Since 2009, when I ran my first Facebook ad, I have been an advocate for Facebook’s ad platform.
With my direct marketing background that focuses on laser targeting the right clients for a business, there is no other ad platform that is quite like Facebook’s ad platform today.
Facebook‘s advertising program has always been on the cutting edge for several reasons, but recently the improvements Facebook has made is off the charts for small businesses generating leads and customers.
Here are just a few ways that make Facebook’s advertising the most cutting edge platform available today
1) So many people are interacting and sharing personal data with Facebook, it allows business owners, the ability to reach their ideal customer more so than any other platform.
2) Facebook allows you target who you want to reach geographically. For instance, you can target clients on an international level by reaching all of the English speaking countries, such as United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, etc.
Or you can target people with a specific country such United States.
Or if you are a local business you can target specific zip codes and cities within a 10-mile radius of your business address.
3) You can target people’s interest by what they like on Facebook. If you are a local business you can target ads to people that like similar business pages as yours or similar likes and interests.
If you are promoting nationally or internationally, you can target people that have already liked authority pages in your niche and get these targeted prospects to join your email list or like your page also.
4) If you have a Facebook business page, you can now boost specific posts to specific people that you want to reach. This is great if you are a local business and you offer a coupon or a Free Offer for new customers to visit your location.
5) Moreover, you can send traffic to a page on your website where people optin to your email list.
6) Plus, there are sweepstakes and photo contest that you can run from your business page to drive engagement and viral traffic.
7) You can now use videos to promote to your ideal customers in their newsfeeds also. The engagement level on videos is even higher than photos.
This is just the beginning of how you can market your business and engage your clients on Facebook.
Now for the really exciting stuff. Facebook justed add a ton of new features recently.
Back a few years ago, when Facebook started trading publicly, they made a decision to focus their efforts on helping small businesses achieve greater success.
One of the aspects of direct mail that I have always loved from a direct marketing perspective is your ability to target exactly who you want to reach. This can be done by overlaying your database with specific information that allows you to learn more about your clients or by layering lists to fine tune and narrow the focus of your target audience.
Facebook has just taken this to a whole new level.
With direct mail, you hire a company that compiles data, such as Experian or Melissa Data and have them overlay your customer list with the specific data that you want. It could be adding the date of birthdays, customers age and gender, or other demographics on your list, etc.
Or you call a list broker and say I want a mailing list with these criteria, so I can send mail with my targeted offers. If you work with pets, it could be people with a specific income level say the household income of $125,000, and dog owners that live within ten miles of your business.
These prospects have just been triple qualified prior to receiving your offer. You know the client has money, they live conveniently close to your business, and they own dogs, who spend more on their pets than cat owners. You can rent a list like this to send your offers.
Facebook has partnered with different data compiling companies and integrated this information into their ad platform.
Plus, Facebook has started tracking data on who is purchasing products and services from their ads. This lets you do behavioral targeting to people that have purchased online and offline and then segment the data into specific categories, so you can target prospects that are purchasing products and services similar to the ones your offer.
You can target a specific type of person that made a certain type of charitable donations. People that are interested in purchasing new types of cars, etc. You can target people that have just bought a new home, about to move, who want to sell their home, etc.
If you start segmenting with layers and in multiple ways such as geographical, behavioral, psychographic, demographical and social, you can reach pretty much any type of client your business is trying to attract. You can do this with Facebook ads now.
You can target people having birthdays, moms about to have babies, moms with children of specific ages, the list goes on and on as far as who you want to target.
And it gets even better!
What if you could run an ad on Facebook and then have your targeted clients see your ad on other authority sites they visit all over the web such as FoxNews, CNN, Huffington Post, Mashable, ESPN, all the way down to smaller sites with less traffic that they may visit.
That technology is now available. It’s called Remarketing or Retargeting.
Here is how it works. You run an ad targeting a potential type of client on Facebook. The people interested click on your ad and are then taken to a landing page where they have to optin for a coupon or some offer that is of value to them.
At this point, whether the person opt-ins for the coupon or not, you are able to Retarget them on other sites they visit with your offer.
But let’s say the person does optin to your email list to claim the coupon. Now with retargeting, you can set a different cookie on their computer with a different offer, then the offer on the landing page that they just claimed.
Imagine, you are a chiropractor, and your coupon is for a Free 10 Minute Massage (that will be in a massage chair).
Once the person opts-in to your email list to claim the offer, the customer has to call your office to set up the appointment.
Now as they surf the web, they see your banner ad telling them to call the office to claim a 30-minute massage with the Massage Therapist.
With retargeting you can have specific offers triggered from specific pages on your website.
Combine Facebook’s advertising platform that lets you hyper-target your prospects and clients with Retargeting Technology that allows your offer to follow your clients around the web and then add email autoresponders to your marketing mix.
With email autoresponders as clients and prospects optin into your list, you can send automatic email reminders about the offer. These emails can be based on a specific day of the week, a specific time during the week, or based off of when the client opts-in to your list. The possibilities for engaging with clients this way are again endless.
Once these systems are set up and integrated together, they run automatically and just have to be managed, but they give your company an automated online direct marketing advertising system.
And if this isn’t incredible enough, it still gets even better.
You can combine Facebook’s advertising platform, the retargeting and the email autoresponders with offline advertising such as TV, Radio, Direct Mail, print or anything else you do to now have a complete online and offline system.
Here is how simple this is. Say you send a direct mail piece. Make sure the offer on the direct mail sends people to a specific landing page on your site. Once people land on this page you can then retarget them.
One other really cool feature that Facebook now offers is a custom audience that is based on your customers. Within Facebook’s advertising platform, you upload your customer’s list to Facebook and then based off Facebook’s data, they will create for you what is known as a look-a-like audience that you can then target ads towards. WOW!
The times we live in now are unbelievable. With all of the ways that you can reach prospects and then use technology to retain and build relationships with your current customers is amazing.
Quite frankly Facebook’s ad platform is the equivalent of yesterday’s direct mail. Direct mail is still a highly successful channel for you to market your business, but with Facebook, you can test on microbudgets and determine what works, prior to scaling your campaign.
In conclusion, Facebook’s ad platform is the most robust, targeted ad platform today. Combing it with other technologies such as Retargeting and Email Autoresponders can take your business to a whole new level of client acquisition and retention.