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It’s not exactly news to anyone that Facebook is one of the world’s most effective advertising platforms. It has a global reach that is unparalleled in human history, allows you to target your core demographic and interact with customers, and provides exceptional PR opportunities.

Around 94% of businesses have invested in Facebook advertising and two thirds of these intend to increase their social media budget in the coming 12 months. It is believed that by 2021, just two years from now, the total spend on Facebook advertising in the US alone will be around $120 billion. Which means that far from tailing off, as some experts have predicted, investment in Facebook ads is still on a steep upward curve.

However, it’s not just as easy as sticking up a few posts and then watching the profit roll in. You have to know how and where to best post on Facebook to your advantage. Even with a small budget, of say £100, you can make your money go a long way and start to see noticeable results.

With Facebook, advertising is as much about distribution as it is content. Even great content will eventually fade away in the news feed, meaning you’re not reaching the right people. But there are some top ways of investing even modest amounts to make sure that your product, business or service stays front and centre for longer.

Combination ads

Big companies can afford to spend large amounts of money on Facebook ads that focus on just one product or service. They have the resources to keep their messaging simple and know that even a small upturn in sales of that product results in bigger profit margins. But for smaller business, these same small percentage increases don’t add up to the same kinds of numbers.

That’s why combining multiple objectives in the same post can be such an effective method of Facebook advertising and how you can stretch even a limited budget. So, rather than just advertising a product, use your ad to link to your site or promote your blog. You may get less passing interest with this kind of approach but if you target it correctly at your audience, then you get more focused interest which translates into long tail sales, and as a small business, this is exactly what you are looking for.

Use the targeting features

Just how do you target your ads at the right people, you might be asking. Well there are plenty of Facebook features to help you. If you narrow down your ad targets, you can spend less and make sure you get a better ROI.

There are several parameters that let you focus your ad in the right way. If your business relies on providing goods and services to a specific area, then you need to focus your ad by location. For example, if you offer carpet cleaning services in Norwich, then there is not much point advertising to Facebook users in Northampton. Target the ad placement to the local area and also use imagery and text that will resonate with people in that area. If you have multiple target locations, then you can set different ads by location, which is also a great way to compare and contrast different ad approaches.

You can also target by age and gender. Think about the type of person who will most likely buy what you’re offering. If it’s older men then use the filters to appeal to that demographic, and do the same for any other core target audience. Again, use text and imagery that’s suitable for the people you’re trying to reach.

You can also use the more detailed targeting section to identify specific behaviours and interests that chime with your brand. If you’re looking for people who have identified an interest in a certain area, use this to your advantage in the detailed targeting section. For example, if you sell organic beauty products, use these keywords to identify people who have already expressed an interest in this area.

You can also use connections targeting, which shows your ads to people with whom your business already has a connection. So, for example, friends of people who have liked or interacted on your page.

Split your campaigns

If you have a small budget, it’s important to split your test campaigns. This allows you to identify well-performing ads and adjust your spend in this area. So, if you have ads targeting four different locations and one is by far outperforming the rest, you can adjust your budget to increase ROI in this location.

Splitting your campaign is a great way to see what works, in terms of content, messaging and targeting, and what doesn’t. Facebook marketing is not an exact science, so you need easy feedback to help you understand what is going to be most successful, especially on a small budget.

Special offers

Offer discount codes or special offers in your ads and you can significantly increase your chance of success. Special offers are a classic marketing technique, and they have been proven to work just as effectively on a social media platform as they have in other forms of marketing.

Make sure you stress that the offer is only available to those people who use it through Facebook. This creates a sense of urgency and boosts the impact of your online advertising. It will also stand out against a backdrop of other online ads.

Small budgets can go a long way, if you know where and when to target your advertising. Facebook ads are evolving all the time and have changed how online marketing works but the fundamental principles still apply. Do your research. Know your market. Understand how small businesses can use an increased focus to drive sales, and your £100 might go a lot further than you ever imagined.