As the saying goes, we are in an internet age and the world has become a global village. With the rise of online social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, companies can easily scale their business using online platforms to tap into this large network of potential clients or customers. An owner of a small business, irrespective of the marketplace should not be ignorant of this huge opportunity readily available.

Although there are several social media platforms available, Facebook is the largest social media platform with over 2 billion daily active users, offering you a large pool of potential leads. A Facebook page will assist a business owner to build the company’s brand, communicate with customers, reach a wide range of people and drive traffic to the company’s website. With the use of Facebook Ads Manager, businesses can develop ads campaigns which target Facebook users who share similar interests with the services the business offers. The Ads Manager offers a robust system that offers various kinds of digital advertising strategies that can be developed to match each stage of a company’s development. These strategies range from a simple brand awareness advertisement to a more complex lead generation campaign with the option to retarget customers in the consideration stage of the sales funnel.

Facebook for business is mainly for B2C (Business-to-Customer) marketing. Facebook does not really cater to B2B (Business-to-Business) marketing, as seen with LinkedIn. If a company were to use Facebook to find business partners, then there are options available to attract business owners. However, the way people communicate on Facebook is a lot different than LinkedIn and will require the company to develop a strategy to reach potential clients effectively. If your local business marketing strategies revolve around B2B, then LinkedIn may provide a better option to increase your reach.

How to Scale a Local Business Using Facebook Ads

A local business owner will need to have a certain level of knowledge about how potential customers will engage with paid Facebook Ads campaigns. Any wrong marketing strategy can potentially cause a company to lose leads and furthermore, on invested capital. Being able to create marketing strategies that cater to the customer at each stage of the buyer’s journey through your brand will help increase engagements, thereby improving business profit.

The awareness stage is where potential customers are just learning about a business. The advertising strategy should be focused on educating people about the business and what the company offers. Trying to sell to customers on a discounted product at this point will prove useless as people are yet to know about the local business.

When customers move from the awareness state to the consideration stage, they begin to develop a better understanding of the business. At this point, customers are beginning to show interest in the promotional a company has to offer. Testimonials and reviews from past customers are a great way to develop trust with new potential customers. So, there is a need for your marketing content to feature testimonials of the products the company offers as a “call to action”.

When a potential customer reaches the stage where they are ready to make a purchase, they are in the decision stage. At this stage of the sales funnel, it is necessary to give the person, a reason to buy or they will turn to a competitor. The company will need to have a sales representative that will communicate with them to help nurture them from a potential lead to a customer. Employing the use of discounts and promotions can prove effective in encouraging these leads to visit the store location.

Understanding the Customer’s Journey for Local Business Owners

In every stage of a customer’s journey through a company’s sales funnel, a strategy has to be in place to educate and nurture them, and eventually lead them to become brand advocates. Developing a digital marketing strategy for the awareness stage has to differ from the one used in the decision stage. A Facebook marketing strategy should be an introduction to introduce a company to attractive contents to drive engagement.

For the awareness stage, the types of ads that a local business should employ are brand awareness ads and company page promotion. These two are the best types of digital advertising for this stage of the customer’s journey. The purpose of a brand awareness ad campaign is to promote a business to people who share the same interests of the company. What small business owners have to do is to develop a compelling ad which will pique the interest of people enough to drive them to the company’s Facebook page, which they will hopefully like and follow.

Once begin to engage with a company’s branded page, it becomes necessary to constantly educate customers on the products and services of the company through the page posts. But the amount of content space available on Facebook is quite limited and it has to be shared with paid advertisements. The only solution to ensuring that customers view the content a business shares is by boosting content.

As customers’ a better understanding about local companies around them, so will their progress from awareness stage to consideration stage. At this point, local business owners will have to leverage reviews from previous customers or trusted brands to move the customers to the next stage. Develop testimonial posts that show what each product does and how it meets customer needs. Boost the posts and start targeting this audience with product advertising linked to the company’s website.

Lead generation advertisement is a great way to market products to people based on their interest in the local marketplace. Through the Facebook tracking code (pixel) allows companies to place on their landing page, small businesses are able to develop a customer retarget list. This list helps companies to develop customers’ knowledge of their brand and is shown to have higher click-through-rates than targeted advertising. Through retargeting, owners will be able to gain more leads in hopes to generate sales. To encourage a target audience to make a purchase once they reach the decision stage, it is important to leverage promotional and discount ads. These ads are effective when implemented in the retargeting phase of the digital marketing plan. The ads will keep improving leads knowledge and the risk of making a purchase.

Why Facebook ads are different from AdWords

The psychology of employing Facebook Ads Manager in leads generation is to be on the same platform with a target audience. Facebook is fast becoming the go-to place for information. Local business owners should also note that Facebook doesn’t want its users to leave the platform. So, it is important to make sure company owners drive traffic to a brand page instead of the company’s website when using Facebook Ads Manager. And owners can keep educating their audience from a Facebook page.

The psychology of employing AdWords ads for leads generation is quite different from Facebook. Google AdWords is used to rank company’s website on the Google Search engine. This kind of marketing come into place when searching for helpful information on Google. AdWords platform can be costly based on the company’s industry, plus a lot of research and adjusting has to be done before fully tapping into its potentials.

Facebook Ads Manager and Google AdWords are great ways of bringing a small business to target their audience. With the tracking code placed on the companies landing page through these advertising channels, owners can generate data to retarget digital ads to people who are showing interest in their business. Though with Facebook ads, owners can properly engage with their customers by enabling them to link and share the social ads a company is promoting. Google AdWords is only employed when the target audience asks the right questions. All in all, both online advertising platforms should be fully understood by your marketing team before investing in them.

Retaining Local Customers on Facebook

To maintain an audience on Facebook, small business owners have to consistently post high-quality content on the company’s Facebook page. This is one of the best ways owners can keep track of their content using a content calendar. This calendar enables the marketing team to synergize effectively with the content creators to keep the topic of the contents on brand education and grants a business owner the ability to remain active on their public page. Based on Facebook page activity, customers are more likely to keep engaging with a brand. And as customer engagement increases, so does the likelihood of them making a purchase.

One of the mistakes some businesses make in using Facebook is running the same ad over an extended period of time. This effect their customer engagement stats as people become more hesitant to connect with the brand. Content must be refreshed when it reaches a certain period of time. Owners can use the Facebook metrics to determine the average life cycle of an ad. Begin introducing new ads once customer engagement has started dropping. As the online marketing campaigns improve, people’s trust with a company will also improve, and they will see the company as the best solution to their needs.

One way of providing active support to customers is by incorporating a customer service system into the Facebook page enabling to receive support in real time. Customers are looking for information fast. Instead of calling a company, they send a message to the business about questions they have. It will frustrate customers if they have to wait a long time to get an answer to a question they have. These days, no one has the time nor the patience to wait on the phone for thirty to sixty minutes before receiving support. Either they check a website for solutions or try communicating with a representative on the company’s social media platform. If they unable to obtain any solution, they will move on to a company that will provide them with one. And when they do this, it will badly affect the reputation of a local business.

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