Posted by: Marty Fahncke | January 28, 2010

Advertising on Facebook – Insider tips

Gold was first discovered at California’s Sutters Mill on January 24th, 1848.  The next year (1849), well over 300,000 fortune seekers (the ’49ers) made their way to California, creating one of the largest mass migrations in U.S. History.  Note that it took over a year from the time gold was discovered until the masses arrived.  And by the time the crowds did show up, the easy gold was claimed…and most people never made a dime.

The above scenario describes advertising on Facebook in 2010.  It’s just like 1848, and you are ahead of the rest of the ’49ers just by reading this post.  The masses will be on board soon, but you can make your fortune before they arrive.

Where do I get the nerve to make such a bold prediction?  By hitting the road and opening my ears…

Last week I was a speaker at Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas.   Since I’m a long way from knowing everything there is to know, I always try to attend other educational sessions when I’m a speaker at a conference. One particular session at this show blew me away.  It was called “Killer Facebook Advertising Tactics”, and the information I picked up there is worth at least a couple of million bucks for me, my clients, and hopefully you!

Panelists included:
Jim Kukral, CEO, JimKukral.com (Twitter @jimkukral) (Moderator)
Mark Colacioppo, President, Globalizer, LLC (Twitter @globalizermark)
Markus Frind, CEO, Plentyoffish
Dr. David Klein (dk), CEO, Purpose inc (Twitter @purposeinc)
Jeremy Schoemaker, President, ShoeMoney Media Group, INC (Twitter @shoemoney)
Alex Schultz, Manager, Internet Marketing, Facebook (Twitter @alexschultz)

Facebook advertising

The Facebook Advertising panel at Affiliate Summit

The opportunity

  • According to the panel, 2010  is the last year to take advantage of inefficiencies and lack of competition for advertising space on Facebook. Facebook today is as ripe for opportunity as Google was 6 or 7 years ago.  In another year, more big brands (with big budgets) will move in, and it will be one hundred times more competitive, thus one hundred times more difficult to develop profitable advertising campaigns.
  • There are a lot of tools “missing” from the Facebook advertising process, which means it’s not as easy to operate there as other places.  Things like bulk uploading, split testing and full-scale reporting capabilities are coming, but are not there yet.
  • This is why Facebook is such a ripe opportunity right now.  It actually takes WORK to be successful there…but the ones who are there now and willing to work hard (and smart) are seeing huge successes to the tune of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per month in profits.

Here are some valuable nuggets to get you started:

Making your ads more effective

Test, test, test – David Klein showed a PowerPoint of a round of ad testing he did for a client.  It took over 100 different variations of testing, but he finally found the ad with the right mix of headline, body copy, image, and image color that reduced his cost per lead from over $10 with the first ad to only $1.14 by the time they had tested everything!   You need to be willing to test dozens or even hundreds of ads to find the one that works.  And right now, all that testing is manual.

URL – Across the board, everyone agreed that putting the destination URL in the ad increases click through, and may of course increase branding and type-in traffic opportunities as well.

Landing pages – The more simple the landing page, the better it will perform.  Remove any extra navigation or clutter from the page.  A clear, simple offer works best.  And remember the CALL TO ACTION!  Make it very clear to the visitor what you want them to do next.

Types of offers – Lead generation campaigns work best.  According to the panel, Facebook is great at the “top of the funnel” when it comes to marketing campaigns.  It’s great for lead generation or list-building, but don’t expect someone to click on your Facebook ad and instantly buy something.

Keep your offers “On-site” – If you can run an ad for a destination inside Facebook such as a Fan Page, Group or Event, you’ll have much more success.  Why?  Because if you have the customer click to an “Off-site” page, they may get the dreaded “You are leaving Facebook” warning…which will kill your conversions.  It doesn’t always pop up, but don’t take the risk if you don’t have to.

CPM vs. CPC? – Instinctively, most new advertisers on Facebook start with the Cost Per Click (CPC) model, thinking it will reduce their risk.  However according to the panel, starting with the Cost Per Thousand (CPM) may actually be better for you, since it will reduce the risk of the ad getting pulled for lack of performance.   Once can still reduce risk by using the budget cap setting for the campaign.

Think local – Shoemoney said “Making money running local ads on Facebook is so easy, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel”.  He mentioned one client, a dental practice that Shoemoney did a local Facebook campaign for.  In less than two weeks, and for a media budget of around $500, the dentist filled up every single appointment they had for the next six months.   Try doing that with the yellow pages!

Think international – For even more virgin territory, focus your Facebook advertising efforts outside the borders of the U.S.  There is even less competition in these areas. In fact, it was mentioned that in some Eastern European countries, there are almost ZERO competitors for ad placement right now.  It can all be yours.

Warnings

Approval of ads – All ads submitted to Facebook must be manually approved.  Most of you knew that.  What you may NOT have known is that it’s the staff in the Facebook Ireland office that actually does the approval.  According to Schultz, one common reason for being rejected…the website you are linking to cannot be accessed outside North America!  Make sure your site can be accessed from anywhere in the world before submitting an ad.

Getting booted – Facebook publishes advertiser Suggested Best Practices and Common Reasons for Rejection. Read them and understand them.  From Alex, we learned that Facebook has a “Three strikes and you are out” rule, and will ban you from advertising on Facebook forever if you hit their limit.

Customer service

  • Advertising on Facebook is “self serve” until you hit a budget of about $30,000 per month.  At that point you will be assigned an account manager, and get access to some extra tools that will make your life easier.
  • However, if you are in the affiliate marketing space, Facebook has set up a dedicated email just for you (affiliates@facebook.com) and assures that we’ll get a prompt response from a real human being!
  • Facebook cares more about the “user experience” than it does the money from your ad. This means they tend to lean on the side of being very conservative what they allow.  It also means that you aren’t likely to win too many arguments if the cause of a declined or pulled ad happens to be complaints or “dislikes” from the users.

So there you go.  A little motivation and a little information to get you going advertising on Facebook.  If you move forward, please check back with me and let me know how it goes.  You can connect with me at any of the following:

Tweets: http://www.twitter.com/Fawnkey
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/martyfahncke
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/martyf

Questions or comments?  Post them here!

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Responses

  1. Marty,

    What an excellent post. So many small business owners are completely overwhelmed by the prospect of marketing on Facebook. You have proven that Facebook is an amazing tool that virtually any small business owner can, and more importantly, SHOULD utilize! Fantastic insights 🙂

    • @Jessica – Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Coming from a marketing and social media expert such as yourself, your comments are very much appreciated. Good luck on your Facebook webinar next week!

  2. Hey Marty – Terrific blog post!

    I have heard that Facebook ads work, so I think you are right. The time to get in is now while the price is so low and the ROI is great. We’ve all seen what happened with AdWords.

    @socai_dynamics

    • Jan – Thanks for the kind words! Glad you agree with me. Please feel free to share this post with others.

  3. […] Back in January 2010, I posted on this blog a piece called “Advertising on Facebook – Insider tips” (Click to view in new window) […]


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