Do Facebook Ads Really Work For Inbound Marketing? (+ 11 Tips To Craft Ads That Will Actually Convert)

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Stuck on where paid FB ads fit into your overall content marketing strategy? Worry not, we've got you covered in this guide.

Facebook is a huge beast. Whilst commentators are quick to point out the slowing down of user growth, it still records a massive 2.45 billion monthly users, with 1.62 billion of those logging on every single day, with 5 new profiles being created every second!

So while Facebook doesn't seem to be going anywhere just yet, how marketeers engage with the platform is continuously evolving. In the early days, there was a ‘golden era’ of organic growth where good content would get shared and liked, and companies would be rewarded with visitors. 

However, one thing is for certain about Facebook today: organic reach on the platform has gone the way of the Dodo. Facebook has become a pay-to-play space.

You need to boost, promote and advertise with your content in the most effective way to leverage the huge potential of Facebook. If you are just posting great content, you’re likely not going to get anywhere.  

This article will take you through how Facebook works with your Inbound Marketing strategy step-by-step, so that your efforts on Facebook supplement all your hard work to create brilliant content.

First, we’ll look at planning. What do you need to know before you even create your Facebook profile? And, more importantly, what do you need to do before you decide to boost and promote your content? 

Second, we’ll look at exactly the strategies, tricks, tips and hints to make your ads jump out at all the right people, at the right time, to drive conversions and leads. 

Sound good? Let’s get to it. 

Before You Even Think About Writing An Advert On Facebook, Make Sure You Read This.

1. Know Your Audience

If you are new to Facebook advertising, there is one thing that is going to blow you away — and potentially even scare you a little bit. And that  is the level at which you can target people based on their characteristics, interests, hobbies, likes and engagement. 

Your advertising on Facebook can become laser focused on the people you want to attract, and it is that commercial opportunity that has made Facebook the advertising behemoth that it is today. 

Once you get to grips with how targeted Facebook ads can be, it will hopefully clarify why we’ve always encouraged you to go into such detail when creating your buyer personas

Your buyer persona profiles are now going to become a vital tool in how you advertise on Facebook. If you are a business selling accounting software, for example, and it felt irrelevant to imagine which magazines your ideal customer might read, or what hobbies they might enjoy, or even the college they went to, this is where those doubts should be put aside. Those characteristics are now exactly what you can use to deliver exceptional and highly relevant content to them, on their commute home from work. 

On Facebook, you can target people based on: 

  • Personal demographic attributes (age, race, gender, marital status etc)
  • Likes and interests (to a granular level, based on user page likes) 
  • Political persuasion (in the US only, and on a conservative-liberal spectrum) 
  • Marital and children status
  • Travel habits
  • Employment (job title and industry)
  • Their connections
  • Brands they love
  • and so much more...

So clearly, the better you know your buyer personas, the more you can use this information to target people who exhibit those characteristics using this Facebook Audience lookalike function.

In today’s world, you need to find ever more inventive and tactical ways to get your valuable content in front of the people who may become customers. This becomes much more possible when you know, in depth, who you are selling to. 

2. Know Your Goals 

You should never undertake advertising without knowing why you’re doing the campaign, how realistic your goals are, and what the impact of achieving them will be. undefined

What makes sense for you to invest to gain 100 new leads? Do you know how many leads you can usually convert to paying customers? What is the average sales value of those customers? 

Writing down these figures, i.e. drafting a budget and an expected return on investment (ROI), will help you understand whether or not your campaigns are working the way you want them to. 

What’s certainly true, though, is that what actually happens will differ from your expectations. That’s the reality of running campaigns. But the beauty of advertising Facebook means that you can optimise as you go, tweaking your copy and refining your audience to see what works best, and observing the results.

For the best chance of achieving your goals, your budget and expected ROI needs to be viewed through the lens of your  buyer’s journey. 

Facebook enables you to undertake campaigns that specifically match the buyer’s journey. So whether you want to increase awareness to attract new visitors, engage prospects during the consideration phase, or encourage leads to make the decision to convert to purchase, Facebook will run your campaign in a way that is optimised for those goals. 

If you don’t have a clear understanding of where your campaign fits within the buyer’s journey, you will be ineffective in writing relevant advert copy, and your content offer will likely not resonate. Facebook targeting empowers you to be specific, and so generic adverts, or adverts that are irrelevant to the viewer, will underperform compared to your competitors.

3. Know Your Content 

Depending on how long you’ve been developing a content-led strategy, you may already have a wealth of assets or you may have a limited resource. It’s important to have a grasp of exactly what you have, and what it’s going to be used for, before you get started. 

This can be as simple as having folders on your desktop that are labelled ‘Awareness Content’, ‘Consideration Content’ and ‘Decision Content’. This process can also identify content gaps (Is that ‘Consideration Content’ file looking a little light?) and help you understand the function of your content.

Okay, you’ve now got a handle on who you are targeting, what you aim to achieve and what you are going to use to do it. Excellent!

Now, let’s get on with writing really effective ads on Facebook. 

11 tips, tricks and techniques to write really effective Facebook ad copy 

1. Features Tell, Benefits Sell

Craft your copy to paint a picture of how the readers’ life will be better with your product, not what your product actually does. For example, if your software reduces the time to process administrative tasks, avoid pushing that feature and instead consider the benefit. Something like ‘ What would you do with 45 minutes extra per day?’ 

2. Make It Urgent, Make It Scarce

We all naturally suffer from FOMO. If there is a time limit, or exclusivity, or limited availability then we all get a little bit triggered. Use these words in your advert copy, when genuinely appropriate, to see your engagement fly. 

3. Carrots And Sticks

‘Carrots’ are anything we’ve been promised to gain — more money, a better body or a more exciting life (but be careful: Facebook has strict rules on how you craft your wording about attributes and offers!). ‘Sticks’ are messages which encourage us to take action because we fear the negative consequences if we don’t. Either way, carrots and sticks are great tools to create an emotional response that evokes action. Consider if your ad copy is acting like a carrot or a stick. 

4. Keep It Clear and Simple

Think of how quickly we scroll through our feeds. Our attention spans are tiny. So you only have one shot, a fragment of a second perhaps, to deliver your message. Avoid the temptation to think “I am paying for this ad, let me cram in as much information as possible!”. It won’t work. Keep it simple — one message per advert. This message needs to also be delivered concisely. Less is more! Simple words, short sentences.   

5. Make It About Them, Not You

Use the second person (‘You’) to help your target audience see and imagine themselves in your product. Remember that you can’t reflect personal attributes that the person may have, as this is against Facebook policy. You won’t get away with saying, ‘Would you like to improve your psoriasis?’ for example. However, the use of the second person, whilst avoiding personal  attributes, such as ‘Wouldn’t you feel better if you were on holiday right now?’ is great to help put the reader in the centre of action. 

6. Sell A Feeling

People resonate with brands in a similar way to how they resonate with people. You might feel that you just ‘like’ one brand over the other, without knowing exactly why — the same way we often do with people. Communication on Facebook is about emotion over logic, so remember this in your adverts. What feeling are you trying to create with your advert, and how will you communicate this? Remember, this is something you can communicate visually, too. 

7. Call-To-Value over Call-To-Action

You probably know what a  call-to-action is. Take a peek at  the buttons and links that sit at the bottom of a Facebook advert — the ones that are there to encourage your audience to learn more, download something or visit somewhere. However we can do so much better than just a ‘download now’ stuck on at the end of your message. Think about a ‘call-to-value’ which emphasizes what the user will feel or become once they make the action. For example, ‘Download this e-book now and be a blogger/influencer/figure skater tomorrow’

8. Include Numbers And Brackets 

Your ad needs to grab attention. And one way to do this is to include numbers or data, like a % of people in a cohort, or an amount of sign-ups in the last week. It helps resonate really quickly with a reader, making your communication become that little bit more engaging. Equally, putting something in brackets, like [Last Chance], helps guide the reader and creates a sense of  urgency. 

9. Ask A Question

You can quickly bring a thumb-scroll to a standstill by asking a clear, simple, direct question.  Reading a question, inevitably makes the reader ask themselves the question... and now you’ve already gone a long way to grabbing their attention. Imagine you’re scrolling and you read ‘When was the last time you enjoyed a shower?’. Try not thinking about that. It’s a bizarre question, but suddenly I’m wondering whether I always enjoy showers or never really do at all?

Make it relevant, but ask a question that will stop your buyer mid-scroll for a second. 

10. Be Clear On Your Offer 

If your offer is confusing or unclear, prospects are not going to hang around to figure it out. Make sure you are completely transparent about what the audience will receive, so that you reduce any anxiety they may have about converting. 

11. Include Social Proof 

The old adage that people are like sheep still holds true. Whether it’s FOMO, jealousy or trust, we tend to take action if we see that other people have taken the action before. So if you can say that 37,685 other people, or even just 345 people have downloaded your e-book — say it! Social proof is super influential and encourage more people to convert. 

Good Luck Attracting All Those New Leads on Facebook!

So there you have it.When you get to tackling Facebook, you first need to know your audience, your goals and your content. Then, you can get cracking with utilizing exceptionally well-crafted ads to bring you lucrative new leads. 

But don’t stop here! Read more on how you can drive traffic to your site, without spending a dime

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