10 questions to ask yourself before you start running Facebook ads

by | Feb 21, 2019 | Facebook Ads: Prepping for success | 0 comments

Want to start running Facebook ads for your business?

Great! Given that 2.23 billion people log in to Facebook every month, you can bet your potential customers are using the platform. Facebook ads are a highly-targeted and effective way of reaching them.

Before you dive in, it’s really important to lay the groundwork. To give your ads the best chance of success, there are a few things you need to get in order first.

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself before you start running adverts on Facebook or Instagram.


Are you ready to invest in Facebook ads? Ask yourself these 10 questions first

1. Do I have a good understanding of who my audience is?

The one difference between a good and a ‘knocked it out of the park’ ad lies in the targeting. One of the huge advantages of Facebook advertising over any other form of traditional or digital advertising is the ability to be laser focussed in who your ads are served to.

But you can only get the targeting right if you know your audience really well to start with. And I don’t just mean “my audience is mums” or “my audience is brides to be” or “my audience is small business owners”. You need to go deeper than that. Much deeper.

As a starting point, consider things like:

  • Where they shop
  • Which brands they champion
  • Where they spend their time online
  • Who they follow online
  • Where they get their news
  • Which podcasts or radio shows they listen to
  • What they watch on TV or online
  • What magazines and newspapers they buy
  • Where they live and whether they own their home
  • Who they live with and what their marital/parental status is
  • What their job/income situation is
  • What their hobbies and interests are
  • How they spend their days, evenings and weekends
  • How they spend their holidays
  • What they wish they could do more of
  • What they want to be different in their lives
  • How they want to feel
  • What’s most important to them
  • What causes they support
  • Their politics
  • Their religious or spiritual beliefs
  • Any access or support needs they may have

The more you know your audience(s), the better you’ll understand their challenges and pain points (which you’ll want to call out in your ad copy).

Top tip: Don’t make it up. Look to your audience and get to know them. Think of it like getting to know a group of friends in real life — show a genuine interest, follow what they’re up to and ask them questions.

2. Do I know what I’m trying to achieve?

Once you’ve got your audience sussed, you need to make sure you have a good understanding of what you’re trying to achieve with your Facebook ads.

Do you want to boost brand awareness? Increase your Facebook Page likes? Grow your mailing list? Sell your products or services?

The first thing you’ll need to do when setting up an ad is to choose your objective. Get this bit wrong and your ad won’t be shown to the right pool of people within your target audience. Get really clear on your objectives upfront and you’ll see better results.

But remember, often an audience will need warming up before they buy. So if it’s sales or leads you’re ultimately after (especially if your products command a high price point), consider whether you need to add in some ads to increase brand awareness and build know, like and trust first.


3. Do I know the numbers in my business?


As an online retailer, it’s important that you have a good handle on the numbers when it comes to the cost of your products and sales.

With all associated costs and fees taken into account, how much profit are you making on the average order?

When you know the cost and price of an average order and what you want or need your profit margins to be, you’ll be able to work our your budget for Facebook ads.

If you’re struggling here check out Catherine Erdly at The Resilient Retail Club. She offers a pricing and profit review, among other things, to help product-based business become more resilient.

Read Catherine’s blog on pricing your products or listen to her podcast about healthy profit margins.


4. What budget do I have for advertising and is it realistic?


Most clients that come my way have no idea how much money they should be investing in Facebook ads. And, unfortunately, there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all answer!

Think about how much you can afford. And then consider whether this is likely to get you the result you need. Be realistic. You can’t expect to sell a £1,000 product ten times over by only investing £100. The higher the price point of your product, the more you will need to invest.

As a rough guide, I recommend setting aside £10 per Ad Set (audience) for each day you want to advertise. So, if you are advertising on an ongoing basis, you’ll need £300 per audience per month. For a funnel, it’s wise to have £1K+ set aside per month.

When considering your budget, it’s also important to remember that results with Facebook ads aren’t instant. You’ll need to set aside some budget upfront for testing different audiences and creative elements.


5. What is my hook or offer?


Ads often work best if you have a hook or offer to grab your audience’s attention and/or create a need for urgency.

For example, is what you’re offering time-limited? Maybe you have a discount code? Or can offer free postage?

Make a list of your potential hooks or offers now. When it comes to putting together your ad copy you’ll have ideas to work with.


6. Is my website and/or landing page(s) up to scratch?


When a customer visits your online shop they’re hoping for a positive, seamless experience. They want to find what they’re looking for quickly and they expect a thoughtful, informative experience as they browse and buy.

If you’re spending money on ads to drive potential customers to a site that’s slow, hard to navigate, looks untrustworthy, doesn’t work properly or has a complicated checkout process; you’re wasting money. Ads don’t fix store conversion problems.

Before you begin a new campaign, check your online store to make sure it:

  • Loads quickly
  • Is mobile-friendly
  • Is on brand with the copy and creative in the ads
  • Displays what the person clicking on the ad would expect to see
  • Doesn’t have pop-ups interfering with the experience on the page
  • Doesn’t contain any hidden surprises – for example, huge postage costs, payment in an unexpected currency or unexpected terms and conditions.

If your website and/or landing page(s) aren’t up to scratch, you risk spending money driving people there only for them to be put off by what they see. Consider the entire customer journey before you invest in Facebook ads.

Do this before you spend a penny on Facebook ads!

Learn how to optimise your online store for conversions and turn browsers into buyers.


7. Do I have the right creative elements?

One of the aspects to get right if you want a high-performing ad is the creative — what does the ad look like? What does it say?

It helps to gather all of your creative — images, graphics and video content — together in one place before you start running Facebook ads.

Review what you have and consider whether you need to create anything new. There’s nothing more frustrating than starting to put together an ad and then realising you don’t have the right image or video content ready to go.

In my experience running ads for numerous indie retailers, it’s not always the highly-styled, magazine-quality images or content that works in ads. You need a clear, attractive photo but you don’t need a huge budget. User-generated content can work wonders!

Test what works best with your audience and then create more of that.


8. Have I installed the Facebook Pixel?

The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you place on your website (and/or landing pages). When installed, it tracks visitors who visit your website/landing pages and the actions they take.

It’s essential for successful Facebook advertising because it allows you to create custom audiences based on how people interact with your site. That means, for example, that you could advertise to people who have visited your site in the last X number of days or people who have visited a specific page (or product) on your site.

Without the Pixel, you’re missing out on sales.

Learn more: Why and how to add the Facebook Pixel to Shopify


9. Am I GDPR compliant?

Before you begin advertising on Facebook you need to make sure you are GDPR compliant. This includes:

  • Linking to your privacy policy on your website/landing pages
  • Having a cookies pop-up and policy
  • Having GDPR-compliant opt-ins/email lists

For more information on the implications of GDPR on Facebook advertising and the things you need to have in place, I recommend checking out this blog post from Connectio.


10. Have I read the Facebook advertising guidelines?

Last but by no means least, do take the time to read through Facebook’s advertising policies before you begin advertising. Facebook is very strict on what it does and doesn’t allow to be advertised and with the wording and creative used.

You’ll save yourself time, money and stress if you get clued up in advance.

When you can answer YES to all 10 of these questions — congratulations! You’re ready to start running Facebook ads for your business.

If you need support, whether it’s a quick Power Hour to help you troubleshoot an issue, someone to manage your ads for you, or an online course to get you started, I can help.

Get in touch and let’s chat over a virtual cuppa!

Email me: hello@carlystringer.com

Or call: +44(0) 7834 685 384

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Your one-stop-shop for help with Facebook ads

I’m Carly. I offer a range of services and loads of free content to help independent retailers do more with Facebook and Instagram ads. Whether you’re just getting started or trying to advance, I’ve got you covered. Learn more about me or explore the blog for practical tips and insights.

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