Facebook Advertising is Surprisingly Effective
When I launched my Donate page recently, I decided it would be fun to run a test ad campaign on Facebook. I had never run any kind of modern online advertising, and had no real experience with the medium since the glory days of banner and syndicated advertising about 12 years ago.
So I wrote the most blatant and terrible ad I could think of, gave it a minuscule budget, and limited its reach to just a few demographics of people that live near me. It was a direct call to action to donate money to my donate page...pitched at people that almost certainly had no idea who I was, nor why they should bother to donate money to me.
I expected to get zero clicks and maybe, if I was lucky, one or two genuinely good impressions. Instead, I picked up one new follower on my Facebook page, got 16 people to click through, and got almost 900 proper impressions.
In one fell swoop, I had learned that Facebook advertising could actually work, that even the worst-written ad with a tiny budget can draw in some curiosity, and that I should wield this power properly next time.
I did learn some good things about what demographics might be interested in my content. And I have some reviews and articles coming up that people might actually want to read...and now I'm considering promoting them on my own instead of relying solely on luck and Google searches.
One of the best ways up till now to draw people to my content was to buy a new pair of headphones, a new coffee, or a new video game....and get a bunch of content out as quickly as humanly possible. That way, when Google searches started coming in for the product, my content would hopefully be near the top.
But that's not a sustainable long term strategy. It only works really well for products that either get zero press exposure, or for items where my long and overly verbose style of writing actually provides additional context for prospective buyers. Plus, it's hard to keep up with the absurd wave of competent products in the tech sphere. Both because I don't have an endless supply of money, and I don't have an endless supply of words to say about a bunch of products that are totally okay.
Now that I know that Facebook advertising actually seems to really work, I'm going to be publishing more sponsored posts in the future just to get some of my more under-appreciated content out there.
I'm quite impressed with the performance of my no-budget garbage ad, and hope to have even more success with less mediocre ads in the future!