It is uncommon in this day in age for business owners to operate without some kind of social media following and advertising. Consumers do not go solely on word of mouth anymore, but also by how big of a following you have or how well known your company is in the world of social media. Running a Facebook ad is amongst the largest of ways to market your business to an outrageously large number of potential consumers with their 2.7 billion monthly active users as of Q3 (up from 2.38 billion in Q1) in 2019. Facebook is accepted across the globe and isn’t showing signs of stopping any time soon. With that in mind, there are still some that say Facebook ads are not worth exploring for their practice, and in this article we explore both sides.
What Are the Facts of Facebook?
Before we can truly look at whether Facebook ads are worth the cost and time or not, we must look at Facebook as a whole, all the facts as a company, and their numbers. We also need to take a look at how to properly execute Facebook ads for optimal reach and conversion or ROI (return on investment) so that you can make a sound decision when choosing to give Facebook ads a try or not.
Here are the facts of Facebook:
- Fact: about 400 new Facebook users sign up every minute
- Fact: 140 million+ use Facebook apps to connect with customers and grow
- Fact: 69% of adults in the US use Facebook
- Fact: 96% of active users are accessing Facebook from their phone
- Fact: 86% of marketers use Facebook for advertising
- Fact: 78% of US consumers discovered products to buy through Facebook ads
Why do any of these facts matter to you? We get it, these facts may not be new information to you, but they are important when looking at why or why not you should use their ads for your business marketing needs.
Next, how does running a Facebook ad work?
Running an ad on Facebook is not just throwing an ad out there and hoping it sticks. It takes a lot of precision, stick-to-itiveness, and knowledge, and it is no easy task. If you are just dabbling and not ready to commit and engage fully then it will waste your time and money. Do not jump in without doing the research and work beforehand on your customer base and your goals as a business with Facebook as it is not a “set it and forget it” ad model. Do you want more traffic to your site? Do you want to reach the maximum amount of people about your brand? Do you want more conversion? These are all things you need to ask yourself amongst many others before jumping in.
Here are some key things you need to know about Facebook ads and their process:
- Choose from odjectives/goals and the one you choose determines who Facebook shows the ads to thus affecting the cost.
- Awareness-brand awareness, local awareness, reach. This builds consumers interest and realization of your product or services.
- Consideration-traffic, engagement, app installations, video views, lead generation. This gets consumers to look into more information and really think about your business, product or service.
- Conversion-leads, people buying your product, product catalog sales, store visits. This is a call to action. It motivates consumers to carry out a specific purchase or action in regards to your product or service.
- Ad auction. Facebook wants to two things in regards to the ads they put up
- Add value for advertisers to help them get results and reach their target audiences
- Provide relevant and worthwhile encounters for users
This does not mean the ad with the highest monetary bid gets the most outreach, but the one that creates the most value overall. This includes all aspects of value according to Facebook being met. These values include:
- Advertiser bid-your monetary amount bid
- Ad relevance, applicability, and quality based on feedback that Facebook receives from users. Also based on how relevant they think your ad will be to their users that are seeing it.
- Estimated action rates-how likely the user is to complete the action or objective you’ve chosen.
During auction, your ad is put up against other ads that are similar in nature to yours. The ones with the highest combination of all three aspects of value gets the preferred spot. Facebook allows you to set up your bids automatically, meaning Facebook sets your bid for the best price that produces the most actions, or manually meaning you decide what a result is worth for you and your business. While they offer both, Facebook recommends to do a manual bid as this has more focus on ROI (return on investment) instead of the lowest cost, and having a higher bid may give you access to the people that matter most for your brand.
Subsequently, we want to take a look at how all of these things affect cost with ads. There are three key areas that affect your cost:
- Audience. The more pertinent your audience the lower the cost. This is where it is key to know your customers. There are over 350 audiences you can select and combine in the ad process. This takes time, patience, and perfecting your technique to turn them into exceptional, high-grade audiences.
- Quality. This is the number one thing to keep your costs low. Your ads must be engaging, visually attractive, and must fit pique a user’s curiosity, invoke emotion, and thrust someone into action.
- Relevance scores. Facebook has relevance scores for your ads, and if you are rated high, it’ll cost less to be put up. Facebook states, “relevance score is calculated based on the positive and negative feedback we expect an ad to receive from its target audience. The more positive interactions we expect an ad to receive, the higher the ad’s relevance score will be. (positive indicators vary depending on the ad’s objective, but may include video views, conversions, etc.) The more times we expect people to hide or report an ad, the lower its score will be. Ads receive a relevance score between 1 and 10, with 10 being the highest. The score is updated as people interact and provide feedback on the ad.”
Facebook is very systematic and precise with how they run their ads and determine your costs. All of which end up going back to the feedback of the user or consumer.
Are These Ads Worth It?
Well, there is obviously two sides to every story. Facebook being the largest social media platform on the planet, we know and trust the brand. There are some that say they have seen their business flourish with Facebook ads and that those who have not had it work for them are not engaging in the process properly. The other side of this are those that feel they have spent way too much money on their ads for little return.
Why do they work?
There are a multitude of reasons why these ads can be worthwhile to a business owner. Besides being the largest platform across the globe, Facebook also offers all the tools necessary to make your ads a success. There are even online courses and research on trends from each industry. There are also news and case studies available to make sure you know what’s going on in your world of business to make the right choices when implementing your ads. Here are the main highlights of why the fans of Facebook ads say “Jump in!”:
- With the reasonable costs there is an opportunity to see what really produces the most ROI or attention and what works best for your business.
- Multiple ad options. Not only to they offer you the option for more sales but just simple brand awareness as well amongst other options such as driving people to your store location.
- The multi-billion global audience alone cannot be touched and no other social network comes close to the market penetration of Facebook.
- As mentioned earlier, 96% of active users are accessing Facebook from their mobile device which is something advertisers can’t afford to ignore. Along with the fact that users normally spend about an hour on Facebook at a time on average. The more time on the platform=more time to see and become familiar with your brand.
- Larger audience means it’s easier for advertisers to target potential consumers. Social media advertising helps business owners find not as many people as possible like with tv ads, but finding as many of the RIGHT people as possible therefore improving ROI.
Why don’t they work?
Like anything else in business, not every advertising channel is a “one size fits all” model, and not every ad model will work for every industry. In the case of Facebook ads, there are those out there that feel it was not helpful to their business. In fact, there are 62% of small business owners that have said it does not work for them and here is why they are saying “don’t do it!”:
- Facebook requires a lot of time and energy into the ads you place on their platform. They require the changing out of ads, knowing and following your audience in each particular time period, and of course the process itself potentially affecting the conversion rates as well as cost.
- The market is at a height of distrust in companies. While there are a lot of reputable brands out there, the fact is that with social media and the internet there are also a lot of scam artists out there. Consumers are not as apt to just jump right into a purchasing opportunity when given the chance as they were before the rise of technology. Now, it takes 6-8 interactions before someone will consider performing the desired action of the ad such as clicking a button or signing up.
- Along with consumer trust, also comes consumer judgement. In a second your potential buyers are scanning your ad or site for: readability, design, tonality, accessibility, belonging, recognition, and uniqueness. If any one of these things feels wrong or “off”, 95% of your target audience will not continue further.
What Should I Do?
Now that we have taken a look at everything Facebook has to offer and what needs to be done, this would be something that needs to be decided based on your individual needs and goals. As with most things, it’s best not to jump into something like Facebook ads without answering all key questions necessary to make your ad a success. The fact is that Facebook is indeed a social media giant. Whether you use it for personal or professional needs, Facebook is widely accepted by a huge range of demographics in the consumer market and has a lot to offer the advertiser. That being said, depending on your business, you may see how Facebook runs their ads for professionals as a liability when all put together. The only thing we can say is to make sure to go through every aspect of your business step by step and see if Facebook fits in. Either way, there are unlimited resources in today’s world to make your business a success.