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Facebook Ads for Associations: The Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising

Your target audience is right at your fingertips on social media, there was no shortage of eyes watching your every marketing move. With our help, you’ll be able to create, manage, and profit from Facebook Ads!

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Tackling the task of advertising on Facebook is no easy feat. But if you want to be an expert in the Facebook Ad world and really impress your target audience, we can help. Online marketing has always been an amazing source of low-cost engagement for associations. With strict marketing and advertising budgets to stick to, using sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook have been great to reach a large number of people without breaking the bank.

And with your target audience right at your fingertips on social media, there was no shortage of eyes watching your every marketing move. But with recent changes on Facebook that directly affect organic traffic, you may notice that your non-paid posts aren’t getting the engagement that they used to. Since the algorithms on Facebook has changed, your marketing strategy needs to change with it- and that means moving over to paid marketing.

So, how can you make sure you make the most of your marketing budget on Facebook and rack up the online engagement that will convert into more members? We’d like to share some of our expert tips to help you completely master the world of Facebook Ads and social media advertising as a whole. With our help, you’ll be able to create, manage, and profit from Facebook Ads without being discouraged by the ever changing platform and the shift in audience engagement. Let’s get started!

Why Facebook?

With so many options online to run paid advertising, why should your association make Facebook its focus? The simple answer is: Because everyone else does. With 97% of marketers running paid ads on Facebook’s platform, it’s clear to see that this method for online advertising holds weight within the marketing community no matter the business/organization. While we don’t always suggest going with a crowd decision, this decision just makes sense. It’s also great to tap into Facebook’s amazing targeting tools.

When using Facebook Ads to market, you have tons of options to choose from in terms of targeting and refining an audience. And if you needed another reason to hop on board, think about the audience size on Facebook. With a massive group of 2.2 billion active monthly users worldwide, there’s no doubt that your association doesn’t already have a prevalent group of your members waiting for you to meet them there. While these are three general reasons to choose Facebook to market, there are countless of reasons that are specific to your association as well, so focus on them and get started on your journey to mastering Facebook Ads.

Creating an audience

Before you send out any marketing materials, you want to first define the audience you’d like your materials to reach. And with Facebook Ads, there are multiple options.

Let’s start with the overall audience targeting tools. Facebook Ads allows you to create your very own audience of individuals you’d like to receive your messages, making it easy for you to attract those that you feel will convert into members over time. Facebook offers a variety of options to choose from in order to set specifics up for audiences. With that being said, there are so many ways that your association can customize an audience of its own. While you can stick to creating an audience on your own, here are just a few ways we suggest you create a target audience.

The first thing we’d suggest is to create a custom audience all your own. You can toggle things like individual’s age, location, demographics, interests, and more to create a perfect filter for your marketing materials. This way, you shape your target audience to fit your current membership and hopefully score more members. From this, you can then move on to creating a lookalike audience. A lookalike audience allows you to choose a source of individuals that are your “prime” target audience (hint: this could be your current members).

Taking this source, Facebook Ads automatically create an audience with similar characteristics to target. This is great for associations looking to market to a very similar audience to their members. You can also create a custom audience, which allows you to use your website address to target people who have been to your site before. This is a great “remarketing” strategy that can help you win back audiences that slipped away in the past.

Set your intentions

With these audiences in place, you next want to figure out what your intention is for your association’s marketing plan. Typically, there are three different reasons for marketing online.

The first is awareness, meaning your association would like to draw attention to its brand and purpose. The second is consideration, which means you’re trying to get on the radar of your audience as an inkling. And the third is conversion, or trying to turn individuals into brand new association members. All of these intentions have purpose for your association. You may want to boost awareness of your brand in order to increase donations or invite in more volunteers.

Or, you could want to start the early stages to inbound marketing by putting yourself on the radar of new audiences. You may even just want to convert more members.

Whatever the case, set your intention and make sure your marketing message reflects that intention. If you can sync up the two, you’ll be on your way to better Facebook marketing.

Choose your materials

Next, let’s talk about marketing materials. With many types of content to choose from, how can your association choose its preferred method? When coming up with ad creatives, you want to weigh your options and create ads that are both entertaining and easily understood. And in order to do this, you want to consider a few things.

The first thing is ad sizing. How big do you want your ad to be? Do you want your ad to cover half of a page? Do you want it to show up as a sidebar, or be an immersive experience? Reading up on Facebook’s ad sizing can help you make the best decision for you. You also want to think about your ad graphic.

If you’re looking to just run one simple creative, that’s something you can focus on and do for your organization. However, if you’d like to try something a bit more dynamic- like a carousel ad with multiple images attached - you can do that too! You can even shoot for using video if that’s something you’d like to give a shot. The options Facebook provides are great for any organization, so give them a try and experiment to find what works for you!

Incorporate organic engagement

While a paid Facebook Ad campaign is great on its own, it’s even better when paired with organic Facebook activity.

Targeting audiences organically can still have such a major impact on attraction and conversion rates in the long run. Nothing beats meeting your target audience “face to face” online and making that organic connection with them that will resonate more than an advertisement. Be sure to have a mix of paid Facebook Ads and organic communication with your Facebook audience as your online marketing strategy.

Create innovative marketing materials and push them towards your target audience, but be sure to be posting content on your Facebook page that these audiences can interact with as well. Using these tips, you should be able to pull together a Facebook marketing strategy that hits all of the marks in your association’s expectations.