And why you keep seeing them anyway.
Okay, what I should have said for the title was “Why Facebook Ads DO Work for everyone EXCEPT you”, but that would be harsh, a little argumentative and not quite true.
Facebook ads don’t work well for every business, every product in every town.
But before you let yourself off the hook here you should know something.
If you’ve tried Facebook ads or boosting posts (which is not the same thing) and it didn’t work for your business it’s probably not Facebook’s fault.
Think about it for a minute.
Is it more likely that one of the most successful companies in history – I just looked it up and Forbes has it at almost $45 BILLION in sales – just can’t generate any sales for you because they’re doing something terribly wrong?
Or is it MORE likely that maybe YOU just made the same mistakes that tons of small business owners (and BIG ones) make all the time?
Because I can tell you that the brands/products that I’ve done Facebook ads for have killed it. Great results. Buckets of money coming in. So I know that it CAN be done.
And I’ve worked with enough small businesses to say that, if you really want to – except in a few product categories and markets (there, I gave you an out) you can do it too.
You can run profitable Facebook ad campaigns.
You just have to know what you need to know.
And it starts with this:
Never Start a Facebook Ad Campaign in Facebook
Weird right? But this actually applies to any ad campaign, email or even printed coupon.
If you start with making your ad amazing, or even just reasonably good, you will probably not succeed. Then you’ll quit using Facebook.
Here’s how it normally goes:
The conversation you have with your staff, husband, wife, hapless “social media” guy usually goes like this:
You: “We need more business, do a Facebook ad.”
Them: “What do you want to advertise?”
You: “Um.. the business silly! Just make something that tells everyone in our area what a great ______ we are and send them to the website.”
Them: How much do you want to spend?
You: “Um.. $20, no let’s spend $50 and really give it a try.”
THEN you really don’t create an ad, you end up using the very attractive and simple Boost Post button.
It’s a picture of your business. Then some words saying what you do. Then there’s a “come on down” or “visit our website” or “call for appointment” call to action.
Okay – I MAY be picking on you a little, but I promise to tell you how to get so much more from Facebook ads.. But I have just a few more this-is-probably-you things to point out.
Then 7-10 Days Later:
You: “So, how did the ad do?”
[I’m not a playwright okay?!]
Them: “Well, we got a bunch of clicks. So I think it did pretty good!”
You: “Sales are still low. Waste of time. Facebook ads just don’t work for me!”
Here is the Problem with that…
And just identifying the problems reveal the solutions.
You Started with YOU
You need more business. Here’s a picture of your store. Your product. Your service.
These are the items YOU need to sell.
This is what YOU want to say about what YOU do and YOUR business.
Newsflash: Your potential customers don’t care about YOU!
Not yet anyway. Why would they?
They’re on Facebook to indulge in FOMO, look up old high school flames, pass around funny videos, catch up with friends and family.
Then this stranger pops into their news feed with this ad for a Plumber at Bob’s Plumbers Business.
Maaayyyybe if they happen to be looking for plumber right then, they might click.
Otherwise, you are just an interruption.
Start with your Customer. What do THEY want?
Hint: It’s not a plumber.
Here’s are a few things your potential customers MIGHT be interested in – what they might WANT:
- That dripping faucet is driving you CRAZY, isn’t it?
- Wow that was a HUGE water bill last month! Let’s find out why
- That toilet overflowing? That’s gross.
So they want to stop being annoyed by the leaky faucet. They want to save money on their water bill. They want to KNOW they’re not going to have to clean up after a toilet overflow.
Now, those aren’t perfect, but at least you are putting yourself in your customer’s shoes here. They’re at home or in their car or at work, scrolling through Facebook – what’s going to make them stop and look:
- A picture of you and your truck?
- One of the headlines above with a picture to match?
Think about your potential customer first. Not you and your business. Then create an ad that talks to them about the problem you’re solving.
You didn’t tell them what you REALLY wanted them to do
Okay, let’s stick with plumbers as our example.
Your original ad: Plumbers. We’re great. See the truck? Go to our website.
So your ideal customer has just seen your ad and you DO have a nice truck. So they stop their scroll through the Facebook feed and click on your website. To the HOME PAGE of your website.
And guess what? There’s a 99% chance the home page on your website is all about YOU.
I actually found this website for a local plumber and this is copy straight from the home page:
Thank you for choosing XYZ Plumbing. We provide a wide range of services for all of your plumbing needs. We have had the privilege of serving the local residents in the ______ County area for over 30 years and look forward in continuing to serve them. Although we mainly serve the areas of ___________ and ______; we provide service to other areas that include the counties of __, __, __, and __.
This website is designed with a two-fold purpose. We aim to provide you with both information about our company and to give you an opportunity to provide feedback about our service professionals that go directly to the owner. In each of the above tabs, you will find helpful information that will direct you to where you want to go. To summarize each one of the above tabs; our services tab provides you with information on services that our company provides, our Specials tab provides you with a useful coupon that you may choose to use that month, our AboutTheOwner tab gives you a brief history on the Owner, and our FeedBack tab puts the power into you, the customers, hands.
We hope your experience with using this site is both easy and informative. Thank you for visiting & Thank You for letting us serve you.
While making sure your customer feels like you know what you’re doing may be important, there’s literally nothing here that a potential customer needs.
Seriously, they probably DO know how to use a website. They can SEE the tabs at the top of the site. They’re not going to actually do anything here, except for what you’ve asked:
What did you ask them to do?
Visit your website.
You got a nice Facebook click out of that AND the marketing guy says you got more visitors to your website.
They clicked your ad, hit your web page and saw nothing about them or their problems or how you’ll help.
No one told them what to do next.
All they see is you talking about yourself.
So they click away and move on with their day.
Newsflash: Your potential customers don’t care about YOU!
Send them to a specific page that tells them what you want them to do
You got the click, but that’s not what you really wanted, right? Your “social media guy” might be happy because he/she/they have nice stats to show, so they’re satisfied, but you’re not going to be.
Here’s what you really wanted them to do:
- Schedule an appointment
- Call you
- Hire you to do something
- Give you money
So sending them to your website home page was not the right move.
If THIS was the topic of your Facebook ad:
Wow, that was a HUGE water bill last month! Let’s find out why
Then you and your customer both want the same thing. To find out why that bill was so high! You’re on the same team – the save them money on their next water bill team.
So you should send them to a page that talks about high water bills and what you can do to help.
After that, it’s Call, Schedule, Hire – all the things you really wanted them to do.
You didn’t motivate them to do something NOW
The most successful advertisements have OFFERS in them.
An offer is that extra thing that will make them call you or hire you or buy from you now instead of next… well, probably never.
Remember the original ad?
Your original ad: Plumbers. We’re great. See the truck? Go to our website/home page.
With our improvements so far you’ve got their attention with a headline about a high water bill.
You’re sending to a page that helps them understand what the problems might be, and how your company is obviously the right ones to help solve the problem; Save money. Stop wasting water, etc.
And this will all work TONS better than the way you started. If you’ve identified the right people to see your ad, you’ll be amazed at the difference in actual sales compared to how you’ve done Facebook ads in the past.
BUT, you have a lot of competition out there no matter what your business. There are many, many plumbers out there that would love get the call that your ad is now inspiring.
And if they see your ad now but don’t take action, they may just respond to the next ad instead.
Or they’ll call their usual plumber and ask about lowering that high water bill.
Having an Offer as part of your ad is what will push many people over the top. A good offer will take someone from attention, to interest, to a sale.
Create an Offer
Just answer that question in your ad and on your landing page. Because remember, it’s 7AM or 10PM when your future customer sees your ad. Or it’s 2PM and they’re at work.
So you have to give them a reason to stop what they’re doing, set aside a moment and do something right NOW.
This is probably the easiest way to improve the effectiveness of your Facebook ads. Here are a few ideas other than a standard coupon or discount:
- Create a Bonus – preferably one that doesn’t cost you too much, but sounds great. For example, our plumber might include water-saving aerators installed on all faucets. Or offer a lesson on an easy fix for running toilets.
- Bundle or Package – Take 2 services or products that make sense and offer them together for a savings.
- Make a Seasonal Pitch – Prevent frozen pipes this winter and save money by acting NOW.
There are hundreds of ways motivate your ad viewers to pull the trigger now. TRY SOME!
Now You Know
There are a lot of things to know about running successful Facebook ads. A whole industry of people that just do Ad Management has cropped up because there ARE so many options, much to learn. And it’s changing all the time.
But the things you’ve learned here will apply no matter what changes are made, what new platform takes over for Facebook.
Want to learn more about Google, Facebook and other paid advertising platforms and how YOU can do it yourself?
Stay in touch by leaving your email address here. There’s more to come.