We hate to say it, well, maybe not, but the days of advertising in the local paper are over. It’s not only expensive, it usually produces vague results. And we never understood why charities and managers would want to have these papers in their own halls - advertising a competitor’s specials to their own players! Why would you want to show your players what the other bingo hall has going on?
With that said, the most effective bingo halls advertise on Facebook to exponentially extend the power of their business page - reaching new and existing players. It’s more economical, the ads are one-on-one, and it reaches players while they’re on Facebook.
Based on our years of experience advertising for bingo halls, we're going to take you through the most effective ways we have used Facebook to get new players and keep existing ones in the know. When it comes to your first ad, the most important thing to keep in mind is to keep it simple. If you make it too broad, you risk the ability of analyzing your results later; this ultimately makes your subsequent ads suffer.
Facebook Advertising Goal
The first thing you want to do is set a goal. Do you want to raise awareness about your huge paying coverall, amazing door prizes, or sweepstakes? Are you trying to get people to sign up for your text or email marketing so you can keep them coming to your hall?
Our goal is to bring them to the My Bingo Stop website to sign up for a giveaway. This will allow us to continuously remarket to our players through our text and email marketing newsletters.
We want to select the “Send people to your website” option under the consideration section and click continue.
You could also use this goal to sign up for your email list by sending them to a sign-up page on your website.
Facebook Advertising Location & Demographics
The next thing you want to do is set your location. This basically keeps a geographic ring around where your ads are shown. Though our website is national, we’re going to assume we have a hall located in Austin. Therefore, we’re going to advertise within 10 miles of the Austin market. This is extremely important; you don’t want to spend ad dollars promoting your bingo hall too far from where you’re located.
The second thing you want to do is set the age and gender of people your ads are shown to. One of the best ways to do this is to get insight from your own Facebook page. If you have over 500 Likes, that should be enough data to point you in the right direction. If you need help building your Facebook page, feel free to contact us.
From the over 18,000 people who like our Facebook page, our data shows that most of our fans are women and 99% of them are 25-64. Another interesting tidbit is that 47% of them are between the ages of 25 and 44; despite the stereotypes, bingo is a game that all generations can enjoy.
Pro Tip: Import your customer addresses from your database into Google Maps to understand how far out your bingo players live. This will help guide your Facebook ad zip codes or radius geotargeting.
Where Your Ads Show Up
Facebook gives you many display advertising options. Because this is your first ad, keep it simple. Advertising on Facebook is about incremental learning and building on the success of the previous ad to find that sweet spot.
Start with placing your ad in only the “Feeds” platforms; here your ads will show up in the timeline (you always want this) on desktops and mobile devices. Because consumer behavior has dramatically shifted towards mobile (and will continue to do so), your ads will more than likely get the most activity from mobile users.
Keep it simple; it’s important not to start too broadly with your ads. Later down the road you can open them up to Instagram and/or the Audience Network.
Bingo Ad Budget And Schedule
Pretty straight-forward, decide how much you want to spend and set the beginning and ending dates for your ads. Starting with a good budget is important; we recommend a $250-$300/month budget. Keep the Optimization for Ad Delivery section set to Link Clicks. Automatic bidding allows Facebook to bid on your behalf. It’s good for the first couple of ads. Later down the road, you’ll want to see what your cost per click (CPC) is averaging out to and reduce according to what your market will bear.
You may also run ads continuously with a daily budget; however, this is something you should do down the road when you have learned how best to target and price ads in your market.
Keeping it simple, go with a single image ad. We also LOVE carousel ads, but that’s a topic for later. For now, we’re going with the single image ads.
There are a few things to keep in mind with your ad image. Use a good nice-looking image. We know it’s a very subjective thing; however, it can make or break an ad. Think about the family photos you have around your house; though you probably have loads more, those are the best of the best - it’s the same with ad images. Size your ad image appropriately; 1200 x 628 pixels is a perfect fit.
Lastly, be careful not to include too much text on your ad image. Seems counterintuitive, we know. Facebook likes clean images. It used to be that text couldn’t cover more than 20% of an ad image’s area. That no longer applies; however, there’s a catch… there’s always a catch. Now, images with more text will receive less or no delivery. That means all the good work we’re doing here will go to waste. And that means less players.
The Rubber Hits The Road!
We’re almost there. This is the meat of your ad, or where the rubber hits the road if you prefer a car idiom.
Here you’ll be able to preview your ad. Take a look at how it will display on the desktop and mobile feeds. The other ones are unavailable because we previously decided our ads were going to show up in the Facebook Feeds sections.
Since our goal is to bring them to our website to sign up for a giveaway, we need to enter a destination website URL. For us, we’re going to send them to our website.
To get players to sign up for your text and email marketing, send them to a specific landing page meant to capture one or the other. The headline and text boxes are fairly straight-forward. Whatever you enter there will show up in the ad preview. The text section is best for your call to action (CTA) - telling people what you want them to do. There is also an optional call to action button you can add. This is not customizable, but there are various options. You can also choose to remove it.
The moment of truth is here…
Once you’re happy with everything, click the Place Order button. Your ad won’t start running instantly. Facebook has to give it a look to make sure it meets its advertising guidelines. Once it starts running, Facebook will notify you.
We know, end it already...
It’s good to regularly check on your ads; we review performance daily for our clients. Your ads are not set in stone; you can go back and edit it if something’s not working for you.
Advertising is an important component to getting new players, as well as keeping existing ones.
Remember, you can do this; just keep it simple. Happy hunting.
In our next and final article, we'll bring this all together by showing you how to make sure your website and Facebook business page work well together.