Facebook Advertising For Home Improvement Professionals

Facebook Advertising For Home Improvement Firms

Learn How Your Home Improvement Firm Can Implement, Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising is one of the more successful marketing tools for the home improvement industry today. It has won the approval of marketing professionals the world over due to its well thought through hierarchical system of developing advertising campaigns. Every Facebook ad begins as a larger concept oriented around a specific goal and works its way down to the clean, finished advertisements that we see on our timelines today. Facebook guides home improvement marketers and small business owners alike through the process of developing very concise ads that get returns.

Types of Facebook Ads

Within the Facebook system there are two main types of advertisement campaigns: promoted posts and boosted posts. Let's take a look at the major differences between the two now.

Promoted Posts

In Facebook terms, a promoted post is just an ad. That is to say; a promoted post is not a post that shows up on your Facebook feed. It randomly appears on other peoples' feeds as "sponsored." Facebook tracks these ads using a special URL so you can see how many visits are being generated through each one. When you create a promoted post, you select a region or demographic, and you set a budget for the number of times the ad will be shown.

Boosted Posts

By contrast, a boosted post is not a post that was created to be an ad. Instead, any regular post that you share with your followers can be turned into a boosted post. In general, boosted posts feel more personable and organic to viewers because they are less scripted. For home improvement firms, promoted posts are helpful when sharing images of jobs in progress, unusual design or construction solutions, and final pictures of projects. Use them to support the type of work you want. If you're seeking to grow your bathroom or master suite remodeling business over the winter months, boost posts that have images of bathroom remodeling. However, boosted posts also tend to be targeted to the people who already know about you, rather than reaching people outside of your existing pool. Think of them as a way of growing repeat business and encouraging friends of friends to visit your website. The goal is to have your current followers share your boosted posts with their friends, so the engagement comes from someone they trust, rather than a post with an obvious marketing intent. Whenever you post to your feed, you have the option to boost it and create a budget for it.

The Hierarchy Of Facebook Advertising

The Facebook Marketing system is broken down into three main elements: the goal, the demographics, and the actual ad. Whenever you set out to create a new Facebook ad for your home improvement firm, you start with your goal first. This is the umbrella under which all of your ads will fall. For instance, your goal may be to generate leads by offering a free download of your product guide white paper or brochure. All of the ads you create will be pointed toward driving people to download the brochure.

Step two is defining your target demographics. In most cases, you will have several different ideal candidates in mind for your offer. The good news is that you no longer need to create a single ad that reaches all of them at once. Instead, you can create buyer personas or demographics for each group of people to guide you towards creating more accurate ads. If may want to target individuals who are interested in kitchen remodeling, you can break down your target audience by age, net worth, and interest. So if you sell high-end kitchen remodeling services, choose an audience that is in your service area, that is thirty-five to fifty years of age with a six digit income and has an interest in cooking. You can also create a separate audience for first-time homeowners within your service area that has a younger age, lower net worth and has remodeling or architecture as an interest. You can set up 3-5 audience personas that are within your target audience.

Finally, it is time to create your ads. Again, there is no need to limit yourself to one ad per demographic. Instead, you can be creative and put together 2-3 ads per demographic to see which one reaches the intended audience. Facebook will handle the randomization of these ads so you can get a good idea of which ones work best and apply a larger percentage of your advertising budget to the advertisements with the best results.

Creating Your First Home Improvement Facebook Campaign

Now that you understand the fundamentals of Facebook's audience targeting system, it's time to set up your very first campaign. We will walk through each step of the hierarchy and try to answer the difficult questions that will guide your advertising efforts going forward. This is the method used to create promoted posts, although it is also useful for boosting regular posts as well.

Deciding on a Goal - Website Visits, Likes or Phone Calls

When it comes to creating a successful ad, you need to have a clear objective in mind. This goal needs to be both measurable and useful. In many cases, the most useful purpose is to get people to your website from Facebook. This goal will generate the best results if you are sending visitors to a landing page where they can sign-up for your blog – so that you can email them articles and stay top of mind during the decision-making process, or a landing page that provides a downloadable guide. A typical guide will educate potential buyers on how to engage your services, something like "What's The Cost of a Master Suite Addition in Boston, MA." Additionally, you may choose to generate Facebook likes or phone calls from the contact button on your Facebook page. Take the time to narrow down your goal to just one of these options now. While it may be tempting to try and increase likes, followers, phone contacts and website visits all at once, you will find that you are spreading your marketing dollars too thin if you do not focus on one at a time. Start slow, watch your results and increase your budget on advertisements that get the results you want.

Choosing Your Audience Demographic and Psychographic

Now that you know what you are trying to accomplish, you can choose your target demographic with clarity. Facebook has a huge array of options for selecting your target demographic. First and foremost, you can target by location. This is useful for retailers who serve a particular geography. However, you can go deeper by targeting specific age groups, genders, and even income groups. All of this information is freely posted by the users of Facebook on their profiles, so you do not have to pay someone to research for you. You can also use pre-existing lists and groups to target people who have indicated an interest in a particular service.

You can also import lists of people based on contact information from your mailing list, so you can reach your audience across multiple platforms instantly if you are trying to retarget your customer base. If you are exclusively trying to connect with an audience that you do not currently have, Facebook allows you to import your current contact list, and block those individuals from seeing your ad, so that you know your ad is going out to new audiences, rather than your existing home improvement customers.

Advanced Audience Targeting

Beyond the tools mentioned above, Facebook allows you to narrow down your target demographic as much as you want. Using keywords, you can find specific interests, job titles and more to ensure your targeting home improvement prospects seeking your area of specialty. Facebook will make suggestions based on the keywords you use. Furthermore, you can target based on the user's shopping habits, such as their likelihood to spend more money on beauty products, or their previous email click through rate. You also have the ability to market using the networking features of Facebook, either targeting or excluding users according to their friend's list or the apps they are using through Facebook. The deeper you dig into these options, the more accurate your targeting will be.

Your Advertising Budget

Facebook has two options for planning your ad campaign. You can either set up a daily budget or a total campaign budget. With a daily budget, your ad will be shown randomly up until your cut off point, and then it will not be shown until the next day. With a total campaign budget, you can set a continuous monthly total that resets at the beginning of every 30 days, or you can set a budget for a particular period based on hard calendar dates. This is useful if you are advertising for special events like a Labor Day Weekend promotion that encourages kitchen remodeling in time for the holidays.

Setting a daily cap helps keep your ad budget from running out at the very beginning of your campaign and then abruptly dropping off. However, it may limit the number of times that your ad can be viewed during peak hours if your budget runs out early in the day. A total campaign budget tends to smooth out your viewership throughout the entire life of the campaign. On the plus side, you can change your budget plan at any time, so it is often useful to create a mostly open budget at first, and then limit your spending after you see how each ad is performing. This way you can save money on the ads that aren't earning returns, and spend more on the ads that are working.

A Note About Bidding

Facebook bills you for the number of ad impressions and clicks that you get. When you set up your campaign, you have the opportunity to place a bid. A bid is the highest sum of money you are willing to spend on getting the viewer to engage in the action of choice. For instance, how much are you willing to spend to get one individual to click through to your site? There are several ways to set your bids.

  1. Website Visits: You can bid based on the cost per click to get people to your website specifically. This does not include visits to your social pages or phone calls from your Facebook ad.

  2. General Clicks: This bid is based on the user taking any available action with your ad including visiting your website, visiting your Facebook page, liking or sharing your post, etc.

  3. Impressions: Finally, you can bid on the number of impressions you want to make. An impression is any time your ad shows up on a Facebook feed and is visible to your audience. You bid on impressions by the thousand.

As you consider placing your bid, think about the primary objective of your campaign. If your goal is to get website visits, then it is obvious you want to bid on those clicks. However, if you are trying to build a larger audience on social media, then impressions and general clicks are useful. Also, if you have not established yourself at all on social media yet, impressions can be the gateway you need to get started.

If you are unsure of what each click is worth to you in the big picture, Facebook has an optimize button. When you optimize your ad, it will focus on generating website clicks and will set a bid for you based on an internal algorithm. This is usually the easiest way for companies who are new to Facebook marketing. Facebook will also show you what other businesses in your area are doing so you can see what an average bid looks like.

When all else fails, setting your bid higher than average ensures that you will get more clicks. If Facebook notices that your ad is performing poorly, the system will automatically reduce the number of impressions it makes to weed out bad content. If your ad ends up in this pile, it is hard to regain momentum. Instead, you will need to start a whole new ad campaign. If you place your bid too low in the beginning, you may suffocate your ad until Facebook weeds it out, wasting your time and money.

Designing and Writing The Content For Your Facebook Ad

Once you' havefigured out your demographics and budget, the time has finally arrived to create the advertisement. Facebook requires that all ads include an image. Choose a high-quality professionally taken photography that is attractive to your target audience. Unique architectural photography that stands out against your competitors is always the right choice. Your image should be 1200x627 px to fit perfectly into your ad space. You have the option to upload six images total to your ad, which will show in a random pattern or slideshow with your ad. Fortunately, Facebook tracks each image and determines which ones are getting the best response to optimize your ad over time by featuring those images more often. Your image may contain up to 20% text so that you can include a company name or logo, as well as a headline. There is a handy grid tool available which lets you see how much of your image is filled with text.

Once you've set your images, it's important to write compelling ad copy. If you need help writing copy, pick up a copy of the book "Words that Sell by Rick Bayan. Your ad copy appears alongside your image and calls upon the viewer to take action. Facebook places some limitations on the language used for advertising, but you should always include a short explanation of the products or services you have to offer and a clear call to action.

Display Locations

Once you've written your ad, you can choose where it should be displayed on Facebook. You can limit impressions to desktop feeds, mobile feeds or use the right-hand column. Each one has advantages, but you will need to balance your display location based on where your audience is most likely to be looking at Facebook.

Once you hit submit, your ad will go through a quick review process, and you will be notified that your ad has gone live. Despite the fact that there are many steps involved in reaching this point, the truth is that Facebook walks you through each step one by one so you can be sure that you are getting the best possible ad exposure. Keep in mind that your first ad may not get the results you're after. Most marketers create 2-3 ads per demographic so that they can test out different wording and images.

Measuring for Success

Once you've launched a handful of ads, it's time to measure them for success over a period. Facebook's advertising dashboard includes feedback on all different kinds of metrics including the number of clicks on your ad, the number of impressions made, the cost per click, how often each viewer was exposed to your ad and more.

As you look through each of these details, you can see which ads were shown the most and which ads got the best response from viewers. You can also get a feel for the average amount of money being spent on each action, to determine whether or not you are meeting your budget goals. It's important not to let your ad go too long before you check in. If you check back after a few days and realize there's a problem with the results it's getting, you have the opportunity to fix it before you spend any more money. Continue to check back on your ad over the course of your campaign to determine which pieces are working and which ones are not. Eliminate the ones that are showing few results after a couple of weeks, and divert the majority of your budget to the ads that have been successful.

You can also look at the daily ad spend and impressions to get a better idea of what days of the week are most profitable for your ads. Focusing on your most successful days is useful for analyzing future campaigns and tightening up your ad budget.

Now it's up to you to keep improving your ads over time. Take cues from your most successful ads about what language works best, which images get the greatest response, and what kind of posts viewers are most likely to share. Once you have a good understanding of these details, Facebook will work on your behalf to continue sharing your most successful posts on its own.

About Michael Conway

I'm the owner and strategist at Means-of-Production. My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one marketing tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition.