Who buys ads on Facebook? Over 1.5 million businesses, 1 million of which classify themselves as small or medium sized.
The Facebook ad platform continues to grow more powerful every day. Increasing simplicity, changing display units, and advancing targeting capabilities make the platform even more appealing.
Facebook advertising is growing at a fast pace, and for good reason. It works.
Why you should advertise on Facebook
Facebook ads work for everyone. Every brand can benefit from the low-cost, advanced targeting capabilities currently available.
For example, let’s assume you work for a company that sells puzzles. Your target market includes parents of children aged 3 – 5. You know moms buy your puzzles more than dads, and they have an income above $100,000. These moms also give charitable donations and almost always grocery shop at high-end supermarkets.
You can target all these specific attributes — and hundreds more — through Facebook advertising.
As a result, your ads are served to people most likely interested and inclined to buy.
My personal Facebook News Feed mostly consists of ads touting financial advice, clothing, and marketing tools. All are relevant to me; they don’t disrupt my experience or prompt me to leave Facebook. Recently, one of these finance posts showed up. It’s clearly targeted to my age, gender, and people who share my habits:
I need to save more money, I use a lot of hashtags, I’m basically attached to my iPhone, and I’ll be 30 in four short years. That’s powerful targeting. I’m even more intrigued when Facebook points out that three of my friends already “like” the page. Maybe I’ll click. Or maybe, when I’m confused the next time I create a budget, I’ll remember this and come back to LearnVest.
Once your hyper-targeted ad launches, Facebook makes it easy to track success.
Measuring the success of Facebook Advertising
Tracking a Facebook ad brings us to the all-important A/B test. Facebook allows you to create many ads that lead to the same place with a different image or modified copy.
The intuitive interface makes A/B testing easy for those without extensive advertising experience. There are also tons of help resources on A/B testing if needed.
Setting Facebook goals
Before you can determine if your ads are successful, you must establish goals. Focus on engagement and brand awareness. Social media can drive sales, but that isn’t Facebook’s biggest strength.
The backbone of social media is engaging with your audience and allowing them to get to know your brand. People use social networks to communicate, share and learn. The easiest way to succeed is to focus on shares, likes and comments — not stress about how many direct sales result from your campaign.
Run campaigns, not mixed messages
Creating messages that don’t intertwine makes it difficult to benchmark ads against each other. Campaigns tie ads together and are a great way to determine the best strategy for success.
Create a month-long initiative, focus on A/B testing, and at the end determine what worked. Cut the parts that didn’t, and try new ideas next month.
Don’t get too clever
Be straightforward. If your audience has to study your ad before they figure out what you want, they’ll move on before they figure it out. Use an engaging image with short copy. Getting too complicated with jargon and jokes will only confuse people. The ideal is a straightforward, seamless experience between your ad and landing page, right down to design.
Overall, Facebook advertising is a simple way to bolster both awareness and sales. It’s an affordable, simple, highly-targeted method that is sure to help your business in 2015.