Facebook – frenemy to marketing professionals everywhere.
If you’re anything like us, you may have stared at the 25th Facebook glitch or error of the day and thought, “are Facebook ads worth all of this?”
Sometimes we want to delete our FB profile and run far away so we never have to worry about another issue with a Facebook pixel ever again.
But we keep coming back to the platform for our small business clients.
Why? Because Facebook works.
It just does.
Let us show you why we recommend our clients to advertise on Facebook.
Here are some of the recent results we achieved for a client.
With a ROAS like that, you can’t deny the power of Facebook.
Let us show you why it’s worth your time (and energy) to advertise on Facebook.
In today’s post, we will answer your ultimate question “are Facebook ads worth it?”
We’ll also cover the following topics:
- How powerful Facebook’s targeting is (especially retargeting),
- Why are Custom Audiences and Lookalikes must-use options,
- The excellent analytics platforms,
- How using Facebook ads gives you access to Instagram’s user base, and
- Whether you should run ads yourself, hire someone in-house, or outsource to a freelancer or agency.
Before we get into the post, if you’re looking to learn more about digital marketing, check out our new social media ads training course.
Let’s get into it!
Are Facebook Ads Worth It? Here Are 4 Reasons Why
1. Facebook’s targeting is powerful (especially that retargeting)
Facebook ads targeting options are a pretty big deal – any digital marketer will tell you all about it. Let’s look at the targeting options.
Facebook offers powerful targeting options on the platform. There are the 3 basic categories:
- Core Audiences (people you choose by demographics, like age, gender, location, etc.)
- Custom Audiences (people who have engaged with your business on or off-screen)
- Lookalike Audiences (people who haven’t engaged with your business, but who behave like people who have)
Facebook’s built-in core targeting is a good option for you when you’re just starting out or you want to find more audiences.
You’ll probably see the most success with your custom audiences.
The best ads are usually retargeting ads showing to a custom audience.
If you’re new to marketing, you may not know what retargeting ads are.
These are ads that show to people who have already interacted with your business in some way.
One of our favorite types of retargeting ads is showing products from a Catalog Feed.
It targets shoppers who:
- viewed the product on our website,
- added it to their cart but didn’t purchase, or
- who engaged with an ad promoting that product before.
The power of Facebook’s audiences really comes down to retargeting.
This is where most marketers like to be, because these ads typically return a serious conversion and are the most affordable.
You also have control over where your ads show on Facebook, which is a lot of places.
That’s another reason to love Facebook ads.
Your placement selections will vary depending on the goal you choose for your campaign.
These are all the possible placements:
- Feeds (shows to people scrolling inbox, desktop, or mobile feeds)
- Stories (full-screen vertical ads show on Facebook or Instagram Stories)
- In-stream (shows before, during, or after video content on FB and IG, like IGTV)
- Search (shows in Facebook search results)
- Messages (shown to users who have an existing conversation with you in Messenger)
- In-Article (shows in Facebook Instant Articles in the Facebook Mobile App)
- Apps (shown in external apps)
- Oculus (show in Mobile App Feed and Search Results)
2. Custom and Lookalike Audiences
We talked a little bit about custom and lookalike audiences earlier in this post, but let’s really look at why we think these audiences are so great.
Being able to find your customers on Facebook is one of the best things about using Facebook for advertising.
If you’ve got your pixel installed and properly tracking, you’ll have a wealth of data that Facebook can use to find your biggest fans.
You’ll use data you have from:
- contact lists (like your email list signups),
- website data (from your installed pixel), and
- app data (from in-app activity).
Our favorite ads to run to a custom audience are Catalog products retargeted based on that customer’s activity on the website.
These work well to retarget someone who added to their cart but didn’t purchase.
These ads can help reclaim lost revenue in abandoned carts so we love to use them for clients.
Your lookalike audience is pretty much what it sounds like.
A group of people who “look like” the audience you selected. Facebook takes your source audience and finds people who behave similarly online.
Then they show your ad to this new audience.
Ideally, if they really do behave like your source audience, they’ll be likely to purchase or follow you, or will otherwise love to have “discovered” you.
We like to create lookalike audiences out of the most valuable customers you have.
These can be people who made a purchase or performed other valuable actions.
These could be folks who signed up for your email list, or attended your last event.
The sky’s the limit, and each business will have different goals that make sense. But the power in lookalikes is there.
3. The analytics are excellent.
Facebook’s analytics can be intimidating to look at when you’re just starting out.
But once you’re comfortable on the platform, you’ll love the powerful data.
Now, Facebook used to have a tool called Facebook Analytics.
This was actually retired on July 1st of this year, but that doesn’t mean we no longer have access to that data and info.
You can find analytics for all of the following (it’s not all in one place, but is available in Facebook Business Manager).
We can see the following data:
- Page analytics (which will show page engagement activity)
- Ad analytics (which shows how well ads are performing)
- Audience insights (which shows the information on your audience)
- Group analytics (which shows group activity and members)
- Facebook Live analytics (which shows your live stream engagement and audiences)
- Facebook video analytics (which shows all video activity info)
This information can provide deep insights into the performance of your ads, content, and properties.
We recommend spending time learning how to find the info that matters to your business. These are all located in the Facebook Business Manager.
4. Advertise to Instagram’s user base
It would be enough even if you could only advertise on Facebook, but you get two platforms for the price of one.
When you advertise in the Facebook Business Manager, you can also show your ads on Instagram.
Using the same ad creatives and budget will help you maximize reach and cost-effectiveness.
When you run ads, you can use automatic placements (recommended by Facebook).
This allows Facebook to choose where to show your ad for best performance.
Or, you can choose manual placements to show ads where you’d like.
We like to use manual placements and uncheck “Audience Network” for most small businesses.
We’ve found this helps save money and improve CTR. You’ll want to test this for your business to see if the same rule applies.
We all know that Instagram has a billion users.
And it has become one of the most powerful shopping platforms, with plans to provide even more shopping options (like live video shopping).
It just makes sense to advertise on two of the top ranking social media platforms at the same time.
So are Facebook ads worth it? If we’ve convinced you that it is indeed worth it, your next question is probably; “who will handle my ads?”
Who Should Run The Ads?
Should you run ads yourself, hire someone in-house, or outsource to a freelancer or agency?
We think that answer is different for every business.
It really depends on a couple of things:
1. What resources do you have in-house to help with the work?
Do you have an intern or an employee who is already passionate about social media?
They could be the perfect fit for a role change/addition (and raise to match). Always see what resources you have in-house first.
2. What capacity do you have to do the work?
If you’re a solopreneur, or super-bootstrapping and you’re DIYing (a fan of do it yourself), how much time do you have to devote to this work every week?
Your estimates should include time learning, time troubleshooting, and labor to create the graphics and write the copy.
3. Do you have the budget to hire someone?
If you don’t have the in-house talent, and you don’t have the time to do it yourself, your next option may be hiring someone.
If you’ve got the budget for it, it can be an excellent investment to bring in a marketing person who can help grow your digital marketing presence.
4. What is your budget for outsourcing?
If you don’t have quite the budget for a new employee, or hiring an employee isn’t the right choice for your business at this time…
…you may want to outsource to a freelancer or an advertising agency (like LYFE).
Give one of our Business Development experts a call if you’re curious about how our Facebook advertising services work.
And also, what kind of results you can expect with your budget.
You’ll need to decide what makes the most sense for your business.
Each business is different, but every business needs a good digital marketing presence, so prioritize this task!
If you’re still not sure if Facebook ads are worth it, or if it is right for you, contact us to speak to one of our LYFE savers.
They’re experts at being able to identify what digital marketing would work best for your business and your goal!