Should your business be using Facebook ads? Yes! Here are the reasons why 93% of marketers use them as part of their strategy …
Huge and varied global audience
Facebook has 1.49 billion daily active users as of September 2018, and 2.27 billion monthly active users. It has the biggest (double its nearest rival!), most demographically varied user base of all the social platforms.
Facebook is used most often, by most people, for the greatest amount of time. The average user spends nearly an hour a day on their platform. Average users also visit Facebook more frequently than on other platforms – on average 8 times a day. That is more opportunity for your business to be seen by the people you want to advertise to.
It is heavily used by both men and women globally and has the biggest audience in the 50 yrs plus age group too. If you’re focused on Millennials or younger generations, they’re also to be found on Facebook.
It’s “pay to play” now
Organic reach has dropped off and it’s likely that only 5% of your page following (and these are the people who’ve already shown interest in your brand) will see any of your content. If you’re investing in creating valuable blogs, creatives, webinars etc then they need to be seen.
Boosts can help increase this, but advertising is the only way you can get really targeted, attract new audiences and drive actions. You will get much better ROI on advertising than boosting, with the same spend.
Their ads can serve a range of objectives
Facebook ads can focus on a variety of objectives from growing your page following and building awareness to improving engagement and driving website traffic and conversions. Whatever your business objective Facebook ads can be optimised for it.
You will get these results faster from ads than simply through organic social media management.
Proven value by the experts
93% of marketers use Facebook advertising regularly, which is roughly 3 million businesses. They’re focusing here because it is possible to get great, proven returns on investment.
Success can be tracked in detail and directly attributed to advertising activity, this can help set budgets and make decisions on where to focus efforts.
Facebook ads serve Instagram too
If your audience engages mainly on Instagram, you’ll also need to use Facebook ads to target them. Facebook owns Instagram and if you want to do anything more targeted than a boost you’ll have to get involved in Facebook ads.
You can choose to serve ads just to Instagram, so all your ad spend goes to your most valuable platform.
Even if you don’t make the choice, if you get most engagement or action from one platform or device e.g. mobile vs desktop, Facebook will start to weight its ads in that direction to get you the best possible return on your investment.
If you want to focus on Instagram, you should plan to create your ads to suit that platform e.g. square images, that will look good in people’s Instagram feed, with your messaging in the first line of the copy.
Incredible targeting power
The Facebook algorithm
Facebook’s algorithm and its ability to target individuals based on their preferences – web activity (yes, it picks this up if you’re signed in), Facebook searches, conversations and actions – has had lots of bad press recently. Love it or hate it, it is an incredibly powerful tool that allows you to hone in on your ideal target customer.
If you’ve invested time in creating detailed, thoughtful customer avatars or personas Facebook can help you find this audience.
Powerful audience creation tools
Not only is Facebook’s algorithm there to help you. Its audience creation tools are incredibly valuable. These tools allow you to pull together a group of people based on preferences, interests and web behaviour e.g. likelihood to click on links, view websites, add to cart and purchase or download. This ability to target audiences in such detail is second to none.
You can also create new, ‘cold’ audiences that look like the typical users of your website, or those who have purchased from you before. No more guessing or investing huge amounts in market research to guestimate your average customer. Facebook ads can then be served to the parts of the population that look like your typical/most valuable clients and customers. That’s adding some serious value to your targeting and bumping up the likely return you’ll get on your investment.
Gone are the days of leafleting everyone in an area hoping that some of them will fit the bill, or spending millions on billboards or TV. Now you can go straight to the people who look like your average customer and save time and money in the process.
Facebook will serve ads in the most cost-effective way
Ultimately Facebook wants you to spend on their ads. It’s a great revenue stream for them, so they’re not giving you fantastic tools out of the goodness of their heart. They are, however, not stupid. If they waste your money and don’t get you the best possible results you won’t keep spending with them. As such, Facebook will serve ads to the people most likely to get you the results that you are hoping for (depending on your campaign objective and audience selection).
The algorithm will look at your audience and serve ads to those that fit your target in the places that they engage the most. In the initial ad launch phase it will learn, from testing, which people in the group are responding most positively. The algorithm will then seek out more people that match these respondents.
Valuable metrics to guide decisions
The ad metrics will also give you hints as to which age groups within your audience are responding best, on which devices and on which platform. Great feedback for you to apply to future campaigns.
What if I’m B2B?
LinkedIn and Twitter are famed for being the go-to platforms for B2B audiences yet this same audience is active on Facebook. In fact they’re likely to visit Facebook more often and for greater lengths of time.
Yes, they tend to be using Facebook for personal reasons, so you have to think about your tone and messaging. Dull, corporate copy isn’t going to resonate. Add some humour and a more conversational style – in the same way that you’d post from your personal page with a more friendly tone. Think about the frame of mind your audience are in when they are on Facebook, it’s more of a ‘taking your client to watch the rugby corporate event’ style than a ‘business conference meeting’ style.
More than 50 million businesses have a Facebook page. So, many of your customers are also active on Facebook with their business hat on, promoting their own business.
Consider the platform when designing your B2B ad
Users on Facebook are looking to be inspired, entertained and informed. Speak to their personal pain points. Too busy at work and in need of something that makes their life easier or gets better results? This is still an annoyance that impacts their personal life and a targeted relevant ad could still spark interest.
Also, consider the creative you use and what it is competing with in your audience’s newsfeed. A corporate slide with a business logo isn’t going to catch their eye when it’s competing with comedy cats, cute kids and extreme sports videos.
Less expensive than LinkedIn
Facebook ads are less expensive than LinkedIn, perfect if you haven’t got a huge budget. Ultimately, it all depends on what your ad objectives are. LinkedIn has more detailed business targeting e.g. different roles and management levels but this comes at a cost. At the very least it’s worth testing for results on Facebook as you might save a lot of money.