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3 Tips to Make Facebook Ads Work on Limited Budgets

Published: November 15, 2013

Author: Kristina Allen

Do you run a small business and want to know if Facebook advertising is right for you? Great. You’ve found the right blog post!

Let’s start right off the bat by saying: yes, Facebook advertising is right for you. It’s almost certain that your target audience uses Facebook whether you sell B2B or B2C (after all, it’s individual people, not a business as a whole, who make decisions at B2B companies).

With all of Facebook’s many targeting options, you can find your target audience and start out with a very minimal budget without having to make a large monthly commitment. You can turn your ad campaigns on and off at your discretion.

So, how do you, as a small business with a small budget, run a successful Facebook advertising campaign? Follow these three tips below.

1. Set a Budget

Set a budget at the start. What amount are you willing to spend on a daily basis to help you bring in more leads or sales from Facebook?

You can set your budget to as little as $5/day, but I recommend spending at least $30 a day if you can manage it. If $30 a day is a little high for you, then maybe start with $15/day (at that rate, if you run Facebook ads for a full month, you will spend just $450).

Remember, during this time you should be seeing a return on your advertising spend (ROAS). If at any time you feel like that return is not good enough for what you are spending, you can turn your campaigns off and not spend another dime on Facebook advertising.

I wouldn’t recommend jumping to conclusions after only a day or two, though. I would recommend sticking it out with Facebook ads for at least a 15- or 30-day period (depending on your budget) to really understand if Facebook ads are right for your business.

If you only spend $5/day and turn your ads off after only a day or two, your ads will not have been shown to enough people to really know if the ad campaigns(s) were effective or not.

2. Choose an Objective

Once you have a budget in mind, it’s time to start building your Facebook ads either using Facebook’s native advertising tool or a Facebook ads manager like AdEspresso.com (AdEspresso makes ad setup a breeze and provides more detailed reporting).

The first thing you need to decide on is what your objective for your ads will be. If you are working with a limited budget ($30 or less per day), you will want to focus on ONE objective. If you try to split the $30/day across multiple objectives, you won’t get statistically relevant data about the ads for a very long time.

You really will be choosing from two types of objectives: brand awareness or conversions (getting more leads or sales).


If you want to drive brand awareness, your objective will be to increase your Page Likes. This is a great long-term strategy, but you likely won’t see a high ROAS in terms of new leads or sales immediately. In the long run, this is the best strategy for many companies because you are building a community you can market to for years to come.

However, as a small business with a limited budget, you may need to see a faster turn around time on new leads and sales. In this case I would suggest a conversion-focused campaign where your objective is Website Conversions.

When selecting Website Conversions, you’ll need to create what is called a Conversion Pixel. This pixel is just a small snippet of code that allows Facebook to track whether the desired conversion action was taken or not.

Actions can include:

-Key page views
-Adds to cart

If you’re running a lead generation campaign, I would suggest selecting Leads.

If you’re selling B2C I would suggest using Adds to Cart or Checkouts as your conversion objective.

Why is selecting the appropriate objective REALLY important?

Because Facebook will optimize your ad campaigns based on your objective.

When you create a Facebook Campaign, you will be able to place multiple ads within it. Each ad within a simple campaign will be a/b tested against each other. The ad that gets more people to reach the desired objective will win the a/b test (once it reaches statistical relevance), and that ad will be shown for the remainder of the campaign.

So, for example, if your objective is Adds to Cart, whichever ad in your campaign gets more people to add an item to the cart will win the a/b test and will be shown to your target audience. This helps you get more leads/sales from the same ad budget.

Beyond choosing an objective, you will also need to write really strong ad copy to get people to take desired conversion-oriented actions.

If you’re not sure how to do this, read this post on how to write great Facebook ad copy.

3. Track Your Results

This next part is really important. Once you turn your Facebook ad campaign(s) on, you will need to track the results.

Using Facebook’s native reporting tool. you will be able to see how many times each Objective was reached and what value was attached to it.

For example, if you run an e-commerce store, you will be able to see how much revenue your ads brought in (if you’re tracking checkouts).

Here is an example of the Reporting dashboard where Adds to Cart was selecting as the conversion Objective. In the blurred-out area, the advertiser was able to see how many times an item was added to the cart and how much that would have translated into sales if the person checked out.

If your objective is to drive more leads through the ad campaign, you can look up how many leads the ad campaigns brought in, and from within your CRM you can see if any of those have closed or are forecasted to close. That will help you determine the ROI of your ad campaign.

You can also track your results in Google Analytics if you have Goals set up AND if you added tracking code to the URLs used in your ads.

For example, if you simply used StoreName.com in your ads, in Google Analytics you will only be able to track all traffic from Facebook. This includes your organic Facebook traffic as well as your ad traffic.

Instead, you should create a trackable URL and ad parameters to it like this:


By adding “utm_medium” and “utm_campaign” codes to your URL, you will be able to search Google Analytics just for traffic that comes with your Facebook ad campaigns.

Tracking the results of your Facebook ad campaigns will help you determine if:

-You need to make changes to the campaigns because they were only slightly effective

-You should stop advertising on Facebook

-Your campaigns are doing really well and you should increase your budget because the ROI is sky-high

Tracking the ROI of your Facebook advertising campaigns is just as important as tracking the ROI of any other type of marketing you do.

Getting Started

If you’re very new to online advertising (and especially Facebook advertising), you may want to start by reading this Facebook Ads Guide. It will walk you through step-by-step how to on how to create your first campaign.

If you are familiar with Facebook ads and have a specific question, please comment below and we will do our best to answer your question(s)!

This post was written by Kristina Allen, marketing consultant for AdEspresso.com. Using AdEspresso small businesses are able to create, test and optimize their Facebook ads to achieve the highest ROI possible.

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