Hot off the press: Facebook isn’t Google Adwords! Shocking, we know…
The brainchild of Harvard students, Facebook boasts 1.65 billion users as of April 2016. Although it remained a purely social platform for years, it was only a matter of time before the marketing potential of this channel became monetised, and thus paid advertising made its entrance in 2012 and has only gotten sweeter since.
With that kind of audience, Facebook advertising can indeed be very effective. So perhaps you thought that, since you handy with Adwords, transferring your skills across would be child’s play, but after you spent hours carefully crafting your campaign and setting it up, you are finding yourself with a whole lot of nothing to show for it!
The thing is, Facebook and Google Adwords are similar in that they give you access to a large market and allow for targeted advertising and remarketing. As for the rest, if you want to be successful with Facebook, you need to forget what you know about Adwords and start from scratch and with a different frame of mind.
1. Focus on informing, not selling
The foundation of an Adwords campaign is its keywords and search terms. Keyword research will tell you what phrases people look for and how much competition there is on specific terms. You then optimise ads so that they appear as high as possible for those phrases. From beginning to end, the focus is generally on the intent to buy and capturing the click to deliver the best ROI.
Facebook’s approach is completely different. First of all, there are no keywords to work from, nor any metric showing search volumes, as Facebook is organised around demographics and interests, which means that you will be advertising to people who aren’t specifically looking for your services or products.
What will happen is that your ad may appear in a user’s newsfeed stream as they are catching up with friends chatting or multi tasking. So, since your ad won’t be the focus of their activity, you need to understand what makes your audience tick so that you can catch their attention.
Large businesses with fully-fledged marketing departments will have no issue with that, but for SMEs, it can be more of a challenge, as they often lack the time and resources to do market segmentation and don’t always know who their target actually is. Yet, it is crucial to being successful with Facebook advertising and is worth investing in.
Once you have a clear idea about who your customers are, the best way to get started is by creating a ‘persona’, i.e. a representation of your typical customer, and populating the profile according to its demographics, interests, likes and dislikes, and characteristics.
2. Make the most of Facebook ads format options
Aside from Display ads, Google Adwords are made up of text only. Typically, you would have a couple of headlines, a display URL, more text with further description, selling points and a call to action. In some cases, there will be extensions such as locations or reviews, but it is the copy that has to do the selling.
The beauty of Facebook Ads is that it can include multiple images, animations and videos, and it is well known that visual elements grab people’s attention more than text, so make sure you take advantage of this opportunity. But it isn’t about plonking any old picture or home-made video. Remember that they will often give potential customers the very first impression of your business so it is imperative to ensure that your pictured or videos look professional and are relevant, or they could do you more harm than good.
3. Choose where to place your ad
With Google Adwords, the position of your ad on the page is determined by Google. You can improve it by increasing your ad rank value but that is about all the control you have over its positioning.
On Facebook, however, you can choose between a number of different locations: the right-hand side column, the News Feed for desktop views and apps for mobiles or even through placing the ad in Instagram. Interestingly, it has been shown that those locations perform differently depending on your audience, but the beauty of it is that you can test and find out what works for you and your business.
4. Think brand awareness
As we saw at the very beginning of this article, although Google Adwords programme is focused towards selling and leverages a user’s active intent to search, Facebook’s approach is about promoting products raising brand awareness, and user engagement – allowing your audiences to interact with your ads through Likes, Comments and Shares – so you need to shift the way you are going to design your campaign.
With Adwords, your target is, de facto, people in a buying mindset searching for terms you bid on, which can be hit and miss. Facebook’s power resides in the fact that it knows its users almost intimately and you are able to harness this knowledge to target very precisely groups around their age, interests, behaviours, dislikes and other characteristics.
5. Be patient
Adwords’ great attraction is that you can see the results (or lack of) of your campaigns almost immediately. This allows you to reap the fruits of your work quickly, or adjust any ads not performing as well as you would expect.
With Facebook Ads, you have to be patient and accept that it may take longer to see the effect of your campaign. Facebook is all about relationships, and it takes time for people to build trust in a company they haven’t dealt with before, so don’t necessarily expect them to click on your ad and convert the first time they see it. However, at the same time don’t let your ads get stale, keep them fresh so as not to bore people on Facebook who have pretty short attention spans!
It is important to note the differences in reporting conversions as well. When comparing conversion numbers between Facebook and Google, it can often be the case where Facebook is reporting higher numbers than Google. First, make sure your Facebook conversion pixel is set correctly – you have to specifically define what a conversion is for Facebook. Otherwise, it will report everyone who has visited that page through the ad. Facebook, unless told otherwise, reports conversions as a user has viewed your ad and converted within 1 to 28 days. Luckily, you can change the conversion time and reporting in your Ads Manager Reports settings.
Most SMEs know that they ought to do something about Social Media, but for many of them, there are just not enough hours in the day or perhaps they don’t have the knowledge in house. This is when This Side Up can help.
A Google Adwords™ Premier Partner, We are experts in all aspects of digital marketing and we can act as consultants on the best Facebook practices and trends, develop a unique voice for your company and manage and build a Facebook campaign that engages followers.
So contact our friendly team by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 09 360 2299 to find out how we can help you achieve your goals.