Exploring the Successfulness of Facebook Advertising

February 18th, 2010 by Search Influence Alumni

Hi, my name is Anthony and I am a recovering search marketing luddite.

Facebook Yields High ROI on PPC Ads

Facebook Yields High ROI on PPC Ads

For years there have been only three internet ad services I viewed successful: Google Adwords, Yahoo Sponsored Search, and MSN Adcenter.  Don’t misunderstand; I was aware of other services.  I am a social media packrat after all, but I never considered them realistic alternatives to the holy SEM trinity. They seemed like gimmicks. As PPC manager at Search Influence, I provide these services to our clients but I never realized how truly profitable social media advertising was until I started comparing the conversion rates. The numbers spoke loud and clear – Facebook (to my surprise) was generating a high return with a significantly lower cost because of demographic targeting and editorial-like advertisements.

Relevant Facebook Ad

Facebook ad that targets keyword's in an user profile

Demographic targeting has always been the corner of successful search marketing.  Though Google Adwords has demographic targeting capabilities, it lacks Facebook’s knowledge of its users. Facebook allows internet marketers to directly advertise to their core audience based not only geo-location, age, and sex, but a plethora of user define information.

Facebook Demographic Targeting

Facebook Demographic Targeting

Facebook Advertising allows you to target by:

  • Geo-location
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Education Level
  • Relationship Status
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Keywords

Instead of trying to convince a “researcher” to click through (as you compete with nine other ads and organic results), you can use demographic targeting to directly advertise to your potential client. Showing highly relevant ads to a smaller and more focused group of viewers leads to higher quality leads and lower cost per click (cpc).

While demographic targeting is key to finding your audience, the proper verbage is also needed. Unlike search engine advertising, these users are not looking for tax specialists or new-age spa retreats. This type of user is uploading pictures from their kid’s birthday and accepting event invites.

Facebook Editorial Ads

Example of Facebook Ad

So how do you engage these users?

Write magazine-like editorial ads for your targeted demographic.

The reason magazine and newspaper ads are so successful is they provide a great value proposition to a targeted user. Incorporating graphical elements gives Facebook ads a stark advantage over search engine advertising. This element not only allows user to visually convey the ad purpose, it is also a good way to generate a higher quality click-through rate (CTR). A relevant image will always be worth a thousand plus words.

In the end, while search engine paid advertising is beneficial in capturing high-level researchers, Facebook allows you direct access to a potential client. With a well-written advert, you can lead the horse to water instead of yelling at him to drink.