Hootsuite, a platform for managing social media, reports that Facebook ads have click-through rates that are 8 to 9 percent higher than normal web ads.
What’s more, Invesp, an an online marketing services firm, reports that 92 percent of social marketers are using Facebook advertising.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
I’m thinking that advertising on Facebook could be a good strategy for many authors.
“Where do I begin?”
But if you’re new to this, as so many authors are, the question is, “Where do I begin?”
That leads to: What works with Facebook ads? What doesn’t work?
And . . . How do I figure it all out?
The best way to start is to decide to invest in learning how to do it. You will need to invest time, energy, and probably some money if you want to learn how to do it right.
And you do want to learn how to do it right. Otherwise, you’ll waste nearly every dollar you spend on this massive social networking site with 1.13 billion daily active users. What’s the point of using Facebook ads if you’re throwing your money away?
Because I’m connected to hundreds of authors on Facebook, I see a lot of ads. I’m going to be honest here: Most are bad. As in, really bad. I’ve seen ads with:
- No “call to action,” meaning, something that tells me what you want me to do now that I’ve seen your ad.
- Confusing imagery.
- Videos that are so author-focused that I start to feel sorry for the authors.
I’m no advertising expert, but I’m in touch with what motivates me as a consumer. When it comes to books, it’s not spelling mistakes, vague or confusing messages, and videos that are all about the author and nothing about what the book will do for me, the reader.
3 ways I’m learning about Facebook advertising
And because I’m not an advertising expert, I’m learning about Facebook advertising at the same time you are. Here are the three things I’m doing to get as smart as I possibly can before I spend a single dollar on ads:
- Taking a Udemy course. I’m working my way through “Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketing Mastery Guide 2017.” I’m a compensated Udemy affiliate. UPDATE: When you use coupon code ENDMARCH10 you can get that course and any other course for $10 through March 31. I’m watching the videos while walking on the treadmill, which is something of a two-fer, right? (UPDATE: Carol Dunlop reminded me in a comment below about Facebook’s training. Thanks, Carol!)
- Maintaining a “swipe” file. I save both good and bad Facebook ads on my smartphone with a screen grab when I see them in my newsfeed. Most of my good examples aren’t from authors, though. They’re from successful information products marketers or marketing services firms. Start looking for ads from companies and products whose pages you’ve liked, and grabbing screen shots of those that you think communicate well or motivate you to take action.
- Looking for information online. I’m interested in finding articles that help me understand what I should be learning about or paying more attention to.
Articles on Facebook advertising for authors
Here are some articles that you might find helpful as a starting point or to fill in some gaps in your knowledge. I’ve provided the title and first paragraph; click on the title to read the entire article:
Facebook Ads: A Guide for Indie Authors: As the number of social media networks continues to grow, indie authors have more and more platforms on which to spread the word about their books. But the granddaddy of all social networks is still Facebook, which boasts more than 1.65 billion active users per month, according to VentureBeat. And it’s this huge user base that makes Facebook an ideal destination for self-published authors looking to market their books and build their readerships.
This is How You Use Facebook to Sell Books: I read the recent DBW piece “Why Facebook Cannot Help You Sell Books” with surprise, and I respectfully disagree with its contentions. I’m pretty much the definition of a midlist author: I write full-time, I’ve hit a few Amazon best-seller lists over the last couple years, and readers seem to enjoy my books. I was making a very good income with the usual forms of advertising throughout 2014—BookBub and the other advertisers, permafree first in series, etc.—but when I turned on my first Facebook ads I immediately saw a massive spike in business.
(Note: The article above is by Facebook ad course instructor Mark Dawson, who offers three free short training videos here.)
How to Use Facebook Ads to Sell More Books: This is the third post in the series to show authors how Facebook Ads Marketing can help sell more books as well as build a viable author platform . . . . In this third post, I will be dealing with how authors can use Facebook Ads and it’s extensions to sell books and grow a sizable author platform.
Day 12: Keep Your Facebook Fans Warm With a Boosted Post: One of the chief purposes of marketing these days is all about keeping your fans and followers warm. A warm audience is a marketing phrase that designates a group that has already opted in to one of your marketing platforms. They have signed up for an email list, liked your Facebook page, or claimed an offer on your website. One of the best ways to keep your Facebook fans warm and engaged is to consider an occasional boosted post.
3 case studies
These “how I did it” case studies from authors are helpful, too:
Facebook Ads: One Author’s Experience: British indie author David Penny shares a case study of his own Facebook advertising campaign, which he’s using to promote the first in his historical crime thriller series, The Red Hill, set in medieval Moorish Spain.tip of the month
My Tale of Boosting a Facebook Post: Many authors I know are hesitant to spend money on Facebook advertising. Without a clear correlation between ads and sales, it can be hard to shell out cash when you don’t know if you’ll see a return on your investment.
Case Study: Amazon Best Selling Book in Just One Day – With Facebook Ads: Meet a contrarian author, H. Ann Ackroyd of TransomPress.com, a Historical Fiction writer. She is one of the authors who took me up on my One Hour Book Marketing And Author Platform Strategy Call. Ann isn’t like any other Historical Fiction writer; she writes her two books in a rhythmic prose format, which isn’t a common phenomenon among authors in the same book genre.
I tend to learn by doing, but this is a big and complicated topic, so I decided to invest in a course rather than use the teach-myself approach.
If you’re using Facebook ads without any training, I’d encourage you to pause your campaigns and commit to learning more about best practices so you get the most for your Facebook advertising dollars.
Are you running Facebook ads? Please us about your experience in a comment. Are they working? What’s your best tip?
Tip of the Month
This month I recommend a free and short e-book that I know you’ll find helpful.
Kathleen Gage’s Hit #1 on Amazon walks you through the process she follows to get the top category position for her books. (Note that’s category best-seller status, not all-of-Amazon best-seller status.)
Kathleen’s advice applies to fiction and nonfiction. I’d love to see you give it a shot.