We use Google AdWords a fair amount in our business, which is one way we help our clients gain additional attention online. They allow you to display ads for your business on premium search engine real estate offered by Google (at the very top of their primary results page, along the right-hand side, and in several other cleverly-chosen locales). AdWords are also often called pay-per-click advertising, as the client is charged only when someone clicks on their ad.
And as we always advocate for creating a strong social media presence, we also advocate for using social media ads. Most commonly found on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, which are the most content-based, social media ads tend to provide a very good return on investment. You can earn results quite quickly and consistently, and directly target your preferred audience.
But writing ad copy can be very difficult. You don’t have a lot of room to get your point across, but you still have to provide a lot of information so that people understand what they are clicking on. In these cases, it’s often wise to hire a trained online content developer to make sure you get the most out of your marketing investment.
Here are some of my go-to tips for creating content for social media ads.
Use your brand voice. Your business’s brand is more than just your name and logo. It’s also the feeling people get when they experience your product. If your brand is meant to appeal to a younger audience, use appropriate vernacular (including popular – but non-offensive – slang) and speak in their language. The same goes for a more professional, business-minded brand. Use words that show you know what you’re talking about and are knowledgeable in your field. Both of these approaches help build trust in the fact that your product or service is exactly what it appears to be.
Employ the five “Ws. It’s always surprising to me how often people forget about providing the all-important who, what, when, where, and why of their offering. Remember, people don’t have a lot of time and expect to be provided the essential information they need in an easy-to-find location. Let’s say I’m creating an ad for a company offering holiday discounts on their product. The “who” would be the company name, the “what” is the discount, the “when” is the holiday season, the “where” is the physical location of the business as well as the URL for the online store, and the “why” is how that product can help improve or simplify lives. Really, if an online campaign is so generic that the answer for each of the Ws isn’t immediately apparent, it may be time to revisit your plan and tweak the details until they are.
Use a short call-to-action (CTA). A CTA should be communicable in three to five words. Although some social media ads allow for longer content, that doesn’t mean you have to take them up on it. People scan online content rather than read, which means you don’t have a lot of time to grab and maintain attentions. I like to create two or even three version of the same ad to test what length is the most effective for gaining clicks, and then tweak from there. This is called A/B testing and works really well for online advertising.
Don’t forget your images! Ever notice that your social media posts that have accompanying images are usually the ones to garner the most likes and shares? The same goes for social media ads. It’s absolutely imperative to have a photo or image to support your ad’s content, but the pair must work together and support each other. The entire package should tell a story that has a clear beginning, middle, and end.
Design your ads to match the right spot in the sales funnel. One of the great things about social media ads is they provide detailed analytics about who has clicked, when, and how. That makes it very simple to introduce potential customers to your sales funnel and walk them through to the point that you have closed a sale.
The top of the funnel is when you merely introduce yourself to the social media browser with a smart and informative ad letting them know about your business. It should be light, breezy, and even funny, but shouldn’t try to sell anything. It’s like a blind date. You want to make a great first impression, but not pressure the other party in any way.
Middle of the funnel is like your first real date. With these ads you can start to let your potential customer get to know your best attributes. This is when you tell them what you can do for them that will supplement their life in a good way. Target middle of the funnel ads to those who have clicked on one of your top of the funnel ads but not taken any other action.
Bottom of the funnel ads are when you can start selling. You know they’re interested – they’ve seen you twice already! Provide an excellent offer plus more information than usual. This is when you “seal the deal” and develop a long-term relationship.
Try a Customer Relationship Management Tool
After all that, it’s up to you to maintain your relationship. A customer relationship management (CRM) tool can help you do just that. CRM programs are super helpful for keeping your lead generation details, contact information and customer preferences together all in one place. They store data on customers, allows you to track trends, and provides a centralized location for data so that one rep can pick up where another leaves off with a given prospect.
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