How seriously does your shipping company take marketing via Facebook? Do you even have a presence on the platform? Hi, my name is Francisco. I am the owner of Planet marketing, a Digital Marketing company that specializes on Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Remarketing. Over the years, I have helped both local and international shipping companies find traction within the world of digital marketing. People often ask me whether or not there is a place on Facebook for shipping companies. That’s one of the questions that I am going to answer in this article. This post is divided into the following sections;
Options for Marketing your Business on Facebook
Facebook is one of the world’s biggest social networking platforms. At the time of writing this article, it had over 1.82 billion daily users. That’s an astounding figure. What it means is that all businesses that seriously wish to reach out to their clients need to market themselves on the platform. But what are the options for promoting shipping companies on Facebook?
You can promote your business free using a Facebook Page
This article is mainly about creating paid Facebook ads for local and international shipping companies. But before we even get there, it’s worth noting that you can market you business on the platform absolutely free of charge!
All that you need to do is to create a Facebook Business Page. I have previously written on the proper way of running business pages on Facebook. Those tips should come in handy. But why is it important for shipping companies to have Facebook Pages?
Why Facebook Pages are important
- As already noted, creating a Facebook Page is free of charge. So, you have no excuse for not doing it.
- You can use your page to reach out to people who are looking for the services that you provide. Thus a Facebook Page is a useful tool for generating leads for shipping companies.
- A page acts as a hub for your activities on Facebook. You can interact with current and former clients on the platform.
- Facebook Pages are also helpful when creating audiences for your Ads. Instead of targeting random people, you can choose to have your ads delivered to people who have interacted with you on your page. Perhaps these people have liked you Page. In that case, they are already interested in what you have to offer, making it easy for you to convince them to do business with you.
You can boost posts on Facebook
Shipping companies also have the option to promote themselves on Facebook using boosted posts. To be frank, I am a bit dubious about the usefulness of boosting posts on the platform. In my view, if you are going to be paying to advertise on Facebook, it's way better to simply create paid ads.
You can do paid Facebook Ads
This is the third option for shipping companies that wish to promote themselves on Facebook. Paid ads are what we will be focusing on in this article, so I am not going to say too much here. The following are some Facebook Ads statistics that are worth bearing in mind going forward;
- 94% of Facebook ads revenue is generated from mobile devices.
- In 2019, there was a 6% decrease in the average price of a Facebook ad. This puts the platform in the reach of even the smallest of businesses.
- The CPC for Facebook ads stands at around $1.72. That’s how much you can expect to pay when someone clicks on your ad. The CPC varies, however, depending on your industry.
- 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. That’s an important consideration if you are creating a Facebook video ad.
- 92% of social marketers use Facebook.
Should Local and International Shipping Companies Advertise on Facebook?
I have been doing Facebook Marketing for a long time. Below is one of the questions that I usually get from my clients is;
Is Facebook Ads Marketing for my business?
It doesn’t matter what type of business that may be. People always worry that there is no place on Facebook for their businesses.
However, that is actually not true. If you check across this blog, you will notice that I have produced quite a number of Facebook ads article. I have articles on how to create Facebook Ads for wedding venues and for Kindle books.
Whatever your niche, there is a place on the platform for you to find the right audience. The following are some of the reasons why shipping companies should seriously consider Facebook as part of their marketing strategies;
Find more statistics at Statista
- We have already noted that Facebook is huge. At the moment, it has over 2.7 monthly active users. You can see current stats in the graph above from Statistica. Surely, shipping companies will be able to more than find their target audiences in this large a pool?
- Facebook ads can be highly targeted. That’s relevant in that you can expect better success when advertising on Facebook than with the competition. So, if you have been wondering; Facebook ads vs Google Ads? Well, Facebook Ads are a better option in my view. Facebook knows quite a bit about its users. For better or for worse, shipping companies can use this information to be very precise in their targeting.
- Can your shipping company afford to advertise on Facebook? The answer is a massive yes. You need not worry about breaking the bank while advertising on the platform. Facebook ads are some of the cheapest in the digital marketing arena. In fact, you can get started on the platform for as little as $5 or even less. I will talk more about setting your Facebook ads budget later in this article.
- You can learn how to run your own Facebook Ads for your shipping company. That’s what I am going to show you in this post. Of course, most people don’t have the time. In that case, simply get in touch with me and I will do a professional job for your business. I have hundreds of clients and Facebook Ads are my domain.
Before Getting Started with Facebook Ads for Shipping Companies
You can, by all means, simply plunge into creating the first Facebook ad for your shipping company. However, you are likely to have a limited amount of success that way. To really get going, you need to first put yourself into the right state of mind. That’s what this section is for. Note that many of the tips given here apply to marketing in general;
You need to understand your target audience
Businesses out there are different as far as their target audiences are concerned. So, don’t take the examples that I give here as the gospel truth. You understand the nature of your business better than I do. So, you should be able to clearly define the kind of people that you wish to target with your ads on Facebook.
That’s something that I take several hours doing each time that I get a new client. Complicating matters is the fact that target audiences can be variable even for the same business. But the point that I am trying to put across here is that you need to know exactly who you are trying to target on Facebook. With this understanding, you will be better placed to reach out to the right people.
I have client that ships motorcycles across North America. In August each year, such a business could run Facebook Ads targeting people who wish to attend the Sturgis rally, as an example. That’s just one of the thousands of possible angles for creating Facebook Ads for such a business.
Understand their pain points
As is the case with all marketing, you need to have a clear understanding of your target audience’s pain points. These will vary from one industry to another. What are the pain points for potential clients of a motorcycle shipping company?
- Price: People are always worried about price.
- Prompt shipping: The Sturgis Rally in our example takes place within a given time frame. So, a person needs to know that the company will be able to ship their motorcycle on time.
- Safety: People price their motorcycles. They want to have this most loved of possessions arrive in one piece.
- Insurance: Because the nasty stuff that can happen does sometimes happen, insurance is important in ensuring that people do not lose monetarily in the event of an accident.
Understand your goals
When advertising on Facebook, you need to be clear on your goals. What is it that you wish to achieve? Are you looking to create brand awareness? Are you looking to generate leads directly from Facebook? Do you wish to create a mailing list that you can use for future marketing efforts?
Having clarity on your goals makes it easy to navigate through the various cavities of Facebook Ads marketing. You will notice that the process of creating Facebook Ads can be very different depending on the choices that you make initially.
Set up pixel on your site
Your shipping company already has a website, right? Once you have decided to start doing Facebook ads, you need to set yourself up for remarketing. I have previously written an article on Google Ads remarketing vs Facebook ads remarketing.
Remarketing is also referred to as retargeting. It’s the process of targeting people with ads based on their behaviro on a particular website. Facebook does remarketing by installing a piece of code called a pixel on a website.
Once that’s in place, you will be able to target audiences composed of people who have shown an interest in what you have to offer on your site. Retargeting is important for vastly improving the performance of your ads.
Creating your First Facebook Ad
To create your first Facebook Ad, you need to herd over to Ads Manager. For that, you need to sign up for a Business account, which you can do using your personal Facebook credentials. Facebook Ads are created using the following general steps;
- Choose a Campaign Objective
- Define your Target Audience
- Create your Ad
Selecting a Campaign Objective
Choosing a Campaign Objective is the first step when doing Facebook Ads Marketing for local and international shipping companies. The Campaign Objective describes the goal that you have for each campaign. Remember what I mentioned about there needing to be clarity of objectives? Well, this is where that comes in handy. Facebook provides you with 11 Campaign Objectives from which you can only have one for each Campaign;
- Video views
- App installs
- Catalog sales
- Store traffic
- Brand awareness
Which one is the best for shipping companies?
The Campaign Objective that you choose depends on your goals for that Campaign. Maybe you wish to have people taken to a landing page where they can view your shipping rates. In that case, Traffic would be the best Campaign Objective.
You could also be looking to create Brand awareness. Perhaps you have just been established in a particular area and you wish to have people learn about you.
Or maybe you could be gunning for Reach. In that case, you will be looking to have your Facebook ads delivered to as many people as is possible for your budget.
For this example, we will go with Traffic as our Campaign Objective. The assumption is that we have a landing page for our motorcycle shipping company where people can get instant quotes on shipping to various places around the United States. So, we want to take people from Facebook to this page.
Defining the Target Audience for your Shipping Company’s Facebook Ads
Audience definition when doing Facebook ads for shipping companies happens in the Ad Set. This is a really important step, so you need to put as much thought into it as is possible. Otherwise you could end up having your ads delivered in the wrong places, which reduces your chances of success. Facebook gives you a number of tools that you can use to define and refine the target audience for your ads;
Location is important when doing Facebook Ads for any business. It’s what determines where your ads are going to be displayed. In this case, we are talking about local and international shipping companies. Choose your location appropriately depending on where your business operates.
International shipping companies are greater in terms of reach. Local shipping companies will operate within a restricted geographic location. For this example, we will assume that our shipping company operates within the U.S. Shipping is local. So, we will choose to have our ads delivered to people living in the United States.
You can also define your target audience based on age. What are the age ranges with which you usually do business? For this example, we will target people between 20 and 65+.
Gender is also a useful tool when doing Facebook Ads marketing. You can choose to have your ads delivered to men, women or both.
You can also use the languages setting to further define the target audience for your Facebook Ads. Perhaps you are into gender specific products and services. This setting does not apply in this instance so we are going to leave it as it is.
Detailed Targeting: Demographics, Interests and Behaviors
So far we have defined a rather general target audience for the Facebook Ads that we are creating for our shipping company. It’s composed of people living in the United States. These people are between 20 and 65. They are of both genders. Language is unspecified.
That’s all very good but it will give us a limited amount of results. What we need to do is to zoom in on the people that we wish to reach. To do this, you need to go to the Detailed Targeting section in the ad set.
This section uses demographics, interests and behaviors to really narrow down on the target audience for your Facebook Ads. Rather than targeting people in general, you can zoom in on specific groups of people who are interested in what you have to do. Just to get back to the example of a motorcycle shipping company that's promoting itself ahead of the Sturgis Rally, the following would be some of the Detailed Targeting options;
- People interested in Motorcycle Rally.
- Those interested in the Sturgis Bike Week.
- Those interested in the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
- Others who are interested in Sturgis, South Darkota.
The Connections setting also allows you to narrow down on your target audience. In this instance, you can choose to have your ads delivered to people who are within your “connections.”
These could be people who have liked your Facebook page or others who have participated in events that you hosted. These people already know about your business, so it will be easier for you to convince them to become customers.
Budget and Schedule
Now we get to the Budget and Schedule section. This can also be found in the Ad Set. It’s where you decide how much you will be willing to spend on your Facebook Ads. Note that you will get better results as you boost your spending.
However, you should take it slow. Start small and see whether or not your ad is having the kind of impact that you were looking for. From there, you can decide whether to play around with the ad or to increase your daily spending.
Keep control of your spending
It’s important to keep control of your spending when doing Facebook Ads marketing for shipping companies. Facebook keeps your credit card details of file. They will go on deducting money from the account if you are not careful.
To stop that from happening, you can set start and end dates for your campaign. So, if you set your ads to run for 5 days at $20 per day, you know beforehand that you are going to spend $100 throughout the Campaign. You can also restrict spending by setting a lifetime budget for your ads.
Creating your Facebook Ad
Finally we get to the point where you can start creating your Facebook ad. Everything that we have been doing so far has been background work. The ad is what people will see, so it needs to have an impact.
One challenge is that people do not go to Facebook to buy stuff. They go there to chat with strangers and friends and to watch the latest bout of fake news. Business is far from their minds.
So, it’s a challenge for brands using the platform. You only have a few seconds in which to convince somebody to take the desired action.
The following are the available Facebook Ad formats;
- Single images
If you choose video, keep in mind what I noted at the top of this article that 85% of people watch videos on the platform without sound. It’s mostly about visuals on Facebook, and you need to find a way of exploiting this feature to your advantage.
The Primary Text appears at the top of your ad. Remember what I have just been saying about visuals. People don’t have the time on Facebook to read lots of text. You need to be brief and to the point. I usually like to keep my Primary Text at no more than a single line long.
That’s how to create Facebook Ads for local and international shipping companies. In this article, I showed you the importance of doing Facebook Ads Marketing for businesses in the sector. Facebook is a huge platform from which you will have little difficulty finding your target audience.
It’s important, however, to have clarity on what you wish to achieve before getting started. That will allow you to easily navigate around the intricacies of creating Facebook ads for your business.
With Facebook Ads, it’s also important to do a lot of A/B testing. If what you have done does not initially bring the desired results, you should not immediately throw in the towel. Try other formulas and other formats.
You could, as an example, choose another Campaign Objective. Or maybe you can change your ad format. Do that and you will soon strike gold. Meanwhile, feel free to sign up for my Mini Facebook Ads Marketing course if you wish to get more on how to use Facebook to grow your business.