Everyone has heard about the pixel and how big Facebook ads are becoming. Digital Marketers are exclaiming that you need to stop whatever you are doing and begin running sponsored posts immediately. Without doing so will doom your business. Well, maybe they are not getting that dramatic, but still.

Facebook Ads are fantastic but to gain the most advantage from them, you need to have a clear understanding of how they integrate with your marketing strategy. Depending on what type of business you have, most nowadays rely heavily on search engines to drive traffic to their website. What you need to keep in mind is the intent of the user.

Marketing Had Shifted to Intent

People do not surf the web like they did in the early days of the internet. Most people have high intent when they do a search on Google. They are looking for something specific, a solution to a problem or have a question in general. The main strategy for SEO and PPC ads in search is to provide an answer.

This was a complete shift from what many in our industry had been trained to think. We have been fortunate that search engines came along and nothing had been as strong in marketing on the intent side since the phone book. Because of this we had to shift our understanding of the psychology from creative to solution selling.

When looking at a medium such as Facebook, the intent is completely different, it is passive. People are not usually looking for anything specific in the way of products or services. It truly is a throwback to basic marketing strategy. Get your ad in front of the most likely potential customers that will consume your product or service.

This is not a bad thing, but it is a shift in mindset. It is not dissimilar to newspaper and display ads. Except that Facebook has one BIG advantage. Facebook has what I would categorize as the most in depth market research the world has ever seen. Facebook knows more about it’s people than the United States Government.

Facebook Knows its Audience

Google knows a lot about it’s users but mostly in what we search for and knowledge of what causes us to click. Facebook on the other hand has for well over a decade built up profiles of their users and knows us quite possibly as much as anyone could know a person. We have been telling them our likes and dislikes, political leanings, words that trigger us, people we follow, hobbies… you name it.

This allows them to provide their advertisers (you and I) the ability to select any category we’d like to market to and define it down to a point of precision that no other marketing campaigns have been capable of in history.

Years before, if I wanted to send direct mail to people in a fifty mile radius who own a Ford truck, I would purchase a list and mail. The process was expensive, time consuming and the results were difficult to track. Now, I am able to perform this same action within fifteen minutes and get far more detailed in selecting the target audience.

Running ads for women between the age of 35 and 65 who own a dog and like (not even own) Ford Mustangs is as easy as clicking a few buttons. Campaigns can be refined over the course of a few days and can even be re-targeted based upon their interest.

From a marketing standpoint, Facebook ads are used for what we call higher in the funnel. When someone searches for a silver chain necklace, they have higher intent than one that is displayed to me. If I search for this, then I am lower on the funnel and closer to the point of the sale. Facebook provides the added opportunity of creating more impressions of your brand. A term which has been less often used in a world where most websites are void of a personality and are geared toward converting to a sale.

Use Facebook ads to make sales but also use them to build your business through your brand.