Facebook Display Advertising: Is It Right For Your Business?

Have you wondered if Facebook display advertising is viable for your business? It’s understandable if you’re skeptical – it’s not for everyone – but before you make your decision about its value there are some major positives to be aware of.

By Facebook display advertising, we’re talking about the ads with images that appear in the sponsored column across the site.

Facebook display ads example

We recently had a conversation with a professional services firm in the U.S. who produces a company podcast. Fortunately, the quality and value of this podcast is outstanding so it has become a major source of new business. There is a big challenge, though: not many people who could benefit from it know about professional podcasts, so if we were to look at advertising on channels like Google search, for example, volumes are going to be low (not many people would know to search). With Facebook, on the other hand, you’re able to reach your target audience before they’ve searched, a big advantage for launching new products and entering new markets.

But can Facebook be used to reach professionals such as the prospective listeners of this podcast? Yes. It’s important to note that a CEO who logs into Facebook is still a CEO, so if we can put the right ad in front of her, she’ll click.

Here are some of the target audiences this firm aims to reach:

  • Business owners
  • Entrepreneurs and the self-employed
  • Sales and business development professionals, preferably college educated
  • >Graduates of Harvard Business School
  • Senior decision makers who work for large companies and live in Indiana (e.g. annual company turnover > $10,000,000)

So how can you do this using Facebook display ads? Easily, due to Facebook’s robust targeting settings.

The information you and I decide to share on our Facebook pages is (whether or not publicly viewable) all usable data for targeting. That means that if your Facebook profile contains information about your age, sex, job title, company you work at, sexual preferences, marital status, political views, etc., advertisers can use this data to tailor their ads to you. The ultimate goal is for users and advertisers to serve each other more effectively through this level of anonymous personalisation.

To get started, create a Facebook advertising account at https://www.facebook.com/advertising

Once that’s done, it’s time to create our first ad based on the potential targeting amalgamations for each target audience. The Facebook system will show you the expected size of the audience you can reach as you configure each ad so you can make tweaks and adjustments in advance.

Example 1: Reaching Business Owners

Targeting business owners with Facebook ads

Example 2: Entrepreneurs and the self-employed

targeting entrepreneurs and the self-employed with Facebook display ads

Example 3: People who work in sales and business development

targeting sales and business development professionals with Facebook advertising

targeting college graduates with Facebook targeting

Example 4: Graduates of Harvard Business School

targeting Harvard graduates with Facebook advertising

Example 5: Senior decision makers who work for large companies and live in the state of Indiana

targeting people in Indiana with Facebook display advertising

There we have it: five target audiences at your fingertips. And given there are so many amalgamations possible, this is the tip of the iceberg.

If you’ve been thinking about whether or not your business should be using Facebook advertising, I’d strongly encourage you to have a play around with the targeting settings and perhaps ‘dip a toe in the water’ with a budget that suits.

For more information about getting started on Facebook please refer to the Getting Started Guide, and for the latest stats:

Facebook infographic containing advertising statistics for 2012

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