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Why Facebook Ads are a Better Opportunity Now than Adwords in 2000

There are many social media sites and networks out there which allow users to gather, create content, and interact in ways that evolve every day.

Remember when communications and advertising went only one way? These days have changed, and we are now part of a two-way communication in which marketers and advertisers can promote their message but also monitor the response and engagment from the community. But the (incomparable) success of Google, and specifically its advertising scheme, has led social networks to replicate the basic model of ‘pay per click’.

Not only because this business model works and offers benefits for both advertisers and users, but also because of the growth of sites like Facebook and Bebo is now eating up shares of internet usage which traditionally was dominated by email providers and portals.

Contrary to what you may think, this is not an essay on how online marketing is better than traditional advertising (although it is!) but instead a guide on how to target & advertise on the social media network Facebook. This should also explain why a Paid Search Marketer would be better suited to setup this ‘social media campaign’ than a traditional link baiter or social media guru.

1. Facebook’s userbase is growing

The amount of visits to Facebook have exploded in the past year, and fad or not, they are now competing with Google in terms of ‘online fame’. The network, which used to be reserved for University students, is growing exponentially across all demographics; whatever your old man says, Facebook is longer for 18 year old kids posting their drunken pictures. There are many markets out there, and you can target them with your ads. Market examples I have just found in 10 minutes are:

There are 1,193,460 females between 20 and 25 who live in Canada on Facebook
There are 267,340 males who live in New York
There are 23,900 UK users who like playing poker,
and of those, there are 280 females who are still in College.

2. Target your ads

You have your market, and the beauty of (paid) search is that your ad will only appear if the users are interested. For example I can place my ad in front of the 280 UK females who like poker and are still in college, without spending money on the rest of the British population!
Setting up your campaign is where your paid search marketing skills will come in very handy. If you are used to broad and exact matches, know what your primary and secondary keywords are, and know what ROI/ROAS you are going for, you will be at ease setting up a Facebook campaign.

The harder part will be managing it, and getting detailed data about your campaign’s conversions, click through rates and success. You will always know how much you spend, but for the other statistics, it’ ll be a little harder. However if you are just hoping to create some brand awareness, obviously you don’t need to measure anything else than how many people actually saw your ad. Which is why traditional advertising companies can charge ridiculous prices for a minimum amount of work actually done.

3. Attract the eye

Surely you know all the little tactics that will allow you to attract the user’s eye out of the ‘golden triangle’ of [tag]Google[/tag] SERPs and onto your sponsored result (if you don’t, I’ m preparing a white paper about it). they are great, but cannot really be applied to Facebook because facebook ads are mostly image based. However, same idea, you want your ad to stick out. I can’t stress this enough because I believe that banner blindness is because of advertisers who created loads of poor quality banners when this advertising method took off. I am completely blind to advertising on the internet, but only this year am I starting to see banners again, because there now is some really, really cool and innovative stuff like WWF’s find the panda and NHS’s STD awareness campaign out there.
One ad one Facebook which really attracted my eye was one which used the entire banner column (which is pretty big) and place two AdWords-style ads in the middle of a huge white rectangle. when you see it, it looks weird. Like if the code on the Facebook page wasn’t properly written or something. Therefore it works! It attracts the eye (attention), then the text should intrigue you (interest) and make you want the product (desire).

4. Reap the benefits

Once your ads are live, all you need to do is monitor the campaign a little. If you have created some compelling stuff, you should have no problems acquiring new customers / selling products / increasing your brand awareness.

5. Watch out! Behind You!

From spending huge amounts of time on Facebook, I have developed a really good understanding of the platform. I have launched a few campaigns, but mostly been looking at who is advertising on the social media network.

Well here are my conclusions: 6 months ago, you could advertise on Facebook using what were called flyers. These ads were exactly the same as Facebook’s current ads, but the competition was close to nonexistent. I remember seeing the same ads for 3 months at a time, proving no one dared invest in the network. this has all changed since Facebook started [tag]branding[/tag], [tag]advertising[/tag] and talking about their ‘new’ product.

Epilogue

[tag]Facebook[/tag] flyers were simply relaunched as social ads, and this made so many bloggers talk about them, that suddenly the [tag]social media[/tag] network was a legitimate place to advertise. Don’ t believe the hype. Facebook has always been good for advertising, but now there is more competition. But if you hire a good [tag]paid search[/tag] marketer, he should target precisely enough to go round all the competition… And that’s why you should hire a paid search marketer to run an advertising campaign of social media networks!

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8 Comments
  • Mark on November 29, 2007

    This is a bold statement. AdWords in 2000 was incredible, especially with the ‘Google Cash’ method.

  • Mark on November 29, 2007

    This is a bold statement. AdWords in 2000 was incredible, especially with the ‘Google Cash’ method.

  • Eloi on December 3, 2007

    Yes Mark, I think you are right, it is a bold statement. However, by offering detailed demographics and the ability to reach extremely targeted audience, I believe Facebook might just become an important medium for marketers trying to reach a certain audience. The real problem will be in finding a responsive audience on Facebook.

    In sum, Facebook has developped a network where advertisers can target their banners demographically. Now we don’t do banners here at Site Vis, but I believe no network offered so much detail about its audience previous to Facebook.

  • Eloi on December 3, 2007

    Yes Mark, I think you are right, it is a bold statement. However, by offering detailed demographics and the ability to reach extremely targeted audience, I believe Facebook might just become an important medium for marketers trying to reach a certain audience. The real problem will be in finding a responsive audience on Facebook.

    In sum, Facebook has developped a network where advertisers can target their banners demographically. Now we don’t do banners here at Site Vis, but I believe no network offered so much detail about its audience previous to Facebook.

  • Raden - SEO Blog on December 11, 2007

    Does Facebook offer also publisher network in the future?

    I think it’s too many years away for facebook to beat adwords.

  • Raden - SEO Blog on December 11, 2007

    Does Facebook offer also publisher network in the future?

    I think it’s too many years away for facebook to beat adwords.

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