I promise, I’m not writing this just to be a contrarian. Facebook advertising is worth it. Yes, the click through rate isn’t so hot but the price is right and the delivery vehicle is, hands down, the best.
To start, there are two distinct points of contact that can be had by an advertiser on Facebook. First, there is the paid advertisement itself. This is the ad that the brand creates and directly pays for using Facebook’s advertising auction system. The ad is either paid for by setting an auction price for each individual click or per 1000 ad’s delivered. Either way, we will call this direct advertising, since the advertiser directly pays for the ad to appear.
The second kind, the more coveted kind, is organic advertising. This comes from brand advocacy. This is when an object is organically created by a user liking a brand. The Like can come from either a paid advertisement, or something as spontaneous as a Tag. No matter where the organic object came from, studies show that organic advertising boosts advertising success metrics across the board.
Organic advertising opportunity increases with fan base, the more fans you have, the more people you reach, the more likely people will engage with your ads and create organic objects. When an organic object is created, users are more likely to interface with it; this touches off the viral loop on a scale relative to the value of your content.
Bearing the value of organic advertising in mind we can write more effective Facebook advertising. The goal of a Facebook advertisement shouldn’t be to sell a specific product, but rather engender organic advertising. We want a user to like our ad so that an object is created and shared throughout the user’s network.
Writing effective advertisements for Facebook is made much easier because you don’t have to write an ad for all of your customers. Instead, the networks’ insane amount of data on its users allows the advertiser to very specifically target customers. When it comes to targeting you can list interests that apply to your ad to make it extremely relevant to users. If a user lists one of their interests as “Dog Lover” and your hardware store donates to the ASPCA, make your ad about the ASPCA and target it toward anyone that lists “dog,” “dog lover” or “chihuahua” as an interest within 10 miles of your zip code.
If you know your target demographic (say you are… an ED Clinc) you can target Men between 45-65, you could put a bonus on men that list diabetes as an interest since comorbidity is high. Your number of Likes may not be extraordinary due to the private nature of looking into an ED clinic, but your click through rate is going to be pretty good.
What’s great about Facebook advertising is that you can launch two ads to two audiences and see which one performs better without much investment. Paying per click is great way to do this, since you won’t be paying as much for a bad ad as you will be for a good ad. Once you have some good data, you can learn from your split approach and focus your efforts on the advertisment that preformed better.