Should I advertise my business on Facebook?

by Toby

September 11, 2015

should i advertise my business on facebook

This question is one I get often.

Consider a couple of noteworthy facts about Facebook advertising:

  1. The largest media buyer in the world, which spends $76 billion on advertising (yes, that was with a B), spends the third largest amount of its clients’ budgets with Facebook (Google was the #1 channel)
  2. Facebook is the number one social platform with a billion daily active users
  3. Facebook produces upwards of 30% growth in conversions in other channels

The question isn’t should I advertise my business on Facebook, but rather why aren’t you?

Let’s talk a minute about your business’ media mix which will help visualize and frame the discussion about whether you should advertise your business on Facebook.

Your Media Mix is a breakdown of all the different types of media you use to advertise your business and reach your customers, whether that’s through Google search-based ads, Facebook ads, postcards, magazines, etc. Often represented as percentages of total ad spend in a pie chart such as this.

Your Company's Media Mix
Your Company’s Media Mix

Sometimes it helps also to align your advertising tactics mentioned above in your media mix with different levels of a sales funnel.

Tactics at the bottom of a sales funnel are targeting customers very close to purchase, and tactics at the top are more about generating awareness.

Sales Funnel
Sales Funnel

Moving from top to bottom in this sales funnel, advertising tactics transition from Awareness/Attention at the top to a Desire/Action at the bottom – most likely leading to a customer sale.

In this sales funnel that I pulled from a prior presentation, I have TV/Radio at the top of the funnel as an example. TV and radio are mass-market awareness tactics. You’re interrupting people’s lives with an ad. Nobody is watching the TV or listening to the radio actively searching for your products or services.

At the bottom of the funnel are tactics like Organic SEO or Google searches and Google Adwords (PPC), along with several other bottom of funnel tactics I listed in the graphic.

Bottom-of-funnel advertising tactics like SEO or Google Adwords are extremely important because this is where we get conversions – people are ready to buy. In the case of Google searches we know this to be true because people are actively typing in a query to find a product or service, so we know they are prequalified leads, and we just have to capture that customer.

Also, the cost to acquire a customer at the bottom of the funnel is generally very low compared to tactics at the top of the funnel

The challenge for many businesses is that there’s a finite amount of low-cost leads at the bottom of the funnel. In the case of Google, often there isn’t the search volume to spend all your budget here. It’s not uncommon for us to find that we can’t spend the budget our client has here.

So this brings us back to the original question, which was, should I advertise my business on Facebook?

With limited inventory at the bottom of the sales funnel, and with a need to grow leads at the bottom, you’ve got to spend more at the top where you’re creating awareness.

Similar to TV and radio, Facebook does sit higher up in the sales funnel.  However, unlike TV and Radio, which are really old-school carpet bombing tactics, Facebook offers segmentation and targeting that is on steroids! The options of how narrow and focused you can be with Facebook ads is unprecedented. TV or radio cannot offer this.

With Facebook ads, you can target customers that like your competitors, or people that like or dislike specific things, or any age range and gender, religion, political affiliation, health issues, and more. Facebook knows everything about you and most likely that can be targeted with ads. You can layer one ad segmentation after another on Facebook until you build what you believe to be the best, most focused targeting.

False Assumptions – The Case Against Facebook Ads

I occasionally hear  from business owners, “I had our people ask customers that called in how they heard about us and nobody ever mentions Facebook.” This is so faulty and misleading. First, that sort of data collection is incredibly unreliable. Second, that is not the correct measuring stick by which to measure Facebook’s effectiveness. It’s the number one social platform in the world with 1 billion daily active users – you sure you want to ignore that?

Consumer Behavior on Facebook

Second, Facebook generally does not drive last-click attribution like Google does (SEO or PPC), which is what you would hear if you asked your customers how they heard of you.

In other words, Facebook is driving consideration – awareness, and attention. Facebook is interrupt marketing, meaning people don’t generally see an ad and then click and convert like they would in Google. People see an ad, your brand makes an impression, and later they go to Google to search for you – that’s the consumer behavior of Facebook ads.

With Facebook ads you are putting your brand in front of the consumer – Facebook is consideration.

Let me know what your thoughts are. Have you tried Facebook ads?

About the author 

Toby is the co-founder of 39 Celsius. He has over 20 years of digital marketing experience and has started several companies throughout his career. He's an expert in SEO, Social Media Ads, Google Ads, Marketing Automation, and more. He has a BA in Chemistry/Biochemistry from UC San Diego and an MBA from SDSU.

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