Paid social- do you really need it?

A question you might ask as a business operator is; “Should I focus more on my paid social or my organic social?” We believe you need the perfect balance of both. Whilst we are a marketing partner who start with brand before sinking investment into promotions (the opposite would be wasteful), we know the power paid FB advertising can have. We also believe that as Facebook paid advertising becomes more sophisticated, your paid campaigns can be classy and on brand (unlike the days of Facebook Flyers, anyone remember those cringe worthy ads circa 2007?).

 Pic by Rawpixel

Pic by Rawpixel

How powerful is FB advertising?

Here is one example: Did you hear about the scandal Facebook was recently embroiled in regarding paid ads? Last month, a Facebook spokesperson disclosed that a segment of the Russian population bought ads on its platform in an attempt to divide Americans in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The Russian backed posts reached as many as 126 million American Facebook users! Click here for a look at the bizarre, but undoubtedly effective ads. Of course, the use of Facebook advertising for propaganda is not our scene, but an interesting case study nonetheless!

 Pic by tom ritson

Pic by tom ritson

‘Reachpocalypse’

So now that we are aware of the enormity of paid Facebook advertising, let’s ask ourselves, do we really need it? Due to the ‘Reachpocalype’ of 2014, we believe yes. Otherwise known as, ‘Facebook Zero’, ‘Reachpocalypse’ refers to the time when a change in the Facebook algorithm caused organic reach to severely decline, leading businesses to paid FB advertising. It was a clear message from Facebook to businesses to let them know, you have to pay to play. 

 

Rising above the noise

 Pic by, EWAN ROBERTSON

Pic by, EWAN ROBERTSON

Our challenge is to collate all of our knowledge of paid FB advertising and use it to improve reach and conversion for the SME’s we partner with. With the millions of Facebook ads that currently circulate the platform, before publishing any ad, we always ask ourselves, “how can we rise above the noise?”. There are a few key guidelines that we always follow,

1.     Strong copy: ads written to draw people in will increase link clicks and conversions.  Make your copy  relevant,  persuasive, concise and accurate.

2.     Informed targeting: do your research, know your target market and use FB to reach them. You can target people who have visited your website, followers of your competitor Facebook pages and CFOs within a 10-km radius.  

3.     Good quality images and videos: these FB ads will be your first impression to many new customers so you want to represent your company in a way that is professional and appealing. The optimal image size for FB is 1,200 x 630 pixels, for Instagram it is 1,080 x 1,080 and for LinkedIn its 552 x 368 pixels. For videos use MP4 or MOV format.

4.     Test, test, test: we closely monitor engagement rates and reach to determine which ads perform best. By tweaking creative elements of different ads, we can ensure max exposure. We consistently see cases where two ads, run simultaneously but with different creative, perform differently. 

Still under-priced

 pic by anne preble

pic by anne preble

You can reach people via Facebook advertising for an average cost per thousand (CPM) of $6 to $8, TV costs around $35-$50 CPM and a full-page ad in the Telegraph costs $50,000.  

We believe prices of Facebook ads will go up, and that in 2 years some business owners will look back and wish we had done more advertising on this platform than what they are doing today. To be able to reach an extremely defined target audience via Facebook with a quality ad and at a low cost, Facebook advertising is an exciting prospect.

But don’t start putting money into Facebook until you have a clear message and a compelling proposition. Otherwise you’re wasting your money. And that’s just not good business.

Lauren xx

About Long & Co

Long & Co Team

Long & Co is a marketing company based in Newcastle with clients locally, in Sydney and interstate. We have one purpose and that is to help our clients go to the next level by unlocking their marketing potential. We do this by partnering with our clients, starting with strategy and then skilfully implementing.

Our expertise in strategy, creative, production and media delivers work that drives actual business results. We market for today, we love emerging technology and we grow because our clients do.