Facebook continues to make changes to what shows up in people’s news feed.  And more are always coming… These changes have been especially challenging to small businesses.

The Facebook changes include:

  • Far less visibility for business page posts generally
  • Location of ads: mobile vs. sidebar vs. news feed
  • Increased focus on boosting posts from the page
  • Extensive ad targeting options
  • Shifting importance of links vs. photos vs. videos vs. status updates
  • Visibility of YouTube videos vs. native Facebook videos

This can all be summarized as a general, consistent, and pervasive shift by Facebook to monetize business pages.  That means as businesses we must pay to play, and that means ads.

Facebook has improved the targeting options: there are a LOT of them available to each of us.  And the better you target, the more cost effective your ad is – meaning it costs less AND brings in more of the people that will buy from your business.

I recently tried out how effective Facebook would be for a local health practitioner using a native video post.

First a little background about past campaigns.

About two years ago I ran 4-5 ad campaigns using videos this person had created.  The videos were on YouTube and the ads were basically links to the videos via a Facebook post for each video.  I ran these campaigns over the course of 6 months.  Each campaign had one video post, via YouTube, that I boosted and it ran in the sidebar.  I targeted the local area, with specific demographics of the types of people this person wanted to have come for appointments.

At that time (no longer though) Facebook actually allowed the videos to play INSIDE the ad on the sidebar when someone clicked on the arrow.  These ads got hundreds, and in one case over a thousand views.  And the ads only ran for about two weeks each.  My client also added a lot of new people in this new demographic to the practice.

The videos that I used in these ads are great because of the content, not the production value: these are videos you could create with decent lighting and a phone camera.  They each contain a 1 minute to 2 minute stretch or exercise someone can do to relieve pain or help recover from a minor injury.  The key: the content is VALUABLE.  Some people might charge for the information in the videos.  My client gives it away as proof about the value she delivers in person.  And people really love it.

Every business has some value it can give away that creates desire in the consumer to come get even greater value on a consistent basis – and become a loyal customer.  Why? Because you’ve created clarity around the exchange and that includes a demonstration of how much you care about your customers.

The recent Facebook Ads and their success.

My client was experiencing a significant downturn in business starting near the end of October and through November.  They finally let me know about it in November.  Given our past success with video, I thought about how to use that.  Facebook will give almost 0 results doing it the way I did it before with a YouTube link (I know, I tried it).

Knowing that Facebook was now emphasizing native video (having the video loaded directly onto Facebook), I came up with a scheme to use that information.

I downloaded my client’s video from YouTube, uploaded it directly to the Facebook business page, and wrote some copy about how this was a quick tip to help relieve stress or pain from a certain condition (which it is).  Then I boosted the post to the local audience with the right age and other demographics and ran the ad for 4 days for $20.

The results.

The video got over 200 plays in those 4 days.  The reach was almost 2,000 organic, and 2,750 paid – that’s a pretty darn good ratio!  Basically a ½ price ad.  The post got 53 likes and 25 shares which is what made for the great reach numbers.  You can run an ad and pay for every eyeball on it if you don’t put good content into the ad – good enough that people voluntarily SHARE it!  Plus we responded to all the comments – creating engagement and increasing the underlying score of the post and thereby increasing how frequently it showed up in the feed.

The best news?  My client is now booked solid with a waiting list!  At a time of year that’s usually slow and was already slowing down.  Now that situation is completely turned around.

The bottom line.

Good content that has intrinsic value, used effectively and creatively, with a good call to action, can cause great local business results using Facebook for not very much money.

Let me know what your success story is!  Or if you have any questions 🙂

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