If I had $50 for every time I’d heard someone say “Facebook Ads don’t work for me”, I’d have around $6,850. Start-up founders and business owners I’ve spoken with all say the same thing: Facebook Ads don’t work for my business.
This may sound harsh, but, here goes: Your business isn’t special or unique.
Ouch. That hurt, didn’t it?
I recently ran a quick poll in the Facebook group, Like-Minded Bitches Drinking Wine, and of the fellow wine-drinkers who replied, over half said that Facebook ads didn’t work for their business.
More than half. Like, over 50%. The majority. Plus de cinquante pour cent (pardon my French).
I don’t buy it though. It’s easier to dismiss the platform as not working for your business than it is to put in the time and effort to learn, strategise and execute properly. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not blaming you for a second. There is way too much conflicting information out there. There are way too many glorified used-car salesmen attempting to teach you Facebook Ad “hacks” that will 10x your email list overnight. All these people rush to tell you their latest tricks, when what you really need to learn is the basics.
(Side note: It’s very easy to 10x your email list from 2 contacts to 20 overnight).
There are a few types of businesses that Facebook ads WON’T work for, but I’m willing to bet the entire 2 cents I have to my name (#startuplife) that yours isn’t one of them.
Cue the excuses…
There’s a common misconception that Facebook ads won’t work for B2B businesses. Unless you’re Business to Budgie, Beaver or Bat, there’s no reason why Facebook Ads shouldn’t work for you.
Sure, Facebook has more of a personal vibe than, say, Linkedin or even Twitter. However, the businesses you’re targeting typically have people who make the big decisions, right? If the businesses you’re targeting have robots deciding whether or not to work with you, then you can accept that Facebook Ads probably won’t work for your business.
Anyway, what do (human) decision-makers do on their morning commute? What are they scrolling through while waiting in line for their mid-morning coffee? Just because they might be the big dogs, doesn’t mean they’re not also checking Facebook 25 times a day. Or maybe that’s just me (minus the big dog part – I’m more of a miniature sausage dog).
They’re a bit harder to target, sure. But, Facebook has some pretty powerful targeting options, so it’s definitely possible. You just have to don your best camo gear and invest in some strong binoculars and rubber-soled shoes… Walkie-talkies? Check.
(Disclaimer: if this is the first time we’ve met, please take everything I say with a quarter cup of salt).
One of my favourite tactics is targeting people initially on Linkedin and then retargeting them with Facebook Ads. First, capture their attention with Linkedin Ads or send them cold InMail messages with a call to action driving them to your website. Then, get all stalkerish and retarget them on Facebook.
Oh, well clearly advertising won’t work for you then… Right? Wrong. Believe it or not, there are people on the internet who will get into their car and drive to your store if you’ve got something they want.
Just because someone can’t click through your ad to purchase doesn’t mean that your ad spend is a complete waste. Facebook ads are a fantastic way to grow brand awareness, build your email list and nurture trust with people who might one day become paying customers.
Just make sure you’re targeting people near your store – i.e. don’t target people in Rome, Italy, when your store is in Roma, Queensland.
Just because your product isn’t tangible doesn’t mean it’s not advertisable. Not entirely sure advertisable is a real word, but you catch my drift.
Sure, you mightn’t have the pretty product photos that your physical product friends do but this is actually a good thing. Product photographers aren’t cheap, so big cash money savings for you.
Anyway, even without pretty photos, you can still use Facebook Ads to grow your email list, nurture trust and magically transform your visitors into paying clients. Ad-bracadabra.
If you’re selling a high ticket item then you have even more of a reason to use Facebook ads. Your customer buying journey is likely longer than your el cheapo counterparts. Ads can nudge your customers/clients along a bit quicker by building trust and reminding them that you exist.
Aaaaand, we have those of you who think that because you sell a physical product, ads don’t work for you either. Spoiler alert: They work.
I see you sitting there, shaking your head at me. Before you disappear off in a cloud of angry smoke, let me ask you two questions:
(1) Did you target people who had never been in contact with your business? And,
(2) Did you show them an ad for your product?
If you answered yes to both of these questions, we need to talk.
My 87-year-old Italian Nonna hasn’t figured out Facebook (thank goodness), but the oldies these days are getting more and more tech-savvy.
If you’re targeting people in their, uh, golden years with ads to buy your product online, you might have some issues convincing them that it’s safe to hand over their credit card details. You might also struggle if you’re selling clothes or shoes, as they’ll want to try them on.
But, the audience is there if you’re trying to advertise something appropriate.
Is your audience over 13? Yes? Then they’re not too young.
Sure, Facebook has some specific rules for ads targeted to people under 17, but there’s no actual reason why you can’t target your ads to them.
Be mindful of the fact that those under 18 probably won’t have their own credit card yet, so look into payment alternatives. Oh, and maybe don’t go all-in on Facebook alone. Check out other platforms too, as the youngins are spending less and less time on Facebook these days.
This makes me feel so old.
Finally, a legit excuse. Yeah, look, if you’re selling something illegal, Facebook Ads probably definitely maybe won’t work for you.
That said, you’ll find that most (if not all) paid advertising channels don’t work for your business. Anyway, your target audience won’t be looking for you on Facebook. They know a guy who knows a guy.
Whilst the Amish are becoming more connected these days, if you target your product to someone based on personal attributes (religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, medical conditions, etc.), you need to be careful as FB’s advertising policy is a fine line.
So, before you start claiming that Facebook Ads don’t work for your business, try to troubleshoot where you’re going wrong first.
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