Facebook Advertising Plans Can Be Cost-Effective, Reach More People Than Traditional Means

By Justin Lafferty 

Business owners: you don’t need to dump a bunch of money into a Facebook marketing campaign or pay top dollar for someone to handle your social media. If you’re smart, there are ways to reach more people through Facebook (and get them to buy your product) for cheaper than traditional methods. Experts who contributed to the “Facebook Ads: Can They Promote More Than Likes?” panel at the AllFacebook Marketing Conference in San Francisco Friday showed how their businesses helped companies get their message out and sell without breaking the bank.

The panel:

  • Michael Behrens, senior vice president, eMarketing, WebMetro
  • Emeric Ernoult, founder and CEO, AgoraPulse
  • Kevin Ryan, CEO, Motivity Marketing
  • Marty Weintraub, CEO, AimClear
  • Jeff Ferguson, CEO, Fang Digital Marketing (moderator)

Ernoult’s presentation — regarding how AgoraPulse has helped businesses market for cheaper than they were paying traditional routes, such as print advertising and billboards — was incredible. AgoraPulse specializes in helping small to midsized businesses with their marketing plans, giving them a way to compete with the big boys.

AgoraPulse helped a European resort company build more interest with a Facebook contest. On the company’s website, they ran a promotion where people could like an individual resort page for a chance to win a free vacation. Ernoult’s company put a like button next to each resort on the list. When a user clicked the button, it posted to their news feed a link to the resort company’s page, featuring a video with a woman giving a tour of the resort location. Even just doing that gained the page more than 1 million video views and 93,000 fans. Within three months, the resort company reported €45,000 (nearly $57,000) more in sales, directly related to Facebook activity.

Ernoult talked about how many marketers simply aren’t Facebook-minded:

Facebook is a geeky environment, and a lot of the marketers are not geeks … You have to be a geek; you have to to be a Facebook nut like I am.

Ryan discussed the need for companies to have a smart, committed approach to social marketing. General Motors (which dropped its $10 million marketing campaign from Facebook days before the social network’s initial public offering) was brought up as an example of giving up on Facebook marketing too soon. Ryan, whose company works with businesses such as clothier Afflicted, works with brand ambassadors as a way to spread the message far beyond the number of fans.

Since images are so important for Facebook marketing, companies should put serious thought into the pictures they post and make sure they are optimized for the social network. Behrens suggested using borders to make images pop a little more on Facebook. He also urged businesses to get a little bit out of their comfort zone and not be afraid to be bold.

Weintraub, who led an interesting discussion about demographics Thursday, talked about another innovative way to market your business: text messaging. He showed his work with a fast-food restaurant, which promoted a burger combo through Facebook ads. If customers texted the business, they got a special deal. AimClear created separate targeted ads with headlines that would attract different demographics. For example, ads that targeted gamers had the headline, “C-C-C-Combo Breakers.”

Ryan explained how Facebook marketing can work, if done properly:

A lot of people say that their campaigns fail and it’s really annoying for me to hear that Facebook ads don’t work … Usually that’s because you’re doing it wrong … Take a close look at your creative assets and really apply them.

Readers: What tips or tricks have you discovered to really reach out to people without breaking the bank?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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