Grow Your Food Business with Facebook and Instagram Ad Experiments

June 19, 2023

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June 15, 2023

If you are new to marketing, then maybe you have discovered that there are hundreds of plans of attack for marketing your food business. If you’re not sure which one is for you or you are wanting to experiment with a new marketing tactic, then lead ads may be the next step for you. 

Lead ads are run through Meta on Facebook and Instagram. They typically appear as a picture, perhaps of your best selling creation, on someone’s Facebook or Instagram feed, and from there give potential customers (also known as “leads” in marketer speak) an easy opportunity to sign up for updates from your business so they can stay informed about your products and services. With their ability to keep users engaged on the platform while being a very cost-effective marketing tool, lead ads have become a favorite among marketers. 

Here Sari Kimbell, a seasoned creator and coach in the food industry, provides counsel on how to navigate Meta lead ads based on what she has learned over the years through her own experimentation and research for clients. 

Know Before You Go 

While getting fully set up with Facebook ads does require a few steps, the process as a whole should be relatively painless if you are already familiar with the Facebook platform! Meta prioritizes lead ads because they keep users on the Meta platform rather than rerouting them to an external website, which is great for marketers like us. Lead ads are a seamless experience for potential customers that not only increase the chance of capturing their attention but also boost conversion rates from leads to sales. 

When it comes to the set-up process, Meta’s lead ads feature is significantly easier to navigate than other advertising options. Lead ads offer a simplicity that makes them accessible even to marketers with limited technical expertise. With a few clicks you’ll have created content that engages with your target audience. 

Low Budget, Big Impact

Are you concerned with breaking the bank on advertising as you get started? You have nothing to fear. Compared to other advertising channels, lead ads offer you a great value for your investment. Starting even with a low budget is entirely possible, making it easier to test the waters and refine your campaign as you go. A lot of advertising success, especially when it comes to lead ads, comes from trial and error, so keep an eye on your ad performance and don’t be afraid to adjust as needed!  

Once you hone in on who your target audience is and what resonates with them, your return on investment  will be felt long after you decide to turn ads off. Because lead ads are a method of collecting emails from potential customers, you can stay top of mind with them via strategic email marketing. With an average cost of $5.83 per lead, you can efficiently expand your email list without emptying your wallet. That email list can then be used to routinely keep in contact with your customers, drive sales, and build a sense of community for those who love your products. 

Making Moves in Meta

There are a few key steps that will help set your foundation before launching your first Facebook or Instagram ad campaign. We recommend that you:

  • Set up your business manager page inside Meta and update your billing information
  • Decide on the total budget for your campaign so you have guidelines as you go (We recommend starting with at least a total budget of $50)
  • Brainstorm three target audiences based on their interests, brands they follow, influencers they admire, and more 
  • Craft one to three image carousels or video ads that speak directly to these audiences with an attention grabbing image at the beginning 
  • Make sure you have a privacy policy page on your website (if you use Castiron, your store automatically has one!) 

Once all of that is set up, you are ready to dive into testing! When it comes to allocating your budget, starting with at least $15 (from your total of $50) for learning purposes is crucial. Begin with a modest daily spend of $5 and allow your ads to run for 48 hours initially to gather enough data to make decisions on your strategy moving forward. After 48 hours, you can exit the learning stage and if you’re generating leads under $5, take that as a great sign to keep going and potentially increase your ad spend. You can keep track of all of this in Meta’s Ads Manager.

On the other hand, if your cost per lead is increasing, then it may be time to pause your campaign or test out a new approach. Do not forget to turn off underperforming campaigns and continue testing different target audiences! When testing different target audiences, you can exclude certain variables to narrow down your ideal customer parameters on Facebook and Instagram. 

Advancing Your Lead Ads

Once your campaign is live, you may be tempted to let Meta and the ads do their thing. However, it is best if you stay engaged and proactive in your lead ads campaign. Ways you can do this include:

  • Setting a reminder on your calendar to check the performance of your ads every 48 hours. The further into your campaign you get, monitor them daily to make sure you don’t encounter any sudden, costly drops in performance.
  • Manually add new email leads to your email platform 
  • Prepare a smooth email funnel with three to five emails to establish a strong relationship with your audience after a new potential customer subscribes

This type of email funnel could include entry opportunities for giveaways or contests, providing informative and valuable content, offering occasional promos and discounts and more.

Now that you’ve got emails on your list, it’s time to stay connected with customers. Learn how to build a manageable email marketing strategy in our Email Marketing 101 course.

For more information on Facebook and Instagram ads, watch Sari’s full Camp Castiron session: 

About the Author
Zoee Huxford

Marketing Intern, Castiron

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