Paid for advertising on any platform can seem like a scary prospect – how do you know that the money you spend is reaching real, relevant people who would actually be interested in your business, products or services and encourage them to take a specific action (i.e. visit your website, like your page, get in touch, etc.)? The amount of data Facebook holds on each and every user is staggering, giving business owners the ability to target audiences not just based on age, gender and geographic location, but by level of education, their relationship status and their online behaviours and particular interests. The level of detail and granularity that you can achieve with Facebook advertising is remarkable.
Facebook wants businesses to advertise on it and over the last few years has taken steps to make it far simpler for business owners (including marketing ‘beginners’) to access audience demographic details when putting together paid-for adverts. Facebook wants users to stay on the platform too, so has invested heavily in giving business owners the tools they need to ensure that their adverts are only served to relevant and interested parties to prevent unsuspecting users from being ‘spammed’ by irrelevant content in their newsfeed.
There are three different ways that you can use the Facebook Audience Insights tool to find your perfect audience:
- Start your search by looking at Facebook’s entire audience, and then segmenting your search.
- Evaluate your current audience on Facebook – that is, the people who currently like and follow your page – and review common characteristics that you might not have realised existed.
- Assess a custom audience – perhaps your existing mailing list collated from your business CRM, or an audience of people who have already visited your website and have been collected via the Facebook retargeting pixel – and use this information to send out a relevant advert based on their history of activity with your business and website.
If you’ve never used the audience insights tool before, it’s worth starting your audience search by looking at ‘everyone on Facebook’ as this provides a great insight into how the tool works and how far you can narrow down your audience; Start by selecting the location, age and gender of your desired audience, and then simply start adding ‘interests’ relevant to your audience. You can drill down even further using ‘advanced’ segmentation, which includes things like relationship status, education, work and financial. Once you have selected your particular audience, you’ll be able to see how many people on Facebook meet your specific criteria. You’ll also be able to review certain information about that group, like which Facebook pages are highly followed amongst that specific audience – handy to know if you are looking for Facebook marketing (organic and paid-for) hints and tips relevant to that specific demographic!
Facebook’s analytics and their advert management tools give business owners, large and small, the ability to carry out precise paid-for marketing activities with relative ease – something that will be useful given Facebook’s recent revelation that their newsfeed is changing and business pages are likely to see a dramatic downturn in their organic traffic if they don’t change their marketing approach.
With a potential audience of 2.13 billion monthly active users as of December 31st, 2017[i], Facebook provides business owners with a huge pool of potential customers to reach out to (obviously not all at once!) via paid-for advertising in order to gain all the page likes, website visits or product purchases they could want. However, it’s important to carry out a careful evaluation of your existing customer persona first before attempting to ‘guess’ your target demographic, as it’s easy to spend money using Facebook advertising without seeing a positive ROI! Make sure that your adverts are carefully tailored for your particular and specific audience to avoid (as much as possible) the potential of your adverts being served to uninterested or irrelevant users; if you’re in any doubt seek expert advice to ensure that your paid-for marketing efforts are as productive and efficient as they should be!
As far as advertising platforms go, Facebook ticks a lot of boxes. There are few tools out there that make it so simple to locate individuals who ‘fit in’ with your specific customer demographic. But in the fast-moving world of Social Media Marketing, Facebook aren’t resting on their laurels – earlier this year they introduced Messenger Adverts, enabling businesses to strike up one-to-one conversations with their audience, making advertising on the platform more personal than it has every been before.
So how does it work? There are two ways you can use this new tool. Firstly, businesses can utilise the ‘send message’ or ‘contact us’ call to action (in a newsfeed advert) to direct customers to messenger to interact with them about a product, service or special offer. The second way business can use Messenger adverts is to send individual messages that show up in the Messenger inbox – but this can only be done with customers who have interacted with your Business via Messenger before (though there are tools out there, like Manychat – https://manychat.com/ – that also enable you to message anyone who has even commented on your business page post before).
But are Facebook Messenger Adverts for you? Here are 3 reasons why I think your business should embrace them:
1.) To stand out from the crowd. Globally, there are more than 5 million businesses that advertise on Facebook – that’s a lot of noise in the newsfeed! For me, Facebook Messenger Adverts build on the relationship marketing ideals of customer loyalty and engagement, helping to create a rapport with the consumer that goes beyond merely directing the customer to your website or a specific product and hoping that they are emotionally invested enough to buy.
2.) Messenger is how your customers want to talk to you. As of April 2017, there are over 1.2 billion people who use Facebook Messenger on a monthly basis. Despite the fact that 93% of UK adults own a mobile phone, it would seem that people are becoming gradually more reluctant to verbally communicate with businesses, preferring instead to contact customer service teams, etc. via social media or email. Long gone, too, are the days of a Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm helpline. Nowadays, customers want enquiries to be answered quickly, at any time of the day or night – something clearly described by Jay Baer several years ago following research carried out for ‘The Social Habit’:
“Among respondents to The Social Habit who have ever attempted to contact a brand, product, or company through social media for customer support, 32% expect a response within 30 minutes. Further, 42% expect a response within 60 minutes.”
As a result of this, if you are considering using Facebook Messenger Adverts to reach out to your customers (potential and existing) more effectively, it’s important to consider how you are going to respond to any successful engagement attempts, and ensure that you either have staff in place to monitor your messenger, or that you have a chat-bot (like Manychat – https://manychat.com/ ) ready and programmed to lead customers down a path of increased engagement, potentially towards a first-time or repeat purchase (depending on your marketing goals).
3.) If you want to boost your open and click through rates, Facebook Messenger Adverts could help. Digital Marketer have trialled this new Facebook advertising function, albeit with their in-depth knowledge of Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing in general, and saw open rates of 80%+ and a Click Through Rate of 19.9% for Messenger mailings sent to customers who had previously commented on their page. This is significantly higher than the average Facebook advertising CTR of around 0.9%, and suggests that these Messenger advertising broadcasts could be an incredibly effective way of successfully engaging with your business audience.
Of course, to see fabulous click through rates and open rates, and successfully boost engagement with your brand, it isn’t just about adopting this new Facebook advertising functionality; it’s about creating content that is interesting and meaningful to your audience, adding value with offers, or asking questions to make your customers feel like valuable contributors – so ask yourself first, would I respond to this? Carefully consider what your advertising goals are before immersing yourself in this new feature to ensure you are using it as effectively as possible!
It doesn’t take a genius to realise that Social Media Marketing is the fastest changing industry in the world. Every time you log into an account, something has been moved or improved. On training days, I often joke that Facebook tries to make me look like a learner, as I fumble my way through to find the function I’m addressing.
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