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The future of advertising is Facebook. The platform has a real knack for finding people who will take action, targeting those most likely to click. It’s no wonder that advertising dollars are being thrown at it.
So we brought together industry executives to discuss the various methods advertisers are leveraging on Facebook and why it has become one of the most effective and efficient ad platforms around.
Here are some of their recommended best practices for advertising on Facebook.
1. Blur the lines between content and advertising.
People are more likely to click on an article than an ad, especially on mobile. If you start with content that includes a clear CTA and leads to a landing page with good conversion, once people click, you’ll be rewarded with that low CPC. TheatreMania proposed this example: When a Redditor writes about a Broadway show that prompts the reader to buy tickets at the end, use a post to promote that article, thereby driving ticket sales.
But don’t just push content at people. Understand if and why they’re reading your articles or watching your videos, and then deliver more of the same. You need to be saying either, “I hear you; you liked this and we’ll do more of it” or “I hear you; you didn’t like this and we’ll try something different.”
It always comes down to strong content.
2. Stop worrying about organic reach.
Organic reach is unquestionably declining (and virtually nonexistent) in many categories, though in some (such as entertainment and publishing) it’s actually growing. But the problem isn’t organic reach going away, the problem is chasing the dream of earned reach. Don’t put puppies where they don’t belong. When you’re trying to game the system or putting spend behind all of your content, it’s hard to tell whether or not that content is actually good. It’s great when there’s an advertising “cherry” on top, but it doesn’t matter if your “sundae” wasn’t built right in the first place.
Brush off your preconceptions of what social advertising is supposed to look like and focus back on the content. When you’re putting spend behind something, your frame of mind should be: What do we think will work best with added dollars? When good content happens, it will naturally drive that earned media. Invest in the content.
3. Find learning opportunities.
The ability to learn what content works and what doesn’t is one of the great things about Facebook. Because when you’re talking about an article going viral, you’re talking about it going viral on Facebook. You can learn a lot from the platform about what your audience wants to read and what headlines are going to make them click. So do a test of several different headlines for the same article to start learning.
Of course we’re all about the ROI, but you need to first learn what’s working and invest in that before you can start to see the return on it. There’s a difference between creating an ad and creating something that will go viral. Even if you put in the puppies, creating a popular Buzzfeed post is going to be hard.
4. Measure what you can.
If you’re not clear about what you’re trying to measure, you can’t blame measurement. The best place to start is by taking a look at how many overall actions are happening over your category and where you stand in the competition between advertising budgets. Understand what type of real estate you have in the consumer’s mind and try to figure out if what you’re doing is moving the needle in terms of share of voice.
That being said, if you focus on only the things you can measure, you might as well pack up your things now.
5. Think about the long-term.
Getting people to click is short-term thinking. Building a brand is long-term thinking. If you’re just looking at clicks, you’re undervaluing what you’re building.
Remember: Social media is about the branding and word-of-mouth advocacy. Someone else posting about you is going to be more effective than any one thing you do. That’s earned. That’s the power of branding. While you might not get a click today, you could still be planting the seed of real estate in the consumer’s mind. Even if the funnel is flawed, it still exists.
M80: Kieley Taylor, Partner, Head of Paid Social
GoChime: Austin Evarts, CEO
TheatreMania: Andy Slater, SVP
American Express: Nina Mishkin, Director, Digital Brand and Social Media Marketing
Keywee: Yaniv Makover, CEO
Shareablee: Tania Yuki, founder & CEO
Rebel Mouse: Megan Berry, Head of Social Product
Plated: Greg Laptevsky, VP, Acquisition Marketing