Posts tagged facebook advertising
Changes are coming to Facebook... Again...

It’s almost become a joke among marketers and business owners, what change is Facebook going to announce this year? It seems like the New Year brings a new announcement from the social media giant, who seem to be perpetually rolling out changes that seem mostly geared towards business presence, ad sales, and curating content for its members.

After a troubling 2018 and mass concerns regarding privacy breaches and inauthentic content and accounts, many subscribers and investors were left wondering how Facebook would address these issues in 2019.

In a lengthy essay written by Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s website, we’re able to see the new vision of the social platform, and that is overwhelmingly privacy. So, what does that mean for both private members and business owners? Let’s break it down a little bit.

Private Messaging

The first thing to talk about is the overall vision of what this new privacy based platform would like. Many people are guessing that Facebook will start to look more like the popular messaging platform, WhatsApp. This means that your messages will now become encrypted, so that they are only visible to those that are having the conversation, and not even Facebook itself will be able to access the content.

Privacy advocates are applauding the move, while some government agencies are expected to push back, stating this move will drastically increase the spread of harmful content, and hamper Facebook’s ability (and promise) to stop the spread of “fake news” on it’s platform.

Smaller Groups

Outside of it’s change in it’s messaging policy, something that has left a lot of marketers scratching their heads is Zuckerberg’s likening of Facebook becoming less like a town hall broadcasting information, and more like a private living room, with private conversations. This is where things get murky.

While we’re still unsure what this change will look like, it seems to imply that business communications will be limited to private groups and advertising. It’s assumed that ad prices will rise, and targeted groups will become smaller and more engaged. How businesses will be able to target is still up in the air, as privacy concerns and Facebooks new commitments, means less information available to marketers.

Commerce

Another hint from Facebook has been a focus on a commerce platform that allows you to buy and sell or collect payments from family and friends. We’ve seen this become more popular among Facebook Marketplace and private Buy/Sell/Trade groups - although at this time payments are processed through PayPal or private transactions. What will be interesting to see is how businesses will be able to tap into this new revenue stream, or if will be strictly focuses on private sales.

Overall, I don’t think this means the end of Facebook for Business, but I do think it will mean that organic reach will continue to go down. In addition, I think the clever ways businesses have used to get around things (like utilizing groups) will become less effective as privacy goes up. However, I do believe the audience may become even more valuable as they become more targeted and engaged - just be prepared to open up your pocket book to reach them.

Facebook for Business in 2019

Even if you’ve pushed against it, all business owners have somehow been exposed to Facebook and it’s power to advertise and promote your business. You’ve probably also heard about the massive changes that the New Year seems to bring to the platform and how businesses can take advantage of it.

2018 was the year brought the massive news feed changes. It reduced businesses organic reach and shifted all of our focus pretty heavily towards advertising. As soon as we started to adjust to that, Facebook got hit with some pretty serious data protection claims, which has now changed the game in what information advertisers can access and how they can target their ads to potential customers.

So, as we enter 2019, this leaves us scratching our heads, wondering, “What is happening?” What are the next big changes coming up to Facebook in 2019, and what does that mean for us as businesses?

Well, in order to answer that question, I turned to someone a little smarter than me… Google. After doing some research (and combining it with what I’ve seen for myself and my own clients), I’ve come to a few conclusions.

  1. Ad pricing will rise - As organic reach continues to shrink, and the demand for ad space on the platform continues to rise, it’s just a classic supply and demand issue. Ad costs will go up, and it’s going to become more and more expensive for businesses to break through and show up in the newsfeed.

  2. Facebook/Instagram Stories - While Facebook stories haven’t taken off like Instagram ones have, the ability to shop right inside, and offer full screen video and still advertisements, it’s no wonder they have caught the attention of advertisers. Think about how you can utilize these, especially if you’ve found your newsfeed ads losing steam.

  3. Video, Video, Video - We seem to say it in everything we write and it couldn’t be more true on Facebook. Video is continuing to take over, and with new video creation tools offered right inside the ads manager, it’s becoming easier for smaller businesses to take advantage of it.

  4. Look-a-like Audiences 2.0 - That’s right, while you may not be able to target based on off-platform behavior yourself anymore, the new Look-a-like Audiences will help you better identify your own audience, and find those who are similar in values and behavior.

Want to see some of the other things that may be important when it comes to Facebook in 2019? Check out this article I found to read more, and happy Facebooking!

Want more trainings and classes on growing your business online in 2019? Check out The Digital Marketing Hub!

Ms. Digital Diva: How to Take Advantage of Live Streaming for Your Small Business

Today, Hub Digital is super excited to have Ms. Digital Diva (aka Sara), a tech and digital blogger, join the blog and breaking down live streaming. Check out some of her great advice on how you can successfully utilize live streaming to promote your business, and then head on over to her blog, Ms. Digital Diva, for even more great information!

There’s a charming women’s clothing boutique a few blocks from my home that’s become a huge hit since moving into the neighborhood, and one thing that’s helped their business bloom is the owner’s social media expertise. On top of the basic social media presence, she also makes great use of Facebook’s live stream feature. On more than one occasion, I myself have gone into her store and picked something up after seeing it in one of her live videos.

If you’re intimidated by live streaming, don’t be! It’s not complicated, and with a little bit of practice you’ll have the hang of it in no time. Below you’ll find a few tips to help you get started.

Choose a Platform

Before doing anything else, you’ll have to choose the platform from which you’re going to live stream. The best platforms that don’t require an additional app to do this are Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Facebook and YouTube can be accessed from mobile and desktop, but Instagram can only be viewed on mobile devices. Live streams on Facebook and YouTube are converted to regular video and remain on the app after you’re done recording, but Instagram live videos disappear forever afterward. For these reasons, and because you likely already have a Facebook page set up for your business, Facebook Live is probably your best bet. 

Test in Private Mode

Prior to launching your first live video, start with some test videos (you can change your privacy settings on Facebook so only you can view them) to check your lighting and sound and practice setting up your recording device on a stable surface. If you’re planning on filming vertically, make sure the platform you’re recording on won’t format your video with two black bars on either side of the video. If it does, try recording horizontally instead. Don’t feel like you need to make this look like a professional production; your goal should actually be the opposite. You want to appear as authentic and genuine as possible while avoiding glaring errors. 

Before you broadcast, send an invitation to your customers via email, your website, and/or your social media networks, and include a caption on your video describing what you’re doing.

Choose your content!

Now for the most important part: content! There are endless possibilities to the routes you could take with your videos. The boutique I mentioned earlier likes to make live videos as soon as they get new merchandise to show it off, sometimes letting their employees model the clothing, and they also pop on to announce when they’re having a sale. 

You could consider doing something similar if it would transfer well to your company. Otherwise, you could give viewers a tour of your workplace, make a live tutorial on how to use your products, hold a prize drawing, interview one of your employees, or just allow your customers a peek into the inner workings of your business. Be creative and brainstorm what your customers might like to see. 

Be personable, introduce yourself, answer and ask questions, engage in any conversation happening in the comments, and include a call to action before ending the broadcast. You want to shoot for at least 10 minutes, but try not to go any longer than about an hour. 

Once you’ve stopped recording, analyze your results. If you find them to be unsatisfactory, try broadcasting on a different day or at a different time or adjusting other factors like video length or including other people on camera with you. 

Live streaming is a great free way to connect with your customers and personify your business. Don’t let it go to waste!

Budgeting for Advertising - How Much Should You Spend?
How much you should budget to spend on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and GoogleAdwaords.

Whenever we bring up the topic of digital advertising we always get the same question, over and over again. How much does it cost? This is a tough one to answer. Knowing how much to spend on your digital advertising is really dependent upon your business, time of year, and frankly, what you have to spend. The great thing about digital? Even the smallest budgets can succeed online, which is especially helpful for small businesses that are priced out of the more traditional options, like newspaper and TV.  We've pulled together some basic guidelines on what you should be prepared to spend if you really want to start seeing your online ads make a difference for you. Again, remember these are just general guidelines and should be adjusted to fit what you find works best for your individual business (testing is always important).

Facebook
The big kahuna. The main one. The platform everyone wants to be on. With an estimated 33.76 BILLION (that's right, billion with a "B") expected to be spent on Facebook ads in 2017, both local and national advertisers alike know that this is the place to be. However, with so many options available it can be hard to know exactly what you should be spending on each of the different types of campaigns.

  • Like Campaigns - While guaranteed to get you likes, it can be a little hard to know if the people liking your page are truly interested in your business. Keep these budgets small, starting around $50 for a 3 or 4 day run. See how they perform and go through the list of who liked your page to see if any seem "off" or "spammy". Then wait a few weeks to see if engagement has gone up or these new likes are paying off.

Total Spent Per Campaign: $50, Expected Cost Per Like: $1

  • Boosted Post - Again, jury is out on whether these are effective or not so keep the boosted posts to only those things that are truly important. Limited your boosting to your own fan base can be beneficial to ensure you reach all the fans that you just can't get to relying on organic reach alone. Save targeting people outside of that existing fan base (those that already like your page) for a more traditional FB advertisment.

Total Spent Per Boosted Post: $10-$30

  • Advertisement - For more traditional advertisements (whether they be static image or video ads) start small here and gradually increase your budget over the course of a few days. Studies show that throwing large amounts of money at your ad off the bat actually ends up costing you MORE per lead in the long run. Another benefit of this strategy is that you can test different ads and target groups slowly with less money and then increase spend on those that you find are working for you. Plan on hitting a target of at least $30 to $40 per day (this can go up to hundreds of dollars per day if your budget allows) and being about to sustain that for a minimum of 5-7 days to really see ad impacts.

Total Spent Per Campaign: Start at about $10-$20 per day, Slowly increase in $5 or $10 increments daily depending on overall budget and time of campaign. 
Expected Cost Per Lead: $3-$5

Instagram
Another Facebook owned platform, Instagram is quickly being indoctrinated into the FB advertising fold. While they haven't touched algorithms around what's appearing in Instagram newsfeeds (yet), it's getting harder and harder to reach new users and followers without the use of ads. If you're adding Instagram ads on to Facebook ads (which you can do right through the Facebook Ads Manager), plan on following a similar budget and strategy as your Facebook ads.

Total Spent Per Campaign: Start at about $10-$20 per day, Slowly increase in $5 or $10 increments daily depending on overall budget and time of campaign.
Expected Cost Per Lead: $3-$5

Pinterest
Ahh Pinterest! The underappreciated and underutilized advertising platform, for small businesses especially. With the common misconception that Pinterest advertising is way too expensive and out of reach, not enough small business are jumping on this bandwagon. But we're here to tell you, it's WAY more affordable than you think! There hasn't been any evidence of needing to "start small" in Pinterest like you do in Facebook, but if it's your first time running ads on the platform it's always better to try testing with a smaller budget first to see if it's something that works for you. Plan on about $20-$30 per day (but feel free to go up from there) and about $100 - $500 per campaign. 

Total Spent Per Campaign: $100 - $500, Expected Cost Per Click: $.25-$1

Google Adwords
Once the king of all online advertising, competition is fierce. Google is THE search engine with the majority of searches done within it, it's no wonder advertisers are clamoring to get their brand in on it. However, with this one we like to say, “buyer beware!". While it can be effective, it's taking increasingly more and more money to outbid competition. In addition, users are getting very savvy to knowing what are "ads" and what is real, organic content. Latest studies show that about 60-70% of people searching tend to skip past the ads altogether and jump right to organic search. Good news? 30-40% of people are still clicking so there is still value in the platform, just be prepared to expand your budget.

Total Spent Per Campaign: $500 - $5,000, Expected Cost Per Click: $2-$15+

How To Optimize Your Facebook Ads
Learn Hub Digital's quick tips on how to optimize your facebook ads.

Ok, so if you've had anything to do with Facebook in the past decade (that's right, Facebook has been around now for over 10 years!), you've noticed that it's gone through some major changes. What once was a mecca for small business owners who were looking for organic reach and inexpensive advertising, has now become a frustrating place of lost content just floating around with no one paying attention to it.

Algorithm changes over the past few years has significantly decreased the organic reach of business pages. It's gotten to the point now, where on average a business owner can expect that only 2% of the people who like their page will organically see what they've posted. As someone who spends a significant amount of time researching, creating and editing content to send out to the masses, that is a bummer. There's nothing worse than knowing you have something really important to say, without an audience to say it to.

Well, once you've mourned the loss of your organic reach (because trust us, it's not coming back), it's time to buck up and make the best of it. Despite some challenges, there ARE ways you can get great reach on the social media platform at a lower cost than other outlets, and those are Facebook ads. Trying them out? Below we're breaking down just a few tips to help you optimize your ads to ensure they're working the best for you.

1. Spend some time researching your audience and target them. When you're looking to target your ad don't just go by geographic area. Take some time to do some research on some of your existing audience's interests and likes. On Facebook you can target by general interests, things they've looked at on the web, and even other complimentary Facebook pages they've liked. Spending some time playing with the interest categories available for targeting can make a HUGE difference in your ad performance.

2. Pick the ultimate pic.  Ahh the ad image. This is always the most difficult (for many people) when designing an ad. The image is the first thing people will see when scrolling through their newsfeed so you want to make sure it not only makes sense with your content, but that it's attention grabbing as well. Find something with bright colors, interesting designs or a little bit of humor to ensure maximum results. And be sure to keep text to a minimum! While Facebook has loosened up a little on their restrictions, it will cost you more to run an ad with text in the image than one that doesn't have any. And be sure to keep it in the 1200 x 628 wide format so it fits the space nicely.

3. Start small with the budget. A lot of times people think the more money you throw behind an ad the better. However, recent studies have shown that dramatically increasing your budget will actually cause your Cost Per Click (CPC) to go up dramatically as well! Start your budget smaller (about $5 per day) and test it out over the course of a few days to see how it's working for you. Don't like what's happening? Go back and edit the image, text or both until you find the right mix. Happy with the results? Slowly increase your budget (No more that $5 per day) over time to increase the reach without increasing the CPC.