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3 Reasons Why Facebook Advertising is Superior to Traditional Advertising


When I talk to clients about Facebook Advertising most haven’t realised the true potential of it, or even what it is. There are 3 main advantages of this form of advertising which this blog post will outline.

Imagine we had the assignment of creating a new form of advertising to replace billboards, leafleting and radio/ TV ads. A good place to start would be to look at the problems with those forms or advertising. There are 3 major drawbacks with them:

  1. Reach- they can only reach a limited amount of people. Radio & TV ads could probably reach the largest audience but they are still limited to the number of listeners/ viewers.

  2. Targeting- advertising is priced by the number of people we reach. But if only 50% of the viewers are in our target audience we are effectively paying to reach people who are never going to buy from us.

  3. Cost- the most expensive type of advertising is the one where you don’t know whether it’s working. The problem with most advertising is you can’t tell whether it’s working. It’s hard to tell whether an advert version will do well so you have to let the data speak. Sometimes I test 10 different adverts at the same time and the one I thought was worse often comes out on top. That’s why it’s so important to be able to test. Imagine having paid £5000 for a billboard. You can’t work out whether that’s bringing in business. And even if you could you couldn’t change it quickly if you worked out it wasn’t working. And even if you could do that it will have already cost you an arm and a leg.

Facebook advertising solves all these.

So, what is Facebook Advertising? Let’s clear this up.

Facebook advertising is NOT posting on your Facebook page. If you just do that the only people that you’ll get in front of are the people who already ‘like’ your Facebook page. Facebook Adverts on the other hand are paid ads which can reach any group of people in Facebook’s 2+ billion audience. Facebook users will see the adverts in between posts from their friends and pages they follow.

Facebook ads are fast becoming the most popular form of advertising with the number of advertisers almost tripling in the last 3 years. With 5 million advertisers in April 2017.

Part of the reason for this is because it solves all the 3 problems we mentioned earlier:

1. Reach

Facebook has more than 2 billion people using it every month. And it’s not just young people anymore. 62% of 65+ year olds use Facebook! Your target market is definitely on there! Most people check Facebook first thing in the morning, between daily tasks, and in the evening. A staggering one in every five minutes spent on a mobile device is on Facebook. This is why your adverts will get seen – and clicked.

2. Targeting

You can be very specific over the type of people you want seeing your advert - people share every aspect of their lives with Facebook and Facebook gives advertisers the ability to utilize that. These are just some of the ways you could target your ideal customer on Facebook:

  • Interest/ location and age range targeting: You could target mothers within 5 miles of your premises that are aged 33-67 and like Malteasers and read Hello! You can go as specific as you like. You can even look at similar business’s audiences to see what they tend to be interested in.

  • Friend targeting: If you already have some people following your Facebook page you could target an advert at their friends. Friends are more likely to respond to your adverts as Facebook says above the advert that ‘{Your friend} also likes {your page}. This acts like a recommendation of your business.

  • Target past website visitors: Most people who visit your website will leave and never come into contact with your brand again. Yet, they were interested enough to visit your website so they could be worth sending a follow up ad to. Facebook can record which of its users visit your website and gives you the ability to send adverts to them.

  • Target past customers: many businesses collect contact details of their current customers. These can be uploaded to Facebook and Facebook finds the users associated with those contact details. So you could send them an advert enticing them to buy again or you could create something called a ‘lookalike audience’ where Facebook find people similar to your current customers. That brings us onto lookalike audiences.

  • Lookalike targeting: Once you’ve created an audience you think will respond well to your adverts (e.g. past website visitors/ past customers/ people who like your Facebook page or people who have like, commented or shared a Facebook post of yours), you can then give that audience to Facebook and tell them to find people similar to those people. These people will be likely be those ideal customers that you haven’t reached yet.

  • Retargeting: Once you start running ads someone might ‘like’ the advert but not buy. They might click the link but not buy. They may register but not buy. Facebook gives you a list of all those people so you can send them a ‘reminder’ advert to encourage them to complete the buying process.

3. Cost

The most expensive type of advertising is the one where you don’t know whether it’s working.

Imagine instead of putting an advert in the local newspaper you could have 10 different adverts and you split them up so a tenth of the newspapers had one advert in and the next tenth had another advert version in and so on.

Now imagine that every time someone sees your advert that data shows up on your computer. And every time someone dials your phone number after seeing the ad you could see that data on your screen too. In real time.

Imagine that data also told you which of the 10 adverts had brought in the most calls.

Now imagine you found 80% of your phone calls were coming from only 1 of the advert versions (the winning advert). The other 9 were costing you as much but not bringing in as many results.

So imagine you could snap your fingers and those 9 ads would instantly be replaced by the winning ad.

Now this may sound idyllic and futuristic but you can do all that with basic FB adverts, today.

But not only can you test which ads are working you can do this cheaply.

You can work out within a few days which ads aren’t working. And as you can choose you budget with Facebook ads it means you haven’t spent much. Social Media is digital so there are much lower costs of production than with radio or newspaper ads.

Say you decide to spend £10 a day on ads. We’d divide that £10 equally between all the different versions. Then we’d see which versions were doing the best. Say, 3 are doing much better than the rest. We could move the money from the other 7 and divide it between the winning 3. And over time we can work out which one of those 3 is doing the best and put all of your £10 behind it so you reach more people and get even better results.

The ability to find the most effective advert quickly means costs are drastically reduced.

This should show you why there is so much hype about Facebook Ads. They are changing how advertising is done.

But, this is not to say Facebook advertising will work for all businesses. It won’t. We at eFix Marketing have attempted to pinpoint the factors that make a business suitable for Facebook advertising. From this we’ve created a quiz you can try out to see if they’ll work for you. Try it out here: m.me/eFixMarketing


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