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Facebook Ads: Can Paid Social Beat Paid Search?

Facebook doesn’t really require an introduction, does it? We all know of it, we’ve almost all got it and if you do, we’d bet you’ve been on it at least twice today already, right? It’s a platform which is undeniably powerful, but have you considered using it for your PPC advertising?

With Google AdWords’ prominent, effective (and frankly hard to argue with) offer, it’s all too easy to neglect the value that other advertising channels such as Facebook can offer.

So, what sets Facebook apart? Well, unlike AdWords, which predominantly targets an audience based on their search, Facebook allows refinement which is really quite impressive (and just a touch scary!) – targeting users by age, location, interests, behaviours, connections, relationship status, gender, and a whole lot more.

To put it into context, let’s imagine you own a cocktail bar in Manchester, and once a month you run a themed speed dating night – not that we’re speaking from experience of course. This month’s theme is Italian cinema, so immediately you target singletons within a 10-mile radius of Manchester, with interests in cinema and Italian cooking. The average age range of your customers is between 25 and 45, so you target this age bracket, as well as those who’ve paid an interest by liking or following your page. Perhaps you even create two different ads, one aimed at men and the other at women (and to answer your unspoken question – no Facebook don’t do gender fluid yet).

This homing in on exactly those you want your ad to reach is what makes Facebook different. And very powerful.

So, how do Facebook ads actually work?

Newsfeed ads are the most prominent type available, and appear in a user’s newsfeed when using a desktop or tablet device. Mobile newsfeed ads are much the same as newsfeed ads, but as the name suggests, only apply when using a mobile device. Right-hand ads on the other hand are slightly less intrusive, appearing only on desktop (they don’t fit well on a smart phone), and to the right-hand side of a user’s Facebook page.

Facebook allows for complete control over your budget, and with a minimum spend of just £1 a day (we’re pretty sure that’s the cost of a Freddo these days), that budget can be as small or large as is right for you and your business. So, Facebook allows you to reach large but highly targeted and relevant audiences, for a relatively small cost when compared with other advertising channels.

What’s more, Facebook also allows you to control your bidding structure, choosing the option that best fits with your campaign objectives. So, if you’re simply trying to increase exposure and brand awareness, you can bid per thousand impressions (or CPM – cost per mille). This further includes optimised cost per mille, where Facebook only shows your ad to those they believe are most likely to take action and interact with it.

If you’re more interested in getting users to actively engage with your ad, you can further bid on a cost per click basis – when a user actually clicks through the link, taking them to your landing page, or on a cost per action basis – when users take a specific action, such as liking your page.

Like any paid channel, maintaining your campaign will take time, but we believe (and have proven time and time again!) that with careful planning, targeting and optimisation, the results are well worth the effort.

Need help setting up your Facebook advertising? Let’s talk.

How can we help?

We can implement the right technology and analytics for your business, set up tracking tags across all online activity and create a content strategy for all customer touchpoints that drive the prospects towards the final conversion.

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