Social media has become one of the most effective venues to market products and services. Due to the ability for companies to create more effective marketing campaigns by targeting their precise audiences, companies can dramatically increase revenues while maintaining, and often times, reducing costs.
Facebook has grown to be the largest social networking site in the world. As of May 2013, data showed that there are a breathtaking 1.11 billion monthly active users and an unbelievable 665 million active users on any given day. Combine the number of active users with the ability to target users based upon their demographics and you’ve got an opportunity that no company can afford to pass up or they’ll be foregoing opportunities for increased revenue on the table for their competitors to take advantage of.
The best thing about Facebook ads is that, despite how powerful and effective it is as a marketing channel, it is incredibly simple to setup and delivers targeted marketing at a fraction of the cost of its’ competitors.
Making Facebook Ads Work for You
There are certain areas that you must focus on in order to make the most out of your invested advertising dollars. When you create a Facebook ad, it is crucial that you take the time to define your targets accurately in order to ensure that you are investing in ads that reach the right audiences for your products and services.
- Broad Categories and Interests
Broad categories and interests are essentially the groups of people who share similar interests and traits. This information is determined from what people have included in their personal timelines, the pages they’ve liked, their interests and activities.
It is vital that you target your ads to potential customers who would be interested in your products and services otherwise you will be investing funds into ads that have little to no chance for success. Be sure to take the time required to target your ads effectively. Resist the temptation of using general broad categories and interests for the sake of increasing the size of the audience that views your ads.
For example, if you own a specialty bicycle store and your inventory is on sale prior to the oncoming winter season, using a general keyword like “bicycle” isn’t really an optimal target. Most individuals who ride bicycles are never going to be interested in purchasing a high-end specialty bike and for this reason you need to be concise in your targeting to ensure that your marketing dollars are getting to the optimal audience. You will be more effective by investing your marketing dollars in more precise keywords such as targeting the high-end brand names of bicycles that your store sells and/or the type of bicycles that you sell (e.g. “racing bicycles”, “mountain bikes”, etc.).
- Study the Demographics of Users
Who is your primary audience? Target your audiences based upon their demographics such as location, age and gender.
If you currently have a store in the Ottawa, Canada area and you do not sell online, it would be entirely ineffective to display your ads to potential customers outside of this geographical area. If you sell online to customers in the United States and Canada, it’s important to ensure your ads are only shown to users within these countries.
If you’re selling lingerie, your primary audience will likely be women within a specific age range and your ad will be written to target them. During holiday seasons such as Valentine’s Day or Christmas it would be a good idea to create separate ads that target men and entice them to purchase gift certificates, popular gifts, etc.
Another demographic statistic that you may want to use is the salary range. If you sell luxury vehicles and 90% of your customers are within a specific salary-range, it would be in your best interest to ensure that your advertising dollars are targeted accordingly.
Studying the demographics of your audience is often the toughest, but most vital, work you will do in preparing your Facebook ad campaign. It is often the difference between success and failure, marketing dollars when targeted effectively can easily increase revenues tenfold. Do not rush through this process, those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
- Create Clear and Concise Ads
Writing ads is more of an art than a science. It is challenging to combine the effectiveness of a clear and concise message with wording that evokes an emotional response. It is unlikely that you will come up with your best copy the first, second or even third time you prepare an ad. Put on your thinking cap and write multiple variants of your ad to test and find out what works best.
Most importantly, don’t to be afraid to continually experiment and hone in the future. Some of the most effective revenue generating ads that I’ve written came to me years after the initial campaign went live. While the initial campaign was profitable and I could have accepted the status quo, this new ad copy more than doubled our revenue for the same marketing dollar!
It almost goes without saying, but, make sure that avoid creating ads that are misleading just to get more clicks. Increasing the size of your audience is not your main goal, increasing your revenues is. Try to pay for only the clicks that lead to sales.
- Understand Your Audience
As a business owner, it is vital that you know and understand your customers and their motivations to purchase your products and services. Targeting the demographics effectively will not be sufficient to create a successful ad campaign. Get into the zone; understand your audience, what they like and what they don’t. Put yourself in their minds, why do they want or need your products and services?
The better you understand your customers’ motivations, the more effective your ads will be. Ads that evoke emotional response will be the ones that most effectively captivate audiences and convert leads into sales opportunities. If your target audience is seeking luxury, safety and prestige then try these words in your various ads.
The entire point of your Facebook ads is to expose your target potential customers to your products and services. The image you use will directly impact the effectiveness of your ad. Some images will be much more effective than others. Don’t be afraid to experiment with multiple images, some images evoke emotional response much more effectively than others. You’ll be surprised by the revelation. Remember… a picture is worth a thousand words!
Leveraging face-to-face meetings
People do business with who they like and who they trust. The most effective method of building trust still remains a face-to-face meeting. While social media marketing is an effective tool to discover new leads and opportunities, it doesn’t replace the powerful bond of trust that’s created when meeting in person. When key opportunities expose themselves, take the time to reach out and arrange a meeting. In the last few years I’ve closed more deals this way than any other! Stop leaving opportunities on the table!
Try… try again.
Once again, advertising is more of an art than a science and there is no formula for success. Creating successful ad campaigns requires brainstorming, patience and experimentation. Changing only a single word can drastically improve your ads effectiveness. If at first you don’t succeed, try… try again.
If you’re not advertising on social media channels, you are leaving revenue on the table for your competitors to pick up. There’s no time better than today to start changing that. Go get ‘em tiger!
CEO, N-VisionIT Interactive