Part I: Facebook Advertising Basics
With over 600 million users and growing, Facebook is neck-and-neck with Google as the most frequented site on the web. The audience is beyond broad and composed of a highly engaged user base, representing a vast amount of advertising potential. By now, the question online advertisers are facing with regard to Facebook advertising is not “why?” but “how?”
The answer to that question depends on the goal of your advertising efforts. Are you trying to grow your fan base, recruiting loyal users who will interact with your brand and promote your message to their friends? Are you aiming to directly monetize incoming traffic to your e-commerce website from Facebook? Or, are you interested in a mixture of the two?
Whatever your goals may be, it is important to become familiar with the differences between the more established forms of online advertising and Facebook advertising. It’s a new game on Facebook, so playing by the old rules will see your advertising efforts fall flat.
A key advantage of paid search advertising is being able to target specific search queries – this allows you to ensure that the user has a strong intent to make a purchase or convert through some other means. Display retargeting holds the advantage of casting a wide net across the internet and it can help bring some of the low-hanging fruit back to your website. Facebook advertising truly is a hybrid of these two: target interests give you the notion of intent, while a vast user base provides the broad reach typical of display.
An important distinction between paid search and Facebook ads is the level of user intent that is apparent to the advertiser. A Google user searching for “buy Nike shoes” has demonstrated a strong intent to purchase, while the Facebook user who simply Likes “Nike shoes” has far more ambiguous intentions.
Taking this into account, we at RKG are seeing great success by employing a three-step process with Facebook advertising.
Step 1: Advertise your brand with a Facebook ad that directs users to your Fan Page.
Step 2: Induce users to Like your Fan Page.
Step 3: Once the user has become a Fan, market to him or her with Fan-only Facebook ads that direct the user to your external website in an effort to drive conversions.
Note: RKG does not currently work with Coors Light. Although we certainly would like to :)
It is precisely because of the uncertainty about a user’s intent to purchase that we’ve been focusing on the Fan Page. A user on Facebook may or may not want to buy from you now, but he or she will definitely want to socialize. They log on to Facebook to see what’s going on with their friends, families, celebrities and others. As more and more businesses establish a presence in the space, we may see an evolution of the Facebook user's mindset away from the social and towards the consumer side of things - but that remains to be seen.
Just because you're advertising in a new venue doesn't mean you can forget everything you've learned from Marketing 101. You're still on a journey with your potential consumer from the first impression until the eventual conversion - and even afterward! A boring Fan Page with bland content and little to keep the user engaged will not create a good relationship.
A Fan Page with polls, contests, and photos will do a better job of building the brand/user connection. With Facebook Ads connected to your Fan Page, you can take a proactive approach to building a base of engaged users and, by utilizing Facebook Insights, you will gain a critical understanding of the specifics of your customer demographic -- even if you have a pretty good idea of who your average customers are, Facebook might slice and dice the info in a way that you haven’t seen before.
Armed with a basic strategy and an understanding of Facebook's potential, we'll discuss how to properly set up your advertising campaigns on Facebook in Part II of our Facebook Advertising 101 post and later we'll delve into some of the key metrics specific to the social network. Stay Tuned!