A Guest Contribution from Nikola Rakić
MS of Information Systems; ERP Consultant
Facebook advertising can seem quite daunting: there is a huge potential for both success and failure. You can display your wares or services in front of a billion people, but advertising can become expensive (price per click) and drive useless traffic that generates no sales. Unless you are prudent, Facebook advertising can quickly consume your entire marketing budget with little to show for it in terms of return on investment (ROI).
A few years ago, I ran a marketing campaign over the summer selling discount sunglasses through Facebook advertising. The owner of the company was interested in Facebook’s potential and hired me for the summer to explore the platform and put together an analysis. I spent the next two months immersed in my Facebook campaign and below are some of my observations.
Be specific. General ads for cheap sunglasses do not work; hardly anyone would click on them. They generated next to no traffic, and no sales. Positioning the sunglasses within a context would elicit a response—the more specific the context the better the response I would get. Sports sunglasses would generate traffic, but not a lot of sales. Sunglasses for Golf, on the other hand, ended up being one of my most lucrative segments.
Know your demographic. Considering the above, it becomes even more important to know who will purchase your product or service. The great thing about Facebook marketing is the ability to target people by geography and other various demographics (age, interests, etc.). Whatever product or service you are offering, make sure you are displaying it to the proper audience. The more specific the target, the greater your chances of landing an actual customer.
Age matters. Depending on your product, age is going to play a large factor in how comfortable people are with purchasing your product or service via the internet. For sunglasses, it was predominantly the 40+ crowd that would click and buy—teenagers and people in their twenties hardly seemed to click on my ads at all.
Pictures or words? You will need both. A catchy ad that drives profitable traffic will combine a relevant graphic with a value statement. The value could be represented by a price point, quality of the product, etc. You can drive a ton of traffic with outrageous statements and images, but will they spend with you? And how will that affect your branding? Remember, clicks cost money, and a good conversion rate is key to your campaign’s success.
None of these are monumental revelations—in fact, most of these things are common sense to anyone interested in marketing. However, by paying attention to my ads and their performance and by using Facebook’s advertising tools, I generated around $35,000 in sales over 2 months, while spending $30,000 on the campaign. Considering the company had never had a Facebook presence before, the owner was pleased. While we did not make a lot of profit, there were no big losses either and we were able to establish a presence on Facebook successfully and to draw hundreds of new customers to his online store.