Andrew Foxwell of Foxwell Digital has come to know the many ins and outs of the increasingly complex and valuable tools available through Facebook advertising, and he brought his expertise to Social Media Breakfast Madison on Wednesday (December 17, 2014).
Facebook advertising tools have advanced enormously from the early days when a simple display ad on the right side of the page was the norm. “It was pretty boring, and it didn’t work very well,” Andrew noted.
“Now we’re looking at a program that is growing larger than any other platform online,” he said, adding that to keep up with it is a challenge, even for people who work on it regularly. But it is worth the effort.
Today, you can narrow your audience down not only by such demographics as age, gender, marital status and geographic location but also by interests (what books do they buy, what music do they listen to, what Facebook pages do they ‘like’?), and consumer behavior (what types of products have they purchased recently?).
In addition to demographic targeting, you can target by interests and behaviors – and you can create “custom audiences” by matching your email lists with Facebook demographics. By doing so you can even create “look-alike” audiences that match the profiles of your current customers and as such are likely to become future customers.
It’s an amazing array of targeting options that open up a whole world of marketing opportunities.
“All of these things work in combination with one another, which is crazy crazy fun as a marketer,” Andrew said.
Andrew identified the Building Blocks of Facebook Advertising:
- TARGETING: Who is my ideal audience?
- CREATIVE: What message do I want to get across?
- PLACEMENT: Where are my ads best suited on the Facebook platform?
- TRACKING: What metrics will fully track my campaign’s impact?
- REPORTING: How do I decode and translate results?
You begin by identifying your ideal audience and then targeting them based “demographic targeting” that focuses on such factors as age, gender, location, relationship status, education, work, financial situation, ethnicity, generation, politics and life events.
Then you can incorporate “interest targeting” identifying such factors as brands and keywords users use on Facebook, websites they browse, photos and videos they upload, articles they have read, and even music they have listened to (on platforms such as Spotify and others that are integrated via Facebook’s Open Graph API or Facebook connect).
Then you can add “behavioral targeting” which is based on consumer data covering such categories as automotive, charitable donations, digital activities, mobile device usage, purchase behavior, and travel.
You need even more targeting? You can upload your customer/client email list directly into Facebook’s ad manager. Facebook then matches those email addresses to their Facebook accounts, so you have the ability to target them with online ads.
Be sure to empower yourself, Andrew said, by getting to know and using the advanced Facebook advertising tools, including the Facebook Power Editor.
Now that you’ve identified and targeted your audiences it is important to develop ads that draw their attention.
“My number one rule on Facebook advertising,” Andrew said, “is to ask myself: Would I click on that?”
It helps to be a little weird, he said, but don’t be too weird. “Test your images. Give it a shot and see what works and what doesn’t work.”
The final step is to use the very detailed Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics to find out exactly that: what is working and what isn’t. Here you set clear expectations and measure whether you are meeting those expectations. There is no reason anymore to guess as to what marketing strategies will accomplish your goals, Andrew said. The answers are in the analytics.
In the end, Andrew said, ask yourself these questions:
- Who are you targeting with online content/ads?
- Why are you targeting these audiences?
- How are you attributing success across multiple channels?
- What specific metrics and data are you reviewing to continually refine and improve your online marketing strategies?
And remember to have “crazy crazy fun” doing it.
Written by Bill Hurley, (@billhurleymedia / billhurleymedia.com / beachmaniac.com) Editor, writer, social media strategist, website developer, digital publisher. BillHurleyMail@gmail.com, Bill@smbmad.org.
Video by Geekazine:
Photos by Bob Wydra: