A big challenge for a lot of advertisers is determining how allocate their online budgets. Should we advertise just on Twitter, Facebook, Google or all of the above? These are all great questions and I don’t have a specific answer. Every media platform has its own competitive advantages. In order to effectively utilize any of their strengths, you need to first know the goals for your campaign and then identify what your key performance indicators (KPI) will be. For example, are you looking to create buzz and brand awareness and want a lot of engagement or do you want to increase sales for a particular product and are more interested in high CTR’s? Once you have answered these questions, you can determine which platform makes the most sense.
What I do know is, online advertising has been on the rise and social advertising is no exception. Facebook is very aware of this opportunity for growth and has been determined to capture as much of these ad dollars as possible. This is especially the case with mobile advertising. Facebook is the number 2 mobile ad publisher in the country and is expected to take 13.2 perfect of all mobile ad revenues (source: eMarketer). Although they are still dwarfed by Google, Facebook continues to chomp off more and more market share.
To remain competitive, Facebook is constantly upgrading their ad platform to strengthen user targeting. In fact, Facebook provides one of the most targeted advertising opportunities today. How so? Let’s start with the fact that Facebook has over 1 billion users, where in most cases, they know the member’s age, sex, location, likes and interests.
We can now even take that a few steps further. Facebook rolled out with something called “Custom Audiences” which gives brands the ability to target their ads in conjunction with their offline customer lists. This offline list can includes: email addresses, phone or Facebook user ID list.
The most recent way Facebook has refined their ad targeting is through their latest feature called “Partner Categories”. This feature allows advertisers to more accurately pinpoint their ads to specific categories of people based on their purchase history. To do this, Facebook has partnered up with third party data from Axciom, Datalogix and Epsilon. Companies have long used this type of targeting off of Facebook with great success, so this is definitely a power move for Facebook.
The depth of Facebook’s ad targeting is pretty amazing. If you were to use Partner Categories in addition to some of Facebook’s other targeting options, you have the opportunity to produce an ad with a great ROI.
4 other advantages of Facebook advertising are…
1) Control Of Your Ad Budget
You are allowed to set, monitor and update your daily budget at any time. You can also choose to pay only when people click (CPC) or only when people see your ad (CPM).
Facebook’s ad platform allows you to perform A/B testing for your ads. You can run multiple versions of a given ad at once and analyze their performance to determine which ad generated the best results.
3) Free Reach and Social Proof
When somebody engages with your ad, all of their friends who also fall under your target marketing will see that activity in their newsfeed. This not only increases your ads reach, it also increases the chances of attracting new “likes” and engagement. This is because of what we call “social proof” — the positive influence created when someone finds out that others are doing something. This influence is further intensified when it’s somebody that you know. The social reach of Facebook ads can almost be as much as the reach you are actually paying for!
4) Disadvantage of Facebook Advertising
One of the advantages Google advertising has over Facebook is that you are bidding on keywords people are actually searching for. With Facebook advertising, you are bidding on a users “likes” and interests and they may not be actively seeking out your product or service at that given time. This is where lead nurturing plays a crucial role with the effectiveness of your social media strategy. Once you get a new fan to “like” your page or opt in to your email list, your job isn’t done. You need to continually provide value to them to develop a long-term relationship, so when they need your product or service, you are the one they turn to.
Facebook Advertising or Google Advertising?
There is no perfect answer. At the end of the day, whether you choose to advertise on Facebook or Google should be based on testing and the overall goals for your campaign. The best approach is to continuously run A/B test ads within each platform and then analyze your KPI’s. How much revenue did the clicks generate? How many people saw your ad? What was the CTR? What was the amount of engagement? All of these are potential KPI’s that you may attribute to the failure or success of a given digital campaign. Remember, KPI’s should reflect the particular stage of the purchase funnel your target customer is at!
What are your thoughts on Facebook Advertising? Have you had success with it? Is it something that you will recommend to your clients? Tell us your thoughts!