The first type we’ll discuss was, until recently, the only type there was. These are called “market ads”.
How Facebook market ads differ from other online ads
Facebook’s market ads are interesting. When used to their potential, they are unlike any other advertising you have ever done. It’s even unlike other online advertising.
Google AdWords, the giant in online advertising, lets you target ads based on what people are looking for. (Understanding and effectively using AdWords is a complete topic unto itself and we address that in its own chapter.)
Unlike AdWords, Facebook lets you present ads to people based on who they are.
What does that mean?
Let’s say you own a dog grooming business. You could create an ad in a newspaper. Everyone who reads the newspaper would see your ad, whether they have a dog or not.
Or you could use AdWords to present more or less the same ad online but show it only to people who search for dog grooming services.
Facebook, when used correctly, is different. A lot different.
With Facebook, you wouldn’t write just one ad or even test a couple of different ads against each other. You might write 500 ads. (Don’t worry, this will not be burdensome or expensive. The ads will all be more or less clones of one another.)
You might have one that starts out “Does your Scottish Highland Terrier need grooming?” That ad, of course, would be presented only to people in your geographic area who own Scottish Highland Terriers. A similar ad would start out “Does your Yorkie need grooming?” You could have another that starts “Does your Maltese need grooming?” And so on.
Each of these ads would be ultra-targeted and shown only to people who have the specific breed of dog mentioned in the ad. Surely you can already see how powerfully different that approach can be. In fact, your head is probably swimming right about now with all the ways you can make use of this kind of thing.
It’s precisely because of the nature of Facebook that this is possible.
Facebook is a social networking site. People go on Facebook to spend (or waste, depending on your point of view) a great deal of time sharing what’s important to them. They will post and chat about their pets, their kids, their cars, even their snowblowers.
That information is easily mined and turned into gold for your business.
Let’s look at just one more example. Say you sell sports jerseys. You’ve probably already thought of the idea that you can easily target ads to fans of particular professional sports teams. Great idea. Now let’s take it a step further and not just sell them one jersey for their favorite pro team but let’s find out where they went to college. Now you can show them a second ad (they don’t have to know that both ads are from you) that pushes jerseys for the college team from their alma mater.
The big schools are fairly obvious but imagine a customer who went to school somewhere smaller such as Tallahassee State and you show them an ad that says “Show them your Tallahassee State pride!”
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