In recent years, businesses have realized that Facebook is one of the best places to reach customers. Nearly one-fourth of the world’s population is active on the social media platform, making up 68 percent of the overall adult social media user base. It’s the ideal place to reach consumers, especially if you’re trying to target a local audience.

At one time, you could simply post a free marketing message with the hope of reaching those who might be interested in your offerings. However, changes in Facebook’s algorithms have made it difficult to use the platform for marketing without paying. But there is some good news. You can easily launch a Facebook advertising campaign with minimal financial investment.

Boosted Posts

Typically, if you’re posting something to your business’s Facebook page, you create a post and click “Publish.” With a boosted post, you do the same thing you would have done otherwise, but you choose the “Boost Post” option before you publish your update. At that point, you’ll be able to select your target audience and budget. Your message will go beyond your current followers to reach strangers on Facebook who are likely to be interested in your offerings.

But wait – before you pull the trigger on the easiest way to spend money on Facebook Ads, don’t. I do not recommend any of my clients use the boost feature. Get your ad setup properly with conversion analytics, a strong CTA and a purpose! The boost button is like a slot machine…it will take all your money, give you nothing in return and then beg for more.

Engagement Ad

Engagement ads are similar to boosted posts in that you simply create a post, then go through the steps of choosing your audience. You’ll choose “Engagement” as your campaign objective during the campaign creation stage, then identify your target audience. The goal of any engagement campaign is to encourage likes, shares, and interactions. As with all ads, you should use eye-catching images to make sure your posts stand out in newsfeeds, whether that means photos of your team or stock images that represent your industry.

If you post something that goes viral, then you should definitely consider using an engagement ad. Or if you have built a really solid email list and want to get more eyes on your recent email, offer or newsletter, an engagement ad could work for you. But be forewarned: engagement ads are not as effective as well thought out and built Facebook ad campaigns that have measurable conversions. It could be a good way to create brand awareness for your business in a very targeted demographic area.

Pro Tip: Use the Facebook Ad Audience Insight tool to design, develop, and brainstorm an audience for your ad. A warm audience is always going to be the best investment. But you can build lookalike audiences or targeted audiences if you are super clear on who you serve. Aim for a target ad set of one million people minimum and get started on building your audience here >>

Conversion Campaign

Although the end goal of any ad is to convince potential clients to take action, a conversion campaign is specific to getting results. To launch a conversion ad, though, you’ll need to install a Facebook pixel on your website, a fairly simple process. The goal is to send Facebook users from social media directly over to your website, so make sure your ad is compelling enough to get them to take action once they’re there. You’ll want an eye-cathcing image, a strong headline, properly structured copy. Try a few variations in a split test to get the maximum results.

This type of campaign is ideal for encouraging clients to make appointments or check out the various services you offer to make a decision about doing business with you.

The best thing about Facebook campaigns is that you can learn from each iteration and use that data to inform the next round. Take advantage of Facebook analytics to see how your ads performed and try various versions of each ad to see what works best for your own marketing goals.