As Facebook continues to expand both its commercial services and its global influence, it becomes an ever more powerful resource for businesses. Yet because paid advertising through social media is a relatively new marketing outlet, many companies are still struggling to craft effective campaigns that make the most of its vast potential. There are countless nuances and considerations to take into account when forming a strategy, and businesses that overlook important factors ultimately squander their resources. So to help you get the most out of Facebook’s marketing services, here’s how to succeed with paid advertising on social media.
Clarify Your Goals
Before launching your campaign, start by setting clear goals. Are you trying to drive traffic to a company site? Are you promoting a company event on your fan page? Or do you want to boost exposure for exciting new content your business recently released? The more specific your plan, the better. Just keep in mind that your advertisement is ultimately little more than a link. So give careful consideration to the best place to direct consumers, and focus on providing a clear call to action.
Choose the Right Ad
The two main types of Facebook advertising are traditional ads and Sponsored Stories. The ads show up in the right-hand column of users’ pages. The stories, however, are a recent innovation in Facebook’s advertising platform. They highlight Fan Page activity by providing newsfeed updates to your friends each time someone comments or likes your post. As a less obvious and more active type of marketing, Sponsored Stories are incredibly effective for those who have healthy conversations and a high engagement level with their friend community.
The biggest strength of Facebook marketing is its ability to reach targeted audiences. Each ad on the social site is targeted based upon location, demographics, likes, and interests. So before you launch the campaign, spend time conducting consumer research and narrowing down your ideal audience. The more effectively you are able to target, the more results your ads will ultimately generate.
The most effective Facebook ad campaigns are diverse. So rather than sending out a single ad at a time, send out a group of them. Closely monitor the results you get from each using Facebook’s metrics and Google Analytics, and build upon the successes while learning from the failures. A long-term marketing investment will allow you to improve your campaign with each post.
It is also important to understand that aesthetics have a tremendous impact on the success of Facebook ads. So remember to utilize visuals as much as possible, and communicate the style and quality you want users to associate with your brand. A sloppy ad is a poor reflection on your company image, and can even hurt your business. So make your ad beautiful, stylish, and evocative. When your marketing stands out as unique, it inspires more engagement from the community and communicates a wealth of information about your brand. Something as simple as a single image can register in the memory of consumers, and forever become associated in their minds with your company. So never underestimate aesthetics.
It is estimated that Facebook’s advertising revenue will increase 31% in 2013, and that about 64% of advertisers will increase spending on their social marketing campaigns in the coming year. So as this unique marketing platform continues to expand and evolve, it pays to get a leg up on the competition by investing time and attention in your social campaigns. The faster you learn to harness the potential of social marketing platforms, the faster your company will be able to grow.
Out guest blogger, Kirsten, works for vouchercloud within the social media marketing team. She is responsible for launching new voucher deals and marketing them through Vouchercloud’s social media networks.