From its inception, social media (specifically Facebook) has evolved to become a popular platform for investors and the financial advisory firms who wish to reach those investors to market their advice and services. When it comes to paid advertising on Facebook, there are ways to utilize the Facebook Ads tools that can maximize the budget of a small, independent financial advisor firm as well as larger financial advisory firms.
The key is to know some basic things about Facebook advertising and how to utilize Facebook ads to reach your target audience and grow your RIA. Here are a few tips to get you started on the road to producing your own leads.
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Set Your Advertising Permissions Appropriately
Because Facebook sets permissions at the user level, you want to make sure you’re giving the correct access level to the right employee or associate. For example, if you’re looking to grant permission to an employee, that employee needs to have an individual Facebook profile.
Employee level access can be set to allow certain roles on certain accounts for those users. In the case of an employee or contractor leaving (possibly not on good terms) you’re able to revoke those advertising privileges immediately.
The next level of access is Admin, and this role has the ability to edit settings, add and remove users, and change payment settings. It’s recommended that this role is reserved for high-level employees and that there is always more than one admin set so that in the case of a forgotten password, etc. there is no issue of being locked out.
Another tip to get the most out of Facebook advertising is to utilize the available targeting features. Because Facebook gathers so much personal and demographic information, you can narrow down your audience, or make it as broad as you’d like, depending on the type of advertising you’re doing.
For example, if you want to reach a specific audience by age, interests and zip code, you can do exactly that. Tip: if you think you’ll be using that audience frequently, you can name it and save it for future use.
Define Your Budget
For any advertising plan, it’s crucial to start with a budget to ensure you stay on track. Facebook allows you to set a budget in many ways – such as total (lifetime) budget, daily budget, and you can even set a schedule for when you’d like the ads to run over the course of a specified amount of time. By checking your budget in real-time, you can track your spending and increase or decrease (or stop altogether) based on the results you're seeing.
Choose Your Format
Facebook allows for different ad formats, including carousel (multiple images and messages) and single-image ads. Depending on your audience, you may want to do one vs. the other, or possibly split up your budget and try both. If you’re using multiple images in a carousel ad, make sure they are cohesive with one another and match your message.
Another word of caution – if you’re using a branded graphic, be sure to watch the amount of text included in the graphic itself. Facebook prefers ads with little to no text within the graphic itself. You can use tools to help you determine if the amount of text is acceptable by Facebook’s ad guidelines, but that still may not determine how your ad will perform based on how it compares to other non-text graphic ads competing for the same Facebook audience.
To the point made above, if you have multiple ads running and aren’t sure which one will perform better, Facebook allows for A/B testing. This is a valuable tool and can be used to test everything from graphics, headlines, body copy and even calls to action. After you’ve decided that the ads have had long enough to run to get accurate results, you can then stop the underperforming ad and reallocate the remaining budget to the better performing ad.
Pick Your Objective
Facebook ads offer 3 main categories for ads: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversions. As the categories would imply, there are different types of end results your financial advisory firm can strategize while using Facebook advertising. The awareness category covers reach and brand awareness, once you get into Consideration and Conversions, you’re getting into more specific actions and conversions such as actual traffic and app installs, etc.
They can all be good options depending on your type of ad and whether you’re looking for awareness of a new service or entering a new market, or possibly promoting a new website and looking for more traffic. Becoming familiar with these objectives can help you achieve better results. One objective to make special note of is the lead generation subcategory of the Consideration category. Lead generation allows you to create a lead form within the ads platform and assign it to specific ads, then triggering a deeper level of engagement which can collect data fields, such as name, phone number, email address, etc.
As briefly mentioned above, Facebook offers extensive reporting and analytics tools to help advertisers determine the results/progress of their campaign and if any changes can be made for the current or future campaigns. Don’t be afraid to make changes mid-campaign if something’s not working. Also, because of the information Facebook collects on users, you can also access that information to use for future marketing efforts.
Ask the Experts
As with most digital platforms, Facebook advertising changes frequently. If you worry about keeping up with all of these changes and best practices while also keeping up with the markets and your business, you may want to use the services of a digital marketing agency. Digital marketing professionals make it a top priority to stay on top of the latest trends and put that knowledge to use for their clients.