As we have discussed in our marketing series, there are a number of excellent opportunities to leverage social media to grow your business. However, putting in the work to build an organic social media following may not be the best option for everyone. An alternative to leverage social media is using these channels as a paid advertising platform.
This week’s article will be on 4 great tips for leveraging paid advertising on Facebook to drive results in your business.
In days gone by, newspaper, radio stations, magazines and direct mail were the go-to options for paid advertising placements. They were clear and the real challenge was related to the strategy and creative to be used on these channels.
With the advent of the digital age, the options have become increasingly saturated, with seemingly limitless options for paid placements. With this article, we will outline a few tried and true options so you can be confident you are investing your marketing dollars in the right direction.
We will focus on strategic overviews of these platforms, rather than a tactical discussion and technical details.
Facebook Advertising Overview
Facebook has developed into a marketers dream come true. There are many ways to advertise on Facebook. From static images to videos and nearly limitless combinations of targeting strategies, Facebook can be sure to reach your target audience.
Advertising on Facebook can be simple or incredibly complex. The more experience you have with the platform, and the more data you have to learn from, the more powerful it will become. However, that’s not to say it can’t be a powerful tool for beginners as well.
Many people will boost posts, or run an ad without optimization. While these can be effective strategies, it doesn’t take advantage of the powerful features of the platform. We recommend taking some time to keep a careful eye on your Facebook advertising strategies. There is a world of opportunity waiting for you, if you approach it in the right way.
If you are looking to implement a Facebook marketing strategy in-house, there are many sources for high-quality training material available online. Understand that it will take time, but if you are patient and stick with it, you will see your efforts pay off. If you are looking to work with an external partner, ensure you are asking for examples of results driven Facebook advertising strategies for other clients. Anyone can run ads on Facebook, but understanding how to measure and optimize your campaigns is a much rarer skill.
Optimizing your campaigns
The goal is to show ads to relevant potential customers. The more accurately you target your audience on Facebook, the better your results will be and the more cost effective your ads will become. You can use age, gender, location, profession and interest to create profiles of your target customer. You can also control other items such as time of day and day of the week. Once you know who your customers are, what they are interested in, as well as when and where the will be interested in your product, you can build a great audience profile.
On a high level, Facebook advertising is all about running experiments, analysing the data, and improving your campaigns with what you’ve learned. Always be searching for ways to hone in on your target audience. There are a few ways you can measure this. It can be ad clicks, time visitors spend on your site, purchases, contact form submissions, or many others. Whatever target metric you decide, use the robust reporting features in Facebook to always be improving.
Another effective way to measure and improve performance of your ads is to run experiments on the wording and artwork used in your ad. Running similar campaigns with subtle changes to the words and creative will help you understand what type of ad is connecting with your customer. This is called A/B Testing, or Split Testing.
Determining your budget
People often wonder how much you need to spend on Facebook advertising. The answer to this is really quite simple. What is each new customer worth to you, and how much can you invest into marketing to make a sale. Once you understand this, it becomes much easier to set an advertising budget.
However, for insurance brokers, there are many avenues for new customers to engage your business, so all new contacts may not be easily measured. We recommend building a set of metrics that include website contact submission forms, quote requests via the general email address and new customer surveys, as well as any other relevant data. Assign an average value to each new customer and compare this against your ad spend.
You should expect that your Cost of Acquisition (COA) will be much higher than normal at first. This is how we begin to hone in our target market. After time, careful optimization and measurement, you will be begin to see a clearer picture of what resonates with your target audience and allow you to spend less on each new customer.
Gauging your success
It’s important to spend time measuring your marketing activities. Whether digital or traditional marketing, ensuring you are getting a proper return on your investment is crucial. However, results are sometimes not immediately apparent. It is hard to know how an ad today may contribute to a purchasing decision down the road.
The easiest way to gauge success is by seeing if you have increased sales; however, this only tells part of the story. It’s important to see the full picture. One powerful tool you can use to gain a deeper understanding of your marketing efforts is to install Google Analytics on your website. This is a very powerful tool that allows you to look into many useful statistics regarding your website. It will allow you to see where your visitors are coming from, whether via Google, your Facebook ads, etc. It also allows you to see how much time visitors from specific sources (IE Facebook) are spending on your site, as well as how many pages. This will allow you to measure exactly how your Facebook ads are impacting your site. You can use this data to optimize your campaign towards better performing ad campaigns, from Facebook to any and all marketing activities.
To summarize, when done well, Facebook can help you drive very real and measurable business growth.
As with most things, we caution you that nothing worth doing is easy. With the right person at the helm of your Facebook strategy, and a clear picture of what you want to achieve, this platform can outperform most other advertising channels. The trick is to continually learn and try new strategies. To make it easier, know that there is a wealth of knowledge simply a Google search away.
Becci Taylor, BBA Marketing and Program Coordinator