More than 50 million businesses have Facebook pages but only 2 million businesses are using Facebook ads and this is good news for nonprofits.
Facebook is hardly the proverbial “small pond” but, when it comes to Facebook advertising, you can still be a “big fish” and effectively compete with the other “big fish” that usually dominate the fight for your audience’s attention. That’s because, despite the ubiquity of business presence on Facebook, almost nobody is running ads on the platform yet. Your marketing spend can go farther and have a greater impact than it would with more common digital advertising platforms such as Google AdWords or display marketing because the competition is not as fierce. This is the only advertising platform where nonprofits–who don’t have big-time advertising budgets–can compete with the likes of Coca-Cola, Nike, and AT&T.
SO, WHY ADVERTISE ON FACEBOOK?
Simply put, you should advertise on Facebook because that’s where your donors are. With more than a billion active users every day, if you can’t find someone interested in what you do on Facebook, it’s time to rethink your fundraising model. And finding your audience on Facebook is easier than with any other ad platform. Facebook knows everything about us–its users–because we’ve told it everything. We’ve told it who we are (our age, gender, marital status, family members), what we’re into (music, books, movies, hobbies, passions, interests), where we work (past and present workplaces and how long we’ve worked there), where we’ve been (geotagged statuses, photos, videos) and who we were there with (tag your friends!). The list of things that Facebook knows about its users is nearly infinite because most users share their whole life with their friends and family on the social media platform.
All of that data can be targeted by advertising. It’s a little scary how granular you can get if you’re clever. Scary but also very exciting because it means that you can spend your money to get your ads in front of exactly the right person and stop wasting your money bothering people who don’t–and WON’T–care. And finding an audience that cares is really at the core of nonprofit marketing and fundraising.
Over 1.13 BILLION daily active users
1.03 BILLION on mobile alone
Average user spends 50 minutes on FB every day
Did you know that $80 BILLION is spent annually on television commercials? And yet, 95% of Fortune 500 companies have lost market share over the last two years. The biggest and brightest brands are still pouring money down a marketing channel that is losing influence with audiences. That’s because, when the commercials come on, we reach for our phones. We don’t engage with television commercials. We engage with mobile. Once these business giants realize how bad their spend is, they’re going to pour their money into Facebook and it’s going to get expensive. Nonprofits simply cannot compete with corporate giants like Coca Cola, Proctor and Gamble, or General Motors. The price to play is too high. That’s why RIGHT NOW is the best time for nonprofits to advertise on Facebook. Get your foot in the door and your brand in front of your audience while it’s still cheap.
Not only should you be advertising on Facebook NOW before the big brands get in on the action, you should be targeting THEM. Get your brand and corporate donation options in front of businesses, not just individuals. Corporate giving is a huge source of revenue for nonprofits and there are some really effective, proven techniques for making this work in what is essentially a platform built for and used by individuals. You can find tactics in Youtube videos or blog articles or by calling us. The point is, you need to be doing this now before it gets prohibitively expensive.
THE MANY FLAVORS OF FACEBOOK ADS
Facebook Ads aren’t like Google AdWords, where there are just a few variations of ads available. Facebook knows that its users consume content in a myriad of ways and so it provides its advertisers with multiple ad options as well. At their most basic, they break down into two larger groups: ads that stay inside of the Facebook ecosystem and ads that move traffic out of Facebook to external sites. Each ad type inside of these groups is unique and designed to accomplish a different task. Whether you want to get eyes on a piece of content, drive attendance for an event, generate conversions on your website, increase donations with a promotional call-to-action, or collect leads for donor development, Facebook has developed an ad type specifically for you.
WHAT DO I DO NOW?
What you do right now is start advertising on Facebook. Spend the money and get the conversions before you get priced out of the platform entirely. Segment your advertising with smart content targeted to specific audiences. We mentioned it before; your current online audience–whoever they are–is the most marketing-savvy audience that’s ever existed. Social media users have spent their whole lives with advertisements in their faces and ears. They can smell marketing a mile away. Statistics also show us that, if your marketing content is relevant and targeted, they will still engage with it. Be specific. Be intentional. Be strategic. But, whatever you do, start running ads on Facebook.