Ultimate guide to successful Facebook promotion
When a lot of people think about Facebook these days it’s often fake news, Russian meddling and painfully awkward congressional hearings that spring to mind. But for marketers, Facebook remains the place to promote their content.
Facebook offers a bigger potential reach and the best range of ad products among social media sites. But how do you leverage all that to drive relevant users towards your marketing goals? You can start by reading this blog post – our ultimate guide to facebook promotion. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Why should you spend your marketing dollars with Facebook rather than, say, Google Ads? We’ll give you 5 good reasons.
- What do you want to achieve with your Facebook promotion? We’ll run through how different ad products support different stages of the sales and marketing funnel.
- Once your Facebook promotion is running, how do you give it the best chance of succeeding? We’ll give you our 5 pro tips for optimising your Facebook ad campaigns.
5 reasons to promote your content on Facebook
There is no shortage of competition when it comes to allocating your marketing budget. One of the biggest challenges marketers face these days is deciding what to do first. What content should they create? How do they go about promoting it?
We believe Facebook can play a role in almost any content promotion plan. Even if you don’t immediately associate your brand with Facebook, chances are the audience you’re targeting use it or one of the brands it’s gobbled up.
Here are our top 5 reasons for making Facebook promotion part of your digital marketing strategy:
1. Unrivaled potential reach
Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users, according to its own figures. That offers marketers a much bigger potential reach for their ads than rival social media sites. Twitter, for example, has around 330 million monthly active users.
2. Decision makers use it
It’s not just cat video enthusiasts and Russian spies that use Facebook. Its increasingly sophisticated ad products, business pages and the launch of internal comms platform, Workplace, means Facebook is also a place to find decision makers. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2017, 80 per cent of c-level execs use Facebook for professional purposes.
3. It’s still growing
When we talk about Facebook we’re really talking about a group rather than a site. Facebook’s growth has been powered by acquisitions, with two of the biggest being Instagram (USD 1 billion) and WhatsApp (USD 19 billion). At a time when Facebook.com has seen growth levelling off, especially in mature markets like the US and Europe, its acquired brands have kept growing. Instagram, for example, recently hit one billion users.
4. Ad products for every marketing goal
Facebook’s success is often measured by number of users. But what it is really, really good at is selling ads. Advertising revenue is growing 42 per cent year-on-year, according to Facebook’s most recent quarterly results. Ads delivered no less than 98.5 per cent of the company’s total Q2 revenue. Facebook’s reach is a big part of why it attracts USD 50 billion a year in ad spend, but it’s also because of the quality of its ad products. Facebook’s targeting, insights and support are well ahead of anything other social media sites offer.
5. Users stay signed in
Facebook’s headline user stat is the 2 billion people who use the site every month. A good chunk of these users remain logged in all the time, which gives Facebook visibility on their browsing activity and supports powerful remarketing ads. Facebook’s almost ubiquitous mobile app means that reach extends across multiple devices.
Facebook ads for different stages of the sales funnel
Facebook ads cater for no fewer than 13 different marketing objectives. But if you want a rundown on each one then you’re better off checking out Facebook’s resources for marketers. What we’ll do here is look at how Facebook ads can support different stages of the sales and marketing funnel.
Building awareness at the top of the funnel
What that means:
Users at the top of the funnel might not be familiar with your brand. Or if they know who you are, perhaps they don’t know much about what you do and how you might be able to help them. Your objective at this stage is to introduce yourself, your products and your services.
The content you create and promote should answer some of the common questions your audience is asking. And the actions you’re trying to promote need to be low commitment.
How Facebook can help:
Optimise or create your Facebook Page and run some Page Like ads.
How it works:
Pages are the most common way for businesses to create a presence on the Facebook. Chances are your business already has one so it will just be a case of optimising it. If you want some tips on how to do that, you can download our Content Promotion Starter Pack here.
Once you’re happy with your Page you can start building an audience for it. While you can expect some organic growth, like most things on Facebook, if you want to see real progress you need to invest in some ad spend.
You have two options here. The first is to run an ad campaign promoting Page Likes. You can use your own creative and Facebook’s targeting options to promote your Page to relevant users. The second option is to put your ad dollars behind your posts and then invite users who engage with them to also Like your Page. This is slower, but will often find users who are more likely to be active in the future.
Driving useful actions at the mid-funnel stage
What that means:
Mid-funnel marketing is about nurturing users who have already engaged with your brand in some way. Or finding those users who are a little further along the buyer journey and are ready for a bigger commitment than just visiting your website or Liking your Facebook Page.
How Facebook can help:
Run remarketing ads to promote gated ebooks and case studies.
How it works:
If your website gets a lot of traffic you can use Facebook Pixels to quickly build audiences based on visits or particular actions. So, let’s say you sell widgets. If you get enough traffic to your yellow widgets landing page you can run ads on Facebook targeting users who have seen that page.
You might use an ad like that just to prompt reconsideration and try to get those users to return to your yellow widgets landing page. Better still, create a compelling ebook about yellow widgets and promote that to the same audience.
If users have been on your yellow widgets landing page they might not be ready to buy a yellow widget quite yet. But they might be interested enough in yellow widgets to download your yellow widgets ebook. These users are now moving down your sales funnel.
Closing the deal at the bottom of the funnel
What that means:
The bottom of the funnel is where users take the most valuable action. This is the ultimate goal of all your digital marketing activity. For e-commerce sites, this is usually a purchase. For lead gen sites, it will be some sort of form fill, perhaps a free trial or a demo request.
The content you need at this stage needs to build trust and highlight your USPs. This could be testimonials, case studies or interviews with your key employees.
How Facebook can help:
Use Lead Ads to quickly capture useful lead information from users who know your brand and have already engaged with your sales-oriented content.
How it works:
Lead Ads are often appealing to marketers because the whole conversion process is handled within Facebook. So, no need to negotiate with the IT department to get a new landing page for your campaign. You can create the ad, capture the lead information and manage your leads all on Facebook.
But when Lead Ads fail it’s often because they’re presented to users at the wrong stage of the sales funnel. A user who doesn’t know who you are or what you do is very unlikely to fill out a form requesting a free consultation.
Instead, you need to do the work developing your audience and pushing actions that better suit where they are in the buyer journey. Users who have engaged with sales-focussed content, such a promotional landing page or a case study, are much more likely to convert when presented with a Lead Ad.
5 pro tips for optimising your Facebook ads
Let’s assume you’ve been convinced to commit some of your ad budget to Facebook. How do you give yourself the best chance of a positive return on your investment? Just like any digital marketing channel, Facebook doesn’t guarantee results. And there are lots of variables that can influence the success or otherwise of your campaigns.
Here are our 5 tips for optimising your Facebook ads:
1. Use optimisation for ad delivery to reduce frequency score
Frequency score tells you how often, on average, users are seeing your ad. If your frequency score is going up, it could be an indication that your ads need refreshing or you need to review the audience you’re targeting. One simple change you can make is to switch “optimisation for ad delivery” (in ad set) to “unique daily reach”. Facebook will then prioritise users who haven’t seen your ad each day.
2. Increase your budget when your ads are working
This sounds obvious but it’s amazing how many marketers fail to do it. In any Facebook campaign there will be certain ad sets and ad creative that perform better than others. It is unlikely that you will be maxing out the potential reach from day one. So, it’s vital that you keep a close eye on your data and reallocate spend to maximise your return on what’s working.
3. Use existing posts as ad creative
Most Facebook folk will tell you that boosting posts is great for quickly and easily drawing attention to your latest content. But that choosing an objective, building out ad sets and designing bespoke creative is the most effective way to advertise on Facebook. Using existing posts as your creative in an ad campaign is a good middle ground. This can be especially effective if you have posts with really strong engagement stats.
4. Upload your email list
If you have a big email marketing database and you’re happy that the data is clean you can use it to make your own audiences on Facebook. This is an underused tactic, even among marketers who are using Facebook to run remarketing campaigns. Facebook can usually match between 50 and 60 per cent of email addresses with users. If the audience it creates is too small, you can expand it with a lookalike audience.
5. Remember that all ads have a shelf life
Whether it’s a high frequency score or rising cost per acquisition eventually your data will tell you it’s time for a refresh. If you’ve found a really effective piece of creative it can be hard to let go of it. So, a good tip here is to recycle rather than discard by changing the ad format. Creative that worked in an image ad can be repurposed for a carousel, collection or slideshow. Using one of the many apps Facebook promotes, you could even create a video.