Do Facebook Ads Work for Blogs?
Marketers looking to boost traffic to their blogs have asked if Facebook ads will work to increase lead generation and conversion rates. The short answer is that Facebook ads can help to drive more quality traffic to your blogs, which helps you make the most out of your social media marketing efforts.Facebook Ads are an excellent tool to target an engaged audience for your blog, making the most of your social media marketing effortsClick To Tweet
There are different methods that you can try to leverage Facebook ads to improve blog traffic, get more likes, and increase engagement.
Understanding the Current Facebook Landscape
Most people think that the majority of their friends and followers on Facebook will see the pictures, videos, and other content they post on the social media platform. It should be obvious, right? They’re on your list, so they should be able to find your content easily.
However, even businesses and their marketing staff who are new to Facebook marketing get the surprise of their lives when they find out that this is not the case. The fact is that we’re seeing a decline in the organic reach within Facebook of up to 30 percent within a 12-month period. Across 104 industries, more than 70 percent of all companies have seen this decline in organic reach.
What do these numbers mean? Simply put, Facebook is transitioning into a paid marketing environment. You may not see any improvements in your organic social media efforts soon. Since organic reach is diminishing, the best recourse that your business can go for to improve your blog’s traffic via Facebook is through paid social media ads.
Goodbye to All Like Baiting Posts
One strategy that used to work is to like baiting posts, i.e. posts that ask people to perform certain actions like liking or commenting. Facebook cracked down on posts like these back in April 2014 in an effort to improve the quality of the content on their portal.
In the same year, they also banned like-gating tactics, where users can’t access the content they’re interested in without liking a page or offer, which is why you don’t see those posts nowadays.
Updating Your Blog Marketing Tactics to Use Facebook Ads
A change of strategy is necessary if you want to boost your blog content exposure means using tactics that Facebook supports. In short, use paid social media ads on Facebook.
The idea is simple: use targeted ads that zero in on your ideal audience, have them click the ad which takes them to your blog content, and from there you can use your lead capture strategies to qualify leads and convert them into paying customers.
With this process in mind, you should remember that your blog and its content will serve as the foundation of your marketing strategy. Facebook is only the vehicle you will use to place your links in front of your target audience. This means you should already have an audience persona formulated beforehand.
On top of that, it’s your responsibility to continuously produce targeted, valuable, and shareable quality content that addresses the needs and interests of your market. Your blog content should also be diversified and multi-faceted, which means using infographics, videos, and other pieces of content that can be shared on Facebook, which eventually improves your reach.
Your content should be a valuable resource and not something overly salesy. Your next step after creating content and formulating paid Facebook ads towards that end is to amplify your produced content.
Using Facebook Ads Manager
You can amplify your content, manage, and track your ads using Facebook Ads Manager. You can get the app version if you’re using iOS or Android and there’s a desktop version you can use as well.
Defining Your Objective
You steer your ad campaign in the right direction by clearly defining your marketing goals. In the case of blogs, you will want to increase site traffic and conversions. Once you have it installed on your device, open Facebook Ads Manager and select the Campaigns tab, and then click Create.
The first thing you need to do to promote your blog using Facebook ads is to define your objective. You’ll be asked what your marketing objective will be. You’re provided several options categorized into different segments:
Awareness: This category includes brand awareness and reaches your objectives. Note that these objectives won’t necessarily mean driving traffic to your blog. You’re just increasing awareness and engagement with these objectives.
Consideration: The next category includes traffic, engagement, app installs, video views, and lead generation. With this category, you’ll be interested in these aforementioned customer activities. If you’re after boosting the leads from your blog, these are the objectives you will want to choose.
Conversion: If you want to do more than just drive traffic to your site, you should select any of the conversion goals stated in this category, which includes: store visits, catalog sales, and conversions.
Setting Your Budget
Your marketing budget will be defined according to several factors such as campaign duration and marketing goals. There are basically two types of budgets you can define on Ads Manager:
Daily Budget: Using this format, you will have an average ad spend per day, which Facebook will consume regardless of the results or performance of your ads.
Lifetime Budget: With this approach, you’ll be setting the ad budget for the entirety of your campaign. Facebook will automatically adjust your budget according to the results and performance of your ads.
Defining Your Target Audience
Facebook allows you to target a specific audience for your blog. You will reach an audience based on the parameters you set. You can specify the options on Ad Manager, which include the following:
Core Audience: You can define your audience based on demographics, such as connections, behavior, interests, job title, age, education, location, and gender.
Custom Audience: You can also set your target audience to people who’ve already shown interest in your blog, such as those who have read your blog posts or signed up for your newsletter.
Lookalike Audiences: You can use lookalike audiences to target specific users who have similar profiles as your current blog visitors. This is the audience type that brings more traffic and leads to your blog. Lookalike audiences are based on a seed audience, which is created using data from different sources.
Maximizing Lookalike Audiences
Lookalike audiences can help you reach out and win your blog’s new best followers. It’s a better targeting approach if you already know who your target market is for your blog. Think of it as a kind of matchmaker for your blog looking for Facebook users who have exactly the same behaviors and interests as the people who are already following your blog.
Lookalike audiences allow you to target people who have similar profiles, interests, and behaviors as your current blog visitors. You can also use it to reach a wider following, you to new audiences you’ve never had before.
The data for Facebook’s lookalike audience is gathered from the following:
Customer Information: You can use your email list or newsletter subscription to generate customer information that you can submit to Facebook. You can copy and paste your customer information or create your list using a .txt or .csv file and then upload it.
Website Visitors: To create a custom audience based on the site’s visitors, you need to Facebook Pixel on your blog, which is a piece of code that you add to your blog or website. Once installed or added to your blog, Pixel will collect data for you, which can help you track visitor behavior, and conversions, and build targeted audiences. It will keep track of the people who have visited your blog and what they usually do on your website.
App Activity: With your app, administrators can collect data depending on predefined events like signing up for your newsletters, downloading a lead magnet, or agreeing to an offer.
Engagement: Audiences in this category include people who have interacted with your content both on Instagram and Facebook. These include people who have seen your videos view your photos and other similar behaviors.
Here’s how you set up lookalike audiences on Facebook so you can target users who have the same characteristics as your current blog audience:
Go to Audiences in Facebook Ads Manager.
Click on Create Audience.
Select Lookalike Audience.
Select your source: the best option is to use app data or information produced by Pixel. If you don’t have that data yet, you can supply that information yourself or use the list of fans on your Facebook page. You need a list of at least 100 people to create this source file.
Select audience size from a 1 to 10 scale. Using a smaller number in this scale means you want high similarity to your ideal blog follower and a higher number means you want to maximize your reach.
Create your ad. Note that it can take six to 24 hours to produce your Lookalike Audience. But you can still proceed to create your ad even if it’s still being processed.
Three Types of Ads You Can Consider
There are three types of ads that you can use to boost traffic to your blog posts. You may consider using boosted posts, clicks to website ads, and website conversion ads. Let’s go over the details of these three:
1. Boosted Posts
Facebook tracks everything that a user does on their platform. The information that they have gathered will be gathered into a database, which includes posts users like and their interests.
Apart from that, Facebook also monitors what users do outside of Facebook. For instance, if users click on links on Facebook posts that point to a website (e.g. your blog). They can also determine how much time you spent on the external site linked to in the post.
As a marketer, all this information will be made available to you for proper audience targeting. In this context, targeting means being able to select a specific audience you would like to reach.
Facebook will allow you to determine the objective for your ad campaign. We’ll cover this in detail in a later section below. For boosted posts, the objective is simple: to increase engagement, which means getting reactions, shares, and comments on your ads and posts.
Note that there is no conversion involved with boosted posts. All you’re getting is more people engaging with your ads, which will help you measure how effective your ad strategies are at soliciting interactions with your audience.
There is no guarantee that people will click the link to your blog posts or if they will read your blog’s content. In this instance, the majority of the customer action will still remain within the confines of Facebook’s portal.
2. Clicks to Website Ads
This type of Facebook ad takes what boost posts do to another level. These ads do more than just get people to react or share your posts, they are designed to get people to click the links leading to your blog.
Facebook tracks which users tend to click links on ads that link to an external site. If your goal is to increase traffic to your blog, then these are the ads that you should create.
Setting up ads of this type will take a few extra steps compared to boosted posts. First, you need to select the update or post that you would like to promote – the one that talks about a blog post or event you may have on your blog. Next, paste the URL of the blog post you want users to visit. You’ll place that in the status update box. Finally, use Ads Manager to set up your click-to website ad.
3. Website Conversion Ad
If you’re interested in getting users to act on your offerings, like signing up for a newsletter, subscribing to your blog, or downloading a report, then you’ll need to set up a website conversion ad. This type of ad makes use of Facebook’s tracking Pixel described earlier. You gain powerful insights using this type of ad and it allows you to target a specific audience for your blog using data and metrics.
Maximizing Facebook Ads for Your Blog
Get creative and maximize custom audiences by using a variety of parameters to broaden your reach and target the right audience for your blog. Two of the best sources of data for better ad targeting include:
Your Email Audience: Subscribers to your newsletter and your email list are critical pieces of data that can be used to target an audience with high user intent for your blog. If you’re planning to produce similar content, use your email list to target potential blog followers who have similar profiles.
Recent Blog Visitor List: If you want to reach out to other audiences, then use the list of visitors generated by Pixel for the last 30 days. You may not be targeting a specific type of audience but with this option, you’re testing other settings so you can open new avenues to reach out to a different market that may also be interested in your blog’s content.
ConclusionFacebook ads are a great tool if you want to expand your blog’s following. It can also be used to target specific audiences and boost conversion rates.Click To Tweet
It is best to create and update an email list or list of recent site visitors so you can choose to target specific types of site visitors and grow your blog’s audience and aim for better conversion.