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Facebook Ads - How to use it correctly to promote your website posts.

Posted by Ian Davies on 30 September 2014
Facebook Ads - How to use it correctly to promote your website posts.

Facebook drives by far the most social referral traffic to websites.

According to a report from Shareaholic, Facebook referred 23.39% of all website visits during Q2 as shown above this post.

Not only is the next social network not even close (Pinterest at 5.72%), but Facebook’s share of social referrals is growing, up 10% since Q1. Facebook’s referral share is the only one that is headed in a positive direction.

If you have a website, you need to use Facebook to help drive relevant people to your content. One of the powerful ways you can boost this traffic is through the use of Facebook ads.


Why Facebook Traffic is Important to Me

You’d probably be shocked to know that Facebook is not the number one referrer to many sites. Instead, that role is held by organic search. More specifically, Google drives a big bulk of traffic.

However, not only does Facebook undoubtedly influence whether Google refers traffic (more traffic, more activity, Google likes me), it’s not even close regarding which social network refers the most eyeballs to your content.

Nearly 84% of social referrals come from Facebook, and also have more time on site and page views from Facebook than from other social networks.

Share Organically at the Right Time

I want you to understand a proven publishing routine since you can possibly take bits and pieces from it to apply to your own strategy.

The “prime times” are often far from ideal if you want to get the most engagement and drive the most organic traffic.

We’ve seen that sharing at 5.00am my time is optimal. Of course, quality of content has the most impact on engagement and ability to drive traffic, but competition in the News Feed is also important.


Promote to Fans

Once you schedule your post to be shared on your Facebook page, the best idea is to create a couple of ads and schedule them for the next day. While there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong for the timing, we choose to allow my post to run organically for a few hours prior to promoting it.

So the post will publish at 5am my time, and then my ads will begin running at about 10:00am.

The first group of people to always target is your fans. Even though you tend to reach a decent chunk of your fans organically, you want to reach more of them. Algorithm or not, many of your fans won’t be on Facebook when the original published post went out, so promotion is helpful.

You would keep these ads running until the next post is promoted (so about a week if thats how often you write new content). While we recomend a budget of a modest $10 per ad set per day, you can  stop or accelerate based on performance.

We believe to generally shoot for between 10 and 15 cents per website click. If your spending more than 20 cents, you might want to rethink the add spend. If your spending at or under 10 cents, It might be worth increasing your budget.


Promote to Website Visitors

When you schedule a campaign to promote a new blog post, we recomend you always start with two ad sets:

1) Targeting Fans
2) Targeting Website Visitors (30 Days)

Targeting this group through the use of Website Custom Audiences is important. You can generally target all website visitors during the past 30 days.

As is the case with targeting fans above, if you start with an initial $10 daily budget and increase the budget or stop the ad depending on performance.


Promote to Specific Website Visitors

If you have articles that cover distinct topics, it may be necessary to segment your Website Custom Audiences. Additionally, you may be wasting money if you promote to all website visitors since some readers may have no interest in particular topics.

While your site is focused entirely on subject A, let’s assume you also wrote about Subject B, C and D. If you publish a blog post about Subject A, you may want to reach only those who previously read posts about that topic.

You can do this with Website Custom Audiences. Hopefully the URL of your articles include key words or categories. If so, you can create a Website Custom Audience of anyone who visited pages with those key words within the URL.

Like this…


If you write about a few main categories of content, consider including the name of that category within the URL of your posts so this can work for you.

Once that Website Custom Audience is created, you could then target people who have read a similar blog post on your site during the past 30 days (or whatever time period you choose up to 180 days).

Promoting to Other Groups

You should prefer spending money to reach people who already know who you are. These people are most likely to click your ads and want to read your content.

But there are two main reasons why you may want to go beyond these groups:

1) You’ve exhausted the groups of people closely connected to you
2) The ad and post are performing extremely well

Let’s say you have a fan base of 1,000 people and you get 5,000 website visitors per month. You should certainly promote content to these people. However, you will not be able to spend much on these groups. You may then want to expand the net.

Earlier I talked about increasing the budget if your getting at or under 10 cents per website click. Another approach you may take is expanding the net for such content since that performance could be a clue that it would appeal to a wider audience.

Following are the ways you can target when you decide to move beyond those who know you:

  • Lookalike Audiences
  • Advanced Demographics and Behaviors
  • Interests
For Lookalike Audiences,you will need to target people similar to your fans, website visitors and paying customers.

For the rest, I’ll use Audience Insights to break down my audience to get a better idea of the demographics, behaviors and interests I should be targeting.


Exclude Those Who Read It

Finally, there’s an important step that many miss and as a result waste a little bit of money: Exclude those who have already read the post!

Why pay to promote a post and show it to someone who already read it? It’s a waste. Exclude them!

Immediately upon publishing a new blog post, I will go and create a Website Custom Audience for that post.


Hope that helps, if you need any help to organise or manage a facebook ad campaign or to promote content on your web site, feel free to call me anytime.

Author: Ian Davies
Tags: Lead Generation Sales Funnel Marketing Advice Social Media

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