Social media marketing is an obscure place. It’s full of technical jargon that can intimidate newcomers to the field, and what’s worse, has an undeserved reputation for not generating quality returns on investment (ROI). This is particularly true of businesses that manage their own social media marketing, usually by making it a secondary duty for someone with more pressing concerns. This minor engagement usually doesn’t translate into sales or leads, and the advertiser pulls the plug, convinced that social media isn’t for them.
The problem isn’t that finding a positive ROI on social media can’t happen, or even that it’s a difficult process. Most companies just don’t know where to start. However, if you’ve got a winning strategy in place, you can find success, and what’s more, after the initial effort, most of this process is entirely automated.
When it comes to online marketing, most organizations just build a landing page or some piece of content, and then start promoting it. But really, how often does that work? Even big brands often have difficulty getting cold audiences to warm up. Simply put, very few people bother joining email lists just because of a pretty website. We need to find the right people and audiences, and build a relationship with them using by providing something of value while using the automated marketing tools and audience data Facebook Ads provide.
Before we get into the details of making Facebook Ads work for you, there are few things to do to get started.
- Avoid the SEO/Sales mentality—The online world is different than brick and mortar shop one, and social media even more so. With SEO, you’re fighting to be top of the search results page, and their programs are trying trying to keep the fakers out. With social media, and Facebook in particular, companies have optimized their platform in a different way. Social media isn’t about dominating the Search Results page; it’s about finding the right audiences to build relationships with.
- Make sure you have Facebook’s free Pixel application installed on your website, and that you understand how custom audiences work. Installing Pixel only require minimal technological savvy, and you only need to do it once.
- Be prepared to build several pieces of content, with each one focusing on a different brand touchpoint. We’re going to build our Facebook Ads around this content, and use it to warm up cold audiences, so make sure these content pieces focus on the products, services, and competitive advantages of your organization that you want to highlight.
With everything in place, it’s time to start putting together the marketing strategy that will help you find new audiences to engage and start moving them down the marketing funnel.
1. Create Content that Works for You
The first step is ensuring we have enough content to retarget people all the way down the marketing funnel. We can build whatever kind of content we like, but should consider which format is best for our goals. We’ll need 6-9 simple blog posts, videos, webinars, or even e-books, as long as they reflect our company values. Otherwise, there are just two rules to keep in mind.
Make sure the content is on your website, because that’s where we’ll be making the conversions. Remember that we’re creating and building value for audiences, and trying to build a relationship. Our content should reflect that.
2. Create Lookalike Audiences
Once we’ve created some valuable content, we’ll start promoting it to our warm audiences, including already existing Facebook fans, our mailing list, existing clients and so on. We need to make sure we’re paying attention to what content is earning the most engagement, and where that engagement is coming from. This information is useful in figuring out what our new audiences, and therefore new leads, will look like.
The goal in this stage is to find cold audiences that are likely going to be receptive to our content and messaging. That’s one of the reasons we want to create content for this process; not only does new content refresh our website, but it also lets us warm up cold audiences. We’ll have content to post to relevant groups, and it helps build awareness and get people inside the marketing funnel. Then it’s just a matter of taking advantage of Facebook’s remarketing technology.
3. Remarket with an Offer
This is where we begin to take advantage of Facebook’s remarkable audience targeting abilities. Unlike Search Engine advertising, where we’re always competing for the top spot, Facebook offers advertisers the opportunity to set specific parameters for whom to show paid advertisements and sponsored posts to.
For example, Facebook can target users that have read our content but haven’t visited our website yet. We can create an ad to target people already aware of our brand, remarketing to them with one that thanks them for reading the post, but leaves them enticed to click deeper into the our website. This is how we can introduce our offers and get people to our landing page, our product page, or whichever page makes the most impact.
4. Retarget Visitors Who Haven’t Drilled Deeper
Once our audience has warmed up to our brand and is interested in our the offer, it’s time to remarket to them again. After all, not everyone who hits our landing page converts. So this time, we’re going to follow the same principles as stage 3, and create an ad targeting just people who have visited our landing page but not found the product page we wanted them to. Perhaps offer them a discount? A promotional trial? Anything that acknowledges their interest, and continues to feed it with other incentives, will work.
5. Build Trust
One of the ways in which Facebook (and social media advertising in general) differs from traditional marketing is that it’s built around relationships. We want to give our potential new clients a reason to interact with us, a reason to trust us, and ultimately a reason to buy from us. This is why it’s great to provide free trials, consultations, or offer a discount on products. Facebook can identify users that have been to the trial page but haven’t purchased, and use it’s remarketing technology to show testimonial ads, review ads, or anything that can help build trust. It’s not enough for new clients to be interested in what we’re offering. We want them to be seriously considering taking that final step into conversion.
6. One Last Push
At this point, we’ve warmed the client up almost as much as we can, but there’s one more step that we can take by having Facebook send one last highly-customized message. Use this last ad to thank new users for their interest in earlier content, and encourage them to reach out with any concerns they may have. This way you can find out what’s stopping a conversion and address their issue, stopping leakage from the marketing funnel in the process.
Social media marketing has been heralded as a game changer for local and large businesses for many years now, but many organizations are apprehensive of its value. Like any marketing campaign, if it is unclear, unfocused, and only haphazardly pursued, the returns simply won’t be there. But having a concrete plan to remarket to similar audiences is an easy and effective way to take advantage of both the much-lauded reach of social media as well as fast and simple automated marketing technologies.