Facebook Ads: A Few factors to consider if you’re just starting out

It would be a hard task to find someone who hadn’t heard of Facebook, such is the sheer size of its reach these days.

One of the obvious benefits of its size of course is the ability to put your adverts in front of a huge audience, and Facebook makes that process very easy with its highly targetable Pay Per Click model. Many small / medium sized companies are taking advantage of this, and are often doing so at a lower cost than the more traditional keyword bidding version of Pay Per Click advertising.

The issue though, that’s becoming more evident amongst some of the businesses we speak with, is that this overall lower cost appears to reduce the level of importance put on targeting and measurement. In essence, people are comparing Cost Per Click and overall cost between the two models, seeing a saving and feeling a benefit. Job done. Or is it?

Actually there is more to a good Facebook Ad campaign than saving money, so we’ve listed a few nuggets of information below that you might want to consider when you’re next creating a campaign.

1. Cost Per Click on Facebook is increasing

Keep an eye on your cost per click. Yes, it can still be lower than the more traditional keyword model, but overall the Cost Per Click on Facebook is increasing. If you’ve noticed click numbers dwindling, don’t just assume that it’s Facebook being less effective. It could be that your once competitive CPC settings are now very uncompetitive and resulting in lower exposure of your ad.

Infact, recent reports by Efficient Frontier suggest a 22% increase in Facebook CPC between Q1 and Q2 of 2011, which follows on from their suggestion of a 40% increase between Q4 of 2010 and Q1 of 2011

2. Pictures can increase clicks

Sounds simple enough, but how often do you test this? Facebook themselves say on their site that “Adding an image can be one of the most powerful factors in determining the success of your ads”. They also provide a simple function during ad creation to allow you to upload a new image, rather than just using your profile picture.

As always though, test the outcomes. What is it you want to achieve? Sales? Likes? Or simple awareness of the brand? A recent article from eConsultancy highlighted a test displaying an image of beer in an ad that resulted in a CTR performance 57% better than any other ad tried.

Relevance of the image of course is key. Certain images will result in more clicks, but if the resulting content doesn’t match that which the image suggested, people will leave again just as quickly. Test, but test wisely.

3. Test your targeting options

Facebook allows you to setup multiple ads per campaign, so why not take advantage of this? Rather than judging performance on a single advert test, run a few variations using different targeting until you’ve refined your audience to that which is most efficient.

Not only can you test different copy, a different image and even a different landing tab, you can also test based on personal information of users such as age, gender, location, relationship status, gender interest, language, education level, interests and workplace.

So, if you only supply locally, or if you know the details of your target audience, ensure that your Facebook Ads are setup with this in mind so that you are only paying for those clicks with the highest potential to convert.

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