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Is Facebook Advertising Still Economical?

Discussion in 'Social Media' started by Kevin Muldoon, Jul 15, 2014.

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  1. If we forget about money for a second and focus on what the Facebook advertising platform can offer, I believe it is arguably the most effective way of reaching an audience available to website owners.

    I cannot think of any other advertising network that can let you target people in the way that Facebook can. It can let you target people by location, by interests, by age, by the friends they have, and by the pages they like. That is very powerful. It allows you to choose the exact kind of traffic you want.

    For example, let us say I wanted to start a campaign for Rise Forums today. If I wanted to grow this community with young inexperienced bloggers from India or from Australia, I could do that. However, I could also attract experienced website owners from affluent areas in the United States. This is what makes Facebook the most flexible advertising system and the most targeted advertising system.

    However, we cannot forget the costs of running a Facebook campaign. Years ago Facebook was a goldmine for website owners as the cost of clicks was so slow. Prices have risen across the board over the last few years.

    Perhaps more importantly is the fact that Facebook pages no longer get the exposure that they once did. With around 1,100 likes, the updates on my personal Facebook page reach about 30 people on average. That means less than 3% of people who like my page are actually seeing my updates.

    It may be possible for me to increase the number of likes of Rise Forums to 1,000 in a matter of hours for around $500. But if updates only reach 3% or 5% of the audience, is it really worth it? I could, of course, send traffic directly to Rise Forums, but the real selling point of Facebook has always been the ability to target visitors again and again; which is why I have always favoured growing a fan page.

    Let's not forget that a Facebook fan page can grow organically free of charge if you are willing to update it frequently and interact with readers. My girlfriend helped me grow the fan page of one of my websites to over 65,000 people by posting images and videos every day.

    I am reviewing different advertising options available to me in order to promote Rise Forums, and in the future, my blog. If I am to promote my fan pages and never spend time interacting with visitors, I think I would be throwing a lot of money down the drain. I think that if I spent time interacting with visitors and sharing good stories, the page would grow, but that is obviously a time consuming act.

    The alternative would be to just send traffic to a page directly using a cheaper traffic source and hope that it converts well.

    What's your thoughts on Facebook advertising? Do you think it has reached the point where it is no longer economical to build a Facebook fan page to promote a website, or do you think it can still be worthwhile if you spend time interacting with visitors and give them unique content?

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this issue :)

  2. You hit on some great points, the targeting is incredible - and the fact that they get data while you're visiting other sites while logged in is both amazing and VERY freaky.

    I've stepped away from Facebook almost completely.

    I could spend all of my time growing my Facebook likes but the fact only 3-5% of people will see updates, like you say is crazy.

    Eat24 spent over $1million growing their Facebook likes and ended up closing down their page because it just wasn't cost efficient.

    You could go over to Google+ and grow your community quicker while being able to reach more of them. Or pay to use Facebook, I'd go to G+.

    But then I start thinking that really with social platforms we're just building on rented land - that's why I focus so much on building an email list.

    I understand the 'excuse' that Facebook give - there's too much in the news feed and their algo de-clutters it. In theory, I can see how it would be really bad from a user perspective, but with a newsfeed full of ads and content I couldn't give a damn about - it doesn't fill me with confidence.

    As for Facebook advertising - I would ONLY use it if I had a solid sales funnel in place because I can target my prospects and 'ideal customers' easily. And I'd also be able to ensure that I got a return on my investment.

    I tried some promoted posts ages ago and the performance was horrible, I got like 8x more traffic from Outbrain on the same budget and when we look at actual impressions it was more like 40x.
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  3. You raise a great point about creating a solid sales funnel. The Blog Tyrant published a good case study about this recently: How to Launch a Blog and Get 17,800 Email Subscribers in 6 Weeks. It shows how the owner of Not a Model funnelled Facebook traffic into signing up to her email list. One of the things I have always thought Rise Forums is that I could promote the forums better by simply developing my blog more.

    It's crazy to think about the money that some businesses have spent on Facebook. I imagine the decision from Eat24 to stop close their fan page would not have been easy after investing so much money into it.

    A little over two years ago, Facebook traffic was unbelievable. I was getting 20 times more traffic than I am now. It's so different now.

    A alternative I have been thinking about is content. Rather than spend money advertising a website, I could invest more in producing great content. This could provide targeted traffic for many years; particularly if it increases sign ups to my newsletter.

    Do you have a specific funnel set up to send traffic to your email list?
    Jay Mayu likes this.
  4. Thanks for the link to the Blog Tyrant post - I need to check that out.

    I agree with you about developing your blog to promote Rise Forums, one idea would be to plan out audience personas that are specific to Rise Forums and map content to them. HubSpot has a good post on this: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-mapping-template-personalize-marketing.

    Definitely, it was a tough decision for them, but they spun it round into a huge load of positive press, they had posts syndicated to sites like SEJ - they wrote a funny 'break up letter' to Facebook. It was hilarious: http://blog.eat24hours.com/breakup-letter-to-facebook-from-eat24/.

    The crazy thing is that they got coverage on: CNN.com, Forbes, business Insider, Marketing Land, SEJ and a bunch more huge sites.

    They also cited that email open rates increased 20% after closing their FB page - madness haha!

    I know what you mean - the decline is crazy.

    I love the idea of focusing more on content and if you're looking to get more email subscribers, this post could be a winner: http://backlinko.com/list-building.

    There are landing pages that I have setup to get subscribers but I haven't got the important part in place (the sales funnel/auto responder sequence) that will drive revenue.

    I have 5-6 landing pages, I link to them in my author bios when I do guest posts and they have proved to be a good way of getting more sign ups.

    I also use Hellobar to add CTA's on posts to drive traffic to relevant landing pages.
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  5. That's amazing that their email open rates increased. I suppose it makes sense as the people would be getting exposed to the brand less on Facebook.

    I've bookmarked that Backlinko article. There's a lot of great stuff in that.

    I used landing pages on my blog for my free ebook, but I always had two minds on whether they were the best way to get people. I always felt it was better for people to see my blog first, as they are more likely to click the spam button on my emails if they don't know who I am.

    I am trying a few email blasts to promote Rise Forums. I think that could be a good way to bring in some new members. Will see how it goes and let you know.
  6. Definitely, a lot more people ended up subscribing to their email list I think too.

    I know what you mean. But, if you get traffic from other posts you've written and link to your landing page in your author bio, generally people clicking those links know who you are and want to learn more.

    Using Hellobar to link to your landing page on relevant posts may work well too - I've got a landing page right now converting at 54%. Because people on my own site are seeing it, most of them know who I am.

    Had a quick look on your site and spotted a strange issue with an opt-in box, here's a screenshot: http://screencast.com/t/dVZlaudkaW.

    I think it could be worth while looking at something like OP or LeadPages to create your landing pages, or you may be able to use the Genesis page template.

    Here is an example of the landing page that converts at 54% (created using LeadPages): http://www.bloggingwizard.com/lp/get-to-the-top.

    Sounds good - looking forward to seeing how the email blasts work!
  7. Thanks for pointing that out to me. That's bizarre. I imagine it doesn't have good support for your browser. What browser are you using? Do you have anything like Javascript disabled? If that is causing it, I could revert to an HTML template.

    Heading out to my friends birthday party / BBQ - but will review this tomorrow :)
  8. No worries!

    I'm using Chrome which is the weird thing - Javascript is enabled.

    Enjoy the party/BBQ!
  9. Kevin I have noticed this too on your site. It seems to be when u click newsletter in your footer. See below.

    Latest Chrome

    IE 11
    Firefox 30
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  10. Thanks for your help guys.

    It's been fun trying to get this resolved. Just spent an hour talking to GetResponse about this. Not been easy trying to get them to recognise that this is an issue with their form.

    You can see in the middle of the discussion that I was getting frustrated with the support rep trying to put the whole blame on me and not help me. Though I don't hold any grudge against the guy. If he had three windows open at the same time, it sounds like GetResponse is terribly understaffed. Also sounds like they have only given him minimum training in order to support customers.

    [​IMG]Andy Konsultant
    Andy Hello Kevin. How may I help you?

    Me Hi Andy. Visitors of my blog have reported that the GetResponse form is not displaying correctly on my blog.

    Me I am using the Javascript code. It seems to display correctly for me, but many people are reporting errors.

    Andy What is your blog url?

    Me They said that http://www.kevinmuld…ts-habits-successful-bloggers/

    Me is being displayed as this:http://screencast.com/t/dVZlaudkaW

    Me the same problem occurs onhttp://www.kevinmuldoon.com/newsletter/

    Andy This is your view or theirs?

    Me theirs

    Me http://www.riseforum…ad_2014-7-19_21-52-36-png.144/

    Me two different people reported this problem at http://www.riseforum…ertising-still-economical.718/

    Andy That is how it looks to me. What should be different?

    Andy http://screencast.com/t/xQE3g9krG

    Me well it shouldn't be displaying at the top of the page before the content area.

    Andy That is the webform you built.

    Andy Where it is located is a setting inside your website.

    Me hold on ill check the code for the top form

    Andy We don't cinfigure websites. We help you build the form. You have to set up where the form goes.

    Andy *configure

    Me i realise that

    Me but i am not displaying the form you are referring to

    Me the top form has the id 416986

    Me the one that is displayed at the top of the page is KevinMuldoon - Header Form

    Me and that is displaying correctly

    Me the one you are referring to is for a completely different website

    Me there is something wrong

    Me its an issue with the getresponse form

    Me Are you still there?

    Andy I am juggling 3 chats. Please, bear with me.

    Me Sorry, I don't have time to wait around all day. I pay on time every month, and for that I want GetResponse to address any issues with their service when I report them. I shouldn't have to wait around.

    Me Is telephone support available just now? I will call.

    Andy Sorry. M-F.

    Andy I have gone above and beyond by looking into the code on your website.

    Me that is not going above and beyond

    Andy I can see that there seems to be 4 forms on your page.

    Me you looked at my website and then pointed to a form from another website

    Me how is that going above any beyond?

    Me that newsletter form is not displaying correctly

    Andy I am not a programmer. If you want me to stick to my training, and not try, I can simply say We don't help with your website.

    Andy You choose. Either way is fine.

    Me Wow. I must admit that I am surprised at how bad your customer service is.

    Andy Sir, it was busy, I was trying to help. I explained what I was doing. And you complained.

    Andy Looking at the code, I see what appears to be 4 webforms.

    Andy http://screencast.com/t/YkGveakcB

    Me I was waiting for more than 5 minutes for a response and you then told me you were talking to other customers. You said you checked my website and then showed me a screenshot with an arrow pointing to a form for another website I owned - one that I am not even promoting GetResponse on. I checked the code and showed you the correct form and you have yet to explain why that form is displaying incorrectly.

    Me Sorry, but that is not going above and beyond. That is doing the bare minimum.

    Andy http://screencast.com/t/yVg4lWcgkuZi

    Andy http://screencast.com/t/vFrEIgeN

    Andy http://screencast.com/t/YkGveakcB

    Me So why is that form displaying above the page

    Me regardless of the form that is being displayed, why is a Javascript powered form being displayed at the top of the page?

    Andy That is a setting inside your website.

    Me above the design.

    Andy I am not a programmer, yet, I was trying to read code and find the webform ids for your page.

    Me I know the ids of the forms

    Me I know because I put them there.

    Andy I didn't.

    Me you are not answering my question

    Me ok

    Me I will summarise the issue for you

    Me there are two pages in which I have placed the Javascript powered form of GetResponse.

    Me Those forms are not displaying correctly on the page for some users - they are displaying before the website design.

    Me This is happening for some visitors, but not others - though others have confirmed that javascript is enabled.

    Me this is not an issue of a website configuration. I am displaying that form using a Javascript code provided by GetResponse.

    Me So, I am sorry, that is not a website configuration issue, that is a GetResponse issue.

    Me The issue is only occurring on two pages

    Me and I know the exact forms that are causing this.

    Andy I recommend you change from Javascript to using the WordPress plugins.

    Me so I don't need to know all the form ids on my page - I already know that. As I said, I put them there.

    Me The issue is why the Javascript powered code is not working.

    Me I don't want to install another plugin needlessly. Plus, I don't see how this will resolve the issue as the plugin will use the javascript code too.

    Me Plus

    Me if you look back at my support records, you will see that I used the GetResponse plugin initially.

    Me It was full of bugs and the developers could not fix those issues.

    Me I have emails with the developers about this from years ago.

    Me So I don't want to install a buggy plugin on my website. It's a security issue.

    Andy If this was years ago, the plugin may behave differently.

    Me it still doesn't address the issue. Your only solution is use the plugin as our forms do not work. I want to be able to use GetResponse properly.

    Me I don't want to increase my page load by installing another plugin.

    Me Sorry, that is not a solution.

    Andy Can you try the HTML?

    Me the HTML doesn't work

    Me I tried it before I messaged you

    Me The code is incorrect.

    Me I just added the HTML ode without styling

    Andy Okay. You know far more abouit programming than I do. So to go back to the beginning, I am trained to help with building the webform. As for installing it on your website, this link is what I have:

    Me it displays like this : method="post">

    Me style="display: inline !important; width: 112px !important;">

    Andy https://wordpress.or…onse-integration/installation/

    Andy I know you don't want to use the plugin.

    Me im not installing another plugin on my website

    Me sorry - i place a high importance on page speed

    Me and i am not going to add another query just to get the form working - that is not a solution.

    Andy I can help with the webform. We are not trained to troubleshoot websites.

    Me the HTML code being generated has errors. And the javascript code does not display it correctly.

    Me I appreciate you trying to response to these issues, but If you are not trained to troubleshoot websites, why are you the one speaking to me on this. I should have said from the start that you are not trained to help me rather than waste 30 minutes of my time explaining to you what the issue is.

    Me Is there someone there who has more technical experience that I can speak to?

    Me It's nothing personal Andy. But I am a busy man and I cannot afford to spend all my time explaining to you what is wrong. I need this to work. This is an essential feature of GetResponse.

    Andy 1. No one is trained to troubleshoot websites. Anyone that assists you is going to use their general experience.

    Me I will say this for the third time - this is not a website issue. This is a GetResponse issue.

    Andy 2. It is Sunday morning, and there is no one here more experienced than I.

    Me Both forms - javascript and HTML - generate errors.

    Andy Okay. You state that is it a GR issue.

    Me I have illustrated to you that it is.

    Andy But I have offered the advice I have to use different methods. You have other wants.

    Me It isn't other wants.

    Me To give you a little background on me Andy

    Me I am a WordPress blogger and reviewer and consultant.

    Me Two years ago, I tested the GetResponse plugin and spent weeks trying to get the plugin working with the help of GetResponse. They stopped helping me and the plugin remained both buggy, and badly coded - which is a major security concern.

    Me I wasted a lot of my time trying to resolve that issue. So sorry, not using the WordPress plugin is not a "want". I simply do not have the time to go through all of that again. Not do I want to install another plugin on my website to address an essential feature of an email marketing company.

    Me This has to be resolved by GetResponse.

    Me You are implying that I am being difficult, which cannot be further from the truth. The code for both forms generates errors. That is a GetResponse error. You need to recognise that.

    Andy I am saying that GetResponse trained me to help build webforms. GetResponse trained me to show customers WordPress' document for installing webforms.

    Me ok

    Me well the webforms do not work

    Me that is an issue

    Me ok - here is what I would like you to do. I would be very appreciative if you can do this.

    Me Can you please raise this whole issue as a bug and escalate it to someone who is trained to resolve errors like this.

    Me I realise you are not trained in this. So I think the best thing to do is refer it to someone who can.

    Andy I can do that.

    Me Thanks Andy.

    Me I appreciate that

    Me Many thanks.

    Andy I am serious about this question, because you have better phrasing for what you want...

    Me ok

    Andy What is your description of the issue and the result?

    Me Two separate javascript forms are displaying the web form above the website design. HTML code cannot be used as the generated code is incorrect and it displays the HTML code on the page itself.

    Me Customer is not seeing this issue themselves, so it is difficult for them to debug, however two other people with Javascript enabled browsers have reported the same issue.

    Andy Great. Do you have the webform ids?

    Me Do you want the full code or just the IDs?

    Andy Id's, please.

    Me http://www.kevinmuldoon.com/newsletter/ is 416962 andhttp://www.kevinmuldoon.com/books/traits-habits-successful-bloggers/ is 416965

    Me Do you have everything you need?

    Andy Lastly, what is some of the troubleshooting you have done?

    Me I tried the HTML code but it generates errors. As I said above, I have been unable to do a lot of troubleshooting myself as the issue is not occurring on my browser - but it is appearing with two associates of mine.

    Andy This is an old document. May have some relevance.

    Andy http://blog.getrespo…mon-issues-with-web-forms.html

    Me haha I must admit it's funny that GetResponse are saying that it could be a validation error - when the W3 validator reports nearly 100 errors with GetResponse.com :)

    Me but for the record

    Me my blog has 0 errors

    Me I take that kind of thing seriously

    Me so I very much doubt it has anything to do with validation.

    Me :)

    Me The GetResponse blog design has 87 errors.

    Me So it is hard to take the advice of your blog seriously saying that errors are so important when your own website breaks so many recommended guidelines.

    Me But anyways, we are moving away from the point :)

    Me So is everything ready - is this being raised as a ticket?

    Andy I am typing it up. I have to put it in a couple of places.

    Me do you need anything else from me as this has been close to an hour and I need to head out.

    Andy I am good.

    Me Thanks. Appreciate you raising this. Best of luck and I hope you have a good day :)

    Andy Good luck with your email marketing and make sure to let us know if you have any questions! Thank you for contacting GetResponse and have a great day!

    My spidey sense tells me that this is not the end of this. I am going to have to explain everything to the technical team over the next few days. Groundhog day :)

  11. Lol, wow that is kind of ridiculous.

    Andy What is your description of the issue and the result?
    Are you kidding me?? I'm sorry but GetReponse should train their staff better. They should't be asking the consumer to phrase the question for their developer team haha.

    So much for this...
    Jay Mayu, Kris Hoja and Kevin Muldoon like this.
  12. haha I know. The fact he asked that shows that he either wasn't listening to my problem or didn't understand it. But if he didn't understand it, why didn't he tell me so instead of putting the blame on me?

    This happened before with GetResponse. They still have an issue with their RSS to email feature which they refuse to fix. If the first image in one of my blog posts is a smiley, they will increase it to around 150x150 pixels and use it for the featured image in my roundup email blast. Because they won't fix it, I have to ensure that smilies are inserted after the first image. Very annoying.
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