Have you sensed it too?
Over the last year, the power and effectiveness of Facebook marketing has been shifting… in a positive way. More and more, marketers I know have been mentioning the amazing results (in hard dollars, not Likes) they’ve been getting from their Facebook advertising efforts.
Keith is an author, speaker, AM Radio Show Host (in Seattle) and a Facebook PPC expert. Through free training materials, consulting services and done-for-you marketing services, he’s helping companies, large and small, crack the code on Facebook advertising.
In this interview, he shares an incredible strategy he calls “The Promoted Post Retargeting Loop.”
It’s one of the rare strategies that uses content marketing in a way that results in true, measurable conversions. Be sure to take notes on this one…
A few years ago, it seemed like paid FB ads were a great way to get Likes, but in many markets (particularly B2B), it was hard to turn a profit with FB ads. However, I get the sense that’s changed over the last 6 – 12 months. Is that an accurate impression? And, if so, what’s changed with FB ads?
Yes that is definitely an accurate impression. Even though many of these changes may have already been in the process of rolling out, it sure seems like a pretty interesting coincidence that all of these big enhancements for businesses have happened AFTER Facebook’s IPO.
Prior to Facebook going public savvy businesses were still making decent profits from Facebook ads, but it was much more difficult, and limited to fewer types of businesses. Among the many changes there are five that I consider the most impactful:
1. Newsfeed Ads – This has had by far the biggest impact for business owners trying to produce an ROI from Facebook. You can now get your message in front of your exact, ideal target audience by taking up the majority of their newsfeed. (Even if they are NOT an existing “fan” of your page).
To show you the difference, here’s a newsfeed ad:
And here’s a traditional sidebard ad:
As you can see, the newsfeed ad looks like a normal Facebook post, with Likes and Shares. But to see the real difference, you need to look at the differences in average click through rates.
For a sidebar ad focused on generating leads you may be getting a CTR of around .03%-.10% (Anything above .10% is good when you are focusing on lead generation). And for a typical newsfeed ad you will shoot for a CTR of 1.0%-5.0% or more, and can consider 1.0% about average.
So newsfeed ads will generate around 100 times the CTR’s as a sidebar ad!
I like to compare the newsfeed ads to product placement ads.
2. Custom Audience Targeting – You can now upload your email list or phone list into Facebook and Facebook will create a new targeting audience based on your list.
Here’s how it works: After uploading your list (CSV File), Facebook will take about an hour to go through your list and match up all the emails which are the same email used for that person’s Facebook account. (Example: you may upload a list of 100,000 email addresses and 65,000 of those emails are the same email that person uses to log into Facebook with.)
Now you have an “Audience” you can select to target when creating a Facebook ad. So instead of targeting “small business owners” or “people who like Tony Robbins,” you are targeting your email list.
You can really take this to the next level if you do any sort of list segmentation.
3. Facebook Retargeting – The Facebook Exchange program lets you set up retargeting ads (sidebar ads or newsfeed ads) via a third-party retargeting provider.
Now you can have a message displayed in the Facebook newsfeed that is only showed to visitors who have already visited your website. This is one of the best strategies for increasing conversions from all of your current traffic on your site.
4. Partner Categories – Facebook has partnered with three of the Big Data companies (Axciom, Datalogix, and Epsilon) that gather critical offline spending habits data, and we can now target people based on things such as the type of vehicle they drive or the value of vehicle they own, the value of their home, travel habits, job description, grocery shopping habits, and much, much more.
This is HUGE. (Note – this is currently only available for U.S. advertisers)
5. Facebook Conversion Tracking – Finally Facebook lets us track the performance of individual ads and campaigns by letting us create conversion goals. You can now set up multiple goals per ad (opt-ins and sales) so you can track how each targeting audience is performing.
It is critical to use Facebook conversion tracking now, especially when you are running newsfeed ads, as with a newsfeed ad you can only use one URL per ad, because the ad is actually a Facebook Post (or status update) that you are running sponsored ads to.
This is how you can find out which targeting audiences convert well and which ones don’t.
Content marketing is a big deal these days. You were telling me about a way to strategically use FB ads to ignite content marketing campaigns and use them to generate conversions? Can you share a bit about how you do this and give us a short case study?
Absolutely. Ok this is a strategy I made up a name for called “The Promoted Post Retargeting Loop.” It is basically a five step process – and if set up properly can turn into a well oiled machine that is simultaneously generating traffic and leads, increasing your brand presence and authority, AND increasing your website authority with the search engines.
We all know it can be difficult to stand out among all the noise. This is the case for EVERYBODY—big brands as well as a brand new start ups.
Just because you write a high quality article, post a great video providing tons of value, publish a podcast, an infofgraphic, Slideshare, etc., doesn’t guarantee anybody will get to see it. Gone are the days of giving your post a good keyword rich title, getting a few good back links and ranking in the search engines.
So what I advise my clients to do is create that piece of high quality content hosted on your website or blog. Then copy that link and paste it over onto your business Facebook page and create a status update for that specific article.
Create an image specifically for that post that will stand out in the newsfeed or the sidebar of Facebook. Add a status update describing what that post consists of—the 1-3 core benefits or topics of that post.
The sole purpose of that post is to encourage people to click the link in your post and be taken off Facebook and onto your website or blog.
Here are the steps to do that:
Step 1: Create a high value piece of content.
Step 2: Create a Facebook post promoting that specific piece of content.
Step 3: Set up an ad campaign using your Facebook Advertising manager or the Power Editor. You DO NOT want to “boost post” or promote that post right on your Facebook page. This is a mistake—you have hardly any targeting capabilities doing it this way.
Inside the ad manager (or preferably the Power Editor) you can now select your exact, ideal target audience to put that post in front of and bring them to your site. (Example: we may target 45-65 year olds, with a college degree, who like SEOMoz, or who like Public Speaking, or who drive a Mercedes or BMW, etc.)
And yes, you now can target people based on the type of car they drive, the value of their car or the value of their home, if they shop for organic foods or geriatric foods, and much more. You do this by using the “Partner Categories” inside the Power Editor. (This is only available in the U.S. currently)
Step 4: Make sure you have the best systems possible on your site to increase conversions. So you have strong calls to action for your “free offer” or “front-end” offer on the side bar, inside your post, as a pop up possibly, on the top of your site, etc.
A great tool I recommend is Hello Bar, which you can see at the top of this page and which puts your best front-end offer at the top of your site. This stands out great but is non-obtrusive. You must also make it easy for people to share your article—have the social share buttons on the side or top of the article.
You will get a lot of people sharing this post—giving you instant credibility with future readers.
It doesn’t matter if your email list is less than 500 people, if you are bringing traffic from Facebook and you have the share buttons clearly visible, you will get people to share that and the numbers will add up and show publicly. (This can be a very big deal)
Step 5: (The most important step in my opinion…) Make sure you have a retargeting pixel on your site so you are building that invisible list! You will get a small percentage of people to opt-in to your CTA’s on your site when they come read your post, but most people will not opt in—they will bounce off.
This is where closing the loop comes in: After that visitor leaves your site, you can now have display banner ads, Facebook newsfeed and sidebar ads targeted to them, taking them to your front-end offer. This may be a free report, webinar, demo, video series, etc.
For example, I may run Facebook ads promoting a high-value blog post or video I recently did that has no opt-in required, just high value content. So I’m bringing high quality traffic to my site, knowing that when they leave they will be served up an ad that says “Get my Free Facebook Checklist” and when they click on that ad they get taken to a squeeze page where they must opt-in to get the free checklist and video series. This person is thinking “Oh yeah, I just watched a great video on his blog yesterday, I’ll opt into this and check it out.”
Now that visitor is more warmed up, so you will have higher opt-in conversion rates and higher sales conversion rates as they come into your sales process.
You see, Facebook ads are interruption marketing, so your goal is to build rapport as fast as you can but also have systems in place to move visitors into your sales funnel process and quickly and seamlessly as possible.
One very important note: This is an advanced strategy that can be used in addition to any other lead generating Facebook ads you may be running to direct people straight to an opt-in or registration page.
One of the best benefits of this process is that if you don’t have the time to create a lot of content, you can instead create less content, but just make sure it is good, and continually promote it with Facebook to your exact, ideal audience. (This can be a very small budget too and you will still get results…
What do you use for retargeting? Do you just do it on FB and/or use Google remarketing and/or companies like AdRoll, Simpli.fi, etc.?
I use Perfect Audience. I recommend using Perfect Audience or Adroll for people who want to retarget in Facebook along with the rest of the Web.
I realize that Facebook is now opening up the Facebook Exchange program (retargeting) to Google so some people may want to use Google. However, I have found Perfect Audience and Adroll very user-friendly and simple to get tracking in place and campaigns up and running.
For more from Keith about Facebook marketing, head to his site dominatewebmedia.com where you’ll find tons of free training that’ll help boost your Facebook marketing efforts.