Facebook advertising is a game with complex rules – and if you do not learn them quickly, you will pay a lot in terms of wasted budgets with zero ROI. One of the things which confounds marketers and small business owners is the bidding principle used in Facebook advertising. Lack of control over how their ads are shown and to whom precisely makes a lot of people spend too much money on ads, by showing them to a large and untargeted audience, and at all times continuously.
How Does Scheduling Matter?
Facebook ads are effective if they are seen by your target audience at the right moment when they are most likely to make a buying decision. In order to determine these moments, you need to know the habits of your ideal customer persona. This can be determined through a careful study of the analytics data from your website and your social media accounts. By analysing their activity patterns, you can determine the times when they are most likely to spend time interacting with your business.
But what happens if you do not get this schedule straight? What if you serve the ads to your target customers at all hours, during a whole week? They are bound to see them sooner or later, right? Yes, but it will cost you dearly. Let us examine the way Facebook bills you for ads.
Why CPM and CPC Are Expensive for Inadequately Targeted Ads
When you select CPM (cost per mille – that is, per thousand impressions), money is taken out of your total bid for every 1,000 people who see your Facebook ad. Once the budget is finished, your ads stop showing.
In a simple scenario, if your target audience is most likely to have time and explore Facebook offers and ads in the evening, if you set your ads to run during the whole day then your budget may be all used up by mid afternoon because your ad was served to people – but they were either not your target audience, or they were not in the right moment to focus on it (between two meetings, during their lunch break, or commuting to work). This means that you get nothing out of the expense – no action, no sale, no new subscriber (or a few accidental ones).
The same situation happens for CPC (cost per click) bidding. A lot of people click on ads without having the time to complete a call to action, or without being in the right mindset to do so.
How to Target Properly
Facebook has recently introduced a new scheduling option, dayparting. This option allows you to select the exact hours you want your ads to run between. Dayparting is a great way of targeting people not just during the days when they are most likely to be active on Facebook, but also during the exact hours when they are online, relaxed, free from job duties, and ready to explore various offers and new product launches by their favourite brands.
You can develop a cost-efficient ad posting schedule by looking at the analytics data presented to you by Facebook, or by your social media automation and monitoring tool (such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or Kissmetrics).
Take a look at the engagement peaks and lows and recognise the pattern in your followers’ activity on your Facebook page. Find out when you get most of the comments and shares (these two represent a deeper involvement than a simple Like) and combine them with the analytics data from the backend of your website. By merging these two sets of data, you will be able to work out a nearly perfect schedule for your Facebook ads.
This careful scheduling ensures that you will get impressions and clicks from people who:
- Are most likely to become your customers
- Are leisurely browsing Facebook, during their spare time
- Are in the right mood and mindset to follow through with a CTA and make a purchase.
This is the only way in which you know that your money is spent judiciously and you will get a good ROI for each of your Facebook ad campaigns.