Are Facebook Ads Worth It?

Two weeks ago, TIS Brand Strategist Greg Smith and I joined a group of CEOs for a discussion on digital marketing. There are plenty of unanswered questions for business leaders who have never forayed into the world of digital ad buying or social media advertising, and we addressed many of them. One of the biggest questions we addressed was whether or not digital advertising on social media showed positive ROI. So, does it?

Know your audience

If you aren’t using audiences to target your digital ads, you’re missing the point. Unlike traditional marketing, digital has the unique ability to reach a very specific audience based around behaviors, interests, interactions with websites and apps, and even geographic proximity to a given point on the planet. If your ideal customer is a single-but-dating 30-something who binge-watches The Sopranos, is learning about photography, regularly uses Waze, and is standing within 1/4 mile of your front door, yeah, we can deliver them a message.

In addition to hyper-targeted ad buying—which maximizes efficiency—you have the unique ability to craft specific messaging that speaks to your audience on a deeper level. As the digital age becomes more prevalent, personalization and individualized messaging become more important. Thinking about our example target above, we know that they enjoy photography. Perhaps they would respond better to an ad with a striking image versus a text-heavy image. Perhaps your next blog post uses the experiences of Tony Soprano to illustrate a point.

Creating audiences

If your digital marketing guru isn’t creating audiences, share this blog with them. Like, right now. Facebook allows you to create your own custom audiences using variables—my favorite: interactions with your page. Creating an audience based on how they interact with your page allows you to create very specific offers, requests and engagements with people who have displayed increased interest with your brand while ensuring you don’t bombard other users with messages that don’t interest them.

Consider this example

Let’s say you want to increase referrals to your business from current customers. Instead of spending $100 to ask everyone for referrals, it’s much better to identify those most likely to provide referrals and spend $20 to reach them. You would probably get similar results from both actions, but clearly one of those actions would provide more ROI than the other. In this case, I would recommend creating an audience of people who have liked five of your posts in the past month and who have shared at least one of your posts in the past two months.

I love this feature because it extends into the non-digital world, as well. Let’s say you had a grand opening event for your new location yesterday. You created a Facebook event and 100 people showed up. The energy was high and everyone walked away with an extremely positive impression of your brand. You can capitalize on this energy by sending that specific audience a message thanking them for making a memorable event and offering them an exclusive 25% discount on their first purchase at that new location. Don’t forget to create an audience of customers who utilize this offer! You can use that later to create a lookalike audience and expand your brand’s reach in the area around that new location. Powerful stuff.

You promised me ROI…

Okay, okay, I just needed to set this section up a little.

Each of the examples I have provided so far can be done without targeting and will still achieve results. It’s what marketers have been doing for decades. When we look at the costs vs. results of a generalized strategy—Ding! Ding! ROI time—we’re going to find that each result costs more than a highly targeted strategy. Remember our referral example above? Spending $100 to generate two referrals will cost you $50 per referral. Spending $20 to get those same referrals? Priceless. Well, $10 per referral actually, but you get my point.

Picture your brand reaping the benefits

Imagine this scaling for your entire social media budget. New connections between Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp allow for a cross-platform messaging that makes digital managers like me salivate. Your competitors are spraying and praying that their messaging lands on the right eyes at the right time. Your brand is ensuring that it does. Now your budget is maximized, your ads are optimized and the people engaging with your brand feel personalized. That’s not just a good campaign with solid ROI, that’s positive engagement for your brand, too.

Now, someone in the back had a question about Snapchat. ; )

Ready to advertise? Team TIS can help!

Digital advertising is a specialty of ours, along with our partners at Adtegrity. We'd be happy to talk through your needs and set up a social ad strategy that will get you real results if that's the best course of action for your brand. Contact us today to jumpstart the conversation.