Top 10 Tips to get more from your Facebook Advertising

With over 1.32 billion daily active users spending 50 minutes a day on average on Facebook (desktop/mobile), it is no wonder Facebook is the smart place to advertise. The best thing is you can get started with minimal effort, and see results when spending as little as £10.

So, how do you market your business effectively and get the most out of Facebook advertising? Here are 10 tips to get you started.

1. Make your Images BIG

They are the most important element and should be designed to engage people emotionally and prompt action. Motivate with images / videos and copy. Facebook’s recommended image size is 1,200 x 628 pixels to ensure that your image always looks high-quality no matter what platform it is displayed on. Try to stick to that where possible or the Image ratio of 1.9:1.

2. Use a Minimal Amount of Text

Higher amounts of image text will be shown to fewer people. Images with little to no image text tend to cost less and reach more people than ad’s with image text. As a general rule the text to image ratio requirements are 20% or less text.

3. Get more Views, Engagement and Shares with Videos

Videos immediately capture attention and have a massive 135% organic reach compared to images. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a video worth? Text and pictures are great, but video has the highest capacity to show emotion. Aim to catch your audience’s attention within the first 3 seconds, try to keep it and suggest viewers tap for sound. Facebook prefers organic videos, so upload your video directly rather than sharing it from YouTube.

4. Add a Call-To-Action Button 

Tell people what you want them to do when they see your advert and ensure the landing page is consistent with the ad’s wording and design

5. Know the Best Times to Post on Facebook

Popular times to post include 1pm for click-through and 3pm for shares but each audience is different and success comes from knowing when your audience is most engaged with your content. You can easily discover this through analytics using your social media management tool.

6. Capitalise on Facebook Live

People spend 3 times longer watching live video versus a pre-recorded one. This generates more engagement from fans and followers. Video suggestions include taking followers behind-the-scenes, hosting live Q&A broadcasts, and reporting breaking news. Followers receive a notification that you’re live and it’s a great way for your audience to connect with you…live and in living colour!

7. Pin posts for greater visibility

This is ideal for content that you want your followers to see every time they land on your page. Not sure how to do this? Go to the post on your Page’s Timeline. Click in the top-right corner. Select Pin to Top of Page. Here are a few ways to use pinned posts for better engagement:

  • Capture what people encountering your brand for the very first time need to know on video and pin it.
  • Post a FAQ
  • Share a sale or promotion
  • Highlight a contest winner
  • Post urgent information

8. Create and Expand Custom Audiences

In August 2017, Facebook introduced some new ad targeting options so that you get the most value from your advert spend by reaching only the people that matter to you. You can now upload a customer database to Facebook and utilise it for targeting your ad’s. As it’s easier to sell to current customers than to look for new ones you can strengthen your existing connections using Custom Audiences. You can also expand your audience reach using a broader “Lookalike Audience” to target your ad’s to. A Lookalike Audience is a target audience you create from a “source” like your existing customer database. It finds other people on Facebook who are the most similar to your best customers and lets you target those people.

9. Study your Results

You constantly need to test different ad engagement and target audiences. Facebook offers some really great analytics so pay attention to them. If you see a big increase in fans (or decrease), look at what you’ve posted recently and see if you can figure out a reason for the trend. Then, post more of that kind of content (or less, if you’re losing fans).

10. Finally be Clear on your Brand’s Personality

So you can communicate it consistently. It gives a clear picture of how you differentiate from others who offer similar products and services and lets your audience know you are a real brand ran by real people.

Influencers are advising brands to increase their efforts on a select few social media platforms as the social landscape gets increasingly crowded and Facebook remains the leader of the pack. No matter what type of company you run, Facebook has many different marketing options to fit your company, budget, and time constraints.

‘So you get paid to sit on Facebook’- What is Social Media Marketing and how can it help you, personally and professionally

After spending many an awkward moment explaining to people exactly what I do, I thought I would try explain it here! Social Media Marketing is a wonderfully weird world that if used correctly, can be very powerful for both yourself or your brand. With social becoming the main communication tool across the internet, it is no wonder that Social Media Marketing has been making a lot of noise over the past few years. The facts back this up, digital advertising spend in the USA eclipsed TV advertising spend $72.09 billion to $71.29 billion last year (eMarketer, 2016).

So lets get right into it, what in the world is Social Media Marketing? After reviewing a few definitions, I thought this one summarised it the best: Refers to techniques that target social networks and applications to spread brand awareness or promote particular products. Now I know what you are thinking, ‘that’s a bit broad isn’t it?’ so lets dive a bit deeper. Just so I don’t bore you to death, lets keep it simple by breaking it down into 3 parts: Content Marketing, Communication and E-Commerce.

Content Marketing

This perhaps is the most common side of social media marketing that you will have come across. This essentially is where brands will create content that catches the attention of potential consumers through different social media platforms. This is more of a indirect form of marketing in comparison of outbound marketing where you are pushing your products on to consumers like traditional TV advertising or press campaigns. This is a softer approach that allows you to gain valuable engagement and interaction with potential consumers by providing them with content. My favorite companies that utilise content marketing really well include Red Bull and GoPro as they focus on high quality content that really hits a chord with their target audience. Other more light-hearted companies such as Innocent and Paddy Power use content marketing to have a bit of fun with users and the comedy angle is very successful in the world of social.

 

 Communication

Communicating with your customers and fans is another key area of social media marketing as it allows you to personify your brand and what you offer. The ability to create a two-way conversation between a brand and the consumer improves service levels greatly compared to traditional customer service techniques. Instead of waiting on hold for 45 minutes, you can get in touch with brands directly and they should get back to you in a timely manner. It also lets brands have fun with their customers by having conversations and some jokey banter and can even lead to viral exposure. You will have seen companies having exchanges with fans which end up being shared as it is content within its own right.

My recent personal favourite was from Wendy’s (American Fast Food Chain) when Twitter user @carterjwm asked the simple question ‘how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?’ and they immediately replied with the figure 18 million. What started off as a joke quickly went viral and a month later the tweet broke the record of the most retweets with 3.6 million retweets. Wendy’s gave in and said that being the most retweeted tweet was enough for the nugs as well as donating $100,000 to charity. What started off as a simple conversation between a user and a brand, quickly transpired into one of the most successful viral campaigns on social media giving them great exposure all for the cost of replying to a consumer.

E-Commerce

For a long period of time, brands did not engage with social media marketing as they could not determine the exact ROI of the budget that they put in. As social media platforms (in particular Facebook and Instagram) have become more advanced, they have focused on driving traffic towards websites and getting consumers to purchase products. This allows you to monetise your social media following and partnering this with the ability to hyper target desired audiences, this makes for a powerful tool to increase sales online.

Social media also allows for greater creativity with advertising for e-Commerce and allows for a more interactive experience for the user rather than the more traditional forms of digital marketing. But e-commerce isn’t all about vanity, it provides detailed analysis of how people interacted with your advert as well as being able to show what users do after they click on your advert. Facebook’s Advertising Pixel can show brands the user’s actions on their site and how much they spent as a result of the social media placement making it a great way to see the exact ROI received from social.

Overall, there are a number of ways that brands can utilise social media marketing to compliment and ultimately bring success to the rest of the business. We have just scratched the surface of the wonderful world that is Social Media Marketing and hopefully I have been able to shed a bit of light on the topic. It is rapidly developing as an industry and brands are really starting to engage with social and our reaping the benefits by being early adopters. If you are looking for any advice on how your business could use social media then please feel free to get in touch with me at ross@pilotfishmedia.com and we can have a chat.

 

Content is King: How to Create Viral Content

Marketers around the world, from Junior Execs to Account Directors, will be familiar with the phrase ‘Content is King’ from the article written by Bill Gates back in 1996. This was a prediction that has been validated time and time again over the last 21 years, with all the top brands and influencers around the world receiving great engagement and exposure through campaigns all based around content. He stated that ‘Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.’ (Gates, 1996) and with the likes of Red Bull and the new millennial job title Vlogger or Youtuber using content as their main source of income, it seems as if his hypothesis was spot on.

The meteoric rise of content creation on the Internet has been the result of 2 main factors: The advancement of commercially available technology and the power of social media to make content go ‘viral’.

In the early days of content creation on the Internet, lack of widely available tech and suitable platforms made it difficult for the average Joe to create and publish said content. Fast forward 20 years and it’s now super easy to create, edit and publish a full HD video to a wide variety of networks (such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube) all from the palm of your hand.

With all of this technology at our fingertips, content creation is easier than ever before. Most of us create content on a daily basis whether it’s a Snapchat story, an Instagram post or even a good old-fashioned blog post. However, as we all know, just because you create content it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to receive exposure and engagement and a one-way ticket to the dizzying heights of Internet stardom.

I’ll use my own content as an example. My most popular Instagram post got a grand total of 73 likes (greatest day of my life). I thought it was a great piece of content but 73 likes doesn’t exactly put it in the viral category. Compare this to the kind of viral content created by brands and influencers that receives millions of views and it’s a mere drop in the ocean.

So what does it take to go ‘viral’? Well, there is no such thing as a fool proof strategy, unfortunately, but there are some tips and general rules of thumb that apply for both personal and brand platforms that may help to put you on the path to Internet stardom.

Emotive, Shareable Content 

This is probably the most important element to consider when creating viral content as this is how your campaign grows legs – so to speak. Viral can be defined as ‘an image, video or a piece of information that is circulated rapidly and widely on the Internet.’ This is achieved through users having an interest and sharing your content with their communities and then users within those communities sharing it with their wider networks.

In order for someone to share your content, there needs to be a strong emotive trigger that causes them to click that ‘share’ or RT button. Any emotion can trigger a response, be it love, admiration, anger, shock, sadness or humour. Think about the message you are trying to convey and the response you want to evoke in the user.

Being Relevant and Reactive

It’s also important to ensure that your content is relevant, not only to your audience, but also to the wider weird and wonderful audiences of the global Internet. Just because you think your content is high quality and relevant to your target audience, does not mean that it has the ability to go viral. Aim to create content that is in line with current trends, movements or hashtags in order to give your content the best possible ‘launch pad.’ A lot of brands have used this tactic very successfully by creating reactive content with their product as the hero.

My favourite example of this was back in 2013 when there was a blackout at the Super Bowl final. Oreo created a social media post with the simple caption: ‘You can still dunk in the dark.’ (Picture above). This simple yet effective post received 15,000 retweets and 20,000 likes within 10 minutes of being posted, showing the enormous impact of relevance and reactivity when it comes to viral content. So, always look to current trends on social media and think about timing when publishing content.

Positive always outweighs the Negative, Keep it Simple 

When a user shares your content, it reflects their personality, beliefs and how they are perceived as a person. Creating content that divides opinion and can be viewed in a negative light puts either yourself or your brand at serious risk and can cause you to go viral for all the wrong reasons. The traditional phrase of ‘All PR is good PR’ is rapidly losing its appeal with brands losing large amounts of goodwill with consumers as a result of creating content around controversial topics. Social media has given consumers a hugely powerful voice and they’re not a afraid to use it. This means that negative content can go viral for all the wrong reasons.

The latest example of this is of course Pepsi’s latest advert with Kendall Jenner, which went viral, causing a huge storm on social media around the topic of ‘appropriation.’ The advert had to be pulled and a full apology issued by the American soft drinks giant. With this in mind, give some serious thought to how different communities will view your content and make sure you are not giving the social community reason to haul you across the coals due to ill-advised content. The trolls will always put in an appearance and pick holes in your work, anyway so avoid giving them rich fodder if you can!

Finally….. Luck! 

Whilst there are a number of ways to improve your chances of going viral, there is still an element of luck involved. This ultimately boils down to having the critical mass to share your content across a variety of platforms and for it to strike a chord with a user. Some days you will produce quality content that has as good a chance as any of going viral, however you are overshadowed by a dog on a skateboard doing his finest Tony Hawk impression. To increase your ‘luck’, try publishing during periods of lower traffic rather than attempting a viral campaign around peak content posting times. For example, try and find a quirky holiday to create a campaign around rather than trying to compete with large brands around times like Christmas or April Fool’s Day.

Overall, there is no exact formula to scoring that elusive viral campaign due to the weird and wonderful vagaries of the Internet and social media. Most social networks are now saturated with both user-generated and brand-generated content, so it has become a lot harder to attract attention than it was even five years ago. However the tips above will help to give your content the best chance of racking up the ‘view’ count and generating interest and goodwill for your brand.

9 Top Tips for Facebook Advertising Success [Infographic]

If you are considering using social media advertising for the first time, the sheer amount of options can make the process pretty confusing.

However, Facebook is certainly the place to start. There are two good reasons for this; first being that it by far has the most users (over 1.8 billion) and secondly, it has the widest variety of advertising options.

Unfortunately, you won’t be the only one taking advantage of this. With so many other companies jumping on the Facebook bandwagon, it makes it increasingly difficult for your advertising to stand out from the rest.

Not to fear, because this infographic can help you cut through the noise by optimising your campaign. It’s called ‘9 Top Tips For Facebook Advertising Success’ and you can take a look below.

 

9 Top Tips for Facebook Advertising Success – An infographic by the team at PilotFish Media

Embed 9 Top Tips for Facebook Advertising Success on Your Site: Copy and Paste the Code Below

Story Overload

After watching Stephen Bartlett’s video the other day about ‘stories’ appearing on Facebook and all the memes that followed (my favourite one is above), I thought I would weigh in on the discussion about how social media is changing and how it affects user’s behaviour.

Overall, ‘stories’ are a fantastic way to engage with your friends and consumers as it gives a rough and ready behind the scenes view of your day. However, it is important to take into account how your followers will react to your content…

With new features like BitMojis, filters and all sorts of other interactive functions, users now have a lot more choice when it comes to creating content. Add to this the fact that so many platforms are now opting for ‘stories’ or temporary content, it creates a saturated market where users have almost too many options when it comes to ‘sharing’ their day. Whilst it allows for users to give followers an insight into what they are doing, it is also creating user fatigue and frustration for people using these platforms.

There is also a wider issue which can be described as ‘The Paradox of Choice’ where more is actually less. American psychologist Barry Schwartz (2004) argues that eliminating choice greatly reduces anxiety amongst consumers as the decision making process is simplified. This hits the nail on the head in the world of social media at the moment. Right now it seems like every platform is offering a ‘story’ functionality in order to compete with Snapchat who originally came up with the idea of temporary content. Throw live-streaming into the mix and it creates even more choice and further anxiety for both users and brands.

This puts increased pressure not only on consumers to ‘keep up appearances’ amongst their social circles by utilising these functions but also on brands as it is perceived as a new route to market. Not only is it hard to produce appropriate content for this, it also becomes very repetitive and stale for the consumer. If you are like me and follow hundreds of people on platforms such as Instagram, you will have a lot of ‘stories’ content to go through and it starts becoming a chore to view this content rather than actually paying attention and enjoying the story. With the average number of people followed on Instagram being 822 (Optical Cortex, 2016) and 45% of Snapchatters uploading stories at least once a week (DMR Stats, 2017), it’s no wonder that users are becoming overwhelmed with too much choice.

This is where the paradox of choice really starts to have a negative impact. Users will simply ignore content – even if it is of high quality – as the ‘anxiety’ caused by trying to engage with it all is not worth the effort. If I open a ‘story’ and see there is 5 minutes worth of Snaps, Boomerangs or videos, it’s an automatic red flag. Another cardinal sin that brands/influencers are committing when it comes to ‘stories’ is that due to the lack of resource/content, they are duplicating story content across all of their platforms. This takes away from the overall quality of the content and while it may increase their reach it creates user fatigue as they are digesting the same content over and over again. An example of this can be seen with NBA teams. When they create 30 10-second videos, it becomes a chore to go through the content rather than just enjoying it and when this appears again on another platform, it damages the value.

So, how do we begin to sort the ‘stories’ issue out? My advice would be to use what you feel most comfortable with and whatever appeals to you. I tend to use the platforms as the developers originally intended them to be used: Snapchat for temporary content, Instagram for high quality imagery, Twitter for micro blogging, LinkedIn for business/networking, FB Messenger for socialising with friends and Facebook for digesting content. With so many platforms available, it’s important to use what you feel comfortable with rather than feeling pressured to cover all bases just because you feel you should.

The same goes for brands and influencers. Just because your preferred platform introduces a new feature, it doesn’t mean that you have to use it! Go back to your fundamental objectives and think about how this new piece of functionality will assist your overall marketing. Just because utilising a new functionality will increase your reach, it does not mean it will improve your offering and some times it can even damage it. This is why it is always important to weigh up your existing social media marketing and your resource before committing to a platform that you will then have to maintain.

Overall, ‘stories’ are a fantastic way to engage with your friends and consumers as it gives a rough and ready behind the scenes view of your day. However, it is important to take into account how your followers will react to your content and to find that optimum level between providing great content and enough content to engage your followership. At Pilot Fish, we are firm believers in having a fundamental understanding of your current digital marketing and relating this back to your primary business objectives. We are currently offering a free social media audit to assess your existing platforms and find out if they’re having the impact you want them to have for your business.

Sign up for yours here

 

Supporting Born Free in Africa this Christmas

We would like you to meet our new team members … ?

One of the best things about working with clients in Africa is that we have been lucky enough to get to know so much more about the culture, the social landscape, the politics, the economy and of course the incredible people who call this vast continent home. It would be fair to say that we’ve grown rather fond of the place over the past three years – particularly our three key markets: South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

As such, (and also #Because2016), to mark the seasborn-free-logoon of giving, we decided to make a donation to support one of our favourite animals – The African elephant. As many of you will know, despite great efforts on a global scale to clamp down on the sale of ivory, elephants are still under huge threat from illegal poaching. By supporting the great work of charities like the Born Free Foundation we can help to keep these majestic creatures protected in their natural habitat.

Our elephants; Mary, Kate and her baby Ewok, live on the Amboseli National Park in Kenya and we are delighted to be offering our support. If you’d like to follow in our footsteps and adopt an elephant through The Born Free Foundation, you can do so here

We’ll post updates about our elephants’ progress throughout the year and who knows – we might even get to meet them on our next client visit to Kenya!

As we wind things down in the office for 2016, we want to take this opportunity to wish everyone the merriest of Christmases! 2016 has been a challenging year in so many ways so we hope everyone enjoys a well-earned break.

Beat wishes,
The PFM Team.
And, of course, Emily Kate and Ewok.