Have you been hesitant to pay Facebook for your content to appear in your audience’s streams? Maybe you still remember the days when you could get good reach through just normal, consistent posting.
Those days are long gone.
If you want your audience to see you--and you really need that especially now--then you're going to have to “pay to play.”
But just handing over the money to Facebook won't bring you the traffic and sales you want. You need to learn how to write effective social media ads. And during the pandemic, the most effective content has changed a little. Here's what you need to know in order to create ads that drive sales while most businesses are shut down.
Your Audience Is Online Now More Than Ever
It doesn't take a marketing guru to figure out that people are online more these days. Many of us are working from home and need the distraction from our daily lives. While we probably see more people riding their bikes and walking then we have in the past, most of us are still spending a large chunk of our days on social media.
And even though we are consuming more content, that doesn't necessarily mean that Facebook and the like have become more Democratic in how they feature content. If anything, more people are creating it so there's more competition for your audience’s attention. In order to get in front of the people who can make a difference in your business, you're going to have to use ads.
Learn the Technology
The first thing you need to do in order to be successful with Facebook ads is to learn the technology and process of creating them. Here are some solid resources on how to do just that:
How to Advertise on Facebook in 2020: the definitive Facebook ads guide
Facebook Ads Directions (from Facebook)
Successful Facebook Ads on a Small Budget
Create Content That Attracts
When most people think about ads they probably think of a clever jingle or an enticing offer. But the most effective Facebook ads also aim at connecting you with your audience. This is incredibly important during this time. Here is how you create ads that help you connect from a content perspective:
When creating content and ads during this time, work hard to build the trust factor. Be a good steward of the community. Help people and your audience will be more likely to help you as well. And always be thankful.
The final thing you need to do to create effective Facebook ads is to remove the friction from the buying process. You want your audience to take action. So you need to tell them what you want. Examples might include:
After you tell them what you want them to do, make it easy for them to follow up. Buttons and URLs that go directly to buying or an online catalogue or even a targeted landing page are ideal to drive action.
Directing them to your homepage is not a solid choice because it gives them an opportunity to get lost or may overwhelm them with information that is not what they’re looking for.
Social media ads are a strong method to get in front of your audience on a platform you know they're already on. While the suggestions in this article work for non-pandemic times as well, it is especially important right now to carefully create ad content that connects you and portrays you as a good neighbor.
We're all in this together and if you fail to give that kind of message, fewer people will feel the need to support you. Right now people are looking to be kind. They want to help. That needs to be a strong focus in your marketing message in order to improve sales.
Finally, even if your business isn't currently open you can still be a good neighbor. Highlight the work of others and thank those who have helped you. Staying top of mind will assist you in your recovery once you're allowed to reopen your doors.
Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots. She helps chamber and small business professionals find the right words when they don’t have the time or interest to do so.
Christina hates exclamation points and loves road trips. Say hi on Twitter or reach out on Facebook.