The new truth is, if you want to grow your funeral business through Facebook marketing, you will have to pay for advertising.

In years past, many pages on Facebook could do all right in terms of driving sales and traffic to websites without using advertising. But now, as more pages become serious Facebook marketers, you’re battling for diminishing space in your audience’s News Feeds. Demand for impressions, views and clicks is higher than ever, while the supply of News Feed space hasn’t grown to keep up.

So while Facebook is financially free if you want to grow your audience and business, advertising needs to be part of the plan.

Organic post reach on Facebook has plummeted to around 2% from pages with less than 10,000 likes. In recent news feed algorithm changes Facebook directly addressed the decrease in organic post reach:

Competition for each News Feed story is increasing. Because the content in News Feed is always changing, and we’re seeing more people sharing more content, Pages will likely see changes in distribution. For many Pages, this includes a decline in organic reach.

Facebook goes on to provide guidance on how to page owners should create content to maximize the post reach given the new algorithm changes:

Page owners should continue using the most effective strategy to reach the right people: a combination of engaging Page posts and advertising to promote your message more broadly. The fans you have matter. In addition to being some of the most loyal customers, fans also make the advertising on Facebook even more effective.

You can read the entire announce from Facebook here.

To test Facebook’s suggestion of finding the perfect mix of great content, boosted posts and advertising we did a 60 day case study with ConnectingDirectors.com

Why use, specifically, Facebook advertising for this test?

Well, the obvious reason is to test the new suggestions from to help battle the huge drop in organic reach. Do their suggestions work or is it a ploy to suck advertising money out of small businesses? The other reason comes down to how granule we can be with our ad targeting. Funeral companies are needing to reach a very niche facebook audience: funeral directors. Facebook provides excellent targeting options and the ability to use their ad tools to create ‘custom audience’ targeting lists.

Targeting Options

Facebook utilizes a number of worthwhile audience targeting methods. “But – Twitter, Google and a thousand other sites use audience targeting, too!” I hear you say. And yes, of course, they do. But the information that Facebook uses for its targeting makes it rather unique.

Facebook users build a fairly comprehensive profile about themselves when using the platform, and this can all be used to fine tune your target market.

Some of the data Facebook uses for targeted marketing includes:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Education
  • Job
  • Life events
  • Likes – brand connections, book/music/sport/film interests, etc
  • Apps
  • Groups
  • Mobile device use
  • Purchase behaviour
  • Travel

This is not a comprehensive list; just a few examples. It is the combination and cross-referencing of this spread of data that gives Facebook’s marketing its value. Arguably, no other social platform uses as unique a combination of information to target its users. This is what makes Facebook particularly useful for funeral companies targeting such a niche audience like funeral directors.

Custom audience targeting

Facebook’s Custom Audience features are virtually unrivaled by any other social medium. A Custom Audience is one a company can create on Facebook, by picking and choosing which targets to include. Custom Audiences comprise clients that a business already has a relationship with elsewhere. For example, a funeral company could use the e-mail addresses of their clients to create a Custom Audience on Facebook or they could even create a custom audience from website visitors.

Facebook targeting

The audience is compiled of people a brand already has a relationship with elsewhere, as they will need access to the following details to create the Custom Audience:

  • Emails
  • UIDS (Facebook user ID)
  • Phone numbers
  • App user IDs.

Users compile and upload this information, then Facebook matches it to the information its own users have input on their profiles. Successful matches are compiled into a list, and thus, a Custom Audience is created.

Case Study with ConnectingDirectors.com

For this case study with ConnectingDirectors.com we utilized the ‘custom audience’ targeting option and created a custom audience from ConnectingDirectors.com readers. ConnectingDirectors.com has a monthly reader base of 35,000 funeral professionals. Over a 60 day period we were able to create a custom facebook audience of 31,500 ConnectingDirectors.com readers. (Facebook was able to match 31,500 CD readers with their Facebook profile – FB then placed those users into a custom audience and we targeted ConnectingDirectors.com Facebook Like ads at that targeted audience of funeral professionals.)

At the start of the case study ConnectingDirectors.com only had 3,700 Facebook fans. A custom audience of 31,500 CD reader meant that a majority of ConnectingDirectors.com readers didn’t engage with the publication on Facebook.

Parameters of Case Study

Total budget for 60 day test: $600 ($10/day)

Total actual spend: $570

Spend for Page Like ads: $451

Spend for Boosted Posts: $118

We set 4 specific measurable goals for this case study:

  • 100% Increase in Page Likes while paying less than $1.00 per Like
  • 100% increase in per post reach and per post engagement
  • 100% increase in click traffic driven back to ConnectingDirectors.com – as an online publication this is highly important
  • Increase email subscribers

Results of 60 Day ConnectingDirectors.com Facebook Ad Case Study

To measure our success we compared specific Facebook analytics for the 60 day ad test against the same Facebook analytics for the 60 days prior to the ad test.

 Facebook Analytics for August 2, 2014 – October 2, 2014 (no Facebook ad budget)

New Page Likes: 230

Page Impressions: 67,475 FB users

Unique Engaged Users (Stories): 1,303

Average Reach Per Post: 468 FB users

Engagement Per Post: 6.5%

Clicks From FB to ConnectingDirectors.com: 4,279

Likes on FB posts: 791

Comments on FB posts: 128

Shares of FB posts: 156

New daily email subscribers: 176

 

Facebook Analytics for October 3, 2014 – December 3, 2014 (with $600 Facebook ad budget)

New Page Likes: 1,200 (421% increase)

Page Impressions: 349,478 (417% increase)

Unique Engaged Users (Stories): 11,322 (768% increase)

Average Reach Per Post: 1,690 (261% increase)

Engagement Per Post: 10% (52% increase)

Clicks From FB to ConnectingDirectors.com: 21,622 (405% increase)

Likes on FB posts: 7,955 (905% increase)

Comments on FB posts: 1192 (831% increase)

Shares of FB posts: 1564 (902% increase)

New daily email subscribers: 275 (56% increase)

 

Did we achieve our goals?

Goal one: 100% Increase in Page Likes while paying less than $1.00 per Like

  • we had a 421% increase and only paid $0.49 per like

Goal two: Increase in per post reach and per post engagement

  • we had a 52% increase per post

Goal three: 100% increase in click traffic driven back to ConnectingDirectors.com – as an online publication this is highly important

  • we increased clicks from FB posts back to ConnectingDirectors.com by 405%

Goal four: Increase email subscribers

  • we increased email subscribers by 56% 

 

Wanna see the numbers for yourself:

Download: August 2, 2014 – October 2, 2014 analytic report

Download: October 3, 2014 – December 3, 2014 analytic report

 

Facebook Ads are the biggest marketing opportunity ever and funeral companies are missing it! With Facebook ads, you have a totally unique opportunity to target your exact audience. We are successfully managing and monitoring small to large Facebook advertising budgets for our social media clients in the US and international.

If you’re not generating these kinds of results with your social media marketing then it’s time you work with Funeral Social.

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To learn more about Facebook ads visit: http://funeralsocial.com/ads/

Interested in how Funeral Social can help you successful embrace social media and Facebook advertising? Click here to see how our social media design process works.

Click here is schedule a demo and learn about how we could partner with you.

About Funeral Social

FUNERAL Social is a strategic, goal oriented approach to social media created by DISRUPT Media and designed specifically for the funeral profession. Learn more about our Social Media Design Process.

 

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