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Facebook Ad Academy: Complete Beginner’s Resource Guide to Learning How to Run Ads on Facebook

Facebook Ad Academy: Complete Beginner's Resource Guide to Learning How to Run Ads on Facebook

Facebook ads are one of the most powerful and popular ways for small businesses to advertise online – but depending on your perspective, Facebook ads might seem confusing or overpriced. It can be hard to know how to get started with Facebook ads for small business – is Facebook advertising just for big brands with big budgets, or can even the smallest companies benefit from advertising on Facebook?

According to stats cited in this Business Insider article, 35 percent of U.S. small businesses still do not have any kind of online presence – but 50 million businesses are using Facebook Pages. And these Facebook Pages can give your business its own online identity on Facebook where customers can find your business, interact with your business and find out about your business’ latest special offers, discounts, events, coupons and more. Even if you don’t have a website of your own, a Facebook page can serve as an online “home base” for your business – and Facebook ads can help you find new customers and sell more to your existing customers.

There has been some criticism of Facebook in recent years by small business owners and even big brands who had built up sizable followings for their Pages on Facebook, only to realize that Facebook’s “organic reach” – the percentage of a Page’s audience that actually sees each new post on Facebook – has been declining. Facebook is encouraging its business users to buy Facebook ads to promote and expand the reach of their Facebook posts – and Facebook believes that its community of users is so vast, and its targeting technology is so precise, that any business owners can benefit from advertising on Facebook to reach exactly the right people who could become new customers. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was quoted as saying in Business Insider that small business advertising is one of Facebook’s “biggest opportunities,” that Facebook is trying to make the small business ad-buying process easier and un-intimidating and that Facebook’s goal is “to be the best dollar and best minute that small businesses spend” on advertising.

With that in mind, how can your business get started with advertising on Facebook? Fortunately, there are lots of great guides out there to show how to buy ads on Facebook and how to use Facebook ad targeting to put your messages in front of exactly the right audiences to suit your business’ needs.

Here is a roundup of great resources that teach Facebook users how to run ads on Facebook:

YouTube Videos

“How to Run Ultra Targeted Facebook Ads:” This YouTube video from realtor, entrepreneur and coach Joshua Smith does a great job of going into detail to show you how to set up Facebook ads step-by-step, and how to use Facebook targeting to narrow your Facebook ads to find exactly the right buyers for what you sell. Facebook now offers incredibly precise targeting features for Facebook ads so you can search by ZIP code, by age, gender, demographics and even specific buyer behaviors based on Facebook activity – such as finding people who are “likely to move” to a new home. Facebook’s data on user information has gotten so precise that they can now deliver ads that help small business owners find the people they want to reach – even, increasingly, at the right time in the customer’s journey toward making a purchase decision.

“The 5 MOST Powerful Facebook Advertising Tips:” In this YouTube video, social media advertising expert and coach Matthew Loop explains some of the most powerful tips that small business owners can use to improve their Facebook advertising – including overall Facebook ad strategy (and why you should use Facebook ads to try to engage and get new email subscribers rather than try to “sell” directly), how to minimize your cost per click and get the most out of your daily ad budget, how to test various Facebook ads and figure out which ads are “winners,” how to write an ad title that helps you find exactly the right audience and more!

Blog Articles

A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Advertising: This guide from SproutSocial, maker of social media management software, gives you comprehensive, detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to get started with Facebook ads for your business. Starting with how to set up a Facebook Page, and including screen shots with guidance on how to choose objectives for your ads campaigns, how to set a daily budget, how to target your ads to the right audience and more.

45 Fabulous Facebook Advertising Tips & Magic Marketing Tricks: This blog article from WordStream offers a wide range of Facebook ad advice, including overall “Facebook Advertising 101” basic advice; ideas for how to budget your ad spending, how to “bid” on ads and how to keep your costs under control; suggestions for how to do better Facebook ad targeting and other Facebook marketing strategies to help you expand the reach of your business on Facebook while getting the best value for your advertising dollars.

11 Examples of Facebook Ads That Actually Work (And Why): This blog article from HubSpot is a great illustration of how and why the best Facebook ads get people to click and convert. Reading this article will give you great insights and help you make a mental checklist to be sure that your Facebook ads are including the right components that are most likely to inspire people to respond to your ad.

How to Use Advanced Facebook Ad Targeting: Facebook ad targeting sounds like a great deal – you can put your ads in front of exactly the right people who are most likely to buy from you – but how does it really work? This is a blog article from Social Media Examiner that shows more details and explains exactly how to drill down into the various levels of detail to sort through Facebook’s billions of users – including how to research your audience, find fans by location, research occupation by location and more. Facebook has a vast universe of data about its users; this guide helps you understand how to put that data to use to advertise to exactly the right people.

A Deep Dive into Facebook Advertising: This guide from Kissmetrics goes into exceptional detail to explain the various elements of successful Facebook ads and why they work – including how to know whether your ads or your products are right for Facebook, how to make a successful ad offer that gets people to click, how to choose the right image and text for your ads, how to track your ads’ performance and more.

Online Courses

Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketing Mastery Guide 2016: If you want more detailed instruction, perhaps you should try an online course, like this one from Udemy. This is a top-rated course on how to use Facebook ads and Facebook marketing to expand your business – including 66 lectures and 9 hours of video.

Facebook Business Breakthroughs with Mari Smith: Mari Smith is a top-rated social media expert known as “the Queen of Facebook.” She is offering a special course for 2016 to help small business owners improve their results on Facebook – via Facebook ads and other overall strategies for better Facebook marketing.

Have you had success using Facebook ads for your business? What resources or Facebook ad experts would you recommend? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Kabbage Team

Kabbage is here not only to provide access to the small business funding you need, but to also help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at content@kabbage.com.