Do Facebook ads actually make sense for your business? More likely than not, the answer is a definite yes. To understand why that’s the case, let’s dig deeper into the history of Facebook ads, the distinguishing features of the medium, and its potential advantage over other digital channels.
The History of Facebook
It’s come a long way since being founded as a tool for college students to help Harvard students find classmates. In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommate Eduardo Saverin had limited aspiration. Fast-forward 14 years, and both Zuckerberg and Saverin are the billionaires behind what might be the most influential technology in the 21st century.
Facebook first announced the capability for companies to run ads in 2007, shortly after it rolled out to college students across the United States. Initially coined ‘social ads’, these messages were designed to couple with users’ messages to subtly insert business names into the conversation.
We’ve come a long way since then. In 2009, Facebook ads companies spent just over $700 million on the platform. By 2017, that number grew more than $39 billion. To call that an exponential jump is an understatement.
The capabilities of Facebook ads have grown with the medium. What once was social ads is now a thriving, multi-channel experience. Companies can share links to their website, or generate leads through native forms right on the platform. Canvas ads offer full-screen experiences on mobile devices. Meanwhile, dynamic retargeting ads allow e-commerce businesses to remind customers of specific items left in their cart.
All that, just because a college student wanted to connect some people at his school. Facebook is the third-biggest website in the world today, thanks to almost 1.5 billion daily active users. At the same time, it outpaces all other top-10 finishers in the time users spent on the site on a daily basis. It’s mobile ad revenue alone could surpass $50 billion by 2020.
Are Facebook Ads a Good Fit for Your Company?
The short answer is yes. The longer version might require some additional explanation. Here are 5 reasons your company should at least consider a Facebook advertising strategy:
1) Follow Your Audience
First things first: your audience is on Facebook. The network covers all demographics, with users ranging from 13 to 80 and reaching into almost every country, state, and city in the world. Consider:
- 62% of men and 74% of women say they have a Facebook presence.
- 67% of the white, 70% of the black, and 73% of the Hispanic population are on the network.
- Income levels range from less than $30,000 (66% say they have a Facebook account) to more than $75,000 (75% say they have a Facebook account).
- 60% of people with a high school diploma or less are on Facebook, while 77% of people with a college diploma or more say the same.
- Users range from urban (75%) to rural (58%).
No matter what direction you look in, a majority of your demographic will likely have a Facebook account. Running ads on the network means following your audience where they already spend their time.
2) Spend Your Budget Effectively
Especially compared to other media, Facebook ads tend to be cheap. For as little as $20, you can set up a campaign that runs for a few days and reaches hundreds of people in your immediate target demographic. Increase that budget to $500, and the reach can easily expand to 10,000 users and more. Companies with limited marketing budgets appreciate the opportunities that this affordable opportunity provides.
3) Target Specific Audience Groups
Facebook targeting allows you to make sure that ads are seen only by your target audience. You can focus your ads specifically on demographics, geographic region, device type, interests, recent behaviors, and much more. Placing your message in front of a 29 year-old female in Wisconsin is just as easy as making sure that it gets seen only by those who have recently purchased a car.
4) Build Your Marketing Throughout the Funnel
Digital marketing, especially on social media, has a reputation for being top of funnel. It’s great for awareness, most think, but loses effectiveness later. With Facebook ads, that doesn’t have to be the case. Instead, lead ads help you generate new contacts in your database. List-based targeting helps you push messages to existing leads. Meanwhile, website retargeting allows you to stay top of mind with any recent visitors who still need some convincing.
5) Track Your Results to Optimize Your Efforts
Especially in digital marketing, we need results. It’s not enough to recite facts about how many people your ads reached. Fortunately, the reporting suite offered by Facebook can spit out much more. Depending on how your ads are set up, you can track anything from conversion to length of video watched. All results and reports are real-time, enabling you to optimize your efforts and make adjustments as soon as you see an ad underperforming.
The Unique Advantages of Facebook Ads
All of the above should push you towards the medium. But let’s be honest: you also have to make strategic decisions. With a limited budget in hand, you need to make sure that it’s spent in the right channel to actually reach your audience. Here, Facebook offers a few advantages over competitors like Google AdWords and LinkedIn:
- Facebook ads cost less, especially compared to Google search ads (which can go as high as $60 per keyword click).
- Facebook ads allow for in-depth targeting based on interests and behavior that goes beyond platforms like AdWords.
- Facebook ads integrate into the newsfeed, allowing for a more natural user experience that doesn’t disrupt content flow.
- Facebook ads allow for high-gloss multimedia integration, from 360 degree photos to virtual reality experiences.
- Facebook ads come in so many formats that you can find the exact option to fit your marketing goals, instead of the other way around.
Are you interested in learning more about Facebook, and how we’ve gotten to where we are today? Contact us to learn more about our services, and to find Facebook ads companies that can help you bring your business to the next level.