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09 Oct 2009

What about advertising on Facebook?

October 09, 2009PPC Advertising

 My last blog posts discussed content advertising, primarily using Google AdWords. To quickly review, content advertising uses your keywords to automatically place your display ad on pages with related content.   If you would like a more detailed explanation of content advertising, check this link from Google (http://www.google.com/adwords/contentnetwork/audience.html).

 
Facebook advertising is very similar to Google  AdWords content advertising in that it is display advertising with targeting related to keywords that you select.   And just like Google AdWords, Facebook allows you to select specific geographic regions for ad targeting. 
 
Facebook allows you to select some basic demographic targets as well….such as age, gender, education, etc. Facebook also makes it easy to include an image with your ad. It’s a nice feature and dresses up the ad and makes it stand out. (For the record, you can do similar targeting with Google content advertising, but it is a bit more complicated to accomplish.)
 
Here is a screen shot of the setup page for demographics:

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As you can, setting up a Facebook ad  is very easy and straightforward.   In this example we were doing some advertising for a golf management college and were targeting the Eastern US for adults 18-35 with Golf or Golfing keywords in their profile.
 
In addition, Facebook gives you ‘reach’ estimates based on the demographic values you have selected and they match up to their membership profiles

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Finally, determining and setting your bid price is very straightforward. If you are just starting out, I strongly recommend you only bid on a per click basis until you see what your CPM costs turn out to be.   As you can see below, Facebook recommends a bid price range and this is generally a good place to start.

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 OK, so all that info is all well and good, but how does Facebook perform vs. Google content advertising?
 
If you read my blog about Google AdWords content advertising you will know that I think that content advertising can be very effective. It is often as effective as search in cost per conversion rates. 
 
In the Google vs. Facebook debate, it really depends on your product, your client demographics, and how well you manage each campaign.  
 
In my experience, if you are trying to reach a broad, but still targeted audience (say like folks shopping for auto financing) Facebook and Google both do a good job. but Facebook is usually less expensive than Google.
 
Conversely, if you are trying to reach a more niche audience, say upscale real estate in South Dakota, Google content ads will probably return the best performance in terms of cost/conversion or cost/lead.
 
Where Facebook really shines is in the ability to target the Facebook membership based on their apparent roles or interests. For example, if you are selling a promotional item, you can specify keywords like Marketing Manager, Advertising Manager, etc.
 
If you are considering content advertising, give Facebook a try. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results.