The latest Facebook advertising changes are a fairly momentous shift for the platform. After the battle to monetize following the IPO, Zuckerberg's team finally seem to all be pulling in the same direction. With product and advertising teams all working towards the same goals, the advertising offering has been refined, and immensely improved.
The problem for many people with Facebook advertising was that it was either too complicated to set up properly, or that the ongoing management didn't seem to work as campaigns started to tail off in performance and react in a more unpredictable way than Google AdWords and other platforms.
However, Facebook advertising is well worth investing time and money in. It does take a bit of getting use to in terms of how to optimise campaigns, correct set up practices, and appropriate targeting sets and creative. When you begin to understand how to create and maintain successful campaigns, the results can be quite astonishing.
Facebook is often seen as more of a non-buying/converting environment, whereas Google paid search is where the ability to bid based on search intent is meant to generate higher levels of sales. Whilst you can target people who have searched "buy Nike shoes" at that moment on Google, on Facebook you can target people who like Nike, are in the target demographic, and using custom audiences, you could target people who potentially have bought before. But, Google gives the real time desire and intent of their search. Facebook's audience is more passive, but the advantage is you can show strong imagery to sell product or promote a service.
Take one of our current clients for instance. We're running campaigns on AdWords and on Facebook simultaneously. The goal is to get people to convert through a booking system with a target cost per acquisition of £10. We initially allocated a higher budget to AdWords as the product in question was thought to be something where search intent would be more important than the display capabilities of Facebook with a more passive audience. We were wrong.
Facebook is massively outperforming the AdWords campaign, with a cost per acquisition of £6.20, as compared to AdWords at £9.50. Whilst both are hitting the target cost, the volume of conversions through Facebook is also much higher.
The reason for this is, whilst the conversion rate is slightly lower through the Facebook ads compared to the clickthrough rate, the number of clicks for the budget is much higher as the cost-per-click levels are lower. In essence, the lower competition and bid thresholds on Facebook allow you to sacrifice conversion rate slightly in order to drive more traffic and generate a higher volume of conversions at a lower CPA.
We're seeing this trend across all types of campaigns. From ecommerce store sales, to classified ad bookings, to getting people to apply for a job on a recruitment site and more.
The key is to segment and target your Facebook advertising in the right way. Facebook's system has incredible targeting capabilities based on the amount of data they hold on their users. Whether you want to target previous customers, people by age, gender, relationship status, job, education level, life stage, or pages that they like, there's a targeting option to suit your needs.
Start by understanding your audience - what kind of user will convert best for you and what do they look like in terms of their interest profile, and other key aspects on Facebook that you can target by. Use Facebook insights, your CRM, Google Analytics, and Audience Insights as a starting point to understand your audience. From a position of understanding you are able to better create targeting sets that will make sense for your business, make full use of the targeting options available, and most importantly - convert.
At Datify, we can help to get you started. We have a Flying Start program available where we set up your campaign, run ad spend for you, and then provide a full handover so you can carry on the success yourself. Find out more about the program here.