If there was ever a time to start Facebook advertising, it’s now. The social media giant reported a staggering increase in usage and engagement across it’s messaging services, feed, and Stories in March. Also, many businesses have halted their campaigns.

So, increased viewership plus a decrease in ad spending becomes a big opportunity for small businesses to get in the game at a discount.

How can you make the most of your advertising dollars in the current environment?

  1. Start with a measurable goal
  2. Set your daily budget using your goal statement
  3. Test different strategies to lower your CPA (cost per action)

Your successful campaign should start with a goal.

Whether a business has $10 or $10,000 to dedicate toward paid advertising, it’s imperative to create a foundation first. You should do this by setting your goals with your revenue in mind.

According to Social Media Examiner, it helps to ask yourself, “What budget do we need to generate $in revenue with Facebook ads?” Here’s a closer look at how SME breaks this down question:

  • You find that Facebook ads can best serve your business through lead generation, and your target revenue is to reach $10,000 per month. The profit margin for your products or services is about $1000. To hit your revenue goal, you need Facebook to bring in 10 sales per month.
  • You also know you need an average of 12 leads to get one sale. This means your campaign needs to bring in 120 leads to satisfy the potential to reach ten sales.
  • So, your goal statement will look something like this: “To reach $10,000 in revenue per month, I will use Facebook Lead Forms to collect 120 leads month over month.” This statement is functional and trackable, which is perfect for ad campaigns.

How to outline a budget from your goals?

Now that you know what you’re trying to do, you’ll be able to set the right budget when you’re inside Facebook’s Ads Manager.

The first step is working from a benchmark. If you’ve run ads before, always use your performance data over industry standards. On the other hand, if this is your first shot at running ads, use industry standards as an initial baseline while continuously monitoring your own performance data as it grows.

Wordstream has a fantastic resource that showcases industry rates for Average Click-Through Rate (CTR), Average Cost per Click (CPC), Average Conversion Rate, and Average Cost per Action (CPA).

Using the example from before, we need 120 leads to reach our goal per month, and let’s say you’re in the apparel industry. WordStream’s industry rates graphic tells us an apparel business would be looking at an estimated cost per action of $11.

This means you’re looking at spending around $1320 per month or $44 per day for 30 days. To break it down even further, you would be bringing in 4 leads per day. Theoretically, you spent $1320 to hit $10,000 in sales.

Do you need to spend over $1000 to see results like this? Not necessarily. It all goes back to evaluating your goals, setting a benchmark, and working to lower the CPA.

Follow this quick list of strategies to lower your CPA.

  1. Test the performance of a custom conversion versus a Facebook lead form if you’re looking to generate leads.
  2. Use Facebook’s Audience Insights tool to help you put an interest audience together. It’s very beneficial if you already have an understanding of your target customer’s demographics, pain points, and online/offline behaviors.
  3. If you are using a cold audience, keep it broad (1 million – 5 million). Let Facebook’s algorithm do its job. As long as you set the right objective (as it pertains to your goal) and offer relevant value in your ad, Facebook will deliver your ad to the right people.
  4. Keep an eye out for retargeting opportunities: Facebook or Instagram post engagement, video views, website visitors, and your email list, to name a few.
  5. Use the Audience Exclusion feature to decrease the chance of campaign overlap.
  6. A/B test (compare two versions of the same element for performance) your creative, text, and headline. Make sure you’re only testing one new element at a time!
  7. Take advantage of video and be mindful of using the correct specs.

Final Thoughts  

It IS possible to be successful with Facebook advertising on a small budget – when you have a strategy in place! Set goals, determine a plan, and monitor results. With a little time and effort, you can make your dollars work harder and reach farther, no matter how limited your funds.