Exploring Facebook Ads

In the post-secondary education realm it is extremely difficult to create awareness around the benefits of your specific product without outside influences. Students (current and future) are bombarded with ads and are used to it. These millennials are quick to move past the 5,000+ messages they see every day and continue ignoring your brand. They are experts at discerning what is relevant to them; a subject line, an impression of an image or context of the message will ostensibly be enough for them.

Here are 4 lessons I’ve learned in having your ad win the battle and your Facebook page win the war.

Targeting: Facebook has great resources on how to target your ad and reach the desired audience. No other platform will allow you to reach the new audience in a measurable, interactive way. Want to reach 16 year old males in Markham who are interested in Sports? No problem; that will be 46 cents per click, please. If you’ve targeted ads properly, you can then review your statistics and find out what all of your “clickers” had in common interests (providing new targeting insight).

Budget: We’re all on tight budgets and can’t afford to mess this up. You can customize your spending to reflect your budget, a daily spending limit, a campaign limit and suggested bid price will help you understand the price of your desired results. This process will give you a good idea of what it will take to get those 200 extra likes.

Creative: Now that you are on target and within budget, getting them to see you is crucial. You’re ad will be featured on the side of pages. You don’t need to hire a creative ad agency to develop your ad but you will want to be direct with what you say. Your immediate challenge is saying who you are and why they should click on your ad.

This ad (left) was used to attract alumni to our University’s primary page. Offering up the visual of the University’s logo provide an immediate known quantity and their attention was captured. The ads were successful as they had over 1,000 clicks and 460 fans on a limited budget (less than $200).

Your value proposition has to be the clincher, in this Free Samples ad (below), the value is clearly defined. Unfortunately, their “Wagjag.com” free samples don’t apply to my city (see: poor targeting).

Destination: Facebook ads are most efficient at promoting something housed on Facebook because they provide instant social recommendations (Your friend likes this) and a direct call to action. Posts with a social recommendation are 47% more effective in gaining clicks – of course you more likely to visit a site if your friend recommended it. The direct like button will allow users to join your page without even visiting it, increasing the likelihood of further interaction with that user. After all, the average Liker, has 2.4 times more friends than the average Facebook user.