The purpose of this report is the provide a baseline of what authors can expect from boosting their books on Facebook. Just in case you need it, here is a good resource on the difference between boosting a Facebook post and creating an ad.
The Facebook post in this example was boosted using basic parameters that someone not familiar with advertising on Facebook would be likely to use. Throughout this report, I will include more advanced strategies you can use to improve results.
The Boosted Post
The Targeting Options & Money Spent
Location: Living in the United State
People Who Match: Interests: Sword Art Online or Ready Player One
And Must Also Match: Interests: Reading
This promotion ran for 7 days.
Your total budget for this promotion was $30.00 USD.
The LitRPG Facebook Boost Results
Post Engagements = 185 (135 reactions, 1 comment, 6 shares, 3 link clicks, 7 page likes)
Impressions = 2,447
Books Sold = 2
Targeting: Anyone familiar with advertising on Facebook would immediately notice some issues with this boosted post. The first and most glaring issue is the targeting. As a general rule of thumb, you want your targeting to be pretty specific. The targeting for this post was pretty broad considering it went to everyone that was interested in Sword Art Online or Ready Player One AND reading. This is not a bad strategy outright though, considering you cannot target LitRPG directly. When possible, authors should use custom audiences and run tests so they can find the targeting that works for them. A quick example would be to split your ad budget and duplicate your ads. You would be able to target different age ranges with the same ad and see which age range is performing the best.
The Call to Action: Authors may want to include a stronger call to action in their own boosted posts.
The Link: We included the full link in this post. Authors that are new to Facebook advertising often do this because they are not aware of the various resources available to shorten links or make them more appealing. It is recommended to at least use a URL shortener if Facebook doesn’t automatically shorten your link.
The Post Text (or copy): Something else to consider is the post itself. I included the LitRPG categories that the book fell into and the actual image in this post. Authors will want to include copy in their own boosted posts that will help sell their books. The post copy we used worked for us because of the nature of our brand. Including different copy (like the book summary) as an author will also work.
The Image: The fact that this boosted post included the book cover, as opposed to the thumbnail of the link included, warrants another report all by itself. The benefit of using the actual book cover is that it takes up more space in the news feed. I choose this option because I felt like the cover represented what the target demographic would be interested in very well. The cons of doing this were that it most likely lead to a number of people clicking on the book cover and not being immediately redirected to a page where they can buy the book. To summarize this point; including the book cover has a lot of potential stopping power, meaning more people will stop scrolling their Facebook feed to look at it, but it comes with the downside of making it slightly harder for interested readers to buy the book.
Is Facebook Advertising for LitRPG worth it?
At face value, it looks like Facebook advertising for LitRPG books is not worth it. We spent $30 dollars and only sold 2 books in return. I am not sure how much profit Kaye made from the two sales of his book, but I think it is safe to say it’s probably not more than the $30 we invested into this. That means our Return on Investment is negative.
Under normal circumstances, I would suggest that authors find other platforms to advertise on, but this is just a baseline. These are the results you can expect if you don’t have a strategy and you decide to spend money on advertising anyway. If you create custom audiences, A/B tests, and otherwise build a marketing strategy, you should be able to get a positive ROI in no time with Facebook. You will also have the benefit of possibly selling a book to all the people that liked your Facebook page as a result of your ad.
Thanks for reading and feel free to ask any questions in the comments below. In the meantime, I will continue to advertise books and create guides for the community!
Writer of disparate LitRPG stories. Current works = Legends of the Great Savanna (published) , Milton (Ongoing) Stay in touch at JLLincoln.com