I recently put a (very) little money into running what Facebook calls a "boost" and which everyone else calls an advert: paying Facebook money so that one of Precinct Omega's posts ended up in the newsfeed of people who otherwise wouldn't see it.
It was a curious-enough experience that I thought it worth sharing some of the results with you guys.
So, first of all, I set a budget of $10 for a very short ad, running for eight days, "boosting" the post about the Halloween Balls competition. It was the best choice at the time, because it included pictures of the minis and a "call to action" for people to comment and share to win something. It wasn't ideal, though, because the post was quite wordy (I'm a verbose chap at the best of times). But I thought I'd give it a punt.
I used a range of hobby-related interests to target my audience, including people who listed things like "wargames", "tabletop games", "dungeons & dragons" and "warhammer" within their interests. Otherwise, I didn't discriminate on location, age or sex. I saved the interest list for future use under the name "Those Who Are Like Us"!
In total, I appeared on the newsfeed of 1170 people. Of those, only 54 "engaged" with the post (that is, liked it, shared it or commented on it). Engagements are basically what you're looking for from a FB ad, because it means sempai noticed you. A 4.6% engagement rate from an advert is... not bad. It's not awful. It's not great. 7% would be a really strong return. 10% would be spectacular. Less than 2% is basically failure. However, it goes a bit deeper, because I get a breakdown of the engagements.
30 people clicked on the photo (so they wanted a closer look at the image of the Halloween Balls). 9 commented. 4 shared (so technically, they were the only ones who followed the damn rules of the competition, but, like I said, the ad was too wordy). 2 - a precious 2 - clicked on the link to look at the Precinct Omega website. That's a 0.1% click-through rate and is the sweet, sweet gold in my pan. Engagements are great, but what you really, really want a click-throughs. That's 45 total - so where are the other 9? I have no idea.
The audience (the 1170) was 94.1% male. I don't suppose, given my tags, that this should be surprising. But at the two events I've been to so far, the game seems to attract female attendees at least as much as male ones and, given that attendees at wargames events are also, probably, 94.1% male, Ballmonsters has a much stronger draw to a female audience. Can't imagine why...
So next time, what will I do differently?
Well, first, I think there will be a next time. The audience of 1170 people in 8 days is a good return. 54 engagements is a good result, too. But what I'd like is to increase the number of women who see my posts, and increase the number of click-throughs.
So my next boosted post will be a bit more deliberate. I'll build a post specifically for advertising, with fewer words, a strong image and a call-to-action that encourages more click-throughs to the website. Then we can come back and compare how I improve those figures next time.