Should you try Facebook ads?

If you are curious about whether Facebook ads would be a good way to go for your business or to promote your book, then read on. In this month’s SkillBites Show, Julie Friedman Bacchini discussed the power of Facebook ads and provided some pointers to running an effective Facebook campaign.

Julie is the owner of Neptune Moon, a digital marketing firm that she founded almost 19 years ago, at the inception of digital marketing. She began her talk by distinguishing Facebook ads from Google ads. When you do a Facebook ad campaign, it’s more like having an ad in a magazine. People reading the magazine will gain awareness of your product or service by seeing your ad, but they may not be interested in purchasing at that moment. Google ads are tied in with what people are searching on, so there is a more direct correlation with their interest in buying something similar to what you are offering. If your main objective to increase awareness, then Facebook ads can be a good tactic to try. Moreover, with the terrific targeting capability of Facebook, you can place your ad in front of your ideal audience, the very people you want to be aware of your product or service.

With Facebook, you have two main options: you can create an ad that consists of text and an image or carousel of images, that appears on the news feed, or on Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) or in Facebook Messenger; or you can boost posts, such as when you want people to be aware of a sale you are holding, or an event you are hosting. For both of these options, it is critical to have defined who you want the ad or post to be seen by. Facebook offers considerable granularity for your selection – demographic information such as age, income level and geographic region as well as interests, family, pet ownership, etc. You can also use Facebook’s Look Alike feature, and ask Facebook to find people who have similar background to the people you identify, either to include those people or to exclude them.

You also want to determine how long you want the campaign to run and how much you want to spend. You can set a budget of how much per day or how much for the duration of the campaign, and that can be as low as $5 or $10. For budgetary purposes, Julie recommends a minimum of a three month campaign with $500 per month. Anything less than that will not give you the data to determine whether the campaign is effective for you.

In that regard, you definitely want to track how well the campaign is working, which you can do by putting Facebook pixels or URL tag on the landing page that people who click on your ad are going to. Then you can use Google analytics to compare how long they are spending on your landing page, what other pages they are visiting and whether they are buying your services or products more frequently than people who are coming to your site other than from the ad.

Julie advised that Facebook users respond much better to visuals than text. You’ll want to have several images picked out so that you don’t run the same ad images and have people get bored with your ad. You can also use video in ads, and not just static images.

In addition, you must make sure the landing page or website you are sending people to is fast and mobile responsive. It won’t help you at all if people abandon your site before they get there because it is too slow to load. And when people come from a Facebook ad, it will be slower than when they come directly to your site, so keep that in mind.

For more information on Facebook ad campaigns, you can visit Julie’s website, www.neptunemoon.com, or communicate with her via Twitter (@neptunemoon) or LinkedIn.

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