Social media has become the new television. In 2016, Facebook reported to the NY Times that its users spend on average, about 50 minutes each day using Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger.
That number has only been increasing with the addition of Facebook Live and rich media features, and people are moving towards social more and more to share and consume media.
As a response, Facebook and every social channel have created a “pay-to-play” model, forcing marketers to become much more strategic in their budget allocations to make the most return on investment.
With large brands allocating thousands of dollars towards social advertising budgets, how do businesses and marketers with smaller budgets compete? In this article, we will share three smaller (monthly) sample budgets and a strategy to implement for each.
What every campaigns needs, no matter the budget.
Before we get into the specifics of each budget, it’s essential to address the following campaign checklist that is important for every advertising campaign, and necessary when working with a limited budget to compete.
1. Determine Your Goal
If your goal is generating new leads, then it’s crucial to create campaigns using the options that are built for that result. Our suggestion for the best results here is to create campaigns with the “Traffic” option, “Engagement” option, or “Conversion.”
Woobox makes setting up on-brand lead capture forms smooth and keeps your lead information and campaign performance metrics in one place.
2. Make sure your audience selection is targeted.
More significant and encompassing audiences require larger budgets, so focused targeting is your ally when your budget is limited. Audience Insights is our recommended solution to define your audience. To learn how to use Audience Insights and the basics of setting up an effective advertising campaign read here. When it comes to the exact size, try to keep your audience size under 50K.
3. Your Content Matters
With all of the recent changes in Facebook’s algorithm (read here to find out how to set up your current content strategy accordingly) brands need to focus on ad content that adds value to their target audience.
This means truly understanding the main pain points and interests of your target audience: craft copy and content that directly speaks to these points. When crafting your ad campaigns, be intentional with the words, colors, content types (videos, photos, etc), and call-to-action that you use. If your audience receives value, and the content is something people will like and share, Facebook will in-return value your advertised post.
Now let’s get into the specific low-budget strategies we’ve selected when it comes lead generation.
For a first time monthly Facebook budget of $500
For many marketers and businesses just starting out, a social media advertising budget of $500 or less is often a reality until ROI can be proven. When this is the case, you want to be sure to spend at least $100 for each ad within a campaign to give it the reach it will need to return a noticeable ROI. So what does this mean for your lead generation strategy?
Here is what an effective strategy looks like:
(Start with the 3-step checklist mentioned above.)
1.) Set a target number of leads for the month (realistically for this budget range).
2.) Use the first $50 to $100 on A/B testing 3 ads within your campaign to see which perform the best.
3.) We suggest a contest or giveaway as a campaign to optimize lead generation when your budget is small because these types of post are seen as highly valuable to Facebook users and often get a ton of organic reach and shares through their virality.
4.) Next, pick the top performing 1 to 2 ads that align with your goal (in this case, lead generation).
5.) When determining the length of time to run your campaign, make sure that your average daily spend is above $10.
6.) Analyze how the ad(s) performed, and make any necessary adjustments. Put the remaining budget into the top performing ad and/or utilize your remaining budget to “boost” content you have shared as a post on your Facebook page that aligns with your goal for the month.
Note: Keep in mind that boosting a post will automatically default to the goal of increasing and driving engagement with that post. Make sure if you are boosting a post it has a direct CTA to your lead generation page or capture.
For a first time monthly Facebook budget of $1500
If your monthly advertising budget is over $1,000, you have more a bit more freedom and options with your strategy.
Let’s look at what a lead generation strategy could look like at $1500/month
(Follow the checklist mentioned at the article’s beginning.)
1.) Use $200 or less for A/B testing your ads in your campaign(s) to see which perform the best. (Note: Make sure each campaign test is at least $10 per day.)
2.) Next, pick the top 3 – 5 performing ads that align with your goal (in this case, lead generation).
3.) We would still suggest running a contest or giveaway for one of your campaigns to optimize lead generation here.
4.) When determining the length to run your ads within a campaign, make sure that your average daily spend is above $10.
5.) Decide whether to launch your campaigns simultaneously or separately. You can begin your advertising campaigns simultaneously. However, we suggest running them independently to avoid a marketing pitfall called “audience overlap” which creates two or more ads competing for the same audience. If you want to run your ads at the same time, make sure that they target distinct audiences. Otherwise, you might end up driving up your ad spend by competing with yourself.
6.) Analyze how each ad performed, and determine your “cost per lead” so you can have a baseline understanding of how each ad performed separately and in comparison to one another. This is important to understanding your goal CPL to make sure you are going in the right direction. If one campaign performed well, focus the rest of the budget on that campaign. If both performed well, do the same. If neither performed well, make the necessary adjustments.
For a first time monthly Facebook budget of $3000
The major difference for a $3,000 Facebook monthly ad spend is in the number of ads you are able to create and test, giving you much more opportunity for testing and higher lead generation.
Let’s look at what a lead generation strategy could look like at $3000/month
(Follow the checklist we mentioned at the beginning of this article.)
1.) Instead of A/B testing, try creating 2 to 3 campaigns with 2 Ad Sets, including 5 ads within each Ad Set. The ad testing will occur during the campaigns runtime.
2.) Set target at “cost per lead” and a goal for monthly leads generated.
3.) We suggest running a contest or giveaway for one of your campaigns to optimize lead generation here.
4.) When determining the length to run your campaign, make sure that your average daily spend is above $10.
5.) Make sure to avoid “audience overlap” by choosing different audiences for each ad or running campaigns at different times.
6.) Analyze how each campaign did, by comparing the cost per lead to your set target goal and see which ads contributed most in reaching your lead goal for the month. Choose to use the remaining budget with ads that performed the best. Do not be afraid to throw out multiple ads that are ineffective, and create new ones if needed.
7.) Testing and tweaking is the key to optimizing your ads over time.
Closing Thoughts and Final Consideration
No matter your budget level, it is important to remember that Facebook advertising requires constant testing and evaluation.
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll figure out the “magic formula” in the first few campaigns because there is no magic formula. What is most important is setting specific goals for your campaigns and making sure that your campaigns are reaching those goals (such as “Generate 300 new leads”) and if they aren’t, stop your ad spend there and reallocate it to a new campaign.
Creating a Woobox account to build your campaigns is FREE, and will help you in analyzing all of your campaign results in one location. Publishing your campaign to gather lead generation, build your reach, and more will require a subscription.
If you have any questions, Woobox support is here for you by email or phone (1-360-450-5200) Monday – Friday from 9 am PST to 5 pm PST.