Running online ads works best when you know what your best selling products & services are, and you have a clear sense on who your typical customer is. If you're a start-up business and don't know this information clearly yet, then it's best to do marketing organically without doing paid ads to figure out this information first.
Facebook & Instagram Ads tend to be a lot less expensive than other kinds of marketing ads. And now that Facebook is mainstream, even older generations use Facebook once in a while, so it's ideal for targeting all different kinds of people.
Plus, Facebook gathers data from people who freely give up their information about their age, gender, interests, zip code and a whole heap of other kinds of data that makes it easy to easily target people.
If you keep your ads very, very, very specific at first, and test your ideas, you can spend as little as $5 USD per day and get a fast return on investment.
For instance, a few years ago I started a small little business by delivering fresh chocolate chip cookies to neighbor's doors. On the very first day, I only target people in my Zip Code which included only about 10,000 people and a maximum driving distance of about 10 minutes in every direction. I also did my homework beforehand. Chocolate chip cookies are the number 1 favorite cookie of people, followed by peanut butter and oatmeal cookies. After running the ad for just a few hours, I got my very first order. Because I kept my focus very narrow with only target people within a couple mile radius, it was easy to test my idea with a Facebook Ad to prove my concept before scaling the Ad to a larger number of people.
Facebook Ads tends to work better for businesses with specific products or services, but because over 50% of citizens in the US have a Facebook Ad, and 25% of citizens check in on Facebook about 1 time per day, it's an ideal place to test your ad ideas without spending too much money, as long as you keep your ads very, very focused.
Here's how to do it:
1. Be very specific on who you are targeting
Make sure to narrow your ad based on age, gender, zip code, and interest. For instance, if you are landscaping design company, you only want to show the ad in the zip codes you service. If you know that women are more likely to get in touch for services than men are, target them first. If the average age of someone hiring a landscape designer is 50 years old, then target people between the age of 40 to 60. Then, you might focus on people who have interests in backyard activities, like barbecuing, beer tasting, throwing dinner parties, or swimming. Ideally, you should only be targeting a group of about 2,000 ideal candidates. Facebook will generally estimate that you would get 10 to 50 clicks per day.
2. Show your leads an advertisement image they'll actually be interested in and click on
This is probably the most difficult part to figure out. It should not be gimmicky, but not boring either. It needs to catch people's attention to address a problem they might be trying to solve. For instance, if you are an interior designer, you could run an ad saying "Get a free estimate for your interior design remodel." This implies that there is a free action they can take on your website - assuming they were already thinking about doing an interior design project but haven't gotten started yet.
3. Optimize your website to capture email addresses on a single page
Once people get to your website, this is an easy part - but you actually have to do it. And the problem is, most business owners are scared of doing this part. But you want to capture as many email addresses as possible. If people clicked your ad, then you simply continue
4. Follow up with weekly email marketing
Another thing most business owners are hesitant to do is email marketing. But it's one of the most effective ways to drive your leads towards taking action on your website.
5. Refine your process
You wont get it right on the first try. But dat from Facebook, your website, and your email marketing list will give you detailed information on what is working, and where things are falling apart. You can easily refine your process every 24-48 hours and perfect your ads to create a lead funnel that will likely sustain itself for several weeks.