Why Facebook PPC Is Crucial For Branding & How To Sell Your Boss

On Christmas Eve, December 24th, Facebook garnered 7.56% of United States internet traffic market share, whereas Google had 7.54%. Subsequently on Christmas Day, December 25th, Facebook’s piece of pie ballooned to a whopping 7.81% while Google dropped a bit to 7.51%. The day after Christmas, December 26, Google regained its stature as most visited site in the US with 7.33% share, while Facebook retained 7.12%.

Facebook vs. Google site traffic, December 2009

The ramifications of these stunning statistics, which truly reflect the massive girth of Facebook’s 350 million users, simply can’t be stressed enough to brand managers. To my mind, failure to consider Facebook PPC might now be considered negligent, analogous to dismissing the importance of using traditional PPC for branding.

Let’s analyze reasonable statistics and a case study of a fictional company, culled from an average of moderately large brands we provide services for. We’ll call it “ACME Widget Company.” This post offers a format for presenting data to decision makers. Just fill in your own data and adapt as prudent to embrace the realities of products your brand proffers and the function of your site.

ACME PPC monthly impressions volume. ACME buys traditional Pay Per Click text ads on Google, Yahoo and Bing on an ongoing basis for branding purposes. The value has been proven over time. The KPIs (key performance indicators) for PPC brand advertising are: branding and to engage visitors in compelling content to further support the brand by off-page social engagement.

Success is directly measurable by:

  • Average pageviews per click including return visits over 30 days
  • Cost per pageview including return visits over 30 days
  • Email newsletter subscriptions within 30 days
  • Exit clicks to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube during any session

Indirect (not directly measurable) by:

  • YouTube channel views
  • Facebook fan page signups
  • Site’s blog content broadcast and rebroadcast via Twitter, Facebook (as measurable via internal search) and other channels as measured by a monitoring service like PostRank

Search PPC keywords driving impressions are typically a mix of brand, category and product terms. Facebook impressions are generated by marketing to users identified as passionate about (“interested in”) brand terms and categories highly related to ACME’s products. Remember, this is not “search” traffic. Nobody’s typing anything into a box to seek information.

For instance, if ACME is selling non-stick cookie sheets, Facebook segments might include users interested in “cookie baking” and “cookie baking recipes,” in addition to ACME’s brand name permutations.

As a straight up math problem, it’s pretty much a no-brainer for ACME to market with Facebook PPC to scale their KPIs. The lift is palpable. Though the site’s performance is not stellar, the client is redoing the site and results are still somewhat decent. It’s reasonable to expect that any on-site performance lifts due to improvement will scale to somewhat evenly for both search engine PPC and Facebook PPC.

PPC keyword search traffic on Google, Yahoo, Bing

Here are some stats for both a traditional search advertising campaign (ACME does not market in content networks), a Facebook campaign, and the lift provided by the Facebook campaign.

  • 09’ Monthly average Google AdWords impressions: 36,589,022
  • 09’ Monthly average Yahoo and Bing PPC impressions: 4,457,198
  • Average Google, Yahoo, Bing CTR (click through ratio): 2.6%
  • Average CPC (cost per click): $.78
  • Annual monthly PPC cost: $832,417
  • Average monthly PPC traffic: 1,067,201
  • Average PPC pageviews per click including return visits over 90 days: 2.1
  • Total monthly average PPC pageviews: 2,241,122
  • Cost per PPC pageview including return visits over 30 days: $.37
  • Average monthly email/newsletter subscriptions (.001 of PPC pageviews): 2241
  • Exit clicks to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (.0017) of PPC pageviews): 3810

Facebook PPC “interest” traffic via Google, Yahoo and Bing PPC campaigns

  • 2009 monthly average Facebook PPC impressions: 4,457,198
  • Average Facebook CTR: .0098%
  • Average CPC: $.51
  • Annual monthly PPC Cost: $22,277
  • Average Facebook PPC traffic: 43,681
  • Average PPC pageviews per click including return visits over 90 Days: 3.6
  • Total monthly average PPC pageviews: 157,251
  • Cost per PPC pageview including return visits over 30 days: $.14
  • Average monthly email/newsletter subscriptions (.001 of PPC pageviews): 157
  • Exit clicks to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (.0124%) of PPC pageviews): 1950

Analysis of Facebook lift

  • Cost: Facebook PPC increases costs +2.6%
  • Impressions: Facebook PPC lifts impressions +10.8%
  • Traffic: Facebook PPC lifts traffic +4.1%
  • Average PPC pageviews: Facebook lifts +.58%
  • Average monthly email/newsletter subscriptions: Facebook lifts +7%
  • Exit clicks to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (1.24%) of PPC pageviews): Facebook lifts social media exits by 51%

Wow! It only stands to reason that users who click from social media are more likely to exit to a social media KPI. The cost differential from traditional PPC to Facebook PPC is likely window, which will close, as more big brands notice the opportunity. The numbers above are averages of several projects we’ve worked on. We’re already noticing significant price increases in some categories. That said, for now it’s the wild (and often uncontested) west.

If that’s not enough, here are nine more compelling reasons to run an ongoing Facebook PPC program:

  • 32,460 Users “Like” ACME and Are not Friends of ACME fan page yet.
  • 12,454,060 identified users and 19-20 million estimated Facebook users are devoted to categories related ACME Products.
  • 10% PPC traffic lift at-will for any traffic related KPI (aren’t they all?)
  • Defend crucial space vs. negligence: this is a simple matter of reputation management
  • Every Facebook impression is a priceless branding vehicle
  • Environment so completely viral, any message can explode, diluting the global CPA
  • PPC (Facebook and AdWords) proven avenue to build fan page
  • Demographic detail on impressions and users is state of the art, low cost. Use responder demographics data to learn more about customers.
  • Facebook + AdWords Data = Priceless insight to advise SEO process, messages, content design and organic conversion funnels

Do you experience a similar lift with your Facebook campaigns? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Brand Aid | Channel: Social | Facebook | Social Media Marketing


About The Author: is president of aimClear; an internet focused Advertising Agency with offices in Minnesota. aimClear provides natural search optimization (SEO), traditional & social pay-per-click (PPC) management, and social media/feed marketing (SMO) services to national clients.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | LinkedIn


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  • http://www.desjardinsgeneralinsurance.com croy

    wow! stunning numbers!

  • Snowball2

    I think there is an error in the numbers here. If the average Facebook CTR is .0098% then based on 4,457,198 that’s only 437 click-thrus. To get 43,681 clicks the percentage has to be 0.98%.

    Everything I’ve been reading has put avg clicks from FB ads around 0.02%. Better than the 0.0098% above but not anywhere near 1% as the calculations would suggest. That’s only 892 clicks (from 4.5MM imp).

    For some of the small campaigns, small businesses that I’m working with, they could do about 1MM impressions per month which we are projecting to generate only about 200 clicks. And at their sales conversions rates it’s just not enough to pay for itself.

    Not enough to get excited about anyway.


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