Best Practices: Determining the Value of Facebook Ads
As PR professionals, we tend to favor earned and owned media over paid media, but we recognize the value in making strategic investments in paid placements on specific platforms. Facebook Ads and Google Adwords continue to duke it out for domination of the search engine marketing market and are great platforms for drawing attention to a new campaign or product.
Making an advertising investment isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. However, for brands just getting set up on Facebook and looking to do a quick promotion of their page, advertising within the medium is a great option. But before jumping head first, consider the following about your audience and their reactions:
- What type of action are you hoping to incite – do you want people to know the page exists and follow it, or do you want users to like the page and participate in an activity or contest? The latter action – though harder to encourage with just advertising – will yield better engagement in the long-term.
- How will you sustain users’ interest after they’ve clicked the ad and started following your page?
Once you’ve evaluated your audience and considered the type of outcome your ad is helping to achieve, there are a number of ways to evaluate the budget and time investment needed to maintain the project:
Ad campaign costs per day
Facebook ads offer the opportunity to control how much you spend on a daily basis. Once your budget has been met for the day, your ads stop appearing until the following day. To get an idea of what type of budget you should set, create a dummy Facebook ad to receive an estimate of the cost per click price based on the content of your ad and targeted demographics (you can segment audience by gender, geography, interests, etc.). Then, multiply this number by the number of clicks you’re aiming to receive throughout the life of the campaign and divide by the amount of days or weeks you have to achieve this goal.
Cost per click vs. Cost per Thousand Impressions
- If you aren’t sure whether to choose to pay per click or pay per impressions: Cost per click (CPC) works best when you want the ad viewer to take a specific action (register on a website, ‘Like’ a Facebook page, download a certain file etc.), whereas cost per impressions (CPM) works best when you’d like to simply inform the user of a specific activity (similar to a roadside billboard). In terms of cost, CPC allows you to specify how much you are willing to pay each time a user clicks on your ad; CPM allows you to identify how much you will pay for 1,000 views of your ad. In general, the CPC model is favored by most Web advertisers because the goal is to incite the ad viewer to commit to a certain action.
- It’s best to experiment with Facebook Ads using the easy step-by-step process to get a hold of as much information about your projected results before you enter into a formal engagement. While the set-up process is simple to start and run, Text 100 clients report needing approximately two hours of time per day to monitor the performance and improve ad content, targeting, etc.
The chart below shows the advertising results for a pilot campaign run in India. The brand ran advertising on both Facebook and Google with a budget of about 780 Euros (approximate $1,125) for one month. The client opted to invest slightly more in Facebook’s variations because the target demographic was shown to spend more time there and Google ads run at a higher expense in the market, which made the Facebook investment more cost-effective. This project provided valuable insights about how each platform delivered so the client could make a more educated budget estimate.
While these results are positive in the short-term, navigating the waters of Facebook Ads is tricky and needs a solid integrated strategy to yield truly beneficial results for a brand. Getting people to click on an ad is just step one. If your goal is real engagement with your audience, couple your ad campaign with a number of communications and outreach tactics to further your message and keep users coming back for more.