Facebook Adverts – Anatomy of a Performance

People often ask me about their Facebook advert performance. It’s a little like asking how a retail shop should perform, but, of course, we know what they mean.

Facebook adverts
Facebook

What people generally mean when they pose this question is this. How many clicks should I expect to get for my Euro 50 / 100 / 500 investment – whatever their spend figure might be. We’ll get to whether or not that’s the right question to be asking in a minute. But for now, let’s just take it on board. A browse of the internet will find blogger experts generally stating that a ‘successful’ Facebook advert can hope to generate around 0.1% CTR (click-through-rate). That equates to 1 click for every 1,000 times the advert was displayed (so-called ‘impressions’). More commonly, I would suggest, that figure is lower – often towards 0.02 – 0.05%.

CTR depends on many factors, but what is nice about Facebook advertising is that it allows you to provide good information on who you are targetting with your ad. So it’s there you should begin. Inform FB about age, gender, geography, etc. By doing so, you’re increasing your chances of a more ‘successful’ campaign, as only ‘relevant’ people will even see the advert.

However, CTR is not an end in itself. Counting CTR is like counting the number of people who cross the threshold into your shop. Clearly, it’s good that they’re there, but it doesn’t mean they make a purchase. The real rate that matters is the number of enquiries and the number of conversions – actual real-world, paid-for sales !

Here’s an example of a recent, well-targetted Facebook Adverts campaign I’m aware of. The investment was modest, at Euro 50 over 14 days.

Impressions – 445,000

Clicks – 225

CTR – 0.05% (i.e. 5 clicks for every 10,000 times the advert was shown)

Verdict ? Pretty good on CTR. A decent number of folks went ahead and “visited the shop”, so to speak.

Enquiries – 8 (i.e. number of those 225 people who clicked through the advert that went on to pick up the phone, or send an email)

Sales – 0 (So, of the 225 people who walked into the shop, just 8 asked a question of the sales assistant. Of those, none made a purchase)

Verdict ? Not great.

So be sure to ask yourself the right question. Remember that FB is only the vehicle for placing your advert in front of the correct audience. Just because it’s online and more ‘hip’ than your traditional ad in the local paper, does not mean the question is any different. The metric that matters remains the same. How many sales did you make ?

[Clearly, this assumes you’re trying to sell something through your Facebook adverts]

Business Blogging – What’s the Point ?

Business blogging – should you get into it ? Yes, you should.

However, one important point to remember is that no one single marketing action will be a solution all by itself for the achievement of all your business goals.

When a client’s eyes glaze over as I launch into the merits of business blogging, I need to remind them that it is just one of many actions that can be taken to help towards the ultimate goal of more (profitable) business.

Business blogging

So, commitment to business blogging is no more than that – commitment to one more marketing action. Commitment to communicating with your clients at whatever rate you can manage. What nobody wants to see is businesses blogging all day every day at the expense of work that more directly makes the till tick over.

No.

If you are a micro-enterprise with few (if any) employees, then a reasonable target might be to write a new blogpost once per fortnight, or per month if that’s sound more achievable. Do try.

Be aware that a typical post might have an initial lifespan on social media of just a matter of hours. Having said that, its lifespan can be expanded by retweeting or re-sharing at later dates and linking separate but related blogposts to each other. Know that in a fast-moving sector, where lots of posts are being generated, yours will have a much shorter lifespan.

Use management tools like Hootsuite or dlvr.it to increase the reach of posts, by having them repeated out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (free version).

In 2016, a great new service I’ve discovered is Missinglett_r, where even the free plan gives you nine tweet-outs of each of your new blogposts, spread out over a year, with handy little snippets to attract readers.

When writing your blogpost, be conscious of the fact that people may be reading it off-website, thanks to the tools above. Include links back to your site, to keep driving readers back to specific pages, to where you are selling or promoting.

And don’t forget Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Without SEO, your blogpost will not be found – in which case, it might as well not exist. The number of blogs I come across that simply do not have any SEO plugin or functionality is huge. Indeed, many more have SEO functionality, but the blogger was not taught about it by their so-called website designer. Essentially, be sure that your post has a unique focus keyword (or phrase) – one that no previous post has had. Make each post focus on a different aspect of your business, a new product or service, a new piece of advice, or a new “how-to”. Go and learn about the basics of SEO and inform yourself about your site. Read this article about Basic SEO.

Is blogging about making sales ? Not directly, it isn’t. It’s about PR. Is PR good ? Sure, but it’s not direct sales. It’s softer, slower, less obvious, more subtle. It’s marketing. Get into it.

Business Blogging with wp.org

I blog on WordPress.org, using themes from Woothemes and SEO from Yoast. Watch out! Don’t confuse the business blogging friendly wp.org with the less SEO strong, essentially hobby-friendly wp.com.