Reporting from Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East
The "Facebook At Tactics for Search Marketers" panel at SMX East was a pretty insightful panel, from looking at how to manage your advertising in Facebook more easily to how to use it as a research tool, this panel was also full of great tips fromt he presenters.
First up was Matt Lawson from Marin Software who pointed out that Facebook just has a sheer amount of traffic, it's now crested and eclipsed google in page views. They pages visisted are also more per session, 12+ in Facebook is an oustanding number to figure into your strategies.
Understanding that people are visiting more pages during their sessions in Facebook, you will naturally get more impressions than you can in paid search in the search engines (Google, Bing). That only makes sense. More impressions however, does mean lower click through rates, but this is o.k. when you also factor in you will have lower CPC rates that range anywhere from 12 to 15%.
Conversion rates are really all over the map for Facebook ads. It really depends on how you are targeting your ads and your creatives. Images are much more important with Facebook Ads. Marketers need to be careful of having their ads "blending in" so choose colors that draw out. If you also tailor your images to your audience it will increase their relevance as well. You also need to keep the ads fresh because users on Facebook become ad blind
Matt also pointed out that maintaining the Facebook experience is important, especially for conversions. Most succeful campaigns tend to be those who built their ads and campaigns into the Facebook tabs.
Matt rounded out his presentation by pointing out for marketers to remember that (according to: "The Influecened: Social media, search and the interplay of consideration and consumption" by Group M) social influences search. Consumers who are exposed to a brand's social meda ads are:
- 2.8 times as likely to search on brand terms
- 50% more likely to click on paid search ads
- 1.7 times morelikely to purchase from search
Kevin Ryan from Motivity Marketing was up next at the podium and started off with pointing out how Facebook ads are really easy to set up, in just 5 minutes you can set them up. He also pointed out that Facebook can become bigger in 5 yrs than Google is today (he pointed out a good piece on TechCrunch that speaks to this).
When marketers are working with Facebook ads, they need to look beyond just the keywords to things like tidal changes, early stage - creative shelf life, transitions, and just because you can doesn't mean you should (especially when it comes to bidding against your competition). Marketers need to be more geographically relevant with Facebook and understand the collective interest.
Merry Morud from AimClear was up after Kevin Ryan and focused on how she runs campaigns in Facebook. When you start a new account either start it from an admin account or create a new destination account on Facebook. If you start a new account Facebook will at first limit you to $50, put in a request to buy more and they will work to get that removed.
When it comes to Facebook ads they are still a lot like PPC ads in the search engines in that you still need to create Landing Pages, whether they are landing pages that are on your site or a Facebook tab, you should still perform small audits on there. Marketers should also be testing the verbiage in their copy, but an easy way to start is to grab your Search PPC copy that is working. Also understanding how much freedom you have is important because in Facebook langauge that appeals to a certain segment (slang) can make your ads more successful.
Merry also pointed out how important images are to Facebook ads. You need to get pictures - you need them, lots of them - and you also need to make the images pop. Merry uses IrfranView and cranks up both the contrast & saturation to make normal images stand out more.
Some best practices to keep in mind for creating your Facebook ads are: no symbols, full healdine, full sentice in body, no excessive punctuation, no eccesive capitlaize, real urls, bid daily budget must start at least $1. She also suggested using some alternative tools: Word's Thesaurus, Wikipedia, VisuWords, WordStream, OneLook Reverse Dictionary and your own noggin'.
Merry really had a ton more of great stuff in her presentation so if you were at SMX and didn't get to see this panel, download her presentation when they put them up and you can get the full information. She really did have a lot of awesome tips and insights.
Finally Tyler Calder from Search Engine People rounded out this panel. Tyler focuse on how marketers can use Facebook ads for market research. Facebook is a researchers dream, so much data to get into about your customers can be found on Facebook. If you want to know how a certain groups people respond to a message an image or a question - Facebook can help with that.
Marketers can take these findings and apply to other offline and online intiatives such as TV, Radio and Print. If you start to use Facebook Advertising as a starting point for your marketing research, follow the Scientific Method. Tyler outlined what marketers can test with Facebook ads:
- Blog Titles
- Email Subject Lines
- Existing Message in New Market
- Value Propositions
- Proof Points
Benefits of using Facebook as a marketing research tool are huge: cost effective, fast, targeting, data collection, and flexibitilty.
Tyler presented two case studies in how they effectively used Facebook ads to research and test for their clients. The first involved TV ads for a medical client that specialized in lap band procedures. The client had a clearly defined geographic area and demographic but has a very high cost per conversion and they needed insights into how to produce a commercial that would be relevant. They question they needed to answer for the client was what type of TV does their audience watch. By using Facebook ads they were able to effectively answer that question and help the client with the campaign and making it much more affective and the results were 6% increase in calls, 11% increase in online consultation bookings.
The second case study Tyler highlighted was for a company who had a mobile application. The app itself had strong reviews and a high retention rate however it could not break into the top 25. The problem was that their app icon was seriously ugly and sucked. Tylers team used Facebook ads to test the new icon images, the one that performed the best in the ads was what was chosen for the new application icon. The results - app downloads steady rate/sustained of downloads, with first ugly app icon, it was 69% drop off after the initial release.
Just like the Facebook (SEO) Optimization panel before this one, this session was really full of a lot of great tips, insights and information. If you attended SMX East and missed this panel make sure to download the presentations. If you didn't attend SMX East, make sure you put SMX West on your agenda!