I’ve always considered myself a bit of an early adopter of Facebook. I joined the social network back in 2004, before high schoolers, or anyone with an email address could join. Way before businesses had pages, and before paid advertising on the platform was even a thing. I've seen the evolution of Facebook to where it is today. Now, Facebook is the largest social platform on the internet with over 1 billion users and is a crucial component to marketing strategy for many businesses - big and small.
I’ve learned, after working with a handful of small businesses, that Facebook is magic for marketers and small business owners alike. Why? Well, there are two truths that small businesses looking to grow should accept: you have to market your business and you have to spend money to do it. Facebook allows you to not only market your business, but market it well on a miniscule budget.
Why Independent Pharmacies should try Facebook Ads
It’s a numbers game really. There are over 1.4 billion Facebook users with over 900 million visits every day. Thanks to those numbers, Facebook advertising can give a business an incredible reach – even with small budgets. This is a great opportunity for independent pharmacies to market themselves to young families in their community and be forward thinking in terms of promoting themselves locally online.
Facebook ads work similar to other online advertising platforms like Google Adwords in the pay-per-click/pay-per-impression rate. But, thanks to all that personal information that Facebook captures from its users, ads can be targeted to age, gender, location, education, religion, politics, job title, marital status, and interests. For independent pharmacies, targeting based on location, age, gender and marital status is most beneficial, though you can probably also target based on interests related to parenting.
One of our customers recently asked us why their Facebook page, even with a once decently engaged audience, was now getting next to no engagement. They asked if Facebook ads would be useful to which we told them, absolutely. After all, the past couple of years have seen a decline in organic facebook reach for businesses. More so now that Facebook has again changed their algorithm – so even a company with an outstanding and active audience, is still only seeing an average of 5% organic reach. Knowing those facts, and what an easy tool Facebook is to use for even the smallest business, I realized every Independent pharmacy should be utilizing Facebook ads to promote themselves and their services. Why? Because of the wide reach and the low-cost - the cost of entry to Facebook ads is as low as $1 per day, so even the smallest of budgets has the opportunity to make an impact when it comes to Facebook advertising.
So how do you get started and what do you need to know? Getting started is easy and below are four tips to help be successful with your Facebook advertising campaign.
Four tips to Facebook Advertising Success
1. Pick an Objective
What are you looking to accomplish? Are you looking to boost a post? Your page? Send people to your website? Reach people near your business? Or promote an offer? Facebook ads should be thought of similar to the marketing funnel: awareness, consideration, and conversion and the ads should reflect each stage. Driving people to your website for instance would be an awareness stage and could be targeted more broadly, whereas, promoting a specific instore offer would be more of a conversion stage offer and could be targeted to your current base and their friends. Mapping out your advertising offers and goals can help determine which objective to choose when setting up your Facebook campaign so that you can be presented with the best suited ad options.
2. Choose your Audience
Facebook has amazing analytic tools through Facebook Audience Insights. It’s free and provides massive demographic and behavior data on your audience, as well as that of your competitors. You may have to experiment to find an audience that fits, remember your goals and objectives when determining a broad audience versus a more targeted one.
3. Be aware of your relevance score
Relevance score is what allows Facebook to deliver pertinent ads to users. It’s based on the positive and negative feedback they expect an ad to receive from its target audience. The more positive interactions an ad receives the higher the score will be. Positive indicators in this case can be anything from likes, shares, video views, clicks or conversions. Negative indicators are being reported as spam, or having your ad hideen. Why does this score matter? For starters, the higher your relevance score, the lower your cost to reach your audience. Facebook's goal is to show the right content to the right audience, and relevance score is a tool that helps them do that. However, other factors go into ad delivery too – let’s not neglect bid (price you’re willing to pay) and your own campaign goals. It is possible – depending on your campaign objective – to have a successful campaign with a “just-okay” relevance score. Play around with your targeting, your bid, and your message and see what gets you the best results.
4. Use an engaging and relevant image
- Because there’s not a lot of real estate (Text can only cover 20% of your ad image), it’s important to get to the point quickly with one call-to-action – regardless of what that action is. Consider images with bright colors and faces as they tend to pop more and will stand out in the newsfeed or sidebar. Want to try video with Facebook ads? They can be incredibly impactful BUT should be kept to 30 seconds or less.
On top of all of these, Facebook allows you to choose your budget per day, and the length that you want your campaign to run. This is a great opportunity to experiment and monitor as you go to ensure you’re seeing the results you want to see. Remember, the first step is always setting your objective because, as with any marketing activity, without a clear objective or goal, it is be difficult to measure the success of your marketing efforts if you're not sure what the end goal looks like. Good luck!