Did you know that the most in-depth and intrusive database known to man is held by a company that you likely interact with on a daily basis? Facebook not only collects very detailed data on how you navigate its platform, but also on the websites belonging to its massive network of advertisers. Third -party data collection is the icing on the cake. But the juicy cherry on top?
Find a popular product online from a major retailer or manufacturer, or think of a very unique/specific topic. Unlock your cell phone, make sure the Facebook app is open, and just start talking to yourself or to the person next to you about the that product, by name, or that unique topic. Then continue using Facebook as usual. The question isn't whether you see ads related to that product in your news feed over the next few days, the question is how often do you see them? Countless users online have claimed similar experiences, from scholarship applications from major companies to products they saw on television and talked about, to very specific and unique topics they discussed.
Did you know that Facebook knows when you're traveling in another country, not because you've updated your status or checked into a restaurant or hotel somewhere, but because the company can scan your emails and can pick up data from your itineraries and email confirmations after you've booked a flight?
As unsettling as these tactics may feel to some consumers, Facebook is well within its rights to capture and use this data; check out the Terms of Service. It's the price one pays to use the platform for free. Whether you're on its platform or not, Facebook collects information about every single thing you do online, and compiles it to create a unique user profile. Yes - you have a user profile that you've never even seen before that's compiled based on your behavior. Nearly every action you take online becomes a piece of the puzzle into what makes you tick, and the more puzzle pieces Facebook receives, the more accurately they can predict your behavior, your interests, and your preferences, even if you've never outright mentioned them in your statuses. Facebook can predict what type of content you like, what you'll buy online, what ads would be of interest to you, and what you care about.
And this is why Facebook is by far the most effective and powerful advertising tool on the market today. There is no other time in human history where businesses like yours have had such access to a wealth of robust data about your target audience. No other time in human history has both big and small business alike had the ability to reach their audiences with such laser-like accuracy. With over 1.7 billion users, 1 billion daily active users, and people spending more and more hours per day logged in, this behemoth is only getting bigger and more robust. Any top-tier ad expert will tell you - there is no better platform to spend ad dollars on in 2017. Period.
These days, customization is king. People are embracing their individuality more and more as the decades go by, and this means that standard demographic profiles no longer accurately pinpoint an audience - the term "women 18-24" can no longer give us the kind of information it might have been able to 20 or 30 years ago. As consumer sentiment towards generic advertising that doesn't speak to their individual desires, needs, pain points, and goals evolves from desensitization to outright disinterest, smart businesses have had to make a shift towards narrow targeting in order to resonate with those most likely to buy their products and services. As a result, more and more advertisers are leveraging an abundance of data to get extremely targeted messages to the right people at the right time - in this day and age, it's the only way to effectively resonate with your audience enough to actually generate meaningful sales and get a positive ROI from your efforts.
Despite the massive strides that the world of Facebook data has granted to the digital advertising space, if you ask small business owners (as we have) whether they believe Facebook ads are effective when it comes to generating leads, customers, and clients, a shocking percentage say no. Why the disconnect?
The answer is simple. There is a steep learning curve that's a huge barrier to entry for those who seeking to generate leads and sales from Facebook advertising and the percentage of those who have the skills and expertise to run them are fairly small as a result. Further, the amount of time that is necessary to create and set up an effective campaign that generates leads is a major hurdle, let alone the amount of time necessary to do it well. One campaign for a major brand can easily require 60 hours of manpower to establish and execute for the most expert of advertising agencies. What small business owner really has that sort of time to learn the ropes and then tackle that on their own on top of their day-to-day duties?
The market of small business owners has an extremely distorted perception of what Facebook ads really are. It's not that surprising, when you consider the fact that unlike Google's AdWords platform, Facebook intentionally designed a user interface for ads that was so user-friendly and approachable that you, the unassuming business owner, got duped into thinking you could actually run ads that effectively generated material leads and sales on your own. The unintended consequence is that most of the small business community eventually concluded that Facebook ads weren't effective when so many saw such pithy, abysmal returns on their investment of time and money.
Here's the thing. Facebook ads don't work. Unless you do.
Successful businesses work with marketers who have a thorough and advanced understanding of how Facebook works, the buyer psychology that serves as a driver for lead and sales generation in the digital space, as well as a keen understanding of the technology required to get all the moving parts working in sync. There are no less than four other platforms and types of software completely unrelated to Facebook that must be leveraged in order to create an effective ad campaign that actually works - and there's a very high chance that you've never even heard of 75% of them. If you're interviewing a marketer and they haven't told you that they use funnel software for their ad campaigns, they're not putting in the work, you're throwing money in the garbage and you're making a terrible investment as a result. End of story.
The best way to get something out of your Facebook ad campaigns? Hire someone who knows what they're actually doing. When I have a problem with my SUV, I seek out a mechanic. I go to the dentist when I have a toothache and let a surgeon handle it when I need surgery. The problem isn't Facebook's platform - the problem is your lack of expertise and limited schedule to run a campaign the right way. Trust a professional to do what they do best so that you can get the most out of your investment and have the time and energy to do what you do best. And in the rare instance that you can find a professional like us who collaborates with Facebook's very own data research company in order to get the very best in targeting for its clients, even better.
That percentage I mentioned, of small business owners who reported that they believe Facebook ads do work? They also had these traits in common:
- They all made more than $45,000 in sales per month, with the average being $189,000 in sales per month - the highest generating respondent reported having generated over $400,000 in sales per month. These sales reported were tracked and attributed directly to Facebook ad campaigns.
- 92% of these respondents hire a Facebook advertiser to run their ad campaigns, The remaining 8% have an in-house team on their payroll.
Those who dismiss the power of Facebook advertising are doing themselves and their businesses a grave disservice. Make the investment. If you don’t have the time to figure out which combination of user profiles to target, if you're not interested in learning how to create winning ad creative and copy that actually work, if you don't know how to create new web pages that integrate with email marketing and automated follow up systems or if you can't speak to a series of retargeting strategies, that's okay. Hire it out. But don't miss out on the opportunity to skyrocket your business using Facebook - there's a whole world out there.
Looking to learn more? Get in touch with The KR Agency and let's see if we're a good fit to work together.