Categories
Digital Marketing

When to Use Google vs. Facebook PPC Ads

Both Google pay-per-click ads (PPC) and Facebook Ads are powerful advertising platforms. When executed well, they can cater to nearly every type of business. In terms of paid channels, these two are the main contenders. Whether one platform is better than the other in delivering a solid return on investment continues to be a question many people are asking.

The reality is choosing between the two tools depends on your business goals. So, let’s take a closer look at when to use Google’s PPC ads and when to use Facebook Ads.

Paid Search vs. Paid Social

Google Ads, or paid search, is basically paying to have your listing featured on a search engine results page to get found more easily. The end goal is to create conversions and earn revenue for your business.

Using paid search, your ad is placed based on a keyword phrase or a natural long-tailed keyword phrase instead of targeting a certain audience. That said however, I advise you to adjust the settings of any paid search campaign to target specific audiences based on location and other factors.

Paid social, or Facebook Ads, is advertising your product or service on Facebook and/or Instagram. Because of Facebook algorithm changes, it has become increasingly difficult for brands to be seen by their potential customers organically. Since the company went public, it’s pay to play for most businesses.

Facebook offers a variety of options as to where your ads will be placed. In addition to your Facebook news feed, you can use Facebook ads to advertise on Instagram, the Audience Network, and Facebook Messenger.

It’s worth mentioning that paid social also includes running ads on other social media networks such as Pinterest or Twitter.

Benefits of Using Google Ads

Google has now become a verb for the act of searching for something on the Internet. Because of this, it’s no real surprise that Google is the world’s most popular search engine. Google fields more than 3.5 billion search queries everyday which offers advertisers access to an unprecedented potential audience of users who are actively searching for goods and services.

One of the largest misconceptions is that whoever has the biggest advertising budget will somehow automatically win when it comes to Google Ads. Fortunately for those of us with smaller marketing budgets, this is not the case. The focus is primarily on the relevance and quality of ads rather than how much advertisers spend.

Google is about user experience. The more relevant an ad is to the user, the better experience that user is likely to have. When Google’s users are happy, Google is happy. Because of that good user experience, it is more likely that the user will continue to use Google as their primary search engine. Part of Google’s algorithm has these factors come into play to determine and ads quality score. The higher your ads quality score, the more they will serve your ad to users. Quality score is determined by a mixture of keywords, relevance, ad, and URL. You can check your quality score at any time while running a campaign.

Benefits of Using Facebook Ads

Both Google and Facebook ads give you options for targeting and retargeting specific audiences. Both platforms allow you to Target by age, location, gender, income level, and other things. However, Facebook is the winner when it comes to advanced targeting options, especially in the B2C space.

Beyond the variety of targeting options, Facebook enables you to create audiences based on a list of interests, behaviors, and demographics. Facebook will remember these lists if you ever want to target the same audience in the future.

You can target parents, parents of children between the ages of 9 and 11, and even vegan parents with children between the ages of 9 and 11. You can take it one step further to Target those vegan parents with children between the ages of 9 and 11 and a household income ranging between $50,000 and $75,000 and to follow health and fitness pages. You can get highly specific and granular with your targeting here.

A big misconception about Facebook ads is that they will generate immediate conversions. Facebook ads are less effective for getting leads to convert quickly. The reality is people typically go to Facebook to socialize and relax not shop. However, this isn’t a downside if you have other goals in mind with a bit of patience.

The Facebook platform is incredibly useful for building your audience. It’s unique retargeting capabilities are designed to create conversions from interested people who may have clicked on an ad and not brought or added to a card or even who spend time and read the ad or watch the video. Facebook’s algorithms are great for getting results. If you can create recognition with a sense of community around your brand on social media, people will be more likely to buy when they need your service or product. If this is part of your business is Kohl’s, then Facebook is your best choice.

Which Should You Use?

If you’re new to the word of PPC, it can be intimidating to get started. Both Google Ads and Facebook Ads promote themselves as being easy to get started with, but the variety of targeting options and advanced features are a bit difficult to digest at first. It takes a lot of time and energy to reach expert status for either platform.

That means when it comes to choosing the right platform it is important to match your goals with the unique features from each platform.

Facebook ads gives you deeper demographic targeting to match ads to the interest and progress of different audiences across your funnel. You’ll also get better conversions for a B2C company or brand. You’ll get better branding opportunities with creatives on Facebook to help build awareness over the long-term. You’ll have a platform to run your campaigns when looking for a long-term conversions and the opportunity to build a relationship with your customers since you’re interacting with them as they perform other actions on Facebook. You also have the ability to retarget an existing customer with messaging that directly matches their interests and shopping habits.

Google Ads provides text contextual targeting to reach your customers closer to the end of the sales funnel when they are looking for your products or services. You’ll get a faster return on investment, especially within the B2B space. A lot of people will convert with their first interaction with a PPC ad because they have a stronger purchase intent. You’ll also get better coordination with your SEO efforts and drive increased visibility of your organization and its offerings.

If all of this makes sense to you but sounds too complicated, the team here at Sachs Marketing Group can help. We work with both Google and Facebook ads on a regular basis and can help build the right campaign for you.

Categories
Social Media

Are You Wasting Your Money on These Facebook Ad Mistakes?

There’s no doubt about it. Facebook is a pay-to-play platform when it comes to advertising your business. Organic reach is at an all-time low and only those who are spending at least a little bit of money are gaining real traction and visibility.

If you have a tight budget, that’s a problem. Even the littlest mistake can destroy your reach and waste your budget. To help you avoid hitting those pitfalls, here are a few specifics to watch out for.

A Lack of Strategy

This is a major problem, especially among newer Facebook advertisers. To be successful on Facebook, you simply must have a clearly defined strategy. You need to understand your goals and objectives and you must be prepared with a plan as to how and when you will assess your analytics.

What are you really trying to accomplish? Do you want engagement on your page, traffic to your website, app downloads or warm leads? Choose one objective at a time.

Audience vs Offer

Another huge problem I see when assessing Facebook ads is targeted audience misalignment. As a business owner, you need to experiment with different offers, but that new offer may also appeal to a new demographic. You can’t automatically assume the audience you’ve been targeting will love your new deal. Experiment by testing different audiences (try A/B split testing) to see which respond better so you can direct your budget accordingly.

Adjusting the Audience Size

In Facebook marketing, audience size matters. If the audience is too small, you won’t reach enough people to make an impact. Too large and you’ll end up with a lot of unqualified or poorly targeted leads. You’re going to have to experiment with your interest targeting to find the perfect middle-ground – the place where you are reaching a steady number of people who are truly interested in your niche. Aim for anywhere between 500,000 to 2,000,000, based on the size of your budget.

Ignoring Video

Hey, look…I get it. Creating video ads isn’t really easy. It’s time consuming and can be costly if you don’t have the in-house tools or expertise to get the job done.

That said, video is huge right now. It stands out prominently in a sea of content. The more creative you are in the first few seconds, the higher your odds of a person watching through to the end. Make your videos a part of your ad campaign and watch your numbers soar.

Set It and Forget It

You absolutely can not set up an ad and let it run its course without checking on it. That just isn’t how strategy, analytics, and adjustments work. You need to check in on your ad on a daily basis to make sure you are having an impact. It’s completely acceptable to make adjustments to your targeting mid campaign, especially if you aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for. Don’t think the ad is doing well at all? Shut it off and start again. Don’t let your ad spend run out.

Fans vs Non-Fans

Want to grow your audience and turn cold leads into warm leads via relationship building? Target your ads to non-fans so you can increase overall engagement over time. Want to convert sales? Target your sales-based ads to the people who are already fans of your page. They’re the ones who have already shown interest and are more likely to make a buying decision on the spot. You’ve worked hard to make them familiar with your brand, so they’re the ones most likely to convert.

Limiting Your Images

Facebook allows you to upload more than one image to an ad for a reason. The platform is designed to assess which of your ad images is doing best, automatically directing more of your budget to the one(s) getting the best engagement. Uploading only one image is a huge waste of your time and money. Upload at least three or four and allow the system to do the testing for you.

Text on Ad Images

Speaking of images, remember the 20 percent rule? Facebook used to disallow any ad that had text over more than 20 percent of the image area. The rules have relaxed a bit, but ads with more than the set amount of text still don’t perform as well as those that adhere to the rule. Use the text overlay tool to keep your text area as low as possible. Your ads will spend a lot better.

Multiple Campaign Audiences

Are you running more than one campaign at a time? If so, you need to make sure you’re using completely different audiences for each campaign. Even if both ads would appeal to the same audience, running them both at the same time, targeted to the same audience, means you are competing with yourself. You end up driving up costs and, in many cases, your ads will completely underperform. If you’re lucky, they won’t deliver and waste your spend at all. Always target different audiences when running more than one campaign.

Ad Fatigue

The more people see your ads, the more tired of them they become. The last thing you want is for people to start clicking through to hide your ads. Customize your ad audiences so that people who enter your sales funnel become excluded from your campaigns. Not that sophisticated yet? Edit your reach objective so that the frequency of your ad is limited to a small number of impressions in a set time period.

Don’t listen to anyone who tells you Facebook advertising is a waste of money. Marketing is a part of business and the online world is growing. Experiment and pay attention to your ad sets as they run. Your images and audience targeting skills will make a huge difference, and the analytics won’t lie when it comes time to assess your results. A few simple adjustments could make a huge difference when it comes to how far you are ultimately able to stretch your budget.

Categories
Social Media

Using Facebook Ads to Enhance Direct Mail Campaigns

Facebook Ads are an integral part of your online marketing strategy. They not only help build your community on the platform itself, but can help build traffic to your website, and advertise sales and other offers for brick and mortar businesses. Beyond integrating with other online channels such as email, you can use Facebook Ads to integrate with your offline marketing channels, too.

Despite the fact that we get mailboxes full of junk mail in 2017, the reality is direct mail still works. A United States Postal Service study showed 60% of recipients also visited the promoted website – and first-time shoppers were the most influenced.

But this isn’t just the case for B2C businesses. In the B2B sector, one agency targeted companies making $30 million or more in revenue, and got a 25% response rate. It’s a different approach, which is the reason it stands out and gets an above average response rate despite the fact that it’s so simple.

Let’s talk about how to make direct mail campaigns work with your Facebook Ads.

Begin with Your Direct Mail

You can get direct mail pieces “off the shelf” from companies that are just a search away. But if you want something automated, you can use a company like Lob to integrate with a number of APIs and setup triggers to deliver direct mail to customers at prime times during your online marketing campaigns. Prices including the printing, mailing, and postage so you have a set and forget direct mailing solution.

If you want to create something custom, start by connecting with local commercial printing shops. They can help with design concepts and implementation. Whatever you come up with, make sure it’s specific, targeted, memorable, and personalized.

Figure Out How You’re Going to Track Everything

When it comes to tracking the results of a direct mail campaign, you have two options: unique phone numbers and personalized URLs.

The unique phone numbers are generally 800 numbers that go back to a major account, company, region, city, or segment of your audience.

With personalized URLs, you set up a variety of custom domains to make them easy to remember, and refer them to the correct place. This is the option we’ll focus on since the goal is to get people to your website, and to combine the tactic with Facebook Ads.

You can use referring domains to send people to a specific landing page you created just for their company. Or, you can send them to a case study or portfolio piece that focuses on the work you’ve done for a company just like theirs.

This way, you’re connecting with those hard to reach, specific companies and sending them back to a message you’ve crafted just for them. And you can track the entire thing, then retarget them.

Combine it With Facebook Ads

You should use this approach with a longer sale that takes a while to develop. After all, studies show it takes anywhere from six to eight touch points to generate a qualified sales lead.

Sending a single piece of direct mail isn’t going to be enough to turn that company into a lead. That’s why you need to follow up across multiple channels over time, to make sure you get results.

Add a Facebook Pixel to your website so you can track events and then use the Facebook Custom Audience to create an audience of people who have visited a specific page or URL. Create a custom audience for anyone who passes through the referring domains you’ve created specifically for your direct mail campaign.

Consider making a different campaign for people who bounce, people who stick around and look through your website, and for people who take the time to download your introductory offer or join your mailing list, and so on.

To create your own audiences, login to your Facebook Ads manager account and click “Audiences > Choose Audience > Lookalike Audience.” From there, you’ll be able to choose the source of the audience, such as the people who’ve already liked your Facebook page, or people who’ve visited the Thank You page on your website. Then you’ll choose your target audience size. The smaller you choose, the more targeted it will be. Each custom audience you create will be saved for use in future ad campaigns.

This retargeting approach allows you to automate the process of getting the second, third, or fourth touch points with your target prospects, so you don’t have to manually do all the work. This saves you time and money, while helping you grow your qualified leads database.

Tips for Success

You can use the mailing data from your direct mail campaign on Facebook, too. You can create a custom audience to show Facebook ads to your direct mail recipients who are also Facebook users.

Start by preparing your mailing data for import into Facebook Ads Manager. This means you’ll create a CSV file with as much data as you can gather. Facebook will allow you to create your target audience based on a number of factors, including:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Age, Date of Birth, Year of Birth
  • Location: City/State/Country/Zip Code
  • Gender
  • Mobile Advertiser ID
  • Facebook App User ID

Since you’re working from mailing list data, you should have the zip codes and names at the very least, but the more information you have, the better you will be able to target Facebook users. Use Excel or Google Sheets to create the CSV file, and create a header row for each data point you have.

If you need assistance, you can download the sample CSV from Facebook, and you can learn about how to setup the columns and data.

Once your file is ready, it’s time to use it to create a custom audience. Open Facebook Ads Manager, then open the Audiences tool. Click Create Audience > Custom Audience. Then choose Customer File in the pop-up window. Click “Add Customers from Your Own File.”

Upload the CSV file you created with the mailing data. You’ll be prompted to match the fields in the file to the categories Facebook Ads Manager uses. Go through the list to make sure Facebook recognizes and maps the fields correctly, ignoring anything that’s not relevant. Remember, the more data you use, the higher the match rate.

Follow the rest of the prompts to secure the upload and process the audience file. Once this is done, you’re ready to start building the campaign. It could take some time for Facebook to build your custom audience, based on the size of your import.

At this point, you’re good to setup landing pages, or direct traffic to the landing pages you’ve already created.

Once you get the results of the preliminary campaign, you can segment your custom audiences to target your high-value segments of your list – particularly those who visited your landing pages but didn’t respond to your conversion points.

Make sure you coordinate the timing of your direct mail and your Facebook Ads You want to make sure there is time for people to respond to the mailer before you start serving them ads on Facebook. This way, recipients will be more likely to react since Facebook isn’t their first interaction with the campaign.

Allow one to two weeks after your mailers have gone out to ensure they are delivered to your audience and they have time to respond or abandon before you start running your ads.

Marketing Must Be More Than Clicking Boxes

If you’re doing the same thing everyone else is doing, you can’t expect anything more than mediocre results with an average ROI. If you break out from the rest of the crowd, you’re taking a risk, but you’re likely to get better returns because you’re creating your own path, rather than copying what those ahead of you are doing. Take advantage of direct mail sine you know it still works, and combine with automated targeted Facebook Ads. You may be surprised at how effective it is at bringing you new leads.

Have you ever received a piece of direct mail and then started seeing ads for it on Facebook? Did it improve your impression of the company?