How to Use Facebook Ads to Drive Traffic to Your Online Business
As an entrepreneur, setting up your website is only one part of growing a successful business. After designing a professional eCommerce website, adding all of your products or services, and setting up payment methods, you still need to make sure that customers can find you. While SEO can do a lot to bring organic traffic to your website, paid Facebook ads are also a great way to increase your brand visibility and let the world know what you have to offer.
And they’re not as complicated to set up as you think. In fact, by following a couple simple steps, you can create a paid Facebook Ads campaign that drives customers to your online business.
Facebook Paid Advertising
Facebook is one of the most popular platforms that businesses, both large and small, choose to advertise on. For smaller businesses, the draw here is that they don’t need to spend heaps of money on reaching their target audience. With a smart, targeted campaign, business owners like you can speak to engaged audiences and encourage them to take action.
Wondering how targeting works on Facebook? Once you choose to run a campaign, Facebook ads let you choose user profiles by age, geographic information, gender, level of computer experience—even interests, behaviors and traits. If you own an online kids clothing store, this is great news since you can target parents with young children. What’s even better is that since you can target that same group based on behavior, you can find users who have searched for kids clothing stores before and sell to them.
Facebook is also a really helpful platform for spreading the word about your brand. Because it’s a platform built on the idea of sharing, Facebook ads let your target audience tell others in their social circle about what you’re selling. And if you have a Facebook page, all the better. You can gather page members, a social media database of sorts, which is an engaged user base you can sell to on a regular basis.
Facebook ads come with a lot of options for advertisers, which is why at first glance, it can seem really overwhelming. But if you approach the platform with a focused and clear vision of what you want to achieve and who you want to target, you can easily make it work for you.
01. Setting up Your Facebook Business Manager
This is your central place to manage all of your ads, and get insights into how they’re performing. To start, go to the Facebook Business Manager and create an account for your eCommerce business. From there, it’s easy to create additional accounts to run ads. Just go to the Business Manager menu, choose Business Settings, and under the Accounts dropdown, choose Ad Accounts. Then, choose Create a New Ad Account and follow the steps to set up your first campaign.
02. Adding Facebook Pixel to Your Website
Next, you’ll need to install a Facebook Pixel on your website. This lets you track the success of ads you run on Facebook. Put simply, a Facebook Pixel is a code that you create in the Facebook Business Manager. You embed this code on your website before running your first ad. If you have a Wix site, setting up your Facebook Pixel is simple. All you need to do is connect your website to Facebook and copy the Pixel ID.
From your Wix site dashboard, go to Marketing Integrations.
Select Facebook Pixel.
Click Go For It.
Then in the top right, choose Connect Facebook Pixel.
Enter your Facebook Pixel ID.
In just a few hours after set up, you’ll be able to track your visitors, purchases and even how many products or services people added to their carts.
03. Choosing Your Audience
Once you’re set up with the code, it’s time to decide who to target. Think carefully about who your customers are and their purchasing behavior. It can be tempting to try and sell to everyone. But by narrowing down your audience, you increase your chances of finding people who not only want your items, but have the disposable income it takes to buy them. You can decide who to target in the Audiences section of the Business Manager. There, you’ll need to decide whether to retarget or prospect. Don’t be intimidated by these terms.
Retargeting means you you’re selling to someone who has already visited your business website, or found you on Instagram.
Prospecting means reaching out to new customers.
Retargeting is a great way to find customers with intent to buy. This is a very effective form of advertising on Facebook since you’re selling to people who have expressed some interest in your brand, products or services.
To create an audience for your Facebook ads campaign:
Go to the Facebook ads Business Manager.
Then, click Create a Custom Audience.
You’ll be presented with a list of sources you can use for retargeting, such as website traffic, customer file and engagement.
Website traffic is the list you’d use to reach people who’ve visited your website before. It’s split into the pages they visited and actions they’ve taken, like adding a product to their cart.
Customer file is where you can upload email addresses and contact info customers have given you. Facebook ads will automatically match this file with customers in its records. As a result, your ad campaigns will target an audience similar to your existing customers.
Engagement is an option that allows you to send ads to anyone who has liked, commented on or shared anything that you’ve posted from your business or Facebook page. While these people do not typically have high intent to buy, they show some interaction with your business, which makes them a worthwhile audience to try and hook.
Prospecting is the act of looking for new customers on Facebook. For a small business owner, this can be tough to do effectively. With billions of users on Facebook, it’s hard to decide who might want your products or services. If you decide to go this route, you can use two prospecting tools created by Facebook that make this process easier.
First, you can Create a Lookalike Audience. This feature uses a list of your existing customers to create a new target audience made up of people who are similar to them. The percentage of similarity is your measure of how much like your existing customers they are. For example, if you choose a 1% lookalike audience, you’re going for prospects who are most similar to your existing customers.
The other helpful tool is the ability to choose your prospects’ behavior, demographics and interests. While this tool is straightforward, it’s recommended to play around with the Audience Insights tool. It’ll help you narrow down your audience and test your ads to determine the right prospects.
04. Creating Your Ad Campaign
Noticed how some of the ads you see on Facebook have the word “sponsored”? These are all part of a campaign created by brands and targeting Facebook users like you. To set up similar campaigns, you’ll need to decide which ads will form your campaigns. Simply put, a campaign is like a collection of ads. As an advertiser, you’ll need to decide which ads to show to which target audience.
To create your first campaign:
Go to the Business Manager.
Select Ad Manager.
Choose and set your main objective, either Awareness, Conversions or Consideration.
Name your ad campaign.
Choosing any of the options under Awareness means that you want more people to know about you and what you’re selling. This is a low cost way to increase brand awareness. If you’re hoping to make more sales, choose any of the Conversions options (which can cost a little more). Finally, if you want to try to get more engagement on social media, try the Consideration option.
It’s important to know each option requires you to pay for your ad, but payment is not calculated in regards to your choice. The cost of your ads is related to impressions, which is the number of people that your ad will be shown to.
Don’t forget to name your ad campaign too. Naming helps you keep tabs on which campaign you’ve run at what time and for what reason.
Tip: Try to come up with a naming system that helps you identify your campaigns at a glance. A structure like Audience/Goal/Date works really well. Here’s how that might look: Retargeting/Sales/Sept17.
05. Creating New Ad Sets
When you’re directed to create ad sets, Facebook will prompt you to consider which audience you want to target, how much money you want to spend and where your ads will be placed.
When choosing your audience, refine even further. Is there a specific location you’re targeting? How about a gender? And consider adding an age range if you have products or services that are targeted at young professionals, working moms or executives.
Next, you have to set your budget and how long your campaign will run. How do you know how much to spend? The simplest way to determine this is to think about how much money is in your marketing budget and how much your products/services cost. A small marketing budget is okay. It doesn’t make sense to spend more than you can afford. For example, if you’re selling a lot of lower cost products, like slime making kits for kids, a lower cost campaign could net you more sales. But if your products are costly, you may want to increase your marketing budget.
You’ll also need to think about the goal for this campaign. Are you aiming for more engagement? Or are you trying to drive sales? Since getting new customers is more expensive than spreading your brand message, consider upping your budget on sales-driven ads.
Finally, review options for where your ad will appear. Facebook owns a number of platforms (including Instagram), and that means you have the opportunity to show your ads to potential customers outside of the traditional Facebook Newsfeed.
Keep in mind, your ads will take time to make a mark. Facebook ads uses an algorithm that takes time to optimize. So beyond the information you’ve added to active campaigns, you also need to give Facebook time to learn about your brand, ads and audience.
06. What Your Ads Will Look Like
This last step (and definitely the most exciting) is choosing what your ad will look like. This is what your target audience will see in their Facebook feed. You’ve probably noticed that most online business ads on Facebook showcase products/services and there’s a reason for this. It shows people what they’re getting if they visit your business. Will you showcase your products, services or online business? Think about the purpose of your ad: Are you driving sales, or raising brand awareness? The answer to that question will help you figure out how to approach your ad creative.
One of the biggest features of Facebook is their product catalog. This is a channel that lets you showcase a variety of your products. Once you have your catalog set up, you can create a dynamic ad to show users a slideshow of your products.
Optimizing Your Ads
So you’re all set up and your ads are running on Facebook—great! But the smart entrepreneur never rests, right? It’s important that even after your ads are on Facebook, that you keep going back and trying to understand what is working, and what isn’t. Review your Facebook ads daily to see if you’re getting likes, clicks and more.
Your ads can take time to work, so try to get about 1,000 impressions before you decide whether to close them, or add more money to your budget.
Setting up paid ads on Facebook can seem really daunting the first time you do it, but with its intuitive user interface and helpful guides along the way, you’ll be a pro in no time.
Ready to drive traffic to your site? Create your Facebook Ads campaign now.
Marketing Writer, Wix eCommerce
Brielle is a Colorado native with a passion for innovation and helping to mobilize entrepreneurs. Brielle is a marketing writer for Wix eCommerce, which powers over 700k online stores worldwide.