Have you lost your organic reach on Facebook? There's so much griping these days about brands losing the free reach they once had on the world's largest social media site.
Google introduced advertising - in 2000. We weren't so out of whack about that.
But, with Facebook, we've been, well, spoiled. We've gotten used to marketing our messages and engaging with customers on the world's most diverse and consumer rich site in the world - without paying a dime to the platform.
Yes, Facebook has been tightening up it's News Feed algorithms. Brand posts are losing the organic reach they once had.
Does that mean that your Facebook marketing is dead?
You are likely going to need Facebook Ads, though.
1.3 Billion Reasons Why Marketers Still Need Facebook
1.3 Billion. That's the number of users on Facebook. 76% of every adult person online visits Facebook at least once a month.
Perhaps we've become complacent to these massive numbers. But what if that were a medium like television, newspapers or magazines?
As a marketer, you'd be jumping at the bit to get in, wouldn't you?
Your consumer is definitely on this site.
You just need to reach them, get them interested and start engaging. And yes, you're likely going to start to pay Facebook to achieve success on the site.
Why Facebook Ads?
It's likely that some of the opposition to Facebook Ads (ironically) comes from our nature to resist change. We've become used to marketing to millions for free.
(Well, marketing on Facebook has never really been "free". Most businesses already pay someone or spend their own time and energy to strategize content, create clever engaging posts, stay on top of social trends, try out new tactics, customize images, and test and measure results.)
In a disruptive industry like social media, though, change happens. Isn't that what we've been telling our enterprises, bosses, colleagues and friends for years?
It's also likely there's resistance to Facebook Ads simply because people don't know how to use them.
A lot of marketers haven't learned that they're actually one of the most cost-effective advertising options: they can be highly targeted, you can reach interested people even when they're not specifically searching for your business, and you can track and measure your results to make the most out of your ad dollars.
How to Use Facebook Ads
In the world of Facebook Ads, there are so many tips and tricks to getting the most views, clicks, engagement and conversions.
Here's four fundamentals to help to demystify these social ads:
- Budgeting and Pricing
- Know What to Advertise
- Best Ad Practises
Facebook Ads can be some of the most highly targeted advertising options you've ever had. Facebook does, after all, have the most comprehensive consumer data of any media site (social or not).
There's essentially three main targeting strategies:
Demographic targeting - On Facebook, this is most straightforward type of strategy. You can easily target your ads by age, gender, location, education and even occupation. Yes, it is a marketer's dream come true.
Interest targeting - You can show your ads to people based on their expressed interests and what Pages they've liked. So you could, for example, show your ads to people who've liked your competitors' Pages, or to people who've liked the Pages of products you sell.
Broad category targeting - You can broaden your ad reach by using category targeting including targeting to new parents and even political leanings.
Another cool feature about advertising on Facebook is actually the pricing model. If you're marketing for a small business, you can actually reach your targeted demographic - without breaking the bank.
There's basically two main pricing structures: pay-per-click (PPC/ CPC) and pay-per-impression (PPM/ CPM).
- With PPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
- With PPM, you pay based on 1,000 views of your ad.
You get to set the time frame for your ads - with no restrictions for print publication dates or monthly contracts. You can test and measure your ads as they run - which means you can A/B test to optimize and get the biggest bang for your buck.
Facebook Ads can cost an average of 0.25 cents to be viewed by 1,000 people. Compare that to an average $32 for newspapers and $20 for magazines.
What to Advertise
You now have the option to pay to promote your business to a highly targeted demographic. But you still need to stick to your marketing goals.
Do you need to:
- Generate leads
- Build brand awareness
- Gain immediate sales
- Promote an event
- Gain local foot traffic
- Drive website views
When you start to set up an Ad, Facebook asks you what results you want:
Based on your goals, choose what you pay to be seen and clicked.
For example, if you want to generate leads, create an Ad that directs clickers to an email-gated landing page (on Facebook or your own website).
Here's a Facebook Ad example that directs viewers to download a free, email-gated ebook:
Best Ad Practises
Facebook Ads are made up of a headline, a URL link, ad copy and an image.
Headline - Include a Call to Action (CTA) in your headline and use action oriented or enticing short words such as "Free", "Save" or "Shop". Use questions too.
URL link - Keep your ad link short. For example, use your website homepage - even if your ad is directed to a landing page with a long website address.
Ad Copy - Show the benefits of clicking through in your Ad Copy. If you're offering a discount, give the amount of the savings in numbers. For example, use "30% savings" not "thirty percent savings". Give your unique selling points succinctly and clearly.
Image - Use an image that's easy to see, is eye-catching and is related to your text. In other words, don't use a detailed image, and don't use an image with no visual or color contrasts. Use your brand logo if it is recognizable. Images of faces tend to increase click through rates.
Using Facebook advertising can be very advantageous. You can extend your reach and target your message to very specific market segments. Don't give up on Facebook just because you might have to pay. Social media is growing up, and the days of free social marketing are slowing in decline. (Imagine if we felt the same about more traditional media sites...)