As part of a global programme to support small businesses, Facebook has launched a Boost With Facebook campaign: a new online platform where small businesses can develop new skills and discover how Facebook can help them grow their business. They have also organised a series of events organised in partnership with the British Chambers of Commerce, during which small businesses can get practical advice in person.
This week, the Facebook team visited Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce in Ashford for a #BoostWithFacebook session. Team PB’s Digital Services Lead Coralie attended the event to discover the latest Facebook Ads trends and learn a bit more about the platform. She shares her top five takeaways that any small business can action today.
1. Define SMART Goals
SMART Goals stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
Before creating any “thumb-stopping” content – content that stops people from scrolling – you need to think about your objectives. Do you want to attract more people to your physical store? Do you want more website visits? More sales on your website or more people signing up to your newsletter?
Once you have figured out your objective, define it further: do you want 100 new customers visiting your store in the next month? Do you want 5,000 more people visiting your website in the next month? Do you want 50 new newsletter sign ups in the next two weeks?
Consider if these goals are achievable and relevant for your business, then start putting a series of actions into place to ensure you reach your goals. And if you don’t reach your goals by the end of your time frame, then look back on your campaigns and figure out why. Were your ads not engaging enough? Did you use the right call to action?
2. Define your target audience
Defining SMART Goals isn’t enough, you need to understand your target audience to ensure you reach relevant people! If you own a vegetarian restaurant, you will want to target people who are already vegetarian, or who have an interest in vegetarianism. Use the Facebook Ads platform to target people by age group, location and interests. It will help you spend money wisely by reaching only relevant people.
For example, if you are a vegetarian restaurant, you will want to add detailed targeting including “Vegetarianism”, “Vegetarian Cuisine”, “Veggie Burger”, “World Vegetarian Day”. “Semi-vegetarianism”, “Vegetable Box Schemes”, “Linda McCartney”, … in your usual catchment area. If you are based in Maidstone, chances are you won’t attract people from Gloucester tomorrow. So, make sure you add the right locations to target.
3. Find the right campaign objective for your business and your goals
You want to ensure you set up the right type of campaign for your SMART goals. If you want to attract more people to your store, then promoting your business locally will be your best option.
If you want more website visits, then you definitely want to select “Traffic”. This will help Facebook Ads target people who are more likely to carry out the actions you want when delivering your ads.
There are plenty of different objectives to choose from, so check out the Facebook Ads platform to figure out what’s right for you.
4. People consume content differently on mobile
Nowadays, people interact with content very differently because they will see most of it on mobile. This means people pay less attention to what they see as they scroll on social media. In fact, research shows that we scroll 90m of content on our phones every day, this is equivalent to the height of Big Ben! So, you can see why people don’t pay attention to every single piece of content they see.
Remember this when you create content! You will need to create original posts that will make people stop scrolling for a few seconds! Will you use bright and contrasting colours to catch people’s eye? Will you use vertical videos on Facebook to take as much screen space as possible? Define what “thumb-stopping” content is to your audience!
Another important thing to remember is that people are most likely to view your content without any sound, so if you’re creating a video, remember to add subtitles to ensure people get your message even if they don’t have the sound on.
5. Creating great content doesn’t have to be expensive
It’s never been easier to create content, but it’s also never been harder to catch people’s attention. You’ll want to focus on content that interest your target audience. Facebook categorises content into three categories, and you can pick from any of them to create the right content for your audience:
- Engage: share how your business got started, how you give back to the community, do a virtual tour of your premises or share your shop front, introduce your employees… This content will help your audience relate and engage with your brand.
- Educate: What makes your product different? Share behind the scenes or short videos to explain how to use your products. Whilst you know everything there is to know about your products and services, chances are most of your customers and potential customers don’t know all there is to know about it. So, educate them and share how awesome you are!
- Excite: Are you opening a new location? Do you have a sale on? Are you organising an event? Share every exciting news with existing and new customers so that they keep engaging and being exciting about your brand.
Once you have picked the content you need to create for your ads, get creative! You don’t need an expensive camera or professional software to do so, all you need is your phone and a couple of apps.
Check out the Facebook Mobile Studio, a great platform with loads of tutorials and free / freemium apps! Download Mojo and Unfold to create Instagram stories, use Boomerang to bring your content to life in a fun way, turn photos into videos with Ripl… All these apps will help you create content on your phone, so you’ve got everything you need at your fingertips!
And remember some simple rules when creating content:
- Integrate your brand in your content so people can identify you quickly
- Create single-minded content: share only one message / post! You don’t want to confuse people.
- Include a strong call to action: is it a discount code, a “Shop Now”, …
- Add motion with a simple animation (Boomerang), animated text or create short videos (Ripl).
- Design for Sound Off: this means including text in your video, adding subtitles… And ensure the sound you include enhances your content.
- Capture attention early: people usually make up their minds in the first three seconds of watching a video.