You can use Facebook ads to easily (and affordably) grow the audience of your content site. Tune in to learn how.
Episode Transcript — How to Run Audience Development Facebook Ad Campaigns for a Content Site
00:02 Announcer: You're listening to the Spend $10K a Day podcast brought you by the performance marketing experts at MuteSix. This is your source for cutting edge insight into the world of online advertising from the team with more Facebook case studies in 2016 than any other agency on the planet. Here are your hosts, Steve Weiss and Stewart Anderson.
00:24 Stewart Anderson: Welcome back to the Spend $10K a Day podcast. I'm Stewart Anderson here with Steve Weiss. Today we're talking about audience development. So if you're a content site, how can you use Facebook ads to build a bigger audience, a reader base, whatever it is that you're trying to build? How do you do Facebook ad campaigns?
00:41 Steve Weiss: Specifically, you are a website that produces content and you have ads around the content. Your goal is to figure out ways to drive Facebook traffic to your website and make more money on your yield than you are in spending money on ads. A lot of the partners we work with, they are trying to the do the "arbitrage play" where they are buying clicks at one price on Facebook and then making X Y price on their websites. The key is, how you do this at profitability? How do you leverage Facebook algorithm to really drive a cost-effective price per click or price per new user coming to your website? Just some brass tactics that we've tried in the past of doing this. Number one, just from a basically ad perspective, we've exported every single post ID from a Facebook fanpage and re-uploaded all those posts as ads.
01:41 SW: This has worked really well. We've set everything up to, you might have 1,000 posts, we set everything up to a $1 a day budget and only scale the post that actually drive the lowest cost per click. The main issue with this is, you might have a outdated post. So again, you wanna edit those posts in Excel and make sure that you're doing this properly. Number two, you could actually use your post as a product feed and actually use that as dynamic product ads. We've tested that out before of actually using, uploading the post is almost like dynamic product feed images. Using that as a prospecting ad.
02:17 SA: Yeah. That's some next level stuff right there.
02:19 SW: Yeah. It takes a little bit of editing and a little bit of hackiness of turning a post into what we call "product feed" but we've tested that out before.
02:28 SA: Yeah. So let's talk about that actually a little bit just 'cause I think people really love the tips and tricks like this kinda thing. When you think about it, it sound like, "Oh man, how do I turn my content into a product feed?" It's really just, think about what a product feed is. It's a collection of metadata. All you have to do is match specific fields that would go in a product feed with specific sections of your content so you match title to title, description to description. You might have author instead of a manufacturer or something like that, but it's just matching those fields with the relevant components. And then you have a product feed that's built out of content.
03:07 SW: And Facebook is built for dynamic content. They want you to leverage their tools such as dynamic product feeds. They don't want just the pigeonhole with the DPA ads to speak for e-commerce. They love when publishers or creators actually use their product feeds to market content that's relevant to users in the newsfeed.
03:26 SA: Yeah, absolutely. And the other great thing about content ads obviously is that they typically are gonna get more engagement, more shares. They're just gonna have better high level ad metrics than straight e-commerce double ad just because... What are you more likely to click on, some interesting compelling story or video piece of content or something like that, or a product? Probably the content.
03:49 SW: Yeah. Exactly. And number three, the next thing we love doing is we like duplicating the post IDs with the most engagement and spreading those post IDs across a multitude of audiences. That's really important, instead of creating new ads every single time you launch a new audience, you could actually duplicate a post, AKA an ad, across a multitude of AdSense, which works incredibly well.
04:14 SA: Yeah, that's awesome.
04:15 SW: Again, you also wanna test the amount of... You also do time on site remarketing. So you can start, when you have an audience for a content site or a publisher, you can really start building really creative audiences around your best readers, so leveraging Facebook's time on site tool you could create an audience of people who spent 20 seconds or more on your website then create a lookalike of those specific users. Remember when you're on a site like this, you wanna be as open as possible and let Facebook optimize for you.
04:49 SA: Yeah, absolutely. The time on site one's a really, really good point just because when you wanna build especially lookalikes off of your best users or your best readers, whatever that may be, in general a lookalike off of that is really, really effective.
05:03 SW: Yup. You can also upload your email list obviously in the Facebook, create audience around them, you can run ads to generate subscribers to your newsletter, you can take your videos, turn them into native Facebook videos and then put call to actions at the end of your video content to drive users. High level, as a publisher you have ultimate flexibility. You can do so much with your contents on Facebook. You can obviously run instant or you can run in the instant articles which work really well as the articles as in, ad placement you can test that out. We've had relative success with that, on that Facebook's kinda monetization, its the articles and the audience network.
05:45 SA: Yeah. The other thing I think to test as well as from a placement standpoint, depending on the content, if it's a good fit, and to test right-hand rail versus newsfeed just to drive cost down. If you can very succinctly describe what it is your content, if it's a short title, if you can really clearly communicate in a very short way, try the right-hand rail, you might get cheaper clicks.
06:07 SW: Yup, be very careful with the amount of ads you have on your website as well. Facebook is policing content sites who are running a lot of ads on their websites, so always be thoughtful with the amount of ads that you have running. But overall, Facebook is a treasure trove for content sites for both driving audience to the website as well as "audience development," which is driving page likes, which we don't do. We don't ever recommend doing any page-like campaigns. We think that it's a complete waste of money, but I see other people doing it and I get it. But for what we do as a direct response performance marketing company, we'll never run a page-like campaign.
06:51 SA: Absolutely. Well yeah, Steve, do you have any other general thoughts about how to run audience development campaigns on Facebook for a content site?
07:00 SW: It depends on what your content is and what audience serves it but always be, as much as you can be, very wide open with your audience. If you can make open audiences work for an article, be very timely. If it's a news-oriented article, make sure you launch it at a specific time of day when most people are on there. You could set automated rules around if something hits over a certain CPC, it automatically go off. So just leveraging the automated rules, leveraging time on site audiences, leveraging and turning your ads into product feeds, exporting your post IDs. There's five or six tactics that we discussed in this podcast which I think could essentially drive down your cost per click.
07:45 SA: Awesome. Well, hopefully if you're running a content site out there you found this to be very, very useful and you have plenty of to-dos. We're looking forward to hearing from you guys about some successes you have using these tips to grow your content sites. If you have any questions please feel free to email me or Steve. Steve is firstname.lastname@example.org, I'm email@example.com, S-T-E-W-A-R-T. And we will see you on the next episode of the Spend $10K a Day podcast.