Marie Antoinette said, “There is nothing new except what has been forgotten.” I’ve found this to be especially true when it comes to social media marketing. For some reason, people look at social media marketing as a puzzling riddle that can’t be mastered, something to try with a vague hope it will work. They see it as a completely new form of marketing, when social media marketing, specifically Facebook ads, are based on advertising principles good marketers have always used–targeting and providing sought after information to the right audience. Perhaps we’ve just forgotten the basics because of all the hype.
Direct marketers who handle “old school” mailers have always been experts at targeting. Back in the day, direct mail was a mainstay for shooting out your message to a specific audience. Direct marketers sell you a list of names of people in the exact age demographic, income bracket, job title, etc. that you are looking for based on accumulated data, i.e. people who looked like the people already using your product.
Facebook ads do the same thing, but with more precision because Facebook has eyes into its users’ profiles, likes, shares and patterns of behavior on the site. If you want to market to females in Phoenix, aged 25-45, who also happen to be in a relationship and love cats, Facebook can help with that. If you are looking to target men in Boston, ages 18-25, single and interested in Crossfit, Facebook can help with that as well.
Essentially you have the best of both worlds, old — the audience targeting you know — and new — an upgrade delivering more relevant profiles in a 24/7 digital, mobile world.
Do Facebook Ads Work?
You might ask “Is Facebook advertising effective?” It is effective because it’s targeted. But in addition to being targeted, it’s also based on a goal. You should decide early in a campaign what success looks like. Is it simply clicking the ad and reading your content? Is it clicking the ad and then setting up an in-person visit or tour? Is it clicking the ad and then sending an email? What is your end goal? If you know this, then you will be putting the cost per click to work in a way you can measure. After you have decided your goal and launched your campaign, it’s important to continually monitor your campaign to understand what’s working and what’s not. It’s easy to change images and text when you see certain images or phrases are capturing the interest of your audience and leading them toward the success behaviour.
In addition to the targeted and goal-oriented nature of the ad medium of Facebook, reports by such noted companies as Salesforce and Hubspot indicate Facebook ads are generating increased click through rates, and the overall cost per click is on the rise, pointing toward the increasing effectiveness of Facebook ads. Mobile access is growing, underscoring relevant data served up to a targeted audience in a format they can quickly consume is appealing to consumers.
Finding Versus Being Found
You might wonder how Facebook advertising compares to Google AdWords. Although both have their place in a well-rounded paid marketing campaign, the essential difference is that when you buy Google AdWords, you are creating the appropriate environment for searching users to find you. Whereas when you create well-targeted Facebook ads linked to great content, your information is finding customers. It is seeking them out where they live and putting something in front of them they may need or want but weren’t actively searching for at that moment.
Facebook Ads Need Great Content
The lowest common denominator in any marketing effort is great content. It always has been and always will be. Without trustworthy content that people need or want, you won’t reach your success goal. People won’t take that next step to read, to email, to set up a tour. So focus on telling great stories and connecting with readers in a trustworthy way. If you are a university, provide rich stories of student success. If you are an assisted living facility, showcase your ability to understand the needs of seniors and gain the trust of those seeking care for their aging parents. If you sell children’s products, provide relevant information parents can easily understand and connect with. Through creative and inspirational content, engage with your reader.
Interested in learning more about how Facebook advertising can work for you? Reach out to me today at firstname.lastname@example.org.