Being local on Facebook

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More and more often I see local ads appearing in my Facebook feed. And while it is great to see familiar business embracing the platform, it also always makes me wonder – is the money invested in this activity spend with a specific goal in mind?

Running a Facebook campaign

The key to a successful paid campaign relies on 3 main elements: objective, execution and analysis. Without those you might as well be throwing your money into the Wanaka Lake, as having a clear strategy is absolutely essential when spending your marketing dollars.

Setting your objective is actually easier than you think – it’s essentially an answer to one question: what do you want your Facebook ads to achieve? Here it is extremely important that your focus is on the final outcome. If you want people to visit your website and book accommodation – then booking is your campaign’s objective. Similarly if you want to bring people to your Facebook page and grow the number of followers – your main goal are likes. And while it all might seem obvious, very often advertisers don’t have a clear expectations set for their money to deliver, which means it later becomes impossible to optimize or improve on your campaign.

Selecting one, primary objective, also dictates two of the most important elements of your activity – your call to action and the destination you want to be bring visitors to. Don’t be shy when choosing the right slogan, tell visitors exactly what you want them to do. If you are looking to increase numbers of bookings over a quiet season – simply use a call to action like ‘Book now’ and avoid generic and repetitive messages like ‘Click here’ or ‘Find out more’. Always remember that you are competing not only for visitors attention, but also revenue, where adding a feel of urgency and importance to your message can help you win that precious click.

Depending on what you want to achieve, decide between bringing users to your Facebook page (or even a specific tab within this page) or to your website. Try to always select a destination page which promotes the most relevant message that represents both your objective and your brand. If you’re promoting discounts for activities that can only be booked on your website – use that as your landing page. Again you would be surprised how many advertisers use homepages or Facebook pages for their campaigns, leaving it up to the user to figure out where the relevant content and information sit. There’s no easier way of losing the momentum than bringing traffic to an irrelevant landing page.

With those foundation elements in place it will become much easier to select accurate targeting options and the type of the ad you want to use. And remember – Facebook offers really phenomenal targeting options and you should always try and test as many as possible until you find the combination that works best for you and your offer. It’s important to try different targeting options for different messages, as your targeted audience will always be different. You should never be discouraged if your targeted pool is small – in advertising it is always more valuable to deliver message to a smaller, highly targeted group, than go broad and rely on luck and coincidence.

And finally – it really pays off to find time to analyse results of your activity. I always encourage our clients to use Facebook Insights to its full potential, as this tool it not only free, but also offers really great in-depth analysis of your advertising efforts. If you are driving traffic to your website, instead of Facebook page, always remember to use Google Analytics tracking, to add results from this specific activity to your marketing mix dashboards. You’ll be surprised how much you’re going to learn about your business and customers from those sources.