Whether you're an established religious retailer or you're just getting your start in this rewarding industry, you probably understand the importance of using Facebook and other social media channels to point prospective customers toward your shop. But simply maintaining a Facebook page isn't going to reel in the leads you seek. You need to take advantage of another powerful piece of the Facebook puzzle -- namely, its advertising platform.
Why Facebook Ads?
At this point you may be thinking, "I thought Google was the 800-pound gorilla of online advertising, so why can't I just promote my religious store through Google AdWords?" Google AdWords is indeed a great way to advertise -- if you just want your ad to appear before people who type in certain keywords. But since the range of available keywords is limited, the most popular keywords tend to be costlier than many smaller advertisers can afford.
By contrast, Facebook chucks the keyword concept in favor of putting you in front of people whose interests, views, and location are already a matter of record with the social media giant. In this sense, it's more holistic and "real life based" than the cut-and-dried world of keyword optimization.
Facebook can help your business in ways Google AdWords can't.
Types of Ads
Facebook Ads give you different advertising options to choose from. Some of these are best for increasing likes and engagement purely within your Facebook world -- but if you're primarily interested in generating leads for your brick-and-mortar business, you may want to focus on:
- Marketplace Ads -- These little ads appear in the right-hand column of a Facebook user's desktop screen; they're usually placed to promote direct links to your company's website, but you can also use them to cross-promote your Facebook page, app, or event.
- Page Post Link Ads -- Page Post Link Ads, however, are a more powerful and widely-used alternative. These ads appear in your Facebook audiences' newsfeeds, employing a colorful image and compelling text to pitch a specific item. These ads appear on both desktop and smartphone screens -- a huge plus in today's world of mobile shopping!
- Multi-product Ads -- A Multi-product Ad takes the Page Post Ad a step further by displaying images and text for up to three items at a time. They appear in both desktop and mobile newsfeeds.
Ad Creation and Targeting
How do you make a Facebook ad, and how to you target a specific audience with it? Facebook Ads will first ask you to pick an objective for ad campaign, such as getting more clicks to your website. You'll also need to state a maximum budget for your campaign on the "Ad Set" level.
At this point you're ready to select the ideal audience for your Facebook Ads. You can aim your ad at combinations of demographic segments such as age, interests, location, and political views. This helps to ensure that your religious retail store is appearing in front of individuals who might be predisposed to buy such products.
You can target friendly, receptive audiences for your wares.
Facebook also lets you use your own customer information to generate something called Custom Audiences. By submitting contact details and data on your regular site visitors, you enable Facebook to generate "Lookalike Audiences" -- a collection of Facebook users who closely match your current clientele's demographics.
Now that you know how to turn Facebook into a lead generation engine for your religious retail store, you're ready to take your enterprise to the next level of success. So get to work on your Facebook advertising campaign today -- or become a McVan retailer if you're not one already!