It's Time to Reset Your Facebook Ad Strategy

The following was previously published in an earlier edition of Marketing Insider.

Prime-time digital marketing is getting harder for middle-market companies. They’ve relied principally on Facebook to give them provable audiences, conversions, and metrics in exchange for an annual brief, a budget, and a credit card. With acquisition costs rising and engagement less transparent, Facebook isn’t a set-and-forget panacea anymore.

Marketers need to recalibrate to keep getting the most out of this essential channel. The key is shifting from trial and acquisition to retention and targeted customer development.

To do it, marshal the first-party data you’re already collecting from loyalty programs, sweepstakes, and direct sales online. Rather than simply analyzing the number of customers, amounts of sales, and average order value, use first-party data to profile demographics and tight customer segments. Then find more on Facebook by targeting interest groups and lookalike audiences.



Then take a page from traditional media and look at sales results.

The simplest way is to compare five or six markets where you focus Facebook ads versus those you don’t. You’ll see how you’re performing, and it will likely be better than you expected.

Considering overlaying Google Analytics and platforms like Triple Whale that filter Facebook and your website data to track conversions. These secondary pixels can reveal significantly more sales.

As costs increase, it gets relatively cheaper to court existing and past customers than to acquire new ones. Think engagement, not just conversion, especially for higher-priced products. A Facebook connection can become an email subscriber to nurture and convert directly over time.

Because Facebook changes so fast, best practices have become a moving target. It’s impossible to predict changes months in advance. What worked in January isn’t working today. Flexibility is everything now, so being prepared to react equals prepared to win.

So, incorporate these shifts into a monthly review and refresh on strategy. You’ll take a giant step toward future-proofing your investment.

Bottom line, Facebook still works for the marketing majority that depends on it. The platform’s reporting has diminished, but the audience is more active and valuable than ever. And the extra work required to realize the full value reopens the door to competitive advantage in what has become a level playing field. Separating yourself from set-and-forget competitors just got easier.

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