Should You Be Doing Facebook Advertising?
by Saunder Schroeder • January 5, 2017
Should you be doing Facebook Advertising? The short answer? Yes! The long answer? Maybe…
In my experience, most companies can benefit from Facebook Advertising, but after managing millions of dollars a month in Facebook Ads, here are a few things I’ve found that predict whether or not a Facebook Advertising will be a huge win for a company:
How Big is Your Customer List?
Do you have a customer list with emails and phone numbers of over 1,000 customers? If the answer is “yes,” then Facebook is probably a pretty good advertising option for you.
After all, the lookalike days are upon us…
With Facebook’s custom audiences, you can upload customer lists and Facebook will match the emails and phone numbers with existing accounts.
From there, you can create Lookalike Audiences based off of your customer’s interests (cats, fashion, scorpions, cloning…), demographics (income, lines of credit, parent…) and behaviors (online buyer, expats, travel, anniversary, stair sliding—okay, not that last one).
6-12 months ago, Targeted or Saved audiences (created by selecting and layering demographics, interests and behaviors per your buyer personas) outperformed Lookalike audiences by a large margin. However, Facebook significantly improved the effectiveness of their Lookalike algorithm partway through 2016.
As a result, over the last 6 months, things have flip-flopped. Lookalike audiences now outperform Targeted audiences by a huge margin. So, the bigger your customer list, the better Facebook will be for your business.
How Big is Your Facebook Pixel Custom Audience?
Do you have at least 100 pixel events (complete registration, lead or purchase) firing on your Facebook pixel? If so, consider expanding your Facebook advertising .
Why are pixel event fires important? Well, you can use your pixel custom audiences to create Lookalike Audiences that Facebook will dynamically update based on the data it’s gathering from pixel fires.
The great thing about using pixel events to modify your Lookalike Audiences is the fact that you are using real time data about who is converting on your site to improve your targeting.
As long as potential customers/customers are logged into Facebook, Facebook will match those accounts to your Facebook pixel event’s custom audience and update your Lookalike Audience.
Not too shabby, eh?
Of course, the bigger your pixel event audiences are, the better your results will be, but if you have at least 100 events/week for a given event, you absolutely should be investing more in Facebook.
Is Your Business B2B or B2C?
I’ve covered the differences between Facebook and AdWords for B2C and B2B companies at length before in this Facebook vs Adwords article.
I would definitely recommend giving it a read, but here’s the gist of it: B2C you should be advertising on Facebook, B2B there’s typically better channels than Facebook (for example, Adwords or LinkedIn).
I’d say the above synopsis is still basically true, however we’ve found a few situations where you can produce good results for a B2B business on Facebook:
Are You Targeting By Job Title or Employer?
I’d be very surprised if Facebook ever has the job history information that LinkedIn has, but over time, Facebook continues to improve their employer, industries, company size, seniority and job title targeting. I’ll give an honorable mention for Office Type targeting—good idea but only 3 options.
Are You Producing High Quality Content?
Most B2B businesses won’t close a sale from the first ad click—the typically B2B business has a 6-12 month buyer journey.
With that in mind, your offer should match your buyer’s intent. Facebook ads are a great way to align top of funnel intent with a top of funnel offer. For example, for potential customers in the Awareness and Discovery stages, a great offer would be a free piece of content (say…a blog post?) speaking to their specific pain point(s).
Once a potential customer is in the funnel, you can create an in-depth content funnel retargeting strategy that will lead them to eventually make a purchase..
For our B2B clients, our goal for Facebook ads is to massage potential customers through each phase of the buyer’s journey until they become a lead. But, we don’t call it quits once they become a lead.
Since the decision making process for most of our clients takes 8 months or more, we continue to retarget potential buyers with white papers, ebooks, case studies and other relevant content that helps leads stay in our funnel until they finally make a purchase.
Targeting current customers with content is a great way to generate social shares with thought leaders in your industry, as well as cross selling other products. Continue to target every phase of the buyer journey.
Lead ads are relatively new and very effective. Basically, lead ads allow potential customers to complete your form without leaving Facebook. And, as an added bonus, Facebook pre-fills the form with your potential customer’s information, so all they have to do is hit “Submit”!
Lead ads can be a game changer for B2B businesses. On average, we see lead ads cut cost-per-lead by ~67%—compared with leads through Adwords or Facebook Ads.
For the nitty gritty on lead ads, check out this article.
So, should you be doing Facebook Advertising? If you answered yes to any of the questions in this article, you should absolutely be seriously considering advertising on Facebook or expanding your existing Facebook Advertising efforts.
If you’re not quite sure whether or not Facebook Advertising is right for you, or if you’d like more information about any of these options, let me know here or in the comments.
How do you feel about Facebook Advertising? Planning on expanding your efforts in 2017? Let me know in the comments.