. Did you find that more people in the cold audience clicked through to your website? Great, you’ve hit the nail on the head with your cold audience then. Did you find that a video ad performed better across all ads sets compared to a carousel ad? Looks like video ads should be made priority. Even if you didn’t get any sales, you learned about your audience, your ads and what works better for your business.