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Tips on how small businesses can utilize Facebook for advertising

By Lourie Contaoe
Marketing Strategy & Automation Lead – Marketing
January 23rd, 2019

An Introduction

When small businesses start running ads online, most of them will focus on launching Google Ads campaigns. However, there are many other channels out there that are great for businesses to utilize—one of them being Facebook Ads.

Facebook Ads has two main benefits. The first is that it has granular targeting options to choose from, making it easy to reach your audience. The second is that Facebook has solid retargeting capabilities. The platform lets you remarket to people who have already interacted with your website, helping you close any open-ended sales.

If your audience is on Facebook and you have a clear idea of who your target audience is, Facebook Ads can work wonders for your business. In the following, we’ve prepared some tips on how you can use Facebook Ads for your business. Let’s dive right into it!

Choose your campaign objective carefully

In Facebook Ads, you have many different campaign objectives to choose from. It’s crucial to choose the right objective, as each one comes with access to a specific set of placements. 

You will want to make sure that the objective you ultimately choose is aligned with your marketing goals.

The different types of campaign objectives are as follows:


  • Brand awareness: Great for brands that have just started promoting their product. Great for top-of-funnel campaigns.
  • Reach: For having your ads seen by as many people as possible. 


  • Traffic: For businesses looking to drive visits to their website or app.
  • Engagement: For advertisers that want to drive engagement on their ads. Ex. comments, shares, likes.
  • App installs: Great for advertisers that want to drive new downloads to their app.
  • Video views: Helps you show ads to people who are most likely to watch your ads for at least 2 seconds.
  • Lead generation: Good for helping you collect prospects from form fills.
  • Messages: Drives conversations to your business. Some ways you can use it is by offering support or by answering questions your clients may have.


    • Conversions: For advertisers who want to drive valuable actions on their site.
    • Catalog sales: Great for e-commerce businesses that want to sell on Facebook
    • Store traffic: Drive foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar store


Take advantage of Facebook’s detailed targeting options

The beauty of Facebook Ads is that you can choose from many different targeting options. It can be tempting to select all of them, however, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are my potential clients?
  • What are their online habits?
  • Which demographic groups do they belong to?
  • What interests them or what topics would they be interested in?

Develop unique buyer personas

In order to advertise effectively to the right audience, we recommend building out 4-5 different customer personas depending on your product or service. 

Details to include:

  • List of attributes your ideal customer would have (age, gender, location, education, job title, etc).
  • List of their goals and pain points (how can your product or service help them?).
  • List out tailored marketing messages for each persona

Once you have your personas, be sure to validate them with your team.

Choose your audience

Once you have your personas ready, define your audience through the Ad Set section. Facebook lets you define your audience through basic options, such as Age, Gender, Location, Language, and Interests; the detailed targeting options are endless. However, for a more precise campaign, here are some tips we suggest trying out:

  • Target people who are similar to your current audience by creating a lookalike audience
  • Create custom audiences for remarketing. Through the power of remarketing, Facebook allows you to show your ads to people who have visited your website in the past and have not made a purchase from your store. This is a great way to get back your website visitors and encourage them to make a purchase.

  • Get granular with Facebook’s narrow targeting. Through a subset of categories, Facebook Ads allows you to segment even further than the matches you have selected. With this feature you’re able to cater to a niche audience.

Facebook audience


  • Target your audience based on how users engaged with your content.

Creating a custom Facebook audience

Choose your placements

You can easily reach your audience through automatic or manual placements. Automatic placements allow you to get the most desired results based off your campaign objective. For those starting off with Facebook, we recommend opting with automatic placements as it helps you take control of your budget and costs. It is important to note, however, that some campaign objectives may work better with specific placements.

Manual placements, on the other hand, allow for more flexibility and let you individually select where you would like to showcase your ads. You can choose to advertise on different devices and different platforms (such as Instagram, Messenger, Stories, etc).

Choosing your placements

Creating your ads

Facebook Ads has a wide variety of formats to choose from.

Carousel ads: paint a story of your products or services

With carousel ads, you get to be creative by showcasing your products or services in a continuous panoramic image. Here are some ideas on how you can use carousel ads:

    • Tell an engaging story by using a captivating first image, making users want to scroll to the very end. 

    • Use bold colours and colourful graphics to drive engagement

  • For e-commerce stores, showcase high-quality product images

Create image ads 

Single image ads are a good option to go with when you need to make an ad as soon as possible. Here are some ideas on how you can use ad images:


    • Create different image ads for your different buyer personas.


  • Use faces to help your users identify with your ads.

Grab users’ attention with video ads.

If you need a more effective way to draw attention to your brand, Facebook video ads are a format worth trying out. However, in order for video ads to be effective, they need to be concise, attention-grabbing, and they must have engaging titles and descriptions. Here are some more tips:


  • Video ads don’t have to be complex. Focus on crafting a simple story in a way that keeps your viewers interested until the very end.

The most important part about creating ads is optimizing and testing them to prevent ad fatigue. Doing so will help prevent your audience from becoming overly familiar with your ads.


Building an effective Facebook ad doesn’t require a genius but it does require some time. Make sure not to rush any of these steps or you may end up wasting your ad spend on campaigns that don’t perform. If you need any further guidance with Facebook Ads, consult the Facebook Blueprint for businesses

If you don’t have the time to commit to building effective Facebook Ads, district m has a team of online advertising experts that can use their skills to drive new customers to your business. Reach out to a representative at +1 888-881-6930 or learn more about our service here

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