A short time ago, a coworker of mine sent me an email requesting that I reach out to a client he had met at an industry event and was trying to win over.
My colleague had met this prospective client immediately following a conference, and they had spoken for a few hours about their respective businesses.
It turned out that the client needed some professional advice on how to market his business effectively.
Coming from the highly pragmatic world of funnels and Facebook Ads, I seemed to be the first choice, and my coworker decided to put me directly in touch with this client due to my history of past successes in a similar industry. After the casual quick briefing, I was on the phone with the prospective client in a matter of hours.
We started speaking about the basics: how long he had been in the industry, what his goals were, and what he was looking forward to accomplishing…
But after the small talk was done with, we got to the meat of the subject: how he had structured his current marketing strategy.
Similar to others who have been in his position before, he had spent a lot of time researching the best ways to go about digital marketing. He knew words like “SEO” and “Social Media Marketing,” but still wasn’t quite sure how to put them into action to create sales. No matter how much effort he put into his campaign, he never saw any results.
As a result, he resigned himself to using the most basic and stress-inducing digital marketing tactics out there: cold emails and sending direct messages to people via Social Media. Not only was this extremely stressful and difficult to maintain, it was taking up a lot of his time, which was why we were speaking on the phone today.
He mentioned that he would do anything to see some results, but Facebook Ads were something he had tried and didn’t want to deal with ever again.
A smile crept on my face, as this was something that clients would commonly tell me, unaware of the true power behind Facebook Ads. So, I decided to ask him the question I ask everyone – why did he hate Facebook Ads?
Similar to past clients who had negative experiences with the platform, he explained that he had consulted with another digital marketing firm in the past who claimed to be experts at using Facebook to convert leads, but no matter how they tried, the campaigns never turned any sales. They used different tools and hired multiple copywriters, but still nothing.
After spending nearly $4,000 on the cost of the ads plus the consultation, he decided to terminate his contract with the digital marketing firm and swear off of Facebook Ads for the foreseeable future.
My response was, like a script, the exact same I gave to past clients with similar stories. I asked him if I could examine the campaign to understand exactly how they handled it.
He was hesitant at first, thinking that I was going to try to sell him on a Facebook Ad campaign again, but after a few minutes of persuasion, he allowed me to take a look. And, just as expected, I was able to isolate the problems with the campaign within a matter of seconds.
Like many inexperienced firms buying into the magic of Facebook Ads, this “Digital Marketing” company assumed that there were no more than 2 steps to the funnel:
Design and publish an aesthetically pleasing landing page. This page doesn’t have to relate to the target audience in any way, but it must look visually appealing.
Slap some generic copy on top of some nice images, launch the ad campaign, and wait for results.
Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t work.
Over time, I was able to take apart his old campaign and remake the entire funnel. The client became more open to the idea of using Facebook Ads the right way, and we started to see results in the newly revamped campaign.
After experiencing this one too many times, I decided to document the process of running an effective Facebook Ads campaign to save some time with the inevitable future cases similar to this one.
Step #1: Awareness
Step 1 is the most important in the series of 5 steps, as it sets the tone for the rest of the campaign. When I was examining the client’s failed campaign, I was able to pinpoint the reason for its failure in a matter of seconds because I noticed that they had skipped this vital stage.
This common mistake stems from the idea that so many people believe paid advertising to be a miracle that expedites the sales process without any effort. And while it could be seen this way, just because an ad is paid for doesn’t mean it will work. There is a very specific part of human nature that has to be targeted in order for a campaign to see results.
It may seem like common sense, but people will often not buy from someone they have never heard of before. As humans, we prefer to purchase goods and services from companies we either have experience with or have a known reputation, and this especially holds true for internet sales.
This is the reason that “funnels” and “retargeting” have become industry buzzwords – in order to convert leads to paying customers, they have to be nurtured and familiarized with your brand first.
Consequently, the first step in an ad campaign should be something that raises awareness for your company name and brand. While there are many ways to do this, one of the most effective is by publishing a blog that addresses your target market’s basic pain points. An article existing solely as a helpful tool that a potential client can read will not only bring them value, but expose your name to them in a non-threatening way.
There is absolutely no cost to the reader when opening an article, and it also proves to your audience that you have subject matter expertise in areas of interest. In a world full of “experts”, “gurus” and “coaches,” it’s so important to establish credibility before trying to make a sale.
Another form of awareness that has proven to work over time instead of publishing articles is publishing videos about the same topics. This is simply using another form of media to create the same content and accomplish the same goals of awareness and credibility.
I have historically had more success with the article approach, but I’ve seen many successful campaigns start with a video to create traffic towards a brand. At the end of the day, they are both tools to get a brand name in front of your target audience and build recognition.
Action Items #1:
Think about a subject that plagues your target audience, and create some content that shows them how to address their problem. You don’t have to analyze it too much – there will always be many pain points they are dealing with and all you have to do is choose one to address.
Some examples might be:
If you are a company operating in the heating and cooling arena, write an article about which heating/cooling system to use, or how to use your digital thermostat to save that much more on your energy bills on a monthly basis
If you are an attorney, write an anonymous case study, talking about how you guys brought value to the table
If you are a plumber, write a list of tips on how to keep your pipes unclogged throughout the year
Essentially, you need to use this content to establish subject matter expertise in the service you are trying to sell in the long run.
If you’re ready to invest in your first, stellar blog that would act as a placeholder for your subsequent Facebook campaign, then please reach out to info [at] beepromoted.co.uk with the subject “Ready To Give Facebook A Chance”.
Step #2: Start the Relationship
Now that we are on the radar of our prospective clients and we have established some credibility, it’s time to return to them with a round of retargeting ads that will push them towards their first “transaction.”
This is another area where many people make mistakes, because they believe that name recognition and credibility automatically mean that it is okay to try and make a sale. This isn’t the case. At this stage, you will need to stay low risk, offering something of value that they have to “pay” for without actually resorting to a sale. The best “currency” to use in this transaction is an email address.
While this is important for maintaining future contact with our potential clients, it also acts as a consistency mechanism, which means that they will remember “buying” something from us through this transaction, which will make them more likely to engage in an exchange in the future.
You can see this in practice when companies sell cheap products in advertisements, because it gives the client an initial reason to make a purchase with the hope that the purchasing relationship will continue afterwards. While this is a legitimate strategy, I feel that even a minimally priced good can push away potential business, so I would stick to offering something in exchange for the simple email address. The money you’d make from the cheap transaction would be negligible in the long run anyway.
However, an email address does not guarantee business, so it’s important that you continue to provide something of value in this transaction. Just like in the awareness stage, this is not something to overthink – just give them something useful.
If you are a heating and cooling company, offer your prospects an “Exclusive How-To Guide On Smart DIY Projects” (Keep in mind that a “Free In-House Home Comfort Evaluation”, or perhaps Filter Cleaning would achieve the same goal, depends on how generous you want to be, ultimately it’s always a matter of testing, we have seen amazing results with all of these strategies)
If you are an attorney, offer a 30’ min evaluation of their case
If you are a company that specializes in SEO for clients, offer to take a look at some small sample content
If you are a plumber, give them a free coupon
The important part is that the content is useful to your target audience.
Action Items #2:
Once your article from Step #1 has seen a good amount of visitors, it’s time to retarget them with your next ad that sends them to a landing page.
This landing page can offer many different things, as long as they generate value for your leads, such as a free ebook, a template or tool, or a free course. The important thing is that you are providing a valuable deliverable in exchange for their email address to get the purchasing habit started.
Truth be told, there are countless angles we as digital marketers can take in order to reach the desired outcome. It all boils down to psychology and numbers. Some people fail to understand that A/B testing is paramount in this process. Here at E-Promoted , our process does wonders for each and everyone of our clients. If you would like to get this process started for your company, then please reach out to info [at] beepromoted.co.uk with the subject “Ready To Give Facebook A Chance”.
Step #3: The First “Sale”
Step #3 can differ depending on the funnel you have chosen to pursue, but it will generally begin once your target market has accepted your free offering in exchange for their email address.
When this happens, you should email your free offering to them immediately, but also direct them to a landing page where they can view a short video of you.
In this quick video, you should simply thank them for accepting your free content and say that you are excited to be working with them and providing value. Then, you should show them something you can do that will help them, but without trying to make a sale at this point.
Quickly introduce your skillset and what you are able to do followed by a call to action that doesn’t put any pressure on your prospective clients. Offer to do a free consultation or give some free advice, and make sure you do not make it seem like you are selling something. This can do one of two different things.
For the minority of your viewers, you will actually do the free consultation and can introduce them to your business further. But for the large majority, they will see your video and learn a little bit about you without committing to a consultation. However, this majority will then return to their email, use the free tool you sent along with the video, and begin to appreciate your brand even more.
Action Items #3:
Create a short video thanking your target audience for accepting the free content and show them your skills. Make the video very casual and friendly, and stay away from sales pitches. Your audience will accept the authenticity as a way to become more familiar with you, establishing rapport and making them more likely to buy from you in the future.
Step #4: Ongoing Relationship/Sales
At this point in the funnel, your audience can be one of three types of people:
Someone who is actually very interested in your skills and is very likely to become a client
Somebody with some interest who can be swayed if you establish more credibility and build more trust
Someone who has no intention of being a customer and just wants to point out the flaws with your business model
Ignore the 3rd group of people. They are unavoidable and will always be there in every aspect of business. Be prepared for them, but don’t waste any effort confronting or trying to appease them.
The other two groups are the ones where you need to engage, but be careful with this step, because it will be difficult to tell people who fall into group 1 from those who fall into group 2. While group 1 (those who are about to be clients) wants to move forward with you and can accept offers showing that you are ready too, group 2 (those who are not ready yet but show potential) still want to receive value in every communication.
The easiest way to do this is to create follow-up communications that can appeal to both groups. This is simply done by creating a helpful email that has a call-to-action offering your services at the very end. The body portion of the email will provide value and nurture the group 2 members while the call-to-action is all that group 1 needs to get started!
After building these bridges, you can begin sending “broadcast” emails to stay in touch with your clients. Broadcast emails usually come in the form of a newsletter or articles about your successes.
Action Items #4:
Create a specifically targeted email funnel that can both provide value to your readers as well as offer your services with a call-to-action.
Don’t worry about selling too much here because nobody likes getting sales emails! Simply provide value and let them come to you. If your product or service is good enough, it will sell itself at this stage.
Step #5: The Phone Call
In today’s world, automated funnels, eye-catching sales letters, and other copy created en masse can work well for items below around $400, but it doesn’t matter how good your product is if you don’t provide customer interaction. In other words, very few people will begin doing business with you without a phone call to introduce yourself. In the world of catfishing and false identities, perhaps this is because people are very distrustful as an instinct and would like to verify that you are the real deal before moving on to a sale, but whatever the reason is, this is why your first call-to-action should be a phone call.
Similar to the previous steps, your phone call should provide some value, which is why consultations or discovery calls are usually the best route to go. But beware – you don’t want to spend all of your free time on the phone with customers who have no intention of buying from you, so keep your options open but be honest and up front.
Tell them that your product or service will make their life better, and provide a 100% money back guarantee. The reason we don’t hesitate to do this is that if your product is good, you should never have to refund anyone. Mention that you may charge a substantial amount, but they will earn it back in no time at all. You don’t want people to lead you on, so be up front and honest from the beginning.
If your potential customer is not ready yet, they can always get back in touch later.
Let them know what you can do for them, and make sure you emphasize that your consultation is free of charge. If they like what you are offering, they will accept, and if they don’t then they won’t! From then on it’s up to you!
This is the exact proven process that I myself have used to provide three times the return on investment for countless clients, and if you follow these steps correctly, you can do the same!
Action Items #5:
If you are offering a service, let your audience know on the phone. People don’t respond as well to messages to close the deal, so stop hiding behind your computer screen in this step.
When you have a lead on the phone, show them what you can do for them. Be up front and honest, and if it is a good fit, you have a customer!
Facebook Ads can be perfect for obtaining and securing new customers, but you have to avoid the common pitfalls. Follow these 5-steps and you will experience success!
If you want to see for yourself what Facebook can really do for your business, please send us an email at info [at] beepromoted.co.uk ! We are excited to work with you!