You’ve Tried Facebook Ads with little or No Success

Or maybe the thought of running a Facebook ad, intimidates you to no end. Where do you even begin with this whole digital marketing thing?

In this day and age of technology, it’s more important than ever that local business owners have some kind of an online presence. Most business owners have a Facebook page – but it is not the same as it was 5 years ago.

Facebook has changed the rules, and just having a business page these days is no longer enough. Even if you post something to your page, the odds are that only 10% or less of your total audience will see your post. Whether they will engage by liking or commenting on your post is another matter all together.

Organic reach is down, and you now have to pay to play the game on Facebook to reach your existing audience and also find new fans for your page.

Enter Facebook Ads

I know a lot of small business owners are intimidated by any kind of digital marketing. Just like traditional print advertising, you have to decide if the time and effort will be a good investment of your time, and more importantly your money.

Will it reach the right people? Will you actually get more customers?

The beauty about Facebook ads is that if done the right way, you have the ability to reach significantly more customers and more fans than traditional print advertising ever would.

The information in this blog post is meant to give you some tips on how to advertise well on Facebook and also improve your current digital advertising efforts if you haven’t had much luck in the past.

Tip #1: Have A Clearly Defined Campaign Objective & Call To Action

At the time of this blog post, Facebook currently offers up to 11 Campaign Objectives.

For small and local business owners, my recommendation would be to focus on one of the following:

a. Send people to your website – this entails get more traffic and website visitors. You could do this to raise awareness of your website or have a specific conversion in mind such as collecting email addresses.

b. Promote your Page – it’s important to have people like your page that are actually interested in your business and are more likely to interact, engage and eventually buy from you. This helps to build a genuine audience and get more fans.

c. Reach people near your business – Facebook recently came out with Local Awareness ads that are hyper-targeted to local businesses that are specifically designed to bring customers to your store-front.

d. Raise attendance at your event – Create an event on Facebook and promote it using advertising.

e. Get people to claim your offer – Offer Coupons, guides or specific discounts that people can claim in your store or on your website.


Your Call To Action:

– Go to the Facebook for Business Page

– Click on the blue Create Ad button or the Create Ad tab in the upper right hand corner

-Choose one of the highlighted Campaign Objectives below:


Tip #2. Use an Image or a Video Over Plain Text.

This is a mistake that I see a lot of business owners make on their ads – they log into their Facebook page, throw a post together and click on the Boost Page without being none the wiser.

This is a total waste of your time and money – don’t do it!

Why Images and Videos: We are visual creatures. Images and video have a significantly higher conversion and engagement rate than just plain text. Think about it – on your personal Facebook feed you’re more likely to stop, read and even comment on a post that has a visually appealing picture, right? Do the same for your Facebook business posts to capture people’s attention, especially if you’re going to pay to advertise.

Tips on Using Images for Facebook Ads

a. Design: Follow the recommended Design guidelines by Facebook to get your ad approved.

Go to – this is a specific example for a Local Awareness/Reach people near your business campaign objective.

b. Connect: Use images that have a direct connection to your business – an image of yourself, a video of your employees and your customers, your store – something that draws people in.

c. Visual Appeal: Use an image that is visually appealing, bright, colorful and catches the eye of your potential customer.

d. Consider images that have the following:

-People smiling

-Have a lot of bright and vibrant color -Have your company logo

-Have children and pets

-Are funny

-Have a clear value proposition, such as a free or discounted offer.

Example of a Local Awareness Facebook Ad with the Recommended Design Guidelines

Local Awareness Facebook Ad Guide -

Example of a video ad that was used to promote awareness of the company’s new website


Your Call To Action:

-Go to the Local Awareness Design Guidelines on Facebook to see examples of how to create images for your Facebook add. Feel free to click on the other campaign objectives on the left if it’s different.

-Find images that connect, have visual appeal and meet the 20% text guideline. Use the Facebook Grid Tool to check your ad image before you submit it for approval. This will save you a lot of hassle, time and money.

-Don’t have any images and you need help finding royalty free stock images? Check out this resource list from my other website that gives good information on where to find royalty-free images and how to use them legally.

Tip #3. Make Sure You Are Targeting The Right Audience For Your Business

This is the most powerful feature of Facebook Ads that trumps traditional print advertising and will really help you to get clear on your ideal audience. There’s nothing better than finding the right mix of demographics of fans that actually want to engage with you and buy what you have to offer – because that’s what it’s all about in the end.

If you take away anything from this guide, this is it right here!

When it comes to targeted audiences, there are 3 Tools you can use to test ads and determine your target audience:

-Page Insights: find out basic info about your current audience from your Facebook page such as age, gender and location.

-Audience Insights: to help you to test, target and reach new audiences based on more specific demographics such as location, occupation and home ownership.

-Graph Search: Use this to search for other similar pages that your fans might like so you can target that audience and potentially reach a new set of fans.

Other Tips:

-Use the Power Editor tool to create your ad vs doing a Boost Post on your Facebook Page – the Power Editor allows for more specific audience targeting and will potentially help you to save money in the long run.

-Keep your target audience between 50-100K people for the most effective advertising. Any less and you don’t have a wide enough pool. Any more and your ads start to get lost in the mix and your efforts become saturated.

Additional Resources:

Audience Insights
From Facebook: What Is a Custom Audience?
Power Editor Basics



To get to your page insights, go to your Facebook page and click on Insights.


To get demographic information about the people that currently Like your Facebook business page click Local on the left hand side.

Scroll down to Demographics. Here you can view a breakdown by age, gender, home location or both age and gender. Here’s the specific information for Scappoose Web Design.


Based on the information here, I’m able to gather the following:

-The majority of my audience is between the ages of 25-54
-Almost 30% of my audience is between the ages of 25 to 34
-When I click on gender, 54% of my audience is female
-97% are local to the Columbia County area.

This is really useful information for me to know when I’m getting ready to put my ad together for targeting purposes or when I’m trying to expand my reach.

Tip!: You can also look at the type of content you’ve posted in the past that has gotten a lot of likes or engagement – this is also useful to help you with your ad creation.

Your Call to Action:

-Go your Facebook business page, click on Insights and start to look at your demographics to give you an idea of your existing fan base. What are some trends that you’re seeing?


Audience Insights is a fantastic research tool to help you:

-Find out where your ideal customer avatar hangs out on Facebook
-Get specific demographic information such as lifestyle – e.g. purchasing behavior, homeownership status)
-Get information on new audiences, new pages and new interests you may want to target

To start using Audience Insights:

– Go to your Facebook ads manager account. If you have not yet set one up it will walk you through the process:

-Go to Tools > Audience Insights (opens up in a new browser tab).

It will ask if you want to connect with everyone on Facebook or those connected to your Facebook page. My recommendation is to start with people connected to your Facebook page, because that’s your existing fan base, and you want to find more people like your existing fans.

Here’s the Facebook Ads Manager:


Here’s the Audience Insights Manager:


Here’s a Sample Audience pool I created of Columbia County, Oregon – based on location and zip codes in the area:


Use the information on the left hand side ( highlighted) to create your ideal audience. There are a lot of variables to play around with, so have fun with it! Don’t forget to save your sample audience when you’re done, so you can run Facebook ads using this ideal audience that you’ve created.

Your Call To Action:

-Log into your Facebook Ads Manager account.

Go to Tools >Audience Insights and choose People Connected to Your Facebook Page. If you find this isn’t creating a wide enough audience, then you can go back and start with Everyone on Facebook to narrow it down.

-Review the behaviors of your existing audience and start to create an audience based on existing demographics. Don’t forget to save your audience you’ve created after you’ve done your research.

-Create multiple variations of your audience sample so you can test them against each other to see which is the most effective.

-Don’t limit your research to the Demographics section. Look at Page Likes, Location, Activity, Household and Purchase to give you some more ideas.

-Don’t forget to keep your audience size between 50-100K people for the best results.


This is helpful to give you some new targeting ideas of similar pages or seeing what other pages your own fans like.

Results from a search “pages liked by people who like City of Scappoose”


Your Call To Action:

Use the graph search to do some research of similar pages to give you an idea of what local pages your audience likes or supports.

Tip #4. Offer Something Of Value For FREE

The big difference between Google Ads and Facebook Ads is that people are not actively searching to buy products or services on Facebook. They are for Google Ads.

The big mistake most small businesses make with their Facebook ads is that they dont give their audience an incentive to visit their store – whether local or online. The best way aroud this is to build trust with your audience and therefore get visitors to convert into customers.

So instead of placing an ad to directly sell your products or services, offer something to your audience that they can take advantage of for free or something that provides a lot of value.


1. A free guide that speaks to your expertise as a business owner – if you’re a real estate agent or a financial planner, offering a free guide to home buying in Columbia County or a free financial planning guide.
2. A free workshop to an upcoming local event.
3. A coupon that’s an exclusive offer on Facebook to your restaurant, grocery store or local shop.

Example of a successful coupon ad from a local grocer:

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 2.57.37 PM

Your Call To Action:

-If you don’t already have one, create some type of offer or incentive that you can use to attract your customers to your store or website. Create something that would be helpful to your. audience to help build that know, like and trust factor.

Tip! If you are a brick and mortar business, sell products and physical goods or have an entertainment business ( example bowling alley, hotel or children’s play place) a coupon or one- time offer is a great option.

If you’re a service-based business ( accountant, real estate agent, financial planner, freelancer) offering a free guide as a download from you website or Facebook page is a great option.

Tip #5. Test & Track Your Ads For Better Results & Conversions

Last but not least, test, test and test some more! Facebook ads are as much of an art as they are a science. Unless you’ve got a Facebook Ads expert by your side, you won’t get the results you’re looking for on the first or even second try.

The only way you’ll be able to figure out what’s working for your ads is if you test your ads and track your results. This is why it’s so important to define your Campaign Objective before you start to create your ad, so you can measure and track your results properly.

If you’ve run Facebook ads in the past with no conversions or poor results, look back and figure our what it was that you were trying to achieve in the first place.

The question that needs to be answered: What do you want people to do when they see your ad?

-Like Your Page?
-Claim your coupon?
-Get people to your website?
-Get their email address?
-Visit your store?
-Attend your event?

Some things to remember when testing and tracking:

a. The #1 metric to focus on is cost per conversions aka how much you’re spending to get a sales lead for your business. As long as the value of the sales lead is higher than what you’re paying for it, then your ads are profitable.

Rule of thumb – if conversion are costing you $0.50 or less, that’s a great indicator your ads are working well!

b. Do A/B Split Testing: Create multiple versions of your ad to test them against each other. For example you can test variables such as the headline, the photo, video the call to action, the ad copy, the audience, etc.

This is important so if you do see an increase or decrease in conversions when you change a variable, you can isolate what that specific variable is, and adjust accordingly.

c. Conversion Pixels: If the goal of your ad is to get some type of conversion ( an email address or the sale of a product from your website), then you’ll want to create and install a conversion pixel to help you track and optimize your results from Facebook ads. Find out more about the Facebook Pixel.

How to Track the results of your Facebook Ad:

-As you start to run ad campaigns, you’ll be able to see your results in your Facebook Ads Manager. You’ll be able to see results based on total reach, cost per conversion and amount spent.

Additional Resources:

Facebook Measurement Basics
Conversion Measurement Guide from Facebook
Meausure Results in Ad Manager

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 8.13.07 PM

Your Call To Action:

Now that you’ve got some great information on Facebook ads, it’s time to start executing! Start running Facebook Ads, test, measure and improve your ads so you can get the results that you want to improve your business, get more leads and make more money!

How Do I Know This Will Work?

-Trying something new and outside your comfort zone can be scary. But that’s where the magic happens right? Check out some of these stories from local business owners that had some great success by running Facebook ads!

Click on the pictures to get to their stories.



Feeling Overwhelmed by all the information here? Let’s Consider Working Together

I’ve provided a lot of useful information in this guide – but if after reading you feel like you might need a little extra hand holding, I’m more than happy to help out your local business create a better online presence.

Here’s how we can work together:

Web Design Services

Having a Facebook page is one part of the equation. Let me help you to continue the interaction and conversion with your customers off Facebook and onto your business website. Click here to view my Web Design Services.

Graphic Design Services

It’s one thing to have a website and a Facebook page, but you need the right look for your brand. If you find that you’re struggling with your visual branding( logos, graphics, etc.), this is a great service to look into. Click here to view my Graphic Design Services.

Social Media Consulting Services:

This service includes:
-Assistance in creating Facebook Ad graphics based on Campaign Objectives
-Assistance in researching and creating audiences for your Ad campaign
-Help with reviewing, tracking and testing Facebook Ads
At this time I do not offer social media management services (i.e. managing your Facebook page on an on-going basis)

My rate options:

-$250/ 5 hours monthly retainer option
-$500/10 hours monthly retainer option

Ready to get your online presence going and get found by more customers?

Email me: [email protected] so we can start working together.