Click Here if You're Interested in Facebook Ads

Use the popular social networking tool to target your market.

by Sarah Brown
- Jul 03, 2013

With Facebook boasting 1.06 billion active users, online sellers should want to know how to access that audience. Promoting your business, Facebook page or eBay listings through Facebook ads is a feasible and affordable option for those willing to give it a try.

Facebook ads are a valuable marketing opportunity because bid rates can be lower than other online ad options, like Google AdWords, and they are more target-specific.

What's unique about Facebook ads is you can filter the audience that will see your ad according to your target market. For example, with Google AdWords you are reaching a large audience based on keywords typed into the search engine. With Facebook, you indicate exactly what kind of person you want to see your ad.

While some believe advertising on Facebook doesn't improve sales, others think it can. It is, after all, a relatively new marketing option with a global audience. Here we will look at how to set up a Facebook ad and offer some ideas on creating ads that work.

A little background on Facebook ads

Facebook ads are located in the right column of any home, fan or profile page under the "Sponsored" heading. Ads generally link to Facebook fan pages or external websites.

What's unique about Facebook ads is you can filter the audience that will see your ad according to your target market

Ad titles are limited to 25 characters (including spaces), and ad content can be up to 90 characters long. An image of 100 pixels by 72 pixels or more is necessary. In order to pack a punch into such small real estate, you need to be creative with the image and content you use.

How do you set up Facebook ads?

Again, one of the best aspects of Facebook ads is the ability to choose your audience by location, age, gender, interests, relationship status, language, education and workplace. If you sell baby gear, you know your target market on Facebook will be those who indicate interests related to parenthood and childrearing, and perhaps they are usually married between the ages of 21 and 35.

As you select your audience, Facebook shows an estimate of how large your targeted market may be. You will also see a "Suggested Bid" price to compete against other marketers of a similar genre. The idea is that you are committing to a maximum amount you're willing to pay per click-thru (CPC) or per impression (CPM), but you won't necessarily pay that maximum amount. Similar to eBay, the winning bid is that which beats out your competitor's highest bid.

Pay per click or per impression?

When you place an ad for CPC, Facebook will charge for every click-thru on your ad. Sometimes your ad is good enough to get a click-thru, but the person is more curious than serious about your product. You got their attention, but they're not really in the market for what you offer. If you want to save some cash and avoid this type of consumer, be clearer about your offer in the ad content.

If you place an ad for CPM, you will be charged for each time your ad is displayed on someone's page. These are best-suited for marketers who want to get a lot of eyeball attention and build their brand. It's also great if your ad is so fantastic it generates a lot of click-thrus that don't cost extra.

The next step in creating your ad is to name your ad campaign for easy management, and indicate your budget and time period to run the ad. You can opt for a daily spending budget or set a "Lifetime Budget" to run for a specified time period. Regardless, your ads will stop running when the budget is used up or when the time period is complete.

Wow buyers with variety

You can see all the campaigns you are running, how they are performing, and even track the actions people make after they've clicked the ad

To have a really effective Facebook marketing campaign, try different approaches and measure which ones work best.

One way to do this is to create several different ads that essentially advertise the same thing in a variety of ways. You can do this by changing the image, headline and ad content. Also, use interesting posts and videos from your Facebook page as possible advertisements.

Take a chance on unexpected audiences. Target your ad to those who work in related industries. Microsoft employees may be interested in tech gear and writers at Parents Magazine might be interested in your popular handcrafted diaper stations.

Encourage audience engagement by creating a call to action that prompts viewers to respond. Do this in your content with special offers, "Click here" or "Like us" text link, eye-catching photos and more.

If you want to increase your Facebook page likes, offer app downloads, like a special Webinar or promo code that will generate customer interest. Another approach is to create an ad for your Facebook page that asks a relevant and engaging question, such as "Tired of searching for ecologically friendly diapers? Click like!"

Don't be afraid of change

When you see a successful ad declining, it's time to liven it up by giving viewers fresh content. Perhaps change the image to an illustration, video or photograph, and use humor in the content.

Facebook's Adverts Manager lets you see all the campaigns you are running and how they are performing. You can even track the actions people make on your site after they've clicked the ad.

Whether Facebook ads produce results depends on your commitment to finding what works best. But even if it's not one of the better marketing options for online sellers, Facebook ads are still affordable real estate. If you're willing to put down $20 or so for CPC, your brand can be promoted to millions of viewers and you won't break the bank.

Have you tried running Facebook ads? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

About the Author

Sarah Brown is a freelance writer who writes about e-commerce and small businesses. She recently graduated from Chico State with a journalism degree and is also a budding online entrepreneur, having launched two Web businesses and her own line of handmade products.

Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.

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