Whether you run a small business needing exposure or lead a large and established corporation, Facebook marketing can be an extremely effective way to reach your exact target audience, gain exposure for your brand or product/service, and turn quality leads into conversions.

However, many people who are beginning to use Facebook for marketing make the mistake of thinking they have to spend an arm and a leg on their budget because it will drive traffic and conversions through the roof overnight. That is not the case. The trick to effective Facebook marketing is to spend smarter, not more.  Here are a few ways to market on Facebook without breaking the bank: 

1. Identify your Facebook campaign goals

Every business has different goals for their advertising strategies. In order to have an effective campaign it is important to identify your company's social media marketing goals, do the appropriate research, and set up the campaign accordingly.

Pro tip: Aim for long-term results for your goals. These can be driving sales and conversions, increasing traffic to a landing page, increasing quality lead generation, creating brand awareness, building your online branding platform, etc.

2. Target your audience

Depending on the goals of your campaign, you have to identify your audience to help build your campaign and achieve those goals. Your audience can be targeted both geographically and demographically; both a Facebook ad and a boosted post can help you select your audience based on location and interests.

Pro tip: Know your audience and be realistic. Keying in on who your targeted audience is based on demographics and location will play a big part in the success of your campaign. Setting unrealistic geographic regions will just be a waste of money. While building your brand, focus where the business will be, and build your following in those areas first. Once you become more established, branch out to neighboring states.

3. Know when to use a Facebook ad versus boosting a post

Knowing when to boost a post versus creating a Facebook ad is the key to an effective marketing campaign. Both are effective advertisement strategies, but need to be used in the correct circumstances.

Facebook advertising is a great tool when you have a large audience and the goal of the campaign is to drive sales and conversions. Facebook ads have a lot more features that let you choose the objectives for the campaign such as placement (floating ads, banner ads, etc.), overlapping audiences (interest targeting and customized audience), manual bidding (choosing which measurement you want to pay for I.e. impressions vs. clicks), and creative ads (such as videos, or carousel ads).

Boosted posts are best used for gaining visibility for a post, page, event or any content that is reaching for impressions and engagements. They are commonly used for announcements, blog posts, and events. Boosted posts let you create a customized audience through geographical targeting and by tagging interests. Facebook auto-optimizes boosted posts, which mean they present it to those with the interests you tagged (if any) who are most likely to like or share it. 

Pro tip: If boosting a post or running an advertisement based on a schedule, leave enough time for the ad to be approved by Facebook. Facebook checks every ad or boosted post against Facebook Advertising laws before running the promotion. Sometimes it takes less than five minutes, but it can take up to 24 hours to be approved.

4. Compelling content

Using compelling content can drive the success of your campaign. It is important to have something eye catching, true to the company brand, and relative to the message.  That goes for the copy and title as well. The title needs to grab attention and also explain what is being offered or promoted.

Pro tip: When boosting a post with lengthy text, make sure to use appropriate whitespace. Lengthy paragraphs will not attract readers into the post.

5. No need to spend an arm and a leg

Testing is important in the Facebook marketing process. Some content performs better than others due to multiple reasons. Test out your first few ads or boosted posts for 24 hours with a maximum spend of 3-5 dollars. See how well the campaign performs, and then try raising your maximum spend a little bit and letting it run for a longer period of time. Track the analytics on Ads Manager and Facebook Insights to check performance.

Pro tip: There are optimal times of the day for Facebook posting, especially in different areas of interest (business, tech, education, non-profit, etc.). Research the best days and times for posting relative to your business and goals and build your schedule accordingly to get the biggest bang for your buck.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and your online business won't skyrocket overnight with a few advertisements. These tips will help you establish your online presence, continue to build your brand, and help promote new and fresh content to the right audiences over time by spending smarter and not larger.