Do People Buy From Facebook Ads? avatar
Do People Buy From Facebook Ads?

Do Facebook Ads Really Sell?

So, I was browsing on Facebook a few days ago, checking out my friends’ status, birthdays, etc., when an ad called my attention. It was a book about children’s education, The Missing Alphabet: A Parents’ Guide to Developing Creative Thinking in Kids. I also saw it was an ad by I clicked on the ad, which landed me on the Amazon page featuring the book. I looked at the table of contents, read a few pages, and before I knew it, I had clicked on the Purchase button.

No, I did not get buyer’s remorse. I was, however, amazed at how it almost was as if Amazon had reached into my wallet to buy the book for me! How did this happen?

Some Facebook Ads Do Sell

Why was this advertiser so successful at selling on Facebook? I’ve personally clicked on ads before but have not actually purchased anything after visiting a site from Facebook. However, this ad was successful all the way through. Why?

It boils down to the basic principle: Say the right thing to the right person at the right time.

  1. Target.
    Yes, the ad was presented to me, a mom of young children, so it was likely that I would be interested in a children’s book.  No surprises there. But I’ve also been served ads for educational toys and did not purchase anything. So, target alone did not cause the purchase.
  2. Content (including the picture). The picture in the ad did grab my attention. It featured the cover of a book, but the book cover had a picture of a boy’s face. We marketers know that pictures of children sell, but many times I see ads that feature children but sell nothing related to children. Consumers might be attracted to the ad initially, but conversion will not be likely just by featuring a child on an ad when the product has little or nothing to do with a child (as is the case with a nursing school program that features a baby).
  3. Price. In this particular case, the book was under $10, so it was an impulse buy for me. Without getting to much into economics and price elasticity theories, I think we can safely say that a $10 item can be considered a low barrier price for people.

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do-facebook-ads-sellSo, before you jump on the Facebook wagon, you must have a clear understanding of who your target is, and a very specific goal for the message you want to serve. So, for example, if you sell makeup, you don’t want to advertise your site with a generic “Buy cheap makeup” ad and set it to show to all women ages 25-55. You should instead advertise a particular product with a particular benefit (ie. Osmotics Serum, 25% off, for Antiaging) to a small group of people (in this case women 45-55 who also like high-end beauty brands).

Selling on Facebook or Selling on Google

If you are a new advertiser and expect real sales or leads from your online ads, then I highly suggest you exhaust Pay-per-click on search (Adwords) first. Your cost per acquisition will very likely be lower advertising on search than advertising on social networks!

However, and this is a big however, Facebook IS a great platform for advertisers specially with the new remarketing tactics they have deployed recently and having the right goals and expectations, can be a fantastic venue for businesses.