Over the last couple of years, social media has become an increasingly large part of internet marketing efforts. Social media outlets offer an unprecedented opportunity to target, and connect with, a particular demographic.
While most optimization techniques surrounding social media platforms is concerned with content creation and delivery, there are more common ways to connect with your audience. In a word – advertising.
Webmasters and SEOs often consider advertising as something of a dirty word, but paid ads should be a measure channel in every SEO strategy. Facebook ads are particularly effective in driving traffic to a website, and in generating the leads that will ultimately lead to conversions. Why? Simply, there are over 1.3 billion monthly active users on Facebook!
The Three Types of Facebook Ads
There are three basic types of direct advertising opportunities on Facebook, and each has its own distinct advantages and ROI potential.
- Marketplace Ads – Marketplace ads appear on the right hand side of a person’s Facebook feed. Space is strictly limited with these ads, and you are only allowed a small thumbnail and a maximum of 135 characters.
- Premium Ads – Premium Facebook ads appear in a user’s regular feed as sponsored stories. Premium ads allow for larger images and/or video content, and have no text restrictions. Premium ads do have one disadvantage however, as Facebook users often resent having their personal feed interrupted by paid advertising and can opt to ignore a company’s further posts.
- Custom Audience Ads – This is the newest development in Facebook’s advertising structure, and allows businesses to work directly with Facebook to target an existing audience. The company supplies Facebook with their email contact list, and Facebook cross references the list with their online users to build an ad campaign that specifically targets those account holders.
Now that we know the basic advertising structure available on Facebook, it’s time to look at ways to build a Facebook ad campaign.
Identify Your Advertising Goals
The first step in a Facebook ad campaign is to identify your goals. This seems fairly basic, but it will inform the final shape and structure of your advertising strategy. Understanding your goals from the outset will help you create copy, and will determine the type of audience you wish to target. For example, if you are looking to build brand awareness for your company or product, a marketplace ad might be sufficient. On the other hand, if you are looking to generate actual conversions, a premium ad or custom audience campaign might better serve your needs.
Target Your Campaign
Once you have identified your advertising goals, it’s time to decide precisely who your Facebook ads will target. Once of the major benefits of advertising on Facebook is that you are able to aim your ads at specific people. Using Facebook Insights you can get an over all breakdown of the gender, age, and location of the people who have ‘liked’ your Facebook page. With this information you can create highly targeted ad campaigns that will reach out to a specific audience that is already primed to react positively to your advertising gambit.
Create Customized Ads
With your advertising goals set, and your target audience chosen, you can begin creating your Facebook ads. These should be customized to appeal to the precise demographic you have chosen to target. Because Facebook allows you to precisely target your audience, you can create different ads to appeal to separate and distinct demographics. Create and deploy your ads based on location, gender, and age so as to maximize your ultimate click through rate, and lower your over all cost per click. For marketplace ads us clear, close up, images that will make an impact. Keep your text concise and to the point, with an emphasis on the target customer’s needs and desires. If you opt for a premium ad, consider adding video content to fully engage with your targeted audience.
Test and Test Again
Once your Facebook ad campaign goes live, continue to monitor and test your advertisements to see what is working and what is not. It is often beneficial to run several ads over a set period of time so you can test how each performs. If an ad is under-performing, consider changing the text or images to boost its effectiveness. Also, if you have a good amount of traffic on your site, you might want to leverage retargeting opportunities on Facebook.
Tip: Use Power Editor for precise control and bulk ad managment
Paid advertising may not be the first thing webmasters think of when they consider their SEO strategies, but as Google and other search engines continue to change the playing field for optimization techniques, paid advertising offers a way for businesses to increase brand awareness and generate sales. Facebook ads are one of the most effective, and least expensive, ways to reach a targeted audience and to generate leads for your business and your product.