The World’s Largest Audience, Served Up on a Platter
Facebook has over 2 billion users worldwide, and 1.37 of these users visit the website on a daily basis. Consensus data also shows that people are spending more time on Facebook per session compared to any other popular social platform.
For marketers, especially B2C but also increasingly for B2B, Facebook is the place to be.
Because people hang out on Facebook looking for interaction and news or trends that spark their interest, these high engagement rates increase the likelihood of people clicking (and hopefully commenting and sharing) when they see business-generated posts on a topic they care enough to read about. For marketers, this represents a huge opportunity to reach a large group of people that might not have otherwise found your business.
The Good News
Anyone can create a business page on Facebook; it’s free, and you can post as much as you want to attract Likes and Followers. Your company’s posts enter the flow of those users’ feeds, their friends’ feeds if they ‘Like’ the post, and those of anyone who happens to be searching for your company or product within Facebook.
When you start up a Business or Group page, Facebook also gives you a wide menu of useful page-manager tools and page insights with ways to measure reach and engagement levels for every piece of content you generate – again, for free. So long as what you’re posting is interesting and worth sharing, you’ll stay in the groove. (Though see the bad news, below.)
The Bad News
Facebook regularly updates its algorithms in an effort to show users content they’re more likely to engage with. These days, they may not always see everything all their friends like; Facebook has figured out how to align every user interactively by mutual interests and behavior, and filter out content inconsistent with their algorithmic profiles. If you’re a Facebook user, more and more you see only posts that friends who think and act like you find worthy or interesting. This affects not only political viewpoints, creating “echo chambers” of people with similar beliefs, but also impacts the strategy for business marketers.
These algorithm changes, coupled with the platform becoming more competitive for businesses, has caused the organic reach of pages to decline when they rely exclusively on your unpaid, regular post updates.
So, if you once saw a number of leads come through Facebook posting alone, that approach might not be as successful as it once was. This is why most businesses serious about Facebook marketing are turning to PPC (pay-per-click) options to expand their reach.
The Business Case for Facebook Marketing through PPC Advertising
Facebook ads have an impressive conversion rate of 9.21% across all industries. While this metric rises and falls based on your specific industry and targeted audience, it shows what a powerful juggernaut Facebook PPC ads have become.
In fact, when comparing Facebook to other paid social platforms, it has shown to be most effective for paid media campaigns, with Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube falling just behind it.
Drilling Down: The Many Ways Facebook Drives Effective Ad Campaigns
Become richly relevant to your audience: Facebook lets paid advertisers narrow down an audience by basic targeting options like location, age, and gender and detailed targeting like interests, behaviors, and connections. The range and specificity of targeting filters lets marketers aim their ads toward multiple different personas at different stages in the buyer’s journey.
To make sure your Facebook ads are relevant to the target audience:
- Create slightly different ads and messaging for each customer persona.
- Target ads based on where your target is in the conversion funnel — advertise different messages to the people who’ve never heard of your product, to people slightly familiar with your product, and to your loyal customers.
Use retargeting: Facebook also offers ad retargeting campaigns, so your ads are served to anyone who’s visited your website, or even a specific page on your website, within a specific timeframe.
Optimize conversions: It’s possible to select from an impressive range of Facebook campaign goals from website traffic to app installs to purchases when setting up new ads. How do you pick one for your campaign, especially if multiple options seem like good choices?
Think about the goal of your ad campaign. It’s as simple as that. Let the algorithms know by selecting the campaign objective closest to your goal. Do you seek website clicks or do you want conversions such as a free trial sign-up or e-store purchase?
There’s a new optimization tool in Facebook Ads that lets you set these goals, giving you the chance to think through what it is you’re really trying to accomplish.
Or, start with a wider audience and then let Facebook do it for you: Facebook auto-optimization algorithms can learn to whom to deliver your ads based on previous conversions. If you think about it, Facebook probably knows more about your potential customers than you do.
How to Measure the ROI of Facebook Marketing Campaigns
Even with industry benchmarks on your side, the only true way to determine if Facebook PPC is worth it for your business is by testing it out and measuring the ROI of your efforts.
Fortunately, Facebook Ads are relatively cheap compared to other paid media options, so by creating a few test campaigns, you’ll be able to determine if this is something worth pursuing, or if it’s not right for your business.
Measuring the ROI of your Facebook ads is largely dependent on the objective of your ads you selected in the beginning.
For example, if your goal is brand awareness, you’ll want to look at metrics such as impressions and engagement.
Here are the key metrics you need to look at to evaluate your Facebook marketing campaigns.
- Conversions – Since the ultimate goal is to drive people down the funnel, measuring conversion rates for these ads is a must. To gauge this, look at the following:
Traffic – Did the ads increase traffic to your website?
Lead Generation – Did the traffic that landed on your website convert on an offer? If this is the case, it means you’re targeting the right people with your ads.
Sales – Did those leads that converted on your website end up becoming customers?
- Cost Per Click – If you determined the following results, look and see how much you spent on generating each click to your website.
- Click Through Rate – As stated previously, this takes into account the number of clicks vs. the impressions your ad received. This will help you determine how many opportunities you had to capture users vs. how many you actually did.
- Cost Per Action – This is slightly different than Cost Per Click, as it measures the cost of the desired action you wanted your personas to take, like app downloads, conversions etc. Look at how much you spent to generate this action across the course of your campaign.
The microtargeting capabilities of Facebook PPC campaigns give you plenty of valuable options and useful ways to market your business with extreme effectiveness. Not every B2B business is suitable for Facebook, obviously, so don’t waste your time if you’re sure that the people who make buying decisions for your product aren’t the type to hang out on this popular social media platform.
On the other hand, don’t assume the opposite either; at least do some investigation. To determine if its worth it for your business, it’s essential to look at industry benchmarks, your budget, your goal, and most importantly — the personas of your audience.
Leadit Marketing handles social media ad campaigns for many of our clients. We’d be happy to advise you on whether Facebook ads make sense for your business. Contact us if you’d like help.\
We’ll soon be posting Part 2 on Making the Most of Facebook Marketing with dozens of specific tips to rocket your ads’ performance, so stay tuned!
Shannon Prager is recognized B2B marketing strategist and the President of Leadit Marketing. She is responsible for the daily operations and management of Leadit Marketing as well as the long term vision for the company.
A marketing leader with over 19 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed integrated marketing strategy. Shannon’s background includes demand generation, marketing automation, social media, digital marketing, customer marketing, account based marketing and marketing operations. You can follow her on LinkedIn via https://www.linkedin.com/in/shannonprager or Twitter @ https://twitter.com/LeaditMarketing
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