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The Reaching, Branding, and Selling Formula with Facebook Ads

Published: July 11, 2014

Author: Franco Puetz

Hello, FBPPCers! Today I am going to walk you through a targeting method that will allow you to reach an incredibly refined target group of prospects, ushering them through your sales funnel while making strides on your brand recognition.
I’ve used this formula to deliver big results for a wide range of companies, and I want to share it with you in hopes that it will deliver a similar level of success.

Define Your Audience

If you’re anything like me, the urge to dive headfirst into your ad manager and start hacking away at a new campaign is strong, but I cannot stress enough the importance of defining your target group before you even open your browser. If you already have a defined persona you want to reach, great! If not, start with factors that will help you drastically cut down on your reach.
For example, if you know your ideal consumer is a 34-40-year-old female, write that down. Without even considering your prospects’ psychographic qualities, you’ve already narrowed your audience down a tremendous amount. You can also do this with location-based qualities as well. For this approach to be impactful, you really want to refine your targeting as much as possible.
Once you’ve crafted your ideal consumer, open up your ad manager and plug in your targeting parameters. If the number you are reaching still feels too large, I would look at narrowing down your age range a bit further, or getting more precise with the locations you are targeting.

Promote Your Blog Posts on the Right

This may be counterintuitive to what you’ve heard about Facebook, and where you should place your ads. Yes the News Feed is prime real estate, and yes it generates a higher CTR – this is exactly why we are choosing to push these blog posts there. Not only is your CPC cheaper on the right-hand column, you will save money by producing fewer clicks.
Reflect on your own experience using Facebook – you probably don’t interact with these ads often, but they undeniably have a presence on your screen, especially if the creative is done well. The idea with these ads is not to produce a ton of click-throughs, but rather share your brand’s image and content topics in front of the target audience you defined in the previous step.

Push Gated Content in the Newsfeed

You didn’t think we were going to leave the News Feed placement completely out of the equation, did you? So you’ve established the ads you want to share on the right-hand side of Facebook – these News Feed ads should have a similar look and feel to them. This provides an excellent opportunity to create overlap across Facebook with your various ad placements, and more importantly, a chance for your prospects to develop a deeper brand recognition and think, ‘Wow, these guys are EVERYWHERE!’
These News Feed ads will not be used to promote more of your blog content, but instead to promote some gated content you’ve produced, whether that be a white paper, an exclusive video, or an eBook. The form doesn’t matter much, as long as your target audience finds it valuable and worth exchanging some of their personal information for.
At a minimum, you will want to collect their email address, but if you can still produce a decent conversion rate asking for their phone number as well, do it. Having these data points will be pivotal in bringing all of this home in the next step.
Collecting additional information, such as company name, will be helpful in determining whether or not this individual is someone you do want to continue communicating with, or if it’s someone who isn’t very aligned with your core offering.
Depending upon the gated content you are advertising, and how refined your target audience is, you may run into a lot of individuals who work for agencies and who simply want to digest the information you’ve produced and aren’t interested in your product or services. This is okay, as it could open many other doors such as potential partnerships or referrals; you will just want to remove this email address from your targeting in the next step.

Use Retargeting/Custom Audiences

Here is where we bring it all together for the conversion you’ve been waiting for – the sales lead or purchase! After you’ve collected the email or phone number information from users who have subscribed to your blog or downloaded your gated content, push that data back through Facebook’s Custom Audience targeting option.
This is the group of users who have already digested your content, engaged with your brand, and seen your enormous presence on Facebook. There is a level of familiarity and trust there, which will not only produce incredible conversion rates, but educated customers if they have been digesting all of your content as well.
Match rates on these Custom Audiences can be a problem if they’ve used their work emails to acquire your gated content or subscribe to your blog. This is where collecting their phone numbers can come in handy as a backup, but ultimately it’s a numbers game at this point. You won’t be able to get in front of everyone, but it will be a huge win for the ones that do match up.
Another option to consider here is retargeting users based on the cookie pool you’ve collected from the individuals who engaged with your gated content landing page. I have seen more success using Custom Audiences, but this approach may be helpful for some of you.

Rinse, Wash, Repeat

This is not a one-and-done campaign, but rather something I would encourage you to update and replicate over the long term with fresh, gated content and new blog posts. You can easily exclude users who have already converted through Custom Audiences, or keep them in your targeting pool if you think a repeat purchase is likely.
I would strongly urge you to incorporate email campaigns into your overall strategy here considering you have access to the emails of your ideal customers. A word of caution: this is not a free pass to spam these users, as that will result in a lot of unsubscribes/blocked emails, but rather to continue to provide them with valuable content that will keep your brand top of mind whenever they decide to make a purchase.
There is no fast track to success with Facebook advertising, but this is a process that I’ve found to work well for me. With any marketing strategy it’s important to be multifaceted in your approach – I know we love getting knee deep in our Facebook campaigns, but be mindful of how these campaigns are effecting and are effected by the rest of your digital marketing.

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