The reality: after 10+ years of an industry experiencing exponential growth, traditional pay per click search networks have become crowded, over-priced and extremely competitive. Furthermore, in a quasi auction-based marketplace, often the only companies ahead of the game are the media moguls themselves.
With the introduction of Facebook Ads, Search Marketers have been given a clean slate: more targeting options, almost real-time feedback from target audiences on the relevancy of their adverts (via the ‘like’ feature), and extremely cost-effective pricing (fewer competitors). Ad Quality Score is no longer a ‘black box’ held close-to-the-chest by a publicly traded company’s “product manager”.
As a full service Digital Marketing Agency, Facebook Advertising has become an essential advertising vehicle for helping our clients exceed their online marketing goals. However, Facebook advertising does not have a direct, 1:1 correlation, to what we would consider “traditional paid search marketing” from a qualitative perspective.
In other words: your Pay Per Click (PPC) search engine campaigns running on Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, Microsoft Bing or Ask cannot easily be converted to Facebook primarily due to incongruent qualitative campaign elements:
- Text Ads
- Landing Pages
- Account Structure
Therefore we have put together a list of things to consider when launching a new Facebook Ad Campaign:
1. Facebook is not a Traditional Search Engine
“Just what is classifies a site as a search engine…anymore?”
According to comScore, a lot of folks are searching on Facebook. Is Facebook necessarily a search engine in the traditional sense of the word?
Well yes and no. Facebook is a search engine best described within the category of “people search”.
Therefore we classify Facebook Search as one of the following:
- People Search Engine
- Social Search Engine
The key take away for Search Engine Marketers: Facebook Advertising is more closely aligned with a form Social Media Marketing than Search Marketing, treat it as such.
2. Campaign Objectives: Alignment
“I put my Facebook ads out there but didn’t sell a single widget!”
Lack of direct sales is a typical experience by a search marketer who merely ports over the exact same campaigns they are running on other search engines.
Depending on what you are selling, you most likely will need to build up a Facebook fanbase first rather than taking a traditional approach to match the your search engine campaign performance measurements.
In other words, your intent should be to “fill the funnel” via building up a list of prospects (formerly known as fans – now Likes) rather than trying to pitch your wares directly via Facebook Ads.
3. Having a Custom Facebook Page
“Why doesn’t my best landing page convert on Facebook?”
Growing your community online will increase awareness. Therefore you will want to serve the Facebook community with fresh content and land them on a Custom Facebook Fan Page.
The Facebook Marketing Process: think Direct Mail (DM)!
1) Build a “fan base” (list of prospects)
2) Manage relationships w/prospective customers (CRM)
3) Wait for those new prospects to “raise their hand”
4) Convert handraisers into new customers (sales!)
Best Practice for SEMs: Focus on interest-based list building/hand raisers (likes) vs. trying to sell your products/services directly using Facebook Ads.
Why? The audience’s user intent differs vastly on Social Media Networks than on Search; a Facebook user is actively engaged with interacting, sharing and socialize…not Searching.