The Facebook DifferenceMaybe you’re curious about the ads you’ve seen in your Facebook News Feed or are considering diversifying your digital marketing strategy to incorporate paid social. Or maybe (like most of our clients) you're already dabbling in Facebook advertising. Either way, you’ve probably asked yourself the same question: Does Facebook advertising work? This is a valid question, but before we learn whether it works, we need to understand how Facebook advertising works. Essentially, the difference between paid search like Google Adwords and paid Social Media Advertising can be summed up this way: paid search helps prospective customers find your business (Narrow Casting), while paid social media helps your business find prospective customers (Broad Casting). Facebook advertising does this by allowing you to target specific audiences that are likely to be interested in your products and or services. They do this by leveraging the immense wealth of information they have about their users. It is true they are starting to limit the amount of information they are sharing about their users but there is still an enormous amount of valuable data at your disposal.
Know Your Objective
First, you identify your campaign objective, or what you want your Facebook ads to actually accomplish. This might be driving traffic to your website, encouraging visitors to download your app, generating leads, increasing sales or just picking up the phone to call your business. But whatever your objective is it's vitaly important you build on it. Once you’ve identified your campaign objective, you then tell Facebook to whom your ads should be displayed. This is done by what is known as audience segmentation – the process of providing Facebook with a profile of your ideal audience so Facebook only displays your ads to people who exhibit the behaviors and belong to the demographics you’re interested in. Facebook has thousands of custom audience parameters, allowing you to create amazingly refined audience segments for your campaigns. You can also create custom audiences by uploading data on existing customers that you already have, which enables Facebook to create “lookalike” audiences based on parameters that you choose.
Targeting the Right AudienceThere are many ways to target ads on Facebook. Certainly targeting audiences using categories like age, gender or interests can yield good results, but if you really want to get the biggest bang for your buck then best practice is to build custom audiences based on which types of users produce the most sales for your company. To speed up the custom audience building process, you can upload a list of your leads or customer email addresses if you have one. There are a few advantages to this sort of database marketing. First, you can use the database to effectively turn Facebook into a retargeting platform. This is a fantastic way to reinforce your overall marketing strategy. Second, you can use your database to create a “lookalike” campaign that targets users with similar profile characteristics to the ones in your database. A “lookalike” campaign can be a very effective way to identify and attract new traffic with high conversion potential. Creating a custom audience takes ongoing effort and targeting optimization; but, as you profile your ideal customer, you set yourself up for true success.
Super Optimizing Facebook Campaigns
In addition to targeting the right audience, it’s important to set your campaigns up for success. How do you do this? Test, test and retest. Best practice is to create a variety of ads and promoted content. It’s vitally important to keep testing different ads until you get a feel for what works. In addition, it’s important to make sure that your landing pages are turning clicks into conversions as efficiently as possible. As with PPC platforms like Google AdWords, simply getting traffic to your site isn’t enough. You need to create a consistent experience that compels the customer to take action. How do you measure the success of a landing page? Simple, when someone lands on your page do they do what you want them to do.