Super Effective Facebook Advertising

Super Effective Facebook Advertising

On Facebook’s tenth birthday the platform boasts more than 1.9 billion active users, with 802 million people logging in daily and five new profiles created every second. The massive and diverse audience makes the social media channel a goldmine for businesses. Any good marketer knows you need to reach your target audience where they spend their time and the statistics tell us that for the majority of businesses that is on Facebook. How can you ignore a platform your grandma, cousin, the postman and your dad all use .

Why Facebook Advertising?

There are now more than 30 million brands using Facebook to connect with their target audience. And with the increased popularity of the platform and fierce competition for consumer attention, Facebook is moving towards a pay to play model, makingFacebook advertising crucial to your digital marketing success in 2014 and beyond. Whilst Facebook’s efforts to make us pay to reach their audience has left a lot of marketers scathing – I am not too concerned because in terms of ‘bang for buck’, Facebook is more cost effective than any other advertising medium:

  • The platform delivers more return on investment (ROI) to reach 1000 people than any of its competition
  • Facebook ads have the potential to reach as many people as radio or TV advertising, but with far superior targeting capabilities
  • The depth of social profiling and behavioural data Facebook has is eons ahead of any other platform (barring Google)
  • And you don’t need a Hollywood movie budget, you can get results for as little as $ 1 per day

Facebook advertising

Today, I am going to let you in on 3 proven Facebook advertising strategies that will help you maximise your social media return on investment.

1. Use News Feed Placed Ads rather than Right Hand Side Placed Ad’s

Let’s put our consumer hat’s on for a minute. Why do you log in to Facebook? To enjoy the advertising? I would place a safe bet to say the answer’s no. You log in to connect with friends, be entertained or source valuable information. Therefore, what advertisement would get your attention? One that was delivered in context with the user experience (a news feed placed ad) or one on the peripheral of the page (right hand side ad). With any advertising the first aim should be to get the consumers attention and to do that you need to deliver advertising in context with the user experience. Remember, no matter how good your ad is without the consumer’s attention you have nothing!

Also, news feed placed ads are the only ad type that appear on mobile devices. With mobile internet usage surpassing desktop internet usage by the end of the year- Mobile optimised ads will play a huge role in your Facebook Advertising Success.

The Statistics

According to Marine Software Social Index report from Q2-Q3 2013:

  • News feed ads attained a 44 x higher click through rate (CTR) than right hand side placed ads
  • Newsfeed ads attained a 5x higher click through rate (CTR) than right hand side placed ads
  • Newsfeed ads achieve 67% lower cost per click than right hand side ads
  • Newsfeed ads achieve 64% lower cost per acquisition than right hand side placed ads

Facebook advertising

My Recommendations

  • Invest the largest portion of your Facebook Advertising budget in news feed placed ads
  • Advertise published content with high organic engagement (shares, likes, clicks) through newsfeed placed ad’s
  • For additional targeting functionality and better return on investment Create page post ads through the ad manager tool instead of ‘boosting posts’ (to do this you have to go into Facebook’s power editor or ad campaign manager )

2.Use Custom Audience Targeting

Facebook’s new custom audiences feature allows you to deliver advertising to prospects that you already have a relationship with elsewhere. You can upload email lists, phone number lists, Google+ circles, app user or Facebook Id’s and serve targeted advertising to these consumers. As email open rates are declining, uploading your email list and serving advertising through Facebook can be a perfect way to regain these consumers attention. Remember, attention is key, without it you are marketing to crickets.

Facebook advertising

Another effective tool within custom audience’s is Facebook’s remarketing feature. Once you install the Facebook remarketing Pixel on your website you can build custom audience’s based on your website visitors activity, which you can later use to serve ads too.

Remarketing to website visitors who have abandoned the sales or conversion process delivers exceptional results – if it’s done properly. For successful Facebook remarketing the key is to provide a compelling reason for the consumer to complete the sales process, whether that be a discount or a special offer. For example, an online fashion retailer could serve a news feed ad with a free shipping or discount code to those who have “abandoned cart” on their website. If you think about the psychology of why someone will abandon the sales process at the checkout, it is usually price related.

The Statistics

  • Custom audience re-targeting has a 14% lower cost per click (CPC) than category or interest based targeting alone
  • Custom audience re-targeting has a 64% lower cost per conversion than category based targeting alone
  • Ad- creative using custom re-targeting has conversion rates 3.87x greater than ad creative using demographic or category-based targeting options alone.

Source: Marine Software: Marine Software Social Media Index Q2- Q3 2013

Facebook advertising

My Recommendations

  • Segment your custom audiences well. Email Addresses should be one (audience), mobile phone numbers should be one (audience), app user IDs and Google+ circles should all be separate audiences
  • Advertise published content with high organic engagement (shares, likes, clicks) through newsfeed placed ad’s
  • Use custom audiences to reach existing email segments that you can cross and upsell your other services to. This will only work if you have customer lists that are segmented based on their action (newsletter sign-up, lead form and specific product purchase). This enables you to serve targeted communication to prospects based on their position in the sales funnel
  • Upload the segment of your email list that never open emails and regain their attention through compelling ad creative on Facebook
  • Create a remarketing audience for consumers who fall off your sales or conversion (blog sign up) completion page. Target these people with a compelling reason to go back and complete the process

3. Use rotating ad creative to maximise click through rates (CTR)

If you frequent Facebook I am sure you have been overexposed to an advertisement before. Eventually you become that frustrated by it you will go out of your way not to buy from that company (this is the extreme). The technical term for this is ad fatigue – meaning there is an optimum “ad frequency” you should expose your target audience to and anything over this will have a negative impact on your brand. It is important to also understand that if you over expose your target audience to advertising, click through rates will drop (Percentage of those exposed v those who have clicked) and Facebook will only keep an advertisement in its newsfeed with high click through rates, thus impressions (eyeballs on the advertisement) will naturally suffer.

The solution is creating an ad rotation strategy to keep ad creative (images and ad copy) fresh and click through rates high. As seen below, the two most important metrics to monitor are frequency and CTR’s. As frequency (the average number of times people saw your ad) increases and CTR starts to drop dramatically you should change the ad. As a rule of thumb you shouldn’t let ad frequency get over 5, but you should monitor the relationship between CTR and Frequency and set a standard for ad rotation within your company. This standard may change from campaign to campaign.

Facebook advertising

Source: Wishpond

The Statistics

  • Direct Response Campaigns using automated creative rotation produce 35% higher CTR’s than those that don’t use automated creative rotation
  • Direct Response campaigns using automated creative rotation produce 38% lower cost per clicks than those that don’t use automated creative rotation
  • Direct Response campaigns using automated creative rotation produce 34% lower cost per acquisition than those
  • Fan acquisition campaigns using automated ad creative rotation produce 60% higher CTR’s than those that don’t use creative ad rotations
  • Fan Acquisition Campaigns using creative rotations deliver 75% lower cost per fan than those that don’t use creative ad rotations

Facebook advertising

My Recommendations

  • For larger businesses I would recommend using a marketing automation system such as Marine software . This will allow you to set parameters such as drop in CTR and Impressions to trigger automated ad rotations. You can also set rotations based on number of days or number of hours. Personally, I have found using drop in CTR to be most effective but every market is different so I would recommend testing all four strategies yourself.
  • If you don’t have the advertising budget for a third party ad tool monitor the correlation between increased ad frequency and drop in CTR, set a company standard for a manual ad rotation to avoid ad fatigue
  • Create compelling ad creatives: At the end of the day you can have the best ad rotation strategy in the world but if your ad creative is not up to scratch you’re not going to see ROI. There is a lot of buzz about visual marketing at the moment and this rings true with Facebook – get the image right and your ad campaign is well on the way to succeeding. Also use Facebook’s grid tool before you submit your ad for approval to ensure it meets Facebook’s 20% text to 80% image criteria
  • Use advertisements with deep links (blog posts) to optimised website landing pages to streamline the website conversion process.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that Facebook is moving towards a pay to play model, but you would be silly to abandoned ship over a couple of bucks a month. The Facebook audience is too big to ignore. Get more strategic with your Facebook advertising, deliver fresh ad creative, optimise ad’s for the mobile experience, provide valuable content and deliver advertising in context with your sales funnel. The tools Facebook gives you surpass any other platform. Use them wisely and remember doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark, you know what you’re doing but nobody else does.

Have your say!

What Facebook advertising strategies have you seen most success with in 2014?

Do you use a third party Facebook Advertising platform?

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