When it comes to Facebook advertising, the possibilities truly are endless. From video views to lead generation, there’s an option to suit every type of objective. But excess choice is often the enemy of progress, and with new options cropping up all the time, many an ardent marketer has been left dazed and confused, unsure of which approach might yield the best results.
Long gone are the days when the big blue ‘Boost’ button was the only option available – don’t they seem like such innocent times? And thanks to Facebook’s insistence on offering more and more excuses for marketers to pay up, clients have in turn become more demanding in their asks, no longer willing to settle for ’15 likes and 42 responses’ as an acceptable metric.
So with expectations at an all-time high and options aplenty, how does one go about picking the right approach for one’s content? Is there even a sure-fire route to success, or is experimentation the key to generating results?
The thing is, every audience is different, and to really achieve optimal impact, it’s vital that you get to know your consumer base, massaging information out of them using a variety of diverse tactics, designed to elicit workable intel that in turn informs your strategy. But having said that, you’ve gotta start somewhere right?
Here’s a quick checklist to work through before getting your next Facebook advertising campaign going:
These might seem like the same thing, but there are subtle differences to be found in these confusingly similar objectives.
The awareness objective is the one to go for when you’re looking to increase awareness of your brand or product and don’t necessarily need people to engage with your content. This objective will help you to reach those who are likely to pay attention to your ad.
The reach objective, while seeming quite similar, will simply help you reach as many people within your target audience as your budget allows. Whereas the awareness objective targets users likely to engage long enough to actually recall your message, reach simply goes after volume. So while you may get more eyes on your carefully crafted content, it doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone is paying attention.
Let’s be honest, money talks, and if we aren’t aiming to get a bit of ROI then really, what’s the point. If your brand hosts an e-tail website, it would be in your best interest to direct your consumers to it as often as possible.
If your goal is to direct users away from Facebook and to your website, you’re looking at traffic as your main objective. This could be to read a blog article, listen to a podcast or simply visit your website. Facebook will display your ad to those who are most likely to click through to your website based on their regular behaviour. However, if you’d like people to do more than just visit your website, but also make a purchase or subscribe to your newsletter, and track whether they actually performed that action (i.e. whether they ultimately landed on a ‘thank you’ page) you should select the conversions objective.
When setting up your ad for conversions, your advert will be geared toward reaching users who are likely to follow your calls to action to completion based on their past behaviours. This could be to opt-in, register or make an online purchase.
Remember, in order to set up a conversion campaign, you’ll need to install a Facebook pixel on your site’s back-end. This will allow you to keep tabs on the people clicking through from your ad, and enable you to see whether they’re following through on your intended action.
But you can already track this in Google Analytics, right? Wrong. While good old Google does give you insight into those users who follow the entire purchase funnel in one fell swoop, it does precious little to identify the users who casually clicked on your ad only to return later to actually complete the transaction.
The lead generation objective is the ideal one to use when looking to source leads without directing users to another website. Facebook Lead Generation Ads allow you to capture important customer data, like names, contact info and gender. It even auto-populates these details where the information is available, making it easier for users to complete these forms. This is most useful when looking to beef up your eCRM mailing list or gather more information about your customers to create more personalised and segmented campaigns.
Ah, now this is a tricky one. When it comes to sharing video content, it’s safe to assume that most of your customers have the attention span of a gnat. So while Facebook has designed this objective to get as many users within your audience to watch your videos (or at least the first three seconds of them), chances are that if you’ve shelled out a few million bucks on a well-crafted TV ad, you’re probably after a bit more commitment than that.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the video views objective is the only selection you can make when loading a video – consider splitting objectives between reach, engagements and views, running two separate ad sets to see which is most effective.
At times, Facebook advertising may feel like a bit of a guessing game, but you can refine your skill over time by experimenting and testing new things. What’s important is that you track your results and make changes when needed.
Split testing your objectives can be a very effective way of identifying what works and what doesn’t, presenting you with comparative data and enabling you to make better advertising decisions next time around.