Ingredients for Facebook Advertising Success
For most consumer brands, Facebook serves as a virtual hub for a good portion of a company’s marketing and communications initiatives. And if it doesn’t, well you may want to join the party. Not only can brands talk directly to consumers through Facebook, but they can also host an online store, provide exclusive offers, gather valuable consumer data, execute massive contests – the list goes on and on. Fact is, most anything you could ever want to convey to consumers can be done through Facebook with the right strategy, and of course, budget.
But being impactful and building an engaged community doesn’t mean you have to spend an arm and a leg to do it. According to social marketing and analytics firm Webtrends, the average cost for a Facebook fan is $1.07 – pretty steep if you’re aiming to build your community up to 25,000+ fans. However we’ve executed several campaigns for clients delivering a fan conversion cost for as little as $0.26, which illustrates how important it is to understand your targeting and create effective messaging. Facebook advertising, backed by a sound marketing and communication strategy, can be one of the most effective tools for building a community of fans that will participate and advocate for your brand. Whether you have a budget of $500 or $50,000, Facebook advertising can help boost awareness for your brand, generate new consumer trial and even propel sales.
As a PR pro I never anticipated becoming a specialist in building and executing social media advertising strategies. But here I am – and I have to tell you, as a communications expert it’s a wonderful playground in which to reach our clients’ target audiences! We’ve seen fans quadruple overnight, creating communities reflecting the core consumers of the brands. We all know it’s quality not quantity, so for me the best part is: these fans are interested and engaged. They participate in conversations regularly and share our content with their networks. But developing an engagement strategy to keep them interested is the next step!
Here are a few nuggets of advice to help your next Facebook ad campaign skyrocket:
Be creative – Facebook is about being social and having fun, so chose ad copy and imagery to reflect that. Images are often more compelling than text, so select those that grab users’ attention right away and motivate them to click that “like” button.
Experiment, analyze and adjust – As communicators we are already dialed-in to what we feel target audiences will respond to, however the best way to be 100 percent certain is to put your ads to the test. We always recommend testing a several different images and messages for each audience to see what resonates with fans most. Pay attention to trends and refresh your creative and content based on what performs best.
Understand the analytics – Adding a huge number of targeted fans to your page is many brands’ ultimate goal, and some may be intrigued by impressions or clicks. However, ads that are highly social offer the greatest return on investment. Plus, the fans being generated by these ads also have a tendency to be more highly engaged, which of course we love.
Know your target – This seems like a no brainer, but knowing your target is about more than what they eat or wear. Facebook allows advertisers to target users by a variety of demographics, including geography, age, education, interests, and need states – even your competitors’ fans. The ways in which to target potential new fans are endless. Consumers are complex, so you’re ad targeting shouldn’t be one-dimensional.
Keep it fresh – Many Facebook advertisers will say that ads should be refreshed every couple of weeks. But, why wait that long? Depending on your budget and targeting, many ads start having diminishing returns after the first week or so. People get tired of seeing the same ads, thus the ad deteriorates. Be ready with fresh creative and messaging so you can curb this cycle before it starts.
Incentivize – Providing exclusive fan offers and promotions are great ways to motivate and mobilize new fans. There are thousands of brands competing for fans, so give users a unique reason to be part of your community.
Practice restraint – We’ve all see Facebook ads. They are tiny. Keep your message short, and to the point while offering a solid reason for new fans to click that “like” button.
Be prepared for the wave – Once your campaign starts your page (should) be inundated with new, curious fans. Capture this peak in consumer curiosity by having a dynamic Facebook strategy in place and making your page a place they want to visit every day – something that provides a benefit to them for being part of it. Whether it is a contest or giveaway, helpful lifestyle information, an entertaining poll, or an interactive game, don’t let your fans lose interest in your brand once you’ve made them part of your circle.
What role does Facebook advertising play in your communication strategy? Have a tip to add to the list? Share it with us below!
Natalie Terashima-LaShell, Account Supervisor, Rachel Kay Public Relations (RKPR)