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Are you an author? Is Facebook the right platform on which to advertise your work? Hi, my name is Francisco. I own a Digital Marketing company called Planet Marketing. We specialize in Facebook ads, Google Ads and Remarketing. Over the years, I have worked with quite a number of writers. The first thing that they ask me regards how to properly use Facebook Ads to market their books. That’s one of the things that I am going to look at in this article. The post is divided into the following sections;
- Should authors advertise on Facebook?
- Challenges and the best approachs to advertising on Facebook.
- Creating your first ad.
Should Authors Advertise on Facebook?
Let me start by saying yes, Facebook ads are the right tool if you are an author looking to promote your books. Let’s assume that you are about to launch a new book, as an example. Where do you go to advertise yourself?
Well, perhaps you have a mailing list from your website. So, you could reach people via email. Or, maybe you can reach people through traditional marketing channels. But really, Facebook ads are pretty much what you need, for the following reasons;
Facebook is a huge place
Facebook is one of the world’s biggest social networking platforms. It’s where most people, for better or for worse, spend their days these days. As of the time of writing this article, Facebook had a monthly active user base of 2.8 billion.
Find more statistics at Statista
You can check out the current statistics in the above graph from Statista. But what does this all mean? Well, it means people who love to read your books are probably already on Facebook. So, this is the place to go if you want to reach them.
Facebook knows a lot about it’s users
This is a controversial subject. Facebook knows quite a lot about its users. It know who they are, what they like, where they live, who their friends are, where they work, what they are doing at a particular point in time and much more.
It even knows what they like to read. Most people are uncomfortable with Facebook knowing so much. But from the point of view of someone who is trying to advertise on the platform, this information is pure gold.
It makes it possible for you to reach out to just the right people at the right time. Of course, you need to know what you are doing. But don’t worry! That’s what I am here for; to make sure that after you have finished with this article, you will be well on your way to knowing what you are doing!
Facebook ads are affordable
There are authors out there who are making millions. But they are probably in the minority. As is the case with any other field, most authors are simply getting by. If you fall into this category, you probably do not have loads of cash to splash out on marketing.
The good news is that Facebook ads are very affordable. In fact, you can get started advertising on the platform for as little as $1. For that amount, you can boost a post. Or you can create an ad that reaches quite a number of people.
So, this is the platform to be for those looking to tighten the purse strings without compromising on the performance of their advertising efforts. I have previously written on Facebook ads for Kindle.
I also have lot’s of other articles covering Facebook ads for various fields. It’s clear from all these articles that Facebook ads work very well regardless of what your profession is. Anyone can afford to advertise their business on Facebook.
You can run your own campaigns
If you are like the majority of authors out there, then you will probably be more comfortable hiring someone like me to run your Facebook marketing campaigns on your behalf. Honestly, that’s what I encourage you to do. That way, you can avoid the many pitfalls that lie along the way.
However, I do have to say that it’s possible for anybody to learn how to run their own Facebook ads marketing campaigns. Facebook ads marketing is an extensive subject, but authors can learn just what they need to start running their own ads. It’s not too difficult as you will see throughout this article.
Challenges and the right approach to creating Facebook ads for authors
Facebook ads are great, but authors do face a number of challenges along the way. As such, there is what can be termed the right approach to doing Facebook ads for authors. But what are the challenges that writers face when advertising on Facebook?
Well, perhaps the biggest of these is that of search intent. People do not go to Facebook to buy stuff, including books. They go there to socialize with friends and family. So, advertisers have their work cut out for them.
It’s probably one of the reasons why most people prefer Google Ads to Facebook Ads. I mentioned earlier that I specialize in both Google and Facebook advertising. I can say here that though Facebook has a problem, that problem is not insurmountable. In fact, Facebook ads work very well for authors. If you are a writer, the only important thing is that you know the right approach.
You need to have a Facebook Page
But what’s the right approach to creating Facebook ads for authors? Well, there are several steps that you need to take to make your campaigns water tight. The first thing is to create a Facebook Page.
The great thing for those worried about budgeting is that Facebook Pages are free. You can have yours up and running in no time. But don’t be fooled by the fact that you are not paying anything. A Facebook page is an absolutely wonderful tool for marketing, particularly for authors.
Let’s assume here that you are an established writer. People have already been reading your books. Maybe there are some who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the next book in a series. So, how do you keep these people engaged?
Well, the answer lies in having a vibrant Facebook Page. It’s not enough simply to create a Page and then to ignore it. You need to constantly work on it to make things happens. But don’t be frightened.
It’s not such a difficult proposition. In fact, you could probably get away with posting something on there once or twice a week. You may want to check out my article on how to properly run a Facebook business Page.
So, a Facebook Page is something that you, as a writer, can use to keep your fans engaged. It can act as a hub where people come to discuss your books and to give you ideas about what to produce next. It can also be the place where completely new people discover your books.
Facebook Pages are also essential as a source of the audience that you will use on your Facebook ads. As is the case with any other form of marketing, reaching the right people is important. And who better to reach if you are an author than somebody who has already shown that they are a fan of your work by following your Facebook Page?
You need to have a website
We are still on the preliminaries here. But they are important preliminaries. Another thing that you absolutely need to do as an author is to have your own website or blog. Again, this can be a place where people find you and your work.
Perhaps you are a science fiction writer. The only way that people are going to be able to find you from search engines such as Google and Facebook is if you have your own site. It’s not enough to simply have a website, unless you are a well know writer.
You need to produce content for your site to make it visible to search engines. This is called content marketing. There are many topics that you can cover. One approach to finding the right topics is by carrying out keyword research.
This can be done with any of a number of tools that are out there. I personally use Keyword Planner from Google. This tool can be used for free.
The key, in any case, lies in finding the questions that people are asking on Google. You can then provide the answers, thus bringing people to your site.
Retarget the audience from your website
Diagram of Retargeting
You may have thought I had gone off on a tangent by talking about websites when I should be worried about Facebook ads for authors. But that is not true. Facebook ads can be challenging, as already mentioned. People do not want to be sold things on the platform and you will have a limited level of success if you are reaching out to a completely new audience.
The answer to that dilemma lies in targeting people who are already interested in you. We have already noted that you can do this using your Facebook Page. Another approach is to retarget the audience from your website.
Getting a website up and running is actually the easiest part. The real work starts when it comes to getting people to the site. It can take years for your site to start bearing fruit, even with all the Search Engine Optimization knowledge in the world.
But once you have started getting people to your authors’ blog, you will realize that the majority will leave without taking the desired step. That could be buying your books or following you on social media.
In fact, across all ecommerce, the conversion rate is a dismal 2%. It means the vast majority of people leave without buying. So, what can you do?
This is where remarketing or retargeting comes into play. Most people are familiar with retargeting from Google. Have you ever noticed ads that seemingly follow you wherever you go on the web? That’s remarketing in play.
It’s simply a way of showing people ads that are based on their interest on another site. In this case, we are talking about your website. So, people will be shown ads on Facebook based on their interest on your site.
If they were interested in a particular book series, but they left without buying, you can then show them ads on Facebook relating to that series. That vastly increases the chances of converting. But how is that interest tracked?
Well, a person’s interest on your site is tracked via what’s referred to as Pixel. That’s a piece of code that you install on your site. It’s used for tracking events on your store. Maybe you have set it to track when someone adds a book to their cart, or when they add payment information.
If they leave without buying, they can then be encouraged to do so through ads on Facebook. It’s all a neat way of boosting your sales. It means you won’t be selling yourself to people who are not interested in you.
Run Dynamic Facebook Ads
Authors, particularly those with many works, should run what are referred to as dynamic Facebook ads. Again, the aim here is to make sure that your ads perform well. Dynamic ads are related to what we have just been talking about.
In fact, they are what we have just been describing above. The aim here is to get people shown ads featuring products that they were interested in on your website. Now, if you have one or two books, you could get away with creating an ad for each book.
But what do you do if you have ten or twenty books on sale? Do you create twenty campaigns? That can become something of a challenge. The good news is that you can create one dynamic campaign.
When somebody lands on your website and shows an interest in a particular book, an ad is automatically create by Facebook. This will then be shown to that person the next time that they visit Facebook.
Dynamic ads are dynamic in that they are based on individual interest. That very fact is what makes them so high performing. You are essentially marketing to someone who is already interested in what you have to offer. That significantly increases your chances of success.
Target custom audiences
That’s another approach that authors can take to ensure success for their Facebook ads. Custom audiences are related to what we have been talking about in the above two sections. Here, you will be targeting people who have already interacted with you in one way or the other.
Perhaps they are people on your mailing list. You can upload this information to Facebook. Maybe you have their email addresses or their physical addresses. Or maybe you have their phone numbers.
Or maybe your custom audience will be based on tracking via pixel. Perhaps it will be composed of people who have liked your Facebook Page. The following list shows all custom audience sources;
- App activity
- Customer list
- Offline activity
- Lead form
- Instant Experience
- Instagram account
- Facebook Page
- On-Facebook Listings
Creating your ad
In this section, I will give you the basics of creating Facebook ads for authors. One thing to point out is that Facebook ads are a vast subject. How you create ads is going to be different, depending on your profession. Even people in the same profession can have vastly different approaches.
Facebook ads are created in Ads Manager. There are basically 3 steps involved in the creation of a Facebook ad. First, you need to choose a Campaign Objective. Next, you need to set up your audience, budget and schedule in the Ad Set. From there, you can create the ad itself.
Campaign Objectives for Facebook Ads
A Campaign Objective is a description of what you wish to achieve with your Facebook Ads. They are similar to goals in Google Ads. Note that Facebook gives you 11 possible campaign objectives. However, you can only have one per ad. The following are the available Facebook Ads Campaign Objectives for authors;
- Video views
- App installs
- Catalog sales
- Brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Store traffic
Which one is the best for Facebook ads for authors?
Choose a Campaign Objective
Most people needlessly agonize here. Needless, because really, nobody is putting you in a straitjacket. That’s one of the beautiful things about Facebook ads. You are free to experiment. Perhaps the first thing that you tried did not work.
Or perhaps it worked but you wish to refine your methods. You can always do that with your Facebook ads. In fact, it’s encouraged to do a lot of A/B testing. That’s the only way that’s going to help you achieve your goals.
A number of the Campaign Objectives listed above could do when doing Facebook Ads marketing for writers. Perhaps you wish to chat with your fans, in which case Messages would be appropriate.
Maybe you wish to sell your books directly. In that case, catalog sales would be the best Campaign Objective. Traffic could also work if you wish to get people from Facebook to a landing page. For this example, we will go with Reach. We will assume that we are launching a new book in a series, and we wish to tell as many people as is possible about it.
Audience, Budgeting and Schedule in the Ad Set
Now that we have chosen our Campaign Objective, we will move to the Ad Set section. In my view, this is the most important section when creating Facebook Ads for authors. It’s where you create and target your audience. It’s also where you define how much you wish to spend on your ads.
Creating a custom audience
The Audience section is where you define who you wish to target with your ads. There are a number of settings here that help you get there.
For our example, we are going to be targeting a custom audience that’s composed of people who have liked our Facebook page.
Authors who have been around for a bit usually amass large followings, particularly if they are well known. That becomes useful here.
We will target people who have interacted with our page
Setting up your Facebook Page Custom Audience
The next step on the way to creating your Facebook ad involves setting up your Facebook Page custom audience.
Remember, things will be different if you have chosen a different Campaign Objective. Things will also be different depending on the type of audience that you have chosen to create.
Pick your page
This particular approach will not work if you do not have a Facebook Page. In this example, I will use my own Facebook Page, as you can see in the above screenshot.
Which people do you wish to target in relation to your page? You have a number of options here. As an example, you can target everyone who has engaged with your Page in one way or the other.
You could also target people who currently like or follow your Page. Or maybe you wish to target only those that have previously sent a message to your Page. It’s also possible to target people who saved your Page or any post.
Include more people
If you have more than one Facebook Page, you can include people from those other pages by clicking on the Include more people button. You can also exclude people. When done naming your audience, click on the Create audience button.
Create a Lookalike Audience
An audience such as the one that we have just created works great. But what do you do if you don’t quite have enough people to make it worthwhile? Perhaps you are an up and coming writer whose Facebook Page has only been liked by a few people?
Well, the good news is that you don’t have to be limited here. You can expand your reach through lookalike audiences. A lookalike audience is similar to another audience that you have just created.
Create a lookalike audience
Let’s say you have just created an audience based on interaction with your author Page. You can then create a lookalike audience that targets people who have liked pages similar to yours. In this case, those will be Pages for other authors.
Budget and Schedule
The Budget and Schedule section is another important section in the Ad Set. It’s where you decide how much you are going to spend on your Facebook ads. This is another area that worries people. How much should authors spend on their Facebook Ads?
I generally encourage people to start small. Let it grow from there. You can start with $5 per day. See if the results are to your satisfaction. Play around with your settings and ad. See if that helps improve your performance. Once you are satisfied that everything is optimal, boost your spending to reach even more people.
It’s important, however, to remain in control of your spending. Don’t run open ended campaigns. Things come up along the way and you could end up having an ad that runs forever. Facebook has your credit card details on file and they will keep deducting money till you have told them to stop.
So, you should have campaigns that run for a specific period. Say, for 7 days. It’s all up to you. At $5 per day, that’s 35 days. Afterwards, your ad will stop running. You will then have time to review. If you like your performance, you can relaunch that same ad.
I won’t dwell much on the ad here. It’s important, of course, since it’s what people will see. However, no two ads are ever going to be the same.
In our case, we have noted that it’s better to create dynamic ads. These are generated automatically based on a person’s interest on your website.
There are several areas that we need to mention regarding your ad. Text should be kept minimal. Note that you can create video, single image and carousel ads.
In this article, we showed you how to create Facebook ads for authors. We noted that it’s best to have a Facebook Page. You can then target people who have interacted with your Page in one way or the other. These people are already interested in you, which increases the chances of success.
That’s it! Facebook Ads Marketing is a vast field. If you feel overwhelmed, feel free to reach out to me. I do this on a daily basis and I will be able to create campaigns for you that rock! And if you want to learn more, sign up for my Facebook Ads Mini Course using the section below.