Facebook No Longer Charging Advertisers for Accidental Clicks

Accidental Clicks

If there is one thing I am certain, it is that we have all accidentally clicked on a post, an account or an ad on Facebook at some point in our lives. What is the first thing we do when this happens? Immediately hit the back button without even looking at the site we accidentally clicked to. Up until now, an advertiser would have been charged even though that click was not significant for them. Facebook is cracking down on these accidental clicks with new terms.

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You Need A F*****G Vacation.

Are you getting burnt out? Be honest. You wake up; shower gets dressed, commute to work, put the time in, commute back, watch tv, sleep, and repeat four more times. Sound about right?

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The Complete Guide To Facebook Ad Targeting

Facebook Ad Targeting
When it comes to advertising on Facebook, not targeting your ads correctly can make or break your ROI. You can target Facebook users by:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Connections
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Demographics
  • Custom audiences

 

And inside each one of these categories, are so many options it may make your head spin! Which is why we created this handy dandy (yet super long) Facebook Ad Targeting Guide. We’ve done the legwork for you and broke down each of the detailed targeting categories – interests, behaviors, demographics, custom audiences.

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Facebook Video Ads

Where will social media not show ads? Facebook announces the testing of a new “mid-roll” ad format, for ads to play in the middle of videos. If the ad testing takes off, this could be the first chance video publishers have the opportunity to earn money from the content they run on Facebook. Facebook video ads are the new thing, what’s next?

The Joy of Canvas

Facebook Canvas lets you combine images, video, text, and call-to-action buttons in a single, fully immersive mobile ad experience. Want to learn how to create Facebook Canvas ads? Click below and watch my demo of Canvas.

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Facebook Ad Blockers

The most aggressive force in ad-blocking technology is pitted against the world’s mightiest social network. The stakes have never been higher for both parties. And there seems no end in sight, as Adblock Plus continues to attack Facebook with the bloody ferocity of a Mongol horde.

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The Step by Step Guide for Setting up Advanced Digital Marketing Channel Tests

All Campaigns are Not Created Equal

Thomas Jefferson’s infamous speech does not apply to digital marketing campaigns, unfortunately… Earlier in April, I published a blog about why channel tests were more worthwhile for SMBs on a tight marketing budget. I want to take this line of thinking a step further for SMBs that actually have more marketing dollars to work with. For those who are well versed in digital marketing, you’ll understand that there’s a difference in setting up a targeted Facebook ad campaign to increase attendance to an event compared to setting up a campaign (regardless of channel) with a custom landing page, form, goal conversion, and an automated lead nurture campaign. The former is not nearly as time consuming and doesn’t require the amount of planning as the latter. I digress. You’ll understand why I’m saying this as you continue reading…

Step 1: Select Your Channels

For the purpose of this blog, let’s assume we have a B2B company with a monthly ad budget of $1,800. In the past, the budget has been split three ways between Facebook, LinkedIn and AdWords PPC. Each channel has a different purpose: for Facebook and LinkedIn, the goal has to been build a targeted audience, increase engagement and drive traffic to the company’s website. For PPC, the goal has been to drive leads. While you’re planning next month’s strategy, you decide you want to change things up and do lead generation channel tests using the same channels.

Step 2: Allocate the Budget

Once you’ve decided on the channels and are set on a strategy, create a budget plan and decide where the money is going to be invested. Here’s an example of what that would look like:

  • AdWords PPC: $1,000
  • Facebook Ads: $500
  • LinkedIn Sponsored Ads: $300

Typically when running channel tests it’s best to allocate equal amounts of money. The PPC budget will always be highest because it’s the best strategy when converting low funnel leads. You don’t want to take away from that and risk decreasing quality scores and ad rank. Facebook is higher than LinkedIn because it’s always wise to run a monthly Like campaign. Therefore, $200 of that will be allocated to that separate campaign and equal funds will be allocated to the actual lead generation test you’ll be running.

Click here to sign up for a free, no hassle Facebook ads consultation.

Step 3: The Busy Work

This step is by far the most time consuming but once it’s complete, the rest is (relatively) smooth sailing. For the past six months, you’ve been using two custom landing pages which were designed on WordPress for the PPC campaigns. The two landing pages focus on two different services the company offers. The extensive keyword and competitive research has been done as well as the original creation of the landing pages which have been generating leads on PPC to the tune of 3-5 per month. This is when the workload gets busy: because we are running the same lead generation test utilizing the same landing pages, you’ll need to create Facebook and LinkedIn versions of the landings pages so we can segment the traffic and understand where the leads are coming from. You’ll also need to create separate lead generation forms and thank you pages. Here’s how you do it:

  • Take the first (service) PPC landing page and open it in its own tab on your internet browser
  • Add a new page to your website and open it in a separate tab, as well, on a different screen (assuming you have dual monitors)
  • Literally take everything from the PPC landing page and do the exact same thing to the new page – with the exception of the URL
  • Busy work overload.

  • While you’re doing that, you’ll also need to create a new form to collect leads. Once complete, take that form ID and embed into the new page
  • The new form must also redirect to a unique thank you page. Same as the previous steps, take the PPC thank you page and duplicate the content with the exception of the URL
  • Access the company’s Google Analytics account and create a conversion goal using that unique thank you page (very important!)
  • Once the new page is set up with its own unique form and thank you page, you’re ready to publish
  • Rinse and repeat and do it all over again for the second (service) landing page and then do THAT all over again so you have a total of four separate landing pages, forms, thank you pages, and goal conversions

Just so you can understand the time investment, it took me about three hours to do something very similar to this. In my opinion, it’s well worth it because the end result is to be able to effectively gauge how well channels perform when using the exact same content. It’s a very powerful thing to be able to go back to the company at the end of the month and say, “Well, we’re seeing that LinkedIn generated 3x as many leads as Facebook. So next month, we’re going to allocate more money to that channel because we know it has a higher success rate.”

Step 4: Deciding on Creative

The PPC campaign is already set up because, as previously mentioned, its been running for six months with good success. Also, there’s not a whole lot of creative to consider beyond ad copy. Selecting the right keywords is the most crucial element of any PPC campaign and this process itself can be very cumbersome with in-depth research and analysis.

With Facebook, you’ll be running two website click ads where you get to choose custom images and ad copy. Additionally, you’ll target the ads to show up only on newsfeeds of people within your target audience.

On LinkedIn, it’s set up a little differently. The only ad option is a sponsored update and you don’t get to select a custom image. The image that populates will be associated with the landing page itself. You do get to customize the post message and target the post to display only on the newsfeeds of your target audience.

All three channels offer unique ways to target the right audience. The one consistency all three have is geo-targeting. We’ll talk more about the sophistication of ad targeting between social channels in later blogs on StrataBlue!

Step 5: Flipping the Switch

The moment of gratification has arrived. All of the planning, creating and executing has now lead you to the point at which you turn the campaigns on. I don’t believe I mentioned this earlier but the dollar amount assigned to each ad is $150. Two website click ads on Facebook with a monthly budget of $150 a piece and two sponsored updates on LinkedIn both with $150 each. This leaves nothing to question is regards to showing ROAS (return on ad spend) at the end of the month.

Step 6: Monitoring Campaigns and Analyzing and Reporting Results

It’s important to monitor the campaigns weekly to report back to the company to keep them in the loop on performance. At the end of the month once the campaigns have ended, the truth will be found in numbers. Your data sources will be Facebook Insights, LinkedIn, Google Analytics and AdWords. Inform the company which campaign performed the best based on lead generation and advise on next steps.

Want to continue the conversation? Let’s meet for coffee.

I’ve always found that the best conversations happen over a nice, hot cup of fresh brewed coffee. If channel testing is something you’d like to learn more about or do for your company, let’ talk! Either call us at 317-207-0195, email us at [email protected], or click the button below to fill our a brief form to contact us online! We look forward to hearing from you.

Let us talk over coffee. Click here to set up a time to chat.

Local Facebook Awareness Ads:

There’s a new objective in town. In late October of last year, Facebook rolled out with a new campaign aimed at advertising to people near your business. Local Awareness Ads appear on the news feeds of people within a specified radius of your business. Learn how to set-up your own Local Awareness ad using my steps below.
Getting Started

To get started setting up a Local Awareness Ad, select the objective on the Facebook advertising page that reads “Reach people near your business.” From there, choose the Facebook page that you would like to advertise with. In this how-to I will be creating a Local Awareness Ad for StrataBlue. Once the page is selected, you will be sent to the page to set-up the ad.

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Choose Your Audience

Who do you want to see your ads? Simply enter the address of your establishment and Facebook will prompt you will a map. Next, select the mile radius that you would like people within that area to see your ad. Think about details of your location. If your business is far from other businesses or residential areas, I recommend having a large radius of up to 15-20 miles. But if your business is in close proximity to other businesses I recommend using the 1-10 mile radius. Next select the age range of who you would like to see your ad. Then choose gender.

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Choose Your Budget

How much do you want to spend? If you are familiar with Facebook advertising you will notice that Local Awareness Ads only operate on a Lifetime Budget scale. A Lifetime budget is a set amount that Facebook will spend over the duration of your ad set. Facebook won’t spend over or under the amount you choose.

Select the time frame of when you would like to have your ad run. This is totally up to you and your client’s needs.

Tip: When selecting the dates to run your ad, keep in mind special events going on in your area where people will be traveling out of their town to yours. Local Awareness Ads are great for hooking out of towners to visit your business.

Choose Your Images + Text

Now it’s time to great creative! Choose up to 6 images either uploaded from your computer or from Facebook’s Shutterstock stash.

Note: Because this is a Facebook paid advertising, the 20% text rule still applies. All Local Awareness Ads images with more than 20% text will not be approved.

As for the text of the ad, make sure it’s something engaging with a call to action. For example:

“Come get all your pet supplies for a great price at Bob’s Pet Store.”
“Come try one of our 105 flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt.”
“Kip’s Market is the place for quality produce at unbeatable prices.”

Next you will need to create a Headline. As you can see, I just used the business name, StrataBlue to fill this spot. The headline text is meant to grab attention and tell what your ad is about.

Currently, the only call to action available is Get Directions or none. Facebook will automatically default to Get Directions call to action button. There is also additional space under “Show Advance Options” to include text if you wish.

All you have to do is click Place Order and your ad is ready to run!

Now imagine your potential customer’s scrolling through their Facebook News Feed as they are figuring out with to do for dinner tonight and all of a sudden your ad pops up. Or they’re walking around the mall and see an ad for your small boutique located outside of the major department store. Local Awareness Ads are the digital billboards of Facebook. They are excellent for small businesses to be seen and heard by their local clientele.

Interested in what Local Awareness Ads can do for your business? Contact us today.

Increase Holiday Sales with Social Media

It’s that time of year again! Halloween candy is now 70% off and Christmas lights and garlands have taken over the shelves. This year it’s predicted that November and December sales could hit almost $617 billion, which is a 4% increase from last year’s holiday sales. As for online sales, they are expected to increase as much as 11%, a 3% increase from 2013 sales. So what are you doing to help increase your sales this season?

As we’re finding with our StrataBlue clients’ campaigns, social media advertising is key to any company’s efforts to reach large, targeted audiences in order to increase holiday sales. Below are some ideas we recommend to help increase holiday sales with social media.

Create a Pinterest “Gift Idea” Board

Millions of people every day are flocking to Pinterest for ideas on what to get their loved ones for the holidays. Make their search easier by creating Pinterest boards specific to whom the gift will be given. Giving your holiday Pinterest boards creative and engaging names is paramount to increasing traffic. Try some of these titles:

  • 50 gifts under $50
  • Gifts for The Person Who Has Everything
  • Last Minute Gifts
  • Gifts Your Boyfriend Will Love
  • DIY Christmas Gifts

Be sure to keep in mind the pain funnel when creating boards and pinning your products. What might your potential customer’s challenge be when shopping this holiday season? This could include:

  • Trouble finding the right gift
  • Shopping on a limited budget
  • Shipping costs
  • Gifts for the right occasion

Last, and most importantly, remember to link your product pins to your website for fast and easy access for your potential buyers. (And once they get to your site, consider having remarketing code in place so that when they continue on their search quest, you can re-appear in order to stay top of mind.)

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Steve Madden pins their gift guide on Pinterest.

Run Facebook Ads

Running Facebook Ads is a must this season if you are wanting to increase your holiday sales with social media. As for which type of objective to choose for your Facebook Advertising campaigns, I would suggest either a Clicks to Website, Website Conversions, Offer Claim or Local Awareness campaign.

Don’t forget to include a call to action in your ad!

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Target advertises free shipping for online orders on Facebook.

Exclusive Deals with Email Marketing

Give your email subscribers the upper-hand this season with exclusive deals, coupon codes and offers right to their inbox. Not only will your current subscribers be thrilled to receive special offers, but this will also open to the door to increasing your email list subscribers with those who want the same deals. Here are a few tips to make the most out of your email marketing this season:

  • Consider Cyber Monday, December 1st– the biggest day for online shopping
  • Don’t spam your lists!
  • Personalize messages to increase brand loyalty
  • Consider sending emails on the weekends
  • Use creative subject lines to entice opens
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TJMaxx gives a sneak peek to subscribers.

Create Twitter Cards

The recent roll-out of Twitter Advertising cards makes targeting online shoppers a breeze. Be sure to include an engaging card image along with a catchy headline. Remember Twitter cards appear on your audiences’ Twitter feeds, so step out of the box with your Twitter card and catch the eye of your potential customers.

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Choose the “Shop Now” button as a call to action.

Deck the Halls with Data

To make sure you are getting the most out of your social media efforts, be sure you are tracking and assessing your performance throughout the entire campaign. This way you will be able to tweak and re-target to see what’s working and what’s not working. Consider these tracking systems:

Whether it’s pushing in-store sales or online sales, running several social media campaigns across several different platforms can be very effective. Don’t be afraid to hand the reigns over to a digital media marketing firm to help you reach your highest potential this year.

Best of luck this season and Happy Holidays!

The Madness of Ads: Facebook Ad Targeting 101

One of the most interesting things about running Facebook advertising for yourself or for a client is the level of detail available for targeting those ads at specific people.

We’re going to run through the easiest type of ad to create, a promoted post, and then talk about the many different ways to target Facebook users with this post.

Choosing a Post to Promote

First, select the page you manage and an existing Facebook post to promote. Pick a post that has a great photo and well-written content, and that links to a relevant place on your website. (Be sure the link is using Google URL Builder).

Then, choose where you’d like that ad. We’ve found best results with desktop and mobile, and less so with right column ads.

The Madness of Ads: Facebook Ad Targeting 101
Choose a post that has a striking image, good copy and a hyperlink to your site.

Audience

Note that each horizontal grey line under Audience represents “AND.” That is, search terms grouped together constitute “OR.” But filters separated by that line divide the audience, as the person now must match both sections.

We’ll skip Custom Audiences this time around, as it’s a pretty technical and advanced topic and could take up a whole column by itself.

Locations

Under Locations, choose where you’d like this ad to spread. If the ad is for a regional service, such as an insurance company or law firm, then location targeting is vital. National clients will likely prefer targeting just the U.S.

Age, Gender & Language

Age is a deceptively important target. Alcohol-related ads require the age to be set to 21 or higher. Consider your target audience and whether they skew younger or older.

Gender targeting is a possibility, if your product or service is specifically designed for men or women.

Language is an interesting target. Normally, ads are filtered by language anyway, but if you need to restrict your audience further to only English speakers, or any other language, you can do that here.

More Demographics

Under More Demographics, you can filter by many other categories. I specifically like the Work & Job Title category, as that lets you aim your ad toward a lot of people who are in the same line of work as your target audience. Often, selections will show up here that won’t appear later under Interests.

Interests

Interests is probably where you’ll spend the bulk of your targeting time. Only Facebook Pages with a minimum number of Likes will appear here as an interest, so you won’t be able to find everything. Think about the typical person you’re targeting. What is he or she interested in? What’s the profile of the typical potential Facebook fan that you’re after — someone who not only is interested in the post you’re promoting, but the page as a whole?

The Madness of Ads: Facebook Ad Targeting 101
Remember that More Demographics and Interests are not complementary with each other.

Behaviors

The Behaviors section allows you to target how a person spends their money, what types of things they buy, how much they travel, how much of a sports fan they are, and so on. This section is seldom used because of how specific it tends to be.

Connections

Under Connections, you generally want to leave this set to All. However, you can target your fans specifically if you’ve got a large fanbase and want to cater to them. You can exclude fans of your page if you’d like the ad to target complete strangers.

Under Advanced Connection Targeting, you can target people connected to the competition, which is a sneaky but fun trick. You can cut those people out altogether. Or, you can target people who are one degree of separation away from your page, relying on word of mouth to help sell your product.

Potential Reach

Take a look at the Potential Reach speedometer graphic and numbers. You want that needle to be right in the middle, and you want the potential reach number to be high, but not too high. Around 100,000-250,000 people for every $250 spent per month is a good guideline.

Campaign and Ad Set

Facebook ads are divided into overall campaigns, groups of ads called ad sets, and the ads themselves. You can set up your ad set name here, and choose your daily or lifetime budget. (Stick to daily, for the most part). The higher you set the budget here, the more willing Facebook is to reach a larger percentage of your potential audience. Money talks. Finally, be sure to schedule your ad so you don’t spend too much.

The Madness of Ads: Facebook Ad Targeting 101
The higher your budget, the more people you’ll reach.

Launch!

Place the order, give the ad a chance to populate, and you’ll start seeing engaged customers begin to flow in to your post, the rest of your Facebook page, and the link you sent them too. Mission accomplished!