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The 11th Hour: Why NOW Is the Time to Invest In Facebook Ads

By Rory Witt    |    February 13, 2017

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Facebook. Love it or hate it, ever since social media came on the scene, it’s always been the go-to resource for digital marketers looking to form a more meaningful connection with their audience.

Of course, times change. Facebook pages aren’t necessarily as effective anymore, and while Facebook Groups can be a great way to drive traffic to your blog, effective group interactions can sometimes be tricky to master.

But guess what? Facebook ads are here, flying in like Superman to save the day.

After all, there’s still a lot to be said for Facebook’s marketing potential. As of December 2016, Facebook reported 1.23 billion daily active users. That’s impressive enough in and of itself, but when you consider that Facebook Messenger has over 1 billion monthly users, and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) has over 600 million users, it’s clear that there is a large audience out there, ready to digest your Facebook ads.

But a staggeringly huge audience size isn’t what makes Facebook ads a smart investment. It’s the new ways that Facebook is making its advertising platform more friendly towards businesses—and B2B brands, in particular.

Intrigued? You should be.

Facebook ads are currently poised to become more effective and powerful than ever before. The clock is ticking. And if you miss out on this wave, your competition could very well end up leaving you in the dust.

Lead Ads

Let’s start with one of Facebook’s newer advertising features, Lead Ads. Lead Ads are a great tool for working around one of the most common pitfalls of landing pages and other digital lead generation efforts—getting potential B2B customers to actually fill out their personal information.

The thing is, Facebook already has much of that personal information through users’ profiles. And much like how Spotify and other companies connect with Facebook profiles to simplify the signup process, Facebook Lead Ads allow you to bypass much of the form-filling thanks to information already provided by the social media platform.

Lead Ads are best used to get users to sign up for a newsletter, register for an event or request more information or a product demo. When clicking on the ad, however, they don’t get taken to a landing page where they are required to fill out a lengthy form or deal with other potential user experience pitfalls.

Instead, they are brought to a form that has already been filled out using their Facebook profile information. Best of all, this form is optimized for mobile users, enabling interested customers to sign up/opt in/request info/etc. with two taps on the screen.

Lead Ads have already delivered great results for companies such as theSkimm, which saw a 22% improvement in lead quality and a lower acquisition cost with a Lead Ad campaign designed to increase newsletter subscribers.

By simplifying the lead generation process, Facebook Lead Ads could ultimately help you achieve a greater return on investment than even the best-crafted of landing pages.

New Tech

Simplified lead generation isn’t the only way that Facebook has upped its advertising game. The company has also begun tinkering with more engaging advertising methods, including video ads and a unique platform known as Canvas.

Canvas is designed to serve as a full-screen, mobile-friendly advertising experience. Rather than linking to a website, users who click on Canvas ads are taken to a quick-loading ad that features a rich mix of images, text, video—and of course, call-to-action buttons.

The goal of this platform is to reduce loading time and provide an engaging, user-friendly browsing experience. And it works, too, with companies using this tool reporting increased clicks, view time, and website visits.

Then of course, there are video ads. Video is far and away the most engaging type of content on Facebook, and the internet in general. In fact, it is estimated that 74% of all web traffic is video-related. Creating intriguing video advertisements is a surefire way to attract your audience’s attention.

As effective as these methods are, they’re really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Facebook is offering—and is planning to offer in the future. With ads specifically designed for Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, and even the potential for ads utilizing virtual reality and artificial intelligence, Facebook is setting itself up to cause further disruption and innovation in the digital marketing world.

Advanced Targeting

While Facebook’s targeting features are hardly news these days, the fact remains that the social media giant’s greatest asset to marketers is its ability to provide tightly focused targeting options that allow advertisers to reach their exact target audience.

If you’ve ever dipped your toes in the world of Facebook marketing at all, you already know that Facebook can help you break down your target market for your ads using a wide range of data. All the standard demographic stuff is covered—geographic location, gender, and so forth—as well as Facebook-specific info such as interests and likes.

But have you ever tried using Lookalike Audiences? This intriguing targeting function allows you to truly tap into potential customers who would be most interested in your content based on a pre-existing customer group.

You start with a custom audience that you’ve created on Facebook. This could be based off of users who like your page, people who have visited your website, or even current subscribers to your email newsletter. You then select a country you would like to target, and Facebook uses your custom audience to create a “lookalike audience”—people who closely match the tastes and interests of your custom group.

This advanced targeting technique has proven especially beneficial to companies trying to expand internationally, as well as those looking to reach new like-minded domestic customers. By using lookalike audiences and other advanced targeting techniques in conjunction with other Facebook advertising methods, you can significantly increase the effectiveness of your campaigns and drive new traffic to your business.

Conclusion

At this point, it should be fairly obvious that investing in Facebook advertising is the way to go if you wish to make smart use of your digital marketing budget.

But while there are plenty of businesses using Facebook advertising, not all of them are tapping into these resources to get the best possible results.

Now is your chance. Start taking advantage of these great marketing tools today, and you’ll get a better results from your Facebook marketing than ever before.

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