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7 rules to reach the masses via Facebook (part two)

By Darby Jones

“Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15b, NRSV.

In part one (Should your church advertise on Facebook?), we explained why Facebook advertising is a great way to reach seekers and newcomers to the faith. These tips are more detailed and will help you creatively and strategically make the most of your advertising dollars.

1. Ads should snap, crackle, POP!
Use words that are clear and concise and that POP! Keep your ad simple because the window for both image and text is tiny. Follow this rule to lower your Cost Per Click (CPC), raise your Click Through Rate (CTR) and increase the value of impressions. Impressions are the number of times an ad displays on a webpage. They’re also free if you choose the CPC pricing model.

2. Passion pays off.
Passion ignites when a powerful ad and the right audience connect. Use targeted marketing to reach the audience with your message. For example, the 18-34-year-old crowd might be most receptive to an ad for a contemporary, online worship service. Ignite passion by matching your ad with people and their needs, and your advertising will reap more results.

3. Testing is the most important take-away.
Don’t waste your money on low-performing ads. Maximize your CTR by testing your ads to find which ones perform best. Split-test various ads by altering the following elements:

  • Copy – Asking targeted groups to click “Like” below the ad works well. Test this approach with another call-to-action and see which works best.
  • Visual image or graphic – The visual image or graphic you choose creates the POP. You may think that pink images will vibe with women, but you won't know unless you test.
  • Interest groups – Find out who's clicking. Less responsive interest groups are too expensive. Go further and test the demographics within each interest group.

4. Create a click-through kill switch
Set a threshold for your CTR that is acceptable to your campaign and budget. If an ad slips below the CTR threshold or never meets it, then kill the ad quickly, redesign it or target a different demographic. Set your threshold by testing different ads and developing your own standards for what works best.

5. Monitor your campaigns closely.
It's pointless to have a kill switch if you don't monitor your campaigns. Even if you start with great results, your ad performance will inevitably weaken with time. People who click first on an ad are usually the most passionate. After the first wave of clicks, the cost of reaching the next group increases. That's why it's important to monitor your CTR daily so you're always ready to flip the switch.

6. Get help.
Choose one or two staff or interns who can help keep an eye on ad performance. This task is relatively easy and similar to being a Facebook fan-page administrator. Add as many administrators as you can so it’s not a burden on one person.

7. Conversion tracking tools make it easy.
Facebook's tracking guide will help you run a Cost Per Fan (CPF) campaign quickly. CPF is one of the greatest metrics for analyzing your ads efficiency.

-- Darby Jones, eMarketing Coordinator at United Methodist Communications.