Your Brand on Facebook
With 1.2 billion users, it’s safe to say your audience is most likely on Facebook. Not only do you, as a brand, have the potential to reach an incredible number of people through advertising on Facebook, but it’s also important to have a well-maintained presence on Facebook in much the same way that having a website is a must for companies in the modern age as Facebook continues to find ways to keep visitors in their ecosystem, having your brand on this powerhouse platform adds a sense of credibility to it. It’s especially important to have an active presence that reflects and humanizes your brand’s personality.
If you were to just create a page for your brand and start advertising with no initial content, chances are you’re not going to receive the same result you would than if you were to have additional content to engage consumers on your page.
So what about advertising on Facebook?
As mentioned, Facebook has the potential to reach an incredible amount of people. What’s even more amazing is the unparalleled targeting capabilities. It ensures your content is reaching exactly who you want it to, where you want it to.
Let’s visualize this and put it into a scenario:
You’re a local landscaping company in Toronto looking to recruit more customers for your business. You want to give advertising on Facebook a try because you’ve heard it can be an effective way to increase business.
You’ve given the campaign a bit of thought. You know you need the targeting to be super specific to the west end of Toronto because, since you’re local, you’ll only want individuals in certain cities or areas to see your ad. Not only this, but you’ll need to target specific age demographics as anyone younger than 20 most likely doesn’t own a property that requires landscaping. If you want to get really specific, you could even target people that have particular interests or likes, such as that they follow a lot of luxury home garden pages.
Assuming you’ve got some snappy copy to include in the advertisement as well as graphics you are happy with, Facebook makes it easy to ‘push go’ and get the campaign going quickly. In some cases, advertisements need a manual review before they go live, however if the ads fall within the acceptable guidelines, generally things move along fairly quickly.
While in principle this sounds pretty clear cut, sometimes things aren’t as easy as they seem. Part of the strength of Facebook’s advertising platform is also a weakness. Perhaps the greatest challenge is that there are so many options and configurations that navigating all of them can be daunting. As such, it is a challenge to gain a clear understanding of how the platform works and how a campaign can be optimized to ensure efforts are generating some sort of positive return. In business terms, the bottom line is that it takes time (and effort) to learn how to use the platforms features as well as how to stay on top of them all. If you’re busy cutting grass all day, configuring campaign settings can get you stuck in the weeds.
There’s more to it than meets the eye
Another important thing to keep in mind is understanding what the campaign goal is.
This should be the first thing a DIY advertiser thinks about before proceeding onto anything else. Is the goal to increase traffic to a site? Is a service trying to be sold? It’s easy to just start blindly throwing money into a campaign, but before you know it, the budget will have been used up and you will be left wondering what you have to show for it.
It’s evident that Facebook has tried to make their advertising manager powerful and help lower the cost of production for the average business. They’ve incorporated tools such as providing stock imagery to use, which saves times on finding imagery externally, as well as useful analytical tools. Even so, the fact of the matter is, you can only simplify it so much.
Regardless of how user friendly the platform may be, putting together an effective campaign takes time and effort. For a campaign to generate leads from the target audience, creativity and a meaningful thought process are critical. The analytical portion is another major component. It’s one thing to view your results, but it’s another to really understand what they mean and how you can use that data to improve ROI which will then require further testing and more time. If you’re lucky enough to have a hit advertisement on the first try, that’s great. Often times in advertising, it’s a series of experiments that give you better information about how to reach your target audience. Again, the business bottom line is to expect to spend money learning about what doesn’t work.
Let’s revisit our scenario with the landscaping company:
You have just put in a 12-hour working day of mulching, mowing and managing your business. You decide to check on your Facebook campaign to see how well it performed. You see that it reached a fair amount of people but did not generate the results you were hoping for as you try to understand the data. Now you have to go back to the drawing board and rethink your campaign and strategy as well increase your budget spend. Even after all of this, there’s no guarantee your second efforts will have better results. This could be the start of a frustrating and expensive cycle. As the business owner, you don’t have the time to dedicate to such tasks. You’re focus is providing your service.
The bottom line for DIY advertisers is that although Facebook has provided all of these tools to make the process as simple as they can, running a campaign still requires quite a bit of time from an idea to an effective and impactful campaign.
Thankfully, there are content marketing agencies that provide services to help businesses succeed with advertising on Facebook and other social media channels. By providing campaign management, tracking, and optimization services, business owners can focus on doing what they do best.