With Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg lighting up the news with on-going privacy concerns, Facebook suffers only slightly from some negative press and a few account deletions.
Then there’s Facebook’s January announcement that they were making changes to their algorithm (again), causing some to overreact by suggesting that Facebook advertising is dead.
I prefer to think of Facebook ads like temporarily depressed blue chip stock ready to rally and out perform all expectations. Like blue chip stocks, Facebook and Facebook advertising aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Advertisers needn’t worry. Facebook reports 2.13 billion monthly active users for Q4 2017 and 1.40 billion people logging in daily. That’s billion with a ‘b.’ Usage has been growing steadily (some might say ‘aggressively’) every year.
When you factor the lifetime value of a customer with Facebook’s ability to help businesses nurture customers, resolve customer service issues and respond to changes in public perception quickly, no small businesses can afford to ignore Facebook anymore.
Simply put, changes to Facebook’s algorithm should reduce noise and clutter in a user’s content feed. This is good. But it also means that not everyone who has ‘Liked’ your business page will see it in their regular feed. That’s still okay. Soon, you’ll see why.
All that data that Zuckerberg promises to do a better job of managing and protecting? This data unlocks every marketer’s dream: highly targeted customers on-demand. It’s the best advertising buy in today’s crowded marketplace for a reason.
To borrow a misquote attributed to Mark Twain, “The reports of Facebook advertising’s death are greatly exaggerated.”
Yet there does seems to be a serious disconnect among small business owners and their Facebook advertising.
Citing research done last year, smallbizmarketing.com reports 80% of small businesses use Facebook for marketing. Yet inc.com, also referencing 2017, reported that 62% of small business owners say Facebook ads don’t work.
Let me repeat: 62% say their Facebook ads don’t work. Another 20% of small businesses aren’t even trying.
What do successful Facebook advertisers know – the 18% – that the majority do not?
They know how to marry Facebook’s tools with good advertising campaigns written specifically for the nuances of Facebook.
Trite but true: Knowledge is power.
Who do you want your ads to reach?
We know the following about Facebooks’ current demographics, which you should slice and dice into smaller sub-groups to fit your target market:
Slightly more women use Facebook than men, 83% to 75%, according to sproutsocial.com. The geographical split is quite interesting with 81% of both urban and rural people being on Facebook compared to 77% of their suburban counterparts.
The youngest Baby Boomers are now over 50 and the oldest are 70-ish. Facebook organizes their demographic age groupings a little differently, counting those ’65 and older’ as part of their smallest demographic group. But you can still use Facebook ads to reach an amazing 62% of these older consumers.
If the oldest users make the smallest demographic block on Facebook, there’s no surprise the youngest users, people within the ages 18 to 29 years and within 30 to 49 years, make up the largest two blocks. If these age groups reflect your idea customers, Facebook ads have the potential to reach 88% and 84% of them, respectively.
The bottom line for any small business owner is:
Facebook is the 600-lb gorilla within social media
Every advertising dollar must pay for itself and much more.
If an ad doesn’t produce leads or revenue, cut it or fix it quickly.
Good Facebook ads and ad campaigns differ from traditional ads and campaigns.
Facebook helps you as a small business owner address those bottom-line advertising facts with an analytics tool called the Facebook Pixel. Simply install it in the header of your website. The Pixel tracks who is coming to your site and what they are doing when they get there.
Knowing who is attracted to your website, what pages they are visiting, and what your visitors are doing while allows you to tweak an underperforming web page, beef up or change your marketing message, spot opportunities for new products and services, and recapture business that otherwise might have just faded away…
You may be familiar with Google analytics for measuring the effectiveness of your web pages. Facebook Pixel tracks and provides even more nuanced information about your visitors, then allows you to stay connected with them with follow-up advertising.
This is targeted and responsive advertising on a whole different, interactive level.
Let’s look at advertising differences on Facebook and Google for a moment.
Google guards their actual calculations behind their Google Adwords valuations like uranium. Whatever the formula of the day is, they base their pay-per-click (ppc) prices on number of views for a specific keyword search.
A selling point for Google ppc campaigns is that people searching a keyword or keyphrase are assumed to be at least mildly interested in the subject. Your ad gets exposed to a percentage of these people and you pay only when they click on your ad. That’s all the control you get.
See how you stack up against your competition and see what it is like to work with us for free. Let us do a free assessment of your website, web presence and marketing campaigns. We will show you how you can generate more leads without spending any more money.
Facebook doesn’t have anything like ‘keyword’ searches. Therefore, some point out you can’t assume any interest – even mild interest – in your Facebook ad.
But on Facebook, you are able to put your ad in front of people with the same demographics, same interests and needs, same income and potential discretionary income as your best customers. You can do this with scalpel-like precision.
We already know the psychology of people and their buying habits are very similar among like-minded and like-advantaged people. That beats potential ‘mild’ interest in my book, but as they say on late-night infomercials: “But wait, there’s more!”
Remember the old marketing Rule of Seven? It says that a prospect needs to see or hear a marketing message at least seven times before they take action and buy.
Once you have created the perfect Facebook ad, one that fits into the Facebook culture, then the Facebook Pixel gives you ultimate control to reach out to that same person again. Try that with Google Adwords.
There’s only one downside I know to the Facebook Pixel. You get one pixel to install per Facebook account. That means you have to choose where and when to use it. (Yes, you can move it to a different page later to track and follow different visitors depending on your marketing strategy.)
For example, let’s say you have chosen to place the pixel on your sales page. When a visitor comes to your site and makes a purchase, the Facebook Pixel takes notice and records the action. Now you can automatically send follow-up Facebook ads for complimentary products and services.
But what if your visitor comes and doesn’t make a purchase, book an appointment, or take whatever action you want? Happens all too frequently, right? The Facebook Pixel records that as well. You can set those customers to be retargeted with specific Facebook ads.
Retargeting is one of the genius concepts behind Amazon’s massive success. While your business can’t compete with all of Amazon, it doesn’t have to. You can use the same strategies to keep your products and services front-of-mind during your customers’ buy cycles.You’ve experienced retargeting yourself. Say you are on-line researching which vitamins or minerals might stop those pesky leg cramps which have started waking you up at night. Now for days or weeks afterwards, ads for magnesium, potassium or B-1 start appearing on the right-hand side of your browser’s pages.
This is retargeting. The Facebook Pixel allows you to choose to which visitors you want to automatically retarget your ads. You can have your ads repeat to people who have visited your website or those who actually visited your opt-in page but stopped short of providing their emails.
You can retarget people who put products in a shopping cart but had second thoughts and abandoned the cart and site altogether.
You can also create a customer audience for your ads using specific parameters.
For example, use Facebook data to create ‘look alike’ audiences— those people who are similar or have many traits in common with your best customers. Just like the popular CBS television program Bull uses ‘mirror juries’ to help them understand the thought processes of the courtroom jury, you can use the demographics, interests and behaviors of your best customers to find and connect with people similar to them.
It makes sense that others who share the same demographics, traits and interests as your best customers probably have similar needs for your products and services. Facebook helps you find them and gets your business in front of them.
The pixel itself provides you with the information you need to decide what advertising strategies to employ and when. The more you learn about your customers, the easier it is to craft effective ads and a good marketing plan to capture business and serve more people.
No other social medium comes even close to providing the exposure nor the targeted flexibility of advertising on Facebook. Soon, your business can be among the successful 18% and we’ll see this number grow.