How to use Facebook Advertising to Make Your Content Marketing Strategy More Efficient.

Paid advertising is increasingly growing in popularity at the present time, becoming not only an efficient way to reach your targeted audience, but also to spread word of mou th, and get more potential customers to read your content. The following advertising strategies have been specifically implemented to help you increase brand awareness by successfully augmenting readership, and generating more leads.

A decade ago, very few companies were publicly displaying advertisements in newspapers, in the Yellow Pages, or on the radio, particularly because advertising was too costly, and most businesses couldn’t afford it. Needless to mention, tracking the return on investment (ROI), or reaching their targeted audience was much too difficult.

Online advertising has evolved exponentially ever since. Your content can be now showcased to millions of readers, and your brand can successfully be put in front of your audience, both of them without having to pay stellar rates.

According to Moz.com, using a newspaper ad to reach 1,000 people would cost you about $32 on average, while the cost of using Google AdWords to reach the same number of potential customers is $2.75. For Facebook ads, the price drops to only 25 cents.

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Assuming that you’d want to reach 4,000 people a day using Facebook ads, the cost of your investment would be only $1. However, you’d still be able to track and measure the performance of your advertising campaign in terms of clicks, user-generated interest, and conversions. As such, Facebook ads become simply the most affordable paid advertising alternative to get your content in front of your targeted audience, and subsequently increase brand awareness.

Why Facebook Advertising, and How Does It Work?

If you aren’t familiarized with the concept of Facebook ads, or if you need a reminder, allow me to quickly point out the basics of this very recent advertising opportunity, so we can immediately proceed to making it work for your business based on your individual needs.

Types of Ads

When it comes to Facebook ads, there are three major types you can possibly choose from: Sidebar, News Feed, and Mobile News Feed.

Sidebar Ads: As their name suggests, sidebar ads are published on the sidebar of users’ Facebook home page, and they’re also the cheapest of the three, providing a lower click-through rate though.

News Feed Ads: Unlike sidebar ads, news feed ads are the most expensive, but they also have the highest click-through rate.

Mobile News Feed: Mobile News Feed ads are publicly displayed only on mobile devices in the place of the News Feed ads that show up on computers or laptops.

 

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Pricing

In terms of pricing, there are two primary structures you can possibly opt for: pay-per-click (PPC), in which you pay a specific amount for every click your ad receives depending on the type you’ve opted for, and pay-per-impression (PPM), in which an impression equals 1,000 views of your ad, meaning that you’ll have to also pay more.

How Many Facebook Users Will See Your Ad?

There are two factors that determine the number of Facebook users who will see your ad: your targeted audience, and your ad budget. Facebook allows you to see the Potential Reach of your advertisement prior to choosing your targeted audience, so you’ll know how many people will likely see it.

How Does Facebook’s Ad Auction Work?

Once you finish creating it, your advertisement will automatically go into Facebook’s ad auction – and that’s a good reason why placing the maximum bid can help you reach more of your audience. Within the auction, your ad competes against other ads attempting to reach the same targeted audience. Your Facebook ad will become publicly visible to your targeted audience based on your ad budget. Assuming that your targeted audience isn’t part of a highly competitive market, the value of your bid will be lower as well. Regardless of the value of your bid, your Facebook ad will be displayed only to a part of your Potential Reach audience.

Objectives

When you’re creating a Facebook ad, you can choose from three primary objectives, but you should focus only on two of them for content marketing purposes: Clicks to a Website and Website Conversions.

• Click to a Website enables you to drive traffic to your blog, lead-generating landing page, or other resource from Facebook.

• Website Conversions enable you to drive traffic to your blog, and then track or measure your visitors’ behavior – i.e. how many have subscribed to your mailing listor RSS feed. To see results, you’ll have to put a little something called Conversion Tracking Pixel on your blog in order to properly track and later review these metrics.

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Targeting Your Facebook Ads

Facebook ads have very good targeting capabilities that make them truly worth of your money and time. By targeting your ad, you’ll be able to put it only in front of those people you want to see it – in other words, those who are most likely to get engaged.

Allow me to explain this concept better: when you aren’t targeting your Facebook ads, they automatically become visible to people who aren’t part of your audience, meaning that they won’t get engaged, so you’ll be wasting money. The good part is that Facebook ads can be properly targeted in order to make sure that they’ll be seen only by those who are likely to engage, so wasting money won’t be an option. There are three primary targeting approaches you can used either individually, or in conjunction with each other:

Demographic Targeting

Probably the simplest and most straightforward targeting strategy you can use with Facebook ads is demographic targeting. In other words, you’ll be basically targeting your ads based on very specific demographics, such as gender, age, location, sexual orientation, relationship status, education level, and workplace. However, most marketing specialists aren’t interested in demographic targeting due to the fact that most available markets tend to be multinational, meaning that it doesn’t really matter whether readers have recently divorced, or hit their 50s.

Broad Category Targeting

As for broad category targeting, this strategy involves targeting your Facebook ads depending on those categories users can be essentially placed in. For example, people who hold a political stance, people expecting who are expecting a baby, people who are engaged, business owners, etc.
Imagine that your content covered tips for using vintage bicycles to enhance a wedding, and make it more practical. Now think about how convenient it would be for you to target your Facebook ads based on this extremely broad category.

To be honest, targeting your ad for such a large audience isn’t going to be efficient. You want people who happen to be in a couple relationship, but as a matter of fact, 29,000,000 Canadian Facebook users might be so. Maybe your goal is finding people who aren’t only in a relationship, but who’re also looking forward to getting married.

My advice? Based on your ad budget, try keeping your Facebook Potential Reach between 100,000 and 500,000.

 

How to Use Facebook Ads to Drive the Right Traffic to Your Content?

Instead of sending your audience out into the Facebook ether and hoping for an echo, you can always opt for using several other strategies to ensure that your content is put in front of the right traffic.

1. Custom Audience Targeting

If you have a Facebook page for your business, then you should be able to see the Custom Audience box at the top of the Audience box, right above the Locations box. By custom audience targeting I’m referring to that type of targeting that enables you to import an existing contact database (i.e. RSS feed subscribers, newsletter subscribers, clients or customers, eBook subscribers, etc) into Facebook’s ad tool. Once you import them, Facebook will proceed to finding those user profiles that correspond to the contacts you’ve just imported, allowing you to build an advertising campaign that targets solely them.

While custom audience targeting might be efficient, and also a great opportunity to potentially increase Facebook page likes, I must say that it won’t make a difference in your readership. The people you’re targeting are already reading your content, which means that you’ll have to pay very little to put it in front of them. This is where lookalike audience is going to save you.

2. Lookalike Audience Targeting

To use this targeting method, you’ll need an existent contact database (which can be created as mentioned above), and use either the Power Editor plugin that’s available with Google Chrome, or a couple of other Facebook ad tools that make it possible. The quintessence of lookalike audience targeting is quite simple: Facebook takes the custom contacts you’ve imported, analyzes the demographics and interest characteristics of your RSS feed subscribers, newsletter subscribers, clients or customers, eBook subscribers etc, and then selects the ones that best suit the profile. The users are grouped into a new lookalike audience later on.

The lookalike audience you’ve created is pretty much the same with your existent readers, as it’s made up from people who have basically the same job title, demographic characteristics, interests, and other such specific aspects. Objectively speaking, your lookalike audience is the ideal audience for your goals: those people who’d simply love your content, and create engagement.

To give you some tips:

Build your own lookalike audience by important your blog subscribers. Select an eBook, case study, white paper, or other form of content, and make it available for a limited amount of time. In my point of view, this piece of content should preferably be one that was previously offered on your website via an email subscription, or payment gateway. Create a new Facebook ad to promote this content, and target it to the lookalike audience you’ve just created. Make sure to mention that this offering is exclusive and time-limited, so you can successfully increase potential readers’ interest, and get a higher click-through rate.

This strategy will help you market your content to those people who’d really be interested in it. At the same time, it’ll also enable you to establish yourself as a reliable information provider, and successfully increase brand awareness, therefore building a solid customer base for the future.

 

How to Use Facebook Ads to Generate Leads from Your Content?

Although you might tend to consider content marketing a matter of what your business creates, sometimes it’s more about what content creates for your business. As a matter of fact, the use of Facebook ads can greatly impact the list of subscribers you’re using to create your lookalike audience, bringing a substantial contribution to generating more leads.

Let’s assume that you’ve just written an eBook that showcases your company’s marketing strategies for real estate lead generation. Instead of targeting it to every single marketer who has decent English language skills, why don’t you take on the following approach? By using it, you’ll be able to increase Potential Reach to a little over 500,000 people, and based on your maximum bid, you might be able to make your ad visible to anywhere from one-tenth to one-half of this number.

If we do some math, then we’ll quickly come to the conclusion that, if you optimize your content ad using the best practices, your click-through rate should be around 0.15 percent. Now let’s assume that a total of 225,000 users will see your add over one month’s time. If we convert that at 0.15 percent, you’ll get an average of 338 click-throughs to your lead-generating landing page. Let’s say that the page is converting leads at a rate of 25percent ; that would equal 85 email addresses, with a price of $7.50 per lead.

 

In Summary

Before wrapping up the material above, I’m going to once again remind you that your Facebook advertising campaign is going to be efficient only in conjunction with content of a good quality. A few tips to help you get started:

1. If you want your lookalike audience to engage, try aiming for a custom audience that’s at least 10,000-strong.

2. When generating lookalike audiences, you should know that you can create them with either 1 percent specificity (a smaller, but more similar audience), or 5 percent similarity (a larger, but less specific audience). Before you choose any of the two, test the both beforehand, so you can figure out which one provides the best results.

3. Make targeting more efficient by successfully segmenting the leads you generate from email (gating your case study, eBook, white paper, or other form of content) into subject matter, so you can also optimize your email marketing campaign.

4. Most importantly, make sure that you create Facebook ads that are engaging. Convey the value of engagement either in the headline or ad body (i.e. Learn the simplest way to generate leads fast); use colors that complement those of the News Feed; add a call-to-action that’s simple and easy to understand.

5. A/B split test your Facebook ads. This is helpful to help you test how efficient your ad headline, body, and image are by individually adjusting them. For example, you can leave the headline and body unchanged, and opt for a different image instead. Or change only the headline whilst leaving the body and image as they are.

I’m hoping that you now have a better understanding of what Facebook ads are, and how they can help you make your content marketing strategy more efficient.