Facebook Ads Built on Boredom

When it comes to Facebook ads, you'll get wildly varying comments and results reported in your favorite business, SEO or marketing forums. Some people are up-front about stating that Facebook ads are the greatest thing since the iPhone; others give it a total thumbs down. That being the case, how do you get at the truth? What makes it work for some, and not for others?

First, make sure you have a niche that suits Facebook. While it's true that an experienced marketer can fine-tune an ad until it does bring decent results, these won't be great, if you've picked a niche with a low Facebook demographic. And if you are closer to starting out in your marketing career than you are to buying a California mansion, it's easier to make sure yours is a subject Facebook users are likely to love.

Here are some broader categories that have - and haven't - had a lot of success on Facebook. (Note that these results are not compiled within some formal market research study with quantified results, but were simply gathered by monitoring the answers on a variety of authority business blogs.)

YES

- Mobile phones
- Local services, events or projects
- Games
- Apps
- Vacations
- Anything "green"
- "Fun" products
- "Quirky" products
- Recreation
- Sports
- Music

NO

- Graphic design
- Web design
- Insurance
- Household products
- Anything with too broad a keyword; or too much competition.

You'll know you have a winning Facebook niche if it rates well for what one SEOmoz commenter called "inherent coolness".

Upping your Chances of Facebook Ad Success

A couple of things to always keep in mind, when using Facebook as an advertising campaign platform...

People use Facebook basically to pass the time. It's where they hang out between appointments; when there's nothing to do; when they're bored, depressed or just not in the mood for work; or when they need a little online "reward", after completing a ton of homework or a boring project. As a result, if you do create an ad for popular escapist or entertainment categories, you're right on the money with Facebook user interest level, and you may get a lot of clicks. But, as always, there's no guarantee that your ROI (return on investment) is going to be worth the money you invested in the ad. Only a trial run and testing will tell.

The Most Important Element

When people are wandering around Facebook, they don't really want to leave it to visit yours - and not all of them know about right-clicking to open your ad in a new tab. Consider sending them to your specially-created, interactive Facebook page instead - that way, they're not so likely to regard your ad as an intrusion.

But the real solution to making sure you have a winning ad campaign? Thorough market research, of course! Find out if anyone is actually spending money in that niche. (There are a lot of specialty niches - especially within the hobby category - with high interest but almost zero spending!) And then find out who is doing the spending.

What about you? Have you tried Facebook ads yet?

Free report on Facebook Advertising below!