Put yourself in these shoes.

You’ve been around for a while, but nobody knows you exist. You’re like Duckie in Pretty in Pink – a nice guy, but overlooked.

Source: Salon.com

We’ve found that a lot of small and medium-sized businesses fall in the Duckie category when it comes to their online presence.

So when it comes to your target customers, how do you get out of the friend zone and actually earn their business?

Meet CMIT Solutions of Fort Worth. They’ve been around since 1999 specializing in affordable, expert IT services for small businesses. They are one of the fastest-growing franchises in the United States, and their leader, Shirley Peterson, has received numerous awards. Their website has also been around for years, but when we met them, their online presence still wasn’t gaining a lot of traction.

Our challenge? To drive a large amount of traffic to their site in a short amount of time.

Organic vs. Paid Search

We began by optimizing their website for conversion and user experience:

Before

After

We updated the color scheme and keywords. We also centered the call to action on the page, making it clearly visible with a standout color and giving it a professional tone. An important first step in any digital marketing campaign is to make sure the pages your customers land on are optimized to easily guide them to a buying decision.

While we updated their site and made sure it was optimized to rank highly, we knew organic search traction can take many months and even years to develop. It’s a vital aspect of any digital marketing strategy, but it’s focused on the long term. You can have the most beautiful site in the world, but what if your customers don’t even know you exist?

We knew the only way to drive lots of traffic in a short amount of time was a paid channel – but which one?

Google AdWords can be very expensive, especially for competitive words like those related to technology services. Also, people have to actively search for you in order to find you – and even then, you can get lost in the sea of competitors bidding for the same words.

You also wrestle with the problem of name recognition. If the #2 ad on the page is a name the customers recognize, and they’ve never heard of you, they’re probably going to click on your competitor.

The Power of Facebook Ads for Small Businesses

We looked at the previous 4 months and saw that CMIT Fort Worth had 473 sessions total on their website during that time frame. Our goal was to find a cost-effective way to increase it to the thousands. We decided Facebook ads would be the best way to go for a number of reasons.

If nothing else, you’re letting thousands and thousands of people know that you exist. They might not be ready to give you a try right this second. However, you’ll be near the top of their minds as soon as they need your services or get fed up with whoever they’re currently using.

You can put your strengths, such as your low price point, directly in the copy of the ad. Your target audience might think, “Wow, we’re paying a lot more for that service than what these guys are quoting. I wonder what they have to offer?”

If you know you have service, a price point or another advantage that beats your competitors, you just have to get your name out there. Facebook Ads are a great way to do that.

Facebook Ads are:

  • Cost-Effective: Facebook ads have the lowest cost per 1,000 impressions of any advertising in history. On average, they cost only 1% of TV advertising.
  • Displayed to the right people: Around half of Baby Boomers post on Facebook, and that number is actually growing, not shrinking. You can also hyper-target your ads to display to pretty much any demographic you choose.
  • A thumbs up to Google: When Google sees that you have a powerful social media presence and lots of clicks, it gives you a rankings boost.
  • Shareable: You can make eye-catching videos and interactive ads that people will want to share with friends.

Another advantage of Facebook ads for small businesses? They find your audience for you. Potential customers may not necessarily be looking for your services, but when they see your ad, they might be prompted to think, “Oh yeah! I was thinking about getting IT services for my business at some point,” or, “We’ve been struggling with that software bug…I wonder if they could help?”

One of the drawbacks of Facebook ads is that the traffic they generate can be difficult to track. Nevertheless, we can still watch the numbers and make connections between increases in traffic and leads and turning on Facebook ads.

The Results of Facebook Ads

We turned on Facebook ads and monitored the results for 4 months.

In the following 4 months, CMIT Solutions of Fort Worth received 3,009 sessions, contrasted with 473 sessions in the previous four months. That’s a 636% traffic increase!

Another way of looking at the data: they had 2,382 unique visitors, up from 428 unique visitors the previous four months. Again, an increase of over 556%!

It’s hard to see those kinds of results in that short of a time span with any other advertising channel, especially for such a low amount of ad spend.

With Facebook ads, you can spend as little as a quarter a click. For the cost of a daily Starbucks you can reach over 100,000 people a month. No other channel has that kind of ROI.

We’ve seen results like these for many other clients as well. Do you think Facebook ads might benefit your organization? Click to receive a free audit, and we can help determine whether Facebook ads might give your small business a boost.

Have you tried Facebook ads before? What was your experience?