I’ve been a marketer for 20 years (gasp!) and in this time I have seldom seen an advertising platform as powerful as Facebook. Sure, there’s Google’s Organic Search and Google AdWords but they’ve been around for quite some time already and can be expensive and complex to do properly. As a Digital Agency owner, I can’t remember the last time we saw a client AdWords campaign that doesn’t need tweaks!

Facebook offers an advertising platform that has become very powerful due to offering advanced targeting options as well as offering engaging ad formats like slideshows, image carousels and video with sound. Plus the reach factor as there are now approximately 1.8 billion Facebook users globally and you can reach each one of them via Facebook ads.

In many regards, the digital marketing industry believes that that the multiple Google algorithm updates of the last few years were designed to make page 1 organic search results that much more tricky, thereby forcing businesses to crossover to Google AdWords which is their primary revenue generating channel. You can pretty much forget about page 1 organic listings unless you are a major contender in your sector and unless you are following the prescribed rules for on and off-page SEO.

AdWords is very potent and we have seen our clients’ stuff their sales pipeline full of juicy leads from AdWords alone, but a few years ago, Facebook ads entered the scene and it’s evolved fast into an effective marketing channel.

Facebook’s advanced targeting options allow you to select a targeted audience based on the information people share on their Facebook page. i.e. their location, interests, job title, education and what they engage with.

When creating a campaign, selecting the right target audience is very important. Facebook offers a wide range of targeting options to make sure your ad shows to the correct audience. Targeting can be based on location, age, gender, languages, education, job title and more. More advanced targeting includes lookalike audiences and retargeting ads.

One can opt for very specific targeting to reach a particular niche in order to get a high click-through and conversion rate. Or one can opt to go for a much broader campaign generating brand awareness and impressions.

From a budgeting perspective, one can set a daily budget or a lifetime budget for your campaign so that you have finger-tip control on your budget. From there you can set your own bids or use their ads optimizer algorithm. The Ads Manager allows you to keep track of all your campaigns and to monitor performance.

In terms of ad structure, ads contain a headline, ad text, an image/series of images or video and a call-to-action message. It’s important to have engaging ad copy in order to stimulate the viewer and for them to complete your desired action. Also remember to use an image that will catch the viewer’s attention in their newsfeed. Think about your product and the message you are conveying.

Facebook has a very strict “20% text overlay” rule meaning that images cannot contain more than 20% of the available surface area. Use their handy tool to check if your ad complies.

Key Points to Consider:

  • Clicks are not conversions! Keep an eye on your campaigns and if you don’t know what you’re doing it’s best to get an experienced digital marketing consultant to set up and manage your campaigns for you. Please contact us if you’d like a quote.
  • You can add the Facebook pixel for a conversion campaign in order to track leads but this is getting into advanced campaigns.
  • Facebook ads do not work for all sectors/ types of businesses/ products. It’s worth testing the channel with a limited budget to see what the initial test campaign results look like before deciding to commit to a major campaign.
  • We find that it’s good for B2C and leisure activities/ products and not that great for B2B or products with complex sales propositions as people are in a leisure mindset when they are on Facebook.
  • Also be careful not to overdo it… We call this retinal bombardment. It can put potential customers off if they see your ad too many times.

Make sure you get your targeting right. I often see ads coming at me that are poorly targeted.
Good luck with your Facebook ads!

Fraser Black