Why you should (and you shouldn't) use Facebook advertising - The Brain Wheel

Is Facebook advertising worth the gamble?

Advertising on Facebook is a big, old gamble.

I worked with one client this year who told me they’d recently spent 300,000 Euros to get more social media fans – and ended up with only 300. What a waste of money.

Yet, others stick with Facebook advertising and do well… eventually.

What businesses often find is that when they start advertising, they don’t do too well. They tend to lose more than they win, often for the first six months, possibly more.

You have to stay the course – and possibly lose for a little while.

But if you stick at Facebook advertising – and continually learn – you’re more likely to win. If you learn what words, messages and ads resonate with your audience – and test and learn different ad types – you’ll be flying.

You only need a small fee – say, £100 a month – to start on Facebook.

Yes, the financial barriers to entry are low. If you try targeting a tiny audience (London Startups or mothers in North Tibet, say), you can serve them two to three different Facebook ads and see which one gets the most response – and also see which ads are a bit of duffer.

Once your ROI looks healthy, and you are driving some form of positive financial return, it’s worth putting more money into advertising.

Just do mix up your ads, like an advertising DJ.

After a while, your ad will ‘wear out’. People will get bored. Enough will have seen it enough times, so you’ll need to show them different types of ad to keep them paying attention.

One booboo, however, is to stop ‘free’ marketing altogether.

If your Facebook ads start to do well and they make you $$$, the temptation is to stop what’s getting you free traffic already (like guest blogging, podcasting, affiliate programs, webinars or live events).

Instead, keep going with free traffic sources if free works well today.

It’s sensible to advertise when free marketing doesn’t get the results that you need fast enough. You can bolt-on advertising to your free marketing and give it a rocket-boost.

In truth, a mix of paid and free marketing is the real sweet spot.

I looked at 3,200 Effie Award-winning ad campaign results and saw that the more media channels that were used (both paid, like Facebook ads, and free like PR), the more money was made.

The businesses who used five media channels, for example, made 35% more money than the ones who just used one. That’s quite a finding.

Here’s the main point...

The question isn’t ‘should I do Facebook ads or podcasting or LinkedIn?’ The answer is ‘yes’ – do all of them, depending on the resources that you have.

And please… don’t blame the channel if it doesn’t work!

Watch out if you hear yourself muttering: ‘Facebook didn’t work’ or ‘PPC didn’t work’. These media channels are pretty well-established and do work well if done correctly and are committed to for months and years.

But often it is the message and content that businesses put into these ads that are the real problem. If poop goes into the machine, you get poop results the other end.

Don’t rely on the Facebook machine to get more customers.

Facebook only amplifies what is good (or bad). It doesn’t do all the work for you. You need to create the right message and content and test and learn as you go. The media channel will give your content a boost to the audience that you can’t reach using free marketing alone.

Want to delve deeper about whether to advertise on Facebook?

Look at this free, handy guide I wrote for you. It’s is called ‘Unpopular, The Anti-Social Social Media Guide’ and is about social media advertising and why you should (or shouldn’t) do it.

It took me a while to research, write and design, so it’s not a mickey mouse guide, and you’ll get a lot from it.

Do you see advertising as a wise investment or a gamble?

Let me know what you think 🙂

Toodle pip,

Simon