Take advantage of lower costs and seize market share.
March 13, 2020 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
We’re currently in an unusual landscape for social media ads: Events are being cancelled or postponed worldwide, companies have re-assessed their marketing budgets, and in the United States two billionaire politicians just ended their presidential campaigns (But not before together spending over $780 million on ads).
When advertising on Facebook, a more crowded queue of ads means less people see each ad, and our advertising dollars don’t stretch as far. Retailers and e-commerce advertisers know this well, as CPMs (“Cost per mille”, or the cost to reach 1,000 users) skyrocket during the holiday selling season.
That’s why a drop in demand can be good for brand visibility. Your advertising spend is likely to reach more users for the same price, and as businesses axe promotion to recoup cash, there is less competition for ad units, leaving you an opportunity to step in and capture a larger slice of market share.
Cooped up at home, consumers are spending more time at home and on their devices. Social media browsing is likely on the rise, and when it comes to time on platform, Facebook remains at the top of the mountain.
Here are 3 ways to adjust or step up your Facebook advertising as others pull back.
Explore the “Reach” campaign objective.
Nestled in the “Awareness” campaign category is the option to optimize an ad campaign for reach. The campaign isn’t explicitly conversion-driven, but when ad units are less expensive, it’s a good time to widen your net and bring more people in at the top of the funnel.
If you use a video as your creative, a Reach campaign actually can be conversion-driven, because you’ll grow your audience of video viewers (users who watch a video for three seconds or more) and be able to run retargeting campaigns just to those who are interested.
Video viewers are a custom audience in the Facebook Business Manager, and custom audiences are what make Facebook ads so effective (and Facebook so lucrative as a company). These audiences’ behavior has proven that they’re interested, and remarketing to them can help you take some of the guesswork out of your efforts.
Other Facebook custom audiences include:
Lookalike audiences. These are the holy grail of custom audiences, in my opinion. These users are new to your business, but based on the 52,000 data points Facebook has, have historically behaved similarly to another audience you identify (users who like your page, for example, or past buyers).
Engagements. Users who have reacted with, commented on, or swiped through an ad (if using an image carousel or other multimedia placement) can be retargeted.
Website traffic. If users visit your business website and you have installed the Facebook pixel into your header code (there are loads of tutorials on this), you can get back in front of them through retargeting.
Email list uploads. You can upload a list of subscribers to Facebook for retargeting purposes. Facebook attempts to match email addresses to users. The success rate is wide here, ranging from 40 to 80%, but may be a smart strategy for you.
Use reach campaigns to maximize the number of users reached per dollar and take the time now to build up your custom audiences.
Test out new ads or variations in copy.
Can you beat your control? There’s no better time to try than now.
A/B testing is a critical step in advertising optimization. As David Ogilvy once said, “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar.”
For all you know, you could be getting leads for half the price with better copy or a more engaging image or video. But until you test it, you’ll never know whether your control really is the absolute best.
Use this less competitive time to experiment with different headline copy, images, videos, and even new ad formats, such as Stories ad placements or Canvas ad formats.
Use slower times to crank out content
According to Demand Metric, 60 percent of consumers are inspired to seek out a product or service after consuming content about it.
If you’re wearing many hats in your business, though, it can be a challenge to stay consistent and continually produce new posts and articles for your audience.
Take advantage of quieter times by hunkering down and creating more “evergreen” content that applies to your business. Evergreen material can be used over and over again, and the benefits of content marketing build over time like a flywheel.
Projects to consider tackling could include
Cornerstone content. Also known as pillar content, this content is core to your business website, and is indicated as such when you publish, allowing search engines to more accurately crawl and recommend you. Take the time to create this detailed and informative content, then consider running ads to it to wow your audience.
A video series. It’s no secret that video marketing is on the rise. Video has multiple components though, from scripting to lighting to automate your posting-production. Consider batching some video production during a slow time, then slice out snippets to use for future advertising creative and content marketing.
More customization. Customization is again the hottest marketing trend of the year. Could you add in a retargeting ad after someone buys your product that just says, “Thank you?” Or give a shoutout to a local sports team or school that recently had a big achievement? Get specific and creative in your ads to ramp up brand affinity.
Advertising slots are precious real estate for building market share. Take advantage of newly freed-up inventory and you’ll develop a powerful asset for future revenue and business.