Facebook Advertising – Tips to Startups/Small Businesses

Facebook Advertising – Tips to Startups/Small Businesses on how to advertise on Facebook.
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Have you advertised on Facebook yet?

Just 3 weeks back I was surfing through alexa and noticed that Facebook had grabbed Yahoo’s spot of the 2nd most visited site in the World! – All this in just a few years. I have been following its’ traffic since a while now and the graph has been a beautiful 60 degrees.

It’s got most people hooked. Everyone’s on it. It’s a great media people love to spend time on. Also, I guess it just plays on the voyeur nature of most human beings. Anyway, taking Facebook’s success and our love for it as a given, let’s explore advertising on Facebook.

Setting up an account

It’s fairly easy to set up your account. You just have to click on advertise (link at the footer), create an ad, choose your target criteria, enter your card details and voila. It involves no human intervention unless you want the large banners that keep showing up on the right side. For those, you can get in touch with Komli. They manage Facebook’s advertising clients in India.

Facebook versus Google

Unlike Google advertising, what Facebook lacks is context. Sure you can choose keywords, but it’s very unlikely that someone will find keywords related to their category or brand, unlike in Google. Being a search engine, almost all sorts of questions are punched in Google. Facebook is, well, a social site and therefore it has its limitations in terms of targeting. So, Facebook doesn’t work well contextually for many brands and therefore, if you’re looking for sales -oriented marketing, it’s not the place to spend your budget.

Orkut vs. Facebook Traffic for India
Orkut vs. Facebook Traffic for India

Brand(k)ing

What Facebook is great for, though, is branding. If you bid a decent amount as recommended by the engine, you could be sure of getting millions of impressions. We advertised on it and it may sound unbelievable, but we got a single digit e-CPM! Imagine getting such a rate for the kind of traffic, page views and involvement Facebook enjoys.

Apart from this, the way the ads are placed, they create pretty much look like content. It ensures that it’s not obtrusive and yet stands out with the thumbs up and down signs. I would recommend that you create an ad that doesn’t sound like one, but sounds more like a testimonial of sorts. If you say something like “The largest and the best …blah blah”, it does sound like an ad and looses credibility in Facebook, a place where people are used to reading frank thoughts friends have on their mind. Any sort of superlative or made-up comments will go unnoticed. So, write the ad as if it’s an endorsement from someone. It could read like “I just came across this wonderful site that helps do…”. That may grab more attention.

Clicks or eyeballs?

Usually, you won’t get a lot of people clicking on your ads, which is good to an extent because you get free branding. To ensure that you don’t get too many clicks, make sure that your ad is not a mystery. Put things up front so that the curious jacks don’t go around clicking since each click could cost you Rs. 5+.

Obviously the knife cuts both ways. If your CTR is too low, they’ll stop showing your ads. So you need to figure a way to keep afloat the CTR bar. If you’re a website, I recommend you mention the site URL upfront so that people can remember it. Always add your logo to the ad since that’s what most people will remember.

Verdict

Go ahead and spend a % of your budget on this great site, assuming you want to do a branding exercise. Just be objective and track the conversions using analytics so that you can maintain some level of ROI even though your e-CPM is low. You should decide upfront how much you want to spend because once you start tracking the number of impressions your ad gets, it can be quite tempting to keep pumping in more funds.

[Guest article by Mayank, Marketing Head of RedBus.]

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