You’ve been thinking about advertising your product on Facebook. But you’ve only got a $300 monthly budget and you can’t afford to pay an ad agency for campaign management.
However, without a successful Facebook ad campaign, how are you supposed to grow?
While this may seem like an irrelevant chicken-and-egg problem, for many founders & marketers, it’s the grim reality.
Most of the time, small brands either bust their budgets by hiring a marketing agency or simply give up on Facebook advertising.
In this article, you’ll learn how to set up and run a low-budget Facebook ad campaign on your own.
Among other things, you’ll find answers to questions:
- What’s the minimum Facebook advertising budget?
- How to create designs and copy for your Facebook campaign?
- How to set up your first campaign for success?
Most low-budget Facebook campaigns share similar traits: they need to be well-optimized and make a strong impression on the audience. Let’s see how you can achieve that.
What’s the Minimum Facebook Advertising Budget?
When thinking about Facebook advertising, one of your first questions is probably: What’s the minimum budget I can get results with?
You can actually get results with even a $10 campaign budget.
Depending on what you’re advertising, $10 could buy you more than 20 clicks.
However, that $10 is not the only resource you’re investing into your Facebook ad campaign. You’ll also spend hours of time setting up the ads.
In order for Facebook advertising to be worthwhile and return a positive ROI, you should spend at least $100-$200 per every new campaign.
If you want to bid a smaller sum than $100, post a Facebook post and boost it instead of creating a campaign – you’ll save lots of time and with a tiny budget the difference in results won’t be as big.
What’s the difference between boosting posts vs. advertising?
The main difference is this: If you boost a post (by using the Boost button), Facebook will auto-optimize your ad’s delivery on engagement. This means that Facebook will show your boosted post to people most likely to like, click or share it.
However, if you create an advertising campaign, you can select between a lot more campaign objectives and have Facebook optimize your ad delivery on conversions (e.g. signups, purchases, app installs, etc.)
Usually, ads perform better than boosts.
By using ad campaigns instead of boosts, you can get a lot better results as Facebook can better auto-optimize who sees your ad.
Boosted Facebook posts are like an energy drink you use to get a quick surge of energy… or attention on Facebook. That shouldn’t be your long-term strategy – use boosted posts for promoting blog articles and small offers. For wider reach and $100+ budget campaigns, set up a Facebook ad campaign in the Facebook Ads Manager.
10 Rules for Low-budget Facebook Campaigns
As you get started with Facebook advertising, you’re going to need a to-do (or in some cases, a don’t-do) list.
Even if you don’t get everything right the first time, follow these 10 rules to stay on the right track:
1. Be clear about your advertising goal – you have to know why you’re advertising and what you expect as a result.
2. Aim for sales results, not just impressions and clicks (chasing the last two is usually just a waste of your money).
3. Set up 1 ad campaign with 1 ad set and 1-3 ads while resisting the urge to fragment your campaigns into small low-budget ad sets. The latter won’t let Facebook auto-optimize your campaigns.
4. Don’t try to A/B test too many elements – you won’t have enough results to conclude the test.
5. Use a daily budget – the total budget spread across your planned campaign dates. Make the daily budget at least $10 (you can lower it later to $5).
6. Don’t worry too much about the ad placements, custom delivery schedule, and manual bidding. Use Facebook’s default settings for all these things.
7. Set up Facebook Pixel to track your campaign’s results. IT’S A MUST-HAVE
8. Make an awesome offer that people will like and share – it’ll help your ads to spread organically.
9. Use bold ad design and write good copy that will draw attention to your offer.
10. Don’t forget to set up a retargeting campaign to bring back past website visitors.
IMPORTANT! The above list holds all the key value of this article. Take time and read it carefully.
Step-by-step Guide to Low-budget Campaign Setup
Facebook ad campaigns are managed in the Facebook Ads Manager.
To create a Facebook Ads Manager account:
- Create a Facebook page for your company
- Go to Facebook Business Manager and create an account
- Create a Facebook Advertiser account
If you have any questions, here’s a helpful guide to Facebook ad account setup.
On the first look, your Ads Manager page looks pretty complex and the prospect of using it daunting.
On the other hand, all you need to do is find the green “Create Ad” button on the top right corner of the page.
If you’re also interested in Instagram advertising, see this guide: Instagram Advertising Guide for Beginners – 2017 Edition
Selecting Your Advertising Objective
Once you click the “Create Ad” button, the campaign setup begins.
The first thing Facebook wants to know is your campaign objective.
How to select the right objective? – Depending on what you want to achieve with your low-budget Facebook ad campaign.
Here are some scenarios you might be interested in:
- Want people to sign up on your website or fill in a contact form? – Use the Conversions objective
- Want to lead people to your website? – Use the Traffic objective
- Want people to participate in a Facebook giveaway? – Use the Engagement or Reach objective
- Want to promote your mobile app? – Use the App Installs objective
- Want people to make a purchase on your website? – Use the Conversions objective
In most cases, you can start by selecting the Traffic or Conversions objective.
Set Up Website Tracking
When using the Conversions campaign objective, Facebook will auto-optimize your ad delivery so that your ads reach the people most likely to slick on the ads and convert on your offer.
This leads to lower advertising costs and a lot more results.
When possible, always target Conversions with your campaigns (instead of impressions or clicks).
If you’re interested in specific website conversions, it’s best if they’re marked with a different URL ending. E.g. if you target e-store purchases, you can tell Facebook that your wished conversion is a person visiting your post-checkout Thank You page (www.yourstorename .com/thank-you).
Sorry, but if you want good results from Facebook advertising, there’s no way of round the Facebook Pixel installation.
Take 10 minutes to add it to your website and set up your first conversion event. Here’s a guide that shows how.
If you don’t want to set up Facebook Pixel, select another campaign objective in Step 1. E.g. select Traffic to lead people to your website. (the downside is that you can’t see how many people actually bought something from your website or signed up).
Setting Up Your Facebook Campaign’s Targeting
The next step is setting up your target audience.
For low-budget Facebook campaigns,the best audience size is 10k-50k people.
This might seem like a lot of people, but you can leave some room for Facebook’s auto-optimization. On the other hand, you don’t want to target too many people who don’t care about your offer.
Hack: Instead of using the Detailed Targeting option where you can select interests, you can also target the friends of people who like your Facebook page.
As you use this option, people seeing your Facebook ads will also see the names of their friends liking your page.
If their friends like it, they’re also more interested in finding out more.
Advanced targeting hacks for low-budget Facebook campaigns:
- If you’ve got a list of potential buyers’ names and emails, you can set up a Custom Audience.
- You can also create a Lookalike Audience based on the Custom Audience of your past purchasers to reach people similar to your existing customers.
Select the Placements and Campaign Budget
You have the option to use Automatic placements or manually select where your ads are shown.
You can leave it to Automatic Placements as Facebook will automatically look for the cheapest ways to achieve your anticipated result (clicks, engagement, conversions, etc. – spending on your campaign objective).
If you’re interested in Instagram advertising, here’s a guide you might find helpful: Instagram Ad Specs and Size in 2017 – The Always-up-to-date Guide
The next step is setting up your campaign’s budget.
I recommend that you use a Daily Budget of at least €10 per day. If you’d like, you can also set up an end date for your campaign so that you won’t forget it and accidentally spend too much money.
As to the other options you see below in the screenshot (Optimization for Ad Delivery, etc.), just leave them as they are.
Setting Up Your Ad Creatives
You’re almost there! At least now’s when the fun begins.
The final step of Facebook campaign setup is to create your ads – your chance to show off all your design and copywriting skills.
Create 3-5 different variations of ad designs and copy and set them up.
Should you create image ads, carousel ads or video ads? You can test all of them. To begin with, you can set up regular image ads and find out what’s the best type of design and ad copy.
Your ad layout can make or break the campaign. If your ads look low-quality, people won’t click on them. On the other hand, you shouldn’t spend too much time on designing the ads when running low-budget campaigns.
How to create good-looking ad designs in 1 hour:
- Spend 20 minutes reading this article on Facebook ad design hacks
- Spend 10 minutes looking for free images on unsplash.com
- Spend 30 minutes creating ad designs with Canva
If you need more inspiration, take a look at these 142 Facebook ad examples from top brands.
How to add more than one Facebook ad into your campaign?
When setting up your campaign, you can only add a single Facebook ad. After you’ve published the campaign, you can duplicate your first ad and change its image and copy.
To duplicate your Facebook ad, go to the Ads Manager dashboard, select your campaign, and go the the Ads view. Then, hover over an ad and click on “duplicate.”
Place all your Facebook ad designs into a single ad set – otherwise, your budgets for each ad set will be too low for the Facebook auto-optimization to work.
The general rule with low-budget ad campaigns is to keep it simple. Target one audience, place all ads in a single ad set, don’t try to test everything at once.
Tip: You can also promote a Facebook post that you’ve previously published.
Once you’re happy with your ad campaign, keep it running for at least 24h before evaluating the results.
If the results are not what you expected or the campaign does not start to deliver, look for possible reasons in this article: 22 Silly No-Brainer Reasons Why Your Facebook Ad Campaigns Fail
Low-budget Facebook Ad Campaign FAQs
This is the part of where you come in. If you have any questions regarding Facebook advertising, write them in the comments and I’ll do my best to give you an answer.
Here’s a list of Facebook ads Q&A I’ve been previously asked:
Q1: How much does Facebook advertising cost?
A1: It depends on your offer and what you want to achieve. A click on your Facebook ad could cost anywhere between $0.2 to $2.0. Usually, I’ve seen consumer brands get the CPC around $0.50.
Q2: What is a good Facebook target audience size?
A2: I’d say you should keep your audience at least 10k people large. If your campaign budget is over $100, your target audience size could be 50k+ people – Facebook will auto-optimize your ad delivery to reach the most interested audience members.
Q3: Should I use automatic or manual bidding?
A3: I always use the automatic bidding. Our recent experiment with AdEspresso showed that using a manual bid does not make a huge difference.
Don’t try to “low ball” and use a low manual bid. While it results in a lower CPC and CPA compared to automatic bid, you’ll get very few conversions as delivery is often severely restricted as Facebook will only deliver your ads to a very small audience (those that would convert at the cost you set).
Q4: Add your question into comments 😉
Recommended articles for Facebook ad beginners:
What’s the Best Advertising Channel? Facebook vs. Google vs. Twitter vs. LinkedIn
🎠 How to Set Up Your Facebook Advertising Account
🎠 How-To Set Up Your Facebook Ad Campaigns in Ads Manager
🎠 28 Facebook Ad Hacks for Skyrocketing Results
🎠 9 Facebook Audiences With Extremely High ROI
🎠 101-Point Guide To Master Facebook Custom Audiences