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Facebook Ads: Reaching Prospects Earlier In the Decision Cycle

Published: Sep 03, 2009

Sarah Smith, Manager Online Sales Operations at Facebook, presented an invaluable session at SES San Jose 2009 to share best practices for creating Facebook ads. The comprehensive presentation included steps on how to target a specific audience, create compelling ads (including ad copy and images), optimize ads for the biggest ROI and generate demand for your business or product on Facebook.

The Facebook mission: To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. This mission is translated into millions of users who are very active on the site on a daily basis.

Some key differences between paid advertising on Facebook vs. other platforms:

  • The value of the Facebook advertising platform is primarily in demand generation rather than demand fulfillment.
  • The most successful advertisers on Facebook use it to stimulate interest in their brand, products, or service
  • Keep in mind that advertising on Facebook is about engaging with your customers and finding them early in the buying & decision making cycle – before they begin serious research via Google.

What marketers need to know about Facebook advertising?

Advertisers on Facebook have a lot of targeting options:

  • Geo- targeting
  • Birthday (ads appear to users on their actual birthday)
  • Keyword suggestor tool (based on keywords listed in the “interests” section of a user’s profile)
  • Target multiple languages
  • Targeting based on user behavior & connections. Advertisors can target audiences who have engaged with their ads in the past, or who are fans of a particular fan page.

Tips for delivering ROI from Facebook Advertising:

  • Start by creating with multiple ads, then narrow down ads as you begin to see results.
  • Target relevant audiences. Users have the ability to give a “thumbs down” to ads they feel are irrelevant, which drives up cost per click.
  • Design compelling creatives, and refresh them constantly (even just changing the image color can result in increased interest in an ad. After about 2 weeks, interest in an ad dramatically decreases.
  • Create relevant, socially enabled landing pages
  • Use Facebook reporting

How to create a successful Facebook ad:

  • Use an image that reflects the landing page.
  • Have strong call to action
  • Optimize landing pages and ad copy with target keywords
  • Some ads give users the opportunity to become fan of a Facebook page inline, without ever visiting the fan page.
  • Facebook recently added a new ad feature for events. Advertisers pay only when a user RSVP’s yes or maybe.

How to increase Facebook ad click-thru rate (CTR):

  • Keep ads short and simple (don’t use the whole character limit)
  • Ask questions in ad text
  • Avoid over capitalization of words and letters
  • Write a strong call to action – “Act Now”
  • Mention an offer or discount code
  • Don’t use the “%” sign in ad copy

For more on Facebook ads, including case studies, visit: http://www.facebook.com/advertising/

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Contributed by: Bhuvana Krishnan, Milestone Internet Marketing

 

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