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Facebook Advertising: the small publisher’s secret weapon

Did you know the amount of time we spend on social media platforms each day has increased by a whopping 58% in the last 6 years? The average Gen Z user now dedicates 3 hours a day to scrolling his or her newsfeed.* With over 3 billion people (42% of the global population) on social media, it is no surprise that advertising on these platforms is an extremely effective route to reach consumers for small to large brands alike.

So why is the Facebook Advertising platform so good for small publishers?

Firstly, it does not discriminate against the modest marketing budget of a small publisher. You can spend as little as £1 a day on the platform, which includes placements across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and their Audience Network. There is no need to part with hundreds or thousands of pounds up front. By paying as you go, you have complete control over your spend, which makes it a low risk advertising channel and easy to keep a close eye on ROI.

Secondly, it can be highly targeted. Want to advertise to David Nicholls fans between the hours of 7am and 10am on a Monday? You can. Want to reach out to parents of teenagers? You can. Want to remarket your latest book offer to the Australian segment of your mailing list? You can (providing it is GDPR compliant, of course).

Thirdly, no matter where in the world your business is based, your marketing efforts can be truly global.

And last but no means least, the Facebook Ad network enables small publishers to run sophisticated, data-driven marketing campaigns, gain valuable insights into audience behaviour, the impact of creative and copy – and has the potential to reach millions of new readers at the click of a button.

For those new to Facebook Advertising, here are some basic tips to get you started:

Boosted post vs campaign manager? Ignore the little blue button and instead get straight down to setting up campaigns in Facebook advertising manager or Facebook business manager.

Install your Facebook pixel: Even if your website traffic is on the low side or the majority of your campaigns will be directed to a third party retailer, set up the Facebook pixel. This piece of code means you can track website registrations and events and create custom audiences based on your website data. Great for remarketing and driving higher conversion rates.

To use or not to use a bid cap? For traffic campaigns you have the option to be billed per number of impressions served or on link clicks. It normally pays to use the latter and be guaranteed a certain amount of traffic. The benefit of setting a bid cap is that you can control costs to ensure your campaign delivers a strong ROI. The downside is that you are potentially limiting the audience you will reach if your bid cap is too low.

Get selective with your placements: The Facebook ad network covers various placements on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and their Audience Network. The automatic option gives Facebook the power to determine where your ads will be placed, but some placements are definitely more effective than others. If using this option, optimise the creative and copy for each placement and once you’ve gained enough intel, stick only to those placements that have the highest conversions and best engagement.

The creative: Facebook is hot for advertisers using video, especially as it can be a brilliant way to build audiences for remarketing, but from my experience you can’t beat a single image or eye-catching carousel campaign for books.

Kick back and let Facebook do the work: From split testing creative to optimising budgets at campaign level so the best performing ad sets are automatically allocated more money, let Facebook help you determine your best performing ads.

Size up your competition: Find the page of a competitor, click on their Page Transparency feature and hop over the their ad library where you can browse all their current Facebook advertising campaigns. Then make sure your creative is better!

Dive deep into Facebook’s reporting: Find out what time of day your ads have the highest conversion, which age bracket, gender, location or call to action is delivering the best results. Analyse and then adjust campaigns accordingly.

Employing Facebook advertising as part of your marketing strategy can achieve robust, sustainable and impressive growth on a minimal budget. It’s every small publisher’s secret weapon.

* Numbers courtesy of https://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2019/01/how-much-time-do-people-spend-social-media-infographic.html.

Kaz Harrison is a member of BookMachine Works – the fresh new creative agency for the publishing industry. The team work with publishers by offering Facebook training and other marketing services both on short and longer term projects. Kaz has over 13 years’ experience in publishing, managing online sales channels for print and digital books, and creating and managing consumer marketing campaigns. To work with Kaz and the BookMachine Works team email us here.

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