Program allows you to tightly target a specific audience and is cost effective

36 percent of Damien Henning’s Kickstarter contributions for his Shape Flexer sun hat came from Facebook Ads.

For the entrepreneur, inventor or small company hoping to launch a new product, Facebook Ads is an online platform that provides a great, inexpensive opportunity to make the product a success from the beginning.

Take the Shape Flexer sun hat. Damien Henning created this after finding himself disappointed with poor-quality sun hats that didn’t hold up to the demands of his global travels. He initially created these hats for himself, but after enough people asked where they could get one, he realized there might be a market for the hats and decided to try to mass produce and sell them.

This past June 20, Henning launched a 60-day campaign on Kickstarter for the Shape Flexer. By the time the campaign closed, it had raised $247,564—707 percent of the project’s initial $35,000 goal.

Henning credits a large portion of his success to Facebook Ads, the source of 36 percent of contributions during the campaign. Facebook Ads is beneficial for those looking to launch a new invention for many reasons:

  • It makes it easy to collect leads before you launch a new product. When you’re launching a new product, collecting information for those interested in your product as soon as possible is key. Fortunately, Facebook’s lead generation ads make this easy. Even if you haven’t built a website or landing page, as long as you have a Facebook page for your product and some good photographs of your product you can begin collecting email addresses and other information of those who may buy your product down the road.
  • It allows you to tightly target a specific audience. If you’re working on a specific invention or product, you probably have a fairly good idea of the demographics of your target audience. Facebook Ads allows you to easily target this audience but test other audiences as well. Once you begin testing, you may be surprised by what you find.

For example, Henning initially thought his sun hat would be a hit among those who loved the outdoors. But when he started running Facebook Ads, he found that wasn’t necessarily the case.

“I thought that that was my main audience, but the more I looked into it, I was getting a lot of people that weren’t really avid outdoors recreational enthusiasts. They just wanted a good sun hat that they can manipulate and carry around easily and they liked the look of mine,” he said.

  • It is inexpensive compared to other paid media opportunities. If you’re on a tight budget, Facebook Ads are a cost-effective way to get your product in front of a large number of people. Compared to other paid opportunities online, Facebook Ads cost considerably less. However, if you have no experience with online advertising, find someone who does to help you get the lowest cost per click.
  • It allows you to re-target those with whom you’ve already interacted. Let’s say someone comes to your website, signs up for your email newsletter, but doesn’t purchase anything. With Facebook Ads, you can reconnect with that person through his or her Facebook News Feed. Just upload your customer list as a Custom Audience and use it to run a re-marketing campaign.
  • You can build Lookalike Audiences from pre-launch leads, email lists and re-targeting. Facebook Ads’ Lookalike Audiences is a powerful tool that allows you to upload a custom Audience—the leads you collected prior to launching, for example—and then use the Custom Audience to create a Lookalike Audience with similar demographic information or interests. This is key, because it allows you to reach people you may never have otherwise targeted.

Types of Facebook Ads

How can you make the most of Facebook Ads? When you’re beginning to use it to promote a product, it’s important to understand the different types of ads and when to use it to get the best return on investment.

Carousel ads: Also known as Dynamic Product Ads, these are great if you want to feature multiple products, or if you want to highlight several features of a single product. However, some extra creativity is needed to tell a good story and make these ads truly effective; you’ll need to make your content noticeable enough that viewers want to engage and interact with it.

Video ads: Video ads are great for grabbing your viewers’ attention or making your content go viral. However, this comes at a price, as they are not as effective for sending traffic to your website.

Lead generation ads: As mentioned above, lead generation ads are very effective for hosting giveaways or collecting leads for a product or service. If you have not yet launched your product but you want to begin to promote it, lead gen ads are the way to go.

Right rail ads: These small ads are located in a column on the right of the newsfeed for desktop users. They have more limitations on wording due to their size, but they are very effective and have high conversion rates.

Standard ads: This is the typical type of ad you probably see in your News Feed hundreds of times a day. It’s good for just about every purpose, but because it is so universally useful, the competition for these ads is a bit higher. Because of this, it’s important to optimize your Standard ads in order to make them stand out from everything else in the News Feed. If you aren’t sure where to begin, ads like these are a great place to start; in fact, these are where Henning saw the biggest ROI for his Kickstarter campaign.

With so many options, Facebook Ads may be a bit overwhelming when you first decide to use them, but Facebook has worked hard to simplify the process and make it easy to use and understand. If you’re working on bringing your invention to market, Facebook Ads are a wonderful place to begin.