Facebook may be steeped in controversy these days, but no matter how many people talk about abandoning it, few actually do. Usage of the platform still outpaces that of all the other social media sites except YouTube. For now, the social media behemoth still plays a big role in the lives of most consumers — which means paid media on Facebook still has a big role to play in a strong digital marketing strategy.
If you’re trying to find the right marketing mix for your business and you’re not currently investing in paid media and using Facebook ads, there’s a whole list of reasons to start.
1. Paid media is an important part of inbound marketing.
Marketers often think of inbound as being all about earned media, but before people can benefit from the content you create for an inbound campaign, they have to see it. Paid media is a valuable channel for getting that initial reach for your content. And then, just as importantly, it’s a useful tool for lead generation so you can extend your relationship with prospects beyond their first encounter with your content.
Facebook advertising isn’t your only paid media option. It’s one of several pay-per-click (PPC) marketing channels to consider. But there are a few compelling reasons that it should definitely be in the mix.
2. Most people are on Facebook.
The most recent poll from Pew Research found that 69% of people in the United States still use Facebook. People might complain about the privacy issues of the platform, but it hasn’t been enough to drive most of them away. The social media site has gained wide adoption across demographics — quite a bit more than the social media platforms that get more of the buzz, like Instagram and Snapchat (which are at 37% and 24% adoption, respectively).
It’s a common marketing mantra to go where your audience is. For almost all marketing personas, that includes Facebook.
3. Facebook users spend a lot of time on the platform.
Creating an account on a platform is one thing, but Facebook users don’t stop there. The Pew survey also found that 74% of people with a Facebook account visit the site at least once a day. In the crowded internet marketplace, where competition for time and eyeballs is fierce, Facebook gets visitors to come back time and time again, every day.
Most of us can only dream of that kind of engagement. While you may not be able to get visitors to come back to your website on a daily basis, you can use Facebook’s popularity to your advantage. Facebook ads let you borrow the attention the platform claims, in order to drive more traffic back to your own website and content.
4. Facebook ads are the best way to get seen on Facebook.
More accurately, they’re pretty much the only way to get any traction on Facebook now. Where it was once feasible to create a Facebook page and build an audience of followers on it, the reach of branded pages famously plummeted with an algorithm update a few years back. Now, the only way for a brand to show up in a consumer’s Facebook feed is to pay for the privilege.
While that’s certainly frustrating for anyone that got used to the old way of how things worked, now that it’s been a few years, most marketers are resigned to the knowledge that Facebook ads are the way to go. If you’re going to use the platform to reach your audience, paying for Facebook advertising is required.
5. Facebook ad targeting is powerful.
On the plus side, Facebook ads can offer something Facebook pages never could: the ability to reach new people in your target audience. You’re not limited to showing up in the feeds of only those who’ve already heard of you. But you’re also not paying for a broad reach that includes loads of people unlikely to care about your products or services to begin with.
Facebook has a lot of data about who its users are and what they’re interested in. Because of that, it has some of the most extensive targeting options of any advertising platform. You can set up your campaigns to show up for specific audiences based on:
Your ads will go a lot further if they show up for people already inclined to care about what you offer. Smart targeting helps you get a bigger bang for your buck by reaching precisely the people you most want to.
6. Facebook offers retargeting options.
The sales cycle for most B2B (business-to-business) products is long. According to one recent study, 46.4% of B2B sales take over seven months to close. Most of your prospects won’t be ready to make a purchasing decision the first time they encounter your brand. They’ll need time to learn about your products and grow to trust you.
But in a busy culture full of distractions, it’s not a given that a lead will remember you exist after that first interaction. Retargeted Facebook ads are a useful feature to remind prospects about the product they’ve already shown interest in, and a great way to get past visitors to come back and engage with your brand all over again.
7. Facebook provides useful analytics.
One of the benefits of paid media is that advertising platforms meticulously track ad performance and provide detailed analytics for you to learn from. Facebook is no exception. It provides information about:
8. You can choose from a number of ad formats.
Facebook provides a lot of different formatting options for ad campaigns. You can use Facebook ads to promote links to written content, embed videos, include image slideshows, or dynamically include photos and links to products you want to promote. Your ads can show up to the side of the Facebook feed, or as a post within it.
The platform gives you a way to promote content you’ve created in different formats and gain data on how your audience reacts to it. You have a lot of choice in how people see your ad and the options they have for interacting with it.
9. You have different call-to-action (CTA) options.
In addition to choosing from a variety of formats for your ad, you also have the option to include different types of CTAs. Some of the most common options are links to content or product pages. But for your lead generation campaigns, you can include lead gen forms within the Facebook ad itself as well. And you can tailor the language of your CTAs to see which ones get the best results.
Whatever the main goal of your ad is, you can craft a CTA to match.
10. Facebook ads are affordable.
How much you’ll pay for Facebook ads depends on a number of factors, particularly your industry, the types of ads you run, and the targeting you do. But to give you an idea, the average cost-per-click is $1.86. If you’re using effective targeting, those clicks are likely to be highly relevant and thus well worth it, which makes Facebook a good value for most brands.
In addition, you have control over your budget. You can define your maximum spend so there are no unpleasant surprises. And if you make use of the analytics Facebook provides to refine your campaigns over time based on what works, you’ll get an increased return on investment (ROI) with each new campaign you run.
For many of us, clicking over to Facebook throughout the day is something of a reflex. We pull it up and start scrolling to see what our connections on the platform are talking about. It’s one of the main places people encounter new content, take in news updates, and interact with relevant groups that reflect their professional communities and general interests.
That tendency your audience has to open the tab and scroll can work to your advantage. Capture their attention as they do so by inserting your ads or content pieces in the middle of updates from friends and groups. It’s an effective way to get your content onto their path and your brand on their mind.
Facebook ads can get your content in front of the right people for the first time, and they can move old visitors farther down the funnel. Both are important parts of doing inbound marketing well. And through it all, Facebook ads give you a lot of control over who you reach, how you reach them, and their options for interacting with the ads they encounter. That makes it a powerful resource to include in your marketing mix.