Facebook Advertising for Small Businesses with @AkvileDeFazio #VCBuzz

Facebook Advertising for Small Businesses with @AkvileDeFazio #VCBuzz

Facebook advertising is the most effective social media promotion platform in multiple verticals. It is extremely flexible and affordable.

More importantly, with Facebook limiting brands’ organic visibility, Facebook ads may be the only way to build a successful marketing channel on the platform.

Yet, many small businesses still shy away from the platform, simply because they haven’t used it enough to see the real power of the platform.

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About @AkvileDeFazio

@AkvileDeFazio is president of @AKvertise, one of the leading boutique social media advertising agencies.

As a conversion-driven marketer, she is passionate about helping businesses expand their online visibility and reach their goals and has been doing so for more than a decade.

Akvile is author of eBook “The Small Business Guide to Facebook Ads

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become a digital marketer? Please share your career story!

I love this question & also asking others as the stories are always so interesting and multifaceted. TL;DR, it took a physical therapy degree, some exploration, one year of an MBA program, two internships, before I landed my full-time gigs working in-house for an outdoor gear/apparel, pet health insurance, & marketing conference (@SMX) company, before launching my own agency, @AKvertise 5 years ago

Long story long: it took me several years of testing with my education and work experienced to find what I was skilled at, what helped people, had both an analytical and creative side, what was lucrative, and what truly brought me joy.

I went to university to study medicine. My father’s a Dr & persuaded me to lean towards a career in health as it would always be needed. As immigrants, it was secure & could provide for a family. When I was younger, I didn’t want to disappoint so I went for it.

First, pharmacy, then landed on physical therapy. After graduating with my degree & working in PT clinics, I realized it wasn’t for me long term. I then got into grad school & did 1 year of an MBA program. Then left to work at the companies aforementioned.

Q2 Does Facebook advertising work for any niche or are there some types of sites where it won’t make sense?

In my experience, I haven’t yet found a niche that doesn’t work. While not all industries can achieve all goals using Facebook Ads, it’s an important part of the holistic marketing and advertising strategy and is part of the funnel at some point.

While some do perform better than others, your audience is most certainly is there, given the magnitude of Facebook’s user base. Test it out to know for certain if it works for you.

ie: say you’re advertising an event to a cold audience. More likely than not, u won’t get a person to purchase a ticket the 1st time they see your ad. Doing top of funnel (TOFU) campaigns like awareness or traffic perform better & cost less than a conversion campaign.

It’s easier to get cold audiences to act on these conversion goals rather than a purchase. You have to build a relationship first. Then, people will typically shop, research, compare options in search or other channels, they may talk to their managers to approval (time off, travel, hotel), way before they open their wallets and make the purchase, be it through a FB ad, an ad elsewhere, your email newsletter, organic social, or search. Take a similar approach to your own business.

Don’t just run conversions right out of the gate. Test out driving awareness, traffic to your site or app, and acquire leads for later remarketing.

If you can’t make the sale on FB, you can still accomplish other goals by getting in front of new audiences, driving them to your site & tagging w/ your pixel for later remarketing, or having them subscribe to your newsletter. It’s still a win, regardless of industry.

There is so much value for B2B brands on FB, too. It’s underutilized by many B2B brands that may be missing out on leads and sales by driving new audiences for a lower cost using FB.

Q3 What’s your favorite Facebook audience setting that’s easy enough for us to play with?

Lookalikes! If you aren’t familiar with what a “Lookalike” (LAL) audience is, it is an audience that is similar to another audience you have. i.e. customer lookalikes are created using an email list of your existing customers (need at least 100 to create a LAL).

Facebook then uses interest/behavioral data to create a new audience of people like your audience. These are highly effective audiences.

Some lookalike audiences I recommend setting up as you get started:

  • Website visitors
  • Newsletter subscribers
  • Leads
  • Cart Abandoners
  • Customers

Fans! Yes, that is another excellent one that can get you a solid new lookalike audience to help you expand your reach and visibility in front of a relevant audience.

Q4 What’s a great Facebook marketing tactic that small businesses usually don’t get right?

Excellent question. Often times, SMBs select the less performance and cost-effective campaign objective. This goes back to what we discussed in Q2 about funnels. If you are targeting a cold audience (someone not familiar with your brand) test a top of funnel (TOFU) campaign objective such as awareness, engagement, or website traffic rather than something more bottom of funnel (BOFU) such as conversions.

Doing so will bring you better performance, move users down the funnel over time, and cost you less. Don’t jump into a conversion campaign to get a sale as it likely won’t happen on first click and it will cost you more than necessary.

Think of FB Ads as a digital way to build a customer relationship. You can’t just say “hello, nice to meet you, now give me your wallet”. Start with a TOFU introductory point and get users into your funnel.

Q5 What are your favorite Facebook marketing tools?

There are so many great ones! For reporting, I’m a huge fan of using Google’s Data Studio and Swydo. For creatives, if a client doesn’t have a robust arsenal: Canva, Pexels, and Pexels Video.

For competitive insights and inspiration: Facebook’s Ad Library.

And finally, if you’re just starting out with FB Ads, I recommend checking out Facebook’s own Creating Ads Tools, here.

Our previous Facebook advertising chats:

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