News Archives - Corcoran Communications

Are You Setting Up Facebook’s Ad Algorithm for Success?

Friday, July 24th, 2020

When it comes to building a Facebook ad campaign, we’re faced with many decisions. One of the most common areas of opportunity that I’ve uncovered has to do with choosing the correct marketing objective. This probably seems self-explanatory. If you’re familiar with Facebook’s ad platform you know that a user can optimize ads to achieve awareness, brand consideration, or conversion. But is it really that simple?

Consider the 7-Day Learning Phase

It’s logical to think that if, for example, we want more loan application submissions, we would choose conversions as our marketing objective, counting each application submission as a conversion. However, we need to consider the 7-day learning phase associated with any Facebook Ad campaign. During this phase, Facebook’s algorithm gathers the information necessary to optimize our campaign for success. What I find often unknown, is that the algorithm needs roughly 50 conversion events during the learning phase to gain the information necessary to effectively optimize a campaign. So, in this example, we would need to obtain 50 application submissions within the first 7 days of our campaign to provide Facebook’s algorithm with enough information to effectively do its job.

Testing Marketing Objectives

So.. what does this mean for us? I think it ties back to the importance of continuously testing our Facebook Ads. If your marketing objective is conversions and you’re not getting close to 50 conversion events within that initial 7-day learning phase, test a different marketing objective that you can get 50 events for to see if it provides better results. Maybe you can’t get 50 application submissions, but I bet you can get 50 landing page views. Would optimizing your campaign for landing page views result in more loan applications? Only testing will tell. Give it a try!

I hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions about selecting the correct or testing Facebook Ad marketing objectives, feel free to message me on LinkedIn or email me directly at [email protected]. Thanks for reading!

Facebook Ads Campaign Budget Optimization

Sunday, March 24th, 2019

In Facebook’s algorithm we trust, or at least we’ll have to come September! In case you haven’t heard, Facebook Ads budgeting will soon need to be set at the campaign level. We’ll no longer be able to set specific budgets for each individual ad set. Campaign budget optimization is something Facebook previously rolled out, but because of ineffectiveness, never really stuck. Facebook decided to go back to the drawing board to provide marketers with a better product, and for the most part, they did.

What is Facebook Ads Campaign Budget Optimization?

Campaign budget optimization is a great concept. Instead of setting budgets at an ad set level, budgets are set at the campaign level where Facebook’s algorithm optimizes and distributes budget automatically to help marketers achieve goals. For example, if our campaign is set up for conversions and we have 6 ad sets, Facebook’s algorithm allocates budget between ad sets to produce the greatest number of conversions at the lowest cost.

Challenges with Campaign Budget Optimization?

Campaign budget optimization gets messy when marketers attempt to incorporate cold and warm audiences into a single campaign. For example, let’s again say that our overall campaign goal is to maximize conversions. Now imagine we have four ad sets. One ad set is aimed at running ads at cold audiences and the other three are geared toward warm audiences. Naturally, our ad sets associated with warm audiences are going to outperform our ad set aimed at cold audiences. Moving forward, Facebook’s algorithm will distribute the majority of our budget to the ad sets containing warmer audiences. In certain cases, this is ideal. However, there will be instances where we want an equal budget allocated for cold audiences. To accomplish this, build separate campaigns for cold and warm audiences.

Another challenge that marketers encounter when implementing campaign budget optimization is that Facebook’s algorithm is quick to choose a winner in terms of budget allocation. Often times it’s too quick. To ensure all ad sets have equal performance opportunity, we have the ability to set minimum and maximum spends at the ad set level. For example, if our campaign includes three ad sets and a $75 per day budget, we can set $25 minimum daily spends for each of the three ad groups. This ensures a more equal budget distribution at the start of our campaign. It’s important to keep in mind that this should only be done to start a campaign. Once sufficient data is collected, minimums are removed and Facebook’s algorithm does the rest.

Test, Test & Test More!

As with anything new in the social media or digital marketing world, testing is important. Marketers will have the ability to allocate budget at the ad set level until September. Take this opportunity to test campaign budget allocation so when it becomes mandatory, you’re ahead of the competition.

I hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions about campaign budget optimization for your Facebooks ads, please email me directly at [email protected]. You can also subscribe to be notified each time we update our blog below. Thanks for reading!

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Facebook Ad Benchmarks

Monday, August 20th, 2018

Facebook ad benchmarks matter, especially when your goal is business growth. Companies large and small in almost every industry are scrambling for attention on Facebook. How do you know if your ads are working? We’d all love to have what we’d consider high click-through rates (CTRs) and low cost per action (CPA), but how do we know how we’re stacking up? How are our metrics comparing to those of our competition and our industry in general? Wouldn’t it be great to have access to industry averages to measure your results against? Luckily, our friends at WordStream have made that information available to everyone in their Facebook Advertising Benchmark report which includes click-through rate, cost per click (CPC), conversion rate (CVR) & cost per action data across 17 industries. Let’s take a look!

Facebook Ad Benchmarks by Industry in 2018

Click Through Rate (CTR) By Industry

The first Facebook ad benchmark we’ll look at is CTR. Average click-through rate of all industries is 0.90%. You’ll see that the legal industry has the highest average CTR at 1.61% followed closely by retail at 1.59%. The highest ranked may come as a surprise to some. After all, legal has nothing in common with some of the other industries with high CTRs like retail, apparel, beauty or fitness. Consumers in these industries are more apt to be swayed by eye-catching, creative ads. Many of them make impulse purchases. Legal counsel isn’t exactly going to be an impulse buy.

Bringing up the rear of the industry field is employment and job training with the financial industry just slightly ahead. Social media marketers in industries like financial services have it harder than most. People aren’t often in the market for a mortgage home equity loan. This is why it’s so important for these marketers to build sales funnels and lead customers and prospects through the sales process. We’ll cover this important topic in a future blog. 

Cost Per Click (CPC) By Industry 

So, we know how often our ads should be getting clicked, but how much should it cost? According to Facebook ad benchmarks, the average CPC of all industries together is $1.72. Financials, consumer services & the home improvement industry top the charts in terms of highest cost per click. This makes perfect sense. Marketers in these industry groups are willing to pay more because a conversion can result in a much more significant return on investment. $3.77 per click when we’re talking about attempting to convert on a $200,000 mortgage loan is much easier to swallow than if we paid the same to try to sell a t-shirt for $19.99 (apparel has the lowest CPC).

Conversion Rate (CVR) By Industry 

Now let’s talk conversions as they pertain to Facebook ad benchmarks. Remember, at the end of the day, clicks don’t pay the bills, conversions do! The average CVR is 9.21%. Companies in the fitness and education industries enjoy the highest CVRs at 14.29% & 13.58% respectively. Tech and travel & hospitality are our CVR bottom feeders with CVRs under 3%. Often times social media marketers can achieve average to high CTR & CPC metrics but experience a drop off when it comes to conversions. This may be the result of poor ad targeting, bad creative or an over-complicated landing page. It may also be as simple as putting a re-marketing plan in place. Re-marketing is another topic our social media marketing team will cover in the near future.

Cost Per Action (CPA) By Industry

Conversions are great, but we need to know how much they cost. If we’re paying more for a conversion than it’s worth, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Or invest that money in other platforms where we’re achieving a higher ROI. The average CPA across all industries is $18.68. It’s most expensive for tech companies to sell products and services or obtain leads via Facebook. They pay over $55 per action! Organizations in the educational industry are only paying an average of $7.85. This is why it’s important for our tracking to be on point. It allows us to make decisions based on the return our Facebook ads are providing, not our cost.

Facebook ad benchmarks – the takeaway

To wrap this all up, is it helpful to know what the average Facebooks ad benchmarks are in your industry? Yes, of course. This important information can offer insight as to how well you stack up from a metrics perspective and provide an idea of where you need to improve. Just remember that what’s most important is the return on social media investment. Businesses and organizations are unique, even those competing within the same industry. Set up your tracking and know your numbers. It doesn’t make sense to throw money at any form of advertising if there’s no return. If you’re looking for help improving the performance of your Facebook ads, contact us. We’re always happy to help new clients get on the right track!

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11 Brand Building Instagram Marketing Tips

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

With the right Instagram marketing tips and a strong focus on the interests of your target market, there’s a good chance you can build a loyal following for your brand on Instagram. reported that as of June 2018, Instagram had reached 1 billion active monthly users worldwide. The company projects they will surpass 111 million users in the United States in 2019. An estimated 71% of U.S. businesses have taken advantage of the power of Instagram to communicate their message. Although it’s a social media platform saturated with businesses vying for attention, Instagram is still a great way to capture the attention of an audience. With a little knowledge you can advantage of this social media platform to grow your business. To help, here is a list of Instagram marketing tips to implement into your Instagram marketing strategy.

Eleven Instagram marketing tips for growing your brand

  1. Focus on the interests of your target audience.

Keep in mind that Instagram users are highly engaged. According to research, 75% of Instagram users will take action, such as visiting a website or clicking on a blog after looking at a post that captures their attention. That’s low hanging fruit for businesses looking to grow sales via social media. What are Instagram users looking for? Posts that relate to their interests, ambitions, likes, and dislikes. They want to see engaging visuals and enlightening content that delivers value. As a brand trying to increase your following on Instagram, it’s in your best interest to research the interests of your customers. Of all of our Instagram marketing tips, this is one of the most vital to your success on this platform! Keep your posts looking fresh and exciting and also aimed at the interests of your target audience.

  1. Take advantage of Instagram Carousel.

It’s hard to find one image that says it all. Did you know that you could use up to 10 photos or videos in a single post with Instagram Carousel? You can even combine the two. It’s a great way to showcase a product line, tease content, compare before and after shots, share a how-to and more. How do you create an Instagram Carousel? It’s simple. You start by launching your Instagram business page. When you tap the + add an image, you will see a new post feature, which is an icon of stacked squares that represents the photo carousel. When you tap that icon, you can scroll through your image library and select up to ten photos or videos. You can even order them how you’d like, and apply filters individually or to all of the photos in the carousel. Tap share and you’re ready to go!



  1. Be strategic with your hashtags.

They are an important part of Instagram posts, helping you to expand your reach and connect to new potential customers. How can you figure out what hashtags you should be using? Well, for a start, they should definitely relate to your business, products, and services. If you haven’t already, you should create brand hashtags that you use consistently. You can even develop specific brand hashtags for special campaigns or promotions. To expand on the hashtags you are using, do a little detective work and see what your competitors and industry influencers are using. Most importantly, your hashtags should reflect the content of your post. An experienced social media marketing firm can help you with this as well.

  1. But don’t go overboard.

Is there such a thing as too many hashtags? Although Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post, certain studies warn against overdoing it. According to research by TrackMaven on Instagram accounts with >1k followers, there was a steady increase in average interaction up through five hashtags per post, after which the average interaction actually drops. According to SimplyMeasured, 91% of posts by top brands use seven hashtags or less. It makes sense that top brands are using fewer hashtags, since they’re established. If your business or organization isn’t, it’s ok to use more hashtags as long as they’re relevant to your content. Another of our integral Instagram marketing tips – relevancy is key! It’s also important to avoid coming across as spammy. Don’t use the same list of hashtags for every post, change them up depending on your content.

  1. Use filters.

They can enhance the look of your photos and help give your brand a distinct look and consistency. Relatable published a report on the most popular Instagram filters that was based on a study of 40 million posts. They concluded that 18% of all photos posted used a filter. The winner by far of the most popular Instagram filter is Clarendon. It was used in 25% of the photos with filters, followed by Juno, which was used in 8% of the photos. Juno was followed closely by Gingham and Lark, both around 7%.

  1. Try Instagram Stories.

It’s a great way to maintain visibility on Instagram. You can tease new products, promote an event, poll your followers, or even advertise a flash sale. It will allow you to incorporate photos and video into a slideshow that can be enhanced with text and graphics. You also have the ability to tag and link. Your story only lasts for 24 hours, so it’s great for things that don’t need to be up indefinitely.

  1. Use Instagram’s video ad formats.

This valuable tool for targeting a select audience offers three video formats to create Instagram ads. We all know that Instagram users love video. According to the SensorTower Ad Intelligence Data Digest, one in four ads on Instagram is a video. That number is even larger this year. When developing a video, the most important thing to remembers is that you only have a few short seconds to capture and keep someone attention. Get to the point quickly in a unique and engaging manner.

  1. Take advantage of all of the bells & whistles.

Instagram’s new zoom feature gives you the ability to get a little closer to your audience while using stories. Users can zoom in on photos or videos. You may also want to consider using emojis or better yet, the emoji slider poll feature to generate even more interaction. The emoji slider is a new audience feedback sticker that polls your viewers on a rating scale using any emoji. After all, it’s all about the image on Instagram!

  1. Consider the best time to post on Instagram.

Best time for you to post is when your followers are most active. Every business is unique in that their audience is different. It may take some trial and error and tracking of your results. A good rule of thumb is to post during lunchtime (11 am to 1 pm) or after work (6 pm to 9 pm). You can use Instagram analytics tools to find the best time for your posts. Instagram analytics is located right on your app. Best of all, it’s free when you set up an Instagram business profile. So, be sure to use the information available in the insights feature of your Instagram business account to identify when your followers are most active and schedule your posts accordingly.

  1. Don’t over post.

Just like including too many hashtags isn’t a smart move, neither is over posting. A couple of relevant posts a day is ideal. You want to post just enough to keep your followers interested and engaged, but not so much that you become a nuisance. An experienced social media marketing firm can help you build a social media calendar with engaging posts and optimum post times.

  1. Don’t forget a CTA in your post.

Very important on our list of Instagram marketing tips, be sure to use a CTA! While engagement is important, for certain posts, you’ll want a call to action. Remember, Instagram allows a single clickable link in your bio that can take followers directly to your website or landing page. You can include a copy of the link in your post, remind the user that the link is in your bio or both.


Reach out and touch someone with an engaging Instagram post 

According to the Pew Research Center, one-third of the US mobile users are on Instagram. The majority of Instagram users (59%) are between the ages of 18-29. Instagram reported 15 million registered businesses using the social media app with 2 million active advertisers on the platform each month. Obviously, businesses are seeing the benefit of engaging with this large captive audience. If you’re a brand that’s looking to reach a younger demographic, this should be your social media choice and our Instagram marketing tips are for you!

We hope you found this list of 11 Instagram marketing tips useful. If you’re not taking full advantage of Instagram to help promote and grow your business, consider the benefits. At Corcoran Communications, we help businesses and organizations of all types and sizes build strong followings, drive engagement, and execute high converting ads. Contact a social media consultant at Corcoran Communications today to learn more specifically about what we can do to help build your brand on Instagram.



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Is influencer marketing worth the investment?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Influencers, or opinion leaders as they are also called, can generate excitement for your brand and help to sell products and services. They build relationships for your brand via social media, reaching customers thought targeted posts and blogs. Influencer marketing content is thought to deliver 10 times higher ROI than other forms of digital marketing. If influencers are successful in helping to build sales, and many are, then they are a worthwhile investment for your brand. They key is influencer content that converts to greater awareness or better yet, a sale.

Why are influencer posts more effective than yours?

Influencers have a great understanding of social media and relating to their fan base. They earn the trust of their followers and speak directly to your targeted buyers. Consumers crave authenticity. An influencer may have less followers than a large brand, but influencer followers are often much more loyal. Influencers also discuss their experience with brands and products. They may also review products, providing valuable firsthand insight to consumers. Most importantly, they accomplish this in creative ways.

A Nielson study found that 83 percent of online responders said they trust referrals from people they know. Simply put, influencer marketing generates referrals. Because of their experiences with a brand and its products, influencer posts and blogs are often much more engaging and authentic than brand posts.

Traditional advertising vs. Influencer Marketing

Many companies are spending less on traditional advertising mediums, such as TV, radio and newspaper. Instead, they are focusing their attention on social media and social media influencers to reach their target market. They are discovering it can better target their ideal consumer. Social media influencers are also perceived to be much more trustworthy than an ad. Influencer marketing content can provide a much grater return on investment than traditional advertising.

The best platforms for influencer marketing are Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Blogs are also a powerful way to influence the public. Your ideal influencer is one that shares your key messaging and is knowledgeable of your industry. You will need to help develop usable content and graphics to assist an influencer in providing the information necessary to his or her followers. They will couple this with their own insight, life experiences, photos and videos. It’s a much more personal way of indirect advertising.

Internet & Social media statistics

Statistics prove that people are online all the time. They are searching, logging on to social media platforms and browsing the worldwide web all day, every day. Social media influence is poised to grow and if you have a well-planned influencer program in place, your sales can grow with it. An influencer can aid in your SEO efforts and help boost rankings. Here are some statistics from WorldStream and internetstats that showcase the power of social online and social media influence.

  • Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second, which translates to 3.5 billion searches per day.
  • Approximately half of the world’s 7.5 billion people are Internet users.
  • 83% of female and 75% of male Internet users are on Facebook.
  • There are nearly 2 billion users on Facebook.
  • YouTube reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
  • 100 million hours of video content is watched on Facebook daily.

Start growing your social media interest now

Social media is the ideal spot for word of mouth marketing. Gain more interest in your brand and your products by building a greater social media presence. It will help you stay ahead of the competition and secure a loyal following. To be effective, brands need to begin authentic conversations. Media influencers are an excellent way to start these conversations and expand your social media presence in a meaningful way. They will help influence others in our target market to support your brand. Influencers will get your message out to the masses quickly and creatively. They are also an excellent value for your marketing dollar. Remember, the power of social media is in its ability to immediately reach the your target market. Exposure and awareness is imperative for a brand’s success. With the right social media influencer plan, you can achieve your sales goals starting today. If you’re interested in learning more about influencer marketing read another of our blogs. Have questions? Contact Corcoran Communications social media marketers today by emailing [email protected].



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