Two of my recent posts have discussed the merits of Facebook Ads and compared them to Google AdWords. An entirely different thing is determining whether either of these digital marketing platforms will work for your business. Use this post as a guide to see if Facebook Ads will help your efforts for increased online lead generation. Note that this post mainly discusses the external ads that appear in the right-hand margin, although we will also compare them with the sponsored ads that appear in newsfeeds.

Consider Your Target Market

Before going any further, you must determine whether your target demographic uses Facebook regularly. Although setting up a business profile on the site is a great way to build familiarity and online presence, how do the majority of your customers find out about you? If the answer is not “social media”, then you may want to investigate other avenues.

For example, Google AdWords may be the best service for your company if most of your clients find you by running web searches based on the broke/fix idea. However, the two services are not mutually exclusive. If you have any sort of customer base on Facebook, then it is most likely worth marketing to them.


Target By Postcode

Facebook lets you control how you market to specific demographics. In addition to age, workplaces, and interests, you can enable ads only to run for users in certain locations. This ability is essential for area businesses and practices that rely on local clientele. Once you have determined the perimeters for your ad, focus on writing a friendly message that will appeal to your audience’s demographics and interests.

The ad should be highly tailored to attract their attention, as it will not be embedded in the newsfeed as sponsored or “boosted” ads are. However, this may work to your advantage since the ad will stay in place on the side, remaining highly visible as users scroll through their feed.

What Types of Ads Are Available?

Do you know the difference between sponsored posts and sidebar advertisements? Facebook offers many different ad types and “objectives” to help meet the goal of your next digital marketing campaign.

Sponsored ads appear in newsfeeds, integrated into the content from a user’s friends and page likes. The different objectives offered are intended to help guide the creation of your ad. For example, you might want to increase page likes, increase click-throughs and site conversions, or offer special promotions to your existing page fans.

Sidebar ads are external and appear according to a user’s interests and page likes. These ads are extremely versatile, as your ad goal will dictate the call to action. You can highlight sales and special deals to increase click-through rates, advertise your business profile page to increase likes, or prominently list a phone number or email address to encourage quick conversions. Other ways to encourage website views include using blog post teasers or offering a free ebook download.

When marketing on Facebook through your business page, it is often best to focus on increasing exposure and building relationships. Whether you sell products or services, however, sidebar ads are great for catching the quick click-throughs of a consumer choosing to browse on a whim. After all, many times people are simply scrolling through their feeds as a way to spend time during commutes or before appointments. Enticing ads will encourage clicks.

Plus, having ads on Facebook will help boost your site presence. Increasing brand recognition can breed familiarity, making consumers feel close to your company even if they have never worked with you. When the time comes to make a call, those consumers may be more likely to go with what sounds familiar.


Easy to Change

Facebook has integrated analytics that will let you know what is or is not working. In fact, you can run many versions of the same advertisement at the same time and compare the results. If you experience low click-through rates, you can change the images, text, and targeting options. If the click-through rates are up but are not resulting in conversions, then tweak your landing page accordingly.

Has a Steep Learning Curve

In some ways, Facebook Ads are very easy to use. The site has categories of ad types and objectives as well as set specifications in regards to size and amount of text. However, how do you plan the budget and schedule? What will you do if your test ad sees no results? Which ad type is the best for your business?