Bakeries across North America are seeing success from advertising on Facebook, and one of the main reasons is the platform’s audience targeting capabilities. While Facebook has more than 2 billion active monthly users, targeting features allow businesses to focus their advertising efforts on consumers who meet certain criteria, such as location, age range and interests.
A year after Cupcakin’ Bake Shop in Berkeley, California, launched a hyperlocal Facebook ad campaign targeting users 18 to 55 located within 5 miles of the bakery, it saw a 30 percent increase in web traffic, and store visits went up 25 percent, according to Facebook.
And bakeries don’t have to break the bank to see these types of results.
“Any kind of budget can work,” says Ian Simmons, head of the paid social department at SEOM Interactive. “Even $25 or $50 ads can reach hundreds and hundreds of potential customers—if bakeries find the right audience.”
In addition, Facebook lets you retain complete control over how much you’re spending, either by setting a daily budget or limiting the budget over the life of a campaign.
Ready to use Facebook to find new customers and encourage brand loyalty? Consider these tips.
Step 1: Define Your Bakery’s Facebook Advertising Objective
Before starting any ad campaign, think about your end goal. Are you hoping to grow brand awareness in your community? Is your priority to drive more traffic to your online store? Do you want to encourage people to stop by for this month’s featured cake flavor? Your objective will fuel your ad strategy, so having a clear goal in mind is a must, says Simmons. And if you’re not sure how to define your goal, visit Ads Manager (once you’re logged in to Facebook), which provides several marketing objective ideas to get you started. Once you’ve chosen an objective, Ads Manager will recommend specific ad options.
Step 2: Know Your Bakery’s Facebook Audience
The Audience Insights tool within Ads Manager allows you to get granular about whom you want to reach—and makes sure you’re getting the most out of your investment. When Tiffany’s Bakery in Philadelphia relocated to a new storefront, the owners created a Facebook ad for the grand opening, targeting customers who were already interested in the bakery, according to SEOM Interactive.
In this instance, it made sense for the bakery to target existing followers. However, Facebook ads can also target new audiences. You can customize the ads by demographics, such as age and household income, and behaviors, such as online shopping habits or interests. If you’re not sure what size audience you want or who exactly to target, think back to your objective, says Simmons. If your goal is conversions (getting users to take an action like attend an event or make a purchase, for example), focus on your bakery’s fans. But if you’re looking to build brand awareness or promote products, a broader audience is a smarter option.
Even users who haven’t liked your business page—but have visited it or engaged with your content—can still be targeted with custom audiences. Upload customer information you already have or set your sights on people who have engaged with your Facebook content in some way. Examples include users who have watched one of your videos, shared one of your posts or commented on one of your photos. These new audiences not only expand your potential customer base, but they also give you more information to measure and analyze, ultimately helping you further refine your targeting.
Step 3: Use Current Bakery Facebook Followers to Find New Ones
“Even if your organic audience isn’t huge, don’t panic,” says Simmons. “It still contains valuable information that you can use to build a profile for targeting future customers.” For instance, Facebook’s lookalike audiences can analyze your existing fan base and identify other users with similar qualities. “Sometimes you find an audience you wouldn’t have expected,” Simmons says. And the odds of finding future customers in those lookalike groups can be dramatically higher than that of an unfocused ad.
You can use a single source audience to create up to 500 lookalike audiences, and you can choose which ones see your ads. “Don’t be afraid to experiment,” adds Simmons.
Step 4: Mind Your Facebook Advertising Metrics
Before launching an ad, take a minute to figure out which metrics matter most for your goals. If you want to get the word out about a new location opening, total impressions—the number of times an ad was seen—will do the trick. If you’re more interested in customers making online purchases, you’ll want to track click-through rates. And if you’re running a crowd-sourced promotion to name a new cookie flavor, likes and shares deserve the most attention.
Facebook’s Ads Manager analytics show how your ads perform in real time. If an ad isn’t working as well as it should, you can adjust its content on the spot. Facebook even provides a guide on reporting tools to better understand ad performance.
Step 5: Track Facebook Advertising and Targeting for Success
When it comes to tracking, take advantage of Facebook’s split testing. You can create two versions of an ad, varying things like the image or post copy, and Facebook crunches the numbers over a few days to see which ad performed better.
It’s also a good idea to track your bakery’s store traffic and sales against your Facebook strategy and look for correlations. At Cupcakin’ Bake Shop, owners experimented with timing and found that ads that ran in the late afternoon brought in commuters on their way home from work.
Advertising on Facebook can be a complex undertaking. But with the right objectives, strategies and monitoring, you can reap significant rewards from it—even on a small budget.