Recently, I co-authored the Photographers Guide To Joshua Tree Natuonal Park with my long-time friend and colleague, Jeremy Long. We decided to use Facebook Advertising to make sales.
One of the challenges in our first experience with self-publishing is simply letting the world know our book exists.
Jeremy and I both have Facebook Pages for our photography. This would be a great start, if not for Facebook’s notorious algorithm. Facebook architects the Pages in a manner that appears to push users to favor Boosting posts, which costs money.
Jeremy and I spent $ 60.00 combined and the results were:
- 15,000 post views
- 200 “Likes”
- 100 “Clicks”
- 1 Person clicked the purchase link, which may have been one of my friends
- 0 Purchases of our Book
For that money, we essentially got views and Likes, none of which actually succeeded in selling our offering.
Jeremy and I both took care to target our audience. I targeted people from mid-20s to late 50s with an interest in Joshua Tree, photography, California, and San Diego (since that is where I live). Jeremy expanded his audience to people with photographic interest from Europe, since Joshua Tree gets a lot of tourists from across the pond.
Is it possible out ads were subpar? I suspect they were okay, judging by a lot of similar sponsored content I see on Facebook.
I have no issue with advertising and do not begrudge Facebook the right to sell advertising. With a reach past 1 billion users, the possibilities to reach a huge audience are incredible.
I do question the value of Facebook advertising though. Large corporations and organizations can still reach a vast audience with such low rates of Likes, Clicks, etc. Small businesses don’t seem to have the same ability because of the dreaded Facebook algorithm.
Our next stop is a few buys with Google Adwords, and I look forward to posting the results.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.