Are Facebook Ads Still Worth It For Small Businesses?

Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. It hosts over 2.4 billion users who love the plethora of features offered by the platform.

The social media giant has shown enormous growth over the years with introducing exciting in-platform features focused on unique audience segments.

With a few clicks, you can easily share images and videos in many formats, go-live, share stories, manage niche pages, follow celebrities, groups and more.

You can even schedule events and run your business through the Facebook Marketplace. But the most widely used feature is the Ads Manager.

This’s a platform that helps individuals and businesses run advertisements on Facebook and its partnered networks.

According to a survey: There are over 10 million active advertisers on Facebook who use in-platform advertisements that have the potential to reach 2.1 billion people around the world.

Facebook has done an incredible job in designing settings, tools, and filters around unique business objectives and audiences to help brands get the most out of their spending.

For example, you can target audience segments filtered by demographics such as gender, location, income, age and more to run advertisements focused on specific objectives like increasing App installs, lead generation, brand awareness and more.

While millions of businesses profit from Facebook Ads, there are a few frequent concerns, especially from small business owners.

Now, Facebook Ads have built a reputation of helping established brands with giant budgets.

Hence, it makes sense to wonder whether Facebook Ads work effectively for small businesses with limited budgets.

Well, if you wonder the same, don’t worry.

This’s because in this article we’ll discuss whether Facebook Ads are worth it for small businesses and how such businesses can use the Ads Manager to generate profit with a limited budget.

Let’s get started…

Facebook Ads and Small Businesses: The Dilemma

Facebook Ads are the most effective tools to market on social networks.

Thanks to the massive user base, brands around the world explore a plethora of opportunities to reach billions every day.

This means designing goal-specific content with call-to-actions to influence a target audience segment to complete an action.

But the entire process of generating profit or achieving goals like clicks, and conversions often requires brands to spend big.

You also need a team of professionals to create, run and track the campaigns consistently.

This Is because if you aren’t implementing effective/proven actions, Facebook will run through your budget like loose sand slipping through fingers.

Well, small businesses typically face this dilemma.

Neither they have massive teams to run Facebook advertisements nor they have massive budgets to advertise freely.

Hence, most small businesses think Facebook Ads isn’t something they should use or could use to market their products/services.

While this may seem reasonable, the truth is entirely opposite. Facebook Ads work excellently, even for small brands.

You get a plethora of advanced features and tools to generate profit even with a limited budget.

Why should Small Businesses use Facebook Ads?

Facebook offers many features through the Ads Manager that benefit both small businesses and the established ones.

This Is true even for brands with a limited budget and small advertising teams. 

Let’s discuss some features that make Facebook Ads effective for small businesses.

Wide Targeting Opportunities

Advertising goals are unique to businesses.

In simple words, a business that generates massive revenue has advertising goals different from a small business that’s getting started.

Unlike established businesses that focus on reaching hundreds of thousands of customers, one of the first goals of advertising for a small brand is to reach a specific audience segment that’s interested in its products/services.

This Is where Facebook’s targeting opportunities shines.

The social media giant allows you to narrow down massive audiences based on demographics.

You can target users based on:

  • The languages they speak
  • Location: Countries, cities, states, and Zip Codes.
  • Interests like the pages they follow, topic they and their friends like, etc
  • Devices they use including mobile phones, and desktops.

You can even re-target and build custom audiences from your email list. All these targeting opportunities allow small businesses to reach specific audience segments to get started. This helps in building a loyal customers-base, and finding what’s working and what’s not.

Facebook Pixel and lookalike Audiences

Retargeting users who have interacted with your advertisements but didn’t complete an action is a critical aspect of every advertising strategy.

Imagine a user who clicked on your advertisement to get redirected to your products page, but didn’t go through to purchase an item.

You can re-target such users to urge them to complete the order. This Is where Facebook Pixel comes in. 

It is an incredible small piece of code you can add to your website to track the behavior of customers.

It’ll tell you which Ads a user clicked before landing on your website, what they interacted with and more.

You can use this information to create retargeting Ads for them.

Facebook also allows you to create lookalike audiences from the attributes of existing website visitors who are complementing the actions.

Advertisement Testing

Testing strategies before applying them is a great way to integrate critical changes and understand what’s working and what’s not.

Imagine spending hours creating a campaign, only to realize the Ads don’t resonate with your target audience and hence burn the budget for zero results.

Facebook understands this and hence allows you to split test your ad campaigns.

This means you can serve unique versions of an advertisement to your target audience to observe how they interact.

Say one version of the advertisement is resonating with the audience while the others don’t.

Now, you can allocate the rest of your budget to that resonating-version of the advertisement.

This Is great for small businesses working with minimum audience insights.

Advanced Reports

Tracking the performance of advertisements helps you understand how effective your Ads are and what you need to change to get results.

Say you want to reach a wide audience, you have no clue how many users you reach through the advertisements.

That’s a bummer because you won’t achieve a specific target or find whether the advertisement copy is working.

This’s where Facebook is a delight.

The social media giant offers the opportunity to track many Key Performance Indicators aka KPIs.

You can track the reach, cost per click, total spend, click-through rate and more.

All these reports help you tie the Ad’s performance to the ROI, aka Return on investment. This helps small businesses keep track of their spending.

Low-Cost Advertisements

Advertising on Facebook can get cost-effective if you implement the correct strategies because Facebook allows you to have complete control over your budget.

This means you get to decide where your money gets spent.

Small businesses can leverage this to create effective strategies to achieve targets.

Reasons Small Businesses fail at Facebook Advertising

Now you know why Facebook Ads are effective for small businesses.

Unfortunately, most small businesses fail at Facebook Advertising despite the plethora of features offered by the social media giant.

In this section, let’s discuss a few mistakes small businesses commit while advertising on Facebook. These will help you to avoid them.

Poor understanding of creatives

Content is at the heart of every advertising campaign.

The content/copy you use in the advertisements forms the deciding factor of the Ad’s performance.

In simple words, if the advertisement copy doesn’t resonate with the target audience, it won’t deliver results.

Most small businesses ignore this and jump into creating Ads quickly. This often results in poor Ad’s performance.

Hence, it’s critical you understand how content marketing works and what kind of content serves what Ads.

This requires massive audience research, spying competitors and testing.

Ineffective audience targeting

Brands that generate massive revenue often have large budgets for advertising.

But small businesses have limited budgets within which they have to hit the bullseye. Hence, targeting becomes super critical to them.

Say you are the advertising head of a small business. The first line of business is to define a niche audience that will resonate with your content and be interested in making purchases.

By targeting such an audience, you can easily get started without burning through your budget.

But most small businesses make the mistake of targeting the generic Facebook audience without utilizing the power of filters that allow you to narrow down your target audience based on many demographics.

This wastes the budget, yielding little results.

Unclear Strategy

Effective strategies form the building blocks of your advertising campaigns.

This includes defining the goals you want to achieve through unique Ads, testing multiple advertisement versions to learn what’s working, creating the best copies that resonate with the target audience and tracking the performance of advertisements to draw critical insights.

Timing is equally critical while advertising.

This means you need to know when to execute certain actions to get the best results.

Building logical strategies requires patience and an excellent understanding of how Facebook Ads work.

You need to take the time to learn every aspect of Facebook Ads and practice to unfold unique experiences.

With effective strategies for unique business goals, you can make the most out of your limited budget.

Unfortunately, most small businesses make hasty decisions and jump into running Facebook Ads without clearly defined strategies.

Hence, they fail at Facebook advertising.

How should small businesses use Facebook Ads?

Well, we discussed the most common mistakes small businesses commit to fail at Facebook advertising.

Now, let’s go through a few critical pointers that will help such businesses flourish at Facebook Ads.

Define and target the right audience persona

An audience persona is a measured representation of the attributes of your ideal audience/customer.

This includes the interests, age, language, company-position, pain points, income and more.

Without a clearly defined audience persona, you won’t yield any results from Facebook Ads.

This Is because if you target random audiences on the platform, you might waste your budget on people uninterested in your product/services.

Hence, put in the hours to research and create the ideal audience persona for your business.

You can do this by observing the audience of your direct competitors or similar brands.

Now, utilize the niche targeting options Facebook provides to target the most relevant audience.

If you already have a targeted audience segment that has yielded results, you can create a lookalike audience to target people who are like your current customers.

You can also use the Custom Audience feature to create an audience by uploading a list of your customer’s email addresses to Facebook and then find similar interests and demographic information between them.

Pro-Tip: Keep your audience size around 50,000–100,000 people in the beginning.

Start by educating your audience

Advertising on Facebook follows a series of steps and when followed yields result.

The first is to educate your target audience by informative Ads to generate brand awareness.

You can’t expect people to make purchases or signup lead-forms without the knowledge of your brand and what you offer.

Hence, shift your entire focus on educating the audience on your brand and topics that relate directly to your business.

By doing this, you’ll build a loyal audience community that interacts with your content consistently and reach a wider audience segment, eventually.

You can achieve this with many content types like video, blog content, engaging feed posts, quizzes and more.

Offer something users can’t ignore

Despite offering the goodness of many targeting features, the effectiveness of Facebook Ads massively depends on what you are offering to the audience.

This Is because a user may interact with your advertisements, but still refuse to complete the desired action. Hence, you need to offer them something to seal the deal.

For instance, if you wish them to subscribe to your weekly email newsletter, you can offer free resources or free trials. You can also offer coupons if you want users to make purchases.

The possibilities are endless. The bottom-line is to offer something users can’t ignore, aka give them a reason to click.

Optimize Facebook Advertisements

Optimizing the Facebook Ads means making necessary changes to get the best results.

This Is something especially small businesses should focus on.

You can do it by testing your advertisements with the target audience.

Facebook allows you to A/B test campaigns.

So, what’s A/B testing?

A/B testing means creating many versions of an advertisement, where in each version you make only one variable unique.

For instance, say you want to A/B test an image.

Then, create Ads with different images keeping other variables like the headline, and description constant for all the versions.

A/B testing helps you understand which content works best for your audience, and hence saves you time and money.

Hence, you can test and optimize your Ads consistently to derive maximum results.

Track your Facebook Advertisements

Tracking the performance of your advertisements helps you draw useful insights from a good deal of metrics.

Facebook offers excellent tracking features which you can use to track all the critical KPIs for your brand.

For instance, you can track interaction of customers with the Ads, reach, Cost per click, Cost per conversion, Return on investment and more.

All these metrics tell you whether you are spending your money wisely. 

Tracking also allows you to gain insights that tell you whether you need to change your strategies.

Say, you want more people to visit your products page or sign up for the newsletter. But only a few people are actually signing up or visiting the products page.

This would show you need to take a unique approach or change the creatives or offer something more alluring.

By consistently tracking the performance of your advertisements, you can make calculated changes to get better results.

Retarget your leads

Consider retargeting as giving the last push to the customer.

You might have come across situations where you wanted to buy something but never really went through to complete the purchase. But out of the blue, you get a coupon offering a 20% discount. Then, you did actually buy the item.

Well, getting the coupon was the last push you needed.

Facebook understands every-so-often customers don’t complete a desired action until given an exciting offer or little push.

Well, with Facebook Ads, you can re-target users who’ve visited your website or engaged with you on Facebook or Instagram.

By retargeting consistently, you will leave no stone unturned. This is great for small businesses to maximize conversions in the early stages.


There you have it. Now you know the benefits of using Facebook Ads, even if you are running a small business with a limited budget. Facebook Ads offer a plethora of remarkable features to take your advertising journey to the next level. You also know the common mistakes small businesses make while advertising on Facebook and the critical pointers every small business must follow to get maximum results.