Welcome to another installment from your favorite Sacramento website design team. This time we’re delving into advertising.
It’s almost difficult to talk about Facebook advertising and still sound reasonable. This is because it is the only form of Pay-Per-Click advertising – that is actually still affordable. In some sense we’ve come to expect PPC to cost an arm and a leg, require a huge “learning and experimenting” budget, and be super difficult.
None of this is true about Facebook Advertising, and yet it still underutilized. For some reason it’s a lot easier to get into, ends up being a lot cheaper, and offers a lot more granular targeting than any other method.
So, can the best Sacramento website design team help you change your business with Facebook advertising?
Let us look at a real world case study. We recently had a dance studio as a client. They had a great website, a great reputation and an amazing service. Yet, they were struggling with bringing new clients through the door. Each season they would get a certain number of people coming through their door. Some of them were referrals, some of them saw an ad or a flyer.
This number had not changed in years. Everything else improved about their studio. Their service kept getting better, their teachers became more knowledgeable and better skilled. Their rooms were continually refined and updated. They improved every facet of creating satisfied customers, and it worked. Over time they got better at converting leads into customers.
The only problem is that the number of leads (people walking through the door) remained the same. So they needed something completely different, a radical change of sorts, which is why they accepted trying out a Facebook campaign.
It’s not about just putting ads and pointing them your way, that doesn’t work anymore
In fact, the client in our example had already “tried that Facebook advertising stuff”. They had actually spent hundreds of dollars without producing a single lead. And this is where an important nuance comes in.
We did say that Facebook is relatively easy, cheap and can produce a lot of results and great returns on investment. The issue however is that you need expert knowledge about how to advertise and what to advertise.
Not all forms of Facebook advertising are created equal
This article cannot go into every possible scenario, so we’ll just make generalizations. Let’s get the ineffective forms out of the way first. In general, promoting events is a colossal waste of money. You’re paying people to click “going”, which doesn’t guarantee any will show up or be actual real leads.
There are very few scenarios or clients where we’d advise paid advertising for a Facebook event, but as a general rule, you want to avoid wasting your money on this method.
On the other hand, it’s important to understand on-Facebook and off-Facebook advertising. For example you can pay Facebook to send people over to your website, that’d be “off-Facebook” advertising. Or you could pay Facebook to promote your Facebook event, a post on your Facebook page, or an “offer” you’ve created in the “Facebook offers” system – those would be “on-facebook” advertising. There are obviously other forms such as promoting a Facebook app, promoting a Facebook page, but those are not as relevant to our topic.
How we used clever Facebook advertising to turn a business around
Now, obviously we don’t know about your particular business yet, and it might or not be similar to our case study. However, I think you will be able to learn some valuable lessons you can apply to your own business (or hint hint, you can always ask us for help).
First we asked this dance studio how their conversion process works. As it turns out, most people do not sign up for a class. You get the most people to show up on the first class, and then most people never come back for a second class. Some course-offering entities charge for the first class, so as to make sure nobody gets a freebie.
We decided to go the exact opposite way. We decided to think about this in more depth. Why do so many people show up for a first class, but never return? As it turns out they’re just coming to see if they’re even interested in taking such a course, it is nothing more than curiosity.
This is where Facebook comes in
We decided to make a special copy-written post on this dance school’s Facebook page. It simply said “Special Free Class – Learn to Dance in just One Night”. It had a byline that said “Only 7* Spots remaining”. Anytime we’d put up a post like this on their page we’d fill up a time slot in literally 1-2 hours. We would literally cram 20-30 people into their studio for that one time-slot. All of these people came from a simple Facebook post and we paid very little to get impressions on it.
After we filled up one time slot, we’d go an run a new post for a new time-slot. The school ended up filling 2-3 time-slots everyday, each one with 20-30 brand new leads. After just 2 weeks of this Facebook campaign, we had to stop because the studio ran out of room to squeeze new customers in.
While we can’t go into the details of how much all of this cost, we can give you the numbers in terms of ROI. This campaign resulted in a 1200% return-on-investment. In other words, the dance school made 1200% more in pure profit than it had spent on the Facebook ads themselves.
Here comes your first Facebook advertising lesson – Framing the offer
This success story sounds rather simplistic on its face, but it is not. First notice the offer, it uses scarcity “only x spots left”. It advertises the benefit right in the headline, and as mentioned it was written by a professional copywriter.
Now, the art of copy-writing is out of the scope of this article, it is a skill that takes a decade to master. The same is true of crafting an offer. Suffice it to say, Facebook advertising doesn’t by itself create magic.
And to prove the point, you’ll want to take a look at our split test
Aside from this main copy written offer, we also ran a dry plain vanilla ad. It simply said “Dancing course signups starting at school such and such, price is this, dates are that, we learn this, we learn that, first class is free”. Basically it looked just like every other ad from their competitors. We took this plain-vanilla ad and we targeted it exactly the same as the other ad.
Guess what? It failed miserably. Only a couple of people came through that plain ad, and the advertising costs resulted in a loss.
Your second Facebook advertising lesson – Split testing
Obviously professionally done ads will produce much better results than plain ads written by non-marketers. However, you never want to assume anything in advertising. This is doubly true in Facebook advertising. You want to always split test your offer, the copy, as well as the targeting. Create and try out multiple ads with different targeting, a different offer and compare.
Now there’s a lot more that goes into this
Aside from the copy-writing and “offer-crafting”, you will also have to master exactly how to do and assess split-testing. You will also have to learn exactly how to target, when and why. For example did you know that pointing people to your own website is a lot more expensive than simply pointing them to a Facebook post? Did you know that the exact same offer can cost you 3-400% more if you don’t set your targetting right?
If you’ve ever heard people saying that “Facebook advertising doesn’t work” – it just means that they are unskilled at this game. You will have to get a professional on your side, one that understands and gets advertising, Facebook included. We are just one click away.