5 Steps to Facebook Advertising – Whiteboard Friday
Posted by LaurenV
Facebook advertising has taken the marketing world by storm. But with so many advertising options available within Facebook, how do you know where to start the campaigns that will best support your goals and objectives?
In today's Whiteboard Friday, Lauren Vacarello outlines the different ad types on Facebook and walks us through getting started with Facebook advertising. We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
"Hi, I'm Lauren Vacarello, the Senior Director of Online Marketing for Salesforce.com, and today we're going to talk about 5 Steps to Facebook Advertising. In the next 5 or 10 minutes, we'll talk about how to get started with advertising on Facebook.
So before we really dive into it, let's talk about the different types of ads there are on Facebook. I'm sure everyone's familiar with something that mildly resembles this with your news feed on Facebook. There are actually three real main types of ads on Facebook. Everything else falls under those categories.
First, there's going to be your marketplace ads. So your marketplace ads are the ads that you're most familiar with. They're the ads on the right-hand side of your Facebook feed. What makes these different from, say, a premium ad is both the cost of these ads and the different options that you have. With marketplace ads, all you're really going to get is that little, tiny image and a little bit of copy to the right-hand side.
With your premium ads, sometimes they'll show up on the right, but they'll also show up in the center of your Facebook page as well, with one of the big example of premium ads being your sponsored stories. Now, sponsored stories are a newer ad type that Facebook is really testing out right now. So you're going to see it as part of your Facebook feed. Some people are getting a little unhappy about seeing these larger ads in their feed, but Facebook is now a publicly traded company and they need to make money, and to do that they need to start selling more advertising.
The thing about premium ads that is really interesting is there are these different types of premium ads that you can actually have. So one of the types of premium ads is going to be video ads. That's when you'll see a video embedded into an ad unit, lots of different copy. If you see a poll, if you see someone pitching an event, those are all going to be part of premium ads.
One of the really cool things that Facebook is doing right now is something called custom audiences. Think of it this way. Say you have an email list and you have an email list of 10,000 potential customers. You can work with Facebook to build something called a custom audience. You give them these 10,000 email addresses. They'll match it to people's Facebook accounts, and now you're able to build a really targeted ad campaign just to those 10,000 people that you may have in your lead nurturing program at the same time.
What also really differentiates premium ads from marketplace ads is the cost. Now, premium ads, you have to buy on a CPM basis. You also have to buy through a Facebook account team. Marketplace ads, super easy, self-service, you can sign up for them with a credit card. Anyone can advertise on marketplace ads.
Your premium ads are going to have about an $8.50 CPM. You have to talk to a person to sell them, and in a lot of instances, you don't actually have the control over the ads, your Facebook account team is going to have to set them up for you.
Definite advantages, you've a lot higher response rate with your video ads. You can do a lot more with polls and the sponsored stories in the center of the feed. You're going to get the most interaction with those types of ads. But at the same time, the costs are going to be anywhere from two to four times as much as you'd pay using marketplace ads.
Then there's also something that's been getting a lot of press right now, which is FBX or Facebook retargeting. Facebook retargeting is really interesting, and Facebook is finally trying to start to monetize their audience base. They've been experimenting with new ad types. Facebook retargeting is Facebook saying, "I'm not going to try to come up with my own ad type. I'm going to take something that works for everybody else." It's been really, really profitable for them.
So think of it the same way that you think of retargeting. I think there's been a recent Whiteboard Friday on retargeting. Very similar principles apply, but instead of just retargeting people who come to your website as they browse random places on the web, you're retargeting them as they go onto their Facebook page. So really, really interesting possibilities there.
So now that you've had a quick primer on what the types of Facebook advertising are, let's actually talk about how you'd use it and about getting started with this. Before you really do any type of Facebook advertising, before you do any advertising in general, it starts with identifying what your goals are. So I'm going to walk you through a scenario of let's say we're going to sell SEOmoz to small businesses using Facebook advertising.
The first thing you want to do is identify your goals. In this situation, we want to sell SEOmoz to small businesses. Let's figure out exactly what we want to do with those goals. Are we trying to get new people that we've never spoken to? Are we trying to nurture existing people in the SEOmoz database, or are we trying to go after existing SEOmoz customers to get them to buy a larger, more expensive product?
So start by figuring out exactly what your goals are. Also identify do you want them to buy after seeing that ad, or do you want the ad to be part of a brand awareness play, where you're just trying to introduce your product to them and then eventually get them to buy? Start by identifying what your goals are.
So we're going to identify our goals. Let's say we want to sell SEOmoz to new people. Perfect. So who are we trying to sell this to? Set your targets. You have to know your audience with this. Facebook is amazing when it comes to targeting capabilities. With a lot of behavioral targeting on the web right now, it's all assumptions people make. Because I go to ESPN and Golf Digest and Harvard Business Review, then I must be a CEO of a company, and I must be a man in between these ages.
What's really cool about Facebook is it's not assumptions that people are making based on what actions someone may or may not be taking on the Internet. We self-identify on social media really, really well. We tell people who we are and what we're interested in. We tell them what school we went to. We tell them our jobs. We tell them who we're friends with. Because we know all of that information, it's really easy to target these people as a marketer. You're not guessing what people are interested in. They're actually telling you what they're interested in, and you can see what they're talking about, and that gives Facebook incredible targeting options. Not even using Facebook retargeting, but just through their marketplace ads and their premium ads, you have a lot of really great options.
So let's set our targets for this scenario. Let's say SEOmoz wants to target small businesses to buy the SEOmoz product. But not just small businesses, who in small businesses? Do we want to target the marketing team? Do we want to target CEOs? Do we want to target CMOs? Do we also want to think a little bit differently and target based on what people are interested in? Great targets in this scenario.
Facebook does something really cool and lets you target the friends of your fans. So we're going to make the assumption if I'm a fan of SEOmoz and I'm friends with 500 people on Facebook, the average number of friends that someone on Facebook has, I believe, is 500. I think most people watching this probably have more than 500 friends. So be happy you have a lot of Facebook friends, but great for SEOmoz. We're going to target my friends and fans on Facebook because we're going to make the assumption, if I'm a fan of SEOmoz, there's a good chance we might want to sell to my friends, because I'm friends with like-minded people. So the first target is going to be friends of fans.
You might be asking yourself, "Lauren, why aren't we targeting SEOmoz fans if we want to sell SEOmoz to more people?" Well, maybe a lot of SEOmoz fans are already customers, so you're going to need to find that out. Whether it's for your business, SEOmoz or even for Salesforce, it's really important to know who your fans actually are. It's as simple as doing a quick SurveyMonkey survey just to ask your fans who they are and if they're already a customer.
So let's say we target friends of fans, we target fans. Now, small business itself is a really big audience on Facebook. Tens of millions of people fall into the small business audience, so you might want to narrow that down a little bit more. Facebook gives you a lot of different clusters, which is really just a cluster of different keywords and different interests to build a larger group of people. So maybe it's small business, maybe we want to think differently. Think about who these people, who your target buyer actually thinks about, who they care about. Maybe it's small business, maybe it's people interested in marketing or in the Internet.
The Internet is a target audience on Facebook, because I am a fan of the Internet. Think about all of your targets and build out each individual line for your targets. Think of it the same way if anyone's run a paid search campaign or a display campaign. You have your account. You have campaigns, and you have ad groups. Think of this similar to how you're going to think of your ad groups, because if you're going doing a marketplace ad, you want to have a different type of ad for each one of these different target audiences, really similar to how you're going to have a different paid search ad to a different ad group.
So if you're Salesforce and we're advertising CRM and we're also advertising customer support application, it's going to be two different ad copies. Really similar, if you're advertising to friends of fans and to people that are identified as interested in marketing, you need different ad copy. So start by having different ad copy. Perfect.
The next part, you need to determine what content you're going to use, and you need to post that content. So two different options here. Let's start with marketplace ads. You get this little 50 x 50 image, and you get about 135 characters over here in the ad. You can treat this really similar to how you treat, say, paid search or display and come up with different ad copies, work with the different the stakeholders within your organization to post these.
But if you're going to do some of the premium ads and you've got this big, sponsored story over here, this is what gets really interesting. With sponsored story, it's going to be something you post on your company's Facebook page. So think of this as your company's Facebook page. You post something, you want to get that piece of content in front of a lot of people.
Let's say I am going to draw Roger really poorly right now. Let's say we've got a great post. This is the SEOmoz page. We've got this great post with Roger talking about all the new features that SEOmoz is coming out with. So now we say, "Okay, here's this piece of content. This piece of content needs to almost serve two masters." We need to make all of our fans and followers happy and show them this content, but let's try to take this content and get it outside of the SEOmoz audience.
So now we want to take this piece of content, and we want to get people in the small business segment to care about this. So we can't get a new piece of copy if we're using a sponsored story. We have to take an existing story on the SEOmoz page, but we want to get it in front of small businesses, people in marketing, fans, friends of fans. So you build all of your different targets, and you choose to sponsor this story. But with this, you have less control.
So two options, but the great thing about Facebook, honestly, you want to do both. It's not an if-then. You can use your marketplace ads to really customize and put the custom content in front of all these audiences. But with sponsored stories, you're taking up more real estate. You're in the center of the page,so it's a really good way to attract people's attention. If you are using friends of fans and advertising to friends of fans and any of these people comment, it's going to have that little bit of the extra engagement over there. So try sponsored stories and look into marketplace ads as well.
If you're using marketplace ads, the Facebook interface is still being developed, so it's a little bit hard to clone ads. It's not super easy to use. So you can end up – I will do the Salesforce pitch – using a tool like Salesforce marketing cloud because it lets you start to clone these ads. So instead of making 50 different ads for 50 different targets, you take one ad, you clone it and make changes. It just helps you move a little bit more quickly. There are lots of different options for doing that as well.
We figure out our content and we post our content. So for sponsored stories, we put a great piece of content front and center on the page. We promote it to all of our different fans and followers, but know that it's going to show up in the center of their feed as an option. Also build your marketplace ad campaign where you've got individual ads for each target.
Here's an interesting trick that people don't think about, and it's my one, major tip for everyone. If you are doing premium content and you do have this sponsored story over here, say you have content that you don't necessarily want your fans and followers to see. Say you really just want to post your great piece of content to advertise to people in marketing. You're okay if your fans and followers see it, but it's not really for them, it's really advertising content. You could actually backdate that story so that your fans and followers don't really see this unless they scroll all the way back, which some of your fans and followers might. But backdate your content so that this doesn't show up on your main company page, but you can still use it in advertising to some of your different audiences. So that's my one tip for you.
Once you determine and post your content, so let's say we're going to do sponsored stories and marketplace ads. Perfect. Then the next and most important step is testing and optimization. No one's going to get everything right on their first try, and that's okay. You're not supposed to get everything right. You just need to move really, really quickly, and the larger your budget, the more quickly you should be able to test and optimize.
Now, with Facebook ads, we find out that the ads actually burn out pretty quickly, so that if you're using a sponsored story and you're advertising to the same audience, first of all, make sure you set up frequency caps when you work with your Facebook team, because you don't want to show the same person an ad 15 times in the middle of their feed. That really does get kind of irritating, and the effectiveness of your ads starts to decrease. So you don't want to do that. So set frequency caps and also start to rotate your content, especially on the marketplace ads on the right-hand rail. Start to rotate out the image. Start to rotate out your copy.
Depending on how much advertising you're doing and the size of your budget, it could be as little as two days. You might be able to get away with a week or two. But as long as you're monitoring results, you'll start to see performance over here. Let's say you're tracking leads. You're tracking leads, so leads start to go up, and then they start to peak and fall off as impressions go up. You want to find that point where your impressions are going up but your performance is dropping. Once you reach that point, it's time to switch out your ad because people have seen it. Anyone who's going to respond to it already has. So make sure you know when to pull your ad copy, and that's really reporting, doing your analysis and the whole time, what you should be doing is testing and optimizing.
Think of it the way you think of paid search. You're advertising to friends and fans. You don't want to just give them one ad. You want to rotate through different titles, different images, different copy, different offers to see what's really going to perform best, same way you're going to do this with, let's say, a paid search campaign or a display advertising campaign. So make sure you test and optimize. Let's say lots of testing. We like testing.
Then this is the thing that's really different with Facebook advertising. We're going to think all the way back – and everyone will make fun of me for making this statement – think about when TV first came out, because I was alive when TV first came out. It's a joke. Picture when TV first came out, and people all go home and they're sitting and watching their three channels on television. But you have to make money, so they started putting commercials.
People hated commercials on television. People hated it, and they would complain about commercials interrupting television. But you have to have commercials on television or else television couldn't exist in the early days of TV, because they needed a way to make money. Now we have cable, and you have to pay for channels, which is a whole different model. But when TV first came out, people hated commercials. Even when email first came out, even email now, a lot of people really hated getting emails and were complaining about emails. It became a little easier with email because there was the option to unsubscribe.
Now think about Facebook. We've spent years on Facebook without really having to deal with a lot of advertising. Their right-hand rail started. This in the middle of your feed is really just coming out. So people in general are very taken aback by this. They're not sure what to do about ads in their feed, and not everyone's going to like having ads in their feed, the same way not everyone likes receiving an email from a potential company they're going to buy from, the same way people hated commercials when television first came out.
The biggest difference with this is, because you can comment on this, you'll start to see how much people don't like advertising. It won't necessarily be about your product. It will be that they don't like that Facebook is offering advertising. Facebook has to make money. They're a publicly traded company, and they're going to try to figure out different ways they can make money. But you need to know that this might impact your ads.
If you run a TV commercial and someone doesn't like it, there's not a lot they can do about it. If you send an email and someone doesn't like it, they can unsubscribe. If you run an ad and it shows up in someone's feed and they don't like it, they can write a comment about it. If you're doing a lot of advertising, you might start to see a lot of negative comments.
What's really fun about these is you'll also get a lot of likes. You'll get a lot of shares, and if the content is engaging and people care about the content, if you're advertising to SMBs or people in marketing and you're giving them content that tells them how to help their business and really gives them useful information, you'll get a lot of likes, and you'll get a lot of shares and people will be really happy with it. But you can't make everyone happy, and some people will just start to leave negative comments.
As a company, before you really launch this type of campaign, you need to think about what you're going to do about those negative comments. Are you going to engage with them? Are you going to respond? What's your threshold? What are you comfortable with? If people start having a lot of negative comments about your ad, do you pull the ad? Do you try to talk to all of these people? Do you say, "You know what? I don't care about negative comments?" What's your threshold?
So figure out your engagement strategy and how you're going to monitor that before you launch the campaign. Otherwise, you'll launch all of this, you'll run this sponsored story, you'll make tons and tons of money, hopefully, from all of the advertising that you're doing. You'll sell shoes, you'll sell Moz licenses, you'll be really successful, but then you'll see all these negative comments and then suddenly maybe you won't be as successful and maybe this is a bigger deal for your business of having all those negative comments than the potential upside.
So think about that first and know what you're willing to deal with, what you're comfortable with, and then what your engagement and response strategy is before you launch. If you do that and you start off with goals, you go after those targets, you optimize, because maybe some of these targets don't work. Maybe people who like the Internet don't like SEOmoz. It's weird. You think they would, but what if they don't? You have to know which lines you're willing to get rid of, which comes from the optimization piece. If someone's not happy, if you've got a great community team that's really engaging, you can start turning some of those negative comments into real sales opportunities.
So that's my how to get started with Facebook advertising. A few quick steps to go, but for anyone who's looking to try it, you can sign up for marketplace ads with a credit card, give it a shot – a lot of times they offer a little bit of free Facebook money – and see what happens and see what works for your business.
Thank you, everybody. I am Lauren Vacarello. Take care."
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