Running Facebook Ads for your contracting business can be a very effective way to consistently attract more potential customers for your business. However, it’s very easy to quickly waste money on Facebook ads while seeing no results. In this blog, we’ll give you some general guidelines for setting up effective Facebook ads for your contracting business.
Note: In order to run Facebook ads, you’ll need a Facebook page for your business and a Facebook Business account. Click here for instructions on setting up a Facebook page for your business, and click here for instructions on creating a Facebook Business account and connecting it to your page. Both a Facebook page and a Facebook Business account are free to set up. However, ads will cost money to run.
- Make sure you’re targeting the right people. Perhaps more than anything else we will cover in this post, your audience selection can make or break the success of your ad. There are thousands of different consumer traits you can target through Facebook ads. Some of the more detailed targeting options have recently been phased out by Facebook––for instance, targeting people by household income is no longer allowed––but there are still many possibilities for targeting potential customers through your ads.
You can target people who live within a certain radius of your city, or only those who live in your city. You can also target people who already “like” your page on Facebook, because they will likely be more susceptible to your messages than someone who hasn’t heard of your brand yet. You can target people within a certain age range, and you can also target people by gender. You can even target people who watch certain TV shows or read certain magazines in order to create a general outline of what your ideal customer might look like.
You may want to consult a Facebook ads professional if you would like to ensure that your ads are as effective as possible, but this will likely add a significant cost to your campaign.
- Create a strong call to action. A call to action refers to whatever action you would like your viewer to take when they see the ad and click through to your website, whether that’s calling you, filling out a contact form, or something else. For a call to action to be
effective, a few things must happen. First, your ad must connect with the right people (see tip #1!). Then, these people must land on a page that compels them to take some sort of action that moves them closer to becoming a customer. Whether it’s filling out a contact form or requesting a free estimate, make sure they’re landing on a page on your website which gives them clear direction on what they should do next.
Another important part of creating a strong call to action is making sure that your ad corresponds with the content on the page they land on. One way to achieve this is by making your brand imaging strong and congruent in both the ad and on your website––for example, you may want to somehow incorporate some of the colors on your website into the picture you’re using in the ad.
You also have to ensure that the page they land on corresponds with whatever you “offered” in your ad’s call to action––for example, a free estimate or a direct and easy way to get in touch with your company. If you offer a free estimate in your ad and they land on a page which has general information about your company, you may not get as many requests as you would if the page they landed on had a form to fill out in order to request an estimate.
- Make sure your audience selection isn’t too broad or too narrow. While constructing your audience, Facebook will show you a meter on the side depicting the size of your audience, as well as how many clicks you can expect to get every day. These are simply estimates that you can use to guide you, and the information is based on the parameters you’ve selected for your audience as well as the budget you’ve set. If the meter is depicting your audience as too broad, try adding more characteristics to your audience or selecting the “Narrow Further” option. If it is depicting your audience as too narrow, try removing some of the audience characteristics from your targeting or expanding your reach to a wider geographical area. If your audience is depicted as “defined,” it means that you have likely done a good job selecting the parameters for your audience.
- Make the “creative” part of your ad compelling. When discussing Facebook ads, the “creative” part of your ad refers to the picture, text, and headline that goes along with your ad. This is essentially everything that your audience will see when they’re scrolling through their feed and come across your ad. Facebook has a stock photo library where you can choose from different free stock photos, or you can choose from your own repertoire of images.
For the format of your ad, you can choose from a single-image ad, a carousel ad, a video ad, or a slideshow ad. You may want to choose a carousel or slideshow ad if you’re planning to show off multiple images of your projects, but a single-image ad with a high-quality, powerful picture will do. When writing the text that goes along with your ad, make sure that the headline is powerful enough to connect with your audience and make them stop scrolling. Use the text portion of the ad to elaborate on what you’re offering the person who is reading the ad. Finally, choose a call to action that is aligned with the offer––depending on what kind of page they’re going to land on when they click through, you might want to select “Learn More” or “Contact Us.” It’s important during this part of the process to communicate the value of your offer to the reader so that they want to click through to learn more. Whichever page they land on must then continue the story you’ve started, and persuade them to take action congruent with what you are offering in your ad.
- Monitor the performance of your ads. You can set a budget for your ad at the beginning of the creation process. It’s a good idea to set your ad to run for at least a week to judge its success. Check in once a day or once every other day to see how it’s performing. Your cost per click, impression, or video view (the amount of money you’re paying for each individual result on your ad) will vary depending on your location and how much competition you have for the particular niche you’re targeting. However, generally, if your cost per click, impression, or video view is above $1.00, this is may be an indication that you have to adjust either your targeting (the audience you’ve built) or the creative portion of your ad (your picture and text). If you find your cost per result to be too high, you may be able to improve your results by editing your audience targeting, your ad creative, or both. If you find that many people are clicking through and you’re not spending too much, but you’re not getting too many inquiries regarding your actual offer, you may want to adjust the page they’re landing on, give your ad more time, or learn how to retarget those who visited your website and then left. Retargeting is an advanced technique and requires that you’ve set up a Facebook Pixel––click here to learn about retargeting with Facebook ads.
When your message is in alignment with your potential customers’ wants and you clearly communicate the value of your offer both in your ad and on your website, you will experience success with your Facebook ads. You will be able to create more effective ads more quickly as you learn the ins and outs of the platform and what your audience reacts to. However, it may take a bit of time and some experimentation to reach that point!
Have you ever tried running Facebook ads for your contracting business? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.