Facebook is anything but an old-school media channel. However, most brands haven’t realized it yet. Instead, they get too caught up in vanity metrics — you know, the ones that make us feel good about our decisions — that they fail to dig deeper than fans, likes, views, or shares.
Don’t get me wrong, these low-hanging fruits can certainly tell you whether you’re building brand awareness. They can also provide a glimpse into the effectiveness of a social campaign. The downfall? Impression-based metrics only show part of the path to conversion.
It’s safe to assume that a high percentage of dollars allocated for Facebook advertising, which is set to hit 23 percent of total U.S. digital ad spend, goes toward brand awareness and video views. This fact is not lost on the king of social media, either. Consequently, Facebook’s Blueprint training puts a lot of focus on brand awareness, and the company itself makes brand lift case studies available to its largest advertisers.
The Value of Your Virtual Corner
But Facebook — and social media as a whole, really — can do more than increase the exposure of a brand. It can drive a tremendous amount of traffic to your business. What’s more, it’s probably one of the most economical outlets for converting average consumers into loyal customers through the internet today.
Take, for example, Antonia Saint New York, a high-heels startup (and, full disclosure, one of my firm’s clients). It was recently featured as the first crowdfunding Facebook Ad success story after experiencing seven times better returns on ad spend by driving highly targeted traffic to its sales page. There were nearly 1,800 sales from Facebook traffic over a 40-day period.
Needless to say, there’s a lot of value in carving a virtual corner for your brand on this platform — as long as you match the message with the creative, the targeting with the offer, and the campaign with the landing page. In other words, do everything you would with a traditional marketing campaign — just make sure to gear it toward the channel.
From Brand Awareness to Real Revenue
The following tips should send you down the path to success when it comes to utilizing Facebook Ads to drive revenue:
- Use conversion optimization campaigns.
When you set up a Facebook Ad, you can tell the platform your goal for the campaign, such as conversions, impressions, or link clicks. Choosing the Facebook pixel and conversion event will optimize the campaign for conversions.
With the Facebook pixel properly set, Facebook is now able to tell when a user converts into a buyer. The platform also uses machine learning over time to identify who to target, when to target them, and where to place ads to improve the chances of conversion.
- Go custom with your audience.
If you know exactly who you’re targeting, Facebook allows you to upload email lists and create ads to target only those people. Let’s say you want to tell past customers about a new product. Upload the list, and Facebook will make sure your ad shows up in your target audience’s feeds.If you have the Facebook pixel on your website, you can also target your recent website visitors. We’ve found that our custom audiences convert up to eight times better than interest-based targeting.
3. Create lookalike audiences of your best customers.
Facebook now has the ability to find the 1 percent of people in the U.S. who are the most similar to your tailored audience. In doing so, it’s as simple as uploading all your customers’ emails to create a lookalike of those individuals. If you’re looking to get in front of recent graduates of a business mba program for example, and you already have a group of their contact emails, you’re good to go.
In our experience, lookalike audiences convert at least two times better than interest-based targeting. Additionally, we like to take the process one step further and segment out the top 20 percent of our customers based on their lifetime value. Then, Facebook’s intuitive platform creates a beneficial lookalike of our best customers. This can be a vital tool for any brand looking to dig deeper into its customer portfolio.
As with any marketing campaign, it’s always best to start small. Then, once you figure out the recipe for messaging, creative, and targeting, you can scale your budget up and start seeing real returns on your ad spend. Facebook Ads can get your company to new revenue-building heights once you understand that the platform’s capabilities scale beyond building brand awareness. Long story short: Stop only driving impressions, and start driving revenue!
Roy Morejon is the president and co-founder of Enventys Partners, a vertically integrated product development, crowdfunding, and digital marketing agency. The turnkey firm combines product development and marketing services, helping entrepreneurs and enterprise companies bring innovative products and ideas to market quickly. A serial entrepreneur and thought leader in online marketing for more than 25 years, Morejon consulted for AOL and Microsoft in his teens and now provides tech startups with a one-stop solution for all of their go-to-market needs.