Paid Social for Social Impact

Facebook these days is a mix of Buzzfeed quizzes, articles from Elite Daily, baby pictures, and of course: ads. Advertising on Facebook has become a key marketing strategy for brands ranging from tech start-ups to fashion icons and everything in between. But this form of advertising isn’t just for companies with multimillion dollar marketing budgets. Facebook’s advertising technology allows for managed set daily spend limits fit for any company’s budget. 

    Nonprofit advocacy is an excellent use of Facebook ads.  Nonprofit companies can use Facebook to create awareness and action for their mission as well as reach people who may not normally engage with their message. Let’s take for example breast and ovarian health awareness. We work with a client whose mission is to educate people on the prevention of breast and ovarian cancer. One of their educational outreach tools is a quiz that allows women to quickly assess their cancer risk and take steps towards healthier living. We used Facebook advertising to drive people to this tool and encourage them to complete the quiz. To create a strong and effective campaign we worked through a series of steps before placing and optimizing the ads. 

1. Understand Your Target Market. As with any campaign, it is essential to know who you’re trying to reach. We worked with the client and researched the women most likely to use the risk assessment tool, and thereby developed several different personas spanning a large age range and covering a broad variety of interests. Within each persona we researched several areas of interest including music, clothing, media and more to develop a full picture of exactly who each persona was and what they are interested in. 

2. Create Contextual Copy. Each Facebook ad allows for only a few hundred characters of copy, so it is key to develop clear directions and several variants of copy to be used in the ads. There needs to be a decisive call to action and the right amount of description so that people know what it is you want them to do and why you want them to do it. 

3. Pick the Perfect Newsfeed Stopping Images. When we scroll through the newsfeed a stellar image will always catch the eye. When choosing the images for our risk assessment campaign we had to find pictures that would speak to each persona individually, while also delivering the message of the campaign: assess your risk today. 

4. Implement Interests as Targets. When placing the ads you need to create exactly the right target audience for each art and copy combination. By using the personas we were able to organize the interests and behaviors we researched to target the ads so we could easily track and observe which ads were effective with which persona. 

5. Test and Learn. Test the images, test the copy, test the targeting. Once the ads were placed, we tracked which ones were performing the best and driving the most conversions. We then created more ads similar to the high performing ones and optimized our conversion rate. 

    The campaign was a tremendous success. We were able to drive tens of thousands of clicks to the website and achieve an 85% completion rate. Millions of people saw the ads and with that alone we raised awareness. As with any online tool, those who completed the quiz would often share it with their friends and spread our reach even further. With a reasonable daily spend we were able to successfully raise awareness for breast and ovarian health through Facebook advertising.

By: Molly Barson