As of fourth-quarter 2017, Facebook boasted more than 2. 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, a 14-percent year-over-year increase. For any serious marketers, being on social media is mandatory, and — like it or not — Facebook is too big to ignore.
The consumer journey now involves so many different
touchpoints — and interacting with customers has never
been more crucial than it is on Facebook, where 1. 2 billion
of our best friends visit every single day. However, more
companies are advertising on Facebook than ever before. In
April 2017, there were 5 million advertisers, growing from 4
million in September 2016 and 3 million in March 2016. It’s
a trifecta of trouble: more competition, higher prices, and less
But hold your horses: Facebook’s CPMs have increased
171 percent in the past year — and CPCs have nearly doubled. Yes, that’s right: ad impressions are flat, while costs are
Facebook’s organic reach has been steadily in decline,
with the average organic post reaching less than 2 percent of
fans who have liked the page — and trending downward. So,
if you want to be seen, you must advertise.
So what types of tactics and strategies are marketers using
to stand out?
If you are going to make an investment in Facebook advertising, as in any platform, building consistency and trust
is important, not scattershot, once-in-a-while ads. This requires consistent messaging and quick response to customer
Time of day and day of the week are important, especially
if you’re working on a limited budget. A post at 7 p.m. will
result in more clicks, on average, than one at 8 p.m. (source:
Forbes). And Bit.ly’s blog notes that engagement on Thursdays and Fridays is 18-percent higher.
Growing a fan base and being able to
use that base to advocate for your brand
is a critical component. Your fan base can
give great customer insight and offer rich
data for your planning, in addition to increasing sales.
According to Sally Clapper, director
of digital marketing for global hearing
intelligence marketer, Nuheara, Facebook
advertising is a moving target. “Reliable
answers in black and white are hard to tie
back to ROI, especially in e-commerce,” she says. “Look for
trends, in addition to trying to nail a specific metric.” This is
important advice, especially for performance marketers who
suffer from lack-of-100-percent-attribution syndrome.
Using unique codes for tracking on Facebook is important
as well. However, Clapper says, “Having a robust community
of advocates allows people to comment, post, and tag their
friends. The more we post on Facebook, the higher the reve-
nue — although direct attribution is not always there.”
Remarketing is key, offering higher conversions at a lower
CPA. Clapper adds, “Target engaged site visitors differently,
based on how many times they have visited, how much time
they visited, and which pages they were on. That can lead to
narrowed-down custom audiences with more targeted mes-
sages and higher conversion.”
Facebook also can help build email lists for future mar-
keting. This is a tactic that can pay off in large dividends —
Facebook can generate qualified leads who are interested in
your content and category. Whether you are seeking a form
fill, giving out a free eBook, or asking for signups for exclusive
offers, pre-offers, or discounts, Facebook can open the door to
a prospect — and email can close them.
Finally, engaging video is more likely to capture attention
than a still image. And Facebook video views have increased
exponentially. But testing close rates from video also must be
measured. Getting a million views and no sales does nothing
for the bottom line. Gone are the days of expecting a video
to go viral and save the day.
While some marketers are using the Facebook ad manager
platform, others are opting for different
software solutions, including artificial
intelligence (AI) solutions, which create
a more custom user experience, have the
ability to integrate with display and other
campaigns, and purport to tie in and over-
lay multiple data points for a more sophis-
ticated and customized outreach.
There is no one panacea for better
ROI on Facebook. It is important, as we
do in all other media, to try different
things — and test, test, test.
Meeting the Challenge of
Advertising on Facebook
BY AVA SEAVEY AND MICHAEL MONTGOMERY