Friday, 29 November 2013

How to create an effective Facebook Campaign AKA How to waste less money

You asked for it so here it is by popular demand—How to make a paid Facebook campaign work for you. The first thing you need to know is...*Looks around and lowers voice to hide from Facebook Mafia*... It's so easy to waste heaps of money on Facebook (and any form of pay-per-click) advertising. Really, you can throw unlimited dollars at this thing and it can cause barely a ripple. But on the other hand it can also be an effective tool if you know how to do more than click spend. In my humble opinion there are a few keys to wielding your advertising dollars like a Jedi Master.

1. Make your advertisement look like an opportunity
This means presenting you product (even if that product is your facebook page) in a way that is enticing and or engaging to people. Know the best opportunities to utilise that promote feature. If you're running a giveaway,  you have a product on sale, or free, this is the time to promote. You want to make sure that your advertisement makes the sale, giveaway, freebie, obvious. Consumers are becoming more and more oblivious to adverting, you can stand there waving and screaming "here I am!" all day, and those consumers are going to tune you right out. Showing them what they might get out of it is a much more effective way to gain attention.   

2. Know where you're advertising

Here is a random screen-dump of my facebook Newsfeed just to show all the places and ways ads appear.

Starting on the right hand column, this is a section that users have come to associate with advertising so the effectiveness is limited. The best ads on the right column are sponsored stories. These build rapport by showing you friends who like that post/page/website. Below are regular old ads.

As you can see Newsfeed ads show up in the stream. They're much harder to ignore, and are less obvious as advertisements, especially if they are well targeted. The ad above not only provides the opportunity to like the post, see that there is a giveaway and participate, it also encourages liking of the page. Personally this is where I would want to spend my advertising dollars.  

So now when you create an ad, make sure you know where you are asking for your ad to appear.

TIP: If you want maximum control and flexibility always go directly to the main ads area. DO NOT click those tempting little buttons on your facebook page that say 'click to promote this page', or 'click to promote this post'. You only get a fraction of the options, especially when it comes to targeting.

3. Target—Target—Target
So one of the things about advertising is that you also pay for impressions. You pay for people that aren't really interested but click anyway then click off. One of the most effective ways to save money and get the best results is to target your audience. Make sure that you are only blasting your message to the people who are most likely to be interested.

Important things to target;

Location­—If you're trying to promote a book that is only available in the US, then you really don't want to be paying for everyone in China to click on your ad. Target the promotion to only the countries you want to focus on.  

Age—If your product has adult content, ensure you target people that are over eighteen.

Gender—Okay, I know people get all uppity about this, but really, statistically speaking some products have very clear gender interest. No point paying to advertise tampons to the masses of men, target by gender if your product is aimed at a particular sex.  

Interest—Now this is where targeting comes into its own! This is why you don't click that 'promote this post' button because you don't get this option. Have a book blog? This option allows you to target people with the interest of reading!

Here is a snap shot of the targeting screen

TIP: The smaller your budget the more strictly you should target for best results.

4. Budget—Budget—Budget
So this is a personal thing. It's easy to press that promote button willy-nilly and without a plan. It's easy to decide; I'll just put $5 dollars on here and try it out. Don't. Really Don't. This is the best way to waste money. Set an advertising budget for the year, quarter, month, or whatever period. Then plan the most effective opportunities to spend that budget. Plan those, giveaways, competitions, freebies, etc, and allow as much budget as possible for those events.

TIP: If you have a budget of $20 for the month, it is much more effective to allocate that to a single promotion than to spread it over several promotions. Sponsored stories, promoted posts that involve likes, all gain momentum as people continue to engage with them.


Advertising isn't a science. You might need to play with different ads and see what works. But if something isn't working, stop doing it and try something else. Don't be afraid to experiment. If you're an organised little bunny, try recoding the details of your campaigns and see what is most effective. 

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