Let’s take a quick look at the facts. As of the end of 2018, there are more than 2.36 billion Facebook users, 1.49 billion of whom use Facebook on a daily basis. That’s an incredible global audience, and it’s the main reason why everyone should consider using Facebook for business.
It all comes down to this question, “if your customers are using Facebook, shouldn’t you be there, too?”
Let’s look at two “main ways” for using Facebook to generate business.
Two Different Ways to Use Facebook for Business
When we talk about generating business on Facebook we mean generating leads, engagement and customers. However, all these goals start with one essential part of every online advertising – generating traffic.
This is where the marketing world separates two main ways to generate that traffic from Facebook. One method is called “organic traffic” generation, and another one is called “paid traffic” promotion.
What’s the difference and which one is better for you?
Method #1 – Organic Traffic
Let’s start with everyone’s favourite way to promote your business online. We’re talking about “organic” traffic. It’s also known as “free traffic” in the online marketing world.
Organic traffic is the opposite of paid traffic, which defines the visits generated by paid ads. Visitors who are considered organic find you and your content without you having to “pay for visibility”.
In the context of Facebook, organic traffic is the traffic that comes from Facebook’s algorithm showing your Facebook page’s or Facebook group’s content to people.
Of course, all of that is happening without you paying Zuckerberg for it. Facebook’s algorithm usually tries very hard to make content that appears “organically” as relevant and interesting to their users so that people stay on this social media platform.
Method #2 – Paid Facebook Traffic
Paid marketing is what the name suggests. You pay to reach your potential customers.
In the context of Facebook it means paying to promote your content so it appears on other people’s newsfeeds, in their stories, Messenger, Instagram, etc..
Here’s an example of “paid” Facebook advertising:
You probably saw these types of “sponsored” messages before.
When a post has “sponsored” in it it means the authors paid to be placed in front of Facebook users’ eyes.
Let’s address the question everybody has probably asked themselves at one point or another.
Is Paid Better Than Organic?
The answer is… it depends. There are pros and cons to both paid and organic way to generate traffic from Facebook.
The biggest positive side of organic traffic is it typically converts better. Think about it. Organic means people found your content themselves or Facebook’s algorithm “matched” the content with their users. It is in Facebook’s interests to show the highest quality, most entertaining or most relevant content to their users.
Smarter people also know that whenever they see “sponsored” on a post, it means it is a paid ad. This significantly decreases conversion rate of paid ads.
However, paid ads are still absolutely amazing. In fact, I and my team typically recommend businesses to start with “paid advertising” to get momentum rolling.
Why do I recommend paid advertising despite all these benefits of organic that I just mentioned?
It’s very simple. Organic takes a lot of time, results are typically unpredictable and your business may be in need of customers now, not in unknown time in the future.
Besides, year 2018 was known for the “death of organic traffic on Facebook”. It is not literally death as you can still get traffic from Facebook.
It just means that after the update for the same amount of effort businesses saw only a fraction of results they used to. Algorithms that determined content visibility changed and “killed” organic traffic.
But is paid advertising that much better?
Let’s go into more detail about paid advertising and how to make it succeed. We’ll cover the two main topics in the rest of the article:
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Use Paid Facebook Ads to Attract Customers
- 5 Biggest Mistakes You Should Avoid to Have Successful Facebook Campaigns
5 Reasons Why You Should Use Paid Facebook Ads to Attract Customers
Reason #1: 1.49 Billion Users
One of the crucial reasons you should be using Facebook for business is that your audience is there. Like it was mentioned in the beginning there are about 1.49 billion people on Facebook every day (which is roughly one in 4 people on the planet).
Just think about this. If you had the best product in the world, would you try to sell it in Antarctica? Of course no. There’s no money to be made selling in Antarctica because nobody lives there.
That’s why if you want to grow your business you need to first go where your customers are.
It is almost certain that out of the billion active users on Facebook your customers are somewhere there. This brings up the reason #2 to be using Facebook for business.
Reason #2: Rich Targeting Options
All that 1.49 billion users wouldn’t be that useful if it wasn’t for the incredible targeting technology that Facebook ad platform provides us with.
You can narrow down the audience you want to target by the exact age, location, gender, interests, behaviour, job titles and more.
Here’s the interface where you can choose demographic targeting options:
The beautiful thing about this interface is not only can you tell Facebook who you want to target with ads, but you can also combine targeting options together to make your ad campaign even more powerful.
For example, if you wanted to target “tech savvy” business people and entrepreneurs you could choose people who are “Facebook page admins” AND who also expressed interest for one of the popular software services, such as Mailchimp, Stripe and others.
If you understand your customers very well, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding the right “Facebook targeting” combination in order to reach your customers.
Reason #3: High Conversion Thanks to Retargeting
What is retargeting? Retargeting is basically the ability to show ads to people who have already seen your ads before or have taken some other action on your Facebook page, Messenger or website.
Why is it important to know? It’s very simple.
There is an old marketing saying that an average person needs to be exposed to the promotion up to 7 times before he will convert to a customer.
Retargeting does exactly that. It allows you to “follow people” on the Internet and show them different ads in order to convert them into a customer.
How powerful is that? It is very powerful, and it is not unheard of to see conversion rates being 10 times higher when business uses retargeting.
Here’s some extra trivia to convince you how powerful retargeting is.
Did you know that Facebook’s stocks skyrocketed around the time after they introduced “retargeting”? The retargeting technology was launched around 2012-2013, and that is also around that time that Facebook’s stocks have started skyrocketing:
Here’s the graph to prove that:
It is not a coincidence, and the most successful businesses that grew thanks to Facebook advertising, such as Wish, use retargeting without any shame.
So how do you retarget someone else on Facebook? One way to do it is by using something called a “custom audience”.
This is unlike defining the audience using normal targeting described in the previous section. A custom audience allows you to create a group of people based on their past behavior and interaction with your business.
That means you can create audiences of people who:
- visited your website but didn’t buy.
- watched your video but didn’t sign up
- bought your product but didn’t take on the upsell offer
Based on these moments in the customer journey you can “craft” highly personalized advertising campaigns that will resonate with your potential customer.
The personalised retargeting campaign is much more likely to get the person over the fence to become your customer because it speaks directly to him. I and my team have seen 10x engagement rate on our retargeting campaigns compared to “cold audience ad campaigns”.
It makes sense why. Human beings like to deal with somebody who we already know. Retargeting achieves exactly that.
To create a custom audience for retargeting you need to look into the options in your Facebook business dashboard:
The interface for “custom audiences” looks like the picture below:
I won’t go too much into detail of each option, but you can choose from those 5 options to create your custom audience for retargeting.
Without any doubts, focusing your campaign efforts on creating retargeting audiences is by far the best way to advertise on Facebook if you want to stay in this game long term.
Reason #4: Affordable Prices
While it is true that the cost of Facebook ads has been going up year after year, it is still a very affordable platform to run your ads.
Even in late 2018 the cost of getting traffic from Facebook ads is many times lower than similar efforts and resources spent on Google Adwords’ search network.
Here’s a sample screenshot of the cost of “clicks” on Google Adwords:
The cost is insane if you think about it. To pay 2.76 to 7.06 USD for just a click is quite expensive.
For comparison the clicks on Facebook from the same type of people are around .80 USD a pop. Just do the math.
I won’t go into the typical argument that clicks on Adwords are “higher quality”. That is kind of true but overall the cost of generating leads on Facebook is much lower than trying to do the same on Adwords.
The situation is even scarier in more “competitive niches”. If you thought 7 dollar clicks were expensive, let me tell you that a click for an accounting service keyword costs 20 dollars a pop on Adwords. It is very expensive compared to Facebook.
Reason #5: Facebook Optimises the Ads for You so You Don’t Have to Do Anything
Did you know that some experienced advertisers don’t even use “targeting” options at all, and just run ads to broad interests?
How can they do that and still reach the customers that they want? It’s very simple.
Facebook has insanely powerful AI that automatically learns about your best audience and optimises your campaign to show your ads to those people who are most likely to become your lead or customer.
Again, this is in Facebook’s interests to show ads to people who are most likely to appreciate the promotion and respond to it.
Avoid These Mistakes when Running Facebook Ad Campaigns
Those were the top 5 reasons why you should use Facebook for business growth. However, there are plenty of people who don’t know how to to use the platform.
They will throw an ad without any understanding of the type of message they should be showing to their audience (there is an ad for every stage of customers’ journey).
They have no clue why their ads don’t convert because they don’t understand the concept of “retargeting”.
They don’t know how to use the targeting interface and end up delivering ads to people who will never consume the product or service.
That doesn’t make the Facebook ad platform bad. It just means the advertiser needs to improve his skills.
Let’s go over the top 5 mistakes businesses make when they run Facebook ads, and why these mistakes are costing them a lot of missed sales and money.
Here they are:
- Mistake #1 – Not understanding campaign “goals”
- Mistake #2 – Not running ads to the right audience, begging for “likes” from friends
- Mistake #3 – Not running the right kinds of “offers”
- Mistake #4 – Not using the Facebook pixel
- Mistake #5 – Not keeping up with the trends and updates of the platform
Mistake #1 – Not understanding campaign “goals”
Are you familiar with somebody who runs Facebook ad campaigns that try to get as many people to “like” their page?
How about those cheap video ad campaigns that don’t result in any conversions?
Or failed ad to a sales page of a product straight off the bat?
Businesses who want to run successful Facebook ad campaigns need to understand that different goals are appropriate for different stages of the customer’s journey.
For example, when you run Facebook ads to a sales page, ask yourself this question. “Does the audience I’m running the ad for know and trust me enough to give me money?”
If the answer is no, then perhaps a better option is to get people to know you with video ads and then retarget them with something like a phone call that leads to a sale?
It’s just some food for thought.
Mistake #2 – Not running ads to the right audience
Let’s say you’re selling Donal Trump trinkets. Aside from the controversy surrounding the politician, it makes sense that you want to show your ads to people who have money and who support Donald Trump, right?
Basically, you wouldn’t want to sell your trinkets to Hillary Clinton’s supporters.
This example illustrates the importance of good targeting. Unless your pixel is highly trained (translation: unless you had spend a lot of money to give Facebook enough data to optimise their ads automatically for you) you should be very careful when you pick your target audience.
This is also why you should understand that from the pool of targeting “keywords” that Facebook provides, there are some options that are way more powerful than others.
A simple example is if you are selling cat products, you don’t necessarily want to leave you targeting as “cats”. Almost everybody “likes” cats. That doesn’t necessarily make them your potential customers.
It’s very natural. Cats are cute and that’s why they are so likeable. Almost every other cat video on Youtube has hundreds of thousands of views. People just like cats. Period.
However, just because someone likes cats doesn’t mean they will go out of their way to buy cat products. Maybe they don’t even own a cat? Or maybe the cat product you are selling are only attractive to the “craziest of the crazy cat lovers”?
If that’s the case, you might want to refine your targeting options. For example, if you wanted to target crazy cat people, you’d want to target those who liked specific breeds of cats, such as siamese cats.
I’d also recommend cross matching interests and creating “AND SHOULD ALSO MATCH THE FOLLOWING” targeting group that will refine the original one.
Lastly, I’d even go as far as to find “behaviour” options. It’s well known that “interest” targeting keywords are not very good for the reason described above.
All these little tricks are keys to creating effective Facebook ads.
Mistake #3 – Not running the right kinds of “offers”
For one reason or another businesses love to talk about split testing, as if that’s the holy grail of all marketing campaigns.
Please do understand that split testing only makes sense when you have a lot of data. Some businesses will never get enough traffic to make split testing reach that stage of “statistical significance”.
That just means those businesses are wasting their time trying to find the right image, the right copy, or some other small detail.
The first question you must ask yourself is this one:
“Is my offer attractive enough to my prospective customers?”
As the marketing legend Dan Kennedy says, “it is your offer stupid”.
Mistake #4 – Not using the Facebook pixel
What is a Facebook pixel?
Simply speaking, a Facebook pixel is code that you place on your website. The reason why it is important is because it tracks conversions from all your Facebook marketing efforts.
Thanks to. the pixel Facebook is able to opimize your future ads to generate leads, sales or engagement. It is using the “past data” that you’re providing to the social media platform,
I really want to shout when I see ad campaigns that don’t have proper pixel installed.
Mistake #5 – Not keeping up with the trends and updates of the platform
Year 2018 marked the “death” of organic traffic. No, that doesn’t mean businesses can’t get organic traffic anymore.
It just means that in order to generate that organic traffic, it costs way more effort and the results are a fraction of what they used to be.
This is why smart marketers, entrepreneurs and business people pay attention to trends and adapt their Facebook advertising strategies.
If you had been paying attention you noticed that currently the highest performing opportunities to generate traffic and customers from Facebook are in:
- Facebook Messenger Marketing (we wrote an article on messenger marketing with Facebook messenger bots that address that)
- Video ads with retargeting
- Facebook Lives
We hope that this article helped shine some light on the best practices and a general framework you need to follow when creating a Facebook campaign for your business. As time goes on, the platform will get more and more advanced, and as a result, more and more complicated.
However, data has proven that Facebook is still one of the best advertising channels if you want a steady flow of leads and customers. If your customers are using this social media channel, why shouldn’t you?