I was really inspired about Facebook advertising yesterday after listening to a discussion from the Affiliate Summit West 2009 between three affiliate industry experts: Zac Johnson of MoneyReign, Jeremy Schoemaker, aka Shoemoney and Alex Schultz, head of the internet marketing team at Facebook. Although Facebook advertising isn’t honed to perfection just yet, there are plenty of reasons why you should seriously consider advertising you affiliate products there today. I highly recommending listening to the full discussion on Shawn Collin's blog , but if you don’t have an hour to spare, here are a few highlights!
Why advertising on Facebook is good for affiliates
Not only can advertising through Facebook allow you to reach out to this online community of 150 million ACTIVE users (people who log in at least once per money. 50% of that figure log in daily), but it allows you to target extremely specific groups of people who might be particularly interested in your product.
The ad system allows you to target by:
- Education (including where they went to school)
- Relationship status and relationship preference (i.e. interested in)
- Keywords (which can target interests and groups the user is associated with)
As you can see, this allows for extremely precise targeting, which should mean higher click-through rates, lower cost per click (some have reported getting down as low as 3c to 10c per click) and an overall higher conversion rate.
The ability to target geographically is possibly one of the most powerful, yet underutilized functions, particularly in non-US locations. For example, Italy is one of the largest growth markets for Facebook at the moment, while the cost per click for targeting Italy is still very low.
Probably the most popular and successful affiliate campaigns via Facebook right now are weight loss and dating products. And as we often teach here at Affilorama, if there are lots of people making money doing something, there's no reason why you can’t get a slice of the pie as well. That said, there is enormous potential to be the first to come up with a great idea using Facebook's targeted advertising to reach an entirely new market.
Facebook also allows you to post a picture (resized to 110 by 80) in the ad, which can add to the visual appeal and the effectiveness of the overall message. This in addition to a standard 25 character headline and 135 character body. So this gives you a little more room to play compared with Google.
One of the best things that I can see about Facebook advertising is the implications it could have for the rest of your online marketing activities in terms of great market research data. Say, for example, you create an ad targeting Males aged 18 to 25 in United States who are in to Star Trek (52,800 users, at time of writing) . After running the ad for some time in order to gain information, you may be able to find out what other interests this particular group has in common – for example, they also listen to electronica music. Not only could this help you create a second ad targeted at this interest, but it has given you a further insight into your customer that you can use in other advertising campaigns off Facebook.
Unfortunately, advertising on Facebook isn’t all plain sailing just yet...
- Incredibly stringent advertising guidelines - and perhaps even more annoyingly, the inconsistent application of those guidelines (you may have an ad rejected only to find the exact same thing allowed by someone else). Virtually everyone seems to have ads rejected by Facebook and if you plan to advertise there, you will almost certainly encounter this. Unfortunately a few spammers are wasting a lot of Facebook staff time, slowing down development for the rest of us.
- Launching multiple simultaneous Facebook ads is rather tedious, as you have to do each one individually. A proper editor with better functionality is expected next year.
Despite these inevitable growing pains, there is still a great deal of opportunity within Facebook ads for those who are willing to invest in experimenting. As long as everything you do is strictly legit, you should have no real problems. One thing that Facebook apparently excels at is feedback, so if your ad is rejected or doesn't work, they might be able to give you a helping hand – in certain cases when they reject an ad, for example on grammatical errors, they will actually fix it for you and give you the option to use their edited version.
Have you given Facebook a whirl? I’d love to hear your experiences (and frustrations!) with this emerging advertising heavyweight.