Thursday, October 11, 2007

Selling toilet cleaner on facebook

So there are alot of people laying into facebook's advertising platform at the moment.

With average campaign Click Through Rates lying around 0.03-0.06% i wouldnt' blame them.

However, given the right tactics, target market and marketing acumen, facebook can actually turn into a very viable and cheap advertising platform. It all comes down to the tonality and impression that advert's leave with the audience, this is the key factor that will determine successful engagement with the ad.

At Mudo, we recently ran a trial facebook campaign for a large international retail brand focused on the tween market. The end results for 5 adverts, run over AU and NZ for 7 days spat out an average CTR of 0.10%, prompting a personal email from facebooks San Fran sales office wanting to know why we had stopped the campaign and an offer of assistance in the future.

Yes, the brand we were representing is extremely popular and has high exposure within this market, but that alone wouldnt justify such a positive response to the campaign. I believe it was the way the ad's were presented, written and delivered that ultimately encouraged the engagement we garnered.

So, in creating the campaign 80% of our time and effort went into researching how the market thinks, what their consumer triggers were and how we could build an effective campaign on top of those triggers.

Thing is, i dont think marketing companies and small business owners are putting enough thought into what goes into a facebook ad. Sure they are generic and quite sedate looking, the way to make them stand out is to pose a question or submit a statement that you know the target will be connect with.

For an example, we are aiming at 18-30yo males, a notoriously hard demographic to market to and get engagement from. The beauty of facebook's advertising platfrom allows you as the advertiser to single out and target your core demographic effectively and easily.

The four main elements to a facebook ad follow, in order of importance.

#1 Image

Images are proven to engage the human brain faster than any written word or text, images are the most powerful selling tool when used effectively.
  • The image has to be relevant to the target market, NOT to the product or service you are selling. In selling toilet cleaner for example, noone will action a picture of a toilet, they will however be more likely to engage with the image of a toilet brush and toilet plunger overlapping eachother, like that of a pirates skull and crossbones. Both images ellicit the same brand ideals, but one is far more attractive looking than the other.
  • It has to be colourful, you need to stand out from the blue, grey and white of facebook's colour scheme, its easier said than done. The colour also needs to resonate with your target market, younger girls prefer lighter happier colours, pink or yellow. While older males would be more akin to a rich red or black.
#2 Title

Again, the title doesn't have to portray any real relevance to the product or service you are selling, its main purpose is to foster speculation and raise questions in the consumers mind about the connection between the image and the title. The title also needs to align with the target demographics social profile, social environments and common thinking.

  • Needs to be thought provoking. If you are selling toilet cleaner, use a title that will attract attention - 'your toilet stinks' - would serve this purpose. The syntax used is not selling or telling the consumer that something needs to be done, its suggesting to them on a personal level that their toilet needs cleaning. Coupling this with effective text copy, you can suggest to the consumer that they should use the advertised product to clean the dunny.
#3 Copy

Copy refers to the text located underneath the image. It is used to get the advertisers actual message across to the consumer. Facebook ad copy needs to be set in the tone of the market and it needs to be set succinctly. When I mention tone, i am referring to the attitude or vibe the syntax in the copy gives off. The tone needs to mirror how the market interacts with one another verbally, for Gen Y, it needs to be short, casual and to the point. A sales pitch WILL NOT WORK HERE, as Gen Y are now so sterilized in the ways of traditional marketing, they will dismiss the ad and the brand as superficial and un trustworthy.

There are two parts to a facebooks ad's copy. The first is the sell, the second is brand and ad information.

  • The sell - If a consumer is reading the copy, your ad has successfully engaged them to this point. From here, you now need to sell the consumer on why they need to engage further and click on the ad. The sell should never be more than 4-8 words long, any longer and you risk losing the consumer. So the example for our toilet cleaner would be 'Be confident in your toilet' The copy is inciting to the consumer that a dirty toilet can in fact cause embarrasement, especially if its a prospective girlfriend or female friend asking to use it for the first time. A clean toilet, means a confident toilet owner, a confident toilet owner means a domesticated young man - young women like domesticated young men.
  • The brand information should state the brand name. It should also wrap up the ad tidily explaining what it will do. Our toilet cleaner example would be 'super x clean will get the job done'.

This example is exactly that, an example. It may be successful or may not. The reason I am using it is to get the idea across that context, syntax and imagery are extremely important in taking your facebook ad from an average CTR of 0.03% to a healthy 0.09%.

I am keen to hear readers thoughts on this article and if it helps you understand the mindset i believe needs to be adopted to make facebook a more viable option when considering your next advertising campaign.

As a side note, with the worlds economic and financial systems grinding to a halt, advertising spend needs to be more closely monitored and measured than ever before. If you are in charge of a Gen Y marketing budget, try facebook and attempt to apply some of above methodology to your campaign, the results may be more succesfull and cost effective than you think.

1 comment:

  1. hi david,
    would you be able to share your campaign example as well? sponsoring one of the few successful apps is anotherway of placing your message on fb,