If there’s one thing that’s certain in this world, it’s that the conventional wisdom is usually wrong.
Case in point? Facebook advertising.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times business owners and entrepreneurs tell me that Facebook ads just don’t work. This is just one of those facts that ‘everybody knows’.
Well, I’m here to tell you that everybody is wrong. Not only do Facebook ads work, they work exceptionally well. They work so well, in fact, that you don’t even know how your purchasing decisions are being shaped – until you take the time to consciously examine your buying choices and what led you to select one product over another.
We’re affected by advertising far more than we realize. This is especially true on social media, where ads appear to as nothing more than visual noise, surrounding what we think we’re actually paying attention to.
The truth is that we don’t ‘tune out’ as much as we think we do: we’re continually taking in and processing all of the information we encounter throughout the day. A well-designed, properly placed Facebook ad can be an extremely powerful sales tool.
Want to know a secret? We found our new business card printer through a Facebook ad. Their quality sold us, but their Facebook ad made the introduction. The eye-catching ads kept showing up on our newsfeed – and when the time came to get business cards, our curiosity had been piqued to the point where we couldn’t help but check them out.
We have now ordered more than just business cards from them and we recommend them to everyone we can – Moo.com. A great new relationship started because of a Facebook ad.
The thing is that not all Facebook ads are created equal. There are good Facebook ads, and there are Facebook ads that aren’t designed to work. Facebook advertising – just like every other type of advertising that you do – must be approached with clarity about your intended goals, message and audience. After you’ve identified these critical components, the next step is working on visuals and copy.
Here are some tips to making Facebook Ads really work for you:
Even though we’d all like to sell everything to everybody, the truth is that there are some people who are your customer and some people who are not. Even within your customers, there are some that will be interested in some products and not in others.
You want to be very clear about which type of customers you want to reach during any given advertising campaign. Before you start, put your customers into different groupings. Group your customers by age, gender, and also interest. To do this, ask yourself questions like:
- What other brands do your customers enjoy & buy?
- What sports do they play or watch?
- What are their interests?
- What makes them laugh?
- What are their interests, especially on Facebook? Are they talking about travel, family or work?
The reason you want to know the answers to these questions is simple: this is the information you can use to target your ads to an audience most likely to respond to them. A best practice is to break your ad campaigns out by these audience types, choosing the images and language they’re most likely to be receptive to.
Now that you understand your audience and you have identified the tone of your ad you need to create a quality visual. Here’s one time I will admit that conventional wisdom is actually right: a picture is worth 1,000 words – and besides which, there’s not enough room for 1,000 words on Facebook. You need to use pictures and images to convey your messaging.
Recently Facebook launched newsfeed style ads that allow advertisers to feature larger images to appeal to their core audience. These are not just sponsored posts but real ads with a size of 600 x 225 pixels. That’s a large, eye-catching picture!
Best of all: Your visual messages can have some text on them. When they do, it really makes an impact. Check it out:
The key with each ad is knowing what action you want your customers to take after they’ve seen the ad. In the ad we created for West & Company we wanted younger audience members to like the Fan page, while the ad for The Organizing Zone was designed to funnel business professionals to the company webpage.
Testing is an essential element of making sure your advertising is working as well as it should be. All advertising should be tested, so you can invest your resources into the ad that works best for your business.
One of my favorite things about the new Facebook ads is how easy it is to test different versions. It’s relatively simple to upload different visuals with the same marketing message. The analytics panel lets you see which images attract the most attention and result in the most conversions. When you know what’s working, you provide more images that are similar. This streamlines your marketing process significantly: it’s so much easier to connect with your customer when they’ve told you definitively what they want to hear.
Not sure where to start? Don’t sweat it. We’re here to help you out. Facebook advertising can be a very cost-effective way to build your business. Our comprehensive approach builds on the branding efforts that are already working for your company, with proven best practices that appeal to today’s mobile-focused customer. Set up a consultation. There’s no obligation, and you’ll learn what your options are. 2014 has the potential to be your best year ever – especially if you start working on it now!