The term “Facebook Advertising” refers to marketing measures that are used on the large social media portal. In principle, all methods and variants of marketing that are also used elsewhere online come into question. However, there are some differences in Facebook advertising compared to other advertising on the Internet that must be taken into account if the campaign is to be a success.
Advertising on social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram has often been ridiculed outside of the marketing industry or considered to be not very effective. In fact, however, Facebook Advertising in particular offers a wealth of opportunities in terms of content and targeting. In addition, there is a huge number of users – over 1.5 billion people are active on Facebook every month – who are also potential targets for your own marketing campaign.
Facebook advertising can therefore be extremely effective, because it allows you to reach a large number of people with your own content. However, the target group must be selected much more precisely than with other online marketing measures. This is because Facebook has information about its users that other advertising platforms such as Google Adwords do not offer. Of course, Facebook charges advertisers for this information, which means that Facebook advertising – if used incorrectly – can quickly become an expensive and ultimately ineffective measure.
As a rule, Facebook charges for advertising by CPM or CPC. The customer pays more the more people see the ad or click on it. But if the target group is poorly selected, the conversion rate will remain low and you get a less effective advertising campaign at a relatively high price. So if you want to use Facebook Advertising wisely, you need to plan well before you start.
Facebook Advertising – a goldmine for target group-oriented marketing
Facebook knows a lot about its users – in addition to name and place of residence, often age, gender, hobbies, profession, workplace, relationship status, preferences and interests, languages and much more. This information is worth its weight in gold for advertisers, because it allows marketing to be tailored precisely to the target group. Assuming “normally” available information, a company might know that a potential customer is 30 years old and lives in one of the better areas of town. Based on this data, one could assume that she is interested in fashion.
But if information from Facebook is added – for example, that the woman has two small children and is active in the groups “Stop animal testing” and “Healthy farming – healthy food” – a very different and much more accurate picture emerges. Instead of fashion, the woman is perhaps more interested in organic baby food and other organic products. It is precisely this information that makes Facebook advertising so effective. However, it is also necessary here to really use this information in order to be able to place advertising that is tailored to the target group.
Before targeting, Facebook Advertising also needs to clarify some basic questions:
- What is the goal of the advertising campaign (increase awareness of the company, new customer contacts, etc.)?
- What is being advertised (an external page, a Facebook page, an event)?
- How will it be advertised (standard or story ads, on Likes, etc.)?
Once these questions are answered, the next step is to select the target audience. Initially, this involves very broad parameters, such as the country in which the users should live or the language they speak. It should be noted that there are already significant differences here in terms of costs. Advertising in large, highly competitive markets such as the US is much more expensive than in smaller markets/countries such as Finland or Greece. Fortunately, however, Facebook Advertising offers the option of making further geographical restrictions and limiting advertising to users from large cities, from a specific town or from a specific postal code area, for example.
After that, the desired target group can be defined even more precisely, based on age, gender, and relationship status, among other things, as well as interests, friends, connections, and other factors. The extent to which this makes sense and is necessary depends, of course, on the objective of the advertising campaign. For example, if it is a B2C advertising campaign by a large beverage manufacturer that wants to increase awareness of a new product, only relatively coarse filtering needs to be done. If, on the other hand, it’s a B2B campaign by a mechanical engineering company looking for new business partners in Asia, very precise narrowing down is necessary.
These examples also make it clear that Facebook advertising is basically interesting for every advertiser – because among the 1.5 billion users, there are almost certainly members of the desired target group. However, it is crucial to match the campaign and the target group very precisely in order to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the marketing.
Facebook Advertising – the costs
As mentioned at the beginning, Facebook usually charges by CPC or CPM. However, the exact cost of an ad cannot be determined in advance, because Facebook still relies on real-time bidding at the same time. In this process, display spaces are auctioned off automatically in fractions of a second. To ensure smooth processing, advertisers can set a maximum bid in each case. There is also the option of specifying a daily or runtime budget. On the basis of the budget, the advertiser decides how much he wants to spend on the ads per day or within the fixed term. This gives them planning security and allows them to keep track of how much money is being spent on Facebook advertising.
The Facebook Ads Manager
To make things as easy as possible for its customers in terms of marketing, Facebook has created the Ads Manager. With it, new advertising campaigns can be started in a very simple way, and it is also possible to set budgets and select target groups in the Ads Manager.
In addition, Facebook’s Ads Manager is used to control the running advertising campaigns. Thus, it is possible to quickly and easily determine whether a marketing measure is successful or not. But Ads Manager offers much more than that, so that the measures can be analyzed in detail and adjusted if necessary – because the information in Ads Manager is delivered in real time and thus allows to act in case of problems even during the ongoing advertising campaign.
Among other things, you can see in Facebook Ads Manager how often an ad has been placed and clicked, how much the ads have cost so far, and how much budget is still available. However, it also provides other information, including the conversion rate, reach and possible feedback. In addition, it is possible to break down the advertising campaign according to certain characteristics of the users. For example, it is possible to determine in which age group, gender or region the advertising was particularly successful. Sorting by the user’s platform and device or the time of day is also possible, for example. This allows a very precise analysis of the campaign and, if necessary, additional social media optimization. In general, it should be noted with online advertising that continuous monitoring and adjustment is useful to increase the success of the measure.
Facebook Advertising can be a very efficient marketing variant if used correctly. Compared to other measures from online marketing, a very precise adjustment to the target group is possible here, which usually improves the conversion rate and thus helps to keep the costs for advertising low. However, Facebook advertising is of course not a “magic bullet” – corresponding advertising measures must therefore be carefully planned and subsequently monitored and evaluated. Only then can the advertising have its full effect on the social media portal. Otherwise, the campaign can simply fizzle out or cause very high costs compared to the effect.
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