Article

Chris Madden
Chris Madden 29 May 2020

How Paid Facebook Advertising Fits Into Digital Marketing Strategies for a Small Business

Especially in recent years, Facebook has shifted away from organic marketing content, thanks at least in part to how competitive newsfeed space has gotten. That’s potentially bad news for brands and small businesses - but only if you don’t know how to adapt. Aside from adjusting how you post and publish on your Facebook page, the most important first step is to adopt paid advertising into your digital marketing strategy.

We probably should have seen this coming. After all, the cat’s been out of the bag for years now. Organic marketing strategies on sites like Facebook can generate a ton of revenue at a minimal cost.

You already know that. So do your competitors. And their competitors, and their competitor's competitors. See where I’m going with this? 

See, Facebook is the social network these days. As of June 2019, there are nearly two and a half billion monthly active users on the site. They span virtually every demographic, and many of them are constantly on the lookout for new brands to engage with and new content to share.

Because of this, every business that’s worth its salt now maintains a Facebook page. And that means that Facebook is absolutely flooded with branded content. Or, well, they would be.

Except that in 2018, Facebook released a funny little update to its algorithm that basically gutted organic reach.  It wasn’t the first time they’d done something like this, either. The social network has made no secret of the fact that it wants to prioritise content from friends and family over branded stuff. 

If you think about it, the move makes sense - and not just from a business perspective.

“There are too many Pages producing too much content for too many fans, which means competition for visibility on the News Feed is high,”  explains a post by social media management tool Hubspot, “What's more, Facebook is trying to make sure people are only seeing the best content -- the stuff that is most relevant to them.” 

In such a competitive space, publishing meaningful content will only take you so far. Even if you manage to figure out the secret to creating posts that engage your audience, your reach will be limited. Never mind the fact that in 2014, Facebook told a group of researchers that they should assume organic reach will eventually hit zero

Basically, if you want to establish your brand on Facebook - and want to continue to see success there - you need more than organic content. You need to incorporate paid advertising into your social media strategy. This guide from the Buffer Marketing Library is a great place to start if you’re unfamiliar with paid ads.

Let’s wrap things up with a few highlights: 

  • Set goals for your ads. What do you want to achieve with your advertising campaigns? Do you want increased traffic, increased attendance, new leads, more reach for your content, or better engagement? 
  •  Familiarise yourself with Facebook Ads Manager. It’s actually fairly straightforward to use, so you should be able to learn how to use it by tinkering - or failing that, through Facebook’s Help Center
  • Know your audience and your budget. It’s important to target your ads as specifically as possible, with extensive demographic details. You also need to know how much you’re willing to spend, and what sort of return on investment you’re looking for. 
  • Figure out where to place your ads. There are a few options available to you - the news feed,  the desktop news feed, the right column, and Instagram. ​
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