I get asked sometimes about Facebook and Facebook ads, so I wanted to give you my take on it.
First — whatever your opinion about Facebook, one thing is clear:
It’s going NOWHERE.
In case you like numbers like I do, check out these statistics:
- 2 billion people login to Facebook each month
- 79% of the U.S. population uses it
- Every 1 in 5 page views on the entire internet occurs on Facebook
- And people spend about 50 minutes per day browsing on it.
That means that the majority of American adults — which includes your prospects — are on Facebook, spending close to ONE HOUR (or more) every day on the largest social media platform in the world.
So what does this mean for your business — especially since the New Year has arrived?
You have a HUGE opportunity to grow your business combining Facebook into your marketing strategy.
But if you thought you’d just put up some more posts on your business’s Facebook page and call it a day, think again. That approach may seem legitimate, but it actually won’t do the trick to get you new leads.
In fact, it won’t do much at all…
When “fan pages” (meaning, business pages) launched way back in 2007, anyone could create a page for their company or organization, put up posts on their page, and those posts would be seen with no delay by people who had hit “like” on their page.
Those were the good old days.
But more and more people were joining and using Facebook, and users’ newsfeeds were becoming jammed with too many posts.
The competition for space (meaning, attention) in peoples’ newsfeeds had increased.
So, Facebook started reducing the amount of page posts that got shown to fans.
By a LOT actually.
On average, 84% of people who had hit “like” on your page were NOT seeing posts you put up, and that figure is from 6 years ago…
Today, even FEWER people see the posts you create on your business page. Unless your fan engages (clicks, likes, comments, shares) your page’s posts very often (think: daily), posts you create basically get seen by no one.
So what does this mean for you?
- Even if someone likes your page, that doesn’t mean they’ll see your posts
- You can forget about brand new prospects seeing your posts.
In other words…
Facebook doesn’t just let you post on your business page to generate free leads. It’s not that easy…
Especially since they launched their ads platform. Think about it. They have shareholders. Their main purpose is to generate revenue. There is nothing in it for them to show your post.
But don’t get me wrong:
I’m not saying you SHOULDN’T post regular updates (or promotions) to your Facebook page. You definitely should because this type of marketing communication makes your business look alive, and your Facebook page’s posts still can get shown to people who “like” and interact with your page often.
Remember, it’s a FREE way to engage with your current customers and show off pictures of your office or team, which makes your business seem personable, approachable, and even more likable!
But know this:
You need Facebook to help you GROW your business with new leads who can become customers. Otherwise, social media can seem like just another task on an already packed to-do list.
So, here’s how I recommend you use Facebook:
Run Facebook ads to target your prospects directly, ideally as part of your overall marketing strategy.
Since only 6% of small businesses with Facebook accounts currently run ads, this means you have a HUGE opportunity to get your marketing message seen by your prospects above that of your competition.
But, Facebook ads — just like postcards — need to be designed and targeted with lead generation in mind in order to create clicks, and ultimately calls and sales.
Otherwise, you risk throwing money away…
Straight into Facebook’s 27 billion-dollar pocket.
So to help you out, I wrote up how to design AND target your Facebook ad — specifically highlighting how to get prospects from Facebook directed to your business as real leads.
1. Attract qualified prospects with an irresistible special offer
Just like with postcard design that creates leads, your Facebook ad MUST include the following:
- An attention-grabbing headline
- Relevant images that communicate what your business does
- A special offer that impels prospects to contact you for it
- And a call to action — so people know HOW to reach you.
You want your Facebook ad to quickly communicate your marketing message to your prospect with ZERO delay. If your prospect has to try and figure out what your marketing means, you’ve already lost them.
Your ad needs to STOP your prospect from scrolling past your ad, so that this happens:
- They read your message
- Click on your ad
- Arrive at your website
- And fill out a form or call or buy.
That’s the sequence, and that’s how you get a lead.
Here’s one example of a Facebook ad we created for a client:
See the headline: “Free Revenue Estimate!”
You can put your headline where it is above (below the image), OR you can incorporate it directly into your ad image.
Like this one:
But just FYI:
Facebook doesn’t want your ad’s image to have a ton of text within the actual picture. Facebook will actually show your ad LESS (or not post it at all) if there’s way too much text on the image itself.
What you see here is about all you’ll get away with from the above example:
If your headline takes up more than 20% of the image, you can always put it in the text area. Facebook actually offers an easy way to check if your image has too much text so that you can save time by not waiting for Facebook to potentially disapprove your image (and stop your ad from being shown).
Moving on to imagery…
This ad uses bright colors in its graphic image (love that!) making the actual pictures pop out which makes them easy to see when scrolling through your newsfeed.
Here are some tips for an image that will stop prospects in their tracks:
- Choose a simple image that’s not too busy
- Use one that’s bright and catches attention
- Assume your picture will be seen on a mobile phone (so it doesn’t get cut off)
- Make it relevant with your brand & message
In other words:
If you’re a plastic surgeon, you’re probably not going to use an image like this:
Because that picture most likely doesn’t go with your brand, right?
You’d use something more like this:
Because the image of the calm beautiful woman conveys the kind of confidence your plastic surgery will give your prospect.
Images of people — especially ones where the subject is looking directly AT the Facebook viewer — will help your prospect connect with your business (and offer).
And when it comes to your special offer, you can put it in any part of your text (or image).
Lastly, your call to action can be used with your ad’s button, which prospects will click on to go straight to your website:
And when someone clicks on your ad, here’s what I recommend:
Instead of directing them to your website’s homepage, direct them to a landing page.
A special page that’s designed to match your Facebook ad will show your prospects they’ve arrived in the right place, and all they need to do is fill in their details to get that special offer your ad mentioned.
With a landing page, your prospects don’t need to click around and hunt for the information that was on your ad —
They just enter in their details, and that’s it! Now they’re a lead you can contact.
Landing pages are specifically designed to catch leads, so that’s why this is probably one of the most important parts of your Facebook ad strategy, in addition to targeting, of course.
2. Target your ads for DOUBLE the leads (and potential revenue)
Targeted ads work at least 50% better than ads which aren’t targeted, according to CMO.com.
Facebook offers multiple ways to target the best prospects for your business using:
- Demographics– age, gender, workplace, job titles, etc.
- Location– as close to your business as you like!
- Interests– what people like (hobbies, entertainment, etc.)
- Behaviors– purchase behaviors, which device people are using, etc.
But this is key:
You want to target your ad’s audience as NARROW as possible because a smaller, narrow audience = more targeted = more qualified prospects. And more qualified leads means more leads who will most likely buy from you.
If you’re a dentist in Chicago, yes, you could target the entire population of Chicago which is about 2.7 million people as of 2016.
But that means this:
You’ll be paying for your ad to be shown to people (upwards of 2.7 MILLION) who may not either have insurance OR even income to fund dental expenses…or they wouldn’t travel to wherever the practice is.
Which means WASTED money.
Just like with direct mail marketing, you want to target prospects specifically and with Facebook this is very easy to do.
Using the above example, as a dentist in Chicago you could design an ad (per #1) that uses images and a special offer related to families with kids.
And then target your ad like this:
- The city of Elmhurst, Illinois (a western suburb of Chicago roughly 10 square miles in size)
- Household income of $40,000+
- Interests: parent
This more specific targeting reduces the number of people who will see your ad, meaning you WON’T be paying for your ad to be seen by millions of people who may not have kids or need dental benefits for them.
So using the above targeting demographics, your ad would be shown to potentially 64,000 people around Elmhurst vs. the ENTIRE multi-million population of the greater Chicago area who use Facebook.
But here’s the thing about Facebook’s targeting capabilities that most people don’t realize:
You could honestly target ANY variation or combination of interests, incomes, locations, etc. While all the options available with Facebook may seem like a huge opportunity for your business to reach everybody, like I said above, you need to hone in and target down to get better leads and not waste money marketing to people who don’t need what you offer.
I recommend you TEST at least 2 ads against each other to see which one gets you the MOST number of clicks to your website (which you can see in Facebook’s ads manager area). You can just spend $20/day for a couple days to watch both ads and see which one produces the most clicks (leads) to your website. This way you keep the one ad running which has proven to get the most amount of attention and clicks to your website.
Your website MUST have a way to capture leads you send there —
Otherwise, about 96% of people who go to your website (from your paid Facebook ads, for example) will NOT contact you and just disappear instead. So it’s just as important to send people to your website as it is to catch the leads who arrive there. (This link will show you a great way to catch leads!)
3. Increase sales by 70% with Facebook’s remarketing
Remarketing (showing your marketing to someone who’s already expressed interest) can increase your sales by up to 70%, according to research.
Facebook’s remarketing works by use of the Facebook pixel. The word “pixel” here just means a code that goes on your website, and it feeds information about your website’s visitors BACK to Facebook so that you can show ads to them on Facebook.
Whoever’s in charge of your website should grab your page’s Facebook pixel code and install it on your website.
As long as the Facebook pixel is on your website, whenever anyone visits your website, they can then see your ads on Facebook.
You may have noticed this yourself…
Have you ever noticed after visiting a website, you’re now seeing their ads in your Facebook newsfeed?
But here’s the deal:
Facebook remarketing only works with people who’ve ALREADY visited your website…
In other words, you need to get them to your website FIRST.
That’s why it’s called RE-marketing. You’re marketing a second time so-to-speak, so you need a way to drive people to your website FIRST. That’s where online ads and direct mail come in.
On that note, I did an experiment that was pretty interesting.
I got a mailing list count targeting the SAME people I mentioned above in #2, meaning these folks:
- Living in a 10-mile radius from Elmhurst
- Household income of $40,000-$150,000
- Child present in home
But instead of targeting 10 miles surrounding Elmhurst I wanted just 5 miles…
And I got 36,284 contacts. What am I driving at?
Facebook doesn’t allow you to target 5 miles surrounding your business.
This means that if you wanted to target just 5 miles surrounding your business, with Facebook alone you COULD NOT do it. Facebook doesn’t target down closer than a 10 mile radius. Interesting, right? You’d HAVE to use direct mail if you wanted to market to less than a 10-mile radius to your business…
But WHY does this matter? Why would you care if you were marketing 5, 10, or 15 miles out for your marketing?
When I looked at our successful marketing campaigns, specifically the ones that HAD to target to specific locations, ALL of them targeted less than 10 miles.
Not every one of our direct mail campaigns targeted less than 10 miles, but some businesses need to target locally like this, such as these:
And when a business who needs to target locally pinpoints their marketing to a radius less than 10 miles away from their business, we saw them get more leads.
And more leads results in more NEW business.
So the takeaway here is direct mail results in more direct targeting. You don’t lump in every single possible identity.
Facebook’s interest targeting can be subjective and not concrete. After all, you can like and comment on parent-like content on Facebook — because maybe in a few years you want to be a parent, for example — but that doesn’t mean you currently have a child, nor are you worth sending a paid Facebook ad to promoting anything related to children.
But mailing lists that you use with direct mail campaigns are cut and dry —
You either have a kid in the home, or you don’t!
Am I recommending you scrap Facebook ads??
I actually recommend you do BOTH direct mail and Facebook ads. Together.
Because above I talked about remarketing with Facebook, and remarketing only works once people are ON your website already, meaning you need to get people to your website FIRST before any remarketing on Facebook will work…
And direct mail can drive people to your website. And so can other online ads, including Facebook’s.
But it’s not enough to use one medium to drive people to your website…
You need to get your business’s marketing seen in as many places as possible where your prospects spend their time, such as:
- Their home
- On infinite internet websites
- And in their Facebook newsfeeds.
Your prospects are bombarded with marketing ALL the time (especially during the holidays!) So in order for your marketing to actually reach your prospects amidst life’s endless distractions, it’s like you have to be seen EVERYWHERE possible…
Which is exactly why we created Everywhere Small Business. It’s the easiest way to get your business’s marketing seen across multiple platforms at ONE time:
- Direct mail
- AND Facebook.
With Everywhere Small Business, we design and run your direct mail marketing campaign in coordination with matching Google and Facebook ads so at one time, your business’s cohesive marketing message gets seen literally everywhere your prospects already spend the majority of their time.
Here’s an example of an Everywhere Small Business campaign so you can see:
See how the design is consistent from the postcard to the online ads?
When a prospect receives your postcard and visits your website, they’ll then see your online ads all over the internet, ranging from all their favorite websites (even BIG name ones) to Facebook.
We track the following for you:
- The date your postcards hit mailboxes
- How many people call your business from your marketing (via a special phone number) — AND we record these calls so you can check in on your sales processes and improve them
- How many people click on your Google AND Facebook ads
- The number of people who get shown your online ads (aka impressions)
You don’t lift a finger or have to figure out ANY targeting or design details.
The best part?
Everywhere Small Business markets your business everywhere BUT for only pennies more per piece than a traditional postcard campaign!
I really wanted to make this program easy and affordable for small business owners because I know that increasing your marketing — across multiple platforms — will help increase your leads and grow your business.
If you need any help with your 2018 marketing, don’t hesitate to call one of my marketing consultants at 1-800-628-1804. They’ll answer any questions you have about your marketing and explain Everywhere Small Business to you further if wanted.
Or, you can always email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, too!
P.S. Want to see some direct mail designs that have helped our clients grow their businesses? See our postcard design gallery here — organized by industry!