Take 10: How to use Facebook advertising and best practice (part two)

Quick and simple ways to boost your business in just 10 minutes

For the fifth in our Take 10 series, we’re looking at Facebook advertising, how it works and how it can help drive traffic to your website.

Continuing from part one

In part one, we focused on how to set up and get started using Facebook advertising, where businesses pay to target customers with a specific message. There’s a huge opportunity for businesses to target potential customers on Facebook, as it’s the most established social media advertising tool with 1.13 billion active users.

Once you’ve set up your advertising account, there are hundreds of items you could consider and test. However, we’d suggest focusing on targeting, bidding and testing to get you started.

Use common interests to target potential customers

It’s important to fine tune who you’re targeting with your advert, as users browsing on Facebook lack the intent you might experience on Google adverts, for example. This is because on Google, users are normally searching a specific keyword, whereas on Facebook, potential customers might see your advert amongst their News Feed which is filled with information from friends and family. This is why creating eye catching adverts is a must!

When you set up your advertising account, there’s a list of targeting criteria to choose from, including any items users ‘like’ on Facebook, from food and drink to activities and brands. You can think about the common interests among your customers and target these segments, or if you own customer data you can upload this to Facebook to create a lookalike audience to target.

For example, Funding Circle borrower Suffolk Canine Creche could target dog owners within a certain radius of their premises in Woodbridge, or Facebook users that look like their current customers.

Make the most of your budget with a clear bidding strategy

A bidding strategy helps you decide how to spend your budget so your advert the best chance of success, whether that’s more visits to your website or increased brand awareness. Depending on your objective and budget there are 3 main bidding strategies you could use.

  • CPM will help you increase brand awareness: If you’re looking to spend a specific budget and increase your brand awareness, then choose CPM (cost per 1000 times an advert is shown to users – this is known as ‘impressions’). It’s important to remember, though, that you’re paying for quantity, not quality.
  • CPC will help you drive traffic to your website: Use cost per click (CPC) to ensure that you’re only charged when a customer clicks through to your website. You can choose the amount you’re happy to pay for each lead using this method.
  • Use oCPM to target 100,000 customers: When looking for ultimate efficiency, and only really on audiences larger than 100,000, we think the best strategy to use is optimised cost per 1000 impressions (oCPM). This method means Facebook will display your advert to users who they believe are most likely to click through to your website.

Test to understand which advert works best

Do lots of testing! Once you’ve created a captivating advert and chosen your target audience, it’s important to constantly test different content, messaging and landing pages to ensure you’re always improving.

While you’re getting started, we’d suggest refreshing your advert once a week so your audience don’t tire of the same content, but try not to make changes too frequently. Give yourself time to understand the metrics and whether the advert has been successful.

Top tip: To measure the impact of your adverts, and specifically how many people are clicking through to your website, add a Google Analytics tracking code to your URL. For example, if you were the Suffolk Canine Creche looking to target users that look like your current customers with an image of a Labrador you might use:

https://www.example.com/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Advert&utm_campaign=LookalikesSept2016&utm_content=Labrador

The link includes unique identifiers, such as ‘Labrador’ and ‘LookalikesSept2016’ in the example above, which are sent to your Analytics account to help you identify which adverts are most effective in attracting potential customers. Google Analytics have created a handy step by step guide to help.

We hope you’ve found this post useful. Come back for the next instalment of Take 10, where we’ll be looking at how to manage time effectively.

The Funding Circle team

 

Rob McCorquodale