Decoding Facebook Ads for Associations

Online marketing has always been an amazing source of low-cost engagement for associations. With strict marketing and advertising budgets to stick to, using sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have been great to reach a large number of people without breaking the bank. And with your target audience right at your fingertips on social media, there will be no shortage of eyes watching your every marketing move.

But with recent changes on Facebook that directly affect organic traffic, you may notice that your non-paid posts aren’t getting the engagement that they used to. Since the algorithms on Facebook has changed, your marketing strategy also needs to be changed with it and that means moving over to paid marketing.

So, how can you make sure you make the most of your marketing budget on Facebook and increase the online engagement that will convert into more members?

Creating an audience
Facebook Ads allows you to create your very own audience of individuals you’d like to receive your messages, making it easy for you to attract those that you feel will convert into members over time.

You can toggle things like an individual’s age, location, demographics, interests, and more to create a perfect filter for your marketing materials. This way, you shape your target audience to fit your membership goal.

From this, you can then move on to creating a lookalike audience. A lookalike audience allows you to choose a source of individuals that are your “prime” target audience (this could be your current members). Taking this source, Facebook Ads automatically create an audience with similar characteristics to the target. This is great for associations looking to market to a very similar audience to their members.

Set your intentions
With the audience in place, you next want to figure out what your intention is for your association’s marketing plan.

Typically, there are three different reasons for marketing online. The first is awareness, meaning your association would like to draw attention to its brand and purpose. The second is consideration, which means you’re trying to get on the radar of your audience as an inkling. And the third is conversion or trying to turn individuals into brand new association members.

Whatever the case, set your intention and make sure your marketing message reflects that intention.

Choose your materials
When coming up with ad creatives, you want to weigh your options and create ads that are both entertaining and easily understood.

The first thing is the ad sizing. How big do you want your ad to be? Do you want your ad to cover half of a page? Do you want it to show up as a sidebar, or be an immersive experience?

You also want to think about ad graphic. If you’re looking to just run one simple creative, that’s something you can focus on and do for your association. However, if you’d like to try something a bit more dynamic- like a carousel ad with multiple images attached- you can do that too! You can even shoot for using video if that’s something you’d like to give a shot.

The options Facebook provides are great for any association, try and experiment to find what works for you!