Didn’t get a chance to check out the Trada Webinar on making Facebook ads work for you? No worries! Here at BlitzLocal, we watched and learned, and took some notes for you. They started with an educational slideshow about the different types of Facebook ads, and finished by answering questions from the chat window. Here are our notes, and some additional article links for extra information.
The Bottom Line: Facebook Ads are the most versatile, targeted way to advertise online, and they have incredible reach.
Challenges with Facebook Advertising
- Banner Blindness
- You have to hire a graphic artist to make all the ad creatives
- Connections: The number of individuals who liked your Facebook page, RSVP’d to your event, or installed your app within 24 hours of seeing your ad or sponsored story. Basically, a connection is a conversion.
- Unique Reach: The number of individual people who saw your sponsored stories or ads.
- Social Reach: The number of people who saw your sponsored stories or ads because their friends liked your page, RSVP’d to your event, or used your app.
- Frequency: The average number of times each person saw your campaign’s sponsored story or ad. This is helpful for measuring ad fatigue.
Basic Ad Formats
- Basic Ads
- “Like” ad: Links to tab on Facebook page
- Event ad: Links to event
- Application ad: Links to application
- Standard ad: Links to specific URL
- Sponsored Stories
- Page “Like” Story: Mary-Jane likes your page, Page “like” Story lets Mary-Jane’s friends know about the like
- Page Post Story: You published a post to your page’s fans. Page Post Story allows this post to show up in fans’ news feeds
- Pages Post “Like” Story; Alex liked one of your page posts in the last 7 days. Page Post “like” Story lets Alex’s friends know about the post like
- App Used and Game Played Story: Lauren played/used your game or app. App Used/Game Played Story tells her friends about this action
- App Share Story: Hayes shared a story from your app in the last 7 Days. App Share Story lets Hayes’ friends know about the share
- Check-in Story: Lisa checked in or claimed a deal using Facebook Places. Check-in Story lets Lisa’s friends know about it.
- Domain Story: Mike liked/shared content from your website or pasted a link from your site to his wall. Domain Story lets Mike’s friends know about this action.
The complexity and potential of targeting on Facebook
- There are so many ways of targeting that it can be confusing
- Age, likes, interests, birthday, apps, education, timeline content, friends, event RSVPs, fans
- When choosing targets, focus on two things:
- Narrowing your audience
- Demo and Geo Targeting
- Geography: Country, State, Province, City or Zip targeting
- Demographics: Gender, Age, Birthday, Relationship Status, Language
- Workplace and Education Targeting
- Workplace, Education, Preferred Language
- Likes and Interests Targeting
- Favorite TV Shows, Movies, Books, Music, Hobbies, Religion, Political Views
- Demo and Geo Targeting
- Narrowing your audience
- Thinking outside the box – Let’s say you want to sell golf clubs
- Nick (who plays golf) is an obvious target
- Barbara doesn’t like golf – but she likes the Palm Beach Country Club
- Chaz doesn’t have the word golf anywhere on his profile, but he plays golf for a living: he’s a sales guy!
- Try the obvious targets, but Facebook’s best advertisers use non-linear thinking to target ads.
Campaign Organization Tips
- An “Account” in Facebook is similar to a “Campaign” in Paid Search
- A “Campaign” in Facebook is similar to “Ad Group” in Paid Search
- Warning: Don’t create campaigns with many different targets and ads. Keep your campaigns small.
- Do not put all segmented target groups in one campaign – as your ads are competing within the campaign.
- Prevent ad fatigue, or banner blindness by changing ads frequently
- As soon as CTR trends down, submit new content!
What is a good CTR?
- Anywhere from 0.1-0.4 is really strong CTR, even .08% is okay
- Dennis Yu, CEO at BlitzLocal outlines 11 Killer Ways to Increase Your Facebook CTR
- Logos traditionally don’t work well
- Images of people are effective
- Format design keeping small size in account
What is a preferred or optimal frequency?
- Keep it small!
- 6,7,8 is bad
Any issues with click fraud?
- There is a department at Facebook dedicated to click fraud with a sophisticated monitoring team.
- More difficult to produce in Facebook than in search where you can just search to make a specific ad appear.
How will timeline affect ads/business pages?
- Yet to be determined!
Fans much more likely to take some type of action than non-fans.
Targeting workplaces is a great tool for B2B marketing.
What sort of company uses page post story? How breaking should the news be? What types of posts work best?
- Entertainment, news businesses using these most effectively
- Have emotional connection so people will click
Is there advertising on Facebook mobile?
- In testing, not released to general public yet.
Notes taken by BlitzLocal Analyst Matt Prater
Graphics obtained from: http://www.slideshare.net/TradaPaidSearch/facebook-ads-you-can-make-them-work and www.facebook.com.
Let’s say you run a business making websites for dentists. You might buy the keywords “dentist”, “dental marketing” and “dental websites” on Google. In between the consumers who are looking to get some cosmetic dentistry, teeth cleaning, or other procedures done, there is a sprinkling of dentists who are looking for marketing help.
Depending on the term, it could be 90%+ of these searches not being relevant, and at $5-10 a click, that’s a lot of irrelevant clicks to pay for to find a winner, even if that winner will pay you $10,000 for a new website.
The biggest problem with B2B is that when someone types in “dentist”, you don’t know if they are a dentist or if they are looking for a dentist.
The die-hard PPC folks will argue that you’re just not choosing the right keywords (go for more specific terms), don’t have enough negative keywords (exclude anyone searching with city terms—since these are likely consumers), or you’re not writing specific enough ad copy (supposedly, consumer won’t click on your ad if your title is “Hey Dentists!”) While these comebacks are true, they are missing the big point.
In B2B marketing, you must target WHO the user is, not WHAT they are searching on.
In search, you don’t know who the user is, but you have a clue by the nature of their search terms. In social, you know WHO the user is and you’re catching them before they search.
STEP 1: Isolate the Target
So while you can get a ton of consumer traffic by targeting “dentist” in Google, when you interest target “dentist” on Facebook, you’re targeting by job title and profession. Try it. In fact, try a number of job titles and see just how many chiropractors, teachers, plumbers, administrative assistants, and marketing managers there are out there.
Voila! Now you’ve pinpointed all the dentists, dental assistants, students studying to be dentists, retired dentists, and folks who have a dentist fetish—all of them on Facebook. Now narrow down to the specific target you want by age, location or even specialty—maybe you want to talk to just cosmetic dentists in California.
Add in lateral targets—magazines they read, associations they’re a part of, and so forth. You can read more about micro-targeting here.
STEP 2: Get Your Testimonials and Trust Signals
You probably thought I’d next talk about ads, which is what most people do. Nope, in social people don’t search—they are interrupted with banner ads. You can focus on ad copy in Google PPC because people are actively looking. In Facebook, you have to gently nudge people to take a look at you and momentarily distract them from spying on their friends, or whatever they happen to be doing on Facebook.
So you need distraction-worthy content, which comes in the form of what their friends are doing. If that potential dentist client of yours is perusing through what her friends did yesterday, she might be persuaded to click on news where those very friends are talking about your business—maybe how they used your software to get more traffic to their website, streamline billing operations, etc.
When you have a TON of testimonials (across Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on), paired with content that you’ve published in major outlets, paired with positive things that other reputable organizations have said about you—then it’s more likely they are coming to you versus you coming to them. Some people call this “inbound” or “pull” marketing because you’re leveraging that prospective friends to do the selling for you. Because, despite your Harvard MBA and years of business experience; sorry Charlie, they trust what their friends have to say more.
Ideally, get this content to live on your website or Facebook page, although this is not completely necessary. Let’s say that you wrote some compelling article in an industry journal. Send ad traffic directly to that site so you can leverage their trust. If you wrote your article correctly, the by-line (about the author piece at the end) will have a line or two about what you do. And if you did a good job creating real value in that article, as opposed to selling, they’ll contact you. No need to scream at them or place popup windows in their path—they’ll find you.
You wouldn’t have a grand opening party without first making sure your place has plenty of food and drinks, right? In the same way, make sure you have the compelling content from Step 2 before you start advertising. Otherwise, you’re just wasting money.
Take the interest targets that you set up in Step 1 and pair it against the content you have in Step 2. Think about WHO you are talking to, not WHAT they might be searching on. For example, if they are a dental hygienist, what content is most compelling to them? What if they are a receptionist—what might they find interesting? You’ll find that you might not have super relevant content for everyone. That’s okay—you’re just testing at this stage. Later you can mix and match what combinations work best.
Note that this is NOT landing page optimization, which is more superficially about elements that comprise the landing page—the image, the size of the button, the headline, and so forth. We’re talking about the whole lead gen. lifecycle—creating a clear path between the targets, what we say to them, and what we want them to do. That last piece is the landing page—to get them to call the phone number, fill out the form, watch the video, etc.
Step 4: Run the Math
Set your Facebook campaign budgets low, perhaps $10 a day. Use the default CPC bids, since you don’t need to get into the nuances of how bidding works—this is not Google. What you care about is your Cost Per Click and conversion rates. CPC divided by conversion rate is your cost per lead, by the way. We created a calculator for your use, in case you are rusty on first semester statistics:
This is B2B, so your cost per lead could be over $100. Maybe you’re at $2 a click and 1 in 50 clicks results in a phone call. Maybe it’s a lot more because you’re selling something that costs thousands, so that a hundred dollars is an acceptable price. Or maybe you’re competing in New York City, where the price is exorbitant from all the advertisers that overlap one another from poor targeting.
Whatever the case, if you’re doing this on Facebook, you have to be prepared for seemingly negative ROI for the first few months. Why? Because we are catching people well before they are searching, so it could be months before they want that new website, CEREC machine, billing system, or whatever it is you’re advertising. With Google, the conversion timeframe might be that same visit. This is unlikely in your case, unless your product is an impulse buy and also under $100.
Some final thoughts:
We are often asked a common set of questions, so let’s address some of them here:
How big should my interest target be? You don’t need a thousand ads—just a handful that target just the people that you want to hit. If your interest target is over 10,000 people, then either you’re doing something wrong or your audience is nationwide.
Do I need new landing pages for Facebook? Probably. Video is what converts nowadays, so you probably need to fix your other landing pages while you’re at it. Camera shy? They aren’t choosing you for your good looks, so get your Flip video, some good lighting, and film a 2 minute intro. Say what you’d say if that dentist was sitting right in your office—don’t be “fake” or talk like a newscaster.
Will BlitzLocal do this for me? Sure, if you have at least $10k to spend in fees, not counting advertising budget. If you’re a dentist, we require only $2k a month in total (labor plus ad spend), since we’re targeting just one region and because our dental campaigns can be replicated. If we have to build something that is not reusable across many clients, then we have to charge more for it. We are not the cheapest game in town.
Do you offer free articles and training? I would love to use your service, but cannot afford it. Sure. Send a note to email@example.com and we’ll send you some of our internal training materials. You can also post a question at facebook.com/blitzlocal, where others can see and benefit from what you ask.
About the Author:
Dennis Yu is Chief Executive Officer of BlitzLocal, a Webtrends partner that builds social media dashboards to measure brand engagement and ROI, specializing in the intersection of Facebook and local advertising. You can reach him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, his blog, or good old-fashioned email at firstname.lastname@example.org. BlitzLocal is a leader in social and local advertising and analytics, creating mass micro-targeted campaigns. Mr. Yu is an internationally sought-after speaker and author on all things Facebook, and has been featured in National Public Radio, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur Magazine, CBS Evening News, and other venues.
When preparing a Facebook audit for a brand, a cookie-cutter approach won’t work. Each brand has its own factors that must be considered when evaluating campaign strategy, but there are some common strategies you can use to create killer audits for any brand.
Many Brands Within The Brand
Some large brands consist of many sub-brands. Let’s consider P&G as an example brand. They have many sub-brands, 23 of which have over a billion dollars in annual sales. Some of these sub-brands include Tide, Bounty, Pampers, Duracell, etc. Ideally, this type of megabrand should have a portfolio of sub-brands that tie back into a central hub page. The central hub is often weak, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but strengthening the hub will usually result in strengthening the brand overall.
When measuring the power of the megabrand, especially when comparing against their competitors, be sure to include their overall portolio (i.e. P&G vs. Unilever), as well as brand-to-brand comparisons of the sub-brands, such as Duracell vs. Energizer.
Targeting and Relevancy
When designing sample Facebook ads, remember that success with Facebook relies on being SUPER relevant to users. Let’s take a look at a few examples of how this can be applied.
Utilize Brand Connections
If the user is already familiar with the brand via a related connection, target those users specifically. For example, Tide has sponsored a car in Nascar for a long time. Fans of Darryl Waltrip and Ricky Rudd are then likely to also be fans of Tide, so targeting the fans of those Nascar champions is an easy win.
Leverage Existing Campaigns
We can leverage the power of a brand’s existing advertising. For example, if the brand is Yoplait yogurt, you know that they’ve spent a huge amount of money on the pink lids for breast cancer ad campaign. By targeting Susan Komen, breast cancer, and related interests– and then pairing that targeted base with a message that Yoplait supports breast cancer research, you can make their existing non-Facebook ad campaigns work double-time here. Send users to an appropriate web page that has a Like button on it (preferably on the Facebook page), to solidify that connection.
Harvest Celebrity Endorsements
Someone else has already done the footwork needed to attach a celebrity’s fan base to the brand, so harvest that base. For example, Carrie Underwood uses Olay, so target Carrie’s fans with relevant messages and landing pages for the Olay brand on Facebook. There is a LOT of celebrity traffic – a lot more than people who say they like laundry detergent or batteries or skin care products – so harvest that mass of low-hanging fruit.
Milk The Competitors
There’s nothing wrong with actually reaching out to the fans of the competition. For instance, if they like the Energizer Bunny, it’s possible they’ll also like Duracell. This can be hit or miss, as some fans are loyal to a fault and won’t have any desire to switch, but you won’t know without testing. Many fans are on the fence and can be pretty easily persuaded to flip.
Manage The Audit Process
The simplest tool to have on hand during the audit research phase is the spreadsheet. First, research a list of the interests that are related to each of the brands. Create a spreadsheet consisting of one row per interest, using four columns:
- Audience Size (shown in Ad tool)
- Relevant Brand Fan Page URL
- Relationship Between the Interest and the Brand
The relationship column should include things like:
- Is the interest a competitor of the brand?
- Is the interest a non-profit that the brand supports?
- Is the interest a celebrity that endorses the brand?
- Is the interest a current advertising campaign that the brand is using?
When possible, ensure the spreadsheet includes at least a dozen interests. If the brand is a huge megabrand, you might end up with perhaps a hundred interest targets, all in the same spreadsheet.
With smart, highly relevant targeting, you can show the benefits of a Facebook campaign to any brand – big or small.
I decided to play a little trick on my boss using the Facebook advertising techniques he taught me.
Using the “Location” section in the ad tools, I entered Portland, Oregon which is where Blitzlocal headquarters is located.
In the “Demographics” section, I targeted males ages 30 to 40.
For “Education and Work” I typed BlitzLocal LLC and WebTrends.
The result ended with an estimated 80 people targeted.
About 4 days later, I get an email from my boss:
And this only cost me 6 cents.
Knowing that you can target down to where someone works, where they live, and how old they are– how might you use this in your business?