Facebook is the largest social network in the world with more than 500 million active users. In this blog post, we’ll give you 7 secrets of Facebook advertising success! Each Facebook user has entered highly personal information into their profiles about themselves: their gender, age, interests and much much…much more. All of this information allows advertisers and marketers to target specific audiences, custom-tailor their messages, and increase their conversion rates and ROI.
But advertising on Facebook is an entirely different beast from advertising on Google, for instance. Users browsing through Facebook are not typically in “buying mode” and going to be receptive to your quick “buy now” pitch. Instead, your company should target the right demographic, build a relationship with them, and ease them into your sales funnel. Advertising on Facebook is a longer-term investment, but pays dividends when done successfully!
Basics of Facebook Advertising: The Ad, The Audience, The Budget
The secret to a successful Facebook advertisement is being relevant to the user and catching their attention. With a 25 character headline, a 135 character description, and a small thumbnail you need to be able to draw their attention away from their friends and to your advertisement. It is essential to have a strong headline and image to draw people’s attention and attract their click!
In addition to experimenting with different ad types, you should experiment with different ads and messages as well as different budgeting structures. The great thing about Facebook’s ad dashboard is that it gives you all the data you need to see how effective your ads are, and you can make an informed decision on where to invest your money after seeding some initial ads.
Types and Components of Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads can be used in several ways. You can create ads to drive “Likes” to your Facebook fan page, point to a specific tab or landing page on your fan page, sponsor a story or event from your fan page, or point your ad to an external website or landing page like traditional PPC ads. The first step in setting up your ad is choosing the type of ad you would like to run and setting the title, description, image and where it will point to. What type of ad you run will depend on your objective, but it is worthwhile to experiment with different ad types to see which ones are most effective for your brand.
Targeting Your Facebook Ads
Relevance is the most important part of effective advertising on Facebook. You should take full advantage of the targeting tools available to tailor your messaging to a specific audience. For example, if you own a used car dealership, you may want to target 16-year-olds in Olney, Maryland who have the keyword ‘driver’s license’ listed somewhere in their profile. The ad could read, “Just got your driver’s license? Check out the cars on our Olney, MD lot!” Then you can setup another profile targeting middle-aged men in Olney who like Golf that reads, “Roll up to the links in this coverable sports car!”
The more relevant you can make your ads, the more likely they will get noticed and clicked. Facebook’s extensive targeting features allow you reach the exact audience you want, custom tailor your messaging to increase your ROI and stop wasting money on marketing to people outside of your service area or target market. Here’s a run-down of the different ways you can segment and target your audience:
Location: Target by Country, State/Province, City, and Metropolitan Areas (Check on this, b/c it may not be true anymore)
Age: Pretty standard and helpful if you have a target demographic.
Birthday: Wish a user happy birthday and offer some kind of gift to increase your conversion rate
Gender: If your target demographic is split by gender, target them this way. Or use this to custom tailor your message differently to men and women to increase conversion.
Likes and Interests: Target your messages to users with specific keywords mentioned in their activities, favorite books, tv shows, movies and more. Job titles as well, political views or any pages they are a fan of.
Education: Current schools and alma maters, level of education, class year.
Workplaces: Target your advertisements to employees of specific companies!
Relationship: Targeting single people, engaged or married couples?
Interested In: Sexual preferences – if it’s part of your marketing campaign, use it. If not, leave it blank!
Languages: Make sure your ad speaks the same language as your target audience! Literally! Send Spanish ads to Spanish speakers and Chinese ads to Chinese speakers.
Connections: Exclude people who have already “Liked” your fan page, event, or application! Prevent duplicate clicks and keep costs down. Also send your marketing to friends of friends who have “Liked” your page for increased impact!
Budgeting Your Ads
Similar to Google’s AdWords, Facebook gives you the option to pay CPM (cost per thousand impressions) or CPC (cost per click). The most common, and often the most cost-effective, form of advertising online is CPC. Research among social media experts and advertisers is that the CPC model yields a higher return on investment in terms of conversions and the amount you are paying. Facebook will recommend a budget for you, but it is important to make sure you balance your goals and timeframe with your budgetary allowance.
The sales funnel on Facebook and social media in general, tends to be longer-term relationship-building, so it is important to spread your budget out over a couple of weeks at the least. Set your daily spend limit to ensure you protect your budget and make it last! Many people will see your ad several times before they click it so the more opportunities they have to see it, the higher chance there is that they will eventually click through.
Tips for Successful Facebook Ads
The success of your Facebook ad will be determined by several factors including; the actual offer, being contextually relevant to viewers, targeting the right audience, and much more! While finding success with your Facebook ads will require some experimenting, there are some tips that frequent advertisers have found valuable:
Give People a Reason to Click
The most successful campaigns are the ones that offer incentive behind their calls to action. Whether you are offering a free white paper or running a contest to win an iPad, more people will click your ad if they feel they are getting something of value!
Don’t Drive People Outside of Facebook
People are on Facebook for a reason, and chances are they don’t want to end up in a shopping cart, for instance, on your website. The more you can keep users on the Facebook site, the more conversions you are likely to see. Remember, don’t try and close the deal too soon! Once they “Like” your page, you have the most important thing you can ask for: they have given you their attention and their permission for topical, useful, and relevant marketing and updates. Don’t abuse this trust!
Split Test Your Ads
Split testing is easy and can dramatically help your fine-tune your marketing efforts, allowing you to invest more heavily in the strategies that work best! Try different pictures, headlines, and copy text to see which ones attract the most attention. Also play around with your audience segmentation and targeting to see if niche advertising works better for you. Just as important, keep your ads fresh! If they aren’t working then change them up! Research shows that people aren’t likely to click the same ad twice. If you are hoping to get people who clicked before and didn’t convert to click again, change up your ad!
Click Through Rate Threshold
Some of your Facebook ads will inevitably perform better than others. Make sure you don’t sink money into underperforming ads by setting a “Click Through Rate Threshold.” For example, if your goal is to gain new fans at a cost-per-fan rate of $0.25, you can easily see how many clicks you are getting and compare that to the amount you are spending. If your ad isn’t performing to your standards, take it down and put that money into a more effective ad campaign!
Facebook gives advertisers a pretty fantastic set of tools to measure and monitor the success of their campaigns. The success of your Facebook advertisements largely depends on how closely you monitor your campaigns and adjust your investments. Test different strategies and put money into the ones that are working. But even your most successful advertising campaigns can get old after a while, so keep changing them to keep your ads fresh and attractive!
Calculate Your Cost-Per-Fan
When we work with clients on their websites, we help them determine the value of every lead their site generates. This number helps inform the marketing strategy, budget, and advertising spend limits. If you have an idea of what an average customer is worth to your business, and the approximate conversion rate of your sales team or marketing materials, you can easily put a number on what a single new fan is worth to your business. Once you know this number, you can make better informed decisions about what you are willing to spend for every click!
Create a Custom Landing Page
Create a Facebook landing page unique to the promotion or audience your ad is targeting. You can setup your Facebook ad to link to your company fan page or a custom tab. Landing pages are a great way to briefly explaining why somebody should “Like” your page and clearly defines your call to action. They are also great for specific promotions and campaigns – for instance, if you are giving away a free trip to the Bahamas you can create a landing page that highlights the details.
If you are targeting men in one ad campaign and women in another, you can create unique landing pages for each. Custom Facebook landing pages are a great way to ramp up your conversion rates!
The Facebook Sales Funnel: Increasing Conversions & Sales
Marketing on Facebook and through social media generally requires a different approach than traditional advertising. Social media is about building relationships first and foremost, but also finding a way to monetize those relationships. Contact us and ask to receive our exclusive White Paper on “The Facebook Sales Funnel: Monetizing Relationships”.
Good luck with your advertising campaigns on Facebook don’t hesitate to call us here at Blue Corona if you have any questions or need help getting started! You can also learn more about advertising your business on Facebook from our social marketing gurus.
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
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