Although Facebook Ads have been around for a few years now, they're still one of the newer online advertising platforms, but they're already among the behemoths of the Internet.
Even so, the majority of online marketers haven't come close to realizing the leverage Facebook Advertising can have on their business. The fact is that people are still trying to run their Facebook Ad campaigns like they do their other PPC ad campaigns and Facebook Ads just don't work like that.
The bottom line is that although Facebook Ads are charged based on the Pay-Per-Click model, they are in fact a completely different animal. To best understand how Facebook PPC really does work, you do not want to begin by taking it from the 'how it's different from Adwords' point of view. Rather it's better to learn it from its fundamentals and then on up through all its demographic and other targeting intricacies.
So really the mindset is just completely different and so are the various techniques you'll need to generate winning campaigns.
Interrupt Versus Permission Based Marketing
One of the key fundamental differences to Facebook PPC versus Adwords PPC is that Facebook PPC is based on an 'interrupt' method of advertising whereas Adwords PPC works on more of a 'permission' based method.
Think of it like this:
When people go to Google and search for something like 'Best Dentist in Reno' and you're advertising a dental office in Reno, you're providing them with exactly what they're looking for, a direct answer to their search. By doing so, you're in a 'they ask - you answer' scenario. With that your 'click-thru-rate' will be higher because you're essentially advertising with their permission.
In contrast, your Facebook Ad depends on its ads ability to 'interrupt' your target audience as they're doing what people come to Facebook to do, which is to interact with their friends. So your ad must be able to draw their focus away from reading their friends posts, and posting their own updates, videos and pictures. Then once you've interrupted their attention and they're now focused on your ad, it must be compelling enough for them to click-thru.
Targeted Marketing Using Facebook's Demographics
People demographics and keywords are the two main ways Facebook provides for targeting your Ads. It's all about demographics and so you better know your target audience. If you don't, then you could end up blowing through a lot of 'Ad Spend' just to get terrible results.
It's very important for you to have established other advertising venues so you're not using Facebook for preliminary testing of your ad campaigns; because it's usually far more expensive to test on Facebook than elsewhere.
One of the first things you want to do before starting a new ad campaign is to determine what an acceptable 'Return On Investment' (ROI) is for that campaign. I say 'that' campaign because ROI levels can, and often are, much different from one campaign to another. With an established ROI level in mind, you're ready to target your 'key demographics' (KD) and this is where Facebook excels.
Here at the IMC, we've found that the best way to narrow down your KD is to begin with a narrow range and then expand the range to an optimal level based on your ROI and the potential range of your KD overall. What this means is that there's a balance between the size of market you can target and the amount you're willing to allow your ROI to decrease.
The basic rule is; the larger the market you try to capture, the smaller your ROI will be. Another way of saying it is; the more narrow your KD range is, and thus target market, the greater your ROI will be.
From this vary narrowed down size of your target market as a result of applying a set of tightly targeting 'Key Demographic' filters you should see a higher level of ROI than you'll see as you broaden your target market reach. So now you'll begin to widen the size of your target market by carefully reducing the number of KD filters being applied, and/or by loosening the allowable values that are input into your KD filters; for example: you could have had a KD filter for age range that's set to 25-40 initially, and then you could loosen that up to a 20-50 age range, which would widen your target market reach.
So obviously there's a tremendous amount of tweaking you can do with Facebook's demographic filters; and when you throw in everything you can do with keyword filtering, it becomes an infinite amount of possibilities. You certainly want to have a good idea of where you're likely to achieve the tightening or broadening of your reach relative to the KD that you deploy in your campaign. So again, good upfront demographic research on your niche will save you a ton of time when it comes to tweaking your KD filters in order to achieve your optimal ROI.
Create an Ad That Interrupts & Grabs Attention
Earlier I pointed out how important it is to understand your demographics when it comes to executing a profitable ad campaign on Facebook. When it comes to the ad itself and what's the most important elements in the ad, the image you use in your ad is to the ad what good demographics research is to a profitable campaign.
Unlike Adwords where the headline is the most important element to an ad, with Facebook the image is the most important element to an ad, and the headline is a distant second. So when you're creating your Facebook ad, take care to make sure your image is eye catching in one way or the other.
Take the time to find an image that can relate to your ad in some way, but more importantly, find an image that is stimulating, controversial, surprising, or just flat-out unusual in some way. Some of the usual suspects always work as well like beautiful girls; or better yet, beautiful and seductive girls; or even better yet, a suggestive image of a beautiful and seductive girl.
I always try to put myself in the shoes of my target audience and imagine what would catch my attention to the degree that it would 'interrupt' whatever it is I'm doing on Facebook. If my target audience is men for example, I'll often try and work a beautiful girl into the image some how.
One of my favorite and most successful Facebook ad campaigns was for driving traffic to a web site I have for promoting model trains. That ad was very simple as it consisted of a very cool looking model train setup along with a gorgeous girl standing next to it wearing a very seductive conductors outfit. Suffice it to say, that campaign did very well and we ended up driving what was for us, a record amount of traffic to that site. If I recall correctly, we drove as much traffic in the week of that promotion as we did in the prior year of strictly SEO traffic.
The point is fairly simple here, your ad's image must attract attention by being visually stimulating enough to interrupt your audience. Your ad's image can even be text so long as its eye catching by using a bold or visually interesting font style along with a color that pops off the page.
The other elements in your ad simply need to support the work that the image is doing. The headline should work with the image to make the statement you're trying to make with the ad. The body text just needs to provide a minimal amount of information about what will be gained by them clicking thru.
So the bottom line is that your Facebook Ad Campaign can be very successful when you can strike pay-dirt between optimum demographic targeting and a great eye catching ad that can grab your target market's attention by successfully interrupting whatever they're already doing and getting them to click-thru. Proper split testing is also extremely important, not only with your Facebook ad campaign, but also with your sales page and/or landing page.
Be patient, be thorough, and be consistent; then you're almost assured of hitting a profitable campaign more often than not. Since this is often a numbers game, then you just need to find a groove that works for you and then stick with it until it doesn't work any longer. Then when that happens, you simply find another groove!
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