By Louis Tanguay, Special to California Business Journal

Here’s the thing with Facebook Advertising. It’s like a piano. Just because you CAN touch the keys and sound comes out, it doesn’t mean you can play “Mary Had A Little Lamb” let alone a Mozart Piano Concerto.

You’re a business owner, not an advertiser. Your job is to grow your business, keep your employees happy, and focus on running that business.

Most advertisers you can afford as a small business owner are not efficient at their “jobs” because becoming a “marketing expert” is a low barrier-to-entry job. This is because many “marketing gurus” tell average people with no marketing degrees and no experience how easy it is.

The best way to vet a vendor is to ask to see their results and case studies. If they can’t give you some great examples and references, then don’t hire them. Read Yelp and Google reviews on their company. Do your due diligence and don’t just hire someone because you can afford them.

You’ve probably seen MANY responses in chat comment threads and online threads along the lines of “Facebook Ads don’t work” or “Boosting your Ads don’t work” or something close to that. Advertising DOES work, just like any tuned and operative piano DOES work. However, making beautiful music (or in this case, highly converting ads) is the true challenge even professionals deal with during every campaign.

Here are some best-practice tips that I see most often because most writers are moonlighters and can’t afford to hire a huge agency:

  1. Every ad should have a singular goal (make a sale, get likes, etc).
  2. An ad should be compelling and have a Call-To-Action.
  3. Every ad should link to a landing page where your product/service can purchased, or that desired action can take place immediately.
  4. Test different ad creatives. Try $100 with all the same ads, but just the photos are different. Try another $100 with all the same ad photos and copy, but just the headlines are different. Learn which pictures work best, which headlines, etc, then build a “super ad” using the “winners” from your “split testing” results.
  5. In order to succeed now, you have to be super-targeted. If you target too broad of an audience you are going to waste your budget quickly. Market research and customer identification are the MOST important things you can do, along with your split testing. You HAVE to do your research on who your optimal customers are, and then target the heck out of them, and only them. That will create a bigger results bang for your advertising bucks, and you will be much more efficient, and hopefully more effective.
  6. Know the reality of Facebook ads in 2018: Facebook has a limited amount of “inventory” which means “spaces to put ads”… this means that you will be paying higher and higher cost-per-clicks as the months and years move on as more and more companies are competing for a shrinking inventory availability. Remember supply and demand. The higher the demand gets, and the lower the supply, then the more you’re going to pay. This is why you have to spend on less placements, but highly targeted placements and spend the bulk of your budget on reaching the RIGHT potential customers.