Most likely, you’ve already checked Facebook at least once today. Once you woke up, on the bus, during your coffee break. You’re not alone in this, with over two thirds of the UK registered on Facebook. With such a huge user base, naturally businesses are stacking up their ads. You too can use Facebook ads to reach the right people for your school and nursery photography – and for less money.
Before you get into this, take a look at our article about organic marketing, Facebook Without a Budget, for your first intro to Facebook marketing.
Social Media Marketing For School and Nursery Photography III: Analysis and Optimisation of Facebook Ads
Why should I pay money for Facebook ads?
Facebook is the biggest and most well-known social network across the globe. The users represent every different background, age range, and interest groups. Regardless of which target group you want to reach, you will be able to find it.
Facebook collects the data of every user for use in ad targeting. This data is your goldmine. You have the possibility to target users according to their location, profession, family relationships, interests, and more.
These can also be users who would ordinarily not even know about your services. The mother of a four year old, for example, can stumble across a nursery session while scrolling through her newsfeed.
Under ideal circumstances, you should make the most of organic marketing alongside paid ads on Facebook. Although organic marketing is of course free, organic reach on Facebook is rapidly decreasing because of Facebook changing its algorithms to promote content from people you know rather than businesses on your newsfeed.
One of the most important arguments for Facebook ads is that they are very reasonably-priced in comparison to other advertising avenues. An advert in a magazine or a daily newspaper would cost quite a bit more.
Create campaigns on Facebook
For a successful Facebook ad, you need proper preparation and structure. For the best result, follow our checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything.
Step away from the ‘Boost Post’ button
If you already have a business page for your school and nursery photography and have already published a few posts, you will likely already know the ‘Boost Post’ button. This would naturally encourage you to promote posts simply by clicking this button.
We would recommend the opposite. If you follow this link, your post will be promoted with certain preferences that you can’t change. You cannot choose the placement of your ad, such as which social platform it is displayed on. The post will simply be boosted automatically across Facebook’s connected networks: over Facebook itself, Instagram, or external apps and mobile sites compatible with Facebook, like Yahoo or Forbes. The ad will use default settings from Facebook and you will waste some of your budget unnecessarily.
Be sure to take on board some of Facebook’s tips on successful posts, but prepare the ads themselves in the Ad Manager. This way, you can manually customise your targeting options far more easily.
The First Steps…
The Ad Manager is the best place to create Facebook ads. You can find it via your business page. This is where you can begin to build a campaign.
A campaign collects together all the posts that you create for a specific marketing purpose. Within the campaign, there are various different groups of posts. You can use them to target different demographics and set alternative options to your post’s best advantage. You can read more about this later in the ‘Creating an Ad Group’ section.
In these groups of posts, you can create your own posts. There are various different forms of posts you can create, which we explain later in the ‘Ad Posts’ section.
To create a new campaign, simply click on the green ‘Create’ button under the campaigns tab. For first time users, using Facebook’s Guided Creation at this point can be a great introduction to the ways in which your target groups can be designed.
First off, Facebook asks you what the goal of your campaign is. Just like in other areas of marketing, you need to be clear from the beginning on what you want to achieve with your campaign. This will then affect how you tailor your Facebook ads.
Options to choose from:
- Brand Awareness: getting knowledge of your school or nursery photography brand out to more people
- Reach: widening the net of people that might interact with your page
- Traffic: the number of users who visit or interact with your page
- Engagement: interactions with posts
- App Installs: not so relevant for school or nursery photographers
- Video Views
- Lead Generation: you can then collect contact data from new customers who are interested in school or nursery photography
- Conversions: users who have engaged with your post for a particular purpose, such as to download a pricelist or visit your website
- Catalogue Sales: this could also apply to other product sales
- Store Traffic: this would most likely refer to studio visits in your case
Naturally you might say, “But I want to achieve all of these things!” Ultimately, you can. But in a single Facebook campaign, you need to decide on just one. It makes far more sense and is much more effective to focus on one specific goal within one campaign. This way you can create posts with a more effective and direct message. You can always alter the aim of your campaign later on.
For all campaigns that rely on or include data from outside of Facebook, like traffic data from your own website, you need to connect Facebook Pixel to your website. Otherwise, Facebook won’t know what’s happening on your site. You can find out everything you need to know about this process in this step-by-step introduction.
Creating an Ad Group
Once you’ve named your campaign, the next step is to create an ad group within your campaign.
You can of course run an ad on Facebook that appears for all users. That would be extremely expensive however, and not particularly effective, as you would reach a lot of people who have no interest in school or nursery photography. Ultimately, it equates to a lot of wasted money.
For this reason, the detailed targeting methods are extremely useful.
Targeting refers to the specifications on the target group that your campaign will reach. As previously mentioned, Facebook regularly collects information on the activities of their users and can therefore sort them into countless different groups. For example, users who have schoolchildren between the ages of six and eight and/or live in London and/or use an iPhone.
In the target group menu, you can first divide up your target groups by region, age, gender, and language. With detailed targeting, there is also the possibility to split them further according to interests, habits or demographic characteristics.You can also exclude certain traits from your target group.
Important: Instead of choosing ‘Everyone in this location’, be sure to select ‘People who live in this location’! Otherwise, your post will be sent out to tourists as well as inhabitants, wasting your money and exposing your content to irrelevant users.
Target Group Overlap
Try to make sure that you have as few overlaps between your target groups as possible, so that the same users don’t end up in several target groups. This will create unnecessary costs for you and overexpose your content to the same people.
If you create posts for both target groups, they will be forced to ‘compete’ with each other on Facebook. You will then be competing with yourself. As posts are often switched out according to what costs the most, it can create unnecessary costs. Both of your costs then essentially out bid each other and quickly drive the costs higher (read more about this in the ‘Budget’ section).
In the target group menu options on Facebook’s Ad Manager, you can double check for any overlaps. 75% overlaps, like in the example above, can be problematic. To correct it, you can use the recommendations from Facebook to exclude certain users from your groups.
The next step is to decide which devices your posts will be visible on and whether they should only be published on Facebook or on Instagram as well.
It makes sense to create different posts for use on mobile devices and desktops. On a small phone screen, photos are of course smaller and there is less space for text.
Choose the option ‘Edit placements’ instead of ‘Automatic placements’, so that have greater control over your ad placement.
Now comes the most important question: how much can you actually spend?
You should be aware from the start that there is no one-size-fits-all marketing budget for school and nursery photography. How much you spend will depend on your own individual goals and target groups.
It is best to start with a small amount and test out how different types of posts go down with Facebook users. £10 can already be enough to find out whether your ad posts are on the right track. With that knowledge, you can then raise the budget for posts that work well and cut it off for others.
In the budget menu, you can choose between a daily budget and an overall budget.
A daily budget of £10 means that the average daily cost that you pay for your ads will amount to around £10. That includes a fluctuations of 20% per day in either direction. Despite this, you will not pay more than £70 per week.
With an overall budget, you just set the total costs for the duration of the campaign. There are no fluctuations and it can often be the best choice for school and nursery photographers. Facebook optimises the allocation of budget, meaning you spend less and the Facebook algorithms take care of the best timing of your ads.
Clicks or Impressions?
There are two different ways that your Facebook ad account will be charged. Per click (Cost per Click or CPC) or per 1000 impressions (CPM). One impression means that a user has seen your ad.
If you click on ‘Advanced settings’ in the ‘Budget’ section, you can then customise what the goal of your ad groups is under ‘Optimisation for ad delivery’. For example, one option is interactions with the post. Facebook will then make sure your post is seen by people who interact with posts regularly. Depending on what you choose as the goal for your ad post, Facebook will sometimes choose the most logical payment method to suit your purposes.
More often than not however, you can simply do this yourself. Do you want lots of people to see your posts and aren’t so bothered about clicks and conversions? Then it makes sense to pay for impressions. This is often cheaper as well. If you’re all about getting people to click onto your website however, then you should pay per click.
The system of post creation on Facebook works, in principle, like an auction house. Every time that a user is presented with an ad on Facebook, a type of auction takes place.
All posts that reach the target group are compared with each other in terms of quality, relevance, expected action rate, and bid level. The bid is the amount of money that you are prepared to pay for a click on your post, for a thousand impressions, or for a conversion.
Your budget goes up against the posts of other users. You’re bidding against one another and the one whose ad performs best in the aforementioned categories wins. This all happens automatically. Your budget will not be exceeded, of course.
The best option is to choose the automatic option of ‘Bid value’ for your bids. Facebook then sets your bids so that your goal is most likely to be met, for if you only wanted to generate interactions with your post, for example.
Choosing your own bidding options is not always possible for every post. Depending on the content, Facebook will sometimes make the choice for you.
Now it’s time to create the actual post that will appear on your audience’s news feeds later.
The more, the merrier!
It is advisable to create several posts per group to test out different variations against one another and to give Facebook more options for optimisation.
You could create identical posts with different pictures, or compare an emotional message with a more rational one. By analysing these variations after the fact, you can explore what works best for your target group.
Building a Post
A post on Facebook consists of the following elements:
The publisher of your post is always your Facebook page. That means that many users will click on this publisher name and then see your page. Make sure that you have already put some work into your organic marketing. Your site should be up to date and have many interesting and relevant posts.
Pay attention to the size and complexity of your text. In any case, you should always include the most important information in your first 80 characters. Otherwise it will spill over into the ‘Read more’ section of the post. Just 30% of Facebook users click on this extension. Make sure your important points come first, so that you don’t lose out on 70% of your audience.
The photo of your post should be a real eye-catching image, so you don’t get lost in the milieu of colourful pictures on Facebook. An impressive photo that has an emotional effect on the user is ideal.
It is also important that you don’t have too much text on your images. 20% of the image as text is the maximum. Otherwise, Facebook reduces the reach of your post or, in the worst case, doesn’t run it at all. With the Facebook Text Overlay Tool, you can check how high your text percentage is.
Instead of a picture, you can always post a video or a slideshow of images as well.
With this method, you don’t need to include a link to your site, but rather just a short description of what the user can expect to find at the end of your link. For example, for a school or nursery photography website, you could use a special offer or something similar.
Call To Action (CTA) Button
The CTA button encourages the user to complete an action of your choosing. It is an essential part of your post. Without this splash of encouragement, many Facebook users won’t lift a finger, quite literally, and will simply keep scrolling.
You can use various different forms of the CTA button. Be careful not to be too pushy with this function. A ‘Find out more’ button can be received better than a ‘Buy now’ alternative.
Comments Section and Likes, Reaction, and ‘Share’ Buttons
Ads can of course be commented on, liked, and shared just like normal posts. You should therefore stay up to date with the comments section of your ads. After all, Facebook measures the interaction rates and publishes more of the ads with the highest engagements. Negative reactions damage the rating of your post.
With Facebook’s carousel format, you can also include several photos videos, or CTA’s in one post. You can find plenty of useful information or design recommendations in Facebook’s own guide for Facebook ad posts.
After you have finally created your campaign, your work is not quite done. Now is perhaps the most interesting part: analysing the result of your ad campaign. In our next article, we will take a closer look at this process.
Do you have tips, questions, or suggestions on the topic of Facebook ads? Share them with us and the GotPhoto community in the comments of the Facebook post of this article.