Today, the Indian consumer is going through a big transition in terms usage of technology. Smartphones are now accessible to people in multiple languages and are driving people to the Internet. Even grand mothers and parents in their 60's who were once afraid of using computers are now seen crushing candies or playing with Talking tom or sharing pics on Facebook on their iPads.
Going a step further, recently Kirthiga Reddy, MD of Facebook India shared a case study with us at a Wharton Event. Facebook has users in India who cannot even read/write (any language), but still are very active on the platform through their phones and are able to see pictures of their friends/brands and like/engage with them. Does this mean that anyone and everyone should advertise on Facebook?
No, but I will come to that :)
Each brand today wants to reach their consumer in a way with which they grab their attention. Facebook ads (Right Hand Side/News feed) can do a great job with that. Back in early 2013, when RHS ads were the popular ones, several business owners/marketers asked me- Do people even look at these ads on the right side? My answer was simple, that’s how Facebook made >80% of their $5 Billion revenue in 2012, if people were not looking and clicking these ads, this would not have happened.
From visibility perspective, FB Newsfeed ads do a better job as they are in the face and the users cannot avoid them. So the answer to the question "Why to invest in Facebook advertising" is a simple question, "If your target audience is on Facebook and you can show them your ads in an effective way or meet your Objectives, then WHY NOT advertise on Facebook?"
Coming to the second question of when to invest in Facebook advertising, here are 3 things I suggest one should consider before investing:
1. Invest for the long term
I have seen several brands creating separate pages and building communities during their brand campaigns and then abandoning the pages once the campaigns are over. A dated example of this is "Not Jobs but Passion" campaign by Birla Sun life , when I saw this page and the campaign, it made sense to have a separate community but it was disappointing to see that the pages were dead after the mainline TV campaigns got over.
We need to think about the users who have "Liked" your page as a lot of them would like to keep hearing from you. Similarly, lot of bollywood movie pages go inactive once the movie has released, a better strategy could be using the Productions page or keeping this page alive for future movies of the same starcast/franchise. So a brand should invest in building a community, when it’s for the long term.
2. Invest before your mainline campaign and continue to advertise during the campaign
Facebook offers a great platform to build excitement 1-2 weeks in advance of a new product launch or launching teasers without spending too much compared to offline media, but the key is that you keep investing after the main campaign is launched. For some of our clients, we have seen more than 80% reductions in CPC/CPL and a higher CTR once the mainline campaign has gone live!
3. Timing is Everything, get it right
I talked about launching teasers 1-2 weeks before the actual launch, but this timing can vary depending on your product/offering. Also, when running sustenance campaigns it is important that you time your campaigns with activities on the page. Chances are that you will see a higher conversion rate, when you have a contest/offer going on the page.
Timing is also very important for promoting or boosting posts. It has been seen that Facebook under-reports the organic reach, so it could help that you start a post boost after 3-4 hours of posting (most posts get 70%+ of their organic reach within first 3 hours). If your target is to increase the talking about, a tip here is to spend more money on boosting a post which has more organic reach as it would be cheaper in terms of CPE and hence a lower CPM. Some advanced ads API partners like AdSpringr, have automated detection of engaging posts and auto boost them for max reach.
To sum it up, Facebook has the largest audience on social media today. If you can target them properly, then Facebook does offer great ways to showcase your ads to them at any point of time.