We hear it all of the time from clients, “My customers aren’t on Facebook,” “It’s a waste of time,” or  “It’s for kids.”  Nothing could be further from the truth. Love it or hate it, Facebook’s popularity is indisputable, but you’ll need to do some research in order to ensure that you’re using it properly as part of your marketing campaign.

Some quick stats to consider:  

  •      1.9 Billion people use Facebook each month (230 million in North America)
  •      1/3 of all users are mobile only
  •      Average user spends 40 minutes per day on Facebook
  •      Average user is 40 years old- younger people favour Snapchat and Instagram.

All of these stats point to Facebook being popular with a demographic that have disposable income and are at a stage in life where they’re making major purchases. Throw in the fact that they’re on it for 40 minutes a day and check it an average of 9 times a day- Facebook is being seen consistently and for long periods- more than any other medium (except maybe TV, which is seeing a decline amongst younger users who prefer streaming online to purchasing cable TV services (see cord cutting)).

We recently performed an experiment with a new home development client in the GTA. It took some convincing, but we settled on a small test and a $1000 budget for the 3 weeks leading up to launch. We recommended an A/B test utilizing 2 ad types.

The first was an obvious, straightforward “register for our new development launch” message. It looked like an ad. The second was a blog story on the “Top 5 reasons to live in this city.” Both went to their own unique landing pages.

The results, as expected, were astonishing compared to what we’ve seen from a Google Adwords campaign. The value of Facebook was evident and helped our client further understand our thinking and recommendation.

So, where is the value for clients?

1) Campaigns are fairly easy to set up

Facebook’s UI and process is fairly straightforward and setting up a campaign is relatively easy. -Don’t forget important contact info and a map if they’re relevant to your business.

2) Walkthrough of objectives, targeting and budget.

Once again, Facebook allows you to set up your campaign quite easily thru an intuitive step-by-step process, which should be familiar to most marketers. Objectives vary from clicks to a website to event attendance, or simply getting likes- so ensure you align this closely with your goals for the campaign.

Targeting thru various demographic parameters like family, interests and behaviours can be as detailed or as broad as you want. One important note is that the more detailed you get, the smaller your target audience becomes, which Facebook lets you know with a numbered range and a dashboard gauge. If your settings are too detailed you reduce the overall reach. Facebook has your back in these instances and lets you know that your campaign won’t launch because the reach is too small.

3) Set Your Budget and Daily Spend

This is important. You have 2 choices here- daily budget which sets how much you want to spend per day, or a lifetime budget which allows you to pick a range of days, which Facebook will spend according to their optimization process. With lifetime, you could spend your entire budget in the first week of a 3-week campaign. Daily spends ensure that you’ll stick to a daily budget.

4) Choose Ad Creative

For our campaign we tested 2 different approaches, which required their own creative and landing pages. We tested a straightforward “register for our event” ad, which performed the best and had a 15% conversion rate- that’s 15% of people who filled out a registration form. The second was the blog type ad -“5 reasons to live in this city”. This had the most clicks, which was expected, and it served its purpose, which was to engage people that wouldn’t have clicked on the obvious ad.

This resulted in us reaching the 2 subsets of our target and maximized the Facebook budget in a 3-week period. We could have tried 3 or 4 different ad types but we wanted to keep the testing fairly simple. There’s a ton of information out there about what images and copy work best depending on your goals, but as with everything else, you should test for yourself and see which performs best for your vertical and target.

5) Conversion tracking

The reporting was easy to understand and provided as much or as little detail as required. We like to keep the conversation with clients top level, but the more detailed reports allow us to build deeper insights for future campaigns, and allowed us to persuade a more conservative leaning client toward something outside of their wheelhouse.

So, if you’re on the fence about utilizing Facebook as part of your next campaign, perform a small test with a limited budget to see if Facebook works for you. You’ll never know unless you try it, and test it.

Digital | May16, 2017 | ngen

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