Ok, this is a big blog post, but it has a lot of valuable information on how to run ads for your venue. So let's begin, now that you’ve got an online store and want to establish more of an online presence, I've put together a list of tips you can use to create your best Facebook ads for your venue.
1. Configure Location Targeting
Showing up in the right place is key to getting started with Facebook marketing for your venue. Set your ads to your local postcode (and perhaps nearby postcodes) to make sure you’re only targeting customers who can actually visit your venue. If you have multiple locations, you can target more than one geographical area as long as the content of your ad applies to all of your venues.
2. Set Goals for Your Ads
The best hospitality Facebook ads have an objective that aligns with the company’s business goals, so think about what you want your ad to accomplish for your venue. Do you just want to increase likes on your page so that more people will be aware of your brand? Do you want to encourage people to fill out a form to book a reservation? Or, do you want to drive more online sales through your online store?
3. Start with Your Current Customers and Fans
Aiming for quick wins can kickstart your Facebook advertising strategy. Using ‘custom audiences,’ you can easily upload a spreadsheet of email addresses and deliver ads to the Facebook accounts associated with your list.
Don’t have an existing email list? You can also target people who have recently visited your online store. All you need to do is go to the Integrations page within Bopple Back Office, and connect your Facebook Pixel*. This will enable you to track actions on your ads and your online store.
*We highly recommend using the Facebook Pixel integration, as it'll really help with retargeting and help Facebook target potential customers that are more likely to be interested in your ads.
4. Create Lookalike Audiences to Extend Your Reach
Facebook marketing doesn’t have to be overly time-consuming. Let Facebook do the legwork for you and build a ‘lookalike audience’ full of users similar to your typical guests. The clear benefit of this approach is that you’ll be advertising to people you know are likely to dine with you. To get started, you simply need to upload a source audience of at least 100 people to Facebook – for example, your most engaged restaurant loyalty program members.
5. Target Specific Interests
Get granular with your targeting and try things like advertising to Facebook users who are looking for online ordering options. Promote convenience and safety in your ad copy – two key considerations for this group.
No matter what niche interest you target, carefully crafting your targeting and your messaging is a wise move. According to Facebook’s Relevance Score, nailing these elements of your Facebook ads can help reduce your cost per click (the amount of money you pay for each person who clicks on your ad), because the more enticing your ad is to your market, the more clicks you’re likely to get.
6. Test Different Ad Formats
Don’t think of Facebook advertising as a “set it and forget it” task. You should strive to have at least two ads running at any given time, and monitor their performance regularly to see which resonates best with your customers. The key here is to try different ad formats like single image ads, video ads, and carousel ads (multiple images and descriptions in one ad).
7. Showcase Various Types of Content
You can also split test different content types and calls to action to see which ones perform best. Split testing involves creating more than one ad set, then testing your ad sets against one another to see which one gets you better results.
An easy way to do this is by swapping out imagery: run one ad with a tantalizing photo of one of your menu items and another ad with a photo of your happy customers dining at your venue. Or, test the wording of your call to action so you can find out whether wording like “Call Now” or “Get Directions” is more effective.
8. Make Sure Your Ads Are Mobile-Friendly
You might be using your laptop to create your Facebook ads, but keep in mind that a whopping 98% of Facebook users access the social network on their mobile devices. Because of different screen sizes, your ads look very different on desktop than on mobile. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure your Facebook ads look sharp across all platforms without any words or images getting cut off. Pro Tip: Use an online image resizer (they're super easy to find on Google) and make sure you have the right image or video dimensions for each type of content piece. For example, make sure you use a square image for a tile post, and make sure you use 9:16 for Stories.
9. Take Advantage of Seasonal Opportunities
Everyone loves a reason to celebrate, so plan some of your ads around big seasonal events like Mother’s Day. For example, if you want to get people in the door for the launch of your summer menu, you can choose “store traffic” as your ad objective. Or, try creating an ad that will push people directly to your menu. Bonus: You’ll have endless ideas for images, as you can feature whichever photogenic menu item your heart desires.
10. Test Multiple Offers
The most compelling Facebook ads for hospitality venues tempt your audience with an offer they can’t resist, like a two-for-one appetizer deal or a coupon for 15% off entrées on Tuesday nights. These types of ads are great when you're trying to boost revenue during those quieter days. Create ads around different promotions to see what gets the most interest. You can also leverage the element of scarcity and make the discount available for a just limited time to entice the people who see your ad to act fast.
11. Experiment With Cross-Platform Advertising
By nature of the name, you’d assume Facebook ads are made for, well, Facebook. Not quite! Any Facebook ad you create can also be promoted on Instagram. The best part? You don’t even need an Instagram account to do so. This is a perfect option if your target audience includes millennials or Gen Z, and you want your ad efforts to resonate with them.
12. Measure Your Results
By setting a budget and clear goals for your Facebook ads, you’ll be able to see if your advertising campaigns are successful or if they’ve fallen short. It’s a good idea to get a sense of industry benchmarks so you can see how your ads stack up. The average cost per click of a Facebook ad across all industries is $1.68, but the food and drink category comes in lowest of all at just $0.42 – which means you shouldn’t need to break the bank to get your message out there.
13. Be Strategic About Ad Placement
Facebook allows you to experiment with multiple ad placements – in your audience’s newsfeed, in Facebook messenger, on desktop, on mobile, and the list goes on. Depending on your placement, your ad costs can vary widely. So, it’s a smart idea to check which placements are working best for your Facebook ads and then increase your budget for those ads, while removing the low performers.
14. Use Ad Scheduling
You’ll want to make sure your ads are being delivered only when it’s most relevant for your customers (Remember: social media is all about the here and now!). For instance, if you’re looking to capture some foot traffic during the lunch rush, schedule your ads to run from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Or if you know you’re completely booked Saturday night, be sure to pause your ads during that time. The worst thing you can do is pay for ads when you don’t need customers.
Not sure what time is best? Look at your Facebook data to see what times people engage with your ads most. The results might surprise you!
15. Continue Testing!
As the saying goes, if at first, you don’t succeed, try again. Fortunately, it’s easy to change up your Facebook ads on the fly. Or, if you are getting great results from your ads (hats off to you!), keep things fresh by regularly testing to see what works in case you land on something even better.
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