Are you thinking about advertising your VA business online? Or do you support business owners with their own advertising channels?

If so, you’re probably considering or have considered Facebook.

Judging by the stats below, you’d be foolish not to.

  • Facebook advertising has grown over 680% since 2010
  • Facebook advertising revenue has grown by 162% in 2014 alone

And with over 1 million small or medium sized business spending over $8 billion on Facebook advertising, it certainly looks like a marketing option to consider.

But does it really work?

Yes.

Of course there’s a huge caveat to that statement – if it’s done correctly. But fundamentally Facebook advertising does work.

And here’s one of the biggest reasons why it works …

You can target exactly who you want to target.

Which makes it different from Google Adwords – Facebook’s nearest competitor.

With Google advertising, you create an advert containing keywords to enable it to display in relevant Google searches i.e. when one or other of those keywords are entered.

The viewer then sees your advert and will (hopefully) click on it because it is relevant to their needs.

But here’s the thing, there’s likely to be a limited amount of keywords you can use on your product or service. So if there are many other businesses like yours advertising via Google Adwords, they’re most likely using similar keywords.

This increases the demand, which increases the cost for that advertising.

Long story short, Google advertising can become expensive to get that one advert in front of just one potential new client or customer.

With Facebook advertising however, you don’t use keywords about your product or service for it to appear, you simply think of your ideal client or customer and target them.

So if you want to give Facebook advertising a try for your VA business or for your clients’ business, here’s how to get started …

Step 1: Create an advertising page

If you’ve boosted posts in the past, you should already have an advertising account set up. If not, you can activate the tool here.

Step 1

You’ll be taken through to the standard ad manager where you will set your objective, define your audience, create your ad, set your bids and monitor the campaign.

You may have also heard of their Power Editor tool. This is a Chrome plugin that gives greater ease when managing your advertising campaigns. But we’ll talk about that in another article.

For now, we’ll stick with the standard manager.

Before you go any further, take some time upfront outlining the following crucial elements for your campaign:

  1. What you want to get out of the advertising campaign
    1. Join mailing list
    2. Take advantage of a limited time offer
    3. Arrange a call …
  2. Who your target market is
    1. Demographic
    2. Interests …
  3. What your budget is
  4. Your advert content
    1. Text
    2. Images
    3. Links
    4. Where you want the ad displayed

Only then are you ready to start creating your campaign.

Step 2: Set your ad objective

Facebook provide a variety of options here.

You may of course have more than one objective. If that’s the case, set an ad campaign for each of those objectives. Don’t confuse yourself or the viewer with mixed messages.

Stick to one goal and run with it.

Step 2

Step 3: Defining your target market

This starts off with the basics:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Languages

Step 3

And remember, you may well want to target all of the UK and the US, but be realistic.

Yes it’s true the wider your reach the more people you can target. But the reality is that your competition will also increase and you run the risk of diluting the chances of finding a ‘hot lead’ perfect for your business.

My advice is keep it small.

For example, if you live in the South West, why not start by targeting Devon and Cornwall? That way you have a USP – you could offer to arrange an initial face-to-face visit.

Another VA living up north, or even further afield, can’t include that personal touch as part of their pitch!

Then, clicking on ‘More Demographics’ allows you really hone in on your target market with the ‘Work’ field being a possible one to define.

step 3 b

Selecting from the ‘Interests’ field is another great way to narrow in further on your search – business and industries, technology and hobbies (among others) may all play an important part in defining your ideal client.

step 3 c

Spend some time going through the ‘Behaviours’ lists – you can even target small business owners!

step 3 d

Step 4: Set your budget

There’s no hard and fast rule to this. Ultimately it comes down to how much you have to spend, how much you want to spend or how much a new client is worth to you.

However starting small is often a good strategy.

Once you get used to how it works, you can always up the budget.

step 4

You can also choose whether your advert is charged when clicked on (CPC) or when viewed (CPM).

I’ve only ever used CPC since I’ve always wanted to drive traffic to a specific landing page. So I don’t get charged unless someone physically clicks on my ad and goes to that webpage.

If you’re not sure whether to choose CPC or CPM bidding, let Facebook help by visiting their support page here.

Step 5: Add your content

You should already know the headline and text you want to display, as well as have an image ready to upload.

If not, don’t continue.

Carefully consider your target market and what would entice them to click on your ad. Think about the benefit to them.

Once you’ve got it clear, you’re ready to add the content.

Step 5

Split testing is also a good idea, particularly if you have two routes (or more) and aren’t sure which might glean better results.

Step 6: Advert placement

The final step is deciding where to place your ad.

It can appear in the side column or within the news feed. On average, those that appear in the news feed perform better than those that don’t.

But in order to have it appear in the news feed, you need to have a Facebook page for your business already. If not, you can only display your ad in the side column.

And that’s it!

Your Facebook advertising campaign is ready to go live.

The next step is to monitor your ad’s performance via the main dashboard area. More on that another time.

Good luck!

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