Don’t Spend a Dime On Facebook Ads Until You Read This

Christopher Pagli Teaching Facebook Ads Class

Facebook ads are some of the most targeted forms of advertising your money can buy online.  But before you spend your hard- earned money, there are a few things you should know about social advertising and choosing the right objective.

Almost every day someone asks me what the difference is between boosting a post and creating an ad through the Ads Manager.  Some people don’t even know the Ads Manager exists.

Below I will explain the difference. We will walk through the essential elements of an ad and the best practices to make yours remarkable.

Every Facebook page admin or business owner should take a class on digital advertising before embarking on their first campaign.  

 

Let me explain.

The Ads Manager is a sophisticated tool, and if you are new to using it, you can get lost very quickly.  Having someone with experience guide you through it and the essential elements of an ad are well worth your time and money.

Facebook makes it very easy for you to click buttons and spend money.  I want you to have an informed approach, so you don’t waste yours!

We’ll get to those essential elements in a minute.

 

Creating an ad campaign in Facebook Ads Manager:

Facebook Ads Manager Screen shot by Christopher Pagli

This tool requires more skill and patience but opens you up to a world of greater possibilities with targeting, ad creative, objectives, placement, and insights.  If you are comfortable with technology and the creative side of advertising, this is your best option.

You can access it by clicking the drop-down arrow in the upper right corner of your homepage.  You will have to set up your account and add a credit card for future payment.  Facebook will walk you through the process.

You are creating a campaign and should be clear who your target audience is and where they are in the buying process to choose the right objective.  This process requires research and will help you make better decisions down the road.

Your ad account is connected to your business page so you will have the option to promote page posts here as well.

 

Boosting A Business Page Post:

 

Facebook page boost photo christopher pagliBoosts are best for getting more eyeballs on your posts from people who already like/follow your page or a lookalike audience (similar people to the ones who currently like your page).  

Your current followers have a direct interest in what you do because they chose to support you.  

Pay particular attention to them before promoting your posts to their friends, who may not care about your business.

If you don’t have the patience for creating ads and want the easiest solution, this is your best option.  The boost tools have improved over the past year.  Experiment with different audiences to drive familiar and new traffic to your page.

 

Best Practice: You should only boost your best performing, informative content.  Offers and sales are ok from time to time. When you create a new post, let Facebook distribute it for 24-48 hours to see what kind of engagement it receives.   If it performs well, you know you have something interesting.

 

Social advertising is a campaign for trust and adding credibility to your business.  Most people use social media to be social not to make purchases. Don’t expect customer conversions instantly.  Especially with people who don’t know you or your business.  Create a campaign that educates and inspires your audience before hitting them with an offer.

There is more to successful advertising than choosing a post you think is fantastic, targeting people you feel will be interested in and throwing a bunch of money at it.  Yes, you can boost a post for as little as $5.00 but how far do you think that will take you?

You don’t need to spend a fortune but come up with a realistic monthly budget.  Facebook is providing with you a direct road to your ideal customer based on their specific interests, job titles, and behaviors.  What’s that worth to you?

Here are the necessary steps to take before creating your first campaign:

 

  1. Determine your goal.  Do you want to drive traffic to your website or build brand awareness?
  2. Identify your target audience. What is their age?  Interest and behaviors?  Location? Needs and wants?  Create 5-10 audience segments.  what you advertise to someone int he awareness stage is different then those who are ready to buy.  
  3. Set a budget.  – The more you spend the further your ads will go.
  4. Choose relevant, thumb stopping visuals or content.  What will resonate with your audience the most?
  5. Be patient, open-minded, consistent, and experiment.  There is a lesson to be learned in successful and unsuccessful ads.  If they don’t work, you did something wrong.

 

Recommended advertising book fromChristopher Pagli

There are many touch points in an ad, and all of them are there to get the viewer to take action, the first action.  You are responsible for the following elements:

 

  • A catchy headline – research from Campaign tells us that 8 out of 10 people will read the headline, but only two will read the copy.  Sell, don’t tell what’s in the ad.
  • Choose eye-catching, relevant visuals that will stop them in their tracks (or their thumb).
  • Writing persuasive ad copy that addresses your audience’s needs and speaks directly to them.  You must plant seeds of curiosity and create a slippery slope. There are many books you can read about persuasive writing.  One of my favorites is the Adweek Copywriting Handbook by the legendary Joseph Sugarman, and Everybody Writes by Ann Handley.
  • Adding a clear call-to-action to your ad.  What action do you want the viewer to take and how?  If you are creating ads on social media platforms your call to action should direct customers to your website or landing page with an email sign-up page.
  • Choosing the right audience – this is the one thing people get wrong more often than not.  Sometimes the most obvious option is too broad. Facebook lets you narrow down or excludes people to create a hyper-focused audience.  Create a custom audience by uploading your email list or installing the Facebook Conversion Pixel on your website.  Here’s how to create and install it.  

All of these elements will affect the relevance score that Facebook assigns each ad.  According to Facebook:
 “Your relevance score estimates how well your ad is resonating with the people you want to reach. The higher your ad’s relevance score, the better it’s considered to be performing.”.  

A lower score, 1-3 means your ad is deemed irrelevant to your audience and will impact the cost and deliverability of your ads. To learn more, visit the Facebook help section.

 

People who have voluntarily given you their email address and visited your website are your most valuable audience.  

 

Best Practice: A/B split test your ads.  Split tests are the process of creating two different versions of the same ad.  You will create two different headlines, visuals, and ad copy to see which performs better.  Facebook will distribute your budget between the two ads and report back with the results.

 

Conclusion

As a small business owner, you have a lot of choices to make.  You have to create, sell, market, provide customer service, and advertising.  If you choose to take these roles on and not outsource them, you should understand what goes into each task.  You have enough information here to get started.

Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and experiment. Experimentation is the only constant in marketing and advertising.  The education you will gain is invaluable.  

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How To Build Meaningful Relationships On Instagram

How to grow your instagram following organically

Building a significant following on Instagram takes time and work. If you use it for business, you are going to have to commit to a strategy to build trust with your audience.

Just like Facebook and all the other social platforms, we are in the attention business. Once we get our target audiences attention, we have to keep it.

Gaining followers is the easy part. Attracting the RIGHT ones and keeping them takes work. There are followers, and there are the RIGHT followers. You want the latter.  

The following tips are proven to work, but you have to be consistent. Don’t give up!

 

 

Here are my tips to build meaningful relationships on Instagram:

1. Create a compelling bio that depicts who you are as a person or business. Complete every detail and be creative.  How do you want to be remembered?

2. Think about how you want your feed to look and how your audience will feel when they view it. Your photos and videos should tell a story and be visually appealing. Instagram users will decide in seconds if they want to follow you or not.

3. Post quality images or video consistently. You will have to find your sweet spot. Some people recommend 1-3 times daily or 5 times per week. Only you know your audience, and they will let you how you are doing by their actions.

4. Follow people your product or service can help, related to your field and whom you have a genuine interest. I recommend 5–10 per day.

5. Follow hashtags. This is a newer feature that many people do not even know about or use yet. You will see content from these tags in your feed and can meet people you might have interest in following.

6. Research hashtags carefully.  The most popular ones tend to attract bots and your competitors.  Make a list of tags that are relevant to your business and think about tags YOUR audience might search for.  Use a variety of niche, industry, community, and branded tags.

7. Send direct messages to people. If someone follows you, message them and say thanks. Look at their profile for commonalities. Ask questions. Show interest. Not everyone will respond, but we do not know unless we try.

8. Use the Stories feature. Stories have grown tremendously in users and capabilities over the past year. They are a great way to gain additional exposure and allow people to experience you differently.  Be careful not to over do it.  If your stories aren’t entertaining you won’t get repeat viewers.  Posting cool stories less often will probably get your more views.

9. Add thoughtful or helpful comments on posts from users you follow and others you find on the platform. I cannot tell you how many of my relationships began in the comments.  Keep the conversation going!

10. Tag people when relevant. Add geotags to your posts.

11. Pay attention to your insights. This information will help shape your future decisions.

 

Experiment with the above suggestions. You have to be comfortable with whatever strategy you choose. What works for some may not work for others.

I feel it is more important to have meaningful connections rather than tons of people I do not engage. By growing your following organically, you will have users that choose to follow. That shows interest. The process may take more time but well worth it in the end.

The takeaway: Be active. Be consistent. Be Human.

How To Boost Your Google Business Listing

Google business listings are a great way to maximize your presence and allow potential customers to experience your business.  This free tool will increase your visibility on Google and help you manage your business across the search engine.

In this post, I am going to walk you through the various sections and show you how to complete them.  I will also touch on the psychology behind specific features, so you understand why they are essential.

Before we begin, please conduct a Google search for businesses like yours.  Look carefully at the results.  Familiarize yourself with what their listings look like and if they are utilizing all of the features.  Take a screenshot of the results for reference later on.  

We will discuss the importance of this in a few minutes.

Have you created or claimed your listing yet?  If not please take a minute and create one or follow the steps to claim your business.  Mobile users can download the app from the Google Chrome Store.

 

Otherwise, log in to your google account, scroll down to “My Business,”  and you will see your new homepage that looks like this:

google my business listing screenshot

Posts

This feature debuted last year and is similar to what you would create on Facebook and other social platforms.

Between 100-300 words, you can create offers, promote events, provide a sneak peek behind the scenes, a day in the life of your business, or write microblog posts to engage your audience effectively.  Think about how you can give potential customers something of value here.  

I like to educate them on a specific topic.  The more you do this, the better your audience will get to know you and your expertise.  Delivering valuable information is how you position yourself as an authority in the marketplace and reinforce your value.

Try to avoid over-promotion.  The 80/20 rule is always an excellent guide.  Share 80% informative and educational content and 20% promotional.  Give more than you ask.  

As we shift more towards a mobile-first world, you will notice that the posts are in card form and optimized for mobile viewing. The jury is still out on whether or not these posts will help your SEO, but anything that gets more eyeballs on your business can help in my opinion.

The jury is still out on whether or not these posts will help your SEO, but anything that gets more eyeballs on your business can help in my opinion.

You should note that your post will expire after seven days.  It will still show on your page but not won’t be prominently displayed when your listing comes up in a search.

Here’s what it will look like:

 

Info  

Input all the details about your business and be specific, especially with the hours of operation and category.  You can add more than one.  If you have special holiday hours, include them as well.  

Add your phone number, website URL, and an appointment URL if customers can book time with you online.  You can add photos in this tab or choose to later.

NOTE: the public can suggest edits on your listing, and these changes may appear without you knowing.  Check your listing regularly to make sure the information is accurate.  You can always make corrections and submit them for approval.

Insights  

There isn’t anything you need to do here aside from connecting your Google Analytics account, so your results appear on your dashboard. Pay close attention to the numbers on a regular basis.  This data will help you make better business decisions based on factual information.

You will see how many unique visitors, page views, and new visits you had in a specific period.

I added a screen recording so you can see the various sections and what they mean:

 

We are transitioning into a data-driven world, and these insights help us understand what actions our potential customers are taking on our page, how they found us, and how we stack up against our competitors.

If you perform a search for your type of business in your target area on maps, you will see a list of your competitors.  Click on each listing and see how you compare.  

Look at the completeness of their page.  How many photos and video did they add?  Are they utilizing the posts feature?  Do they have any reviews?  If so, are they publicly responding to them?

By completing every inch of your page and taking advantage of all the available features, you will already be ahead of many other businesses in your area.  I know this because I have searched for thousands of companies and was amazed to find how many are not.  

Reviews  

Feedback is there for a reason.  It tells us what is and isn’t working in our business.  I know it can hurt when we hear negative feedback, but this is an opportunity to turn things around and possibly create a relationship that leads to more business and referrals.

Here are a few tips for soliciting reviews:

  • Ask people who have experienced your product or service.
  • Craft an email.  Ask your customer if they would take a minute and write a testimonial about their experience with you.  This next step is critical.  Include the link to your Google Business page (and any others you want a review on).  You are making it easy for them to write the review.  The more comfortable, the better.  

You won’t solicit all reviews.  Random users can leave one any time they like.  I find that most people write an unsolicited review when they have had a bad experience or an amazing one.

Some people think that too many five-star reviews will negatively affect you.  I disagree.  Anybody who takes the time to read yours can usually tell whether they are real or not. If you provide exceptional service, you deserve a five-star review.

Every time a review shows up, publicly respond and thank each person who left one.  This action shows you value what they have to say and others will see that you care about your customers.  

Remember, we want to build a word-of-mouth business and reviews are one of the best ways to do this.  

You are making a relationship with your customers, and this process sets the stage. Your happiest customers are your best customers.  Make them feel special.

Check out the 2018 Customer Service Benchmark Report from Super Office to see some eye-opening statistics.  

So, how can you provide exceptional customer service all of the time?  Respond to everyone quickly with a relationship building mindset.  If you get a negative review from a customer, don’t immediately take the offense.  Sit with it for awhile before responding to them.  I learned the hard way in my early days by reacting rather than responding, and it never goes well.

Messaging   

This feature is a game changer for customer service.

A customer can message you directly from your listing on a Google search.  All you have to do is turn the feature on, add your phone number, and customize a greeting.  Similar to the Facebook messenger, Google will calculate your response time, and it will show in your listing.  

If you answer quickly, you are more likely to receive a message from them.  

If you take a day or more guess what happens?  The majority of them will probably look for someone who will get back to them faster.  

People want answers, and they want them quickly.  In today’s world, we expect everything fast!

Photos and Video

First, add your logo, a cover image, and profile photo.  They will also show on your Google+ profile.

Compile some of your best at work or behind the scenes images to give customers a taste of what it is like to be you and do what you do.  If you sell a product, demonstrate it through video.  Produce video tips or updates to educate the consumer.  Remember that our goal is to be an authority in the marketplace.

I recommend putting as many photos and videos as you can but make sure they are a good representation of your business.  By humanizing your listing and engaging with people you are making it easy for them to relate and get to know you.  

When people are comfortable, they make better decisions.

Under the insight section, you will be able to see how you compare to your local competitors for the number of unique views on your media

Website

Google offers you a free template website at no charge.  It’s more like a web page and consists of the images and information you plugged into your listing.  If you don’t have the resources and budget for a professionally designed website, then this might be a good option for you.  

Ads

Create ads quickly with this feature.  Google will walk you through the process.  If you don’t have much experience with Adwords and how they work, do some research before creating your first ad.  Check out the Keyword Planning Tool in your ad account and learn how to choose the best keywords and phrases for your ads.

Conclusion

We covered the various features and why they are essential. Google is the most significant search engine on the planet and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.   Even if this isn’t a game changer for your SEO, it shows potential customers that you have your hand on the pulse of your business and care.  That is indicative of how you run your business.

What you learned here today applies to your website and social media accounts as well.  If people like what they see in one place they will click through to your website and other profiles.  We never know where our next customer is going to find us.