When I show business owners the back end of Facebook advertising, I feel as if I am a magician revealing the secrets behind my marketing tricks. But the truth is, anybody can participate in Facebook advertising and generate business from it: It's simply about learning how to do it, and taking the time to master the craft.
Facebook advertising has come a long way since its inception. There are so many different ways to get in front of your ideal clientele. You can target audiences based on a variety of categories, including:
- Financial resources
- Industry or occupation
- Homeownership status
- Education and academic degree
- Generation (i.e. baby boomers or millennials)
- Political beliefs
- Milestones (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, moving)
- Relationship status
As a result of Facebook partnering with data companies, advertisers are now able to display products or services on consumers' newsfeeds that they might be interested in. In addition to marketing based on the categories aforementioned, as a business owner, you can utilize the following methods:
Lookalike audiences are a way to reach new people based on current or existing markets. You can create an audience that mirrors the same demographics, interests and behaviors of people who currently "like" your Facebook business page, or you can create a lookalike audience to mirror those who have visited your website, or even purchased your products/services.
You can set up your lookalike audience in Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor. Under Ad Manager, click Audiences > Create Audience > Lookalike Audience.
Next, choose the source: This could be people who visited your website, "liked" your business page or even downloaded your app. Then, choose a country where you would like to find a similar set of people. Once that's set, decide how big you want your audience to be. The smaller the audience, the more similar they are to your existing ones. Keep in mind, however, that it can take up to 24 hours for Facebook to develop an audience. Once it's formed, you can use this audience as another means of acquiring new business.
Custom audiences allow you to upload a document of emails or phones numbers into Facebook. Facebook then links that information to actual Facebook accounts. Now, you're able to show up in your audience's news feeds. One way you can use this to your advantage is to upload your prospects' email addresses into Facebook. Then, generate helpful and educational industry-related content that you can place right in front of your prospects. It's a subliminal, easy way to stay in front of potential business.
To set up a custom audience, you need to be on Facebook Ads Manager. Go to Audiences once again. Click Create Audience > Custom Audience > Customer File.
From here, you can upload based on two options: Your first option is choosing a .CSV or TXT file that contains up to 14 identifiers. This can be an email address, phone number, first and last name, zip code and more. The more identifiers you have on your .CSV or TXT file, the more likely Facebook can find that particular consumer. Simply click "next" and follow the simple steps to upload the document.
It may take up to 30 minutes for your custom audience to upload to Facebook. You will be notified as soon as the upload is complete.
As you create these new lookalike and custom audiences, you may have noticed a myriad of other ways to develop new audiences. My biggest advice? Take baby steps. Learn how to optimize your current lists, and continue to add as you move forward.
Lyndsi Stafford is CEO and founder of eLuminate Marketing, a digital marketing agency specializing in online storytelling that is original, authentic, trending and real.