Small Budget Facebook Campaigns: How to Make them Work for you
Reasons you might start Facebook Ads with a small budget:
You are new to Facebook ads and want to make sure you can create results before investing a significant amount of money.
You aren’t sure Facebook ads will work for your business, or work at all for that matter.
You want to try many variations of creative, messaging, and audience targeting without spending a ton of money.
You only have a small budget and need to create additional income that you can reinvest with as little risk as possible.
Contact us for a consultation
The best strategies for getting started in Facebook Ads with a smaller budget:
Use ads or posts that are already social proofed:
Start with social proofed or engaging ads: A “social proofed” post or ad on Facebook is one that already has many likes, comments, shares and engagements. If you turn a popular post into an ad, the “social proof” of likes, shares, comments etc. will tell the Facebook algorithm that the post is engaging and something people want to see, leading to lower advertising costs. Don’t forget Facebook first and foremost is a content platform, so they don’t want to serve advertising that people see as annoying and give them reasons to leave their platform. This is the same reason “organic” looking ads also tend to perform better. In most cases, a real picture, even a really bad picture, will outperform a stock photo or professionally designed ad.
People are on social media looking for information about friends and people they know, so any interesting image that looks more like a post than an ad will grab their attention faster. The more (positive) attention your ad gets, the less expensive your ad will be, and in most cases, the more effective it will be as well.
Optimize one step at a time:
If you are optimizing your ad for an action or event, like say a purchase, or a sign-up, many times optimizing for the first step in the process will get you better results on a smaller budget. This is because the Facebook pixel usually needs about 25 events in a week to optimize.
So if you are selling a $500 product, that costs $50 per sale in advertising costs, and you don’t have the ability to spend $1500 a week, the pixel will never complete the optimization process. However, if a click on your ad is $2.00 and you can spend $50 per week, then you can get that first step optimized.
Then you can move the goal to landing page views, which will now be cheaper because you’ve already optimized for clicks, so Facebook knows what kind of people are at least interested enough in your product to click your ad. Once you get 25 landing page views in a week, you can now move to optimizing for ad to carts, and so and on so forth. This will get you optimized for your ultimate goal little by little, without demanding a significant upfront investment, and consequently, significant upfront risk.
Don’t fall in love with Lead ads:
A lot of new advertisers on Facebook fall into the lead ads trap. Lead ads have their place in some campaigns but have serious problems with lead quality.
Because Facebook has made it so easy for someone to sign up for a lead ad, the leads are cheap and the ads on paper seem very effective. The problem comes when you follow up with the lead and they don’t even remember signing up for your offer because it literally took 2 seconds and was 1 of 1500 things they did online that day.
The great numbers tempt many small budget and new advertisers to throw a lot of money at this form of ad quickly, only to realize that the amazing numbers of leads they have acquired have significantly less than amazing potential to become actual customers.
Prioritize results and ROI, not analytics and vanity metrics:
Before you start any digital marketing campaign, Facebook or otherwise, you should determine the value of a customer. The true value of a customer, not just the value of their initial purchase, but their lifetime value, likely upset purchase values etc. If you do this first, you know how much you can spend to acquire a new customer and stay profitable, and when it comes down to it, that’s the only number that matters.
Cost per click, relevancy score, conversion rates, etc. are all great indicators, but none of them matter more than your bottom line. I’ve seen campaigns with terrible conversion rates create tons of income for clients, and I’ve seen campaigns with great numbers in analytics never create enough income to justify the campaign cost. Use indicators for what they are, indicators of where you can improve, and the health of your campaign, but don’t live or die by them, and even worse, don’t fall in love with them. Also, take time to determine which ones you will use as KPI’s before you start the campaign. Don’t fall into the trap of, “oh the conversion rate is terrible, but we are getting tons of page likes so it’s ok” even though conversions is what really mattered. It’s easy to talk yourself into thinking you are doing the right thing when you didn’t define what the right thing is ahead of time.
Scale Your Facebook Ads Slowly:
If you get a home-run ad campaign it’s easy to want to throw all of your money behind it and magnify the results quickly and dramatically, but unfortunately, this can literally break your campaign. Now as with all Facebook algorithm “rules” this one is worth testing because some people find dramatically increasing their campaign spend works just fine, but for the majority of advertisers, especially the smaller budget ones, taking your budget from $5 a day to $500 a day in a week will essentially reset your campaign, and consequently your results.
Like everything else on Facebook, that’s a theory worth testing for your particular situation but maybe wait for that until you aren’t playing with a small budget.
Pay Attention to FB Ad congruency:
Another thing that will keep your ad costs lower and your ad effectiveness strong is to make sure you pay attention to congruency across the entire campaign. If you are advertising to lawyers, and targeting lawyers, mentioning lawyers in your ad copy, and talking about lawyers on the landing page you send the prospect to will make the Facebook algorithm happy, and will keep your prospect from getting confused as they go through the different steps of your campaign.
Other things to consider to keep your ad costs low:
Use retargeting ads: Facebook retargeting ads allow you to run a broad ad in front, and then lower budget and more effective ads to a more defined audience on the back end, bringing your average cost per ad down.
Keep your ad account in good standing: Missing payments, violating Facebook policies, and trying to advertise products Facebook doesn’t like or in a way they don’t like are all good ways to lower your advertiser rating and increase your Facebook Ads cost.
Try out Facebook’s newest offering: Facebook is always adding new advertising options and tools, and they usually favor the adventurous by giving very low ad costs on these new ad types. You might get burned by an ineffective new ad style, but you also might trip into a pot of gold with something that converts at pennies on the dollar, so it’s usually worth testing out.