October 26, 2014

Q & A: Facebook Advertising Tips

What is an average click through rate for a Facebook ad?

I asked this question of someone once… Oh how naïve I was!
No offence intended if you just asked this same question by the way.

It happens.

Did you know that, to date, the best average CTR I’ve been able to get for a Facebook ad has been on 0.115%  that is 1,150 clicks from 1,000,000 impressions.
True story!
And you know what? That’s actually not a bad result for Facebook ads. Scary huh?!
I’ve run other campaigns with 100 million plus impressions, and a CTR of only 0.042%  (420 clicks from 1 million impressions) and that campaign wasn’t actually too bad either…

My point? Every ad campaign run on Facebook will vary depending on the targeting chosen. Demographic, country, interests, etc.
Furthermore, the success of each ad will depend on how well the ad image and message resonate with the target audience…
So many variables to factor in to your testing, and so many reasons why there simple in not a good answer to ‘what is an average CTR on Facebook’!
Only real answer is – It depends!

I’m a bit of a fan of the Q and A format at the moment so here are some more answers to general Facebook advertising related questions.  :)

Facebook Landing Page strategy.

Question: Do I send users off-site or to a Facebook page?

Answer: Advertisers have more success when they keep the user within Facebook, I definitely recommend driving clicks to a Facebook Page.  However, if direct sales / revenue  is a primary focus then I would run multiple ads…some driving offsite and others to a Facebook Page.

Facebook Bidding Strategy.

Question: Should I bid CPC or CPM?

Answer: CPC.
(unless you’re a big brand doing a let’s piss money up against the Facebook wall branding campaign).
Question: Facebook’s Bid Range recommendations. Do I need to use the suggested bid?
Answer: I’ve found most success by bidding at the higher end of the suggested range.  Can be scary as often the range is significantly higher than what you’re willing to pay, but you will get impressions, and your actual CPC will end up being much lower than the bid amount if CTR is OK.

That is all.

Facebook are Losing $950 a Minute in Ad Revenue

facebook_logoFacebook Ad approval process… fun and games.

Sometimes you wait for days hours,  and quite often ads are rejected for no apparent reason (for many ads there is also a very good reason why they are rejected.  Like any advertising platform – play by the rules).

But it got me thinking. Let us, for a moment, assume Facebook is on target to hit over 1 billion in revenue this year and for simplicities sake, let’s also assume that 50% of this revenue is from Facebook’s self service ads.

$500 million revenue over 12 months = $950 per minute.

That’s $950 lost every aggregate minute Facebook waste while advertisers wait for their ads to be approved.

Surely that in itself is enough incentive for facebook to develop an AdWords-esque automatic approval / dissaproval process for the masses.

Facebook – Not all advertisers are trying to game the system.  Stop hindering the efforts of the good guys. you may even find you make more money.

$950 dollars a minute would write a lot of quality checking code and algorithms.

Now I’m over simplifying here with gross generalizations and perhaps some flawed logic as well…

But my point is that for every minute an advertiser ‘ready to spend’ is left waiting for their ads to be approved Facebook are leaving revenue on the table. If they were able to build an intelligent system that auto approved ads that met the guidelines  we’d all be better off.  Quality can be assured via  community moderation, and FB ‘Human’ review after the fact.

Please make it so.

17,180 People in Melbourne over 25 like pizza…

Facebook Ad Targeting Options PizzaNext time you’re struggling to think of where to advertise your local business, don’t ignore the potential of Facebook.  The example here is not a bad one, think about it.

If you were Pizza Hut, would you want to target people who like Dominos? Hell yes!

And if you were Dominos, wouldn’t you want to target people who ‘like’ Pizza Hut? Damn straight! It just makes sense!

Think of the potential.. throw up ads with Dominos coupons targeting all the fans of your competitors.  sneaky, but that’s what Facebook targeting is all about – Being smart little marketers.

Another example… My father is a part owner of an organic olive oil business. Could Facebook advertising wFacebook ad Targeting - Olives and Organicork for him? (Dad, if you’re reading this – hint, hint!).

Let’s see what Facebook says.

Targeting: Over 25, Australian, expressed a like or interest in ‘organic food’, ‘organic’, ‘olives’ = 5,000 people. For a small business, that’s a market.

Facebook vs. Twitter For Your Business? Dennis Yu Gives Blunt Advice

facebook_logoEditor’s Note:  I’ve spoken with Dennis on many occasions about his view on using Facebook and Twitter for Business. Following is his very blunt advice. Agree? Disagree? Let me know!
- Leigh

I get this question a lot.  So let me put it bluntly.  If you are not a celebrity or household brand, forget about twitter.  Unless people care about what you just ate or who you were seen in public with, as is done in the tabloids, you’re not going to get enough followers for it to even be worth your time. My twitter account has 3,502 followers, while my Facebook account has only 2,082 fans.  Facebook is the #7 referrer to my blog while Twitter is #20.  So even though I have more followers on twitter, I’m getting 6 times the traffic from Facebook.

And if you consider that the Facebook fan page for Dennis Yu has only 496 fans, the contrast is more stark.  Why?

Twitter is for existing brands and personalities that have massive recognition.  What you can say in 140 characters can’t possibly have much depth, though you can retweet pithy sayings, post interesting articles, or even communicate casually with friends.  But to generate more awareness, traffic, or sales for your business?  Unlikely.  The exception proves the rule– there’s that one donut shop that people cite as the example for small business success on twitter.

Facebook is where you can connect with real friends. You can interact with them and share in deep, meaningful ways (or at least as far as is possible online).  I’d challenge you to tell me what share of twitter users are bots, what percentage of tweets are done by bots, and what percentage of tweets go unread.  I’d wager that the ratio of spam pages on the internet approximates the spam ratio on twitter– although, I’d say that Facebook would be MUCH cleaner because of reinforcing mechanisms of the newsfeed filter and social graph.

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Seven Powerfully Simple Facebook Advertising Tips

facebook_logoIs Facebook advertising not doing much for you? Or are you sitting on the fence, happy with your AdWords campaigns? Let these simple concepts, gathered from our past two years’ experience Facebook advertising for large and small brands, tip you off that fence

  • Separate Ads By Gender: This is a must, because men and women click at markedly different rates and on different copy.
  • Break Down Ages: In most cases separating age groups by 5 years is effective. Obviously do not limit to only testing groups of 5 years apart.
  • Use keyword targeting: Doing only demographic targeting is casting too wide a net, unless you have a product with mass appeal or one that can’t be easily keyword-targeted (weight loss, erectile dysfunction, etc.). Relevancy here gives you a higher click-through rate (CTR) and better conversion. Even though Facebook hasn’t released a Quality Score for advertisers yet, it’s a sound online marketing principle that relevancy leads to better results.
  • Send traffic to your Facebook fan page. Do not send it to your website, as the CTR and conversion rates will be lower. But don’t take my word for it, test to find out that if it’s true (you’ll thank me later). And you don’t have a Facebook Fan Page, you can make one easily.
  • Send traffic to a custom tab on your Facebook page. Don’t send traffic to your Wall, as you have no control over what the last 10 comments might have been and users are unlikely to take a conversion action from your Wall.
  • Try the homepage engagement ads. If you are a large brand, you can afford the $25k or so to test ads on the homepage, which are available only via the sales team. You cannot get this via self-serve. Though the cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) are as high as $10, you may get a multiple on your CTR. And you can do things like show video, conduct polls, or even have forms pre-filled.
  • Use beautiful or very ugly people in your ads. But whatever you do, make sure the faces are clearly visible. Your goal is to attract attention, and showing faces on Facebook only makes sense.

If you’re not able to achieve success with these tips, either you’re not being creative enough with your ads, your product is so specialized that it can’t be reached on any medium, or your product just stinks. But any of these three is highly unlikely; you’re probably just not testing enough or missing one of these points. Make sure you’re getting at least 200 clicks or 20 conversions (whichever is more) per round of testing before you make any determination.

About the author: Dennis Yu is CEO of BlitzLocal, a firm that specializes in local and Facebook advertising campaigns.