Adding Facebook to Your Marketing Mix

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From Andrew: Remember when we said we wanted to slow down and travel less this fall, since we spent the entire summer on the road for the book tour and we now have this pesky thing called a mortgage?

Well, old habits die hard.

Since late September, we’ve traveled throughout our home state of Wisconsin as well as to Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, and Louisiana for various client meetings, conferences, and speaking engagements. Gracie and I have spoken to groups big and small, and we routinely hear the same question: “How in the WORLD do you work next to your spouse all day, everyday?”

We always give the same answer: we start our day with strong coffee and end it with even stronger adult beverages.

All kidding aside, we’re oftentimes asked the same questions from clients, conference participants, and workshop attendees in which we spend a lot of time disproving myths and misconceptions about Facebook marketing. We shared some FAQs on the blog last year but we thought it was time for a refresh on what makes Facebook marketing unique and why it’s imperative for business owners, nonprofit directors, and entrepreneurs to understand the ever-changing advertising platform.

If you’re a business owner or marketing director, most of you have likely tested various other advertising channels—direct mail, billboards, TV, or radio. Some of you have also invested in digital advertising, either via search engine marketing or display advertising. Perhaps you’ve dipped your toe into the “Boost Post” waters of Facebook and Instagram, but you’ve been hesitant to fully dive in.

This post is the first in a series geared toward business owners, marketing directors, and social media-minded folks who want to learn WHY Facebook advertising is one of the most talked about topics—and also one of the most misunderstood. Please feel free to share this article with your colleagues, boss, or friends who may have interest in this topic as well.

UNPARALLELED REACH

There are over one billion global Facebook users. It’s the 3rd most popular website in the United States. And if you add in Instagram, that’s another 400 million global users. So if you want to reach anyone, anywhere in the world with your product, events, stories, or value proposition, Facebook and Instagram are currently your best bets—and Facebook’s recent earnings prove it.

Here are a couple common questions about Facebook reach:

“I know we can reach a lot of people, but do we need to spend a lot of money?”

Not really. There is no minimum spend to advertise on Facebook or Instagram. Facebook’s cost per 1,000 people, or CPM, is anywhere from $6-$15. This amount changes based on the audiences you’re targeting and where exactly you’re targeting them, but overall, this is a good general rule.

“Will Facebook’s reach die over time?” Also known as the “Facebook has to eventually not be considered cool, right?” question.

It could very well be that Facebook one day becomes less useful and entirely irrelevant to its billion users, but I honestly don’t see that happening given their fantastic user growth internationally. Furthermore, consider Facebook’s unparalleled social fabric. It’s where you keep track of family, friends, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, and find out about almost everything in life—from nearby local events to viral news stories. Facebook is already ten years old yet they are constantly continuing to innovate their platform and not rest on their laurels. Lastly, Facebook’s business acquisition strategy ensures they stay relevant and ahead of the curve. In 2015 alone, Facebook acquired ten companies. They’re developing new technologies, creating new products, and as a result, their stock price continues to rise.

MULTI-VARIATE AUDIENCE TESTING

Let’s break it down. First off, you can load your customer/donor email list into Facebook to target users from that exact list. Boom noodle.

You can take that same list and ask Facebook to find you users that look exactly like that audience based on 2,000 similarity factors (demographics, online purchase habits, etc) to create a “lookalike audience” of your ideal customer base.

You can target various demographics, including:

  • Where people live
  • What ages they are
  • What industries they are in
  • What companies they work at
  • What their political views are
  • What their annual income is
  • And literally 20+ more

You can target various interest groupings, including:

  • Pages a user likes
  • Topics, brands, keywords users refer to
  • Websites users browse
  • Photos users upload
  • Videos users upload
  • Articles users have read
  • Music users have listened to (via Spotify, for example)
  • Any additional websites that ate integrated via Facebook’s Open Graph API or Facebook connect

Based on consumer data collected from Facebook’s partnering data vendors, you have access to anonymous “consumer snapshots” that are similar to purchased data and consumer lists for direct mail purposes. Purchase behavior categories include:

  • Automotive
  • Charitable Donations
  • Digital Activities
  • Financial
  • Mobile Device Usage
  • Purchase Behavior
  • Residential Profiles
  • Travel
  • And many more (over 100+)

In addition to being able to target these various groupings, you can also test the same messages to different audiences to see WHICH messages resonate WHERE. (As I explain in this video at Kramer Refresh conference at Wisconsin Brewing last month.)

MULTI-VARIATE MESSAGE TESTING

Furthering my point above, not only can you test various text-based messages but you can also use different images in combination with different texts and launch these ads in different places. For example, you can test various messages on mobile devices or desktops, or also on Instagram, which is an only mobile platform.

Wouldn’t you like to know if your message resonates on mobile devices more than it does on desktop computers? This type of multivariate testing allows you to learn a great deal with a small advertising budget. It also allows you to be more effective with your marketing dollars to ensure that than when you decide to take your marketing to a wider audience, you know what’s worked in the past and what hasn’t. 

FREE, IN-DEPTH ANALYTICS

If you launch a Facebook ad, regardless of budget, you have free access to Facebook’s analytics to better understand your advertisement’s impact and reach. You can employ age range reporting and device level reporting to see where and on what devices your ad has been the most effective. Facebook’s free analytics are oftentimes overlooked, but they are also often some of the most powerful, most informative tools you have. For example, Facebook analytics can prove that your ad is most effective when shown on an iPhone to women between the ages of 25 and 45. That’s very helpful if you’re running a national campaign to various different cities, age ranges, and other demographics and targets.

So, who’s loving this? Interested in trying Facebook marketing yet?

Up next: Facebook’s zero-spend minimum, instant results, and proving ROI.

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