If you’ve been paying attention to the internet marketing talk over the past couple of years, you’ve heard about how great and awesome Facebook ads are. From the sound of it, you would have thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.
But if I were a betting man, I would bet that neither you nor your competitors are using them, why?
Why travel professionals aren’t using Facebook ads
- You don’t understand them — I don’t blame you, it’s hard enough to run a business and keep clients happy, then on top of that having to learn and keep up with the constant changes in Facebook ads.
- You don’t know how you can use them to grow your business — You likely don’t understand how they work or what they’re capable of doing, and therefore can’t think of any reason to use them.
- “I tried them, and they didn’t work.” — You may have thrown $10, $20, or maybe even a couple hundred dollars at running ads; and because you didn’t get a windfall of new clients, it didn’t work. Using that same logic, you would have never learned to ride a bike, roller skate, play a sport, or run a business. I’ve never seen anything work all the time, every time. As long as you’re willing to try again, and try something different to improve the results, it will eventually work.
The power is in targeting
Hundreds of millions of people are on Facebook every day. All of them aren’t interested in your services, but some are. Out of those that are interested, some will actually love to become a client.
Before Facebook, you would be hard-pressed to find the type of person you want to show your ad to online, but now it’s easier than ever and getting better every day. This is why it is so important for you to know whom your best type of client is. It’s the very first step I have all of my clients go through because if you don’t know whom you are trying to target, you’ll miss them every time. Put the shotgun away and grab the sniper rifle.
When you think of your ideal client, go beyond the general types of demographics, e.g. age, gender, lifestyle, etc. and think about that ideal client as an actual person. Find a picture of what she might look like, and think about her life:
- Is she married?
- Does she have kids, if so, how many and how old?
- What are her fears and ambitions?
- What are her relationships like?
- What type of personality does she have?
- Why is she looking to travel?
Some of you may have real-life clients that you think are perfect. That’s great! Talk to them and get to know these things. If they ask why, tell them it’s so you can provide better service for them when planning their trips, which is true. They’ll see you as going the extra mile to provide better service, and you’ll get a better understanding of your ideal client.
Once you have a clear and tangible image of whom your target client is, now you can go into the Facebook ads interface and find as many of those characteristics as you can. As you choose selections from the demographics, interests, and partner categories (I’ll go into these in a separate article) you’ll see the number of potential people change. You don’t want this number to be too small or too large. Starting out, I would recommend trying to narrow it down to around 10,000 people as it will give you a pretty targeted audience, and go no higher than around 25,000 people.
You should get real comfortable and familiar with these targeting options because this is the juicy meat of using Facebook ads effectively. You can have the best message and/or offer, but if you don’t show it to the right people you’re wasting money.
Which brings us to the next point…
Why use ads?
A lot of businesses were really upset when they saw their organic reach for their page’s posts decline after Facebook made some changes. I can go into a rant about that, but I digress. Bottom line is if you want to reach more of your ideal clients, you have to pay. I would have also said the same thing even if Facebook didn’t change their organic reach algorithm. They have a ton of content they could potentially show their users, but they only want to show them content that would provide the best user experience. If you want your content to be included in that, you have to pay.
So how can you get the most out of each dollar you invest? There are at least four benefits you will get from using ads correctly:
- Brand exposure — The people that see your ad are not actively looking for you or for a solution to a problem they have. This is called disruptive marketing because you are interrupting their current task with your message. However, each time they see it is an impression in their mind. The more impressions, the more familiar they become with your brand. By the time they consciously take notice of your ad, there’s a sense of familiarity and trust. Now they know you exist.
- Audience building — When starting out, you’ll want to build an audience of your ideal clients. In order to do so, you’ll need to advertise something they will be interested in. Don’t advertise promotions; it needs to be something they would find valuable. A helpful article you published on your website would be good. It’ll give an increase to your page likes and will even attract post shares and comments. The new likes will allow you to continue to engage with them as part of your audience.
- Email list building — Building your email list is important as it allows you to communicate directly without the need of a social media platform. Similar to audience building, your ad should point to a landing page with something valuable and free. E-books, short destination guides, and the like are great things to use. Require them to enter their name and email in order to download. This will increase your newsletter/e-zine list for more engagement.
- Specific offers – The reason most businesses say Facebook ads don’t work is that they create nothing but promotional ads and offers. People are sold to enough as it is, so they’ll simply put the blinders on when they see other sales messages. You should advertise promotional offers only after you’ve done the above three things. Even then, you’ll want to use custom audiences (I’ll discuss this in another article) to make sure you’re showing your ad to people who are already familiar with your brand and interested in what you have to offer.
Alright, you made it and now you know the basics. I hope you learned something new that you can start implementing now or perhaps changed the way you looked at Facebook ads.
If you have any questions or comments I’d appreciate it if you leave them below.
Your mission should you choose to accept it:
- Write down the characteristics of your ideal client. Dig deep and get to know them like you would an actual person.
- Get familiar with the targeting options for Facebook ads, if you’re not already. This can also help in defining your ideal client.
- Think of an ad you would like to run. What is it’s purpose? Do you have information on your website your ideal client would like to read? Do you have something that can be downloaded for free in exchange for an email? If not, it’s time to start writing and get it all set up before you start running ads.