Options for utilising biddable, paid advertising in your marketing campaigns are continuously growing and becoming more effective.  From the traditional and highly targeted PPC (Pay Per Click) from Google Adwords, to new kids on the block like In-App advertising.

But one platform which you will have heard of (if not seen) is social media advertising. The most common of these is Facebook advertising which is growing rapidly. Advertising revenue for the social media giant grew a massive 72% in the first quarter of 2014 and it’s easy to see why; Facebook offers a fantastic range of opportunities for advertisers to reach their market.

Businesses with budgets of all sizes can afford to capitalise on this advertising platform. So here are four reasons why you should try Facebook advertising.

1. Growth: gain access to a whole new audience

Paid advertising is great, you can advertise to consumers directly searching for your product, wasted spend is low and conversion rates are high. However, what happens when you max out on all the search engine platforms? You need some quick wins and fresh ideas…

This is the time to diversify your biddable media strategy, much like a fisherman who has caught all he can in one lake; it’s time to try your luck in another, like Facebook advertising.

The nature of Facebook advertising means that you will be marketing in a completely different way to a slightly different audience. While this market is not directly searching for your product or service within the search results, you can make sure your ads are seen by your specified audience within their own newsfeeds, including people who have shown prior interest in your products or services when you initially set up your campaigns.

Now, you might think that by targeting people who aren’t actively searching for the services and products that you provide might not yield as many clicks as you would hope for. However, users seeing your ads on Facebook are in a relaxed frame of mind. Instead of being in ‘searching mode’ they are in browsing mode and this offers the chance to use completely new advertising messaging and to use new drivers such as content downloads or ‘Facebook only’ offers.

Here’s a good example from What Katie Did, a women’s clothing and accessories company, using more relaxed messaging, with image heavy content; the type that’s more engaging on Facebook. Plus, they’ve even used a Facebook only discount code:

what katie did

If your biddable media strategy has grown stagnant on the search engines it’s time to move some budget towards experimenting on the Facebook Ads network.

2. Extensive targeting options

The targeting options with Facebook advertising offer a plethora of opportunities to reach relevant users. Unlike AdWords, Facebook advertising allows you to target users based upon their demographics such as age, gender and location as well as their interests. However, if you offer very niche services or products, you might want to try the more advanced targeting options to ensure you’re putting your ads in front of the right people.

Interest targeting is a clever feature of Facebook advertising. It allows brands to target Facebook users who have shown an interest in activities, products, etc. or like pages related to particular people or brands. By targeting people based upon Facebook ‘likes’, you can target users who may not be actively searching for your product like AdWords but have shown a previous interest in products or services similar to yours. Now, if you want to get the attention of these types of users, you can do so by combining targeting options, for example: for the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend, a hardware store could target people over 30, who live locally to the business that have shown an interest in ‘Do It Yourself’.

Here’s a recent example of an interest based targeting campaign that I set up for a UK walking charity. Note how I can select additional interests alongside demographics:

 interest targeting

Advertisers wanting to be even more precise with their targeting can choose to advertise only to those who have ‘liked’ their Facebook page or another similar page, or create a ‘custom audience’ by uploading an existing list of contacts and choose to display their adverts to Facebook users whose activities correlate with that list.

In the example below, you can see that I have uploaded a list of contacts known as “Top Customers – October” to create a new audience segment to display my Facebook ads to. Note how the new audience will also include people from my original audience, too:

 create similar audience

You can then expand on this list by creating a ‘Look-a-like’ audience; a list of Facebook users who are similar to those in your custom audience which is a handy way Facebook helps you to expand your reach.

3. It’s pretty cheap

Advertising for your core keywords on AdWords begins to get expensive with ever increasing competition. However, you can target a similar audience on Facebook and achieve a much lower Cost Per Click. Once you have built up an understanding of the type of customer who is finding your products or services and the keywords that they’re using, you can build an ‘ideal customer’ audience and start targeting these users with your ads.

It’s not just direct response campaigns that can benefit from Facebook advertising. If your objective is branding then Facebook offers the cheapest Cost Per Thousand Impressions of any form of advertising. Just £0.25 can see your ad displayed in front of 1000 Facebook users, so an advertiser with a £5000 Biddable Media budget can allocate just £100 of it to Facebook advertising in order to receive 400,000 impressions – not bad value for any branding campaign!

Here’s a breakdown of how much it would cost you on other mediums to reach 1000 people:

cost to reach 1000 people

4. Facebook tells you to!

Unfortunately, much like Google, Facebook is becoming increasingly dominated by adverts. The social media giant is reportedly cutting down organic reach to 1 or 2 percent, meaning the average small business with 5000 likes will only reach about 500 of these with a published post, if they want to reach more…well…they’ll have to pay for it!

With Facebook beginning to increase their monetization of their product, users are seeing more and more advertisements on their news feed. However, it is important to remember that Facebook is a business after all, one with shareholders, and so there is little value in simply providing a platform for other businesses to advertise organically to their audiences. Therefore, with the decreasing organic reach rates, you will now need to pay to achieve the results you were looking for through your Facebook page. So it is important to get your advertising strategy spot on.

If you would like to trial advertising on social media and would like to ensure you’re targeting the right people, get in touch and we can help you set up your campaign in no time!