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Online Shopping

Master Your Target, Get More Customers

Paid Ads 101: The Secret to Sharing Your Product with the World via Facebook Ads

Getting Started - "How to Be Better"

​In this guide will be teaching how to run ads and marketing your product so that you can attract more customers, make easier sales on autopilot and ultimately - grow your business. You'll want to begin by understanding these 4 key data points to make a successful ad. 


1. Start to figure out your ideal customer. You should understand their age, sex, and location to begin with. From there write out your ideal customer stat sheet - this is your customer avatar. The more you understand who they are, the more accurate your ad is. 


2. Figure an easy way to tell what your product is and it's value in one sentence. You start broad and narrow down your product so people see its difference. For example: go from "Food Item" to "Premium Handcrafted Vietnamese Garlic Chili Fish Sauce".


​3. Start thinking about ways you can answer the question "why choose you", perhaps your process, your ingredients, your special offerings, a promotion, a discount, etc. The more they see the value, the easier the sale. Give them a reason to take a chance over buying something else in their life.


4. Figure out your offer and how they act upon it. It could be a promo code, a limited time deal, a special way to buy, a holiday related event, etc. Make sure you have a page where it's easy to act on the offer: i.e "Use code ILOVECOFFEE to get 15% off for the next 5-days!"

From You vs. For You - "Who Says it Best?"

​Before we continue running an ad, it's important to figure out if it's needed at all. You should figure out which path to take - running an ad yourself or tapping into someone else's network. We'll look at the difference between from you (you run an ad and control it) vs. for you (you get someone to talk about your product or share it).

From You

What It Is & How It Works:

  • It's like you're talking directly to your customers. Imagine you own a coffee shop and you're telling your regulars about a new espresso blend you've got. This is traditional marketing 101, you pick the topic, you pick the deal, you pick the outlet, etc. It typically requires more work on the part of the owners or marketing team, because you have to follow a guide like this to craft a good ad so you can understand what works.


  1. You're the Boss: You decide what to say about your coffee.

  2. Building Your Brand: Customers get to know your coffee shop's personality.

  3. Chatting with Customers: It's like having a direct conversation with your coffee lovers.

  4. Price: It's almost always cheaper to do it yourself in the long run and you have more control


  1. Takes Effort: You still need to know who needs your coffee - customer, solution, market, etc.

  2. Might Miss Some Folks: Not everyone in town might hear about your coffee shop.

  3. Trust Issues: Some people might think, "Well, of course, they'll say their coffee is great – it's their shop!"


  • Posting an ad for your new espresso blend on your shop's Instagram.

  • Sending emails to your customers about a weekend coffee-tasting event.

  • Going to a local chamber event to discuss your coffee.

    What Should I Do to Explore "From You?": 

    Continue reading this guide!

For You

What It Is:

  • It's like when a popular food influencer visits your coffee shop, tries your espresso, and tells their followers how awesome it is. This is a fairly recent new addition to the market landscape and requires less work for you to get going, but you have a wide range of pricing and more risk involved because you have less control of the pieces. The idea is you could get far more sales for far less money by tapping into someone else's followers.


  1. Reaching More People: The influencer's followers, who might never have heard of your shop, will learn about your coffee. You can sometimes get more for less (if done right)

  2. Instant Trust: People trust the blogger, so they're more likely to try your espresso.

  3. Fresh Views: The blogger might talk about your coffee in a cool, different way.

  4. Direct network: Because they already talk about food, they already have an audience and network you can leverage


  1. Less Control & Limited audience: You can't exactly tell the blogger what to say about your coffee and most influencers are always for younger demographics

  2. Cost: Prices vary across the board, it's important to understand their followers interests and see if they relate to you, as well as quality and quantity of them

  3. Backfire Risk: If they say something bad, it's out there for all their followers to see.


  • A local food influencer posts about your coffee shop's cozy ambiance and unique espresso on Instagram.

  • You pay a news food columnist to include your coffee shop in a list of "Top 5 Must-Visit Coffee Spots in Town."

  • You parter with a coffee subscription company to include your beans in their "coffee of the month club box"

    What Should I Do to Explore "For You?": 

    Visit and explore an influencer for your type of product, ask about pricing, see if their social page is a good fit and has a good base of followers.

Let's Build an Offer - "How to Be So Good, They Can't Say No"

To effectively market your product, focus on crafting an offer that quickly highlights its value. The key is to communicate with potential customers as if you're speaking directly to them, presenting compelling reasons for them to make a purchase. Incorporate six essential elements to construct a strong offer, which simplifies the sales process. Aim to integrate your product into the customer's routine, encouraging initial purchases and fostering a habit of ongoing patronage and referrals.

Remember, the formula for success is simple: higher value plus lower risk equals more sales. Put yourself in the shoes of someone unfamiliar with your product and critically evaluate its appeal, distancing personal biases. It's crucial to recognize that you're competing not just with similar products but also with the financial priorities of your target market. If potential customers can't see or appreciate the value of your product, your advertising efforts will fall flat. Interview your current or prospective customers to understand why they chose you, what they like and what they dislike, this takes the guesswork out of marketing.

Consider this: a modest 5% discount might not draw much attention, but a limited-time offer including a 15% discount on the first purchase, a complimentary gift, a quality assurance guarantee, and a bonus recipe book can significantly boost sales. Such an approach not only enhances customer satisfaction and encourages referrals, but it also establishes a strong brand relationship, encouraging repeat business. The key is to offer exceptional value at minimal cost to you, like a low-cost sticker or a one-time-created recipe book, ensuring a win-win situation that keeps customers returning. Keep this principle at the forefront: successful advertising hinges on presenting a compelling offer, paired with a seamless, quick, and attractive purchasing process. It's not enough to merely broadcast your existence; your ads must clearly articulate what you offer and its significance. Ensure your customers emerge as the hero, feeling enriched by their purchase and fortunate to have discovered your product, transforming each transaction into a rewarding opportunity.


Introduce game-like elements to the shopping experience to make it more engaging. This leverages the human desire for rewards and competition, driving engagement and purchases.


  1. Reward Points & Codes: Earn points for purchases or get a promo code redeemable for discounts or free items, e.g., "Use promo code "ILOVEBEANS for 15% off your first order."

  2. Spin-to-Win Wheels: A virtual wheel that offers discounts or gifts upon checkout, e.g., "Spin the Flavor Wheel to win up to 30% off your next coffee bean order!"

  3. Referral Challenges: Incentivize customers to refer friends for exclusive rewards, e.g., "Refer 5 friends to unlock our Secret Sauce Club, granting early access to new flavors!" or getting others to share your product for a commission via affiliate marketing

  4. Discovery quiz: "Take a quiz to find your flavor" or similar experiences take the guesswork out of what a customer should choose

  5. Qualified triggers: Setting up, as an example, "Free Shipping on all orders over $40" can incentivize customers to buy more. Build goals for a customer to reach that pair with ordering more


Why It Works: Gamification taps into fun and accomplishment, making shopping memorable and incentivizing beneficial actions like repeat purchases.

Urgency & Scarcity

Use urgency and scarcity to prompt quick decision-making, leveraging the fear of missing out (FOMO).


  1. Limited-Time Offers: Special discounts available for a short period, e.g., "20% off all coffee beans this weekend only!"

  2. Countdown Timers: Timers for promotions or product releases, e.g., "Only 4 hours left to claim your special hot sauce trio set!"

  3. Limited Edition Products: Special flavors or blends with limited availability, e.g., "Introducing Summer Sizzle Hot Sauce – only 500 bottles available.


Why It Works: Urgency and scarcity drive consumers to act quickly to take advantage of limited-time deals or unique products.


Enhance the original purchase with additional value, showing how it fits into their habits or routine (i.e. "Here are how it works with other things") or can be part of a larger value pitch (i.e "Here are more things we give that work with it") making the offer more appealing without significantly increasing costs.


  1. Matching Items: Include items that enhance the original product, e.g., "Free artisanal chocolate bar with every Signature Espresso Bean pack!"

  2. Recipes or Guides: Offer complimentary guides to enhance product experience, e.g., "Exclusive Grilling with Fire guide with our BBQ Hot Sauce Collection."

  3. Custom Pairings: Suggest and include product pairings, e.g., "Buy our Rainforest Blend Coffee and get a complimentary eco-friendly mug."

Why It Works: Adds extra value and personalization to the purchase, enhancing customer satisfaction and encouraging sales.

Bonuses & Rewards

Offering bonuses, gifts or rewards with a purchase can significantly increase the attractiveness of an offer. These added values don't necessarily need to be costly but should be perceived as high value by the customer.


  1. Free Sample Packs: Include a free sample of another product with the purchase to introduce customers to more of your range. "Enjoy a free sample pack of our newest herbal tea blends with every order of coffee beans!"

  2. Gift with Purchase: Offer a complimentary gift that is desirable and relevant to the consumer's interests, increasing the perceived value of the purchase. "Receive a custom-designed coffee scoop with every purchase over $50!"

  3. Exclusive Content: Provide access to exclusive content, such as specialized recipes, webinars, or forums, with a purchase, adding value beyond the physical product. "Unlock our Master Barista Video Series with any Espresso Blend purchase this month!"

  4. Points: Offer rewards, deals, points, or future incentives to stick around for your customers


Why It Works: Bonuses and gifts enhance the perceived value of the purchase and can create a positive emotional response towards the brand. This strategy also encourages larger or more frequent purchases to qualify for the added benefits.


Offering guarantees on products reduces the perceived risk associated with a purchase, making customers feel more secure in their decision to buy. This is particularly effective for consumables, where taste and quality can be subjective, by assuring customers of their satisfaction.


  1. Money-Back Guarantee: Provide a no-questions-asked refund policy if the product doesn't meet the customer's expectations, e.g., "Love your first sip or it's on us! Enjoy our money-back guarantee on all coffee beans."

  2. Quality Guarantee: Highlight the high standards of production and the guarantee of satisfaction, e.g., "We guarantee each bottle of our hot sauce is crafted with the finest ingredients for unmatched quality and flavor."

  3. Freshness Guarantee: Assure customers that products will arrive in optimal condition and maintain their quality until consumption, e.g., "Guaranteed fresh: Our coffee beans are roasted to order, ensuring you get the freshest, most aromatic cup every time."


Why It Works: Guarantees build trust and confidence in the brand and its products, encouraging customers to try new items by reducing the perceived risk. This makes customers more likely to make a purchase, knowing they're protected if their expectations aren't met.

Demystify & Educate

Educating consumers about the product's origins, production process, or unique qualities can create a deeper connection and appreciation for the product. If you are doing goodwill as well such as supporting a cause, sourcing ethically, creating jobs, having certain certifications for good causes, etc. always do this in the open! People love to feel good about purchases and you want to use that to your advantage. Additionally, positioning the product within a specific niche caters to a more targeted audience, making the messaging more relevant and impactful.


  1. Behind-the-Scenes Content: Share the story and processes behind the product, from sourcing ingredients to production, e.g., "Discover the journey of our hot sauces with behind-the-scenes footage from farm to bottle, showcasing our commitment to sustainable practices."

  2. Expert Endorsements: Use endorsements from industry experts or influencers to highlight the product's niche appeal, e.g., "Our specialty coffee beans are recommended by world-renowned baristas for their exceptional quality and unique flavor profiles."

  3. Goodwill and Educate: Tell your customers why you are different, why it matters, what it means for them to buy from you, or if you are doing goodwill. e.g. "We use this very specific coffee bean from this farm we support." or "We back our police offers, for each purchase we give 10% to the police union."

  4. Certifications: Pair your products with familiar certifications if possible, examples include: B-corp, organic, fair trade, no animal testing, etc.

Why It Works: Providing transparency and education around the product fosters trust and authenticity, deepening the customer's connection to the brand. Focusing on a niche ensures the message resonates more strongly with an audience that is already interested in such specifics, thereby enhancing the likelihood of purchase and repeat business.

How Much to Invest? - "How to Build a Money Making Machine"

​The most common question is going to be "How much should I spend on ads?" and businesses fall into the trap of overspending with themselves, agencies, or vendors or they end up paying for some form of ad, getting zero leads, and never marketing again because their "ads didn't work". If you have an enticing core offer, then you've already solved the first problem of ads not working, and almost all businesses think they have a problem with being known (i.e "If people just know about me, they'll give me money") when this idea doesn't work because A. In theory, if you spend enough money for everyone to know about you, you'd need to keep spending that amount forever and you don't have infinite money or B. Just because they know you exist doesn't tell them why they should care. The idea for marketing is to build a machine that you put in a dollar, and get two dollars out - this is why having a good offer is one of the most important parts of your marketing. Now that we have a good offer, we need to know how much to spend to broadcast that to the world.

Option A - Revenue

One common method is to allocate a percentage of your total revenue to advertising. A general guideline is to spend between 5% to 15% of your annual revenue on marketing if you're aiming for growth. For established businesses looking to maintain their presence, a lower end of 5% to 10% is advisable. This approach ensures that your ad spend is directly proportional to your business size and revenue, creating a scalable model. For instance, if your business generates $500,000 in annual revenue, allocating 10% would mean a $50,000 yearly budget for ads. This method keeps your spending in line with your financial performance, preventing overextension.

Option B - Per Sale

Another strategy is to determine your ad spend based on the cost per acquisition (CPA) or cost per sale. This method involves calculating how much you are willing to spend to acquire a single customer. Start by identifying your average profit margin per sale, then decide what percentage of that margin you're willing to reinvest in acquiring a new customer. For example, if your profit margin per sale is $100, and you're comfortable spending 30% of that to gain a new customer, your CPA target would be $30. This approach requires careful tracking and management of your advertising campaigns to ensure that the cost per acquisition does not exceed your set threshold, ensuring profitability.

Build you First Ad - "How to Sell to Everyone at Once"

Now we understand who needs your product and what offer would entice them, you need to get 3 ingredients to display your ad in a manner that prints more money and gets you more customers for your business. Below are the basic elements of a Facebook ad. With a compelling offer that's paired with these 3 elements to display that offer, understand it, and act upon it, you'll be able to launch an ad that not only grabs attention but also converts into sales.

Creative (the content)

​Creative is the content that grabs your viewer's eyes, it can be a series of images, a single image, or a video. Make sure the content you create is high-quality content that pairs well with your brand and makes your product the "hero" of your story. You have limited time to capture attention, use your content to convey your message fast and easy to undestand. Single images for one single product or service, carousels for many complimentary things, and videos can condense a lot of information into one segment (keep them under 30 seconds ideally).

Copy (the text)

​Copy is the text that elaborates your ads offering and creative. This is a headline, and body that will pair with your ad to offer the customer more details - typically on how to act or why you matter. Imagine this as your chance to provide more details, expand or discuss, in-more-detail, the idea of your ad, your product and your brand. Copy should be used to be the extra stuff that doesn't fit in your ad content, strike a balance between the two, with minimal text on your images or a short video overall. 

CTA (the steps)

CTA (call to action) is the button the user presses in tandem with the offer to interact with your ad. It's important that this is simple, and easy to follow - the path you layout for additonal sales, leads, or taking advantage of a promotion needs to be clear. Your button should match the topics interaction (i.e "Buy Now" for a product or "Learn More" for a service, as an example). Never drop users on your homepage, you want to have them drop directly on the product or service, ready to go, with easy to follow actions. Landing pages are highly effective in this regard because they go straight to the point.

Running Your First Ad

Now we understand who needs your product, what offer would entice them, and the 3 ingredients of your ads makeup are ready to go - we can now launch an ad that gets you more customers for your business. This process will involve you logging into your Facebook account, and you'll need to have a business page setup, make sure both are ready to go before starting.

Facebook Business Manager

1. Visit and get started by logging into your Facebook account and choosing your business's Facebook page until you reach your business dashboard. Then click on "Ads" (megaphone icon) and then click "Get Started" or "Create Ad" to begin with your first ad.

Setting Your Goal

2. Choose your goal, typically you'll want to lead people to your website where your product, service, promo, etc. lives, so we'll select "Get More Website Visitors"

Ad Creative

3. Populate your description to start (this is your biggest body of text), then begin uploading your media to pair with it (your image(s), or videos). Then add your headline, button label and website URL (avoid using your homepage, get straight to the thing you want them to buy).

Choosing Your Targets

4. Choose your target customer attributes, called your "Audience" (from your customer stat-sheet). The more accurate this is, the better your ad will do. Check the bubble "People You Choose Through Targeting" and "Create" to starting filling in your targets qualities (age, sex, location, insterests, etc.). "Detailed Targeting" is where you can add things like interests, hobbies, purchasing power, and more.

Budget & Location

5. Set a budget for your ad, it's best to begin with something small to test the initial and quality. The total you'll spend is your daily budget + when it ends (i.e $5 per/day for 5 days is $25 total spent on an ad). The goal is to have a very low cost-per-click (the amount of money it costs you for every click). The better the offer, copy, creative and CTA - the less it costs you to run an ad and get more sales. Finally, start to think about who uses each platform you are targeting (do your customers use instagram, Facebook, one or both?) and Check the boxes you feel are relevant.

Publish & Test!

​6. Click "Publish" (make sure you have an attachemed payment method) and start to track your ads progress over time. Look at your website analytics in tandem to see the data coming in. If done correctly, you should see more sales, increased traffic and interactions with your ad as well. It's recommended to test multiple ads at once (over time ads do worse as users get accustomed to them), so run 2 or 3 ads to start and see which is performing best over a 1-2 week. You'll start to see one of them performing better then the rest, so you'll want to put more money into it. Repeat this process every couple of months to keep your ads fresh.

Image by Evelyn Semenyuk

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