Online Marketing: Advertising on Facebook – What & How

By - Posted under: Online Marketing, Social Media on January 15, 2012

Update 1: With Facebook filing for IPO, the latest numbers have just came in. We have updated this post to provide the most accurate numbers. (February 2nd, 2012)

With 800 825 millions registered user worldwide, Facebook is providing a great platform for online marketing and a huge user base to advertisers and companies alike to reach out to their potential customers. Furthermore, with average time spent per user on Facebook is on the rise, Facebook seems like another logical choice for online advertising. But what is Facebook advertisement and how to use it?



What Is It About?

On your Facebook page, the sidebar on the far right has lots of information, such as Real Time updates on what your friends/connections are doing, People You Might Know, and at the bottom will be Advertisement under the Sponsored section, as illustrated below.

Facebook advertisement

Some use the advertising space on Facebook to promote a deal (cheap flight, mobile deal, promotion), products (new phone, laptop) and Facebook page. How it works is that it targets users with “interest” and “keywords”. For example, if a person has “travel” as the interest and sometimes posted some pictures from his traveling experience, then the chances of him seeing advertisement relating to travel will be higher.

Currently Facebook is offering two choices for advertisers to advertisement: Pay per Impression (CPM) and Pay per click (CPC). Both choices provide the options of directing the users to a Facebook page or external URL.

Pay per Impression (CPM) – As the name indicated, pay per impression, or CPM, is you pay Facebook a sum on how many times it is shown to users and the price is normally by per thousand.

Pay per click (CPC) – Pay per click (CPC) is the rate how much you are paying when the users are clicking on your advertisement to see more.



How Does It Work?

How does Facebook advertising work?

Bidding. That’s how it works.

Advertising on Facebook is almost the same as advertising on Google (we wrote and explained how Google AdWord works here). Think of it like an auction, and the Facebook advertisement space (as shown above on the sidebar of user page) is up for advertisers to bid.

For example: You are in traveling business and you want to promote a special deal on Facebook. Currently there are few more travel agencies promoting as well, so the average bid price is USD1.00 for CPM (that’s USD 1.00 for 1,000 impressions). If you bid USD 1.10, you will get the priority and your advertisement will be displayed more often to the target market. Then you set the total budget that you are willing to spend. If you are willing to spend a total of USD110 for your campaign, your advertisement will end after your advertisement made 100,000 impressions.

It works the same for CPC; set the target market (gender, age group, demographic, etc), then the price that you are willing to pay per click, and finally your total budget. Once your budget runs out the campaign will stop.

Facebook provides a campaign report during the advertisement campaign with details such as your bidding price, advertisement type (CPM or CPC), total impression, CTR (click through rate) and total spent. Please note that the price your set is the highest price you are willing to pay. The actual cost is different daily and you can actually see the average cost for CPC or CPM in the report, as shown in the picture below.


Facebook advertisement campaign report

[NOTE: CTR is calculated by total click over total impression. From the report above, the total impression is 71,376 and total click is 72. So the CTR is 0.101% (72/71,376).]



CPM or CPC?

In general, we found that using CPC will yield higher impression because in order for Facebook to earn the advertising money, they will display your advertisement more often to increase the click from users. But we cannot say that CPC is the only way to go as there were cases where CPM yielded better results (higher CTR) than CPC for the same duration of the campaign.

If you are advertising on Facebook for the first time, we recommend that you do a test run on both campaign, and then tweak the parameters, redefine the target market, the message of the advertisement, and once that is done, you will have a refined formula for that advertisement campaign. Then based on the report from Facebook, you will know if CPC or CPM is more suitable for that campaign.

What is more important is the advertisement itself. If you have an attractive and catchy advertisement and with the right message, it is more effective than advertisement that people won’t even notice. If it is done carefully, both CPM and CPC can be effective and yield the same result.



Conclusion

There is no true formula that fits all. First, you will need to know your requirements, such as demographic, gender, age group, and etc. Then it is important for you to define your goal, like what you want to make out from advertising on Facebook such as creating awareness, earn revenue from selling the products and/or services or promotion. After that, you will need to draft a detail plan with a clear budget in mind and then plan on maximizing your investment. Finally, decide on the price that you want to bid. In order to maximize your advertisement on Facebook, it is important not to overbid.

Most importantly, your message (picture and text) must be carefully crafted and planned because a good advertisement will attract more attention, thus creating more clicks from Facebook to your landing page (either Facebook page or your website). Converting the visitors to become a customer is more important than just advertising on Facebook, so the landing page of your website (the specific URL you provide in the advertisement) must be carefully planned with the correct layout and right information.

Facebook provides an attractive platform for advertisers to reach their potential customers, but if the whole campaign is not carefully plan out, the result will not be as desired. Furthermore, Facebook has a total of 800 825 million registered users and 350 425 millions, or 43.75% 51.51%, of these users are using mobile devices and Facebook mobile apps (Facebook app for iPhone, iPad, android phones or android tablet. Source of statistic from Facebook here) and Facebook advertisement doesn’t show in mobile app. Of course, some of these users using mobile apps will still use their laptop or desktop to go to Facebook website, but we cannot ignore the fact that some of these users will not see the advertisement.

Thus it is important to rethink your strategies to further your reach instead of solely relying on Facebook for your online advertisement and online marketing campaign.

If you have a question or need help with Online Marketing, Online Advertising or just want to chat, do drop us a call or email us.

Facebook Timeline for Brand Page

By - Posted under: Online Marketing, Social Media on December 30, 2011

[Update: March 1st, 2012 GMT+8]
Facebook has just announced the availability of Timeline for Brand Page. Please check back later for more info on our guides, tips and announcement regarding Facebook Timeline for Brand Pages.


With the introduction to Facebook Timeline (we discussed about it here), the whole look of Facebook profile page has transformed and Facebook profile page looks much more beautiful, with a nice flow of information in timeline format. The cover photo is a wonderful feature that one can take advantage of showing what’s important to the visitors.

More and more companies are using Facebook Page to enhance their brand image, marketing campaign, product launch, and etc because Facebook is one of the best spiral online marketing tool to reach the mass. One prime example is Samsung; they have been using Facebook pages for their consumer products, such as their phones, TV, and etc. It helped Samsung to reach their target audience to create marketing buzz, inviting Facebook users to participate in their events, lucky draws, and etc. Hence, t is not a surprise that a lot of companies are eagerly waiting for Facebook Timeline for Page.

Unfortunately, Facebook Timeline for Page, such as brand page, is not yet available and Facebook has not announcd when will it be available, or will the Timeline for Page be available at all.

So what’s the alternative to make the pages more attractive, like Timeline for personal profile?

We came up with a temporary solution: registering a personal profile and take advantage of the Facebook Timeline feature. Like for Zymora, we have a Facebook page here, but we feel that it could be better if we have the Timeline feature. So we create a personal profile, and put our services, logo, and header as cover photo, as shown in the photo below.


Facebook Timeline

Facebook Timeline

Using this personal Facebook profile with Timeline enabled, we could enhance the look of the Facebook page. Furthermore, we enabled Twitter account on the personal Facebook profile together with the Facebook page, so by using Twitter, we can still seamlessly integrate our communication channel with the personal profile and page.

There are a few drawbacks of using this method.

First of all, the publicity reach is limited by the number of “friends” for the personal profile. For Facebook pages, the number of fans has no limit, and a good example is that on the day this article is written, Samsung mobile has 5,909,803 likes, Nike has 5,558,700 likes, and Nike Football has 9,173,194 likes. But with personal profile, the amount of information available to the public is limited by the number of friends you have in the Friends List, and currently there is an upper limit of 5,000 friends in personal profile.

Secondly, the personal profile page can only be registered by using one email address, so one must share the Facebook account password among the colleague and hence the limited accessibility means it is only suitable for Small to Medium sized corporations to reach their customers. On top of that, it imposes a security threat for that account because we can’t set an “Administrator” to control the access of each individual users.

Lastly, the Page information is public, meaning that anyone who browse to the Page can see the information inside. But for personal profile, the information available to the public is limited. The only work-around is by altering the Privacy Settings on that profile to allow public to view everything. (To do so, go to “Privacy Settings”, and enable “Public” under Timeline so that your Timeline is available to the public, including your Likes, Status Updates, Photos, etc.)

We hope that you find this article is useful and give you inspiration on how to use the Facebook Timeline to enhance your brand and your marketing campaign. If you require further information, please contact us to discuss things over on how we can help you.

Google Adwords – Explained

By - Posted under: Online Marketing, SEO, Web on November 20, 2011

A lot of times for those of us in online marketing and online advertising, we had a hard time explaining to our clients how does Google Adwords work. Sometimes the whole thing can be quite confusing to them and after a much detailed explanation, the clients normally (we hope) will get it.

Today we stumbled onto an interesting articles from Word Stream and they explained how Google Adwords work, in an infographic. It’s easy to understand, and taking a subject of complexity making it super easy to understand.

What is Google Adwords?

What is Google Adwords?

Source from: Word Stream

The Quality of Website Traffic – Part 2

By - Posted under: Online Marketing, SEO on November 18, 2011

Previously we talked about the Quality of Traffic for a website here.

Today we are going to discuss where we have left off in this Part 2 and look at the 2 more segments that define the quality of the traffic for a web; Geographic and Traffic Source.

#4: Geographic
Geographic is important because it is where the offering of the products or services are based. For example, if a retail shop based in Singapore is attracting lots of traffic from Zimbabwe yet drawing little traffic from Singapore, then the effort to promote the products will be wasted. If a car repair shop based in Malaysia is attracting lots of visitor traffic from Australia and US, these visitors will hardly become their customers.

Generally speaking, based on the kind of products and services on case to case basis, it’s important to take a closer look at the geographical locations. For some, going international is great. For some, it is more important to have local web traffic. If you are not attracting the web traffic from the desire geographical location(s), then it is very important to re-look into your online strategies and revamp the online roadmap to attract your desired visitors.

#5: Traffic Source
Traffic Source is basically the source of your traffic. It has 3 categories: Direct Traffic, Referrals, and Search Engine. Let’s see what’s the difference between these 3 traffic source:

Direct Traffic:
Direct Traffic, as the name implies, means a person who entered your URL directly into the browser to reach your website. These people either (1) know your URL beforehand, (2) seen it somewhere like business card or brochure, or (3) got the URL from somewhere.

Referral Site:
Referral Sites are those people that link to your website or pages. Visitors from Referral Sites can mean they read something about you from another website and click on the link to find your website.

Search Engine:
Traffic source “Search Engine” are those traffic that came to your website after the user searched for some information and the Search Engine listed you as one of the relevant results. Search Engine could be from Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

Search Engine is an important source for traffic because that means your website is visible among the millions of websites in the world. Furthermore you are recognized by the Search Engine as a very relevant site in those keywords. But having high number of traffic doesn’t mean it’s all good. We have to look at Bounce Rate and Average Time Spent on your website to determine if we are drawing quality traffic. If high Bounce Rate and low Average Time Spent, we can assume that the visitors found your page or website, took a quick look, decided its not what they want, and then went away.

And it’s equally important to have Referral Sites. Referrals are basically free advertisement for you or sometimes it is the advertisement you paid for. Some websites might link you as resources, or someone wrote about your products or services and provided a link to your website. Referrals, or external links, to your website is precious and links can build up your SEO. (For more information about SEO, click here )

Conclusion:
By looking at the Bounce Rate, Average Time Spent, New Visitor (vs Returning Visitors), Geographic, and Traffic Source, we can determine a lot of factors to gauge the success of the website.

A website might generate lots of traffic by means of Black Hat SEO, or via other links from forum or social media. But high traffic doesn’t mean that the website is successful in serving the purpose. If a website has high Bounce Rate, low Average Time Spent, too high of New Visitor (vs Returning Visitors), or too low of New Visitor (vs Returning Visitors), wrong Geographic location and limited Traffic Source, the purpose of the website might not be met.

Some magazine websites have dedicated personnel on changing the content on hourly basis, checking on popularity of an article, the design (including the photo) and etc to attract new visitors and yet encouraging the visitors to spend more time on the site to read their articles.

Do you have that kind of manpower to do it? If you don’t, then it is important to develop a long term strategy for your website for your online marketing exercise.

It is important to identify good traffic and bad traffic. A bad traffic, meaning lots of visitors but unrelated visitors whom won’t be your potential customers, is a waste of resources. Some web hosting companies do charge by bandwidth and if you are having lots of bad traffic instead of quality traffic, you could be paying for the bandwidth yet wasting the resources and money that do not generate business from your websites.

But most importantly it is a must to have a tracking system to check the pulse of your website, obtain data on the traffic. By putting a website online yet ignore it can be the most fatal mistake a business entity could make.

If you found this page and want to improve the traffic of your website, or to ensure that your online marketing strategy is correct, please contact us for consultation and our team will be more than happy to discuss the matter with you.


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