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What is Facebook advertising – and how could it help you to promote your business online?

Facebook’s scope and strategy have expanded and evolved over the last few years – especially since its acquisition of popular rival network Instagram. This is good news for business owners – especially those who struggle to get exposure on the network.

If your company currently has a page on Facebook – but doesn’t receive the kind of reach and reception for its posts you feel it deserves, advertising on the network could help you to finally get in front of your target audience and turn your presence on the platform into a productive one. Here we explain what Facebook advertising entails, and how you can use it to your advantage.

Facebook advertising is relatively inexpensive

The first thing to say about Facebook advertising is that relatively speaking, it’s very low cost. Compared with hundreds or thousands of pounds required for SEO, print advertising or blogger marketing, the price tag looks miniscule. But it doesn’t have to be. The key here is that the starting point will always be low for businesses who want to dabble informally – but in fact, you could spend hundreds on Facebook advertising – it all depends on how many people you want to reach, and how targeted you want your campaign to be. This is one of its strong points – a sliding scale of cost that is designed to fit in with any marketing budget. Bottom line: you can try Facebook advertising whether you have £10 or £1000 to spare.

Facebook advertising is versatile

As mentioned above, Facebook advertising works on a sliding scale. For example, you can choose to put an ad out to a broad market (or one specific audience) in one specific location, active for a week, for around £5-6. Or you could put out an ad to several target markets across multiple locations for a week – for £50-60. The cost depends on how many potential users you’ll reach – and that depends on your preferences. This is great for businesses that are promoting specific products, services or events (such as sales, launches and limited edition items).

Facebook advertising is great for A/B testing and market research

Some companies use Facebook advertising primarily to analyse their market – not to promote their business. This is because the specific nature of Facebook advertising lends itself perfectly to testing different concepts and promotions. For instance, you can run two (or more) separate ads to an isolated group in exactly the same demographic to gauge their response – or run the same ad amongst different audiences, again to see where you can spend more money more successfully.

Facebook advertising is essential for companies who want to use Facebook to sell

Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms make it increasingly difficult to obtain exposure to anyone – let alone the right groups for your business. This often leads to low reach and engagement for carefully-created content, resulting in many businesses neglecting Facebook altogether, or labelling it a waste of time. But before you throw in the towel on Facebook, it’s important to consider advertising on the network. This is the key to gaining greater exposure – and it’s now one of the only ways you can increase the number of followers and likes you receive.

To excel with Facebook advertising, you’ll need quality content and visuals

Once you’ve mastered the basics of Facebook advertising and you’re ready to give it a go, you’ll need to consider how you’re going to encourage users who view your promotion to click through to your website, or give your page a like. Keep the needs of your target audience front of mind at all times whilst you do this. What will get them going? Where are their pressure points? How can you design and present visuals they can’t resist? Your graphic and accompanying copy must be created with these in mind. Facebook dictates that images mustn’t feature too much text – so this is also something to bear in mind when putting together your advertisement.

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