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As marketers our brands’ ads have just 2.7 seconds to capture a Facebook user’s attention in their News Feed—and that’s if they don’t scroll over your ad entirely. With last month’s Facebook’s announcement about the launch of its ad preferences tool that allows users to opt out of targeted ads, marketers have to overcome people’s natural aversion to News Feed advertising. Can we create an ad so compelling, so interesting, so pertinent, that no one would ever imagine opting out of receiving it?
But wait; let’s think about this for a sec—or 2.7 seconds. From a marketer’s standpoint, Facebook’s new opt out option is actually good news for our brands. This challenges us to be the brand that consumers don’t want to live without while reaching even more of our target audience through our Facebook marketing.
So how do marketers do that? Your brand’s page content, your brand’s paid Facebook advertisements, and how well you understand your audience all are interrelated and impact whether or not your brand is one that customers want to hear from on a regular basis, through posts or ads.
#1: Overall content strategy
First, work with your marketing agency to develop an overall content strategy. Remember, your Facebook fans will not share a post just because they see it the News Feed. They share it because it’s useful and interesting to them. The same thing is true with an ad. They will not click on something that comes across as self-serving or inauthentic. It has to have significance.
Another thing to keep in mind: how often you post new info. The rule of thumb for new postings is two per day, but again, it is very important that whatever you post is relevant and useful. Be genuine! Otherwise, you run the risk of being perceived as a spammer.
When your fans post to your brand’s page or make a comment, it is very important—vital, really—to respond right away to keep that relationship going. Here’s something else that will make a good impression on your fans: when you respond to their comment or post, be sure to tag them in your reply. It shows genuine interest in keeping the conversation going by addressing your fans by their name.
The name of the game is engagement: when you are consistently delivering information that changes your fans’ lives for the better, they will be more receptive to your ads, particularly if it is highly targeted and relevant to their lives at that moment.
#2: Create the most effective Facebook ads
Now, on to your paid Facebook advertisements. One of the advantages of buying Facebook ads is that Facebook has already done the heavy lifting for you: they know what your user is already interested in and shares that info with your marketing agency so they can craft appealing communications to support your brand. In 2013, Facebook created a Custom Audiences option which enables advertisers to easily target and retarget Facebook users not only by the type of person they are but also by the type of potential buyer they are.
You don’t want to create an ad for everyone—you want to create an ad specifically for your target audience. On Facebook, the smaller and more relevant the target audience for an ad, the better it performs. Also, you want to carefully select the image that is in the ad. Most companies, it turns out, pick a photo and go with it. Don’t make that mistake. Do your research: understand what images in your ads are most appealing and why, and be intentional.
#3: Get to know your audience
And of course, knowing your audience’s habits, preferences, and interests is of utmost importance. Facebook essentially tracks users’ online activity over all platforms to determine their interests, which is how Facebook “knows” who to target your ad to. Facebook explains it this way on their website:
“Let’s say that you’re thinking about buying a new TV and you start researching TVs on the web and in mobile apps. We may show you ads for deals on a TV to help you get the best price or other brands to consider. And because we think you’re interested in electronics, we may show you ads for other electronics in the future, like speakers or a game console to go with your new TV.”
This is how it has worked—until last month, when Facebook launched that new ad preference tool. But remember, it is an opt out option—meaning, a Facebook user has to go through steps to stop seeing ads. Many users won’t bother with this, which works to your advantage as a marketer. You still have an opportunity to capture their attention. That’s why understanding your audience is so vital. You need to understand when your fans are online, how long they stay online, and how long they spend engaged with your brand. Facebook’s Insights provides this information and can help your ads perform better.
Ultimately, your marketing agency will have the very best insights on your Facebook fans because they know not just how often fans are interacting with your page, but also what they are actually saying when they make comments or post to your brand’s page. This information is vital to crafting Facebook ads that are truly effective.
“Opt out” option is good for Facebook users and brands
Facebook is constantly changing as it navigates the social media landscape. As marketers, we need to be nimble as well and see the opportunities in change.
So now it’s your turn: what are your thoughts? What are the opportunities you see in Facebook’s ad preferences tool? Share the Facebook ads that have worked the best for your brand. Let us know your insights in the comments.
Brought to you by Vertical Marketing Network, a Leading Integrated Marketing Agency.
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