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7 Common Mistakes Businesses Make With Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising, when done correctly, can be a major asset to your marketing efforts. Facebook offers businesses a wide variety of advertising options to choose from, and with a network of billions of users, it provides the potential to reach tons of prospects.

However, there are a lot of moving parts that go into creating and maintaining successful Facebook advertising campaigns. If you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of the platform, it’s possible to fall into some pretty common traps. Here are some of the mistakes that I see businesses making time and again on the platform, and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Setting Wishy-Washy Goals

Facebook advertising is a single tactic within your broader marketing strategy. But that doesn’t mean you can be less-than-intentional about the choices you make when designing your campaigns.

It’s not enough to just create posts promoting your business and hope that some generic good will come of it. You need to set specific goals for each and every advertising campaign you undertake. If you’re promoting the launch of a new product, set a goal to sell X number of units. If your campaign is designed to drive traffic to your website, set a goal to increase CTR by X percentage points.

By starting with a clear goal in mind, your messaging within the campaign will be stronger and more targeted. Plus, you’ll know which metrics you should be keeping an eye on and will know exactly how you’ll define success at the end of the campaign.

2. Selecting the Incorrect Ad Type

Once you’ve set goals for your campaign, it’s time to select the type of ad you want to run. Facebook offers businesses a wide variety of choices, and the various ad types can help you achieve all sorts of goals—from greater exposure for your brand to more conversions to facilitating offer claims.

Fortunately, Facebook makes it easy for marketers to determine what each ad is designed to do. Don’t try to get creative or reinvent the wheel in this step; go with the ad type that Facebook says best aligns with your goals.

3. Sticking to Only One Medium

If you’ve ever sat on Facebook and scrolled through your newsfeed, you know how easy it is for that content to simply become a blur. That’s why you need to do something unique to stand out from the personal posts, articles, and other ads filling up users’ feeds.

Facebook suggests that you keep text to a minimum on your images (ideally less than 20 percent). Include images that are bright, arresting, and are aligned with your brand’s tone. Go beyond still images and think about including video content.

But most importantly, mix things up. Even if you’re creating fascinating, engaging video ads, they’ll begin to feel stale after a while if that’s all you ever do. Mix up your media in order to keep viewers on their toes and eager to see what comes next from you.

4. Targeting Improperly

Facebook advertising targeting allows you to identify the desired audience for your ads. This keeps you from wasting your ad spend on people who would never realistically be interested in your business, but proper targeting is a tricky balancing act.

Make your audience too narrow, and Facebook will be unable to deliver your ad. However, make your audience too broad, and there will be lots of people who are not viable prospects seeing your ads.

The other mistake that marketers make is targeting the wrong audience. You might think you understand who wants to see your advertising, but unless you’re using your existing customers as a guide, you could be making some critical targeting mistakes and aiming your ad spend at the wrong group.

Take the time to analyze the demographics and actions of your current audience. You can even go so far as to send your existing customers a survey, asking them about their profile and lifestyle. Facebook even provides the option for you to create lookalike audiences for your advertising. By uploading a list of your existing customers, Facebook can then analyze that group for common attributes and target similar audiences.

5. Duplicating Efforts

Facebook is great at identifying their users who are most likely to want to see your advertising. Unfortunately, that sometimes means that people who are already familiar with your brand and who have converted on their own become the target of your Facebook advertising.

This is, of course, a waste of your time and budget. If they’ve already signed up for your newsletter, there’s no need to advertise said newsletter to them again! This is where the use of custom audiences comes in. Pull a list of all of your prospects or customers who have already taken the action you’re hoping to drive with the advertising and create a custom audience that excludes these people from seeing your ads. Not only does this save you money, it also keeps you from annoying those who have already said yes to your brand.

6. Letting Ads Go Stale

Even the best of Facebook ads begin to lose their luster after a few weeks. Users scroll past the same images and type time and again, and they eventually begin to gloss over the content. That’s why it’s critical for marketers to keep refreshing their ads on the platform. Changing up images, altering the text, and otherwise making the content appear fresh and new to the viewers is the way to get your brand noticed all over again.

7. Forgetting About Facebook Pixel

Facebook Pixel is a line of code that you insert into your website in order to track customer behavior on your website that happens as a result of your advertising efforts. This provides you with measurable data, so that you know if your ads achieved the desired results. This data can also help to inform your future marketing efforts. When you understand what was successful and what didn’t work so well in a given campaign, you can make changes to amplify the successes and pivot from the failures in the future.

There are a lot of moving parts for marketers to wrap their heads around when it comes to Facebook advertising. Understanding some of the most common mistakes businesses make can help you get more bang for your advertising buck and create content that stands out in a crowded newsfeed.

A Quick and Effective Approach to Facebook Advertising

A Quick and Effective Approach to Facebook Advertising

Facebook remains the dominant social media platform. In a recent earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared that there are more than 2.2 billion monthly actives, with almost 1.5 billion using it every day. That means that small business owners who are not advertising on Facebook are missing out on an opportunity to connect with about a third of the global population.

If you’ve been thinking about Facebook advertising but are intimidated by the process of starting an ad campaign on the platform, never fear. This simple guide will help you get your first campaign up and running.

Start by Setting Goals

What are you really hoping to accomplish with your Facebook campaign? Yes, you’re hoping for more business, but how will you measure success? Set clear goals with firm numbers. Something like, “We’re hoping to increase website traffic by X percentage” will help guide you through the process much more effectively than a goal like, “find new prospects.”

Establish Your Budget

Before you dive into the actual creation of the campaign, you’ll want to know the limits of what you can actually spend. A lot of small businesses don’t set a firm budget for Facebook and end up increasing their spend month after month, chasing greater results.

That is a recipe for spending well outside your means, and will also allow the Facebook advertising platform to run you, rather than you working intelligently within a budget to get the most out of what you can actually afford to spend.

It’s best to set a daily budget when you’re first starting out. This allows you to monitor your spend more closely, and you can adjust or pause spending as you learn more about your ad costs.

Find Your Audience

Facebook advertising can allow you to stay top of mind with your existing customers and also reach a whole new audience who might also have interest in your products and services.

You should already have some information about the customers you interact with regularly. Things like age, location, and gender are ways that you can narrow down the audience for your ads. You’re able to customize all of this information, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing that just yet, Facebook can auto-select your ad placement for you.

You can also target your advertising towards people who have interacted with your business in person but haven’t necessarily encountered it online. By creating a custom audience for offline activity, you can present your advertising to people you’ve either met at in-person events or at your brick-and-mortar store (more details on how to establish a custom audience for offline activity can be found here).

You can also use the Facebook Pixel tool to install a line of code into your company’s website. This code tracks those who visit your site and will send them targeted Facebook ads based on their behavior. For example, if you own a shoe store and someone recently browsed your site for women’s shoes, you can target them with Facebook advertising for your new wedge sandals.

Facebook also allows you to create lookalike audiences using information you have on the demographics of your existing customers. You upload the information on your current customers into the Facebook ad platform, and they will generate a list of users who have similar attributes.

Settle on Your Ad Type

Facebook offers a variety of ad types of businesses. The type of ad you choose to create will depend on the goals you’ve set for your campaign.

  • Link click ads and video ads are probably what comes to mind when you picture a Facebook ad. They’re incorporated into a viewer’s newsfeed. They contain either a static image or video, and will direct traffic to your external website, to a landing page or blog post of your choice.
  • Boosted page posts are a little different. You can always post something on your business’s Facebook page for free, but you can choose to boost the post for a cost, amplifying the reach of the original post.
  • Carousel ads and collection ads also appear in viewer’s newsfeeds, and they provide them the opportunity to scroll through a variety of images. These are popular with retailers offering a variety of similar products.
  • Dynamic product ads are those ads linked up with the Google Pixel code. These ads are displayed based on a visitor’s past actions on your company’s website.
  • Lead ads contain a form within the ad, allowing viewers to download your ebook or sign up for your newsletter all from within the Facebook platform. This allows you to eliminate the steps of asking them to travel to your external website and click a call to action button there.
  • Page like ads allow you to drive visitors to your business’s Facebook page. They contain an image and text, plus a button for them to like your page.
  • Page post photo and video ads allow you to share photos or video from your Facebook page with your chosen audience.
  • App ads allow you to present viewers with a photo and an accompanying link encouraging them to download your business’s mobile app.
  • Event ads and offer claims allow you to promote a specific upcoming event or promotional offer for your business.
  • Local awareness ads allow you to target viewers within a certain geographic location. This is a great option for small local businesses hoping to reach people in their neighborhood.
  • Messenger ads are incorporated into the viewer’s Facebook Messenger feed. These messages appear alongside chats with their friends, and when they click on the ad, they can chat with your business.

Check out the guide in this article for more on which types of ads best align with which goals.

Check Your Progress

Once you’ve selected your ad type, you’re not done just yet! You’ll want to check in on how your ad is performing against the goals you set for the campaign. Continue to refine your approach as you go, tweaking your images and messaging in the ad, adjusting your target audience, or considering another ad type if you’re not getting the desired results with your present type.

Facebook and Google Ads - The Keys to Small Business Paid Search

Facebook and Google Ads – The Keys to Small Business Paid Search

If you want to run a business today, you need to be advertising on Facebook and Google. These two tech giants dominate the online advertising market, and their reach is so incredibly broad (both have billions of users each month) that to leave them out of your strategy is to not have an online strategy at all.

However, if you take a look into how to approach advertising on these sites, you’ll find some conflicting opinions online. And of course the advertising approach for a large company is going to be very different from the one undertaken by a small business with a limited marketing budget.

Here, we’ll look at how to make Facebook and Google work best for you, the small business owner.

Determine Your Budget

Before you go off down the marketing rabbit hole, the first thing you need to do is set a realistic budget for yourself. It’s entirely possible to run an effective marketing campaign online with an outrageous spend, but you’ll need to understand what you’re willing and able to spend before you can develop an approach to using these tools effectively.

When you’re thinking about budget, it’s critical that you consider the budget for the year, not just month to month. Your online marketing campaign will not be successful if it comes in fits and starts—as one of our guest bloggers noted here, being a consistent presence online and in front of customers is a key component of building trust and driving conversions. That means that when you think about marketing budget, you need to think about your long game.

Have a Gameplan

After you’ve determined what you’re willing and able to spend, you’ll also want to set really clear objectives for your marketing campaign. Sure, you’re hoping to win more business, but how do you measure success? Number of conversions? Number of sales? Percentage of revenue growth?

Understanding what your expectations are for your marketing efforts will allow you to better understand the results of your campaign and refine your approach further in the future.

Understand Your Prospective Customers

Each small business is solving a unique problem, and therefore has their own unique cohort of prospective customers that could benefit from their good or service.

One of the key benefits to using Google and Facebook advertising is that they allow you to get really specific about the people who will see your advertising.

How to Find Your Audience on Facebook

I go into greater detail on this podcast about setting up your Facebook Business Manager account, but once you have that up and running there are a number of tools you’ll want to take advantage of to identify your most promising prospects.

  • Facebook Pixel is a line of code that you can install on your own company’s website. This code will allow you to track those who visit your site and send them targeted ads on Facebook based on their behavior. If someone’s already expressed interest in your business by visiting your website but hasn’t yet become a customer, you’ll want them to encounter you again on Facebook. The more consistently someone sees your brand across various channels, the more likely they’ll be to go and check you out in greater depth.
  • Creating lookalike audiences is another key component to optimizing your Facebook advertising. Facebook allows you to upload a list of your current customers, and then they generate a list of users who have similar attributes to those with whom you already do business.

How to Find Your Audience on Google

Google also provides business owners with a number of avenues to target specific users with their advertising.

  • Google Ads (formerly AdWords) allows you to target your ads by location and search words. There is some legwork you need to do up front to research the most effective keywords for your business. Putting in the time at the start to do the research phase correctly can result in really stellar results for your business and will get you the most bang for your advertising buck.
  • Google Local Services Ads are an important tool for tradesmen, technicians, or those who offer services to homeowners. Local Services Ads curates a list of providers of a particular service in a particular area (i.e. “electricians in San Francisco”). This puts your business front and center with those homeowners who are in immediate need of the service you provide. Your contact information is available, and so it’s a direct way to not only generate a lead but gain a new customer right on the spot.

Understand How to Best Use Each Platform

Facebook and Google both allow you to target your most promising prospects and to get detailed analytics about the success of your campaign, but there are some differences between advertising on the two sites, and so your approach to each should be unique.

Facebook’s ethos is all about creating community, so when someone searches for a business there, the first thing they see is how their friends are interacting with the brand. Once they head to the business’s page, they’re encouraged to invite their friends to “like” the page. The advertising is visually-driven, allowing you to paint a picture (literally) of what your business can do. The endorsements of friends and other Facebook users and the image-rich pages all allow you to present your business as one that’s trustworthy—you’ve earned the kudos of real people and you’re not afraid to share pictures and videos that show who your company really is.

Google’s paid search takes a different approach that’s more about immediacy. With a paid search ad, your company appears in line with results to a particular query. That means that if you’re a florist in San Diego, and someone is in desperate need of flowers in that geographical area, you can ensure you’re the first name they see when they type “florist near me” into their Google search. This allows you to become the immediate solution to their pressing issue. Google’s platform also incorporates ratings and reviews into some of its advertising (specifically as a part of Local Services Ads) and those with the highest ratings are often bumped up to the top of the results list. This means that reviews and trustworthiness are still a key component of the game on Google.

Two Advertising Tactics are Better Than One

While each platform has their own unique strengths, there is even more value in using the two together. Facebook cites a case study from the digital marketing technology firm Kenshoo, to illustrate this point. Kenshoo looked at Experian’s paid search approach and found that using Facebook and Google ads together helped to improve the overall effectiveness of their campaign.

Because users often turn to Facebook first and go there for personal recommendations from friends and other users, having advertising present on Facebook is a valuable first step to gaining a prospect’s attention. As I’ve noted before, 90 percent of consumers say they trust a recommendation from a friend or family member, and 70 percent say they trust a personal recommendation from any fellow consumer (even a stranger online).

In their case study, Kenshoo noted that when Experian advertised on both Facebook and Google, they saw a 19 percent increase in total conversions, while spending 10 percent less overall per acquisition. Using both platforms together allows you to get in front of prospects across multiple channels, build trust, and make the conversion.

Pay Attention to the Analytics and Pivot Accordingly

Both Google and Facebook ads provide you with a lot of information about how your ads are performing.

Do you have an ad that’s reaching the right people but isn’t resulting in leads or conversions? If you’ve put together an expensive television ad or print campaign that isn’t generating results, you’ve already spent the money and can’t take it all back.

Fortunately, with online advertising you’re able to quickly scrap ideas that aren’t successful and test out new approaches. And if you make tweaks to your advertising one step at a time, applying the principle of A/B testing, you’re able to see what change you’ve made that’s generating the most positive results from your audience. From there, you can hone in on that approach and expand it to other marketing and advertising efforts.

Facebook and Google ads are really great for small businesses because they’re a low risk and potentially high reward way to reach new customers. Both platforms make it easy to find those who are most likely to want to interact with your brand, which makes lead generation and conversion an easier task. And if you’re willing to go the extra mile and sort through the analytics that come back from your campaigns, you can use that information to further refine your approach in the future, thereby creating more and more effective advertising campaigns each time.

If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Advertising or our Small Business Guide to Paid Search.

3 How to Succeed at Facebook Advertising (or How to Fail)

KusmichMarketing Podcast with Nicholas Kusmich

There are lots of experts and gurus out there telling you now is the time to get on Facebook advertising. While some are treating it like the next get rich wave most agree – to be successful you need to create to target precisely and create personal experiences.

In other words, if you ad is promoting something to do with SEO, your content or landing page better specifically offer some great SEO info and value.

Further, if you want to succeed using Facebook ads you have to understand that you are guiding people on a journey and most Facebook traffic won’t convert overnight – it’s a process of education and relationship building.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Nicholas Kusmich, founder of NicholasKusmich.com, creator of the Art of Lead Generation, Intensive and the Alliance Group. We discuss Facebook marketing, lead generation and lead conversion.

Questions I ask Nicholas:

  • When can Facebook advertising be successful?
  • What do you mean by Contextual Congruence?
  • How can you generate new leads on social media?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • Where Facebook advertising fits into a marketing funnel.
  • How to think about leads that come in from social media.
  • Where to look for your ideal audience on social media.

You can find out more about Nicholas at www.nicholaskusmich.com or visit nicsblog.com/secret to dive deeper into this topic.

2 Why Facebook Advertising Is Great for Every Industry

AdrienneRichardsonMarketing Podcast with Adrienne Richardson

Facebook advertising is very hot right now and that’s because if used correctly it is one of the most effective small business lead generation channels going.

But here’s the  catch – just like every form of lead generation – if you don’t optimize conversion all the traffic in the world won’t do much but burn up your budget.

Oh, and here’s another key, just because it’s easy to set up and run an ad on Facebook doesn’t mean you should skip the care and thought that must go into any form of advertising.

There’s no question that Facebook is a no brainer for certain industries, but let’s face it – today everyone is on Facebook and targeting tools built into the platform can help you find your target market no matter how large or small.

My guest for today’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Adrienne Richardson, marketing and advertising consultant and Facebook marketing guru. We discuss Facebook advertising and how it can apply to any business or marketing strategy.

Richardson and I discuss several case studies during the call including several B2B marketers.

Questions I ask Adrienne:

  • Are there any industries for which Facebook advertising doesn’t work?
  • Where do people go wrong with Facebook advertising?
  • Does Facebook work for B2B Businesses?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • Why you have to plan when you advertise on Facebook
  • Why the lead conversion process is as important as the ad itself
  • How to get started with Facebook advertising

5 Gambling with Facebook Ads: How to Win Against a Stacked Deck

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Claire Pelletreau – Enjoy!

ducttape-oCPM-screenshot“Facebook Ads is just like gambling! I got this rush every time I looked and saw that my numbers had gone up again!”

Not everyone has this reaction to Facebook ads, especially their first time out of the gate. Running paid campaigns can also bring about that crushing disappointment of gambling: your money runs out and you’ve got nothing to show for it.

But you have a lot more control over the results of Facebook ads than at the Blackjack table, so this investment could be the very risk your business should be taking.

Put List Building on Autopilot

List building is one of the easiest (and cheapest) pieces of marketing to turn over to Facebook Ads. It isn’t hard to entice people to click on an ad that offers something of value to them, especially if it’s free. A collection of 50 green smoothie recipes? Yes, please.  A free guide to getting bumped up to business class on every flight? Hook me up. Even if I’m on Facebook just to procrastinate or see what friends are up to, I’ll click on your ad if it offers me something useful.

And when you combine a compelling ad with a great landing page that converts – You just hit list building pay dirt. You can use ads to drive traffic to your landing page around the clock! But make sure you pay attention to the right numbers before you even launch your campaign.

The “Fine Print” of Running Facebook Ads

It’s important to remember that Facebook is the dealer here. He knows how to wrangle your chips away from you, even if it still seems like you’re winning. Let me give you an example:

One of the best ads to run is the Promoted Page Post ad. These ads can show up in your Newsfeed with the little word “Sponsored” at the top and bottom. If you don’t spot that “Sponsored” word, you can easily confuse these ads for posts from pages you forgot you liked in the past.  You can comment on this ad, like it, share, and click on the photo if it has one.

So let’s say you’re showing me a hilarious photo of a hipster cat with glasses. Chances are I’m going to click on that photo to see it full-size. Then maybe I notice your image caption talking about funny cat videos, and a link.  The hope is that I click on the link and head over to your site.

Here’s the catch, though: Facebook just charged you for 2 clicks. It doesn’t matter whether I sign up for your cat-laden newsletter, or if I ever return to your site again. You get billed for both of those clicks.

This may seem like nothing when you’ve got a super high CTR (click-through-rate) and these clicks are costing you $0.33 each.  But imagine that for every click through to your landing page, you’re paying for 2 clicks ($0.66). And you have an opt-in conversion rate of 25%, meaning 1 out of every 4 people who visit actually sign up for your newsletter.

So you spend 2 x 4 x 0.33 for one email sign-up: $2.64.

This is not necessarily a bad cost-per-conversion. It is, however, far from the $0.33 cost-per-click that Facebook had you focusing on.

“How can I keep my cost-per-conversion down?”

There are a few ways, but the easiest is to use Facebook’s Optimized CPM (oCPM) bidding option. This means that Facebook will show your ad to people who are more likely to take a specific action based on their previous behavior on Facebook. So if you want to get people to like your page, you choose that option and Facebook will supposedly make it happen. If you want people to click through to your website and check it out, maybe read a blog post, you can choose to have the ad optimized for link clicks. If you want someone to go from seeing your ad to signing up for your list, you choose the “website conversion” option.

“But Optimized CPM gives me a crazy expensive Cost Per Mille!”

It looks that way. Compared to those ultra-cheap cost-per-click numbers you’re used to seeing, a $12 CPM (or cost per 1,000 impressions) looks like it’s Facebook’s way of hitting you where it hurts, and hard.

But before you go back to CPC bidding, you have to do the math.

Let’s go back to the earlier example where your cost-per-click was $0.33, and you needed four people clicking on your ad twice to nail one email sign-up. You’re paying $2.64 per conversion.

If Optimized CPM shows your ad to people who are more likely to opt in to your newsletter, the conversion rate on your landing page should get a bump. If that bump can bring your cost-per-conversion down to less than $2.64, who cares how much your Cost Per Mille is?

So give Optimized CPM a try for your next lead generation campaign. In order to choose this option you’re going to need to have conversion tracking set-up and use the Power Editor to choose all the correct options.

Enjoy the rush of watching your list grow and even the sweet agony brought about by a painfully-low CTR. Don’t go all in on your first campaign – there are so many different ways you can “win” by testing out different versions of your ads.

And stay away from using photos of cats in your ads – there really is such thing as ad images that are too good.

cp-bio-photoClaire Pelletreau is a Facebook ads consultant and confessed conversion junkie. She’s been playing with Facebook ads since 2011 and sharpened her skills running paid campaigns for Laura Roeder’s five and six-figure launches. Now she applies everything she learned to helping other small businesses bring in more subscribers and sales than they ever imagined.

Get more bang for your advertising buck – click here to grab Claire’s free step-by-step guide to list building with Facebook ads!

 

6 Blending Paid Social with Organic Social

blending socialNow that social media participation has become an integral aspect of the marketing mix, businesses are finding ways to increase the return on their social participation through paid amplification.

The impact on SEO alone can make this an attractive place to invest real dollars and Facebook’s growing importance for marketing is poised to threaten Google’s stranglehold gained through our dependence on organic search.

While initial social media initiatives were focused primarily on building and engaging in organic ways, smart marketers are now adding paid campaign support to the social mix very much like search engine marketing relies on PPC ad support.

This two prong approach still relies heavily on the creation of content worthy of sharing, liking, and following, but adds the dimension of paid campaigns to highlight and spread the published content.

Lead generation in this content driven social model is still a metered blend of advertising, public relations and referrals, but social is the mechanism driving the discovery and the conversation surrounding this powerful form of lead acquisition.

Armed with the tools to measure the effectiveness of any campaign in terms of likes, visits, mentions, and conversions, marketers are turning to campaigns that include sponsored blog posts, Google PPC, and Facebook Ads to create content awareness and social engagement over all things – and this may indeed be the most effective form of advertising currently available online.

The key to the effectiveness of this approach resides in building the organic side first. Paid social support is much more effective at producing results when you already have 10,000 Facebook Fans than it is at supporting the launch of your participation in a network where little engagement exists.

This is a trend that large organizations and agencies have been jumping on heavily over the last six months, but it’s a model that even the smallest of organizations needs to learn to embrace as a foundational lead generation approach.