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Jay's an all-around online marketing expert with over 11 years of experience in pay per click, SEO, conversion optimization, affiliate marketing and online communities. He's also a Dad to 3 growing kids. He is 10th percentile in fantasy football on a good year and when he's not working, you can catch him wrestling with his kids.

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Should You Be Using Facebook Ads?

billboardfacebook-adWith over 800 million active users worldwide, 50% of which are active daily, advertising on Facebook should definitely pique your interest. Those are some insane numbers! It’s tough to imagine another marketing medium where you can access such a large audience.

A Different Kind of Display Network

The single best feature in Facebook ads is their intense demographic targeting. Here are just a few of the demographics you can target that should make most marketers perk up:

Country: Want to target people in Canada? You can do that.

State/ Province: Want to target people who live in Ontario? You can do that.

City: Want to target people who live in and around Vancouver? You can do that.

Age: Want to target those aged 18-50? You can do that.

Sex: Only interested in targeting women? You can do that.

Interests: Want to target movie enthusiasts? Saxophone players? Mommy bloggers?  You can do that.

Relationships: Want to target single women who want to buy the next Twilight poster? You can do that.

Language: Want to target Cantonese-speaking people who live in Vancouver? You can do that.

Education: Want to target college grads that graduated from U of British Columbia? You can do that.

Work: Want to target people who work at the New York Times to promote your story to beat writers? You can do that.

The targeting measures available allow you to really laser-target audiences.

The Question Is – Will They Buy?

Facebook ads do drive conversions, especially since you’re able to target such specific users and segments. But keep in mind that Facebook ads are prone to very low click through rates (even more so that other display networks) so the number of direct sales can be quite low as a proportion of impressions. However, this can work to your advantage if you pay for your ads on a Pay Per Click basis as you’ll only pay for the clicks, not the impressions, so your cost per conversion can be very good. In this case, you can consider the impressions as being free, providing additional free branding value.

Does It Make Sense For Your Business?

As I mentioned earlier, with over 800 million users, the fact is that your target market is already on Facebook. The huge traffic and ability to segment makes this network an attractive alternative to Google’s broader display ads.

The best way to tell if Facebook advertising will be effective for your business is to launch a small, highly-focused campaign and gauge the results. Be careful to clearly define what your conversion is based on your end goal: awareness, sales or engagement. Then, test! Like any campaign, creativity and testing are crucial! Try out different pictures, text and offers and measure the response.

If you’re trying to reach your audience online, a well thought out Facebook Ad campaign can be a valuable tool to have in your arsenal!