Gone are the days when the value of advertising on Facebook was an open question. Right now Facebook boasts over 2 million active advertisers and they have recently made the creation of ads even easier by making almost every kind of promotional activity a potential “ad”.
Whether you want to send folks to your website, boost your posts, promote your page, your app, or your event, Facebook is giving you new ways to reach your audience with improved targeting. It’s now possible to send FB ads to a select group of people who have visited a particular page on your website or signed on to your email list. This makes it easier to target folks who are already familiar with your brand or product.
As always, you can refine your target by location, demographics, interests, behaviors, education and connections, but with new Custom Audiences, Retargeting, and Lookalike offerings, Facebook has greatly expanded its marketing possibilities.
Reach a receptive audience
Beyond their familiar demographic selectors, Facebook has added retargeting (also known as remarketing) so you can customize the audience that receives your ads. For instance, upload one of your own marketing email lists, and from that, Facebook will create a Custom Audience for you. You can then choose this personalized Custom Audience as a target for a specific campaign. It’s a good idea because customers who are already acquainted with your brand are the most likely to respond with a click or a purchase.
Another use for your Custom Audience is as the basis for a Lookalike Audience. The Lookalikes are folks who, according to Facebook’s database, are statistically similar your Custom Audience. You can then craft an ad specifically for this new audience, confident that they are compatible with an audience you already know. Lookalike audiences can be created from email lists, website visitors, or Facebook fans and can help grow your brand.
How can you measure your campaigns?
Conversion Tracking is another new feature in FB’s advertising arsenal which can help you measure the effectiveness of your Facebook Ads, by reporting on the actions people take after your ads are served. The pixel is a small bit of HTML code that places a blank 1×1 pixel image on your website. When someone visits a page where you have installed a conversion pixel, the pixel pings Facebook and records their visit.
When you create your ad, you’ll have to decide what kind of conversion you’d like to measure. Facebook suggests: shopping checkouts, registration, leads, pageviews or add to carts. They then generate a pixel that you can place on the page. Later, in the Ad Manager, you’ll be able to track if a person has landed or converted on a specific web page.
At the same time that Facebook is improving its marketing tools, they are also de-emphasizing regular posts that look and feel too much like ads. Their research shows that consumers don’t much like to see posts that are just thinly disguised ads, so they’re encouraging real ads and discouraging:
- Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
- Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
- Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads
It’s a move that could make things clearer for consumers and marketers alike.