Do Facebook ads work? It’s a question that has, for many, become as troublesome as a Zen koan.
Everyone seems to have their own explanation for what Facebook ads should or shouldn’t do for your marketing campaigns.
Yet, most seem to suggest that we need to look beyond actual clicks, and come to an understanding that they influence conversions, but you have to look beyond your analytics to see the results.
Even Facebook executives have taken to saying that one must look beyond actual statistics to find the good in Facebook ads. This is a little bit like a drug company saying that you must ignore the fact that you still feel pain when you take their pain medication; it really doesn’t make for a good method of selling your product.
Despite the fact that Facebook itself appears to be having a little bit of trouble actually demonstrating to marketers why it is that they should be adding budget to Facebook campaigns, marketers are finding their own ways of evaluating the true value of a Facebook ad campaign.
The results may be somewhat confounding and difficult to measure, because marketers may be looking in the wrong place.
The results of any online campaign should be viewed, analyzed, and interpreted. And all of this needs to be done by viewing more than just the results of a campaign within its own silo; to get precise about the results of online marketing activities, especially when interpreting how display ads on Facebook are working, it is vital to be able to interpret how these activities are effecting other online activities.
Facebook Adds Life to Search
What we have found, over and over again, is that Facebook ads improve branding to the extent that branded search results increase significantly. When running ads targeted to very specific groups using the best practices for ensuring that they get noticed, customers who didn’t bite the first time got interested, and started looking for more information.
The great part of this is that it allows a search strategy to be successful at a much lower rate. Knowing that the keyword that you generally have to throw the lowest bid price at is your branded search term, you can see already how generating interest through display on Facebook can not only increase the volume, but also lower the price of each acquisition.
If you can generate the interest, and be present when they’re searching for your branded term, you’re able to increase conversions for less money, allowing you to have more of your budget working for you.
Set Phasers to Sell
With the social network getting set to allow marketers to retarget customers directly on Facebook, advertisers are going to have an amazing opportunity to increase their brand recognition in a safe place.
One reasons many brands have shied away from retargeting campaigns is that they don't exercise enough control over the placement of their branded ads. With the “Facebook Exchange”, marketers will have an environment in which they can retarget customers, and even if those views, or even clicks, don't lead to conversions right then and there, they have increased their visibility, which will lead to an increase in branded searches.
A Smart Investment
Facebook advertising opens the door to increased visibility, giving people a reason to get interested and find out more on their own accord. Once someone expresses interest in a brand by searching for it directly, they are much further along the path toward a conversion, and far more likely to become a paying customer.
Investing in Facebook ads now, and investing in Facebook retargeting in the future, gives you the ability to increase your conversions from search and lower your cost-per-acquisition. By employing advanced attribution methods, you will be able to see exactly where your investment dollars are going, and remove all doubt as to whether Facebook ad campaigns are working for you.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!