Facebook Advertising for Small Businesses (2019 Update)

Facebook advertising is considered to be one of the most efficient ways to utilise digital marketing. Granting businesses the ability to create affordable and targeted ads across multiple platforms, it’s a powerful tool for getting products and services in front of the right people – especially for small businesses.

Why Should Small Businesses Use Facebook Advertising?

As social media usage grows, advertising follows. Facebook currently owns a collection of the biggest social media platforms worldwide: Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger. These equate to over 2.7 billion monthly users. On top of these platforms, businesses may advertise on the Facebook Audience Network – a selection of verified Facebook partnering apps and websites. These platforms offer a profitable method of reaching a huge range of audiences both organically and through paid advertising. Facebook advertising allows businesses to access all of these platforms with one easy ads manager.

The best part? Every small business can use Facebook advertising. With a user-friendly interface, highly customisable ad settings, and the chance to gain comprehensive analytics, paid advertising through Facebook is a fantastic marketing medium.

Marketing Objectives

Before you begin paying for Facebook advertising there are a few things to consider.

First, due to the different types of ads available, it’s important to know what you want to get out of the campaign. Think about the awareness, consideration and decision stages.

Facebook allows businesses to choose from a range of ad objectives:

  • gain page likes,
  • drive reach and brand awareness,
  • encourage post engagement and video views, or they can
  • lead traffic to a website or app store to download an app.

Focusing on specific ad goals will generate the best results; they help you to avoid wasting chunks of your budget on the wrong types of ads that won’t help you achieve what you want. Strong goals are achieved by carefully planning your marketing objectives.

Defining Your Audience

Facebook’s audience ad targeting options allow small businesses to reach people through three different types of audiences: saved audiences, custom audiences and lookalike audiences.

Businesses can opt to create a saved audience, and choose their audience based on demographics, location, interests, purchase history and online behaviours. They can also opt for a custom audience which they can collect themselves from customer databases that link to Facebook profiles. A lookalike audience collects a custom audience and creates a mirror audience based on the information from the original Facebook profiles. If you target your audience right, you can make sure your ads get in front of the right people.

The demographics settings allow you to define the age, gender, job role, education level, relationship status, lifestyle and characteristics of those who see your campaign. This is particularly useful if your products target a certain type of person, as you can avoid showing your ads to those who don’t fit your customer profile. With location filters, you can keep it local.

Relevance is key in successful advertising. With these tools, you can reach your ideal customer with ease.


Facebook allows for many different ad placements within each of the apps and websites it owns or partners with. The main ones are Facebook desktop, mobile and Instagram. Within each of these, there are different places you can place an ad, and you can tailor placements depending on who your audience is and where they are most likely to be attracted by your ad.

For example, you are not only able to place ads in the newsfeed on Facebook desktop, but also on the sidebar. This is optimal for people who primarily use Facebook desktop as it will be at the top of their feed. Video ads can be placed on Facebook TV to play in-between video content. Both Facebook and Instagram allow for ads within the feed as well as among ‘stories’.

Ad Formats

It’s crucial for small businesses to utilise the tools available to them and format their ads appropriately.

Facebook has four main ad formats for news feed: image, carousel, slideshow, and video. This doesn’t even begin to include the different formats businesses can utilise for Instagram, Messenger, Whatsapp or the wider Facebook Audience Network. These formats are each useful for different brand objectives and require users to tailor their creatives to the specific dimensions for each.

Designing Your Ads

The creative used in your ads should always reflect your brand as well as the goal of your campaign. You are only restricted by the dimension sizes for your chosen ad formats, as well as Facebooks user guidelines. Small businesses should consider what they’re promoting, who they’re targeting and their budget when they decide on the right format to use.

Facebook Advertising is an Essential Marketing Platform for Small Businesses

Social media is a crucial aspect of digital marketing. If you haven’t taken the steps to set your small business up on social media, you’re missing out. Aside from effective advertising capabilities, this platform is a great way to interact with your audience and build your story online.

Want to learn more about the benefits of social media? Check out our guide to growing your business with a Facebook page.


Rachel Matela

Rachel is a Filipino Kiwi with a passion for the arts. Having graduated with an Arts Degree in English from UoA, she found writing work at PureSEO as a Junior Copywriter and quickly moved on to the role of Editor. In her spare time, she reads Austen and teaches dance classes in the weekend.

Digital Marketing Agency

Ready to take your brand to the next level?
We are here to help.