Increase Your Advertising Reach with Facebook Advertising Automation
As the world’s largest and arguably most important social network, Facebook is often the first place businesses look to when they seek to leverage the power of the Internet to improve the reach of their conventional advertising.
Things have come a long way for Facebook in just a few years. A decade ago, the network sold few advertisements, and what it did offer were “banner” style ads that were sent out indiscriminately, using the shotgun approach. This meant that they had to be cheap to be effective, as they were sent to anyone with an account. Advertisers paid for eyeballs, and they were just that — eyes. Nothing was known about the consumer behind them.
Today, when a user logs into their Facebook account, there is an automated auction that takes place, matching advertisers that the user might be interested in with the information in their profile and the things that Facebook knows about their browsing/buying habits, which is a lot. As a result, the efficiency of Facebook advertising has gone way, way up since the early days.
Conventional advertising still works the same way that Facebook advertising used to. Retailers who are coming late to the social networking game have a lot to learn to compete with advertisers who have been at it for a while. It’s a good thing that it’s easy to implement many of the automation practises that make social media marketing a powerful tool, in no small part because of the tools that Facebook offers to its advertisers.
In early 2017, Facebook took a long hard look at the tools marketers needed to use in order to maximize the impact of their on-network advertising, and created their own feature called Automated Rules, which gives advertisers complete control over the actions that are taken on the network based on predetermined criteria.
All strategys generally fall under three catagories.
1. Awareness (with payment per CPM (see below)or per 1000 unique views)
2. Consideration (with payment per click or per landing page view)
3. Conversion (with payment per whatever business defines a conversion — this could be an app install, sale, lead, store visit.. etc)
There are several ways that you can optimize your bidding strategy:
Per Impression — CPM, the cost per 1000 views of your ad. This is the most “old-fashioned” method of advertising online. Basically, you’re paying for eyeballs.
Per Click — CPC, the cost for every click users make on your ad.
Cost per Conversion — oCPM This one can be tricky, because a “conversion” is different for every business. If you’re a retailer, it might be making a sale. If you are a law firm, it might be consultation booking. Or it might be something as simple as liking your page. Generally, Cost per Conversion advertising campaigns are very large, designed for reaches of more than 500,000 impressions.
CPA — Cost Per Action This allows you to bid for certain actions, like downloading an app you offer, or filling out a form. This is the same as oCPM.
Facebook has an interest in your advertisement working for you, so built in to their process are some controls that allow them to determine who they think should see the advertisement. Because you pay for a behaviour, your success is their success. They also evaluate the performance of your advertisements (similar to running “split” campaigns in print) and will choose to show the more effective advertisements more often.
How to Get Started
Basically, Facebook will do their best to provide what you need to successfully begin advertising on their platform. They have done an excellent job of tailoring the tools to create advertising campaigns for business of all sizes. When you contact them, they’ll make countless online resources available to you, as well as provide solid counsel for those who need to learn about the process. Do a quick search for Facebook Business to make contact, and get started in a matter of minutes. If your business outgrows Facebook’s Automated Rules product, there are some platforms that you can use which provide more sophisticated reports and finer control over the auction process, like Power Editor and Nanigans.
There’s a lot to know about advertising on Facebook, and it’s a good thing that Facebook knows it all. Because they have a direct interest in your success as an advertiser, they will help you build a successful campaign.
Michael Jankie is chief executive and co-founder of PoweredLocal, an end-to-end provider of Wi-Fi to small businesses.