Facebook Ads: Friend or Foe?

We’ve all seen ’em, few have clicked ’em, and even fewer have used ’em. I’m talking about those little boxes on the right side of your browser whenever you’re stalking your friends, friends of friends, or that hot chick you saw at last night’s party. As a clothing company owner or blogger, you may think one of those ads could help generate some traffic or significantly add to your facebook fans, but you are unsure if it’s worth your money. Well, I am going to tell you right now, in my opinion “facebook ads suck.” Trust me, I have put these ads together at my desk job prior to owning Sugar Steak and have used them recently for companies I consulted for. There are much better ways to spend your advertising budget. I know what you’re thinking, “But there are over 500 million facebook users.” That doesn’t matter, how many times have you clicked on a facebook ad? Three maybe four times? I have clicked on “one” and it was only because it was an Arkaik ad and I was surprised to see them using one. Most likely just testing the waters, because I have never seen one since. If the previous few lines haven’t talked you out of it, then let me give you some tips below on how you can get the best bang for your buck with these crappy ads. Who knows, maybe you’re easier to please than I am and you will get exactly what you’re looking for.

USE A UNIQUE AND EYE-CATCHING IMAGE

People are more or less immune to facebook advertising. After years of seeing the same ads focusing on Mortgage Fraud, Coupons, Credit Scores, and FBI Recruiting, users have learned to ignore ads shown on the side of their screen. You all know the types of ads I’m talking about. You know, the ones with a stupid picture of a chick trying to eat a 40lb hamburger even though the ad is for some mortgage fraud website. Or a picture of a cop car on 44″ rims trying to recruit future FBI agents. The desperation of these ads should tell you right there, facebook ads DO NOT have good click-through-rates, or CTR if you want to abbreviate it and pretend you’re an SEO genius. The only way the creators of these ads can even get you to look at their ad is to show something so off-the-wall that it will actually catch your attention. I mean, seriously have you ever seen an FBI Agent rolling down your street on a set of dubs getting ready to bust your drug-dealing neighbor? And last time I was in a bank I didn’t see them handing out delicious pizza-size hamburgers next to the mortgage loan officer’s desk. So when you are selecting an image for your ad, I’m sorry but a cool mockup of your tees won’t cut it. You will need a unique cropped image from your look book, one of your logo (if it’s distinctive enough to stand out), or if all else fails… Get a hot girl to model one of your tees for you. The point is, with such a small space to work with, you HAVE to have an awesome image if your ad is even going to get noticed in the first place.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TARGETED DEMOGRAPHICS AND INTERESTS

When creating your ad you will have the option to select the age group, country, and precise interests you wish to target your ad to. Take advantage of these! Why would you want to waste thousands of impressions on people like your parents who only use facebook to post pictures of their new herb garden or patio furniture. You have the opportunity to sort out who your ad appears to, so if you are targeting misguided and music-obsessed youth with your clothes or blog, select bands you know this demographic listens to and set them as “Precise Interests.” Sure this will limit the reach of your ad, but it will save you money and impressions because your ad will only target those who will have interest in your brand. Also, you might as well eliminate anyone over a certain age and target only the age bracket you know will desire what you’re offering. Don’t fool yourself and think, “But parents will see it and buy something for their kids.” Trust me, if kids want it and don’t have their own money, they will tell their parents about it.

BE READY TO SPEND SOME MONEY

I know the next set of numbers will be debated as everyone has different sources, different factors, and different ways of interpreting click-through-rates. All I’m trying to point out is that facebook ads have a crappy CTR in comparison to banner ads on other websites, such as this one, IAMTHETREND. Anyway, the average click-through-rate (CTR) for facebook ads (based off my research) is between 0.050 and 0.051 of a percent. Put in a percentage that would be 0.0050 or 0.0051, yes that is less than one percent, no typos. In simple terms, about 5 clicks per 1,000 impressions. Any SEO dude will tell you a decent performing banner ad will have a CTR of about 0.09 – 0.10 or so, which means the CTR of facebook ads are about half of what a banner ad on a website should bring you. And that’s the average, you may have an ad that falls well below the curve. You can choose to try and counteract this in two ways. Pay for Clicks, and only be charged when someone actually clicks your ad, or Pay for Impressions, and hope your ad will be presented often enough to entice people to click the second or third time they see it. Personally, I would never pay for clicks as you can blow your entire day’s budget in a matter of hours that way. If you pay for impressions it will allow some fluctuation with your ads, one day you might get 200 clicks, one day you might only get 20, but either way more people will see it. Not to mention, every time your ad is presented you are creating “brand awareness” which any marketing course will push heavily as one of the most important aspects in business. The amount you will pay per 1,000 impressions will vary on the demographics you have chosen to target your ad towards and the estimated reach created by your selections. I suggest going with a budget of at least $20 a day for you ad, say at .50 per 1,000 impressions, that should bring you about 40,000 impressions per day and if you’re lucky 200 people will click your ad, but more realistically you might get 50 or so on average. Just prepare yourself ahead of time, don’t get all hyped up thinking thousands of people will click your ad each day, keep your expectations real. Whether you choose to pay for clicks or impressions is entirely up to you. Try running simultaneous ads and experiment to see what works best with your chosen ad and budget.

OFFER SOMETHING FOR FREE

You want more people to click your ad, “like” your page, or visit your site? Give away some free shit and publicize it in your ad. Something like “Like our page and you will be entered to win a free tee, one winner chosen each day this week.” We’ve all heard the phrase, “You’ve gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelet.” If you want to really step up the amount of clicks your ad gets, be willing to give out some free stuff in order to attract people who otherwise would have no interest in your brand and ad message. If you read the Arkaik interview a few weeks back on IATT, you remember Jordan talking about giving away 20-30 shirts a day on their facebook page and adding over 26,000 fans in a month. Now you definitely won’t get that many new fans, Arkaik is a powerhouse, but it just goes to show you Jordan understands giving away free product is one of the best ways to attract new fans and potential customers. Especially with his demographic being largely a teenage audience. After all, when I was a teenager free stuff was pretty much the greatest thing in the world since I wasn’t exactly swimming in dollar bills. However, regardless of age, everybody likes getting something for free.


  •  Some more great info by Kyle. Thanks!

  • Yeah, FB ads are a joke. Plus I’m pretty sure there’s a scam somewhere in there. I tried a FB ad campaign to gain more followers on my page. As soon as I started it, I noticed a huge spike in my fans. But, as soon as the ad campaign ended, they started dropping off. Then, I was able to get some free FB ad credits, so I tried it again. The SAME people were liking my page after I launched my second campaign! SCAM!

    So, I agree, FB ads suck!

  • Kyle

    Yeah dude, that sounds pretty fishy. Thanks for sharing that so people can see I’m not the only one who thinks those ads are ridiculous.

  • I get your frustration but that is probably because you ran the second campaign targeted at the same group of people. That and then after seeing your content in your page and updates in your newsfeed they realized they didn’t really “like” it. I could be wrong. I think FB ads are definitely worth a shot.

    I do agree with the FREE offer thing though the more value you can provide the more enticed people are to click or like. I would also suggest not running the same exact ad and photo over and over…mix it up.  Depending on your target…you can definitely get the cost of impressions down…..it just takes trying. It won’t make your brand huge….that happens if your brand it authentic if your not doing that right then probably facebook ads won’t work at all.

  • Would it change your opinion if I told you that I targeted the two separate ads to two different demographics and ran them at different times? Yup, scam!

    The only benefit I see to FB ads is seeing new movie trailers of summer blockbusters. It keeps me informed. Otherwise, save your money and use ad sites like buysellads or project wonderful.