Facebook Ads are pretty much a necessity if you want to be successful with your fan page efforts these days. Facebook Ads take time to learn and for proper experimentation. And the changes periodically made to the ad tool and its accompanying interface can also add to the challenges of making the most of Facebook’s Ads Manager.
Once you get beyond learning about the ad choices you have, how ad targeting works, how bidding works, and what the best dimensions are for the ad image, you’ve pretty much won the battle.
But maybe not the war?
We had an unexpected but very cool case study that recently occurred with one of our clients. The results of these back-to-back ads is the kind of stuff consumer behaviorists like me become giddy over. In short, we had the same exact ads (image, targeting, copy and website link), and nearly the same exact click-through rates, yet 1 ad type garnered much more interest from the intended audience than the other.
This led me to think about how these various ad types appear in the News Feed to the average Facebook user (who, in this case, would be your targeted customer). Is it possible that there’s an additional factor of a consumer’s impression that could affect if and how they act on and interact with your Facebook Ad?
My hypothesis is: YES. If your paid content *appears* like an ad instead of looking like a status update, your customers and potential customers may be less likely to engage.
Here’s how a sponsored post (either boosted or page post engagement-style) looks.
Basically, it looks like a regular status update that you’d normally see in your News Feed.
If you choose a different ad type, such as website clicks, here’s the ad layout:
You have text above and below your image, a headline, and special Call to Action button on the bottom right.
From the business owner’s side of things, you are working within the same Ads Manager, and doing all the same targeting and bidding. Nothing changes for you when you design and publish your various Facebook Ads.
But from the end user’s point of view, the style of ad chosen may have a very different impact. Only 1 of the above ads looks like something that’s intended to sell to customers.
In the case of our client, here was the breakdown:
The Ad That Looked Like a Status Update: 11 comments, 1 Share, 42 post Likes and 18 Page Likes.
The Ad that Looked Like an Ad: 0 comments, 1 Share, 23 post Likes and 2 Page Likes.
It’s important to note that not only did the top ad type garner 11 comments, but those comments were very relevant and showed serious interest in their business (e.g. What is the parking situation like? Do you also offer classes for my child who is ____ years old?)
The thing about a case study is that it’s just *a* case study. Though at the same time, it begs the question that perhaps we business owners need to consider other factors outside of the numbers when we create our Facebook ads.
Just some food for thought before your next Facebook Ad campaign begins.