Home » Uncategorized » Guest post: “Advertising Statistics and ROI for Authors – Part 3: Facebook” by Patrick “Bahumat” Rochefort

Guest post: “Advertising Statistics and ROI for Authors – Part 3: Facebook” by Patrick “Bahumat” Rochefort

Advertising Statistics and ROI for Authors: Part 3

 


For the next few parts, we’re going to look at major advertising channels I’ve used for my webserial “From Winter’s Ashes” and analyze them one by one for the ROI and needs of an author and publisher. Today’s focus is one of the busiest sites in the world, Facebook!
 
Facebook advertising is extremely cagey about presenting its stats in a standard advertising way, which doesn’t inspire much confidence in me. However, the response results weren’t terrible:
 
My response rate was 32 interactions out of 1055 impressions, which translates into 3% CTR. Compared to Reddit and Google, there’s definitely a LOT more engagement per impression. 
 
Almost 90% of those engagements came from Mobile users, which means that if you’re going to use Facebook for a webserial or author’s, make *absolutely* sure that your site works well on mobile devices. Mobile devices are taking the internet by storm, make absolutely sure your website is presentable to them in mobile format.
 
User demographics were particularly revealing:
 
18–24
5 Likes
261 Impressions
$1.19 Cost per Like
$5.95 Total Spent
 
25–34
3 Likes
242 Impressions
$2.18 Cost per Like
$6.55 Total Spent
 
35–44
7 Likes
263 Impressions
$1.04 Cost per Like
$7.26 Total Spent
 
45–54
9 Likes
168 Impressions
$0.93 Cost per Like
$8.34 Total Spent
 
55–64
8 Likes
121 Impressions
$0.86 Cost per Like
$6.86 Total Spent
 
 
Gender Breakdown:
 
Female: 
22 Likes 
709 Impressions 
Cost per page like: $1.09 
Engagement 3.1%
 
Male: 
10 Likes 
336 Impressions 
Cost per page like: $1.08 
Engagement 2.9%
 
 
Country Breakdown:
 
Canada: 1 Like, 134 Impressions
United Kingdom: 3 Likes, 257 Impressions
United States: 28 Likes, 665 Impressions
 
 
Device Breakdown:
 
All 32 engagements were on mobile devices. No Likes at all occurred on PCs. 
 
25 of the 32 likes came from Android smartphones.
 

Analysis:

The numbers provided are of a limited and low-confidence sample base. As such, some interesting artifacts of data are easy to dismiss as error bars, while other insights provide reliable feedback on the performance of Facebook ads.

The biggest surprise to me was the gender disparity in engagement on Facebook. More than twice as many women as men are clicking on From Winter’s Ashes, despite the advertisement being deliberately as gender-neutral as possible. Facebook simply engages women much more than men.

Age of engagement wasn’t as surprising: Facebook appeals to an older demographic, and that shows. While they’re more likely to have disposable income, they are less likely to engage in modern payment methods, such as PayPal and Patreon. Of the 32 Likes, only two resulted in conversions to Patreon clicks. None of them became Patrons.

Of greater value in this advertisement, if not financially, was that 32 people with Likes on Facebook are 32 people who see each update notice posted to Facebook. (Ideally. As some have noted, Facebook is notoriously bad for playing silly buggers with this.)

Demographically, specific to the story itself, engagement was especially high with Christian women of color ages 40-65, with notable spikes in engagement in Alabama and Ohio. Facebook gives you some incredibly in-depth analysis of your advertisement successes. They know a LOT about you, and they’re not shy about sharing it (in aggregate).

Monetarily, the higher expense of a Facebook Like will only trade off if you’re using Facebook effectively to engage your audience. Your content will definitely matter; Facebook demographics overall are skewed towards women ages 35+. If you believe your content would appeal to that demographic, Facebook might work for you.

Overall, I’m not sure that Facebook’s high cost-per-engagement is a fit for From Winter’s Ashes, or most webserials. I’m wondering if most of my readers are, in fact, engaging the story with mobile devices. (If so, then designing for mobile presentation is critical.) The CPC is, of course, miles and miles too high for the business model of most publishing sites. But it’s a great way to get repeat engagements with customers down the line. I could see Facebook working if you’re already an established author with multiple titles for sale and more in the pipeline.

 

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One thought on “Guest post: “Advertising Statistics and ROI for Authors – Part 3: Facebook” by Patrick “Bahumat” Rochefort

  1. Pingback: Guest post: “Advertising Statistics and ROI for Authors – Part 4: Twitter” by Patrick “Bahumat” Rochefort | Furry Writers' Guild

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