The potential benefits of Facebook advertising cannot be ignored, for the simple reason that so many people visit the site multiple times, every day of their lives. The Facebook Advertising Platform provides you with the opportunity to present your brand and product to any demographic within this user base.
Facebook advertising concerns those little boxes which appear to the right of you profile. Using the vast resource of information which Facebook has become, featuring the personal information and preferences of each of its users, these ads are targeted to appear beside profiles to which they are deemed most relevant and most likely to produce a result.
Featuring a headline, thumbnail image and short ad copy Facebook ads encourage the targeted user to click through and hit like. There are numerous benefits to the advertiser.
The advantages of Facebook advertising include:
- Its network reach - There are more than 30 million active Facebook accounts in the UK alone, and every consumer demographic is represented among them. This means it is possible for your advertisements to reach the right audience, and in large volumes.
- Less competition - Facebook adverts are relatively new in comparison to Google AdWords and means that the landscape is less competitive in terms of advertiser numbers.
- Lower cost-per-click - Typically Facebook’s cost per click costs are much lower than Google AdWords.
- Increased form of demographic targeting - Of course, this reach could be a hindrance were it not for Facebook Advertising’s super-targeted capabilities. Facebook’s ability to collate and dissect user information allows the advertiser to target and individual sex or age demographic, with very specific interests. This also means that businesses with a broad customer demographic can distribute ads to certain segments of it (different images and copy for different age ranges or sexes, for example). Alternatively, if your market is niche you can target a relevant audience without paying over the odds for wasted advertising space.
- Localised Advertising - It is also possible to target a particular area for your ads. This is a major factor for local businesses which can choose to only show their ads to Facebook users in a particular town.
- Potential Analysis - An important benefit of Facebook advertising is its facility for showing advertisers the potential reach of an ad during the design process. Facebook shows you how many people are likely to see your ad and you can see instantly how certain tweaks improve your ad’s potential; or do the opposite.
- Let’s Go Viral! - when a Facebook user likes your page through your advertisement, a relevant news item appears in their Facebook friend’s news feeds. This is an effective viral advertising tool as users are proven to trust the recommendations of their friends.
- Images - Unlike your typical AdWords text advert , Facebook allows you to include an image with your ad. An eye-catching image which draws the attention of your target audience is a significant advertising boon.
- Choose PPC or CPM - Similarly to AdWords, Facebook advertising works on a pay per click basis but advertisers can also choose to pay per impression if their main aim is simply to generate improved brand awareness.
There are, however, certain disadvantages to Facebook advertising which cannot be ignored:
- Work Load - Increased demographic targeting can mean more campaigns to set and manage
- Low clickthrough and conversion rate - Google AdWords usually offers a clickthrough and conversion rate of around 2%, but Facebook ads offer considerably less, which can discourage advertisers. Google AdWords’ event driven advertisements are much more in demand the display advertisements in the Facebooks’ current format.
- Irrelevant Ads - Despite the promise of highly targeting advertisement, it seems some less targeted ads can still slip through the net.
- Increased Difficulty - By its very nature, Facebook offers users plenty of content to distract them from the advertising space. Users are so busy chatting with friends and rummaging through their news feeds that they don’t often pay much attention to advertising.
In general, Facebook is a valuable advertising tool, reaching a vast yet relevant customer body. If you can successfully blend copy and image with the right target, Facebook advertising could be successful for you.