Common Facebook Ad Mistakes Part 1: Your Customer and Your Offer
Before I get in to the information I want to let you know that this content will all be a part of a series of posts related to the topic above. When I was originally writing this post I was intending everything in it to be one post, but 20 pages later… I don’t think that’s going to happen. So, what I’m going to do is split it up into multiple posts so that the content is a little bit more digestible! So let’s get in to it why don’t we!
The inspiration behind this post comes from much of what I have seen on social media from businesses or individuals using Facebook posts or really any kind fo paid digital advertising in general. Many times people will put their advertisements out, not get a return, and then lose faith in many of the platforms that can be super effective if used properly. Facebook advertising is one of the “newer” platforms that is producing a lot of great return, but just like any other paid advertising platform if you execute a sound strategy you will be able to leverage them to their true potential. If you just throw things out there hoping it will work, chances are you’re not going to see a return.
The Facebook advertising platform is one of the most robust platforms on the market right now, and this isn’t all because of the fact that the platform has over 1 billion active users on a regular basis. What truly makes it powerful is the amount of data that Facebook has that allows businesses and advertisers alike to target their specific target market with their product or service offering. For example:
Yes, you can target those who show an interest in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Does this matter for your business in particular? Probably not, unless you’re Uncrustables, in which case you should get on that.
Really, the point I am trying to make here is that if you have a consumer facing business, or even a B to B business (you’re still selling to people in B to B, and those people are probably on Facebook), you should probably be investing some time looking into Facebook advertising for your business. They’re only as expensive as how much you’re willing to invest, and if you can get things optimized properly to generate a positive return for your business I would recommend continuing to scale that spend so that you have consistent sales and leads coming in to your business.
There are a few key things that I usually see that are preventing businesses from being incredibly successful with Facebook ads:
Not fully understanding your customer or your offer.
- Who you’re talking to
- What point they are in the relationship with your business
- What offer you’re putting out to them (if any).
- Not effectively having a means of capturing leads or building some kind of email or customer list.
Making Sales and Monetizing
- Not having a sales funnel in place that effectively moves someone from a cold lead to a buying customer.
These are the three points that are going to be a part of this content series. Throughout this series I’m hoping that I’ll be able to give you enough information at a higher level so you can take your advertisements to another level, or at least get you pointed in the right direction if you haven’t begun running advertisements yet.
To preface the rest of this post: I want to be clear that I won’t be able to give step by step instructions on everything in one series of posts, but I certainly try to provide as much value as possible to point you all in the right direction when it comes to your advertisements. Going forward I can provide more step by step instructions on how to do things, and will most likely have those in video form, so watch out for those!
NOT FULLY UNDERSTANDING YOUR CUSTOMER OR YOUR OFFER
These are two very key points when it comes to any kind of advertising. You need to understand who you are speaking to, what point they are in the customer life cycle, and then what offer you’re going to put in front of them to solve a pain point that they have. The first step is to fully understand who you’re talking to in the first place.
WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO:
Regardless of what industry you’re in, your business exists because it solves a pain point (or pain points) for a potential customer. One of the tricky parts with marketing or advertising, is effectively communicating how your business provides value to that specific customer segment, and how you can alleviate their pain points. This is made even MORE challenging now that our average attention span is smaller than a goldfish. I wish I was joking, but it’s true. Visit this article on time.com.
So how do we solve this problem for ourselves as business owners and marketers?
We must first understand our audience.
I’m sure that many of you have heard of creating customer avatars, and this is essential before embarking on anything related to marketing or advertising. We first have to understand who we are talking to before we can begin pushing advertisements their way. This is done by doing some digging and researching to answer some key questions about your target audience.
There are tons of customer avatar worksheets out there, but here are a couple of my favorite that I’ve found to work with:
Also, another phenomenal tool, even though it isn’t technically a customer avatar worksheet, is the value proposition canvas. It will help you dig in to what problems you’re solving for different customer segments.
Really what you are going to be focusing on is digging deeper into your customer segments and who you’re selling to. Mind you, there can be multiple avatars for your business depending upon your products or services. You’re going to figure out basic demographic information about your ideal customer, such as age, gender, where they work, what job position they have, salary, etc. From there you’re going to try to get a deeper understanding of their goals, values, what they read, what they watch on TV, people they may follow on social media, topics they’re interested in, and then what their challenges and pain points are.
I’m sure that many wouldn’t know all of this information first hand, and that’s perfectly fine! That’s why this first phase requires some research and a bit of digging, but doing so yields much better results when communicating to your target audience because you will understand them on a deeper level.
Some quick tips for doing some research:
- If you know someone who fits one of your customer avatars, interview them and ask them the questions that you need to know to get more in depth information on that customer segment.
- Do research online by starting with a Google search, and then read forums and blogs that are targeted towards that customer segment to try to get the answers to some of those questions.
- Interview your existing customers. This can give businesses even more valuable information beyond just advertising. It will give you not only a better chance to get to understand their existing customer base even more, but to also get some great customer feedback.
WHAT POINT THEY ARE IN THE RELATIONSHIP:
Just like selling and business development in person, there are a few different types of leads that we can group potential customers into digitally: cold, warm, and hot. Similarly, if you were selling a product or a service in person, you wouldn’t go straight for the sale when talking to a cold lead. You would start with some kind of introduction, build trust, and then try to get a chance to meet or pitch what you’re selling. The same goes for advertising or selling through digital mediums.
For reference, here is how we can segment those leads on a very basic level digitally:
- Cold Leads — People who have never heard of your business.
- Warm Leads — People who were cold leads that may have taken action on one of your advertisements. This could mean clicking through to a piece of content like a blog post or video, or opting in to download some kind of content like an eBook.
- Hot Leads — People who have opted in to a special offer, claimed some kind of discount, purchased a lower ticket item or service, viewed a webinar. This is the point when it is ideal to try to push for the sale, and to get customers to buy in to the higher ticket product or service.
Too often businesses go straight for the sale when pushing out advertisements on a platform like Facebook. If people have never heard of your business and they see your ad selling your product or service, chances are they aren’t going to buy. There is a trust that must be built up before a potential customer is willing to buy.
Here is a graphic I have created to demonstrate this a bit better:
This is the equivalent of walking up to someone at a networking event giving them your name, and then trying to sell your product or service immediately. Chances are they aren’t going to buy.
A good rule of thumb is to always lead with value. Traditional selling tactics online are no longer as effective, and there needs to be a trust built up between the business and consumer before a transaction takes place. The best way to do this is to create content such as blog posts, videos, or downloadable content that you can provide to potential customers to help them in some way.
For example, if you were a personal trainer or gym owner you would want to produce content that would help potential customers maximize their workouts and better their health. Providing workout guides and nutrition plans in the form of blog posts would be great for gaining the trust of a cold audience. Once they have that content in front of them, they will then value your brand above others in the space as you are now viewed as a thought leader. Not to mention, from there you can push out more offers to them to keep them coming back to you to buy.
Check out a site like Bodybuilding.com. I landed there earlier today multiple times because I was seeking out information on specific products, their side effects, and the benefits of taking them. Their website offers so much content that simply helps people understand the products and how to utilize them properly, and they monetize on all of this traffic by selling the products that they are talking about on their website.
From there, you would be able to leverage the power of retargeting to push targeted offers out to those who have already expressed an interest in your product or service by clicking on your advertisement. For some great advice on how to set up retargeting on Facebook, see Facebook’s own platform with training modules on how to set up great campaigns:
I will be sure to cover things like retargeting, and the more technical details of how to maximize your ads in more depth going forward to make sure that you can move your leads through your digital sales funnel from cold to hot!
Now the graphic I created for this example might look a bit like hieroglyphics, but I’m going to explain it, and going forward I’ll delve more in depth on this topic, and how to put these pieces together.
In an ideal scenario what you want to do is direct a cold audience to your website, and then get them familiar with your business and brand through your website and the content that you have there. From there you can direct them to additional content to keep them on your site longer, or direct them to some kind of lead magnet (a free download, discount, offer, etc) to capture their email to build up an email list of interested customers going forward.
Through the entire process you should leverage the capabilities of the advertising platform to apply what is called retargeting, or sometimes remarketing, to your audience. This allows you to build a list of those who have visited your website, and then continue to push out more content or offers to them based on the advertisements they have clicked on already. A popular example of this would be when you’re shopping on Amazon for a product, and when you are on another site that product is right there in front of you. Retargeting ensures that you are always in front of your potential customers, and is super effective for pushing relevant offers out to the right customers to keep them familiar with your brand and keep them coming back to your site.
A quick tip before moving on to the next section:
If you have an existing email list or newsletter of qualified customers (not a list of people you know, or email address that you have), many of these advertising platforms allow you to upload an email list that will allow you to create a custom audience for your campaigns. The benefit of this is that you will then be able to push out offers to those people who may be warm or hot leads already. This is great for taking a database of current or potential customers and keeping them coming back to you, and making sure that they are familiar with your brand.
WHAT OFFER YOU’RE PUTTING OUT TO THEM (IF ANY)
I’ll start this section by getting this point in parentheses back out there… if any.
I’ve seen businesses who put ads out there, but they are just telling people about themselves. When people are scrolling through a Facebook newsfeed on their phone or computer I’d be willing to bet that their attention spans are even shorter than the average. When they are about a line into the copy on your advertisement, they are inevitably going to be distracted by a cat video or meme. It’s internet 101.
In order to make sure your ad stands out above the cat videos and memes, you need to make sure that you’re putting an offer out to your potential audience that solves one of their key pain points. Simply telling someone who you are and what you do won’t get much attention or traffic, unless you’re a big brand or you do something very very interesting.
Here are some actionable tips that you can implement on any advertisements going forward to guarantee better results:
- Make sure your advertising copy is hitting one of your customer’s pain points. What is their problem, and how are you going to solve it for them?
- State clearly what you’re offering to them, and how this offer will benefit them. Make the most of that few seconds, and let people know these benefits plainly. Example: “Hungry? Click here for Pizza.”… side note: pizza delivery by clicking a button would be nice.
- Always have a call to action. When people see your ad there needs to be a next step. It could be as simple as clicking through to your website, downloading something, or liking your Facebook page. Make sure this is clear to your audience.
- Put in relevant images or videos for your ads. This also goes back to understanding your audience. If you know your audience likes cat videos and memes, and it’s also relevant to your product or service, use them!
- This is a bit of a bonus item that ties into a later blog post, but make sure that the page you’re directing your potential audience to is relevant to the advertisement you put out. When people click through the ad, they want to see exactly what they clicked through the ad for. Make it easier for them and it will benefit you greatly.
I’m hoping that with some of this information you will be able to take it and implement it into some of your upcoming advertising campaigns, and if you haven’t made the switch to digital advertising I would highly recommend it. It may be a little daunting at first, but just like anything else with some practice and research you can become great at it, and by leveraging these platforms I’m sure that you can get a leg up on your competition to help you dominate the space that you’re in.
If you would like to get more information on this and many other topics be sure to check out more content on the blog, and if you have any questions, feedback, or contradictions to what I’ve put out here please feel free to comment below or even personally email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to hearing from all of you, and in the meantime stay great and dominate!