Should you advertise your online business on Facebook? At face value, the answer is simple. How else could you reach a market more than 1 billion strong? Of course, your market is likely much more targeted. So how can you use Facebook to cost effectively reach the people most likely to buy what you sell?
Keith Kranc, the co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising, shed some light on the matter. In our two-part interview, he explains how to get started with Facebook advertising, gives tips for building your customer base, and even describes how to create offers that "make customers salivate and pine for more."
3 game changers
Schepp: A blurb on your book's cover invites readers to leverage Facebook's latest game changers. What are those game changers?
Kranc: There are three recent game-changing Facebook enhancements:
Your best-performing ads will be those that are targeting visitors who have already been to one of your website's content pages, landing pages or product pages
1. Website Custom Audiences: These are audiences dynamically created by visitors from your website, (essentially Facebook re-targeting.) You place Facebook's website custom audience pixel on any page on your site for which you would like to track visitors, and Facebook will create an audience that you can include or exclude in any campaign or ad.
2. Lookalike Audiences: This is when you tell Facebook to create a new audience of unique users whose interests, likes, and so on match those of one of your custom audiences, your fans or of one of your conversion lists. We use a strategy called "layering" to really take advantage of Lookalike Audiences.
3. Optimized Conversion Goal Bidding: This is where you tell Facebook to optimize your campaigns based on a specific objective you are trying to accomplish. For example, if you are optimizing based on "widget sales," then Facebook will go out and find other users who have a higher likelihood of converting to a sale than others. As you get more and more conversions, Facebook gets smarter and smarter, and your acquisition costs will begin to come down.
Start with pixels
Schepp: How should e-merchants get started advertising on Facebook?
Kranc: First, start with getting your Facebook website custom audience pixels placed on your website correctly. (You can check the status of individual pages using the Chrome Pixel Helper. This will tell you if there are any pixel errors.)
Your best-performing ads will be those that are targeting visitors who have already been to one of your website's content pages, landing pages or product pages.
The next best performing ads will typically come from targeting people who fall into one of your best target audiences (based on your target audience and affinity research using our recommended tools), and also fall into one of your Lookalike Audience groups. This is what we mean by "layering."
For example, you might target people who like Saks Fifth Avenue and are also in your VIP Customer Lookalike Audience. In this case, the audience size for 25- to 64-year-old men and women in the United States who like Saks Fifth Avenue is about 3.2 million people.
However, if you take your buyers' Lookalike Audiences (which you can create inside the Audiences section of your ads manager), of about 2 million people, and tell Facebook to only place your ad in the newsfeed of people who are in that Lookalike Audience and also like Saks Fifth Avenue, you will now have a hyper-targeted ad.
A Lookalike Audience is an audience you create by telling Facebook to create a new audience of users with similar likes, interests and behaviors of one of your custom audiences.
You can create custom audiences several ways, one of which is by uploading a CSV file of a list of buyers or subscribers. You can also create Lookalike Audiences based off visitors who land on specific pages on your website.
When advertising on Facebook to cold traffic, you must first quickly educate the user on why he or she would benefit by learning more about your product.
It's all about the 'aha' moment
Schepp: You mention that people use Facebook not to make decisions, but to be part of its social environment. How do you get around that mindset to build your customer base through Facebook advertising?
Kranc: The key here is to truly understand the mindset of your potential customer who is browsing on Facebook. It's no different than meeting someone at a party, coffee shop, event or conference.
Nobody likes that guy who tries to sell you something 30 seconds after shaking your hand, yet there have been thousands of deals closed and sales made as a result of two people originally meeting at a party, coffee shop, or event.
When advertising on Facebook to cold traffic (people who don’t already know who you are), you must first quickly educate the user on why he or she would benefit by learning more about your product.
Notice that I didn't say, "Educate the user on why he or she should buy your product." You want to try and figure out how you can give the user an "aha moment." Try and think about it this way: these Facebook users don’t know what they don't know.
It's your job to enlighten them about how much better off they would be if they knew more about the problem that your product can potentially solve. Or if they only knew how much better they would feel or look if they knew about this amazing product.
A great way to do this without looking like "that guy" is by using testimonial videos or in-action videos of the product in action. For example, we have a client who sells an all natural supplement that improves elderly people's lives in a big way, but the problem is that it's not a drug, so doctors don't prescribe it and usually don't recommend it. (Unless they are a naturopath, then they might.)
So we run testimonial video ads in the Facebook newsfeed with a link in the post area that takes the user right to their product page on Amazon, or sometimes to a landing page or quiz. We are getting immediate positive ROI, and these customers will re-order month after month after month.