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Facebook Ads, are you ‘paying’ it right?

This is the year of ‘Paid Social Advertising’. The evolution from ‘banner ads’ to new ‘native ads’ has arrived.

If we see paid search as a ‘demand converter’, which helps prospects to find your business; then Facebook paid social ads can be seen as a powerful ‘demand creator’, which helps businesses to find prospects. How? By allowing businesses to access its extensive audience data, and target the audience down to a very specific, granular level.

Paid social ads have proven to be one of the most effective digital marketing channels, yet we are seeing a lot of businesses who are struggling to get it working for them. Below are a few tips to look out for, to perhaps make your paid social advertising budget work a little harder for you.

Your Goal

Before starting on the tools, first identify your Facebook objectives. What do you want your Facebook ads to achieve? It is to increase brand awareness? To increase brand favorability? To drive traffic to your website? To download Apps? Or even, to generate leads, or generate sales?

Ideally, your Facebook goals should be realistic, and can easily be linked back to your marketing objectives.

In some cases, your marketing goals could be driving offline sales. When the goal cannot be linked back and directly track through a Facebook campaign, your Facebook goal should be redefined accordingly, and stay as close to your marketing objectives as possible. I.e. is post engagement equal to an offline sale? Or would website visits on ‘store location’ get your closer? How about claiming a Facebook offer? Which method encourage a stronger, closer relationship to your marketing objectives? Identify your goals clearly before actioning, it is the first step to success.

Sophisticated Targeting Strategy

With Facebook’s great wealth of audience data, it allows businesses to create very targeted campaigns and reach audiences that are more likely to be interested in your product or service. There can be thousands of combinations, but what works best for your brand?

You can limit your ad target down to very well defined level – for example, a 25-year-old women interested in parenting, living in Tauranga, and online everyday during 6-9pm. You CAN be this specific.

However, how do you know, if your ideal audience are the ones that really convert? From what we have seen in the past, in many cases, due to a limited budget, businesses may define their audience way too specific and reach only a very small percentage of people. It is great when it generates results, but at same time it could also limit business growth by not discovering other potential markets – as other audiences out there were never targeted.

The art of audience defining is to narrow it down, make it well defined, but not too targeted that its limiting potential growth. There are some smart targeting options that can be built in the Facebook platform to duplicate your convertor profile regardless what age or gender they are. Having a well leveled targeting strategy can be an ideal way of finding the balance between your ideal market, and develop your potential market.

Test, test, test!

The next step, is to find out what works and what doesn’t. But how? By testing, a lot of testing. Start testing with a well thought-out test strategy – What to test? How to test? And what to conclude. Limit variations and be firm on the control, so the results are valid and easy to read. Once figuring out what works the best, it is a matter of applying the learning, optimising the results, and test again to improve further.

Performance solution is about effectiveness – cost effectiveness and result effectiveness. This effectiveness comes from science - the process of identification, defining your audience, optimisation, refining and measuring. Success won’t come in a day. With a well defined performance strategy, success will be well on it’s way. What is your Facebook result like? Are you paying it right? Tell us about your experiences and your views.

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