Many ecommerce companies and even brick and mortar stores are asking the million dollar question: Are Facebook ads worth it? Short answer: Yes. They can prove to be extremely efficient in bringing in new traffic, leads and even conversions. But there are tricks of the trade that can make your ads even more effective on Facebook.

Exploring Different Ad Types

There are many different formats you can use to advertise on Facebook. Some are geared to get people to visit your physical store. Some collect email addresses, and some are strictly for conversions. This guide can help you decide what is best for your objective, and it gives a few Facebook ad examples of each ad type.
The Facebook algorithm is programmed to determine which people on the site might be more inclined to purchase compared to others who might just click onto your site and not buy anything. Having said that, conversion ads tend to be more expensive because the group of people willing to purchase quickly is much smaller than the population of people on Facebook. Getting your ad in front of that group of people is more competitive.

How Much Does It Cost?

It depends. There are a few factors that determine your cost for ads, like the price point of your product, the audience size of people interested in your product, and what your objective is. Traffic ads will almost always be less expensive if your metric is cost per click. Conversion ads will depend on the price of your product simply because it’s more difficult to convince people to purchase a higher price point item.
For instance, AdEspresso reports that the average cost-per-click in the U.S.across industries is about $1.33. While Facebook doesn’t specifically give information on the average cost per purchase across industries, you can expect to spend a little more per purchase. All of these costs will largely vary on your targeting, your industry, and what you optimize your campaigns for.
To have the most success and best ROI, we suggest using a funnel approach in your ads to get the most out of your money. Make sure you have a traffic campaign, a middle-of-the-funnel campaign (can be whatever you think is best) and a retargeting campaign. If you’re doing the funnel approach correctly, you’ll probably see the biggest return on ad spend in your retargeting campaign, since that group of people will have made their way through the funnel.

Learn More About Your Customers

If nothing else, you can learn more about your customers through Facebook analytics. They offer insights such as what gender buys more of your products, other pages they’re interested in, the age group, and what area of the country (or world) they live in. If you’re driving a lot of traffic to your site and you’re not seeing the conversions, you can determine if there’s a checkout process problem or even price problem. You can learn a lot by simply driving traffic to your site.
You can also gauge what audiences do and don’t work for your business. Expanding your current audience and experimenting with new demographics or interests can lead to a niche of people you might not have discovered otherwise.
For example, one of our clients in the baby space had a solid audience to target on Facebook, but we decided to try to reach women who like to spend more money on more quality, expensive products. We targeted women who like Lululemon and Crate & Barrel in addition to baby interests, and we reached a whole new audience on Facebook that we didn’t know existed. We saw our return on ad spend increase, and we found a new audience to show product launches and sales to.

Audiences Made Specifically For You

If you decide to run ads on Facebook for any reason, custom and lookalike audiences should be it.  After getting results on your traffic, conversions and other campaigns, you can make Facebook lookalike audiences based on your real life customers or visitors. The more visitors or customers buy based on your Facebook ads, the more precise Facebook can find other users just like them.
We find a lot of success in using these lookalike audiences across all of our clients. They can be used alone, or you can narrow them down for even more specific targeting. In addition to using lookalike audiences, you can target people who’ve visited your site in the last 1-180 days, or you could exclude them so you get fresh eyes on your site. You can find people who visited your site more than once in a given time period. The possibilities are endless!

If you’re struggling to decide if Facebook ads are a good choice for your business, we recommend you give it a try. Be sure to check out our guide full of the best Facebook ad examples for ideas and tips.

Laurel is a member of the executive team at Stryde. She's been doing digital marketing for businesses for 10 years. Two years ago, she started set up her own ecommerce business selling baby gowns and knows the struggles of a small business owner. She loves talking about digital marketing, content, SEO, and conversion rate optimization.