Do you advertise on Facebook, or are you considering it? In this blog post, I'll show you what I managed to achieve over a two month period between July and August 2015, limiting myself to a budget of just $3.00 per day.
The aim of the ad
Plain and simple, I wanted to advertise the Summer 2015 Edition of my book, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips. When clicked, the ad would lead viewers to the product page for the book on Amazon.com.
Note: The one considerable downside to linking the ad direct to Amazon is that it left me unable to track conversions with a Conversion Pixel, i.e. of whose who clicked, who actually went on to purchase the book? However, I was happy enough to spend $2.00 to give the ad simple exposure and, if clicks ended up costing little, all the better.
The ad design
People see hundreds of ads on Facebook every day (and ignore most of them), so the aim of my ad design was to keep it nice and simple. The main ad image - what people will normally notice first - tells people that the Summer 2015 edition of 500 Social Media Marketing Tips is out, and every other element is used to support this information, and drive clicks: get 10% off for a limited time, essential strategy, over 60,000 copies sold, etc. In the past, I have used the "Buy Now" call to action button. This time, I decided to experiment with the slightly less pushy "Learn More."
Ad targeting options and placement
Using information about my audience gained from the 500 Social Media Marketing Tips Facebook Page, I narrowed my targeting down to the following.
- People based in the US (since the ad linked through to the US Amazon website, this one was a given).
- Men and women aged between 25 and 55
- Interested in social media marketing and Social Media Examiner (one of the most popular social media for business websites)
- This gave me a potential reach of 1.1 million people, and an estimated daily reach of 91 - 240 people.
- The ad was placed in all available positions: Mobile News Feed, Desktop News Feed, Desktop Right Column, and Audience Network.
Ad budget and schedule
Here's my daily ad budget of £2.00 ($3.12) per day, set to run continuously and optimised for Clicks to Website (my Amazon product page). I allowed Facebook to optimise my cost per click. If there was one thing I would have changed, I would schedule the ad to run at the times when my US audience were most online to see it, rather than having the ad run all day. This could have saved me wasting a portion of my budget.
This image shows the performance of my ad between June 15th 2015 and August 15th 2015. Here's a quick breakdown of the results:
- My ad reached 19,376 people
- It was clicked 308 times
- I spent £56.20 ($87.50), which worked out at an average of £0.18 ($0.28) per click.
- The average click rate was 1.03%.
I'm well aware that some marketers boast CPC results of as low as 1 cent per click, but considering I was targeting a specific group from the US - a more expensive market to reach in the first place compared, say, to somewhere like India - I was pretty pleased with the results. On several days, my CPC was less than $0.20.
Here's an interesting observation from the Placement results of the ad. The majority of my reach and clicks - a whopping 81% and 59% respectively - came via the Audience Network. The Audience Network automatically delivers my ad into relevant non-Facebook apps. Does this prove the increasing importance and effectiveness of mobile advertising or did Facebook just target those people more heavily on my behalf? Hard to tell, especially without conversion analytics.
Closing Thoughts and Plans for the Future
Many businesses are reluctant to advertise on Facebook, but for a couple of dollars a day - the same amount that many of us wouldn't hesitate to spend on a takeaway coffee or a quick bite to eat - it can prove a cheap and effective segment of your marketing spend. I'm fairly pleased with this summertime Facebook ads experiment, but I'm excited to tinker with the setup to see if I can improve its performance. For starters, I'd like to:
- Find a way to track Amazon conversions from Facebook.
- Schedule ads to appear when audience is online to spend budget more efficently
- Experiment with ad images, copy, and call to action button
- Experiment with manual bidding to see how it affects performance.
Over to You
What do you think about my Facebook ads strategy? How have Facebook ads worked (or not) for your business? What kinds of Facebook ads experiments would you like to see me perform in future? Let me know in the comments below!