Facebook advertising – gaining momentum
The field of online advertising has so far been dominated by Search marketing on Google. While search marketing continues to retain strength, social media marketing is gaining enormous momentum with Facebook leading the way in terms of providing advertisers one more quality avenue for reaching out to customers. Provided ads are setup properly, Facebook ads offer a tremendous opportunity to pull in clients and customers for your products and services.
How does Facebook advertising work?
Search-driven advertising is geared towards ensuring that your ad is placed in front of as many customers as possible. These customers are social media users who are known to be looking for companies like yours or products/services like those you offer. So, the element of contextualization is very high with search-driven advertising. Facebook advertising also gives advertisers the ability to target specific customer segments, but by utilizing profiling information assembled on billions of users from their activity on Facebook.
What makes Facebook advertising click?
The biggest advantage that Facebook holds is its phenomenal user base of more than 1.65 billion monthly active users with intense app engagement – For instance, it has 989 million mobile daily active users (as per Facebook 1Q earnings reports). Even with high reach, the cost of Facebook advertising is still reasonable with lower CPC and CPM’s compared to other channels.
Facebook – rated top for social ad effectiveness
In one of its reports, eMarketer has graded Facebook the highest for social ad effectiveness (for ROI) with survey participants commending Facebook’s sophisticated targeting capabilities. Additionally, the report has also graded Facebook the highest for both ad-targeting effectiveness and video-ad effectiveness.
Now, want to know how make it work for you? Here are ten secrets to getting more clients with your Facebook ads.
Ten secrets to get more clients with your Facebook ads
1. Tap the power of Custom audiences
The very fact that Facebook gives you access to such a global universe of users can be problematic in itself if you don’t clearly define the target segment. The Custom and Lookalike audiences features enabled by Facebook can be very useful in order to accomplish precise segmentation.
Facebook allows you to provide a list of existing contacts (phone numbers or emails) as a Custom audience, thereby allowing you to open up another channel for nurturing the loyalty of your customers. Not only that, you also have the ability to tell Facebook to target ‘customers like these’ by using the Lookalike audiences feature.
The Custom audience feature enables you to use an existing list of contacts and target them. All you need to do is create a list of email ID’s, mobile numbers or Facebook ID’s and enter them into a custom list. Facebook takes this list, matches it against the profiles in its user-database and provides you a Custom audience which can be used for targeting. The Custom audience feature can be extremely helpful in increasing the depth of relationship with existing customers and improving customer loyalty.
2. Utilize lookalike audiences
The Lookalike audiences feature provides you the ability to point Facebook to an existing audience set and indicate that you desire a lookalike audience to be created. The use of a lookalike audience provides a target set where the probability of final conversion is significantly higher, given that these customers have characteristics similar to your existing customers.
3. Finely target demographics using Facebook features
Just like search-driven advertising, Facebook also permits you to target specific demographics by location. But Facebook does not stop with location – it goes further by giving you the ability to target audiences by age, hobbies and interests, education level, colleges/universities attended and political affiliations!
Clearly this kind of capability is incredible and opens up targeting options that never existed before. For example, if you wish to target all Stanford engineering and science alumni between the ages of 35 and 45 for a fund-raising campaign for the Palo Alto area, you can go ahead and do so. Now, what could get better than that?
4. Implement excellent Ad design
Many of the same principles that rest behind good ad design also work for Facebook. In particular, given that Facebook utilizes a consistent blue and white design, it is important to implement a color scheme that is distinctly different.
Use unique, custom-created images in your ad to make it stand out. Just like for ads in general, the Call to Action that you implement as part of your ad should be catchy, crisp and go to the core of your product/service offering.
The other critical element in Ad design is to clearly articulate the value proposition in a factual manner. It is important to directly communicate value in a style that is unique and yet does not seem artificially amped up.
5. Utilize the oCPM ad bidding method
For Facebook ads, one of the bidding options is oCPM which optimizes your cost per 1000 impressions. Here, Facebook utilizes proprietary algorithms to ensure that your ad is presented to users who are predicted most likely to perform a desired action. The price you pay for oCPM based ads is dynamic, varying based on intelligent bids. In order to decide the target users to whom your ad will be served, Facebook utilizes its prior experience data serving ads to users of various demographics and combines it with the core definition of your ad.
Some of the action types that can be set with oCPM include: Installation of an application, completion of an e-commerce transaction and filling out of a form. Such action types enable you to target specific user actions. Given that this option leverages Facebook’s entire experience data and operates based on competitive bidding, you should expect your CPM’s to be higher than CPM’s for ads setup with other options. However, you do get higher ROI by way of tapping Facebook’s insight to reach users you otherwise may not have reached.
6. Use dedicated landing pages for your ads
The effectiveness of your ad campaign would be determined not only by an excellent ad but also by whether you are utilizing a dedicated landing page for your ad. Often, what we see is that while the ad is itself generating high clicks, conversion ratios end up being extremely low because the call to action does not link to a landing page specific to the ad offering.
For example, if a Facebook ad has been designed by a large hotel chain to advertise a special offer at its property in Miami , FL for the Labor Day weekend, the call to action from the ad should take the user to a landing page specific to that offer. If the room-booking page of the web-site is instead used as the landing page, a lot of the prospects who have clicked through would lose interest and end up closing out the browser session without completing a room-booking.
7. Think about which Facebook ad format would best suit your need
Facebook offers advertisers the option to place your static ad as a right-hand column ad or as a News feed ad. Right-hand column ads appear on the right side of the News feed and are fairly comparable to the Right-end column ads served in search-driven advertising. This type of ads is inexpensive when compared to News feed ads, given that it is in a visual space that is not in the central activity area of Facebook. Having said that, cheaper need not necessarily imply worse and this type can work very well for square shaped and vertical-rectangle type ads where the call to action is driving off a prominent visual image.
News feed ads are placed in the middle of the user’s news feed and are thus placed to take advantage of prime real estate. News feed ads are more expensive than right-column ads but have higher levels of user-engagement. However, it’s not just a question of making a simple either/or choice between the two – Certain types of products and services lend themselves more naturally to being advertised in a News feed ad; typically, every-day usage ones with a prominent element of social /discussion – like salon services, local area deals and airline tickets.
And now, with the availability of video ads, you have one more excellent option to consider for your campaigns. Facebook video ads are comparable to TV ads in the sense of the format being the same. However, they bring in a slightly different focus and flavor compared to YouTube ads. While YouTube ads utilize current video servings and history of video plays to determine user context, Facebook video ads drive off the user context inherent in Facebook profiles. Thus Facebook video ads can give you more precise user targeting compared to YouTube.
8. Use impactful, custom-created imagery
It is important to spend a considerable amount of time to zero in on the perfect image for your ad – Believe us, it pays and pays well! Ads for leading brands such as Dell, Starbucks and Chipotle are perfectly suited for the use of corporate logos, given the brand-recall that they come embedded with. On the other hand, logos may not be a good choice for small businesses or brands which don’t have a significant presence in the marketplace.
Small-businesses and growing brands in particular may need to invest significant time in designing collaterals for their Facebook ads. What would work? What would not work? – Not easy questions to answer! The one thing we can say is this – Laser-beam focus on the value brought in by the product/service is the starting point to understanding what kind of images would work for your Facebook ad.
To take one instance, if it’s a new broadband service you are offering which promises to be 2x faster for about the current leader’s price, the entire environment of the display ad including colors, people images/lines/arrows, the pricing offered and the font, all need to be in sync to reflect speed and competitive pricing. Remember, every ad that you put out on Facebook (regardless of how many people actually convert or click through) is speaking volumes about not just one particular product/service being provided but your organization as a whole.
9. Gain complete awareness of Ad options
Facebook offers a number of ad-options, each geared towards a different objective. Having a good understanding of these greatly helps plan your campaign. Among the most useful options, some are listed below. It would be a good idea to understand all these options well before starting work on your Facebook ad campaign.
- Website conversions – You should use this option if you are looking for people to take a specific action on a web-site such as signing up for a newsletter or purchasing a product. In order to track the conversions, you would need to embed a conversion pixel into your web-site.
- Local awareness – The Local awareness option is the perfect choice for businesses looking to build brand-space in the local market. Typically, this type of ad option appeals in a primal sense to users, given that users are known to be located within a short distance of the business. Typically, this option uses direct messaging including a link to get Driving directions.
- App installs – Facebook ads with the App Installs option are perfect for online-oriented businesses such as app-based taxi aggregators, chat messaging, shopping and streaming radio which are looking to drive app downloads by mobile users.
- Offer claims – Ads created with this option are intended to be straight-out offers with the specific offer directly mentioned in the ad, no more, no less. There is no need with this type of ad to go to a web-site in order to get the offer.
- Page likes – Page Likes make up a simple Ad option that you can use to promote your Facebook page and drive likes to it.
10. Implement, monitor, refine, Implement – again!
What holds true for ad campaigns in general is all the more applicable for Facebook ad campaigns. Once you have your initial campaign in play, you absolutely need to keep monitoring the conversion/click stats using the tools that Facebook offers. If things are not going well, you should continually be looking at what’s happening and refining your campaign until you are able to attain reasonable results and RoI (within the constraints of the campaign budget).