2021 Trend: Back to Basics on Facebook Ads
You can help a lot of people with your product or service.
So you launch a social media marketing program that leverages Facebook advertising.
You are excited. Now is the time to put your brand in front of people who will appreciate it. You launch several ad campaigns.
And blah. The engagement is weak. Traction is nonexistent. Sales? Zilch.
There are a few reasons why the majority (62%) of small business owners say social media advertising campaigns on Facebook’s platform never work well.
That’s why our 2021 social media marketing trend is all about getting back to the basics—you know the boring stuff that you keep skipping over.
Let’s face it: Advertising is the only marketing service that buys you something more valuable than money—and that’s time. So why do you keep wasting it?
Social Media Advertising Tip #1: Find Your Tribe
Facebook’s Audience Insight is arguably one of the best free social media marketing tools. It gives you meaningful information about your customers and prospects based on who they are, where they are and what they like.
To start, you need to determine your overarching audience: Everyone on Facebook or People Connected to Your Page. You will need to work the first audience for new business and then later for repeat business.
Let’s assume you are looking to grow your market share in the United States. You have a product or service that would help people with an interest in a social media marketing business.
Well, the next step is to use the left-hand sidebar to input demographics that will reveal a wealth of actionable data. But unless you are super confident that you know the age and gender of your prospects, don’t guess. Let the tool work for you.
So, let’s begin with the “Interests” field. Let’s type “social media marketing” to get started. Now, we see most people who are interested in a business involving social media marketing are between the ages of 25 and 44.
Let’s fill in the age field with the new information and recalibrate. The new data now tells us the gender split of our target audience: 56% women, 44% men.
But that’s not all you know. Your prospects, ranging in number between 25-30 million, are more likely to be engaged or in a relationship and have a college education. They most likely work in food services, sales or production, live in Tampa, Indianapolis or Boston, click on 37 Facebook ads per month, prefer Patron Tequila or Jack Daniel’s on the spirits side and Budweiser and Bud Light for beer.
Unfortunately, you don’t invest enough energy to dig deep into the free data. This is one of the top reasons why small businesses don’t succeed at Facebook ads, which is a big part of their own social media marketing plan.
Audience Insights offers four tabs—Demographics, Page Likes, Location and Activity—that tell you how to write your ads and which third-party brands you should leverage in terms of mentions and/or joint ventures. This tool also helps you improve your organic content, ranging from your website to press releases to any branding effort.
Investing time and energy in this one fundamental step—you will need to do this exercise again and again because people and their behavior changes over time—will dramatically improve your social media game.
Social Media Advertising Tip #2: Choose Correct Ad Objectives
From a consumer’s perspective, we all go through certain stages on our way to making a purchase. Facebook advertising allows you to choose different sales objectives so its algorithms can find the right prospects who are in the right part of the sales funnel.
Let’s quickly review: If your prospects are just starting their buyer’s journey, they are searching for options. To increase their chances that they will find your brand amid the competition, you may want to select the “Brand Awareness” option to push your company out front. Selecting the “Reach” option would be another way to show your brand to as many people in your target audience as possible.
There are a ton of objectives you can use for the Consideration stage, where prospects are searching for ways to solve their problem. Here are six ways to drive your social media marketing conversions in the middle of the sales funnel:
- Select the “Traffic” objective if you would like more traffic going from Facebook to your website.
- Choose “Engagement” if you want to get in front people who would like, comment or share your brands with others.
- Click “App Installs” if you want prospects to go to the app store to download your app.
- Select “Video Views” if you want prospects to view your company videos.
- Choose “Lead Generation” if you want to collect information from people interested in your product or service.
- Click “Messages” if you want to communicate with prospects on Messenger, Instagram Direct or WhatsApp
If you can’t wait for revenue, you may want to target people who are ready to make a purchase in the Decision stage or as Facebook likes to call it, Conversion. In fact, you should choose the “Conversions” objective if you want prospects to add items to a cart on your website, download an app or make a purchase. If you want to showcase products on your web storefront, choose “Catalog Sales” as your ad objective. And if you want more foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar store, move people online to offline with the “Store Traffic” objective.
Social Media Advertising Tip #3: Helping is Selling
Social media is a distribution channel that directly connects your brand with your customers and prospects. Creating meaningful, impactful content in the form of social media advertising will help you build the right audience faster.
So how should you approach your prospects? Well, here’s an idea. Now that we all live in a digital world, we are all one click away from our future customers. But they are only one click away from your competitors and tons of distractions. How can we possible persuade them to walk our way? Helping them solve problems is the answer.
Generally speaking, there are two kinds of people online: people who are working/searching and people who are bored. In most situations, they tend to be the same person.
In a recent SproutSocial survey, consumers said the most engaging social media ads 1) entertain me (41%), 2) offer a discount (37%), 3) teach me something, 4) reference my interests, 5) tell me a story and 6) come from a brand my friends like. (Please refer to Social Media Advertising Tip #1.)
There are many social media advertising options on Facebook, including creative that range from images to carousel ads that package multiple images to video, which is always a fan favorite.
Now, you need time to test all the possibilities. Remember, the secret to winning is losing. And by “losing” I mean learning. Life isn’t a sprint based on perfection. Like your business, it’s a journey built on continuous improvement. Do your homework, launch your social media advertising campaigns and document. Then, do it again—just better.
Our 2021 social media advertising trend isn’t about bots and artificial intelligence. To stretch your advertising spend, get back to the basics and watch your brand grow.