A fresh look at Facebook ads
hasn’t advertising got easier?
I can almost hear the chorus of ‘no’ as people start to reference increasing ad competition, rising costs and decreased consumer trust.
Of course, Facebook might be more challenging now than it ever has been.
But is it more challenging than the direct marketing tactics of old?
Sticking stamps on letters and putting them in the post? Buying ad space and hoping that you could track any kind of result from the spend? And we won’t even talk about the horror of cold calls as a core strategy…
Sure, the days of putting a simple advert live with any old image and watching the sales roll in might be in the past, but Facebook is still an essential tool for anyone looking to increase their brand awareness, their bottom line, and their customer lifetime values.
Instead of writing off the platform and saying it no longer works, maybe we need to re-approach our approach, and treat it like we do any other sales channel.
In short, we need to start appreciating Facebook’s strengths at every stage of the process.
The top of the funnel…
You wouldn’t expect people to buy the first time you sent them a cold email, and Facebook shouldn’t be any different.
Facebook has a wider job to play than just pumping out sales messages to an unsuspecting audience. It needs to be pulling people into your brand’s ecosystem, so that you can then use all of your marketing channels in an integrated way to achieve the desired outcome.
Whilst sometimes direct sales ads play their part – as one cog in a wider campaign machine – we often recommend leading with lead generation or brand content. Your content needs to add value. To give people a reason to consider your brand in a positive way, before heading in with the hard-sell.
Once you start seeing lead generation and brand engagements as important metrics, separate to simple sales, Facebook’s purpose becomes far clearer. And so does it’s relevance to your overall marketing objectives.
The middle of the funnel…
Once you’ve got your new lead, you can move your budget away from Facebook ads, right?
Facebook has a huge role to play in the middle of the funnel, doing a lot of the heavy lifting needed to recapture warm leads, retarget audiences, and reach demographics you can’t find via other channels.
Think about mirroring strategies, for example. Using your CRM database to its full effect through the Facebook platform can address a key issue in your email marketing – the open rate.
If only 20% of your database opens your emails, you’re losing 80% somewhere. Maybe spam, bouncebacks, or simply in lack of interest. You can find these people again on their Facebook feed, and show them exactly what you were going to show them in the email campaign.
These campaigns will reinforce your key message to those who have seen both the email communication and the advert, and will also help you gather some of the people your other marketing channels aren’t reaching.
The bottom of the funnel…
It would be easy to see rising ad costs and rising cost per leads, and assume that Facebook just ‘isn’t working for your bottom line’.
Perhaps it appears too expensive to sell your core products when looking at the CPA. However, what many people miss is that once you have made a sale, that customer is in your orbit for the long-run.
It may have cost you 50% or even 90% of the product value to make the first sale via Facebook, but what’s the value of the customer in subsequent returning orders?
If you’ve added value, provided them with a reason to trust you, and they like your product – why wouldn’t they come back, time and time again?
We need to re-evaluate the way that we measure success with Facebook ad sales, and ensure that we’re looking at CPAs with lifetime value in mind.
If you can start to see the value of your customer to your business in the first year, or in the whole lifetime of their relationship with your brand, that initial CPA might not seem as expensive.
There’s no doubt about it. Facebook ad strategy can be a minefield. Ever changing, always adapting. Just trying to keep up can have you heading into a tailspin.
Changing your approach and understanding of the platform – operating on the realisation that Facebook does more than just fill the top of your funnel – will bring a new layer of value, and allow you to really play to the platform’s key strengths.