Marketing & Advertising

The PEC Review: Facebook Pay-Per-Click Ads

There may be a positive relationship between ecommerce spending and social network participation.

Internet trend tracking firm comScore recently reported that Facebook and Twitter users spend more money online than non-socialites, and that some 23 percent of Twitter users follow businesses, buy goods online, and look for product reviews.

The comScore data, released during the company’s “State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy in Q1 2010” webinar, also reported that as users invest more time on Facebook their propensity to spend on online retail also increases. This is very good news for ecommerce marketers, since Facebook has an easy-to-use and targeted pay-per-click (PPC) advertising service that can place ads in front of the users who are most likely to buy.

In fact, I think that Facebook’s PPC program is so good that I am awarding it four-and-a-half out of a possible five stars in this “The PEC Review.”

“The PEC Review” is my weekly column aimed at introducing you to the products or services that I believe may help you improve your ecommerce business. This week, let me explain why I think you should be investing a significant portion of your PPC marketing budget in Facebook.

Video: Try Facebook PPC

Lower Cost

Facebook’s PPC service may save ecommerce marketers money in two ways.

First, from my own (admittedly anecdotal) experience with the service, I believe that its average cost per click is relatively low. In fact, of the several PPC campaigns that I run for my own online stores, Facebook had the lowest cost per click.

Second, the ads, which include a graphic, are analogous to Internet display advertising, which may have a lasting effect on brand perception. As a form of display advertising, Facebook and other social media sites generally outperform the alternatives, according to comScore.

Facebook PPC ads look like display ads.

Facebook PPC ads look like display ads.

Thus, Facebook PPC may be less expensive than other PPC programs and other display ad solutions.

Rifle-like Targeting

The Facebook PPC program is built around user data, not keywords; so advertisers can select a target audience based on sex, age, marital status, education, group membership, and interests.

Screen capture showing the demographic filter on Facebook's PPC program.

Screen capture showing the demographic filter on Facebook’s PPC program.

In this way, advertisers can devise rifle-accurate promotional campaigns that focus on generating high quality site traffic. Put another way, Facebook can generate traffic that is very likely to convert.

Tons of Impressions

Facebook can also deliver a significant number of impressions very quickly. The service has more than 400 million members worldwide, many of whom spend an hour or more on the site each and every day. As a result, don’t be surprised if Facebook produces millions of ad impressions in no time at all.

Usability

Facebook’s PPC service is also very easy to use. Paste a target URL into the system’s “Create an Ad” tool, and it will propose ad copy and images based on page content. Advertisers can also create their own ads from the ground up.

Four-and-a-half stars

Four-and-a-half stars

Once ads are approved, Facebook offers adequate tracking data, and bills the advertiser every couple of days. Campaigns budgets can be set so you’ll know exactly what you’re spending.

Summing Up

Facebook’s intuitive PPC solution is cost effective, targeted, and easy to use. The service will help online marketers boost brand awareness, generate site traffic, and make sales. This is why I have awarded Facebook’s PPC service four-and-a-half out of a possible five stars in this “The PEC Review.”

Armando Roggio

Armando Roggio

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