Facebook, unlike LinkedIn, is not by definition a business community. Perhaps this is why you haven’t invested in advertising on this social platform. Since most people log on to share memories and chat with friends, ads may seem like an intrusion on Facebook. Certainly, we’ve all encountered ads on our newsfeeds that look more like scams than a welcoming promotion.
The truth is that ad campaigns work beautifully on Facebook. As long as they are well crafted for targeted audiences, ads can actually enhance the social feel of Facebook. But this takes effort, thought, and attention. A Facebook page for your business that you post on once a month does not cut it.
The key to successful Facebook advertising is understanding that the central point of the campaign is the customer. Not fun stories about your company history. Not your product. Not you. Them.
To create Facebook ads that generate leads, you must first understand the nature of Facebook advertising. This can get a little term-heavy, but stay with us. We’re about to offer valuable advice for your first successful Facebook campaign.
Understanding the terminology and format for Facebook advertising
As we said earlier, the focus point of your campaign is your audience. Your chosen audience may be based on your product, but the people must be the forefront of your mind. The broad audience you choose, these are potential leads. A lead is someone who gives you their information (name, phone number, e-mail) by clicking through a link on an ad.
Lindsay Kolowich describes the two different types of leads in her article “12 of the Best Facebook Post Ideas for Facebook Lead Generation.” Direct leads are those who click through a link on your Facebook ad and fill out a page of their information, either in exchange for more information, a promotion, or, although this is rare, just because they want your product then and there.
The second type of lead is an indirect lead. Indirect leads are those who click through ads to pages that don’t have forms. The secondary pages may not even be your website, they may another business or event you promote.
Indirect leads are equally important to direct leads. You don’t want to create a stigma that your Facebook presence exists solely to collect information. Remember, Facebook is a social place. Promote links to fun things, too. People will like your business more.
Facebook offers three different types of ads to run on their site. They are as follows:
- You can pay for ads on the right hand column of Facebook. These ads don’t stand out as much as timeline ads. Their pictures and fonts are smaller, and it’s also where people expect to see ads. Still, Facebook allows you to target these ads to particular demographics. And Facebook is talking about redesigning them, so they are still worth an investment.
- Boosting a post is another way to reach more people on Facebook. This is a button option on any post your page puts out there, but prices vary depending on how many people you want to reach. Boosted posts work well for indirect leads, such as promoting a local event or new company you admire.
- By far the most effective method are news feed ads. These are the most expensive, but they offer an important feature: a call to action (CTA) button. These is a link with a catchphrase like “download now” or “sign up here.” CTA buttons are highly effective in attracting leads. These news feed posts don’t show up on your businesses’ timeline, unlike boosted posts. Like both boosting posts and right hand ads, you as a business owner can select the audience of your ad.
With all of these methods, Facebook sends you reports on data to help you visualize your audience. This data can help you narrow your reach even further to increase the likelihood of leads.
Designing your Facebook ads: the 101s of eye catching creativity
First things first, if you’re ads aren’t sent to the right people, you won’t be receiving any leads. Remember, audience first. A twenty one year old college girl doesn’t want to buy a vehicle wrap. Narrow your demographic to at least a generation. Then, after your first round of data comes back from Facebook, you can narrow it further.
When you design your ad, keep in mind that you only have about two seconds to grab the customer’s eye before they scroll on. Your ad needs bold text, bright pictures, and a clear statement. Humans can’t read more than 100 words in 10 seconds. Every post must include a picture or video, as these almost triple the likelihood of a lead.
The more coherent your brand, the higher likelihood for leads. Create your own images instead of using stock copies. Be consistent with color and font so the customer can recognize your product without having to read too much.
Here are some examples of eye catching Facebook ads:
This Amazon ad has a simple, colorful image that doesn’t distract too much from the message of the ad.
This ad uses bold text to entice the user to click through on the CTA.
Ideas for Calls to Action
The calls to action on your ads don’t have to be promotions. As long as you post regularly and keep your post varied, you’re bound to accumulate leads.
Here is a short list of ideas for links on your ads:
- Downloadable e-book
- Free webinar
- Interesting blog post
- Promotions (as long as they are relevant to your product)
- Local events that your business supports
- Discount codes
- Refer-a-friend options
- Feedback on your product survey
- Live chats with employees
- …and more! What are your ideas?
Facebook ads don’t have to be intimidating. Once you choose your style of advertising, all you need to do is commit to regular promotions and links. Facebook does the data research for you to propel you forward. Remember, indirect leads are just as important as direct leads, so don’t be afraid to boost posts that don’t directly lead to information collection forms!
If you’re still not convinced on Facebook advertising, here are some parting facts from Jason Parks at jeffbullas.com.
Brands devoted to regular advertising get 3.5 times more leads than static pages.
70% of Facebook users are connected to local businesses.
Click-through ad rates increase 160% per year, on average.
Finally, there are more than 2 million people on Facebook. Time to get connected to them!
For more information on the ins and outs of Facebook advertising, contact Rebecca at email@example.com.