Facebook and LinkedIn ads

Beyond Google: Other Ad Networks

2 big areas that marketers and businesses often overlook for advertising is Bing and social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn.

Bing Ads Network

Bing logoDon’t overlook advertising on the Yahoo and Bing websites, since they are the second and third most popular search engines on the Internet (after Google/YouTube). The ads you place in Bing Ads will appear both at the Bing and Yahoo websites using the same PPC management interface, or you can use Yahoo’s ad center. If you haven’t advertised before with Bing or Yahoo, you may want to consider using Bing Ads as it offers a richer feature set for managing your ads.

Trying the Bing/Yahoo network is a logical step after you have established success with Google. Many advertisers have found cheaper clicks and higher ROI using the Bing/Yahoo network, but this is obvious only after testing. In many scenarios, the actual CPC costs are the same and yet the conversion rate is higher or vice versa. This does make the point that search marketing is not always an exact science. Setting up ads for the Bing/Yahoo network follows a process similar to Google AdWords and most of the topics covered in this post will apply. There’s even an import tool that allows you to transfer Google ads into Bing Ads to get you operational very quickly. If you find success with the Bing/Yahoo network, your only disappointment will be the low search volume. As Google continues to dominate as the number one search engine website, getting modest results from the Bing/Yahoo network will likely continue.

Facebook and LinkedIn Paid Advertising

Facebook and LinkedIn adsFacebook and LinkedIn are two other paid advertising networks you should consider. These top social media websites can generate lots of targeted traffic, but do not operate like classic search advertising. Instead of using search terms to generate ads, both of these networks use demographic targeting to trigger the ad display. Don’t expect the same results if your strategy and approach have been cut and pasted from Google. A key element missing is that Zero Moment of Truth where the search phrase has disclosed a prospect’s initial interest. In ads for Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s more critical to create compelling ad copy with text and graphics that will pique a prospect’s interest and curiosity. Your approach to LinkedIn and Facebook advertising requires more testing of different customer demographics rather than finding the right search terms. Finally, your business objective with this advertising should not solely focus on creating sales or leads, but on building your brand.

2 Key Points to Social Media Advertising

In both Facebook and LinkedIn paid advertising, there are two key points to consider before launching campaigns:

  1. Who would be interested in your message?
  2. What call to action makes sense?

The obvious answers may not be the most successful. For example, if you sell Harley-Davidson motorcycle accessories, you may think promoting a special sale to a Facebook demographic of 40- to 60-year-old males who love Harleys seems like a logical choice. The call to action is a graphic promoting a one-day sale with an image of a Harley “babe” posed on a bike. You picked the right demographic and created an attractive call to action, but in testing, the sales register did not ring too often. Before you give up, you may want to experiment with other approaches to finding the right audience.

It’s important to recognize that people using social media websites are not looking to be sold something; they are spending time at these sites to connect with others. Instead of using a call to action to announce a sale, try instead to land them on your Facebook page and promote a “Like Us” action. Then when you post a new special or deal via your Facebook business page, it will be quickly broadcast to all community members (those who have “liked” your page). Facebook ads can generate sales, but often these are the ones created by testing with a demographic that does not have a direct interest in your product or service. Continuing with our special Harley sale example, you may want to test a market segment of 40- to 60-year-old married females, based on the wives’ interests instead of their biker husbands’. Think out of the box here, and try to find an angle that interests this indirect influencer. Targeting “off demographic” has produced great results for many Facebook advertisers, and in this example, there was a higher conversion rate to actual sales. The ad resonated with the “Harley widows” looking for a deal on a gift for their husbands, who love to ride on weekends.

Both Facebook and LinkedIn rely on advertisers to support their businesses, so you can expect to see new programs being developed. A portion of your paid search budget should involve testing various approaches on these sites, since doing so will help you discover the right demographic to target with your messages.

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