The case for Facebook ads has been strong for a while. And only getting stronger. Yes, it’s not quite as cheap to advertise on Facebook as it was in the early days, but with the right campaign you often can beat the costs of other digital advertising, such as Google Adwords.
Facebook has gotten smarter too, its algorithm has gotten exceptionally good at optimizing your campaign so you don’t have to be a complete ninja to crush it. Yes, you definitely do need to understand the platform, but you don’t always need to get all the options exactly right.
In fact, at a Pubcon session recently Blitzmetrics’s Dennis Yu shared that once you have a winning ad set up and running, you can actually remove the targeting and Facebook will still deliver it to the right people.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the ever changing UI and the dizzying array of options. However, you shouldn’t ignore the golden opportunity to use Facebook’s amazing targeting to reach your audience at a reasonable cost. You can get started at dollars a day and learn as you go.
Just remember to test, test, test. Different ad copy, different images and different landing pages. With a little persistence you might just find that Facebook ads are your favorite traffic channel.
4 Reasons To Consider Facebook Ads
#1. Everyone is on Facebook
You’ve probably heard that Facebook reached 1 billion users (that’s billion with a “b”). That was over 3 years ago and the social media giant has continued to grow. As of early 2016, Facebook had 1.71 billion monthly active users.
You can target almost anyone on Facebook. It’s not just “mainstream” topics that work on Facebook. B2B marketing works too. For example you can target users based on their job title and build awareness of your brand as well as get them to take action on your offer.
The one caveat is the under 25 crowd. It’s not that Gen Z isn’t on Facebook, most are – but they are spending a lot more time on SnapChat, Instagram and other more trendy social networks.
#2. Organic Reach Doesn’t Get You Very Far
It used to be that Facebook pages was as close as you could get to free advertising. Marketers flocked to Facebook and busily posted their offers and promotions and got compelling results. But starting in 2013, the organic reach of pages has declined significantly. Facebook says that fans see only 16% of page status updates, which I have found to be optimistic. And link shares and image posts typically have an even smaller reach.
Now there are exceptions of course, there are Facebook marketing experts that get great engagement on Facebook and a corresponding better organic reach. And many marketers have discovered that Facebook Groups do perform better than Facebook pages. However there is a significant time investment you will need to make to get results from your organic activities.
If you want to get great organic reach on Facebook, you have to build a community. That takes time.
So the bottom line, is that for most businesses, you have to pay to play to get traction on Facebook. The good news is that it doesn’t take a very large budget to get results. And you don’t have to wait for your efforts to pay off.
#3. You Can Create High Performing Funnels on Facebook
When you create a campaign on Facebook, you select one of many objectives (currently there are 14). Here are just a few you can select from: “Send people to your website”, “Get video views”, “Get people to claim your offer”. Selecting the right objective for your campaign, one that is aligned with your business goals, is critical.
The reason selecting the right objective is critical is because Facebook will optimize your campaign based on the objective. If you tell Facebook your objective is “Send people to your website”, then it will optimize your campaign around getting people to click through to your landing page. This is quite different than “Boost your posts” which will optimize for likes and shares.
Each of these objectives maps to a different level of a 3 part funnel. Facebook has named the levels: Awareness, Consideration and Conversion and has grouped the objectives accordingly. By creating campaigns and choosing the appropriate objective, you can build a multi-touch funnel using retargeting to move your prospects to the next level of the funnel.
- Awareness: Get Facebook users to become aware of you and start building a relationship with them. Popular objectives for Awareness are “Boost your post” and “Promote your page”.
- Consideration: A better name for this Category would be “Engagement”, because that’s what these objectives are all about, getting engagement from your prospects whether that is to get them to watch your videos or click through to your website. You can jump directly into this category, but remember people familiar with you are more likely to engage with your content. When they engage, you can then target them in the next level of your funnel. Which is …
- Conversion: With the conversion Facebook objectives, you tell Facebook to optimize based on a conversion event. With the objective “Increase conversions on your website.” you can set up your campaign so that Facebook will optimize based on how many visitors reach a specific URL.
#4. Audiences is List Building on Steroids
Audiences on Facebook are really, really cool. Sure you should still build an email list, but audiences on Facebook can not only take you all the way to a conversion event, but beyond when you create an audience of your customers.
There are three main types of audiences on Facebook:
- Custom: You can build a custom audience from uploading your email list into Facebook as well from pixeling visitors to your website. You can get really specific with website custom audiences, building lists of visitors that visited one URL (such as a blog post) but didn’t visited another (a thank you page after a purchase or opt-in), even within a timeframe. Facebook also just added the ability to create a custom audience from people who have engaged with your content (such as a video). And if you have an app, you can also create an audience with users that interact with your app.
- Lookalikes: You can extend your audience with a Lookalike audience. Facebook will create an audience with similar interests and behaviors to your custom audience or your fan page.
- Saved: You build Saved Audiences based on a variety of interests, behaviors and “likes”. The targeting options that you have available to you in Facebook is truly remarkable. Want to find HR professionals? No problem. People who follow Frank Kern? Homeowners aged 35-45? It’s all possible with Facebook.
So there you have it, the 4 reasons why you should consider Facebook ads.