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Facebook Advertising: Why 99 Percent of SEMs Fail The First Time

9 Jun

The reality: after 10+ years of an industry experiencing exponential growth, traditional pay per click search networks have become crowded, over-priced and extremely competitive. Furthermore, in a quasi-auction-based marketplace, often the only companies that come out ahead are the media companies themselves.

With the introduction of Facebook Ads, Search Marketers have been given a clean slate: more targeting options, nearly real-time feedback from target audiences on the relevancy of their adverts (via the ‘like’ feature), and extremely cost-effective pricing (primarily due to fewer competitors). Ad Quality Score is no longer a ‘black box’ held close-to-the-chest by a publicly traded company’s product manager(s).

As a full service Digital Marketing Agency, Facebook Advertising has become an essential advertising venue not only for helping our clients achieve their online marketing goals; but also for us as an agency and our internal B2B lead generation. However, Facebook advertising does not have a direct, 1:1 correlation, to what we would consider “traditional paid search” from a qualitative perspective.

In other words, your Pay Per Click (PPC) search engine campaigns running on Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, Microsoft Bing or Ask cannot easily be converted to Facebook primarily due to incongruent qualitative campaign elements:

  • Keywords
  • Text Ads
  • Landing Pages
  • Account Structure

The Top 9 Reasons Why Search Engine Marketers Fail the First Time They Advertise on Facebook

1.  Facebook is not a Traditional Search Engine

“Just what is search; anyways?”

According to comScore, a lot of folks are searching on Facebook.  Is Facebook necessarily a search engine in the traditional sense of the word?

Well yes and no. Facebook is a search engine that is best described within the category of “people search”.

Therefore we would categorize it as one of the following:

  • People Search Engine
  • Social Search Engine

Key Finding for SEMs: Facebook Advertising is more Social Media Marketing than SEM

2.  Campaign Objectives: Alignment

“I put my Facebook ads out there but didn’t sell a single widget!”

Lack of direct sales is a typical experience by a search marketer who tries to port over the exact same campaigns they are running on other ‘search engines’.

Depending on what you are selling, you most likely will need to build up a Facebook fan-base first rather than taking a traditional approach trying to hit search campaign performance measurements.

In other words, your intent should be to “fill the funnel” via building up a list of prospects (formerly known as fans, now ‘likes’) rather than trying to your wares directly via Facebook Ads.

3.   Having a Custom Facebook Page

“Why doesn’t my best landing page convert on Facebook?”

Growing your community online will increase awareness. You will want to serve the Facebook community with custom content and land them on a Custom Facebook Fan Page.

Facebook Marketing Process: think Direct Mail (DM)

1) Build a “fan base” (list of prospects)
2) Manage relationships w/prospective customers (think CRM)
3) Wait for those new prospects to raise their hand
4) Convert into new customers (sales!)

Best Practice: Interest-based list building/hand raisers (me-likes) vs. trying to sell your products/services directly using Facebook Ads.

Why is this? The audience behavior is changed. The typical Facebook user is seeking for ways to interact and socialize.

Read all 9  reasons why SEMs fail on the First Try!


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