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Running ads on Facebook can be one of the best ways for an independent Author to make money—but probably not for the reason you’d think.

As an indie Author, your best book marketing strategy typically doesn’t have anything to do with driving book sales.

Instead, your best strategy is to use your book to design a successful marketing campaign that will launch your business or career to the next level.

This post shows you how to:

  1. develop your own unique book promotion strategy, and
  2. create a Facebook ad campaign that can provide stunning returns

Facebook Ads and Your Book Marketing Plan

Authors often ask me, “How do I advertise on Facebook?” But here’s the thing: there’s no one “right” way to do Facebook ads.

There are millions of right ways—one for every situation you can imagine.

While I can’t tell you in a blog post exactly how to advertise your book, I can give you a great framework for figuring out the method that’s best for your specific goal.

Like all marketing, it comes down to 2 things:

  1. who you want to be in front of
  2. what you want them to do

At Scribe, we publish hundreds of non-fiction books. I can tell you for a fact that our greatest success stories all have one thing in common: those Authors wrote their book for a specific purpose and created an entire marketing strategy around that purpose.

Is there a magic formula for what that purpose is? Not at all. You could write your book to:

  • launch a speaking career
  • reach new clients
  • gain media attention for your platform
  • attract investors
  • land consulting gigs
  • and so much more

A book can help you accomplish just about anything as long as it’s interesting and valuable to the audience you need to reach.

Once you have your goal and you know who you’re trying to find, creating a marketing plan is a matter of working your way backward.

For example, if you want new clients, think about someone standing in front of you who’s ready to sign a deal and get started immediately. Then, ask yourself:

  1. Who is that person or company? Why are they excited to hire me?
  2. How did they get to that point? What did they need to know to get them excited?
  3. Where did they get that information? How did you get it into their hands?
  4. How can you find those people or companies so you can start giving them that information today?

If the answer to that last question is “on Facebook,” then Facebook ads might be a great platform for your marketing campaign.

Using FB Ads to Sell Books (Or Something Else)

Step 1. Figure out your target audience.

Facebook is a great platform for finding just about anyone. It has close to 2 billion daily active users, and it knows a ton of information about them—so you can narrow in on the ones who need you (and your ideas) the most.

Are you looking for people in the U.S. who are interested in real estate? Or, better yet, how about people in the southeastern U.S. who watch HGTV and follow any of the top 5 most popular real estate investment podcasts?

Not a problem—Facebook has you covered.

Of course, that’s just one example. With a bit of creative thinking, you can define any audience you need to reach. Facebook’s audience selection tools can help you narrow in on your target audience, profiling your best potential clients.

Step 2. Figure out what you want them to do.

Ultimately, you want these people to hire you—at least in this example. But that’s the LAST step you want them to take.

Right now, they haven’t even heard of you. You have to walk them through the steps of getting to know you first. That way, they become excited about you and your services.

In creating your Facebook ad, you need to figure out the FIRST step in that process. It needs to be a small, easy action that people might reasonably take after seeing one Facebook ad.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “That’s easy! I want them to buy my book!”

That might be the right answer for your situation. But Facebook ads probably aren’t the best choice for that. Why not? Because:

  1. If your ad sends people to Amazon, you can’t track whether they bought the book (so you won’t really know whether your ad is working)
  2. The average profit on a book sale, even a Kindle book, is too small to make the ad cost worth it
  3. After people buy and read your book, you don’t have any way to reach out and encourage them to take the next step (such as scheduling a free consultation)

If what you really want people to do is hire you, then a better first step is to have your Facebook ad send them to a separate landing page that:

  • tells them more about you
  • offers them a free copy of your book (in exchange for their email address)
  • upsells them with a deep discount on your mini-course
  • and/or invites them to join your FB group where you post exclusive content once a week

Obviously, these are all just examples. To learn more about using your book as a free giveaway (and building a readership with HUGE profit potential), read my post on book funnels.

The best first step for your own marketing plan can be anything that works for your specific strategy. But whatever it is, remember that the key to great Facebook ad campaigns is knowing exactly:

  1. who you’re trying to reach
  2. what you want them to do

How to Set Up Your Facebook Ad in 7 Steps

1. Optimize your Facebook business page

Once you know why you’re running a Facebook ad campaign, you’ll need to set up and optimize your professional Facebook profile. This can be a Facebook page for your business or for yourself as an Author—whichever makes the most sense for your goal.

Either way, make sure your page looks great and provides immediate value to the people you’re trying to reach.

One of the great things about Facebook marketing (and any social media marketing) is that potential readers have an easy way to connect with you so you can build those relationships over time.

2. Set up your landing page

If your ad will send people to a sales page as part of a digital marketing sales funnel, make sure you set that page up properly:

  • the graphics are eye-catching (be sure to include your book cover!)
  • the messaging speaks to your target demographic
  • the form for your email list or shopping cart is working
  • any freebies or upsells are delivered automatically

3. Design your ad

If you’ve followed all the steps I listed above, you already know:

  1. who the ad is trying to reach
  2. what it’s trying to get people to do

Those 2 key factors drive the creation of the ad as part of your overall marketing strategy.

Your ad should include an image or video that will catch the attention of your target audience. The copy should be short and direct, hooking your audience quickly and motivating them to do whatever it is you want them to do.

When you get ready to write your marketing copy, keep in mind that it’s very different from book writing. If you’ve never written ad copy before, here’s a basic formula to get you started:

Step 1.

Ask a question or make a statement that targets your ideal audience. This should be extremely short, helping people identify quickly whether this is an ad they might care about.

  • Love vintage cars? [With an image or short video of vintage cars.]
  • Want to make money on your phone? [With an image or short video of someone tapping happily on their phone.]
  • Watch those pounds melt away! [With a short video clip of someone going through stages of losing weight.]

Step 2.

Present your book’s key value in as few words as possible.

  • Learn to build these vintage beauties in 7 easy lessons.
  • Make $50,000 in 5 weeks with your own online business.
  • This breakthrough method is the end of dieting forever!

Step 3.

Add a “call to action,” preferably with some urgency.

  • Get your free book today!
  • Take the first step with one click!
  • Click to watch the full, stunning transformation!

4. Choose your ad type

When it comes to setting up your Facebook ad, that’s going to depend entirely on what you want your ad to do.

Don’t try to cut corners. Take the time to learn the system by exploring the tutorials Facebook provides. If you’re brand new to Facebook advertising, start with the sections under “Create Ads from a Facebook Page” and “Create Ads from Ads Manager.”

Remember, if you’re looking for conversions—meaning you want people to buy something—Facebook can’t track those sales unless your ad sends them to a landing page you control.

You can link an ad straight to your Amazon page, but the best you can do is track the number of link clicks on your ad. You won’t know how many of those people actually bought your book.

5. Choose your ad platform

Facebook owns Instagram, so advertising on Facebook gives you access to both platforms. It’s often best to try both and see which one performs better for your audience.

On the other hand, if you know your audience trends toward one or the other, you’ll improve your ad’s performance by targeting your audience where they spend most of their time.

Either way, design your ad for the platform you’re choosing. If you’re using both, be sure to preview your ad on both platforms to make sure it’s optimized to display well, with copy that speaks to that audience.

6. Choose your budget

Choose a daily budget that makes sense for what you’re trying to do. It’s okay to start out small, but don’t skimp so much that you aren’t really learning anything. An initial budget of about $10/day should give you a solid learning curve without going overboard.

That said, it depends on how sophisticated you want to get.

Professional marketers run advertising A/B tests to see which version of an ad does best, testing various images and copy. If you want to maximize your ad performance through A/B testing, you’ll need to reach enough people to get significant results.

7. Change it up

No matter how great your ad sets are, you can’t just set them up and leave them to run forever. In fact, their performance will often drop off after a few weeks—sometimes after just a few days. Why? It’s a combination of human nature and the Facebook ad algorithm.

Facebook starts out by showing your ad to the people in your selected audience who are most likely to click on it, based on how often they interact with ads similar to yours. Over time, the system has fewer and fewer new people to show it to, and people who already saw it are less and less likely to click on it.

As that happens, your “cost per click” goes up until it’s time to try something new.

To keep your ad performance as strong as possible, check on it at least once a day to start and then at least once a week after you’ve found a formula that works.

Keep some new options ready so you can switch them out as needed, including timely copy for things like holidays and shifts in the seasons.

Whatever you do, keep trying new things as time goes on. New graphics and copy will keep your ads fresh and your audience interested.