Facebook Ads: What Are They? How Do I Start?

<b>Facebook Ads</b>: What Are They? How Do I Start?

Facebook ads, post reach, impressions … all terms we’ve probably come across as bloggers and entrepreneurs. But how many of us really know what it all means and whether it is something we should be considering, investing in, or completely ignoring? As a blogger working in the field of digital marketing, I’ve had my share of experiences working with content and social campaigns. While I can look back at some pretty successful experiences, I can also say I’ve had my share of failures.

Aiming to learn more and share that knowledge with others, I’ve asked my buddy Gary who happens to be a rock star when it comes to FB ads, to help explain a few things that might still be unclear. Below he shares some wisdom (just some).

Side note: Contact info and more about Gary at the end of this entry. 

So much talk of FB ads for businesses, what is it really? What does it do?

Facebook ads allow you to surface your content natively within the Facebook ecosystem to a broader and more targeted subsection of users than those who already like your Facebook page. Basically, it’s one of the only ways to ensure your content is reaching the right group of people outside of your existing Facebook audience.

I’m a blogger … if I’m already promoting organic content, are FB ads really necessary?

In most cases, yes! There’s so much organic content running through people’s news feeds these days that only a small percentage of your audience will even see your posts – only about 10% of your total page likes on average. Without leveraging the extended reach of Facebook ads, the only chance your content has of reaching outside of your existing audience is if it goes viral or gets shared by a larger page.

Paying for ads seems like something big companies would do, can bloggers and entrepreneurs do it as well?

Definitely. Facebook ads have really leveled the playing field for the little guys trying to break through the clutter. Anyone looking to build more brand awareness, grow their audience, and drive traffic to their website should be utilizing the tools that Facebook ads provides. And the best part is that you can spend as little or as much as you want!

When do you know your content is “worthy” of FB ads?

This one really starts off with your gut feel. Put yourself in the mindset of your audience. Would you be compelled to read, watch, or click through to this piece of content? And when you do, is it interesting, entertaining, or informative enough to keep me around to consume all of it? And going further, are you including calls to action on that page to get those new visitors to complete the actions you’d like them to? You should always be thinking of the next step, like signing up for your email list, accessing a piece of premium content, following you on another social channel, viewing another related piece of content, etc.

How do I even do it?

Just start. What I WOULDN’T do, is press the “Boost” button in the bottom corner of your organic posts. Head into the Facebook Ads Manager and start playing around there. Browse the various campaign objectives, test out different audience targeting in your ad sets, and rotate in various images, video, and copy. Then, once you’ve gotten the hang of it, work your way up to Facebook Power Editor. That’s an advanced tool where you can really get granular with your audience targeting and ad creative.

On a budget, how much money do you need to invest?

You can spend as little as $1 a day, and how many people you reach really depends on the size of your target audience. I run a blog targeting craft beer drinkers in LA, and I budget around $10-25 per week depending on how much content we’re promoting at the time. The best part about Facebook ads is you can invest as little or as much as you want depending on the size of your audience, depth of your wallet, or desire for growth.

How often should I do it?

As often as you have content worth promoting. As a blogger, you know that consistency in your production schedule is key. The same goes for how often you’re appearing in front of your target audience. Utilize Facebook ads to keep your brand consistently in the news feeds of the people you want to reach. Rotate fresh content in and out of your active ad sets and be sure to check back every few days to make sure reach and engagement isn’t declining.

Do you have a secret to being successful with ads on Facebook? Can you share?

I have a bunch but I’ll leave you with the most important ones. Here they are:

  1. The first thing you should do after reading this is install the Facebook Custom Audience Pixel onto your site. This will start cookie-ing your blog’s visitors so that you can retarget them with your Facebook ads. While you’re at it, upload your email list to Facebook to create a Custom Audience with them as well. These two groups of people are the most likely to engage with your content, so you should include them in almost every Facebook ads campaign that you run. And be sure to frame your ad creative specific to these groups. They already know who you are, so no need to address them like they don’t.
  2. When you’re creating a custom header image for a piece of content (at 1200 x 628 pixels, of course), create another version that limits the text to only 20% of the overall photo. Facebook won’t let you run an ad that links to your website when over 20% of the link image contains text. Use their grid tool to see if your image is within the guidelines.
  3. As people start Liking and Reacting with your ad, click the link under your post that says “So and so and 5 others”, which will bring up a list of the people that have engaged with the post. If a person hasn’t already Liked your page, there should be an “Invite” button that appears. Click it. This button has a great conversion rate in turning non-Likers into Likers.Example - FB ads
  4. Be sure to utilize consistent naming conventions for your campaigns, ad sets, and ads. Once you’ve been running ads for awhile, the Facebook ads interface can get a bit cluttered. But they do have a really useful search function, so if you name everything properly, you should have no issues. I recommend “Post Description” as your campaign name, “Post Description – Audience Description” for your ad set name, and “Post Description – Audience Description – Ad Description” for your ad name.

 

About Gary

Gary MagnoneGary Magnone loves craft beer, cocktails, and coffee, but more importantly, people, he’s a digital marketing consultant and entrepreneur. He launched Highrise in 2012 and helps his clients drive traffic, leads, and revenue through digital channels. He also runs Hopped LA, a website that helps connect craft beer brands in LA with the people that care about them. He’s a friendly dude, so feel free to connect with him on Twitter or by email at gary@gethighrise.com.

Listo… ahora, ¿cómo empiezo un blog?

Listo… ahora, ¿cómo empiezo un <b>blog</b>?

Cómo me hubiese gustado haber sabido algo o haber hecho mi tarea sobre lo que es “blogging” antes de iniciar. La realidad era que en el 2010 no había tanta información, pero bueno… me hubiera ahorrado algo de tiempo o tal vez hubiera podido evitar ciertos errores, enfocarme más y quizás haber ganado algo de dinero desde el inicio. Desde la perspectiva de alguien que ya lo ha hecho por seis años, siento que es mi responsabilidad compartir con ustedes algo de lo que he aprendido y dar unos consejos a aquellos que desean iniciar su propio blog. 

Si aún tienes preguntas después de leer este artículo, envíame un mensaje directo y con gusto te ayudo.  

Tiempo para concentrarse

Has decidido que quieres tu propio blog … la pregunta es, ¿por cuál razón? Esto es súper importante de aclarar desde el principio. Si quieres tomar esto en serio, es importante hacerlo desde los primero pasos. Contesta algunas preguntas – ¿Quieres dar un servicio a través de tu sitio? ¿Qué es? ¿Consejos de moda? ¿Entrenamiento físico? Tal vez quieras vender un producto. El primer paso es contestar estas preguntas y más que nada enfocarte. 

Tema

Ahora tienes una idea de lo que quieres hacer… o al menos piensas que si. El tema de tu blog será algo muy importante, hará que tu sitio triunfe o no. Asegurarte de encontrar algo en el que puedas especializarte; se honesto contigo mismo. Tal vez sea que eres un experto en encontrar las mejores ofertas en la web, esa sería tu especialidad y entonces podrás educar a los demás sobre esto y compartir tus tips con ellos. Un consejo: busca algo que no se este haciendo o que tal vez pienses que no se esta haciendo bien. La web es muy competitiva y quieres asegurarte de que tu idea sea única y especial.

Ahora vamos a escoger un nombre

¿Qué estás pensando? Es sumamente importante que te tomes tu tiempo con esto, estarás invirtiendo en el (sí, con dinero). Este nombre no se utilizará solamente en tu sitio sino a través de tus cuentas de redes sociales. La idea es que escojas algo que no cambiarás en el futuro.

De nuevo al dominio

En otras palabras, el dominio será el nombre que identificará a tu blog (como ya lo hemos discutido). Así que ahora has decidido que le darás el nombre de ‘blah’ – suena fabuloso, increíble, y único. “¡Genial!” Todavía no te emociones, primero hay que identificar si está disponible (de venta). Haremos lo mismo con las plataformas que utilizarás (redes sociales). El sitio, Namechk te permite revisar todo este en un solo sitio. Ahora, toma lo que necesitas. Una recomendación: toma todas las plataformas que puedas, nunca sabes si un día las necesitarás (ej. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

Ahora, ¿qué plataforma usaremos?

Tenemos el dominio y las cuentas de redes sociales … ahora, ¿dónde diablos se hace esto? ¿Dónde vas a escribir? Bueno, hay opciones…varias. ¿Has oído hablar de WordPress, Tumblr, Squarespace y Blogger (por nombrar algunos)? Personalmente, me gusta recomendar WordPress. Es fácil pero no demasiado fácil. Tienes la opción de modificar sin tantas restricciones; muchos medios utilizan está plataforma, así que tiene muy buena reputación.

El diseño

¡Ahora es tiempo de diseñar tu blog! Encuentra un estilo de tu gusto que funcione para el tema que pienses desarrollar. Hay que tomar en cuenta que aunque te llame la atención un estilo muy llamativo con muchas funciones, esto no siempre es lo ideal. Quieres algo que sea más simple y así funcione bien y rápido en cuanto se baje en tu móvil o en la computadora de uno de tus lectores. Las estadísticas muestran que los usuarios utilizan el servicio móvil más que nada, así que esto es súper importante. 

Tiempo de explorar

La verdad es que no puedes aprender todo sobre blogging y la plataforma que has elegido de un día para el otro. Así que empieza por publicar tu primer articulo. Navega tu sitio, entra a cada una de tus paginas y aprende sobre lo que puedes hacer y donde tal vez necesites más experiencia. Lo bueno de esto es que YouTube tiene tutoriales gratis que te pueden ayudar en casi todo.

“Hola chicos, tengo un blog”

Ya has aprendido lo básico, así que has llegado a la hora de promocionar tu nuevo sitio. Avísale a tus amigos y familiares que has empezado algo nuevo y que agradecerías todo su apoyo; siempre toma en cuenta que tu comunidad se trata de ellos, ¿cómo es que tu nuevo blog les beneficiará a ellos? Piénsalo.

Consistencia es muy importante

DJ Khaled probablemente diría, “la consistencia es la clave del éxito”, ya que realmente lo es. Si no puedes comprometerte a publicar todos los días (todo lo normal), intenta comprometerte a un articulo a la semana. Tal vez el lunes funcione para ti o tal vez sea el miércoles. Investiga y haz un calendario.

Sin redes sociales no tienes nada

La belleza de las redes sociales es que es gratis y que te permite conectar con marcas a nivel mundial. Un hashtag sencillo en Instagram te puede conectar con otros #vegetarianos, una búsqueda en Twitter te avisa quién está “comiendo” que a que hora (solo son ejemplos). Saca el máximo provecho de las redes sociales; crea una audiencia y ojalá uno de tus artículos llegue a ser viral.

Eso es todo por el proceso de arranque … unos consejos de alguien que ha estado blogueando por un tiempo, no seas tímido..usa tu propia voz, se tú y en corto tiempo verás que tu seguimiento crecerá y las oportunidades grandes llegarán.

I’m Ready… Now, How Do I Start a Blog?

I’m Ready… Now, How Do I Start a <b>Blog</b>?

Oh man! I wish I would’ve done some research (or had more info.) baaack in the day before deciding I’d start blogging. I could’ve saved some time, avoided certain mistakes, focused from the beginning, and probably made money from the get go.

As a blogger who’s been doing, learning, messing up since 2010… I see it as my duty to help those who are ready to start blogging but might now know how or where to start.

Note: if you still have questions after this, feel free to shoot me a message. Here to help!

Time to focus

You decided you want to blog… question is, why? This is super important to clear out from the beginning. If you’re serious, start thinking – do you want provide a service by blogging?  What is it? Fashion advice? Fitness training? Maybe you want to sell a product. Start thinking, ask yourself these questions and answer them.

Niche

Ok, so you have an idea of what you want to do… or so you think! Niche is super important because it will make or break your blog. Find something you can specialize in, and don’t lie to yourself (others can tell). If you’re really good at finding coupons, that’s your thing and you can kick ass in educating others how to do the same. Tip: find something others aren’t doing (or maybe not doing right). The internet is a competitive space and you want to make sure your idea is unique.

Let’s pick a name

What are you thinking? This is something that you should take your time with, you’ll be investing in it (yes, with $$$) by buying a domain (www.blah.com), and it’s not something you should ever think of changing. This is your brand and it should be the same across all social media platforms, including your website of course.

Back to the domain

Ok, you decided that your blog is going to be called ‘Blah’ – it sounds fabulous, amazing, and unique. “Hip hip, hooray!” Don’t get too excited just yet, first you need to make sure the domain is even available. What social is available? Namechk let’s you know. Buy the domain, and take over the social media accounts you’ll be using (you might want to consider taking all available, just in case).

Where do I start blogging?

You bought the domain… now, where the hell do you do this? Where will you write? You have options, many! Ever heard of Wordpress, Tumblr, Squarespace, Blogger, Medium (to name a few)? I personally like to recommend WordPress. It’s easy but not too easy. You’re able to customize, and many large publications actually use it (it’s that good).

“I need a theme”

Yes, you do! Time to look into a design that suits your taste and voice. Things to consider however, flashy and cool themes are not always the best. The number of mobile users is only growing; simple themes that are mobile optimized and load up fast and easy help and are very important!

Time to explore

Look, you’re not going to learn everything about blogging overnight. Begin by working on your first post, explore your platform; what do you want to do that you may not know how to? Thank goodness for YouTube! Tutorials are a great way to learn quickly.

“Hey guys, I have a blog!”

You got the basics down, you published your first post. Start promoting! Let your family and friends know what you’re doing and why (don’t be shy!). Always think about “them”; why will they benefit from being a part of your new community? Think about it and incorporate it to your announcement and early promotion.

Consistency is the key

Major KEY

DJ Khaled would probably say, “consistency is the key to success” because it really is. If you can’t commit to posting every day (very realistic), try to commit to once a week. Maybe Mondays will work or Wednesdays. Check and see what days are best to post and try to stick to a schedule.

Social is everything

The beauty of social media is that it’s free and it allows you to connect to brands on a global level. A simple hashtag on Instagram will connect you to other #vegetarians, a search on Twitter will let you know who’s “eating” what (these are examples, guys). Take full advantage of social media; it’s how you’re going to build your audience, how you’re going to connect with other bloggers, and how your latest post could potentially go viral (#goals).

That’s it for the starting process… some words of advice from someone that’s been blogging for a minute, be unique and be you. Once you find your voice, your blog will flourish and the sponsorship opportunities will come knocking!