[Case Study] Why Nonprofits Should Save Some Marketing Budget for Facebook Advertising

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Guest post by Amanda Sides
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In its simplest description, Facebook advertising is essentially placing ads within the Facebook interface with a goal of increasing visibility for your target audience.  While it’s still relatively new when compared to other ad platforms (like Google AdWords), it’s constantly growing in popularity, which in turn leads to even better targeting options and updated features.  So why exactly is this a great opportunity that shouldn’t be overlooked by nonprofits?

Why Facebook Advertising is Beneficial for Nonprofits

Minimal Costs. When comparing Facebook ad costs to other forms of online paid media, it tends to come at a very low cost-per-click (how much you pay every time someone clicks on your ad), contributing to low costs-per-conversion as well. As competition increases and more advertisers start utilizing Facebook as an ad platform, costs-per-click may start to increase, but for now it’s a relatively cheap way to get traffic and conversions.

Granular Targeting. Since users share so much information about what they like and who they are, this gives advertisers an advantage by allowing them to target very specific audiences. By having that ability, you can spend your marketing budget more efficiently and effectively. Here are just a few of the ways Facebook allows advertisers to target:

Retarget Site Visitors. Facebook offers a targeting feature where advertisers can show ads on Facebook to people who have visited their site before. You can even narrow this down to certain actions or page views, and tailor your ads specifically around that information. This enables you to show ads to people who you know are already interested in or supporters of your nonprofit, increasing the likelihood that your ad will gain some traction.

Testing & Measuring Performance

Before you get started, be sure to nail down your overall goals you want to achieve from this initiative. Do you want to send people to your Facebook page to promote more likes? Or do you want to direct people to your website to perform a certain conversion action? This will help guide your strategy, as you never want to lose sight of your ultimate end goals.

Once you’ve established your goals, be sure you set up conversion tracking so you have something measurable to let you know how you are doing.

When you first get started, be sure to write your ads with your audience in mind. Are you targeting moms of young kids or male college students? How about people who have certain interests, such as baking or running? You’ll want to tailor both your images and verbiage to that audience so it’s compelling to them and also conveys what action you want them to take on your website. You should always be testing your ads, to continually strive to improve conversion performance.

There are two places ads can display on Facebook, the right-hand column and directly in the newsfeed. Don’t neglect to monitor performance to see which works best for you; having this insight could help you hone your ad spend to get the most conversions at the lowest possible cost.

How Share Our Strength Increased Support using Facebook Advertising

Share Our Strength, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit fighting to end child hunger in America, wanted to increase registrations for its Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry , a national fundraising initiative that encourages people to host bake sales in their communities to help end childhood hunger. Those who were interested in holding a bake sale could register via the Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry website. Share Our Strength continually comes back to Facebook advertising to promote this campaign, since performance has proven to be successful season after season.

From the start (Fall 2012) through the most recent season, we’ve helped Share Our Strength and the Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry narrow targeting to focus ad spend on their heaviest hitting audiences, test ad copy, images and landing pages, as well as introduce new features and campaigns along the way, all contributing to significant improvements in conversion performance over time.

The results are the perfect example of why testing and tweaking to figure out what works best is so important.

  • Conversion rate increased by 134%
  • Cost-per-conversion was reduced by 64%
  • Cost-per-click decreased by 20%

Not only is Facebook advertising one of the most efficient channels for their ad budget, over time through testing, it consistently improves, allowing for more efficient spending of that limited marketing budget.

For more details, read the rest of Share Our Strength’s Facebook Advertising story at Marketing Mojo.

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About Amanda Sides

Amanda Sides is Account Director at Marketing Mojo, managing SEO, PPC, LinkedIn and Facebook campaigns for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. She develops and manages tactics to improve performance and manages an account management team in Marketing Mojo’s Charleston, South Carolina office. Her clients have included MazdaUSA, SRI International, DS Cases, Share Our Strength and Taco Bell. Amanda graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Marketing.

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