Innovative Uses of Facebook Ads
In my earlier posts, I’ve spoken about how to get cheap ads on Facebook and how to target your Facebook ads. In both these posts, I cover one of the biggest marketing features behind Facebook. A feature that every marketer and every business would love to get a hold of. That is, the amount of data and information Facebook has of all its users. Information on your profile such as what your interests are, your age, your sex, where you live, what you like, the music you listen to, the books you read etc and the list goes on. That’s why there have been many issues regarding privacy of users’ data on Facebook. The great thing about Facebook ads is that Facebook expose this data to advertisers via their targeting feature where you can select who can view your ads based on a whole lot of different criteria such as sex, age, country, interests and education level.
Today, I wanted to share some innovative uses of Facebook ads that make use of this targeting feature. I’m going to break them down and see what we can learn from them. To start off, meet a guy called Matt Simpson who back in April 2011 ran a series of Facebook ads in order to find his ideal partner. I’ve actually listened to an interview with him and it was interesting seeing the rationale behind why he did it. He was looking for someone that had very similar interests to him such as spirituality and yoga. So what he did was, at a cost of $0.75c per click, create nine different versions of his ad with some focusing on the creative side of the ad and some focusing on the different interests of the target demographic.
Using the targeting feature of Facebook, Matt’s ads targeted single women from 28 to 34 who lived within 25 miles of Tempe, Arizona and that were interested in yoga, buddhism, meditation, Eckhart Tolle etc. Here are some screenshots of his ads:
This was before timeline came into effect, so when the ladies clicked on the ad they would reach his Facebook fan page on a custom landing page where she could enter her contact details and also to find out more through a welcome tab. So what can we take and learn from this innovative use of Facebook ads? Well I personally thought it was a great idea thinking out of the box.
In addition, what I really liked about the ads was that Matt realized the high value of familarity and trust factor when a user is not taken out of Facebook after clicking on an ad. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that the general user on Facebook is there to see what his friends and family are up to, to share his life or to waste time. He is not there to click on ads. Also instead of creating a separate website and driving traffic to it, Matt kept the user within Facebook. This was a clever strategy because Facebook rewards advertisers with a lower cost per click if the user is kept within Facebook and also Facebook ads get approved much faster as well.
Therefore if you’re a business, try and keep the traffic within Facebook by creating a separate fan page. Similar to newsletter marketing, a fan page allows you to grow a list and to market to that list over and over again. Also by directing traffic through Facebook to your fan page, you can always direct them to your actual website later on where you can then help them through the next step in your funnel process. But the underlying key behind this process is making sure you add value to your fans during each step of this process. I keep saying this because I truly believing in relationship marketing where you want to build trust and a great relationship with your customers and potential customers.
Another great innovative use of Facebook ads I’ve seen done is by job seekers who are targeting people who work at certain companies to get their attention. For example, if you would like to work for Google you might be in luck! There would be employees (and managers potentially) who list Google as their employers and as one of their interests. You could then target these people and only display ads to them. For example, Samuel Solomon ran a campaign using Facebook ads to get a job in industries that interested him such as public relations and start ups. See below for some screenshots of his ads:
What was clever about this campaign was that Samuel did all the great things that enabled him to get a higher click through rate and to get the attention of potential employers. This included attention grabbing headlines, having a call to action which is what I talk about in previous posts, and a clear headshot of himself. Also what I really liked about this campaign is that Samuel split tested several different versions of his ad and adjusted the bid price constantly as Facebook rewards advertisers with a lower cost per click if you get a higher click through rate. In the end, he was able to schedule five interviews, receive eighteen job related emails and had others wishing him luck. Very impressive indeed!
So there you go, two great examples of thinking outside the box and using Facebook ads in an innovative way that we can learn from. Have you heard similar stories or have ideas yourself? Then please comment below. Would love to hear them as always. Some ideas I can think of are looking for a family member, searching for a lost item such as a family heirloom, meeting someone on the train but not getting their contact details, looking for clients and the list goes on.
About The Author
I've seen Facebook users doing ads to target potential employers, but I've never seen it for potential dates! I did hear a story one time about a guy who did a targeted ad for his girlfriend. She worked at a very small company, so by narrowing it down to her age, education, and workplace, he was effectively only targeting her. He didn't do anything special just a "I love you!" message - but still, very clever. I'm looking forward to seeing more things that people do with Facebook ads.
A very topical article, as at present there is a tidal wave regarding the fallout from Google P2 (Penguin and Panda), and the resultant drop in traffic for some big boys and not so big boys. The social media traffic source is going to become a big factor (probably already is) so the more innovation that is shared for the newbies (me being one of them) the better. I have not plunged into F/B adds yet, but will certainly consider Matt and Sams approach when I do. Thanks for this article. Regards John
@AdamBritten Wow that's pretty cool! Yeah I love the out of box ideas and the creativity behind it. Very clever indeed. I'm just waiting for the story of someone meeting a stranger on a train and running a social media campaign using Facebook ads to try and find her. Thanks for the comment Adam.
@John Harvey Thanks for the great comment John. Totally agree with you about Panda and Penguin. Really shook up the SEO world and a lot of people did lose their traffic overnight. This makes social media even more pivotal. I'm always a big fan of not just relying on search engine traffic and having multiple traffic sources especially social media.
Yeah they were very innovative with their approach to Facebook ads. I do applaud them for thinking outside the box.