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Are Facebook ads worth it?

Advertising on Facebook isn’t hard, but knowing how to do it the right way takes time, effort and intuition to be successful. You don’t want to throw your money away by blindly boosting posts at will — there’s no strategy involved there, and the impact on your business will be limited. By having a solid understanding of Facebook’s advertising platform, you can take advantage of its plethora of tools to help you make the most out of your social media marketing efforts.

Let’s start with the fundamentals. Facebook ads are divided into three main categories: awareness, consideration and conversion. Within each grouping are different kinds of ads you can run on a Facebook page. If you haven’t already noticed, this layout follows the flow of your typical marketing and sales funnel (only optimized for social media).

AWARENESS ADS:

  • Brand awareness – Increases awareness for your brand by showing ads to those most likely to be interested.

  • Reach – Shows your ad to the maximum number of people within a given budget.

Awareness ads should do exactly what the name implies – increase brand awareness. These objectives are meant to get your ads in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Since they’re at the top of the “funnel”, it comes as no surprise these ads are often the cheapest to run; they focus on impressions and reach as the most important metrics. But these ads aren’t necessarily as beneficial as others (we’ll get to those in a minute). For example, a $50 reach ad may get your content in front of a few thousand people, but you’re less likely to achieve engagements, leads or conversions… Oh, the joys of navigating Facebook’s algorithm!

CONSIDERATION ADS:

  • Traffic – Increases traffic to a particular website, app, or messenger conversation.

  • Engagement – Increases post engagements such as likes, comments and shares.

  • App installs – Gets more people to install an app.

  • Video views – Gets more people to view your video content.

  • Lead generation – Drives sales leads from people interested in your business.

  • Messages – Gets more people to send messages to your business.

Consideration ads are further down the sales funnel, so even though cost per click/engagement/video view may be more expensive, results are typically considered more valuable. These types of ads drive people to take certain actions regarding your brand. For example, if you have an informative new blog post to share with the world, a traffic ad will drive people to your website, establishing your brand as an industry thought leader. If you’re reading this post as a result of clicking an ad on Facebook, congrats! It was all part of our master plan. (Shameless plug: feel free to peruse our site and even sign up for our newsletter!)😊

Another consideration ad to ‘consider’ is engagement, which nets more likes, comments and shares on all the creative content you’re producing. More engagements will help your content show up higher in news feeds. BONUS: Engagement ads should also help produce organic engagements after your advertising budget has run its course. And the more people are engaged with your brand, the more likely they are to convert. Speaking of…

CONVERSION ADS:

  • Conversions – Drives valuable actions on your website or app, such as purchases.

  • Catalog sales – Promotes specific items from your catalog to your target audience.

  • Store visits – Prompts nearby Facebook users to visit your brick-and-mortar stores.

The final step of the funnel is conversions, which are meant to increase sales and improve your company’s bottom-line. These are arguably the most valuable ads since they can bring a monetary return to your business, but they’re also the most expensive, hence the need for sound strategy. Otherwise, you’re just wildly throwing your dollar bills at the Facebook ads machine. It will gobble them up in a hurry if you aren’t careful. And if you want to measure the success of conversion ads accurately, that involves installing tracking codes like the Facebook pixel and optimizing your website to track purchases — arduous tasks for one person to tackle alone.

All of this barely scratches the surface of what Facebook ads can do. From tracking ROI to creating the perfect custom audience, there’s A LOT to understand if you want your business performing at its best on social. Alternatively, you could call us! We’ve been doing this social media thing for a while now, and our team has the know-how to drive results. Send us an e-mail, or hit us up on Facebook. We’d love to chat.

10 Questions to Ask BEFORE Starting a Design Project

Your supervisor just came to you with a great idea for a new collateral piece. Now what? Where do you start? Do yourself – and your designer – a favor by asking these 10 questions before embarking on any design project. It will save your company valuable time and money.

1. Budget

The very first thing to decide when considering any design is budget. Budget will determine everything from the size, shape and weight of your project. That annual report your boss wants mailed to customers? Consider splurging on great photography to create an online annual report rather than purchasing expensive postage for mailers.

2. Deadline

As a general rule, items such as brochures, mailers and posters need three to five days for design and another week for printing. However, large projects and custom pieces often need up to three weeks for design and two weeks for printing.

3. Audience

Take a moment to envision your target audience. Is this project for a younger or older audience? Male or female? Adjust details on the desired outcome. A brochure for a senior living community might require a large font, while a fact sheet for the zoo would include bright colors and graphics.

4. Brand

Design should ideally adhere to an organization’s established brand standards. Your designer will need this road map to ensure they use the right logo, fonts and colors.

5. Purpose

What is the desired result of your design? Clearly defining a call to action provides the designer creative freedom to artistically illustrate an emotion or idea. We often see this rule play out in political ads which use colorful graphics in red to encourage a “no” vote.

6. Medium

Will this design be created for print, web, email or a mobile app? Each medium has rules. Knowing the intended channel immediately gives the designer an understanding of the size of their canvas and how to format color (see #9) and fonts (see #10).

7. Style

Choosing the style of a design is relatively easy once audience and purpose are determined. Should the piece be formal and elegant or artsy and whimsical? Should the finished design be sleek and glossy or plain? It’s important the look and feel of the design match the overall message.

8. Graphics

Knowing your budget will help determine whether to hire a photographer or buy stock images. Limited budget? It’s time to get creative with use of color, shapes or readily available photos.

9. Colors

Color affects mood and tone, so it’s important to understand the research of color psychology. To really confuse matters, there are also Pantone colors and web-safe or HEX colors.
Side note on color for print vs. web: Designers work with color modes referred to as CMYK and RGB. Anything designed for the web (or anything with a screen) is in RGB (red, green, blue) mode. Anything dealing with printed material is in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) mode.

10. Fonts

Finding the right font is challenging, but it’s often the final touch that brings the piece together. When selecting a typeface for young children or the visually impaired, sans serifs are preferable. Its simplified letterforms are easier to recognize.

Additionally, not all fonts work well for web or email. Each computer has a different operating system with certain fonts installed. There are a handful of web safe or “universal” fonts that should be on every computer – so the way it’s seen on the screen is the way your audience will view it as well.

Asking these 10 questions before every design project will ensure an efficient and cost-effective product. By thinking through the logistics (printing, paper, distribution) and desired results you can avoid costly revisions or a failed campaign. The last thing anyone wants is to spend weeks fine-tuning a beautifully designed piece and then find out you can’t afford to print it.

Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, sums it up like this, “If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.”