5 Essential FB Marketing Hacks that You Should Take Right Now to Recession-Proof Your Small Business

There’s news of worldwide recession. Consumers have tightened their purse strings. So, as a small business owner, you want to rein in expenses and protect the bottom line, right?

Well, sometimes yes. But it depends where you’re cutting back.

Your marketing budget may seem like an ideal candidate for the chopping block when customer spend is down. But, in reality, history has shown the opposite to be true. Companies who invest in promotional campaigns during slow economic times often come out on top — and gain a real competitive advantage over their competitors for the long-term. 

The key is to advertise very strategically, be laser-focused on your target audience and maximize every dollar spent. One of the best ways to do this? Facebook advertising.  

5 hacks to maximize your Facebook advertising

Usually, there are around three million companies advertising on Facebook. However, during a recession, you can often take advantage of a less crowded advertising space and lower rates.

But not all Facebook ads are created equal, and standing out from the crowd means understanding both the platform and the anatomy of a great ad. These 5 hacks help you get both right:

1. Use your copy to empathize with leads

One of the best things about Facebook advertising is that you can target your reach down to your exact requirements (custom audiences, location, gender, age, interest, etc.). 

Just like this ad set we created for a website targeting realtors:

Facebook ads targeting set-up for realtors

This means your campaign will get in front of exactly who you want it to — and it’s your job to win their attention (no pressure!). What you write (copy) and how you write it (copywriting) will have a massive impact. You should:

  • Make sure your headline speaks directly to their wants, needs, pains and gains — how are they feeling during the recession?
  • Use simple, clear language that communicates a specific value
  • Tell interested members of your audience where to go for more information
  • Include a clear call to action, e.g. “Message Us”.

Here's an example of one of own our simple, but effective ads:

Sample Facebook Ad by GoSocial

2. Don’t overlook your imagery

Here’s something that might shock you: a recent study by Consumer Acquisition found that images are potentially responsible for some 75 to 90% of a Facebook ad’s performance. That’s of major importance to marketers who want to cut through the noise. So what makes a great Facebook ad image?

  • It flows well with your copy and makes your ad easy to understand
  • Visually eye-catching with attractive colors — but not too busy
  • Includes less than 20% text 
  • Makes the product or service clear from first-glance

If you’re not immediately sure what type of image might go best with your ad text, try looking at competitor examples and noting your likes/dislikes about their image choices — paying special attention to comms around the current climate, too. Then apply those findings to your own campaign. 

We came across an image like this from an advertiser in a completely different industry and adapted it to our needs:

Sample Facebook Ads image by GoSocial

3. Retarget, retarget, retarget

Ask any salesperson, and they’ll tell you a customer needs to be exposed to a marketing message 7 times before they act on it — and that number might be even higher during times of financial uncertainty. 

That’s why retargeting is such a fantastic tool — you can organize your ads to be shown to people who’ve already met your brand in various ways. Facebook ad retargeting allows you to: 

  • Show ads to people who have visited your website, online store, met you at a conference, etc.
  • Reach out to people who have viewed your Facebook videos
  • Advertise to people in your mailing list
  • Advertise to people who have visited your social pages
  • Advertise to people who have liked your previous ads with new ads 
  • … the list goes on!

Best of all, by retargeting a smaller audience of leads, you bring your cost per click way down. Perfect for a post-pandemic budget.

4. Pay attention to your advertising schedule

The look and feel of your ad matters, but so does the time it’s promoted. 

There’s a lot of debate in what times/dates/seasons are the best to run your Facebook ads, but we strongly believe it varies across each business and industry. In order to figure out when you should run your ads, ask yourself: 

  • What days/months do we get the most sales or leads?
  • What time of day do our blog posts get read the most?
  • When do we generate the highest number of email sign-ups?

Basically, when does your company already perform best for the goal you’re trying to achieve with your ad? 

For example, here's a breakdown of one of our client's impressions, click-through rate, number of link clicks and CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) by time of day:

Facebook Ads breakdown by time of day for GoSocial Marketing client

There are obvious factors here — like if you’re selling swimwear, you don’t want to invest in a big ad campaign during the fall. But the most useful insights sit below surface level.

Look at your Facebook analytics and identify your best performing days of the week. Then, dive a little deeper and investigate what times of the day your audience is most engaged. You can then set your Facebook ads to run during those specific days and times.

This might require trial and error, or A/B testing, but keep tweaking! 

During times of recession or instability, customer behaviors might change dramatically, so pay attention to that. 

5. Focus on the right metrics

Vanity metrics — likes, comments, shares, etc. — sure do feel good. But they won’t help you hone your campaign performance. 

When you’re weighing up the value of every dollar spent on marketing, you need to know the metrics that will help you improve ad effectiveness and close more leads.

Unique click-through rate, cost per landing page view, ad recall lift — these are the metrics that matter. Forget the rest.

Fast-track your Facebook marketing impact, with GoSocial’s helping hand

Facebook offers a world of lead-gen potential through its advertising platform. But it can take a lot of time, hard work and research for a small business to stand out.

In the name of efficiency — and especially during hard economic times — remember you can always ask for help from the experts. GoSocial’s 30-day Facebook marketing package takes the guesswork out of your campaign design — building brand awareness, closing warm leads and expanding your reach... all for less time and money than before. Grab a 67% discount right now, with our Summer Saving, and make recessionary worries a thing of the past.

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