While establishing and managing Facebook pages for our clients, we discovered the advertising side of this social media that allows us to present messages for our clients to a very targeted group of people. What separates most social media advertising from traditional online advertising (such as banners on newspaper websites) is that you pay per click versus per impression. Facebook is a pay per click.
Those of you with vocal CFOs know the value of having hard data to support your advertising decisions. This is one easy way. Each ad on Facebook can be targeted by age, marital status, hobbies, interests and location to name a few so your ad will be seen by mostly those who fit your target market. So if 2,000 people see your ad, it’s a good chance that many of them are in your market and that exposure is good for your brand. What’s even better is that you only pay for those who click on your ad and get driven to your site (preferably a landing page, but that will be a later post).
Think of this as if you have a retail store in a large mall. If you place an ad in the mall directory, you pay for it based on how many people will see it regardless of how many people are led to your store. But if your ad were on a Facebook page in the mall, you’d only pay for it if the viewer of the ad actually came into your store. Makes sense, huh? And to keep your budgets in line, you can establish daily or monthly advertising spending limits so you’re not caught off guard by a large response.
The key to this type of marketing is what you make the viewer do once they get to your site. If you’re like most advertisers, your site is like a retail store open 24/7 without any salespeople allowing any visitor to look around, compare, and do whatever they want anonymously. But since you’re paying money through Facebook to get those people to your site, you must put more emphasis on capturing some information from that visitor.
Nowadays, a basic “contact us” form means nothing. It’s likely that most people don’t want to contact you either because they found what they want or because they don’t want to be bothered. So instead, we like to add other links for the viewer to “subscribe” or “stay informed” or “receive valuable web only offers”. Those links go to a basic email signup form which, when completed by the viewer, allows us to communicate with him or her on various subjects via eblasts and blogs in order to build a relationship toward a future sale.
With the sales cycle in most industries getting longer, building relationships and maintaining communication with prospective clients is critical. So while we recommend Facebook advertising for all its positive attributes, we also stress that the results will be weak if your website doesn’t work hard to capture contact information from those who click through the ads to your site.