Is Facebook Advertising Free?

Advertising on Facebook can be really cheap. It’s practically free! Emphasis on the word “practically.”

A lot of our clients ask us if there’s any way they could promote their small business on Facebook for free. Technically it is possible, but you can only stick to the tools available for pages. And, that means that only the people who’ve liked or followed your page will see your Facebook posts. Actually, even that’s no guarantee.

Here’s everything you need to not about how to advertise on Facebook.

A Bit of History

Once upon a time, a platform to connect with friends with each other was born. Its name was Facebook. Soon after that, brands began to see potential in using this social media platform as a way to reach potential customers and promote their products and services. So Facebook created pages for companies, institutions, organizations, celebrities, and pretty much anyone who isn’t an average Joe.

And at first, everything was easy. Companies used to post nice messages for their fans, sometimes even without pictures – simpler times, really. But unless you were Coca Cola or a very recognizable brand, local businesses had few options regarding how they could grow their visibility. Enter Facebook ads, a marketing tool similar to Google ads, but on a different platform.

Today, Facebook business pages are complex tools marketers can use to generate buzz around their brands. From fan insights that let you know what content you should focus on to highly targeted sponsored ads that get real conversions, Facebook offers a lot of great perks for businesses.

Facebook for Free

Brands aren’t obligated to pay for Facebook ads to promote themselves. There are still plenty of ways you can organically grow visibility and get more people to see and know your company, but it also takes longer.

If you have a good content and communications strategy in place, then you can effectively grow your brand presence on Facebook organically. The social media network enables brands to drive traffic to their website and even generate conversions. Here are some tips on how you can make that happen:

  • Establish a posting frequency;
  • Think of creative campaigns to surprise your audiences;
  • Create a Facebook group for your page and invite people to join and use it to share additional information about your brand;
  • Interact directly with your fans – consumers like talking directly with the brands they use, so remember to always like comments and respond, and encourage them to interact with you;
  • Use Facebook tools that generate reactions and engagements such as the live video feature.

These are just a few things you should do if you want to grow your Facebook presence organically. However, there is a slight hiccup that can affect the success rate or the time it will take to make that happen.

Facebook Relies on Paid Advertising

A good portion of Facebook’s revenue comes directly from paid Facebook marketing. Because of it, it’s not surprising that the platform is encouraging brands to do it, one way or another.

In recent years, business pages have been reporting a fairly big drop in their organic post reach. It happened because of the changes Facebook made to its algorithm and the way it decides what posts to show in a user’s newsfeed. The social media platform announce it would be making some changes to show people more posts from their close circle of friends, which means that most content from pages would fall in second place.

One of the only ways to bypass this new algorithm is through paid ad campaigns, which will automatically take the posts to user’s news feeds. Without it, brands either have to wait and get lucky by creating a viral post (which is much harder than it sounds) or have a lot of patience for less-than-exciting results.

Facebook Paid Advertising: the Gist

Don’t look at Facebook ads as the compromise you must make to increase brand recognition – it can genuinely generate great results if it’s used right. Here are the main types of ads available:

  1. Photo/Video Ads

These are particularly great if you’re only now starting to use this tool. If you post an image or a video with a nice message on your feed, you can boost it with just a few clicks.

  1. Carousel Ads

This feature lets you add up to ten photos or videos to show off your products or services. E-commerce stores generally have the most to gain from these types of ads because they can promote ten different products at once.

  1. Slideshow Ads

You don’t have any video editing skills? No problem! Slideshow ads allow you to make simple video ads using just your collection of photos. All you have to do is choose a couple of them, and then play around with transitions and music to complete the project.

  1. Canvas or Instant Experience Ads

If you want to avoid the frustration of slow-loading websites on mobile devices, canvas ads might do the trick. They are a full-screen ad format that can let a user experience the website and find out more about you.

  1. Dynamic Ads

If you need to promote products to the consumers most likely to buy, then the dynamic ads might help you in that department. They allow you to target a person who has already visited your website, viewed some products, and maybe even added something to their shopping cart but did not make a purchase.

  1. Messenger Ads

Since everyone is fighting for the same newsfeeds, you can increase your chances for visibility through messenger ads. That will give you access to roughly 1.3 billion people who use it every month.

Creating an ad. What You Need to Know

First of all, Facebook paid ads aren’t a magical solution to your trouble. Like with any marketing approach, it has to be done with a good strategy behind it. Here are some things to keep in mind for good ads that generate good result:

  • Have an Objective Think about why you need to create these ads. Is it to get more people to your website and read your blog post? Get more likes on your page? Increase brand recognition? Facebook has about 11 marketing objective you can choose from, but you need to give it a thought before you start creating the ads.
  • Know Who You’re Addressing Targeting your ads is key to any marketing campaign, and if you don’t already know who your fans are, it’s a good time to start. Think of anything from age to gender, education, location, or interests. The better idea you have of your audience, the more effective the ads.
  • Choose the Right Type of Ad – There are two things to consider here. First, which ad is best for your brand. Second, which ad is better for the type of content you or your team can make. Video ads are great and all, but if you don’t have a quality product to boost, it’s best to stick with photos.
  • Think of a budget and for how long the ads should run – You can use a daily budget, or establish a lifetime budget depending on your resources
  • Use the Pixel The pixel is a piece of code that you can copy to your website and track the performance of your Facebook ads. You should consider using it to see if the ads are persuading people to convert or not.
  • Track Everything – Once you’ve created the ad, you’ll have to keep a close eye on it. Nothing can be done by the book in marketing and sometimes things just don’t work out. You can modify or cancel the ads at any times, so if something’s not working, you don’t have to keep spending money on it. See what you did wrong, improve, and try again.

Summing up

Facebook advertising isn’t expensive, but it certainly isn’t cheap either. If you want great results and quickly, you will have to take some of the marketing budget and use it for these ads.

And if you want to optimize the campaigns and generate meaningful leads, we can help. Contact Australian Internet Advertising today for the best Facebook ad campaigns to grow your business!