Many advertisers do not think of investing in Facebook because it is relatively new as an ad platform. However, those that take the time to learn how to use it fully have a big advantage over those who are slow to adopt it as an advertising medium.
Facebook has turned into much more than a social media service: it has become a way of life for millions of people around the world, and is a hobby, a community, and a unifying force. Potential customers of all ages use it as their main source of social interaction, news, research and entertainment.
What really makes Facebook a unique tool for innovative advertisers, though, is the ability to build lookalike audiences. With Facebook, advertisers can narrow down their audiences like never before, based on interests, past interactions, location, demographics and much more.
Facebook advertising is constantly evolving enabling users to talk about pages and post, connect with a business, shop from a Facebook page or via an ad, install or use a business app, and invite others to attend sponsored events.
Whilst there are many types of campaigns that can be run on Facebook, they fall into three generic types – awareness, consideration and conversion – with each type associated with a particular part of the “sales funnel”.
Ad Campaign Types
Facebook Advertising Awareness
Awareness is about increasing the visibility of a Facebook business page – it is not about increasing site traffic or sales, but instead is about enhancing engagement with content that is posted on the platform and expanding the number of likes and impressions.
Boosting posts: Paying to boost posts makes them more visible to a current audience.
Page promotion: This is aimed at increasing the number of people who like or follow a brand profile on Facebook.
Reach people in the locality of a business: 54% of Facebook users check their Facebook account from a mobile device. For those with a bricks and mortar business, this type of advertising shows ads to users who are within a specified range of their business, and can help encourage additional foot traffic, as well as growing a Facebook audience.
Increase brand awareness: This advertising option uses Facebook’s algorithm to determine “dwell” time on ads, then lifts those ads back up to users who spend a certain amount of time without scrolling — indicating a higher likelihood they will be interested in a brand or product.
Facebook Advertising Consideration Stage
The consideration stage in any sales funnel is when a person finally takes the next step and performs a particular action that either leads them away from their current experience or asks a brand to give them more information. Such actions can include visiting a company’s website, installing an app, downloading a piece of content or accepting an invitation to an event (which usually means they need to provide an email address.
Facebook Consideration campaign options include:
Sending people to a website: These type of ads sent people to a company’s website. It can lead users to a landing page specifically set up for a campaign that is being run, to a product page, or even just to the homepage. It is important to think through the desired actions advertisers want users to take once they land on a site.
Get installs of an app: For retailers that have one, such ads encourage users to install their business app.
Raise attendance at events: Facebook cannot be used to drive event attendance directly, but it can help to get RSVPs. And, those who RSVP will receive notifications from a brand every time something is updated in the group.
Recommended practice is to follow-up on events post the event by adding photos and thank you messages, and to target those who did not attend to like a company’s Facebook page in order to get notifications about upcoming events.
Get video views: Whilst a video view will not earn any site clicks or visits, it does allow a business to showcase a brand’s personality and products in a more visually engaging way.
Collect business leads: With this option retailers can encourage users to download a piece of content, sign-up for discounts or respond to promotions.
Facebook Conversion Stage
For retailers, conversion is the key to success. Facebook conversion stage offers analytics to make sure that the ads are working as they should, because, as with any advertising, to be successful, businesses need to test, measure and put their energies and budget where they see the best returns.
Increase website conversions: This option uses Facebook pixels, which will also need to be installed on a company’s website, to determine if a conversion action (i.e. watching a video, adding a name to a newsletter, and buying a product) actually takes place. With these ads, not only can retailers see if a conversion action is occurring, they can also A/B test placement of any “Calls To Action” (CTA) to optimise for conversion activity.
Promote a product catalogue: One of Facebook’s newer features, this option, also known as dynamic ads, allows retailers to upload their inventory to Facebook – and then use Facebook’s algorithm to showcase relevant products to relevant audiences.
Get people to claim an offer: A great option for holiday and annual sales, this option allows people to claim an offer right on Facebook, encouraging them to go a business website to use their discount.
Increase app engagement: Whilst this is only relevant for retailers who have an app, this option promotes app engagement for those who have installed it.
All aspects of the funnel are important for growing a business through Facebook. Whilst advertisers might be tempted to focus only on the conversion stage, that would be a mistake because it misses the opportunity to grow and nurture an audience, which, in turn, can lead to future interest and conversions.
As with any advertising, Facebook ads need to be constantly tested for effectiveness, and budget and resource allocated to which channel or technique produces the best results.