Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted in 2019. It was updated in 2021.
It’s no secret that Facebook is the world’s most popular social media application. So, it’s not surprising that most companies have a Facebook business page to try to reach their target audience. What may be less obvious is the ideal way to tap into the power of Facebook as a marketing tool.
To put it bluntly, many businesses are misguided when it comes to their social media strategy. Focusing solely on the free aspects of Facebook will leave you disappointed. Building page follows and accumulating post “likes,” while good from a brand recognition standpoint, doesn’t result in the sales conversions you may expect.
The question you need to ask yourself isn’t, “Are we getting people’s attention on Facebook?” It’s, “Are we getting the RIGHT PEOPLE’S attention on Facebook and getting them to act?” In order to truly target your ideal customer, you need to go beyond “free Facebook.” You need to “pay to play” so to speak.
The following are 7 of the best reasons to start using Facebook ads today…
1. Your Audience is on Facebook
You’ve probably heard it said, “Everyone is on Facebook.” A large percentage of people around the globe do have accounts. The platform has over 2.8 billion monthly active users worldwide.
Pew Research Center found that 69% of American adults use Facebook, with 70% of those Facebook users logging on daily.
What do these numbers mean? In all likelihood, a throng of leads you could sell your products and services to are right there, ripe for the picking. You just need to zero in on them, formulate your messaging and contact them in the form of a Facebook ad.
Now, this is the time when you likely push back. “People don’t log on to Facebook to make purchases,” you’re thinking. “They’re using it for entertainment or to stay in touch with family in friends.” But think about TV, radio, direct mail and email… are people watching their favorite show, listening to their favorite station, walking to the mailbox or opening their inbox hoping to see your propaganda and learn about your company, products or services? Sadly, no. But just like TV, radio, direct mail and email, we know the target audience is there, and it’s up to you to create ads that are attention-grabbing and can persuade them to act and leave Facebook and go onto your digital properties.
2. Organic Reach is Minimal
The next thing you may be thinking is, “Why should we pay to get in front of people when we’ve got a bunch of likes on our page? Can’t we use our posts to move those people down the sales funnel?” In theory, this sounds like a reasonable approach. However, just because a lot of people like your page, it doesn’t mean they’ll see your posts.
For the last several years, Facebook has been adjusting its algorithms so that people’s news feeds feature more posts from people and fewer from business — much to the frustration of business owners. Research by Simon Kemp and Hootsuite found that in April 2020 the average Facebook post reach was just 5.2%.
Simply put, you have to abandon the idea that “free Facebook” is a sustainable way to generate leads. You have to be willing to pay.
3. Facebook Ads are Affordable
The good news about paying for Facebook ads is that they don’t break the bank. Of all the marketing channels available in today’s digital age, Facebook ads are among the most affordable. For $5 a day, you can execute an ad campaign.
This minimalist approach will, of course, not reach a massive audience. However, it’s a good starting point to get your feet wet until you get the hang of how campaigns work. This will give you some baseline data from which you can get an idea of ROI. From there, you can boost your budget to expand your reach.
4. Campaigns Can Be Highly Targeted
In marketing, you can’t be everything to everyone and you can’t be everywhere. Very few companies have the budget or manpower to market to every possible customer in their industry. That’s why it’s important that your campaigns are targeted toward only your most profitable prospects.
Luckily, Facebook’s targeting capabilities are quite expansive. Your business can target users based on location, demographics (age and gender), interests, connections, and more.
In addition, Facebook offers options such as custom audiences, which are built based on specific behaviors. There are also lookalike audiences, which Facebook generates based on the characteristics of your existing targets.
The true power of Facebook’s ad targeting is unlocked when you use one of its free and easy-to-use lead-gen tools. Read about it here.
To help you visualize targeting options, here’s a look at the audience details associated with our sales funnel campaign.
5. Facebook Ads Work
How effective is advertising on the world’s most popular social media platform? Let’s let the numbers do the talking…
According to Statista, American companies spent $18.4 billion on social media ads in 2019, which is an increase of $1.7 billion from 2018. It’s also more than double the 2015 social media ad spend. Would that many companies spend that much money on a marketing channel that wasn’t effective? No chance!
In Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report, 26% of Facebook users surveyed said they made a purchase after clicking on an ad. An additional 7% said they purchased even if they didn’t click on the ad.
Those are conversions that most companies would take in a heartbeat. Even better is the fact that Facebook ads are now being seen by more people. Facebook reported in July 2018 that ad impressions (the number of times an ad is viewed) increased by 21%.
6. Facebook is Constantly Evolving
Facebook is always changing… so often, in fact, that AdEspresso has a dedicated blog post that details Facebook’s monthly updates. Not all updates are major, and not all will matter to business owners. However, there have been previous updates to Facebook Advertising to make it better, and you can count on that continuing in the future.
7. Setup is Simple
Many business owners and marketers are reluctant to use Facebook ads because they worry that the process is too complicated. That’s understandable — particularly if they aren’t familiar with Facebook — but the truth is that Facebook’s Ads Manager is one of the easier digital marketing platforms with which to work.
Once you dive into Ads Manager and get familiar with its structure and options, you will likely be able to put together a campaign in as little as 10-15 minutes. To learn how to create Facebook ads and get started, click here.
If you don’t have the time, manpower or desire to tackle Facebook ads yourself, or if you’re concerned about putting a strategy together that will produce good results, help is available. You can hire a marketing agency that has a proven process it follows to get results for its customers.
Have additional questions about Facebook ads or want to learn even more? Call us at 815.431.1000 or submit this form to contact us.