Are you using Facebook Ads incorrectly?

(AXcess News) – The long term goal of every product advertiser is simple: sell more products. When a customer to makes a purchase, they go through all the phases of the purchase funnel, a theoretical representation of all the cognitive events that leads a person towards a purchase decision.


The Advertising Market Landscape

Google serves advertisers who are trying to capture users DESIRE and convert it into ACTION. Keywords are the way people express their desires in Google, using phrases like lose weight fast, samsung galaxy III at&t, electric bicycles at walmart, macys coupons, etc…

An overview Facebook's advertising potential and how most businesses are utilizing these tools incorrectly.

Brand advertisers buy ads on TV, in print, and PreRoll ads on internet video to raise product awareness in the minds of people, and if the product displayed in the ad is intriguing it might create interest in the buyers. (Quick note: To understand how TV ads work in making us familiar about products watch Darren Brown’s amazing video of subliminal persuasion in action. TV ads persuade us subconsciously)

Advertisers right now are using Facebook sidebar ads as a panacea; trying to raise product awareness, building product interest, and create product desire. But what advertisers don’t realize is that they really should only be using these ads to capture product awareness/product interest and begin a buyer’s journey down the purchase funnel.

Let me show you why Facebook’s sidebar ads are not for introducing people to new products:

For example, imagine a sidebar ad for a Metallica concert. Metallica and heavy metal fans are more likely to interact with it. Or you might be more likely to interact with an Adidas ad if you have been thinking of buying a pair of shoes.

So, what about all the ads that gets shown in our sidebar that we don’t interact with? What is preventing us from “seeing” those ads in the first place? Well, our subconscious sees them all but discards the ads which don’t look familiar.

Sidebar ads don’t make much sense unless:

  • the person is aware of the product
  • Unless the person is interested in the product

Sidebar ads works great with facebook ad exchange, as user would have come across the product in the ad previously.

Advertisers should buy Facebook SideBar Ads in conjunction with their TV/radio/print/preroll video ads for better impact

Advertisers place ads on TV based on demographics of show audience provided by rating agencies like Nielsen. Lets say for the show Mad Men, the demographic is 16-49 old males living in urban areas. Brand advertisers who have products that target this demographic will buy ads spots when the show airs. With TV, advertisers can raise product awareness and create product interest. But if the person who have seen a TV ad doesn’t hear about the product in the following days, he is more likely to forget about it.

So, advertisers who show ads on TV should buy Facebook ads to help convert the product awareness/interest created by TV ad and into product desire. TV ads make people familiar with the product, Facebook ads should capture that familiarity.

How Advertisers can capture product awareness/product interest and take the person down the purchase funnel using Facebook Ads

Capturing Product Awareness and turning it to Product Interest using Facebook ads:

Advertisers can create product interest by displaying content on landing pages which explains more about the product and the promises the product makes. Example: A product ad for samsung galaxy s4 which lists all the promises the device can deliver such as “Software, Battery Life, Hardware, Traffic Navigation, Carrier choice etc” can help create interest in the product

Capturing Product Interest and turning it to Product Desire using Facebook Ads:

Creating desire is all about persuading/convincing people that the product fits their life

Explaining how the product stands out among others can create product desire

Example: On the landing page the Advertiser can show how Samsung Galaxy S4 stands out on features compared to HTC One X and iPhone 5 can create desire

Advertisers can employ popular persuasion techniques to create desire (taken from Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion)

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Scarcity
  3. Liking
  4. Authority
  5. Social proof
  6. Commitment/consistency

Example: Showing a 5-star review Samsung Galaxy S4 from can help induce desire, using authority.

Example: Telling that the discount in the Levi’s store will only last for 4 days can create desire, using scarcity.

Once the person has desire for the product and when is willing to take action on the product, they can go to Google to express this desire through a keyword search. How desire created in the previous model can work:

– when a person types in “galaxy s4 reviews”/”samsung galaxy s4 at&t” into Google

– when a person walks into a nearest Levi’s store with a coupon

Facebook needs a new ad-format to move TV ad dollars to the web

The majority of advertising budgets are still spent on TV, so purchasing sidebar ads on Facebook doesn’t help these advertisers. Such ads have to be in a place where users direct most of their attention i.e., the news feed. Sponsored/promoted stories push ads into the newsfeed, but these ad-formats don’t quite do the job, since the message in these ads is directed towards people who already know about the brand and isn’t ideal for introducing people to the product. Facebook needs a new ad-format which pushes ads in the newsfeed directly targeted based on demographics.

Note: Naren Reddy is the Chief Product Officer at Wignite, whose products include wisiRecruit, a social media recruiting tool for colleges and wisiPlan, an eILP tool. Follow him on Twitter at @naren.

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