Posted by Scott Meis
I’m a PR/marketing guy. Sure, I’ve dabbled in some advertising for various clients, but I’m certainly not handling media buying or million dollar ad budgets. That’s why I’ve found good value in utilizing Facebook ads.
Now, I fully realize that Facebook ads remain a work in progress and that the high degree of targeting can get a bit scary. That being said, for companies, organizations or clients operating with small budgets, Facebook ads are a great opportunity to connect directly with your target audience. No other social networking platform provides such a wealth of insight about its users and makes this information available to any user.
Facebook ads currently allow you to target your ads according to the final criteria:
- Male/Female Interest
- Existing Connections (a method of connecting with or excluding existing fans of a page, existing group members, event attendees, etc.)
*Note, Multiple Location, Connection and Birthday targeting are all new features that were added the other week.
This is powerful stuff.
Here’s a few tips for maximizing use of Facebook ads:
Research: At the very least, you can use the Facebook ad service as a research tool to figure out whether your target audience exists on Facebook (chances are good as they’ve now crossed over 250 million users). Facebook pulls their data from a variety of places so be flexible and think about keywords and phrases relative to your goals that a user would likely list in their profile interests.
Pay-Per-Click v. Impressions: In terms of ads, a Facebook rep won’t even begin to talk to you unless you’re planning to spend $35k. Don’t worry! The setup for ads is as easy as pie and a excellent resource for promoting events, hosting giveaways and generally calling attention to your cause. I recommend utilizing the pay-per-click option and setting your bid above the suggested average.
Facebook is only going to charge you when someone clicks on your ad (an obvious goal). That being said, it makes sense to try a few different creative and to track/trend user response to see what gels and gathers attention. The best part is that even if your ad isn’t getting a lot of clicks, you’re still likely to get tons of brand impressions…measurable brand impressions.
The other key is that Facebook is going to charge each click relative to the average cost of your competing advertisers. Thus, if other advertisers are bidding fairly low, you’re likely to be charged far less than your price point, but still getting more placements and impressions.
Get Creative: You’ve only got 25 characters for your ad’s title and 135 characters for the body text. Better than a Google ad but not by much. Keep your copy and call to action simple and attention-grabbing.
Keep ‘Em on Facebook: Sure, in some cases it will make sense to simply drive traffic to a landing page off of your site but why not try killing two birds with one stone? You can easily use the Static FBML application to set up a custom tab for your Facebook page. This tab will then have it’s own unique URL which you can use as the landing page for your ad, while also incorporating a graphic that encourages visitors to
“Become a Fan” of your page.
Feel free to add your own Facebook ad tips below. Now, give it a shot! Facebook ads are a great, cheap option for outreach.
Posted by Scott Meis
$21 billion. Billion.
That’s the amount of revenue that Google Ads generated last year. If you’re like me and 60% of all Internet surfers, you rely on Google everyday as your search engine of choice. Google has become such a reliable knowledge portal that it’s hard to recall what served as “home base” on the Web prior to their existence.
As critical as the Web is to my job, I’ve never thoroughly understood Google’s advertising structure beyond my basic involvement and research of pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Organic search and search engine optimization are of course crucial to understanding the Web, but the advertising aspect has always seemed a bit foreign to me.
I’ve never been one to give much thought to clicking on the sponsored links listed at the top and on the right sidebar of Google’s search results. Maybe it’s been my instinctual fear of viruses or phishing scams, but I’ve always viewed organic results as the “safe” play when determining where to navigate next on my search path.
Steven Levy’s Secret of Googlenomics article in the latest issue of Wired magazine opened my eyes up to a whole new understanding of how Google’s sponsored ads end up where they do. Aside from bidding on select keywords that connect ads to specific dates, time and geographic locations, Google also assesses the quality of an ad, examining how well the ad matches a search query, the load time and quality of content on an ad’s landing page, the ad’s past clickthrough rate and other key criteria. An ad’s rank on a search result page is then determined through a formula that multiplies the bid by the assigned quality score (1-10).
Aside from gaining some additional technical knowledge about PPC, Steven’s article speaks to the larger economic trend and overall impact of how Google’s auction-based marketplace creates a new “auction” each time a new search is processed.
It’s mindblowing to think about the wealth of data Google and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter (obviously on smaller scales and with Twitter having yet to capitalize on this data in a monetary fashion) are capturing on any given day. If you’re on Facebook, you’ve likely seen tailored “social ads” for products or activity on facebook that reflects your friends’ activity. The friend endorsement is a huge step forward and I’ll admit that it makes me far more likely to check out a particular link on Facebook.
Where does search and social network advertising go from here?
I’d love to hear any SEO/PPC or other online ad experts’ thoughts and insight on where they see search and social network advertising going next.