Reframe How You Think About Advertising
When you think about print, television, or radio ads—more traditional advertising media—you likely picture an ad that’s selling a specific product. However, this sales-focused messaging that’s worked for decades in other channels will not net results on Facebook.
People expect to be sold to by a television or radio commercial or in the direct mailers they receive. But they go to Facebook for an entirely different reason. People are on Facebook to build connections and community, not to be marketed at. So your Facebook advertising needs to be less about “buy my stuff” and more about creating content that builds awareness and trust of your brand.
When people see useful content from your brand on their feeds, they come to know, like, and trust your business. You establish yourself as a source of knowledge and become more like a trusted friend than a pushy, anonymous salesperson.
Start With Great Content
So the place to start on Facebook is not with a sales pitch, but with meaningful content. In order to identify content topics that will resonate with your audience, start with keyword research.
Take a look at your existing content, and see which search terms are leading people to find that content. Using Google Search Console, you can access a list of the real-world search terms people are using to discover each page on your website.
Look for patterns in the types of queries that are leading to your content. And look for intent in those queries. Understanding the intent, or the why, behind a person’s search term can help you craft new content that speaks to the needs and wants of your prospects.
Competitive research can be helpful in this pursuit as well. Identify gaps in your competitors’ content offerings, or find ways to expand upon the successful content they’ve created. That’s a great way to give your audience what they want.
Make Sure the Right People See It
You know that old saying about the tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear it? The same principle applies to your online content. If no interested parties are around to see your Facebook ads, it won’t move the needle and generate leads.
Let’s say you own a home remodeling company. No matter how great your content about preparing for a remodel is, if it only gets seen by a bunch of renters who aren’t in the market for your services, you might as well flush your advertising dollars down the (newly installed) toilet.
Once you’ve created meaningful content, you’ll turn to Facebook to share it with the world. Start by sharing your content organically on the platform by posting on your Facebook page. For your advertising purposes, you’ll want to focus on those pieces of content that get the greatest organic engagement. When a noteworthy portion of your existing audience likes and comments on a particular piece of content, it’s a sign. You know you’ve hit upon something that really resonates with your ideal audience.
From there, you can boost the post with Facebook via their advertising platform. Using their custom audiences tool allows you to show your content only to people who are likely to find it relevant. Meaning, if yours is a remodeling business, you can direct your ad spend at people in certain neighborhoods, age groups, and even those who Facebook knows recently purchased a home.
By boosting your posts, you expand your reach beyond your existing followers. And by boosting to a custom audience who looks like your existing best customers, you ensure you’re getting the greatest ROI on your advertising investment.
Follow Up With Your Best Prospects
Once you’ve boosted your content, it’s time to track how it performs with the broader world. Facebook provides detailed analytics that allow you to see how people react to and interact with the content. They’ll show a breakdown of organic versus paid reach. Plus, you can see likes, comments, and shares on the post.
You’ll also want to create and install a Facebook pixel on your website. This tool allows you to track customer behavior on your website. Adding the pixel enables you to see how your advertising on Facebook is affecting prospects’ behaviors on your site.
With these analytics in hand, you’ll want to follow up with those prospects who are showing the greatest promise—the people who are interacting with your content and exploring your website. Once someone expresses that interest, provide them with a next step towards conversion.
This should be advertising content that invites them to try. Show them an ad for a free trial or evaluation. By reserving these ads for those who have already expressed an interest in your brand, you’re boosting your advertising ROI once again. Save your serious advertising offers for your serious prospects, and you’ll be more likely to get a higher conversion rate.
Facebook advertising doesn’t have to cost a fortune to get results. If you’re smart about the content you create and the audience you target, you can generate impressive returns with a small monetary investment