5 Tips on Creating a Killer Facebook Ad Campaign

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By: Phillippe Narvaez

While just about every social-networking platform now has its own fully integrated advertising system, Facebook still reigns supreme in terms of features, insights and audience. As a business, that means Facebook is the ideal place to start. But unfortunately, just because Facebook is a great platform for advertising doesn’t mean all brands use it effectively. Many end up wasting money and throwing resources down the drain, because they have no strategy or don’t understand how to use it. Hopefully that’s not you. All it takes to succeed is a little knowledge of how Facebook advertising works and what some of the best practices are.

Here are my five tips for creating a killer Facebook ad campaign:

1. Mine audience insights

Facebook’s Audience Insights is one of the best tools you have at your disposal. It essentially allows you to learn about specific audiences before risking your budget or targeting them. It works by mining available Facebook data and showing you exactly who your target market is, based on people who already like your page.

Instead of taking a shot in the dark, you now know exactly which users are likely to follow through with your ad’s call-to-action. It saves a lot of time and money, allowing you to focus on the quality of the ad and avoid wasting time on targeting.

2. Create unique ad sets for each audience

One of the neatest features of Facebook’s advertising platform is that you can create separate ad sets for unique audiences. In other words, you can create two different ads and deliver them to two completely unique audiences. Or you can create the same exact ad and send it to two different audiences. Ultimately, the result is better targeting.

For example, let’s say you’re a retailer that sells kitchen supplies. Maybe you have a really awesome new stainless steel mixing bowl that you’re trying to market to two different groups. Instead of delivering the same ad to everyone, you can create two unique ads and deliver them to two distinct target markets. The first ad could be targeted towards professional chefs, whereas the second one may be focused on stay-at-home moms who like quality chef-grade kitchen supplies. The two ads will be completely different, despite the fact that the same item is being pushed.

3. Accompany ads with landing pages

Very rarely should you connect an ad to your website or product page without first pushing visitors through a landing page. Landing pages allow you to maximize your Facebook advertising efforts by educating users before asking them to buy.

Landing pages make sense because Facebook advertising isn’t cheap. You’re going to spend money on your clicks and you want each one to count. Simply sending them to a basic website or product page without any clear direction of what they need to do is a waste of money.

4. Use striking imagery

You’ll hear people teach entire courses on how to write Facebook ad copy, but for some reason, the same amount of attention isn’t given to the images used in these ads. This is unfortunate, since visual content is far more influential than textual content.

“You don’t have to use a shot of your business, product or service,” says Nicolas Gremion of Free-eBooks.net. “Rather use a (relevant if possible) image that will catch people’s eyes and have them read your ad.” Facebook tells you that you can’t use images that contain more than 20 percent words, so it’s clear that images are designed to grab attention, not display a message. Take advantage of this valuable real estate within your ad.

5. Establish a bid strategy and budget

Finally, it’s critically important that you set a bid strategy and budget. Otherwise you’ll end up spending way more than you intended. Thankfully, Facebook makes this easy by allowing you to use what’s known as Optimized CPM.

With this tool, you’re essentially giving Facebook the permission to bid for ad space based on the constraints and goals you provide. This generally allows you to maximize your budget and avoid overspending. Until you get an idea of how much ad space costs and how to allocate your budget, it’s best to let Facebook take care of this aspect of your campaign.

Putting it all together

Creating a killer Facebook ad campaign is all about understanding the platform and utilizing the features you have at your disposal. While you certainly need to think about the ad itself, you have to start with the platform you’re using. Once you determine who you’re targeting and how much you’re willing to spend, you can then focus on the finer details.

Using these five tips, you should be able to get started and experience some initial success. As always, remember that Facebook is constantly changing its advertising platform, so stay on top of any new developments and apply them accordingly.

I3M Communications

I3M Communications has years of valuable experience in many online disciplines, including Design and Development, eMarketing and Consulting.

 

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Marketing Online 101

marketing  with business graph and chart hand drawing on blackboardBy Phillippe Narvaez

Want to get into marketing online but wondering what the options are and what online marketing strategies will best fit your business and your marketing budget? This marketing online primer presents an overview of strategies for you to choose from. I recommend choosing and implementing at least three; successful marketing online depends on diversity and persistence for most small businesses.

1) Have a Blog/Website.

The first step to successful marketing online is to have a home base on the web. It doesn’t really matter if you have an official website or a blog or a combination of both. Either will give you a web address where people can find you and a convenient way of referring to you, two things that will facilitate your marketing online efforts. So even if you don’t sell anything online directly, you need a website.

I encourage business people to have a blog on their website or serving as a website because if you blog regularly and have something relevant to say, you will develop a following – and some of those people will help your marketing online efforts by spreading the word about you and your products and/or services.

2) Online Advertising

Many small businesses in particular bother with this marketing online strategy, I suspect because they don’t want to shell out for it. They only want to do free marketing online. I say, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with free marketing online strategies – as long as you realize they’re not. All the ‘free’ online marketing strategies I’m aware of take a considerable time investment, meaning they’re only free if your time is worth nothing.

Traditional online advertising, on the other hand, takes relatively little time and can be a very effective marketing online strategy. The first thing you need to know about it is that there are two cost models, CPM and CPC.

CPM stands for Cost Per Thousand Impressions. With this type of marketing online, you basically buy space on a web page and pay for a certain number of impressions, or the number of times your ad is going to be displayed. Many of the banner ads you see on various websites are being paid for on a CPM model.

CPC stands for Cost-Per-Click advertising. In this model, you pay only for the number of times a viewer clicks on your ad, not on the number of times it’s displayed.

Google AdWords is perhaps the best known Pay-per-click marketing online program. When you’re marketing online with this program, you choose particular keywords that you want your ads to be associated with. When people search on Google using one of your keywords, your ad may appear next to the search results. The theory is that these people are much more likely to be interested in your products or services.

Another online advertising strategy you may wish to try is creating and posting an online video (either to your own website or to a popular video sharing site such as YouTube). An online video can be marketing online gold if it becomes popular.

3) Directory Listings

Adding your business to appropriate directory listings (local directory listings, business directories, etc.) is another way of marketing online that takes little time and is relatively inexpensive. Whatever local business groups you belong to, such as your local Chamber of Commerce, probably have websites where they allow members to list their businesses online and perhaps even place ads on the site at special rates. Search out other local sites, especially those related to tourism, and make sure you’re listed there, too.

Then there are the professional sites. Are you a Virtual Assistant? A CGA? A Canadian retailer? Whatever your professional affiliations, chances are good that organization has a site with a directory of members. There are also a lot of specialized online networking groups/sites that promote marketing online. A Business Advertising package on the Canadian Women’s Business Network, for instance, costs only $36 CAN.

4) Participating in Social Media

Joining the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and forums, posting on Flicker and YouTube, commenting on other people’s blogs, are all opportunities for marketing online.

Marketing online through social media requires a much more subtle technique than marketing online through advertising or directory listings. With all social media, the trick is to participate intelligently and actually attempt to converse rather than just advertising your products or services.

The downside of social media marketing is that it’s time-consuming. If you want to do it well and see any real benefit from it, you have to work at it. The upside is that it’s free and can really generate a lot of buzz about your products/services if something that you’ve done online (a post, a video, an article) becomes really popular.

5) Online Networking

LinkedIn deserves special mention in any discussion of online networking. Its stated purpose is to help the world’s professionals connect with one another to accelerate their success. As of this writing, LinkedIn has over 40 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the world. It’s a powerful tool for Internet marketing, giving you the opportunity to connect with potential customers, partners and colleagues.

Like social media, online networking requires taking a subtle approach. The same basic rule applies to online networking that applies to networking face-to-face. Give, give, give and don’t worry about receiving; you will, likely in bigger, more powerful ways than you ever imagined.

6) Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the best and most powerful ways of online marketing in my opinion. For one thing, once you’ve developed an email list, (notice the word developed, not bought), you are, in effect, preaching to the converted, sending your marketing message directly to people who have already indicated some interest in your products or services.

For another, email is an excellent tool for building a relationship with your customers, letting you build both repeat business and good word-of-mouth.

Newsletters can be sent to the email list you’ve built from the people who provided the necessary information on your website, for instance, providing these potential customers with news updates about your company, upcoming events and/or special offers – and, of course, reminding them that your business exists and that maybe it’s time for another visit.

Email programs such as VerticalResponse and Constant Contact allow you to customize your email to your potential customer so you can send selected customers messages specific to their interests and actions.

Marketing Online and Offline Are The Same in One Way…

I3M Communications

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I3M Communications has years of valuable experience in many online disciplines, including Design and Development, eMarketing and Consulting.

Native Advertising

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By Phillippe Narvaez

Native advertising – or ads designed to mimic the look and feel of editorial content – has become an increasingly important practice for publishers trying to engage today’s savvy, ad-blocking web users. As native advertising continues to evolve, the Federal Trade Commission is concerned that consumers may not be able to differentiate advertising from other content. Late last month, this concern prompted the FTC to publish Native Advertising: A Guide for Businesses, a supplement to its Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements. These guidelines provide clear recommendations and examples about what is and is not acceptable in terms of digital native advertising.

So how should your brand react to the new guidelines?

The general consensus among marketing and PR pros is that the new guidelines simply reinforce the same principles they have been following all along: as long as sponsored content is compelling, entertaining, and tells a valuable story to your audience, it will comply with FTC guidelines. However, you can avoid crossing over into deceptive territory by reviewing some key takeaways before creating or placing your next native ad.

The Key to Compliance is Transparency

As always, your goal as a marketer is to be as transparent as possible. While a native ad should never suggest to consumers that it is anything else, ads that are less obviously promotional should include a disclosure alerting consumers. These disclosures should:

  • Appear as close as possible to the native ads to which they relate.
  • Communicate in clear, unambiguous language (the FTC recommends terms such as “Advertisement,” “Paid Advertisement,” “Ad,” or “Sponsored Advertising Content” rather than “Promoted” or “Presented By,” which can be misleading).
  • Utilize conspicuous visual cues to distinguish sponsored content, such as easy-to-read fonts, colors and shading.
  • For shared or linked ads, the disclosures must travel with the ad content.
  • In multimedia ads, disclosures should be delivered to consumers before they see or hear the related message. Disclosures should be visible on all devices and platforms consumers may use when encountering the ad.

At I3M Communications we take complying with FTC regulations and protecting our clients seriously.

I3M Communications

Contact us:

I3M Communications has years of valuable experience in many online disciplines, including Design and Development, eMarketing and Consulting.