Facebook Paid Search

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with another great question set titled “Facebook Paid Search.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: Why should clients be running Facebook Ads?

  • To get more benefits of audience demographics. – Selin Gurjar (@selzay)
  • Some products/services people aren’t searching for, but you can target them by interests, etc. – Matt Umbro
  • To engage in micro-moments within target audiences’ feeds & benefit from user amplification (if relevant and engaging). – Nicole Mintiens (@Nicole_Mintiens)
  • Cheaper CPC, CPA & greater targeting options available. – Sophie Howell (@SophieeHowell)
  • Great demographic reach. Good for honing in on your audience & getting in front of people that might not know you exist. – Amy Bishop (@Hoffman8)
  • For niche products/services, Facebook can actually perform better than Google/Bing. – Matt Umbro
  • Because there is an audience. Isn’t that the rule? “If there is an audience, test is.” – Kyle Crocker (@kacrocker)
  • If your client’s audience is on facebook, then it’s great to use to capitalize on different targeting methods & more exposure. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • FB ads can tell much more of a story than AdWords can, with low CPCs & high engagement. – Amy Hebdon (@amyppc)
  • Surely you test whatever forms of advertising may be profitable for your business? – Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
  • Most accurate platform for true demographic targeting. Real info from people’s profiles vs. algorithm guesswork. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Incredible opportunities for granular targeting, high usage and engagement, extra touches on potential and existing customers. – Heidi Smith (@heidinksmith)
  • Facebook, and other social, allows us to target people beyond the characteristics of their search terms – age, job, ect. – Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
  • Because they’re likely on Facebook and it’s fun to see your own ads & ad performance when you’re chatting with friends! – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • To effectively target your customer / buyer persona and retarget your site visitors. – Colleen McCaskell (@ppccolleen)
  • Because it’s Facebook… at this point, it’s almost the same as saying, “because, it’s Google.” – Nate Knox (@nateknox)
    • Agreed – We’re entering the era where advertisers need to be on Facebook as part of the core 3 (Google, Bing, FB). – Matt Umbro
  • Should really be exploring every channel. Measure the results. Facebook has been great when it comes to building email lists.  Also… organic social, in my experience, doesn’t perform as advertised. Paid social is amazing stimulus for social activities. – Steve Slater (@TheSteve_Slater)
  • Because 98% of your visitors don’t convert on your website and you can reach them again through a platform they use every day. – Jesse Semchuck (@jessesem)
  • If they’re done right, they’re effective. – Matt Vaillancourt (@SEM_PPC_MattV)

Q2: How do you judge Facebook performance? If engagement is important, how do you justify results to clients?

  • For me, it’s the same as any other channel: revenue/leads, ROAS/CPA. I also keep an eye on assisted conversions. – Amy Bishop
    • Yep, Assisted really helps understand FB campaigns. – James Svoboda
      • Esp. if the goal is to get in front of people that aren’t aware of your product – can’t always expect a conv right away. – Amy Bishop
        • Key to setting client expectations: understand where social fits in the product research cycle. – Timothy Jensen
    • There’s more art to the top of funnel stuff like Facebook than search which is 99% data. E/R is a directional indicator of success. Priority: 1)Good CPA + High ER, 2)High ER, 3)Good CPA, low ER 4)Don’t bother. – Sam Owen (@SamOwenPPC)
      • Agreed! Still important to get in front of the right people but the goal is sometimes just to line up your next move. – Amy Bishop
        • I imagine social is still a tough sell to clients (a bit like TV) hard to always measure impact without on/off testing. – Sam Owen
  • Lead/Sales campaigns = Leads & Sales. Content Promotion campaigns = Leads & Sales, AND Newsletter Subscribers AND Engagements. – James Svoboda
  • Similar metrics as to other channels. I do like to point out that you can see actual individual reach vs. just impressions. – Timothy Jensen
  • FB results are measured similar to Display for us. High funnel metrics – product views, cart adds, page views, time on site. – Maria Corcoran (@mariacorcoran)
  • It’s beholden to the same lead gen and CPA targets as other channels (and outperforms them usually). – Colleen McCaskell
  • I still track conversions/leads with FB, but allow for more leeway on ROAS/CPA goals. – Matt Umbro
  • If the engagement creates positive impact on ROI, then justification becomes easy. Simple as that. – Selin Gurjar
  • If engagement is important, I’m not touching it. The Social or Media team can manage it. – Matt Vaillancourt
    • Love it. If you’re a direct response marketer, you know how to get response. The rest is fluffy stuff. – Steve Gibson
  • For me, it’s same as any other channel, ROI, CPA, etc. However, that answer varies widely depending on who you ask. – Kurt Henninger (@KurtHenninger)
  • There are nuances, but it’s tracked similarly to display here. – Nate Knox
  • If you wanted to make money, did you make money? IMO, “engagement” is of very little value & dangerous to use as kpi. – Steve Gibson
  • But if the performance is strong enough, CPM is a great metric. Lower the better. Seen >10p. – Bob Bamber (@Bobable)
  • It’s all about the ROI however that’s measured. All the extra likes etc. are nice bonus fuzzy stuff. – James Hume (@zerospin)
    • Agreed – still comes down to the bottom line! – Matt Umbro
  • This is an extremely important item to call out. You can definitely tie back to ROAS/CPA but it MUST have a higher goal. – Maria Corcoran
    • Do you mean lower, ie: ROAS in google is 400% compared to 300% in FB? – Matt Umbro
      • Sorry was thinking of CPA $50 in PPC vs $100 etc in FB. So yes, lower for ROAS. The return is less but still worth it. – Maria Corcoran
  • Depends on client goal. Generally if I am paying for an ad I look for ways to measure a revenue driver. – Steve Slater
  • I look at all metrics but also calculate the extra benefits harder to track. I.e. ~$1/visit targeted Remarketing list to reuse. – Roxana Hassel (@RoxanaHassel)
  • Most business campaigns you’re looking at CTR. Have to adjust it based on the verticle, but good CTR = relevant audience. And obviously, return on ad spend. – Bob Bamber
  • Brand lift, traffic, thought leadership, leads & amplification metrics are a few ways to judge. – Nicole Mintiens
  • We use conv tracking whenever we can, but assisted conversions, page likes, email signups, etc. are reported on as well. – Heidi Smith

Q3: What is your general Facebook strategy (e.g.: do you start with remarketing, emails lists, audiences)? Why?

  • Have. Good. Creative. Everything else will fall in line if people think it’s interesting. – Sam Owen
  • Depends on clients. For some interests have been a gold mine. Tons of potential audience. – Steve Slater
  • Email list, Custom Audience Groups, Lookalikes and demographics is a pretty comprehensive strategy. Dial up/down where needed. – Graeme Benge (@graemebenge)
  • General strategy is not to be general. Each brand is different and wants different things from social media. That being said I try to create audiences and remarketing lists as early as posible anywhere I know I might use them. – Roxana Hassel
  • Depends, obviously, but generally frontload the remarketing stuff so I can use it later, start off with prospecting then move. – Bob Bamber
  • Saved audiences and remarketing always works because of its precise audience niche. – Selin Gurjar
  • It starts with the q: “why am I doing this?”. Then I do that thing. – Steve Gibson
  • Audiences first, then Remarketing. Targeting is the name of the game in FB right? – Maria Corcoran
  • Demographic Targeting and Remarketing. Custom audiences if client has the ability. – Amy Bishop
  • With local service businesses it has worked well to start with audience and build from there. – Kyle Crocker
  • Almost down the line. Remarketing is a great weapon but generally limited in terms of size: don’t blow it too early on! – Bob Bamber
  • Usually remarketing and audience targeting right away in campaigns as granular as possible. – Joe Martinez
  • Always start with remarketing to ease clients into FB, they are often dubious about FB. Those results will help you grow. – Colleen McCaskell
  • Generally ask them the relevant questions: 1) who do you want to get in front of and 2) what do you want to put infront of them? – Bob Bamber
  • Usually start w/ remarketing & audience campaigns. We’ve seen a lot of success w/ FB remarketing for both lead gen & ecommerce. – Heidi Smith
  • You really have to get on the same page with your client. If you go after acquisition and they want branding…. bad times. – Steve Slater
  • If you have a client unsure about investing in Facebook & your already remarketing elsewear start with that easy sell. – James Hume
  • My rule of thumb: if this was 1994, how would I sell? Catalogues/shops => AdWords. Telemarketing/direct mail => facebook/linkedin. – Steve Gibson

Q4: How often should Facebook ad creative and messaging be updated? Why?

  • Constantly. Like AdWords if you aren’t testing you aren’t trying. – Steve Slater
  • Answer is sorta simple… frequency. How often have people seen the ad, generally 3-5 times is when I start asking the question. – Bob Bamber
  • Depends upon your set target for leads/engagement or for a specific season. A/B testing is the key here. – Selin Gurjar
  • Not a FB guru, but I assume switching out creatives/messaging is more important with audience based targeting. – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • Also is a matter of resources with FB ads, however, even small copy/image changes can help. – Matt Umbro
  • Depends on frequency & how much you want to test. Ad rotation + updated copy/images is often a weekly refresh for our clients. – Heidi Smith
  • Efficiency is the name of the game in PPC. Inefficient ads cost money. Always test, always get better. – Steve Slater
  • At least every 3 months, minimum. When that creative gets stale, engagement falls off a cliff. – Colleen McCaskell
  • Depends a lot on frequency rate, right? If most people only see it 1.3 times, it’s shouldn’t be fatigued yet. – Barry Abraham (@brickwaybarry)
  • Ads fatigue quickly because it’s a static audience. Unlike Google, where searchers are a moving parade. – Steve Gibson
    • Along with the less immediate intent this is the main difference between Facebook and search. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • I have found ad copy needs to be refreshed much more often on FB. Usually after 7-10 days MAX even if your offer is not changing as quickly it is still important to refresh copy/photos. Test often & fast as well. – Maria Corcoran
  • Concentrate on funnels in the buying cycle. Change the ad copy up depending on where that user is. – Joe Martinez
  • Changing copy can give you many chances to convert when previous ads have failed. – Steve Slater
  • Agreed. Image changes seem to help CTR the most for us – users take more notice if the main visual piece is updated. – Heidi Smith
  • Good to watch out for any sidetrack in the creative’s comments and keep updated with fresh copy to retain focus & performance. – James Hume
  • Does FB have a “rotate evenly” option for ads like AdWords does? I don’t think so. Maybe if you don’t choose ocpm. – Barry Abraham

Q5: Are you running Facebook Dynamic Product Ads? How have they performed?

  • I am, but haven’t seen much success so far. – Matt Umbro
  • In the plan for 2016, I think I have a client that is a good fit, but we’ll see if they are up for another platform. – Kyle Crocker

Q6: How often do you assess audience performance? Why?

  • Varies by product. Based on product buying cycle & channel goals/funnel placement for Audience assessment. – Maria Corcoran
  • When the performance starts decaying it’s time to either change audience or the message. Even CTR (which is basically what Relevance score is). If the audience is right more people will click on it, that’s my view. – Bob Bamber
  • In terms of the relevance/quality of that demographic? Or whether it’s been mined out? – Steve Gibson
  • More frequently with demographic targeting, like to look in on this when doing the monthly reporting, at the least. – Colleen McCaskell
  • I would say weekly makes sense. – Barry Abraham
    • If for nothing else, you can gain good insight that can help elsewhere. – Matt Umbro
  • When evaluating a demographic, I want enough data 2 suggest it either is or isn’t performing like other successful demographics. – Steve Gibson

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More PPCChats

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


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Amy Bishop (@Hoffman8)
• Amy Hebdon (@amyppc)
• Barry Abraham (@brickwaybarry)
• Bob Bamber (@Bobable)
• Colleen McCaskell (@ppccolleen)
• Graeme Benge (@graemebenge)
• Heidi Smith (@heidinksmith)
• James Hume (@zerospin)
• Jesse Semchuck (@jessesem)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Kurt Henninger (@KurtHenninger)
• Kyle Crocker (@kacrocker)
• Maria Corcoran (@mariacorcoran)
• Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
• Matt Vaillancourt (@SEM_PPC_MattV)
• Nate Knox (@nateknox)
• Nicole Mintiens (@Nicole_Mintiens)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
• Roxana Hassel (@RoxanaHassel)
• Sam Owen (@SamOwenPPC)
• Selin Gurjar (@selzay)
• Sophie Howell (@SophieeHowell)
• Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
• Steve Slater (@TheSteve_Slater)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)

Still Streamcapping in 2016

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; works at WebRanking in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Connect with Paul @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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