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Facebook: Sponsored Posts (Part 4 of 5)
By now your page is up and running, you have a solid editorial calendar, and you’ve probably exhausted your pool of supporters who will “like” your page. Now it’s time to grow!
Of all the various digital mediums available, Facebook makes advertising very easy and user-friendly. Unlike many other platforms that are used to working primarily with experienced agencies and marketers, Facebook learned fairly early on that they are working with business owners directly, who may or may not be well-versed in Facebookese (Facebookin? Facebookology?) We digress.
You have probably received a handful of messages and notifications from Facebook asking if you want to sponsor a post. This is their way of asking if you would like to advertise. There are a few ways to do this; a) you can create a sponsored post which appears as an advertisement on the side navigation of a page, b) you can create a sponsored post which will be labeled as such, but appear in a standard newsfeed. These can either be created with existing content, or new content. Each method can be beneficial depending on what your end goal is.
If your goal is to drive traffic to your Facebook page (a great place to start), we typically suggest boosting an existing post. This means one of your Facebook posts (ideally the one with the most engagement; you can find this by clicking “Insights” on your page) can be boosted to a greater audience, with the call-to-action (CTA) to “like” and engage with your Facebook page. Since you’re using an existing post, your content is already created for you. You just have to determine your budget and timeframe. There is no right or wrong way to do this - we tend to suggest using a sprint over a marathon - boosting a post for a week with a higher budget per day. If you are a local business, go efficient with your budget and target within a few miles of your business. If you are an online business, it may be better to focus on psychographics (interests, age, etc) and to not worry about restricting zip codes.
If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, or a more urgent CTA such as “call now”, “buy now”, etc we suggest featuring new content in a more traditional advertisement. You also have the option of uploading multiple visuals which can be great if you are selling products. For example, if you sell jewelry, you may choose to upload 4-5 images of various styles of jewelry to encourage readers to scroll through and see what you have to offer, thus enticing them to click to see even more if the first few spark their interest. If you work less on product and more on client visits, one image may be best that showcases the benefit to calling now, whether it’s scheduling a free estimate, discounted dental visit, reaching out for potential law cases, etc.
There are some key elements that you should think through before creating any sort of advertisement:
- Who do I want to see this? Pin down your audience, start as specific as possible and build out from there. Think about things like sex, age, location first. Then think about whether you want to add any interests. For example, do you want to target business owners, or are you teaching a seminar that would attract anyone interested in geology? If you can narrow down the interests, you can narrow down your audience.
- What do I want people to do? Have one very specific CTA. You don’t want to create a post that encourages someone to go to your Facebook page, then like it, then follow it, then click into a post for a number, then call, then shop, etc. Pick one and write in an imperative fashion. “Call Now”, “Click to Shop”, “Visit us today”, etc.
- How much do you want to spend? Facebook has amazing budget flexibility. While we would love to claim that we have advertising down to a perfect science, that is impossible. No-one can accurately predict what other people will respond to, we can only make our best educated guesses based on the data we do know. Because of this, we suggest A/B testing, which is a fancy way of saying that we like to push out two different ads at once for a limited budget and time, and then see what people like better. Whoever wins gets the bigger budget and time span in the next push.
- When are you going to advertise? This is important. If a huge article just came out in the New York Times about how fish is poisonous and can kill people, that may not be the best time to launch a campaign promoting your seasoned salmon. If a once in a lifetime solar eclipse is about to shine, that may be a really great time to promote your fancy watch-the-eclipse-without-going-blind sunglass thingies.
One your ad has wrapped up, make sure you study the results and learn everything you can to make your next campaign even better. We’ll cover this in more detail in our next and final post. #gimmedatdata
Need help launching a Facebook ad campaign? We’d be happy to either guide you through or carry out a campaign on your behalf. Give us a call to discuss.