This is a guest post from Mark Baartse, founder of .Shopping Cart Reviews..
Did you know that Facebook is the most popular site on the web? It beat Google to the top spot in 2009. Yet, despite its popularity, when you talk about advertising, most of the talk is still about Google.
In competitive industries such as insurance, when you click on an ad in Google it can cost the company up to $20 for just one click – no wonder your insurance premiums as so high! Yet, while insurance companies are handing over millions to Google, Facebook is sitting in the corner quietly waiting for some attention – and offering a lot less than $20 a click.
So what’s the difference between Google and Facebook? They are quite different. People searching on Google generally have a lot more intention – they are more interested in buying. If you go to Google and type in “home insurance”, then there’s a fair chance you are interested in home insurance.
In Facebook ads are targeted based on interest. When you create an ad you show them to people who have expressed an interest in that area. You sell gardening supplies? Facebook ads allows you to target people who have expressed an interest in gardening. If it’s a local business, no problem, just target people in your city.
A big catch with Facebook ads is creatives – the actual ad you see. Usually you make an ad, and then you run it for the duration of the campaign. More sophisticated advertisers will create several versions and swap them to see which performs best. With Facebook, people get bored. Quickly. Have you been annoyed by Facebook ads that keep showing up? If you want to get lots of clicks boredom is your enemy so you need to change your ad constantly, perhaps as often as every 1 or 2 days! Just changing the picture is a good start.
As Facebook users typically have less intention than a Google user, they are less likely to buy (although I’ve seen some successful direct sales campaigns on Facebook). A good strategy is making a Facebook fan page and sending your visitors there instead of your website. By doing this, if they add you (or “like” you in current Facebook-speak), you get to have an ongoing connection with them and engage them in your company. In addition, their friends see that “like” in their news feed and some of them will then also “like” you. I know of people who got 5 users by seeing “like” in their news feed for every one they paid for.
Facebook advertising is likely to explode soon, so my advice is to get in now, beat the rush before it’s too late!
Mark Baartse is founder of Shopping Cart Reviews, an ecommerce resource site covering some of the latest shopping cart innovations such as Prestashop and OpenCart.