For this section, I’m defining paid traffic campaigns in two forms. I can pay to boost the post, or I can pay for direct traffic to my target website. Please note that I have presented this information in that order: boost posts first and then pay for direct traffic.

There’s a reason for this. If you don’t master Facebook’s traffic to your page posts, then it doesn’t make sense to go directly to your target website. You probably are going to spend a tremendous amount of money, time and effort only to have very little to show for all that.

It’s better to boost a post in a strategic way so you can understand what kind of content connects with your intended audience. You will then be able to drive traffic to your website.

You’re actually killing several birds with one stone. By focusing on boosting a post, you can get more page likes, you can get more branding opportunities and you can also get click-throughs to your target website in the form of a content link.

Here’s how it works.

Post boosts

First, target a look-alike audience based on your user insight demographic. In other words, Facebook is going to show your ad to a fresh set of users who share the same demographic details and interests as your current page fans. People with

these similarities are more likely to like your content.

You’re not going to pay Facebook to show your post to people who have already liked your page. Instead, you are trying to get fresh eyeballs to your page posts. You do run quite a bit of a risk.

Existing audience post boosts

The next option you have available to you is to boost your post to people who have actually liked your page. These are your actual page fans. They know roughly what you’re about, they like your content enough to like your page. They’re expecting your content.

Unfortunately, like I said earlier, Facebook only shows your content to a small fraction of people who liked your content. Unless your fans select See First when they like your page, Facebook will use its natural algorithm to select the initial group of eyeballs that will show your page content.

If enough people engage with your content, then Facebook will show even more of your page fans your content. However, it’s never going to show it to one hundred percent of your fans. That rarely happens.

This is why it’s a good idea to boost your post to reach more of the people who have liked your page. The upside to this is these are not virgins. They’ve seen your page. In fact, they’ve seen it and liked it so much that they have clicked the Like button and want to see your content.

At least you know that there is some sort of interest there. Still, please understand that while there is a certain degree of familiarity there, and this increases the chance that these people will actually engage with your content and possibly click-through to your target site, that isn’t exactly guaranteed.

Existing audience plus their friends

As the old saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. Friends usually have shared interests. In fact, if you think about it hard enough, that’s the main reason we became friends in the first place. We have certain interests in common, we have certain things to talk about and that’s why we’re friends. Makes a lot of sense, right?

Well, you can apply that to Facebook marketing as well because this can produce a tremendous amount of marketing opportunities. Since your page fans also have friends on Facebook, you can buy a post boost that shows your ad not only to your fans but to their friends as well.

This is my favorite when it comes to post boosts because it is a cheap way of getting clicks to your target site. You reach a much wider audience. Please understand that if your page has a fairly small number of likes, even if you boost post after post, you only have a small base to work with.

Now, if you expand that base by including your existing audience plus their friends, you have a lot more people to work with. You are operating with some level of confidence because you know that friends usually have shared interests. This translates to possibly cheap clicks to your target site.

The best way to do this is to post a link directly to your content or to your promotional page on your website with some content. This way when somebody clicks through, they go straight to your website.

They can read your commentary and some preview text, but the text should call them to action. This is the cleanest way to get direct traffic cheaply using post boosts targeting your existing audience and their friends.

Direct traffic to your target site

The next option is to promote a target URL directly. It doesn’t show a post from your page. It just goes directly to your target website paired with a picture. This is the direct traffic option on Facebook.

To become successful with this, you have to use the look-alike audience based on your engaged users’ insight data. In other words, your Facebook page should be mature enough for you to get solid consumer intelligence that you can then use to target potentially interested audiences on Facebook. That’s the best way to do this.

There are other ways. You can run raw targeting. Basically, you’re not relying on user insight. Instead, you’re just looking for an age range and a geographic location. You’re also using gender.

In certain situations, this may pay off. In fact, you may get better results than look-alike audiences but, generally speaking, you should focus on using the consumer intelligence your Facebook page gathered so you can reach people who are very similar to people you know have demonstrated a solid interest in whatever it is you’re promoting.

Best practices

Use them to boost your results.

First, run small tests. This enables you to fail quickly. People who really know their way around Facebook run campaign after campaign after campaign until they’re able to connect the dots and come up with a campaign that actually works.

This is why you need to run small, cheap tests so you can easily see which campaigns are working out and which ones have failed.

Next, make sure that your budget is low. Usually, when I run a dollar campaign, that is good enough for me. A dollar a day for seven days a week, that is good enough for me to see if an ad has potential. So, I would run several ads, we’re talking about seventy dollars for ten ads running at the same time.

Third, focus on what works. Let me tell you when you run many small tests, the winners stand out. Either they get clicks or not. That’s the bottom line. However, at this stage, you’re not just looking for clicks. You’re not just looking for an ad campaign that gets a lot of attention.

Instead, you’re also going to look for an ad campaign that actually delivers conversions. You’re going to have to set up your Facebook Pixel to your target website, so you can track whether traffic from Facebook went all the way through.

I’m not just talking about traffic produced when people click on your link and they go to a content page and they leave.

That’s worthless. That’s not going to help you. That traffic has to go to the content page, go to the sales page and, eventually, make it to the shopping cart. That’s when you know that your campaign actually has traction.

Focus on what works. Focus on what gets a high click-through rate paired with a conversion rate. However, to get there, you’re going to have to burn through many ads. This is not going to jump out at you. It’s not going to be obvious. It’s not going to be easy.

Once you have identified that ad and you’ve fine-tuned it, then scale it up. That’s how this works. Basically, you focus on what works and then pour real money into it.


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