This article was submitted by Kelly and originally appeared on PeoplePerHour.
Think you’ve tried Facebook ads? If you’ve been boosting, you really haven’t. They can be the most effective and cost-efficient form of marketing, but only if you do them the right way…
One thing we hear so often at Marketing4Everyone.com is “I tried Facebook ads and they don’t work.” The issue is, many people try just ‘boosting posts’ rather than getting into the nitty-gritty of Facebook ads – and that’s where the magic happens. So what’s so bad about boosting?
When you boost a post, the audience targeting is really limited. There is a basic interests selection or you can target fans and friends of fans, but this doesn’t scratch the surface of what you can do with proper Facebook ad creation. You most likely asked friends and family to like your page when you started out, so doing a general post boost is basically paying to show your posts to them. With Facebook ad targeting we can dive deep into location targeting, demographics, what people are searching for, the sites they visit – tap into people’s behaviours, retarget them, create lookalike audiences – the possibilities are endless….but not with general post boosts.
When you see an interesting picture on your newsfeed, you may click it to enlarge it, like it, perhaps even comment on it – if this was a boosted post, it’s boosted for post engagements, meaning the poster pays for every one of those things you do. This is a costly way to run ads, as you’re paying for every small interaction with your post even from people who may not be interested in your service. The friends and family who like your page may start liking the post thinking they’re doing you a favour, when in fact they’re costing you more money! That’s why we favour other ad objectives, such as pay per click, where you’re only paying for those interested enough to click for more details – all of the reach, likes, comments and shares is free brand awareness. Offer claims are also a fantastic way to retarget – Facebook sends reminders to claim the offer before it expires, giving you additional free marketing. There are multiple options for Facebook ads, post engagement can be the most expensive and worst converting format.
One thing our account managers love to do is test, test and then test some more. We’ve seen 2 slightly different roof tile images getting a difference of 10 cents per click! A sale message with three words different to the other having 8 cents per click difference in cost. Testing is key to maximising your budget and your ad success. When you boost, you’re boosting one post alone, you can’t AB test your campaign to optimise it. What appeals to your audience is a guessing game at first – running multiple tests will help you to learn about what images and wording makes your customers tick, bringing down your cost per click over time. Audience split testing is also an important strategy that can’t be achieved with boosting. Facebook ads not only work, they get better over time if you do them right, as you’re constantly refining and optimising based on your learnings.
Something we’ve not tested as we don’t want to waste client budget, but we’ve read enough about is the figure Facebook gives in its predicted reach when entering your boost amount. For example, it may say you’ll reach 25,000 people for €10 spend, but article after article suggests this figure is way off the mark. Click rates are also reportedly lower from boosted posts. This is due to the lack of targeting on the ad – you’re not reaching people you’ve specifically targeted as being the best match for your offering so they just aren’t interested in clicking.
When we first create Facebook ads, we spend a lot of time monitoring, analysing and refining to bring down the cost per action. This may involve changing the target audience to widen the geographic area, adding to interest targeting, removing the lower performing gender or turning off the worst performing creatives in split tests. When you boost a post for engagement, you don’t have the ability to do these things, all you can do is watch and hope for the best. Keep the control and flexibility of your marketing by avoiding boosts, and set your Facebook ads up in ads manager or power editor instead.
So if boosting is so bad, why do so many do it? Well, nobody can deny Facebook make it so easy. It may be tempting to hit the big blue shiny boost button, but you’re throwing money away if you do in our opinion for the reasons above and many more. Facebook ads are a science, even experts are constantly learning about this social media monster that’s forever changing its tools.
If you’d like help putting your marketing spend to good use, contact me today on People Per Hour. Our Facebook account managers work across a wide range of industries, meaning we’ve done a lot of the trial and error learnings already. We’re getting consistently low cost per click rates thanks to our high relevance scores for our targeting.
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