How to Attract, Reach and Engage Your Customers Audience with Facebook

Facebook is a fantastic platform not only for your social life, but also for your business. You can use it to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your site, and even generate new customers — but only if your strategy is on point.

How to Attract, Reach and Engage Your Customers Audience with Facebook. Source: HubSpot
How to Attract, Reach and Engage Your Customers Audience with Facebook. Source: HubSpot

You’ll learn:

  • How to determine your Facebook marketing objectives
  • Practical tips for building your Facebook audience
  • What content to create and share on Facebook to attract customers
  • How to optimise your Facebook posts to get the most interaction
  • How to maximise reach and lead generation using Facebook ads

Content Summary

Introduction: Why Facebook?
Why Should You Use Ads?
What’s Wrong With Organic?
Finding Your Audience
Part Two: Reaching Your Audience
Website Click Ads
Facebook Lead Ads
Facebook Messenger Ads
Conclusion

Introduction: Why Facebook?

If you’re reading this, you already know that Facebook is a daily part of life for most of the working world. With more than 2.2 billion monthly active users , it’s the largest (and most powerful) distribution network on planet earth.

As a modern marketer, you already probably have a Facebook account for your business. Odds are, you have a decent organic presence on the platform and a strong sense for how important social media is to your business’s bottom line.

But organic growth is just the tip of the iceberg. While the Facebook platform has been around for more than a decade, what constitutes an “effective social strategy” is constantly changing. It’s no longer enough to post a blog post once a day and hope for the best — more and more, successful marketers are turning to Facebook ads to reach their target audience.

Luckily, you’re not alone.

We’ve penned this ebook to help you fully leverage the Facebook ads platform for business growth and to take your social media marketing to the next level. We’ll explain what tools Facebook offers to identify, understand, reach, and ultimately persuade your intended audience. We’ll give you a full overview of the awesome power of Facebook’s targeted ads. Finally, we’ll give a few examples of the most effective ads available (and how to measure their success).

Facebook has never been more important for business growth and — by the end of this ebook, you’ll be well on your way towards using Facebook to help your business grow.

Why Should You Use Ads?

Put simply: Ads allow you to target the right people with the right content at exactly the right time.

How good is Facebook’s targeting? Well, have you ever said something out loud, just to be served a related ad the next time you open Facebook or Instagram? No, Facebook isn’t listening to you – its targeting and understanding of users is just that good .

Thanks to browser history, the Facebook pixel, demographic info, location data, friends and family, and many other factors that Facebook can monitor, it’s able to serve someone a relevant ad with scary accuracy. And thanks to its billions of users around the world, Facebook is able to make incredibly accurate predictions about what people might want to buy — often before they know they want to buy it.

How can you succeed with Facebook ads? If you can identify 1) who you want to reach, 2) what you want them to see, and 3) when and how you want them to see it, Facebook can deliver in an incredibly effective way for many different budgets.

What’s Wrong With Organic?

A common, and completely reasonable, question marketers often ask is: Why not organic? If you’ve been marketing on Facebook for a while, you might remember a time in the past when your brand’s organic posts reached a huge portion of your audience – perhaps even the majority. If it worked in the past, why won’t it work in the future?

In January 2018, Facebook implemented a change to its algorithm aimed at serving people more content from people they know. In the words of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg:

“You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see… should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

For brands, this meant that your posts reached dramatically fewer people, even among users who followed your page. Effectively, organic Facebook posts were no longer a scalable tool for lead generation or business growth.

The good news is, it has never been easier to find your audience and get them to take action on your website. In the following section, we’ll explain exactly how to identify your target audience on Facebook. Then, we’ll show you which ads you can use to get the job done.

Finding Your Audience

As a user of Facebook Business Manager, you have several tools at your disposal to identify, understand, and ultimately reach your target audience. In this section, we’ll walk through each of those tools and how they can help marketers grow their businesses.

Building Your Own Audiences
Perhaps the most powerful asset at your disposal is the audiences tool, which lets you build custom, lookalike, and saved audiences. Later, we’ll dig a little deeper into what each of these are, and how to use them in the most effective way to grow your business. Here’s a quick overview of how Facebook lets you target specific groups of people based on interests, behavior, and more.

Targeting: An Overview
When you create an ad within Facebook Ads Manager, one of the first things you’ll need to figure out is who you’re trying to reach. Once you’ve built an ideal buyer persona , Facebook offers five unique and powerful types of targeting to get your message to the right audience:

Types of Targeting:

  • Location: Location targeting is exactly what it sounds like — it allows you to target people based on where they are in the world, whether that means specific communities, cities, countries, or any other location-based parameter.
  • Demographic: Demographic targeting lets you select audiences based on age, gender, job, relationship status, education level, and more. While you cannot target based on any individual, personally identifiable information, you can get pretty specific with who you reach.
  • Interest: Interest targeting can be extremely helpful in targeting groups of people based on what they want or what they’re like (rather than who they are). If you know who your target persona is, you have a good idea of what their interests are. With this information, Facebook knows who those people are. You can target anyone from digital marketers to Tom Hanks fans to fashionistas to Italian food-lovers — and everyone in between.
  • Behavior: Behavioral targeting allows you to reach people who have taken a specific action in the past, whether that’s purchasing certain products, using certain devices or operating systems, and more. Behavioral targeting can be especially useful for building lookalike audiences, as you can build audiences of people who haven’t done something in the past, but who are likely to take that action in the future.
  • Connection: Finally, you can target audiences based on whether they are (or are not) currently following your page. This can be helpful for reaching new people, or for reinforcing your message to people already familiar with your product or business.

As you can see, targeting on Facebook can get highly granular, and is designed to help you reach the perfect audience. Next, we’ll explain how you can set up custom, lookalike, and saved audiences — right within Facebook Ads Manager.

A quick aside – to harness the full power of the audiences tool, you should implement the Facebook pixel , a piece of code added to your website to help you track and measure user activity on your website. You can learn more about what it is and how to implement it here .

Custom, lookalike, and saved audiences
Another way to reach the right people is to build audiences of your own. This can be done in Ads Manager with the audiences tool, where you can build custom, lookalike, and saved audiences.

Custom Audiences
If you want to get the most out of Facebook’s targeting capabilities, sooner or later you’ll need to build a custom audience. Most commonly, custom audiences are built off of lists of existing leads, users, or customers. You simply upload this list to Ads Manager, where you can run campaigns that specifically target these people, creating a highly effective cross-channel marketing effort.

You can also build custom audiences with the help of information from the Facebook pixel, which lets you segment visitors based on some action or set of actions they’ve taken on your website or Facebook page. You can build a custom audience based on a wide variety of user actions, including:

  • Viewing a specific piece of content
  • Adding something to their cart
  • Submitting a form
  • Watching one of your Facebook videos
  • Asking for a free trial
  • Registering for an event
  • Interacting with a Facebook post
  • Initiating a checkout
  • … and much more.

These can be extremely useful for running retargeting campaigns , which allow you to further nurture leads or prospects who have already completed certain steps of your sales process.

While custom audiences are very effective for retargeting, they can also come in handy for prospecting. Once you have a few audiences set up, you can include these as “exclusions” when you’re setting up a Facebook ad. In other words, you can ensure that your ad only reaches people who have not taken that action in the past – i.e., net new prospects.

Lookaline Audience
Facebook’s lookalike audiences are another powerful tool in reaching a relevant audience. Once you’ve tracked enough users through the pixel on your website, you can build lookalike audiences based on conversion events, like filling out a form or making a purchase. Facebook will identify people who are likely to take the same action, and deliver ads to an audience of similar users.

Lookaline Audience. Source: HubSpot
Lookaline Audience. Source: HubSpot

As with custom audiences, you can also use lookalike audiences for prospecting. If you build a lookalike audience on a custom audience of people who have converted on a specific piece of content, you can use it together with an exclusion of past converters to drive new business.

Alternatively, you can build lookalikes off of custom audiences that you’ve built with customer email addresses, as mentioned above. Thanks to the enormous amount of data Facebook has on users, it can use this information to target users who are similar to your existing customers or leads, helping your reach people who are likely to be a great fit for your business.

Saved Audiences
Saved audiences are useful for marketers who need to reach the same group(s) of people repeatedly over time. To set up a saved audience, simply navigate to the audiences tool and set up targeting as you would with a normal ad, using any combination of custom audiences, lookalike audiences, and any of the five targeting methods mentioned above. Once you’re done, you can save this audience, allowing you to access it quickly and easily for any ad you need to create in the future.

Part Two: Reaching Your Audience

Now that we’ve found a way to identify who you need to reach, we’ll explore how you’re going to reach them. Facebook offers a wide variety of ads for marketers to use, but in this section, we’ll focus on a mix of the top three we’ve found to be important and influential: website click ads, lead ads, and Messenger ads.

Website Click Ads

Now that we’ve found a way to identify who you need to reach, we’ll explore how you’re going to reach them. Facebook offers a wide variety of ads for marketers to use, but in this section, we’ll focus on a mix of the top three we’ve found to be important and influential: website click ads, lead ads, and Messenger ads.

Website Click Ads
The first ads we’ll discuss are website click ads. These ads are perfect for you if your main goal is to drive or improve traffic on your website, to promote a specific page or product, or to drive overall awareness of your business.

Website Click Ads. Source: HubSpot
Website Click Ads. Source: HubSpot

While website click ads are fairly straightforward, they leave plenty of room for testing, customization, and optimization. Depending on what your company sells and what message you want to get across to viewers, you’ll need to experiment with different types of Facebook ad creative , different copy, and different CTAs. As we’ll see below, Facebook offers tools to create simple and effective tests that help your business grow. But first, a quick look at which metrics you’ll want to keep an eye on with website click ads.

When to use website click ads and what metrics to watch
Website click ads are some of the most common ads seen in your Facebook and Instagram feed, and the type of ad you’re most likely to be familiar with already. While it can be harder to cut through the noise from within a user’s feed, it’s important to include these as part of a mix of paid placements. With strong copy and creative for your Facebook ads that catches your target user’s attention, these ads will deliver every time.

Before you can run any ads, though, you’ll need to figure out what your goals are and which metrics you’ll want to monitor to evaluate success. Here are a few examples of commonly used goals and metrics that might work for you:

Goal: Increase traffic on your new product page.
Metrics: CTR (click through rate), CPC (cost-per-click), impressions.

Goal: Raise awareness of an upcoming event with your new launch video.
Metrics: Video views, average watch time, engagement rate.

Goal: Inform your core audience of a rebrand by sharing a press release.
Metrics: Impressions, CTR (click through rate).

There are plenty of different ways to use website click ads, and an even greater number of ways to evaluate success. When planning a campaign, it’s important to be intentional in picking your metrics and defining what success really means for your team and your business.

Use split testing to improve ads
Facebook Ads Manager makes it easy to test ads through its split testing functionality. A split test is Facebook’s version of a reliable, controlled A/B test – a method for directly comparing two or more executions to decide which is most effective towards your goals.

Try split testing these variables:

  • Creative
  • Audience
  • Placements
  • Products
  • Optimization Events

While you can (and should) test many things, audience and creative will likely have the biggest impact when you’re just starting out. These let you directly compare different audiences and creative executions (respectively) against each other, helping you identify who your best audience is, and what images or CTAs drive the best traffic to your website. Test and iterate often to ensure your creative is the best it can be, and to keep up with your customer’s changing preferences and behaviors.

Use split testing to improve ads. Source: HubSpot
Use split testing to improve ads. Source: HubSpot

Facebook Lead Ads

If it’s qualified leads your after, your money may be best spent on lead ads . Lead ads are unique because they allow prospects to provide your business with contact information without leaving the Facebook platform, creating a more native and customer-friendly experience.

Lead ads are especially useful for reaching Facebook’s mobile users, an audience whose numbers exceed 1.5 billion daily active users. Because driving traffic offplatform has such a high drop-off rate for mobile users, lead ads are a great way to capture users who might not otherwise leave the Facebook platform to navigate your site and fill out a form.

When to Use Lead Ads
Facebook lead ads are most useful for engaging with mobile traffic, and for driving a native ad experience for users. Use them any time you’re interested in turning traffic into leads, and especially when you’re targeting an audience who might not otherwise want to leave the Facebook platform.

The power of lead ads can increase dramatically if your business already operates on a CRM. Because Facebook integrates with dozens of common CRMs ( including HubSpot CRM), when a prospect fills out a form in your lead ad, a new contact will be created in your CRM, and will automatically populate their information. This can be very helpful for automation, and can be an effective way to bring your sales and marketing teams even closer together.

Facebook’s mobile audience exceed 1.5 B daily active users

Metrics to Watch
While goals will vary between businesses, because lead ads are usually used to drive leads, the best metrics to watch are typically impressions, leads, CVR (conversion rate), and CPL (cost-per-lead). Taken together, these metrics will give you a full picture of the number of people you’re reaching, the number of people that convert, how effective your ad is towards its goal, and how effective your targeting is in reaching the right audience (respectively).

As with all ads, experimentation can help improve the performance of lead ads. Try testing the type of content on offer, the number of fields you require on the form, the type of information you collect, and the copy and creative you employ. Each business has a unique audience, meaning it will take some work to figure out what motivates your audience to take action.

Facebook Messenger Ads

Finally, there are Messenger ads . Messenger ads are the most recent iteration of business to customer communication and represent the best-in-class for automated interactions at scale. With 1.3 billion monthly active users , Messenger is a great way to make communication a little more personal and a fantastic tool for nudging prospects from consideration towards decision.

How to Use Messenger Ads
There are three types of Messenger ads with which you may want to experiment: standard ad placements within Messenger, click-to-Messenger ads, and sponsored messages.

Standard Messenger Ads
These are the simplest type of Messenger ads available, and appear directly within the Messenger app. Your ad appears within the user’s inbox as a sponsored message. The user can then click into the ad, where they’re taken to a conversation – except instead of a message box at the bottom, they’re presented with a discrete set of options to select for more information. Depending on what actions you’d like your prospects to take, these discussion topics could include “current sales,” “top selling products,” “what’s new,” and more.

Standard Messenger Ads. Source: HubSpot
Standard Messenger Ads. Source: HubSpot

The beauty of Messenger ads is that, instead of needing to have a 1:1 conversation with every prospect that interacts with your ad, everything happens in touchless fashion. In other words, they’re conversing with a “bot” – which means less work for your marketing, sales, and services teams, allowing you to reach a wider audience more effectively at a greater scale.

Click-To-Messenger Ads
Click-to-Messenger ads are exactly what they sounds like: an ad you can run on Facebook or Instagram that encourages users to click on the ad, bringing them into a conversation within Facebook Messenger.

Click-To-Messenger Ads. Source: HubSpot
Click-To-Messenger Ads. Source: HubSpot

Like regular Messenger ads, these help your business drive automation at scale. The key difference is that they let you tap into the broader Facebook ecosystem by offering placements outside of the Messenger app. By placing an ad inside of a user’s Facebook or Instagram feed, you can draw them into Messenger, where they can have an in-depth, automated conversation with your business — with little extra work required from you as a marketer.

Sponsored Messages
Finally, Facebook offers sponsored messages as a way to re-engage with users after they’ve interacted with your business in the past. Rather than appear as an ad in a user’s Messenger inbox, these will appear as individual messages with which your prospect can interact.

What’s an example of when these might be helpful? If you’re in the men’s apparel business, you may want to offer existing prospects and customers a discounted price on the new seasonal clothing line that you’ll be launching in the coming weeks.

Sponsored messages allow you to send an alert to this specific group of people. The message will appear similar to a standard Messenger ad, but will offer a more specific message or CTA, one that is better-tailored to the intended audience.

Sponsored messages are a useful tool for nurturing leads on-platform, for re-engaging current customers, or for segmenting your existing audience based on their needs or interests.

Metrics to Watch
Because these ads are relatively new, you cannot track events that occur with individual Messenger threads. With that said, you are able to track the number of clicks your ads receive overall, and, if you have the Facebook Pixel implemented on your website, you can measure and attribute actions taken which originated from a Facebook Messenger ad.

Conclusion

As a marketer, there are many ways to grow your business, many platforms to take advantage of, many stories to tell, and many people to reach. As the way people shop, buy, and communicate continues to evolve, they’ll expect a more tailored, more native, and less intrusive experience from businesses and ads.

This is the beauty of Facebook. It pairs powerful tools with a comprehensive understanding of its users, allowing you to interact with your audience in a way that suits your needs. For any marketer who can master this strategy, the potential for business growth is limitless.

Source: HubSpot