Integrating Facebook advertisements as part of a “traditional” direct marketing campaign has become a well-proven and low-cost lead generation, branding and direct response mechanism. Uplifts in response rates in the region of 40 per cent are not uncommon when social is included as part of a multi-channel campaign strategy. But still many marketers are not fully exploiting the opportunity.
For some marketers, that is due to a lack of awareness. Others are eager to get involved, but are wary of stepping on people’s toes within the organisation. Who “owns” social media is a debate that still rages in the corridors of many businesses, with marketing, press office, customer service, HR, IT and e-commerce teams all staking their rightful claim.
However, in my experience, the major barriers for marketers are not having access to the necessary data, tools and skills, combined to some extent with a fear of change. In fact, a very common response is, “we are not ready to take the leap yet. Maybe the next campaign”. Yet with impressive response rates and costs that are lower than Google Adwords on a pay-per-click basis (between 5 and 10 per cent is a good indication), why would you wait?
Linking your data to, say, Facebook or Twitter users is a slick process and will allow you to communicate with your own customers or retarget your enquirers through a channel to which they may be more inclined to respond. You can go further by utilising partner data with in-depth insight and analytics to reach out to new prospects with way more accuracy than Facebook or Twitter can offer.
With the right API, match rates to Facebook or Twitter are typically in the range of 70 per cent for business-to-consumer and 60 per cent for business-to-business data. As part of the ad campaign set-up, you’ll be able to schedule the ad to be served before, during or after your postal, email, phone or SMS activity, or for the full duration. So the recipients will experience your multi-channel campaign and, while each channel supports all of the others, the recipients have a greater choice over how and when they respond.
An advertisement can be as simple as a headline, an image and a small block of text that includes a link to either the organisation’s Facebook page (if, indeed, you have one), relevant page on the company website or the campaign microsite. You can choose to serve the advertisement on the right-hand side of the page (great if it is being viewed on desktop PC, laptop or netbook), or directly in to user’s newsfeed (this is essential for getting the attention on Facebook’s mobile app as it does not feature the column).
When used in conjunction with traditional direct marketing, Facebook is a powerful social channel for soliciting the response you want your campaign to achieve. What is more, with almost negligible increased campaign costs, ease of implementation, high match rates and impressive returns, I can see no reason why every direct marketer should not be integrating Facebook in to their next and every subsequent campaign. In my mind, it is a no-brainer that every marketer should be doing.