If you’re marketing on Facebook, congratulations, you are in a select group of every single marketer in the entire world.
Sarcasm aside, all marketers know that Facebook marketing is a “must-have” communication tool for brands to succeed, but here’s where it gets interesting: only 42% of marketers feel that their Facebook marketing is successful.1
To put this shocking statistic into context, Facebook’s worldwide advertising revenue is projected to be $94.6 billion dollars 2, and almost have of those dollars are, according to marketers, unsuccessful. Uh oh.
There is money being left on the table. So much money. Piles and piles of money. (Most of which helped fund Facebook HQ’s rooftop park.)
So how does a brand maximize the value of Facebook marketing to please the marketer, the salesperson, the consumer, and the investors? How do you not only reach your audience, but engage them and persuade them to act again and again? And how do you stay relevant on Facebook while consistently telling your brand’s story, especially when the pressure to publish grows greater every day?
This article can help unearth these answers to find your brand’s “happy place” on Facebook: where sales output is directly tied to marketing input. But instead of presenting a boring list of “to-do’s,” we want to offer into a more compelling read: a list of “to-don’ts.”
Let’s learn from others’ mistakes to create your very own, very well-oiled Facebook marketing machine.
MISTAKE 1: TRYING TO APPEASE FACEBOOK
Slideshow ads are all the rage. And canvas ads. Oh, dynamic ads also get crazy-good results! We think.
Don’t forget about retargeting. Or showing puppies. Or puppies and kittens. Think of the CTRs!
The Facebook algorithm is a mystery. It’s a methodology that constantly evolves, but we do know that it encourages interactions and praises relevancy.
There are many articles about outsmarting Facebook’s algorithm (go ahead, try Google), but those articles are usually outdated the minute they are published. Yes, there are ideal times to post. And of course, videos drive higher engagement (according to Facebook itself). Just remember this: you cannot outsmart the algorithm. Your brand comes first.
As a marketer, you are inherently the defender of your brand. You know its voice. You know its audience (mostly). You know its strengths and weaknesses.
Never, ever design a Facebook campaign to make Facebook happy, copy a competitor or copy other ads you see on Facebook. No one knows what they are doing. Except those of you reading this article.
Puppies and kittens may work for Purina, but don’t force-feed any creative to your audience because it could work. You’ve most likely spent hundreds of thousands of dollars (maybe millions) building your brand’s story, look, feel and essence.
If you make your audience happy, Facebook will be happy. Utilize every Facebook tool that makes sense for your brand, of course, but remember that your brand and your audience come first.
MISTAKE 2: THROWING DARTS
Do you know what messages resonate best with your core audience? Do you know what Facebook posts work for your brand versus those that fail miserably?
Most of your competitors are “going with their gut.” They think they know what headline works best. They think they know what Facebook post is most likely to convert, which call-to-action drives the most results and what visuals stand out in the crowd.
But let’s be honest: do they really know?
Sure, most marketers performed a Facebook creative split test a year ago, chose the winner, “checked the box” and moved on. But if the Director of Sales asked them how many conversions their current Facebook ad campaign created last week, the marketer would get lost in a sea of Excel spreadsheets.
No more throwing darts.
Let’s create a lean, mean, evidence-based marketing machine that knows what works and amplifies what works.
And it all starts with testing.
MISTAKE 3: NOT TESTING ENOUGH
Test everything, find the winners, kill the losers and scale.
Repeat that phrase in the mirror every morning for 2 months.
Testing your posts and your ads will uncover absolute truths that can help build your brand and improve sales immediately.
Whether your localized ad drove clicks, or your micro-conversions actually converted, here are few “creative” variables you can test to find out what works:
Text: Headlines, subheads and copy
Delivery mechanisms: Image carousel vs Video vs Slideshow
Call-to-actions (or is Calls-to-action? Grammar is hard)
Emojis (Yes, emojis can influence decisions)
Product images vs lifestyle images
Short videos vs long videos
Animation vs real action
You should also test audiences with your Facebook ads, particularly impressions and campaign conversions. Custom audiences may react completely different than recent visitors to your website or even Lookalike Audiences.
Again, you may think you know your audience, but we think you’ll be surprised.
Once you start testing, keep testing, change your creative, learn what works, then scale that learning so that your ROI will see an immediate uptick.
MISTAKE 4: NOT TYING CONTENT TO R.O.I.
Now that we’ve tackled “gut versus insight” and “testing vs guessing,” let’s tie your creative content directly to your return on investment.
55% of social marketers’ top concern is ROI4. Yet they aren’t sure what works.
Blindly posting onto Facebook and running ad campaigns will appease your content calendar and your media manager, and those meetings will result in much head nodding and high-fives, harumph, harumph, but is all your hard work paying off?
After all, those “likes,” “comments” and “shares” are great for vanity purposes, but are they helping you reach your business goals?
If you’re building a community, growing “likes” and “shares” are worthy pursuits. But if you’re launching a new product, those “likes” and “shares” won’t buy and ship those products. And they probably won’t generate leads.
You need to simultaneously appease and grow your community while also knowing what gets your target audience to act. Tell them to buy, sign up or pick up the old-timey phone and call (FYI: phone calls convert 2-3 times more revenue than web leads).
Beautiful product shots could persuade them. Videos could do it. Testing different product benefits could do it.
The fact is: you just don’t know what works until you’ve tested, and then tied those tests to conversions.
Without goals, and without direct connection to ROI, Facebook marketing is simply the equivalent of a 12-year-old boy posting about his day at the park with his new puppy. Interesting, maybe. Relevant, possibly. Effective, who knows.
The job of a Facebook marketer is to know.
MISTAKE 5: THINKING LIKE A MARKETER, NOT A PUBLISHER
Most internal marketing teams consist of marketing managers, product managers, a few VPs and maybe administrative personnel.
Some large ones even have their own graphic designers, writers and video teams, while also utilizing contractors and advertising agencies for the creative “heavy lifting.”
Few have dedicated teams whose only goal is to create non-stop content.
The most common problem with internal marketing teams—and advertising agencies in general—is that they create content like glaciers melt. S-l-o-w-l-y.
To beat your competitors and scale your successes, you must think like a publisher.
Marketers meet, strategize, meet, then create. Publishers freaking publish.
Publishers constantly seek new angles, find new stories, curate new content, again and again, day after day. They know what their readers want, and they deliver.
Is every story or post a homerun? No. But the law of averages tells them this fact: they do not know what a homerun will be and what will not. They think they know but they don’t know, and they’re not afraid to not know.
So, the publishers publish. They test. Then they amplify what works.
Publishers also have their own teams. They retain editors, writers, photographers, graphic designers and videographers. Sure, they farm stories out to a few writers and photographers, but they have their own content creators under their roof who never stop publishing and are experts at their brand. Few “hired guns.”
If you think you’re creating enough content, double your efforts. Create a content team that is comprised of fast-working, hungry experts who know your brand and your audience and aren’t afraid to not know.
If you can’t retain them full-time, give them constant work to keep them happy. Contractors don’t like periodic work. Feed the beast.
Are you making any of these marketing mistakes? If you are, no worries.
If you’re not, please get a new suit and get ready for the speaking circuit. You are a marketing god.
Don’t leave money on the table. If you’re spending your hard-earned marketing dollars on Facebook—and your even harder-earned time—then you owe it to your brand and yourself to optimize your posts and advertising.
brkfst can help you connect with video content creators today, then hyper-test at scale to find what works best for your brand’s growth.