PPC Chat Streamcap – Facebook Advertising

Hola Pago Por Click Amigos and Happy Cinco de Mayo as well!

I want to start off by thanking our host Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) who, once again, brought together some incredibly bright pay per click professionals to participate and share with us some of their great PPC insights. I’d also like give a special thanks to Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe) who has been my silent partner in helping decipher the #ppcchat stream and compiling them into a readable thread!

This week’s PPCChat theme was “Facebook Advertising” and the following is the Streamcap from the live event.

Q1: How do you sell Facebook advertising to clients? In other words, what merits & benefits of FB do you preach to clients?

  • Lower than AdWords average cost-per-click, audience reach and demographic targeting are key benefits and considerations. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • Robust demographic targeting that is more accurate than other platforms. – Andy Groller (@AndyGroller)
    • And cheaper! – Matt Umbro
  • Targeting capabilities. Lower Cost, Equal Reach to Google. – John Lavin (@Johnnyjetfan)
  • Reaching target audience w/the level of demographic & segmenting #1. And generally lower cpcs than SEs. – Crystal A (@CrystalA)
  • I let clients know the huge opportunity for brand awareness. Might not increase ROI right away, but gets their name out. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • Laser targeted advertising, volume of eyeballs, something different to search marketing, still good value. – Andrew Baker (@SEOEdinburgh)
  • I’m careful to stress that FB advertising and keyword based advertising are different animals and to adjust goals accordingly- Matt Umbro
  • Mostly demographic targeting capabilities. Use it mostly for brand awareness and community building. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
  • Being able to target by interests is huge. Push that a lot. – Luke Alley (@lukealley)
  • Emphasis that it is more like Display in that it is Demand Generation. This is top of funnel advertising, not bottom. – Jeremy J Brown (@JBGuru) +

Q1 Summary: Facebook’s appeal to many PPC advertisers and their clients are due in large part to their (still) relatively low cost-per-click rates and demographic targeting capabilities that allow for micro targeted ad campaigns.

Who doesn’t like low-cost advertising that can reach an extremely targeted audience?

Q2: For clients with lower budgets would you recommend a Facebook campaign instead of a keyword based PPC campaign? Why?

  • Depends on goals/objectives. If goal is sales, than probably not. Brand awareness… maybe. – Andy Groller +
  • It largely depends on vertical and target audience, but Facebook is a worthy alternative to consider for smaller budgets. – James Svoboda
  • Depends on goals. Awareness and community involvement – yes. Lead generation most likely no. – Michelle Morgan +
  • FB PPC is also good for fan growth at a relatively low cost. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
    • Need a good FB landing page too – Andy Groller
    • Absolutely. – Matt Umbro
    • Should be considered for objectives/goals! – James Svoboda
  • No. We’ve found that for FB campaigns you should keep them on FB, not send to external website. Thus they need a custom FB page. – Luke Alley
  • Depends on goal of client, if for sales – no, if for leadgen – perhaps, if for brand awareness – mosdef. Expect much lower CTRs. – Andrew Baker
  • Depends on client goals, if ROI or lead generation is important I would not. I tend to think of FB as an add-on to KW based PPC. – Matt Umbro
  • What are we talking about? Product based? Service based? I would lean towards KW PPC, but tough to say w/o example. – Matthew McGee (@Matthew_McGee)
  • Depends on the client & goals. Generally if its conversion/lead based no… – Crystal A
  • Depends on their segment. Good for gaining cheap fans in niche demographics. – Jeremey J Brown +
  • Fan growth means more you need to invest more time engaging those fans too. So if you have a small budget I lean towards Adwords. – Luke Alley
    • True. Plus if client is managing social. – James Svoboda
  • Also depends on if there are incentives specifically for FB users. – Andy Groller
    • I’ve used this tactic before (ie: 10% off, free shipping, etc)
  • Depends on goals. People used to CPM advertising can end up very happy with facebook results and costs. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • Should be part of overall strategy, even if you don’t have much $. Most people take their friends rec. over Google. – Gerald McKinney (@Antvisit)
    • Interesting point. – Matt Umbro
  • For small budgets, niche is important. Can start your company on Facebook by hyper-targeting. Then build off early ppl. – Jeremy J Brown
  • Qualified demand on any network cannot equal that of search. – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
    • Can you explain further? – Matt Umbro
      • Behavior of searching & willing to leave site (portal) not been replicated, targeting is great-push vs pull is more imp. – Chris Kostecki

Q2 Summary: Depends. That about best sums this one up. There is no cut and dry answer here and recommending Facebook advertising to small business clients will largely depend on goals and objectives and whether the campaign is geared towards brand awareness, online sales or lead generation.

Q3: What target verticals or industries has Facebook produced positive results for your clients? And which have not?

  • Found that sports related products, services, etc work well on FB. – Andy Groller
  • Much harder to gain traction in B2B than B2C. – notjustSEO (@notjustSEO)
  • Education has done well & Entertainment vertical clients. B2B/lead gen. did not do as well (LinkedIn worked best for those). – Crystal A
  • Seen success with services (tours, etc.) and product awareness (i.e. – new company with interesting product/service). – Jeremy J Brown
  • Running theme for Facebook seems to be B2C is better than B2B (lead gen.). – James Svoboda +
  • Local always does well, people will identify with a local message more I’ve found plus more chance of social proofing in the ad. – Andrew Baker
    • Good points on local draw and social proof! – Jeremy J Brown
  • I always see ads for dating/get huge muscles/FBI training. Must work for them. – Luke Alley ++
    • They make me feel important! – Matt Umbro
    • What Groups & Pages do you “Like”? – James Svoboda
    • That’s exactly what I was thinking. All I see is SEO jobs and soccer mom profile ads. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
    • FB Advertiser must be targeting SEM Associations & Blogs as I see a lot of “Link Building Can Be Safe” ads. – James Svoboda
  • As a follow up question, is it harder to succeed when you sell high priced items, or does FB targeting negate this concern? – Matt Umbro
  • Anyone had success with B2B on Facebook? I’ve heard it used for job candidate poaching campaigns. – Jeremy J Brown
    • Have not, but fascinating. – Matt Umbro
    • Depends on the type of B2B industry. It is all about the target demographic. We haven’t had success with B2B on FB…yet, but that is based on who our B2B clients target. – Stuart Draper (@GetFoundFirst) ++
    • It’s been hard to convince our B2B clients to try FB. They think its all about consumers & users want to turn off work when on FB. – Lisa Sanner
      • Hard to change preconceived notions at times. – Matt Umbro
      • That’s a good point – Jeremy J Brown
  • Education has worked well for me. Also heard success stories from hyper-local campaigns for restaurants. – Richard Fergie
    • I’m happy that smaller businesses with less budget can play with the big boys (unlike AdWords at times). – Matt Umbro
  • Judging from all the SEM ads I see on FB, it must be working for some B2B’ers. – Melissa Mackey
    • That or they don’t measure results. – Andy Groller +

Q3 Summary: FB seems to be good for generating buzz for local businesses as well as some B2C ecommerce sales, however B2B lead generation seems to produce lower results.

Q4: From which FB ad destination URL have you seen better results, fan page or website landing page?

  • Fan page fan page fan page! NO results from website LP. – Melissa Mackey
    • Depends on the client/industry, I’ve seen some success from website LPs. – Matt Umbro
  • Fan page. FB users typically want to stay on FB. – Andy Groller +
  • We see huge bounce rates on website landing pages. Once on FB people want to stay on FB. – Luke Alley ++
    • Display URL’s would probably help a lot! – James Svoboda ++
      • I should qualify that more: Better Formatting of Display URL’s… On FB vs Off FB. – James Svoboda
  • Fan page. Night and day. Facebook Ads do much better in Facebook environment. – Jeremy J Brown
  • Fan Page – “like” call to action in ad plus peeps like to stay on FB. Good results by adding conversion on welcome page. – Andrew Baker +
  • We see huge bounce rates on website landing pages. Once on FB people want to stay on FB. – Tim Biden (@TimBiden)
  • Follow up question here then… What are good solutions for creating Fan Pages on a budget? – Luke Alley
  • Better results with sending people to our FB page. Poor conversion rate sending to website. We’re retail. – Dennis Petretti (@Denetti)
  • Has anyone had success with sending visitors to external URLs? – Matt Umbro
    • We’ve seen success w/external URLs in EDU space. – Crystal A
    • I think it is critical we define “success”. Are we talking sales, fan growth or what? – Andy Groller
      • Whatever the client deems successful. It appears FB fan pages better align with client goals. – Matt Umbro
    • Unfortunately no….but the testing I have done has been very limited in-house. – Matthew McGee
    • We’ve seen e-commerce success on website landing pages. Think it’s important to set dest. URL expectation in ad copy. – Amy Hoffman +++
    • No success with outside URLs. Lead gen doesn’t work well. FBers aren’t looking to fill out forms. – Michelle Morgan ++
    • We’ve mostly tried lead gen and have not seen much success. – Luke Alley
    • I’m really not liking the gray Display URL’s in FB ads. They blend in and hide too much. – James Svoboda
  • Ad copy sets expectations no matter what ad platform you are on. So important to make sure the clicker knows what they are doing. – Stuart Draper +++++
  • Fan page saw more vol & engaging with brand, but website did pull non bouncing traffic that drove lead gen at a very small scale. – Chris Kostecki
  • So if FB ads that direct users to FB Pages work so well… does this bode well for FB commerce? – James Svoboda

Q4 Summary: Sending visitors to a Facebook page will generate you a better return and an increase in followers/fans that will now be ‘Tuned In’ to your message. This produces such great results because the user is empowered by the fact that they can tune out your messaging when they want.

Q5: Discuss a unique way that you have used FB targeting in a campaign.

  • Targeting music/artist likes as a way to target age groups. – Chris Kostecki
  • Client sold wedding dresses. We targeted engaged women at a local university. – Luke Alley
  • I haven’t done anything highly unique, but I have created campaigns targeting Fortune 500 companies. – Matt Umbro
  • Where to begin – Best thing about FB is that all of the targeting is customizable. A/S/L, Degree/No Degree, Interests, Clubs, Job. – Amy Hoffman
  • Targeting huge audience TV shows eg X-Factor during & just after transmission selling merchandise. Peeps are compelled to click. – Andrew Baker +++++
  • One interesting way to use FB is to actually use it to gather the demo/target audience data to use in other advertising efforts. – Crystal A ++
    • We have done that also. – Melissa Mackey
  • The possibilities are endless of how you can target, which is what makes FB such an intriguing medium. – Matt Umbro +
  • Don’t just target interests…target parallel interests. If into photos (and age 30-70), then takes pictures of family. – Jeremy J Brown
  • We did FB ads for a dentist and targeted people over 55 with a dentures ad. – Stuart Draper +++
    • That same dentist said that while he loved hearing everyone say they saw him on FB, he always got more from adwords. – Stuart Draper

Q5 Summary: Due to the in depth demographic and location targeting capabilities, the unique campaign possibilities are almost endless. Getting the most out of Facebook will require some creative thinking. Ask yourself a few questions:

~ What is interesting about what you or your client sell/have to promote?
~ What micro audience would be interested in or like this?
~ What are their other similar “Likes” and interests?

Q6: How has FB advertising helped (or hurt) your other marketing channels?

  • Increased brand awareness which lead to increase in branded searches/clicks on brand keywords. – Andy Groller +
  • We tested the winning images from FB ads in client emails to see if they improved response. – Melissa Mackey +
    • Did it work? – Andy Groller
      • Most (but not all) of the time, yes. – Melissa Mackey
    • Did those images improve email response? – Jeremy J Brown
      • Usually they did, but not always. What works one place doesn’t always work in another. – Melissa Mackey
  • Helped build up blogs/communities we manage/sponsor. Increased our ppc branded terms. – Michelle Morgan
  • Def. helps as a means of branding. Saw an increase in branded traffic after tapping into FB ads. – Amy Hoffman +
  • Can be a distraction. Sometimes people want to spend too much time/budget following the new shiny thing. – Jeremy J Brown ++
    • Can agree. We started w/ a small test budget. – Amy Hoffman
  • Anyone notice an increase in Bing.com Branded search visits while advertising on FB? #PoweredbyBing – James Svoboda
    • I thought I would, but I have not seen an increase yet, which means I probably wont. – John Lavin
    • No increases to speak of. – Michelle Morgan
  • Does anyone advertise promotions that can only be redeemed/awarded in store? If so have you seen increases of in store traffic? – Matt Umbro
    • Difficult to measure. – John Lavin
      • Definitely need client feedback, which can sometimes be tough to get. – Matt Umbro
    • Not in FB ads but itching to do this with FB Places Deals when it hits the UK. Although thinking about it you could advertise the call to action to visit & check-in for deal / promotion – potential. – Andrew Baker
  • Do you think it’s ads only, or the whole FB connection, signifying the growing import. of social in SEO? – Nina Hale (@ninahale)
    • Connection – James Svoboda

Q6 Summary: While the current Facebook advertising ecosystem may be a quandary to sales and lead generations marketers, it proves to be a viable marketing means for brand building and awareness through it’s ability to create a connection with an audience. The importance of this should not be overlooked. As internet marketers and site owners, we have tried for more than a decade to evolve websites so that our customers see us as more than just a “web page”. The relationships that Facebook and other social media environments help create can be a very powerful part of this process.

Q7: What do you consider to be a relatively good CTR for Facebook ads?

  • 0.2% – Melissa Mackey +++
    • Why 0.2%? – Matt Umbro
      • 0.2% is similar to a successful display ad CTR (in most cases). – Andy Groller
      • Because so many ads get less than 0.1% CTR. Worse than display, even. Also there is significant ad fatigue in FB, unlike Display. Have to keep switching things up. – Melissa Mackey ++++
        • Probably similar to TV Commercials! – James Svoboda
          • LOL, true! Pass the remote….. – Melissa Mackey
  • I don’t have a concrete number but it’s similar to Display Network, so much lower than I’d expect in search. – Amy Hoffman ++
    • Agree. It’s much more like Display with advanced demo targeting. Can get higher CTRs on very nice campaigns. – Jeremy J Brown
  • Between .1-.2% Good way to check is vs. Content CTRs too. – Crystal A
  • I wonder if FB would ever create something similar to a quality score. – Matt Umbro
    • That would be interesting – Crystal A
    • Supposedly they have something. Haven’t seen too may details on it. – Jeremy J Brown
    • A FB QS would be helpful to say the least! – Amy Hoffman
    • I think so. Along with better MCC, Desktop tool, etc. – Luke Alley +
      • Also need Sitelinks and Ad Extensions! – James Svoboda +
    • Hopefully it would be better defined and communicated than AdWords quality score. – Matt Umbro +
    • Here is what I’ve seen on FB Quality Score. Not much – Jeremy J Brown
  • Usually end up right between content and retargeting for that specific campaign/goal. – Michelle Morgan
  • Looking over my FB campaigns I would agree with @Mel66 0.2% is good, 0.5% is excellent, 1% is my dream. – Andrew Baker +

Q7 Summary: @Mel66 and @SEOEdinburgh seem to have summarized Facebook Click-Through-Rates (CTR) the best:

0.1% to 0.2% is Average/Good   –   1 to 2 clicks in 1,000 ad impressions
0.5% is Excellent   –   5 clicks in 1,000 ad impressions
1% is a Dream   –   10 clicks in 1,000 ad impressions or 1 in 100

PPC Tips of the Week

This week’s Clever and Insightful tips came to us from Stuart Draper (@GetFoundFirst) of Get Found First and Andrew Baker (@SEOEdinburgh) of SEO Edinburgh for sharing their campaign targeting experiences:

We did FB ads for a dentist and targeted people over 55 with a dentures ad. That same dentist said that while he loved hearing everyone say they saw him on FB, he always got more from adwords. – Stuart Draper

Stuart’s campaign is a good example of lining up a perspective local audience with Facebook’s age demographic targeting. While track-able results may have appeared to be better from keyword PPC, the brand exposure and increase in lifetime customer value from these patients might be unmeasurable.

Targeting huge audience TV shows eg X-Factor during & just after transmission selling merchandise. Peeps are compelled to click. – Andrew Baker

Andrew’s example is another good one for demonstrating the effectiveness of combining a FB users Likes and interests, with a timely promotion. This is very similar to the way that Sports Illustrated advertises their magazine subscriptions with their free gift tie-ins to the winning team right after a major sporting event concludes:

Green Bay Packers fans, your team just won the SuperBowl. Sign up for 26 issues of SI and receive your Super Bowl XLV Commemorative

Additional Facebook Resources

More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern Time, 9 am Pacific Time and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat Time, same Chat Channel.

This Week’s Chat Participants

About the Author

James Svoboda - SEO since 1999This is a guest post by James Svoboda, pay per click manager and partner at WebRanking in Portland, Oregon, Sphinn Editor, SEM content hound, Tweeter @Realicity, and Co-Founder of MnSEM – the Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association.

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One Response to PPC Chat Streamcap – Facebook Advertising

  1. Sam Beamond says:

    Great information here James. I just wrote my own piece about how to improve FaceBook ad conversions, published today at: http://t.co/ZLrY6f8 It ignores some of the obvious features and focuses on those that may be overlooked or not thought of.

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