Is Facebook Targeted Advertising Worth It?

In a bid to stimulate sales of my horror comedy novella Dead Heat, I last week paid for a batch of Facebook targeted advertising for a featured post on my Facebook page. I set the budget to £15 (around $20 US by current Brexit uncertainty driven exchange rates) and set the promotion period for one week.

My first attempt at Facebook advertising

I had no expectations that I would sell masses of copies, but I did expect a better outreach than I actually received from this first tentative advertising attempt.

  • The advert reached just 672 people. I’m not sure what I expected there, but 672 probably seems fair for less than £10 investment
  • 4 post engagements. I can only assume that meant people clicking through to the post on my page
  • Two new post likes

Hmm. Again, I understand that £8.98 is not a large advertising budget for Facebook targeted advertising by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t know how effective this method of advertising really is? I have to get people through several barriers: 1) be intrigued enough to click through to the post. 2) then be intrigued enough to click to the blog’s sales page and then 3) be intrigued enough after reading the extended blurb to want to buy it.

I realise I will probably have to spend much more than £15 to achieve the level of awareness that I will need to get some sales so this may require several attempts at sale through Facebook targeted advertising. However, I am unconvinced by it as a sales method at present. I have an ad blocker (as many people no doubt do) which means it will not show up for those who block adverts, even if they are prime target audience. I realise this is counterproductive, but there are too many websites using too much advertising that I keep it left on much of the time.

When I do switch the ad blocker off on Facebook and other social media sites, I tend to ignore the overwhelming majority of adverts.

Has anybody had any success in Facebook targeted advertising? I would very much appreciate hearing about your experiences.

Facebook targeted advertising, does it get you anywhere?

11 thoughts on “Is Facebook Targeted Advertising Worth It?

  1. Alexis Chateau

    That is a small reach based on the investment. Even $3 can get me up to 835 likes, but I’ve built up a good following as well.

    Keep in mind also that the more likes you get per post over time, the less you pay per engagement. I’ve built up a rep with my target market on Facebook ads.

    Also, how was the ad itself? If it’s not appealing, no amount of money can make people engage.

    So is it worth it, yes? Maybe you just have some tweaking to do.

    1. Hi there, thanks for your comment. Just out of interest, what were you advertising? For me, it was advertising an ebook, which would have required people to visit Amazon or Smashwords to purchase.

      1. Alexis Chateau

        Hello. Here is my Facebook page: I advertise my blogs and my content strategy services.

        As a matter of fact, I’m currently assisting an indie author with his social media management on a consultation basis. Rather than do the work for him, he’s asked me to teach him to market his own work, which he’s been enjoying so far.

        If you’re interested in similar services, let me know. I’m pretty sure he’d vouch for me if you’re looking for a reference before starting. My resume, portfolio, and achievements are also on my website.

        You should also keep in mind that people buy because of established relationships with a brand, and not just seeing an ad, when it comes to entertainment. There’s just too much competition to buy something like a book on a whim. You have to grow your following and get your customers/readers from there. Build a buzz.

        All the best!

      2. Hi Alexis, thanks. I will take a look and contact you very soon if interested, probably not until the end of the week though. Very busy couple of days coming up. I think I could do with a hand improving my social media outreach.

        Thanks for commenting

      3. Alexis Chateau

        No problem Mason. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

  2. cjmoseley

    I’ve had good results with facebook ads for facebook pages, but rarely when it links off Facebook. To the point I no longer try to sell via Facebook.
    I’m also seeing diminishing sales from Twitter as well recently, which used to be good for ebook promotion.
    I do get steady downloads and site visits from Google ads though… But these days if you want to promote a book it’s bookbub or a similar service that sees the best returns (they are pretty much the only profit making way left to us) if you can get listed.

    1. Cheers Chris. It does seem nobody is making money writing books any more. I am thinking of going with small local press for Salmonweird and generate local interest

      1. cjmoseley

        The word is that the only fiction authors making bank are trad pubs and those included in Kindle Unlimited (kindle exclusives)… 😦

      2. I am going to move off Smashwords, maybe put up some free stuff there. It’s not very friendly for non Americans as they don’t go out of their way to help you get tax free staus from the IRS like Amazon do and I have never sold a copy there anyway

  3. melanietsang

    I used facebook advertising sometimes for my online stores and facebook page. But most of the views come from audience network instead of facebook and instagram. IDK maybe it’s just how mine works. But I think , as long as you know your target customer super well, you can maximize the facebook advertising value.

    1. Thanks 🙂 I’ve not used it since as I don’t think it will work quite so well with book sales. Maybe I will try again in the new year when my follow up book is almost ready.

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