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How to Maximize Your First Time with Facebook Ads

How to Maximize Your First Time with Facebook Ads

How to Maximize Your First Time with Facebook Ads

 

Advertising as a small business is daunting. Where do you start? Do you have a budget? Who is your target market, and how are you targeting them? Massive corporations like Nike or Verizon can spend millions of dollars on TV and web ads, but you don’t need all of that to be successful. Marketing for your business is challenging, but you have options for any budget.

Marketing has changed over the past decades. Billboards were the end all be all of advertising once upon a time. While they still dot the interstates, advertising opened to new mediums like TV and radio. The problem was marketing on these mediums was still prohibitively expensive. Relying on word of mouth recommendations and storefront signs only go so far. 

Fast forward to the social media boom. Now small businesses have a diverse collection of options for advertising. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube…you name it, you can pay money to promote your product on it. Social media is more budget-friendly for small businesses. 

The new challenge is learning how to target your market surgically. Trying to attack the whole market is an excellent way to waste money. Identify who you want to reach, and strategize from there.

While there are several platforms to try, here are some ways to maximize your first time using Facebook ads. 

 

Strategize

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin.

Just like starting a business, you need a plan. Marketing is challenging, and trying to “make it up as you go” can be devastating. Start to form a strategy focusing your message on your target audience. What is your goal? Are you trying to drive customers to your website? Or maybe you want to build an email list. 

Build a timeline for your strategy. Decide when to launch or if you want multiple launches based on your campaign. Knowing the browsing habits of your demographic can make or break your plan as much as anything else. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available that can help define browsing activity.

 

Know Your Market

Who are you targeting? This should be the first question you answer when you start. The next question should be ‘why?’ We talked about not trying to attack the entire market. Market researchers exist specifically to give you data on various demographics. Whatever you need to know, chances are they have the data. You know your product better than anyone. You also know who is buying it. 

With Facebook, you can create highly targeted ads focused solely on your market. Be as broad or as surgical as you want. Pick through different keywords and age groups to narrow the crowd, and tailor your content accordingly.

 

Set a Budget

A few months ago, we sat down (virtually, of course) with Social by Steph’s Stephanie Smith to go into a little more detail about Facebook ads. She let us in on a few trade secrets like never hitting the “boost” button. It’s designed to convince you that spending $5 more will help reach more people, but really, $5 won’t do much either way. 

Why? 

Nickel and dining your way through a marketing campaign is a waste of money. Thinking that reaching tens of thousands of people by spending $15 on Facebook couldn’t be more incorrect. Don’t get us wrong, traffic is traffic, but you want the right people. You can expect to spend at least $30-$50 per day. You’ll have a much better chance of reaching the right audience. 

The moral of the story is if this is out of your budget right now, you need to save until you can contribute between $500-$700 per month. Otherwise, you are spending money and not accomplishing much. 

 

Set a Timeline

Setting a timeline can be tricky since you are trying to balance your budget with your marketing goals. Your marketing plan should consider campaign duration, but you need to set a distinct timeline to keep yourself from overreaching. When you start to see success with an ad campaign, the temptation to keep rolling forward is intense, but remember, you have a budget. Stick to it!

 

A/B Testing

No one is perfect. Your first ad campaign won’t be perfect either. However, you can do something called A/B Testing. A/B Testing is a process of showing two variants of an ad to different audiences and seeing which drives more clicks or conversions. In your case, different variants might be writing other text or using a different image. If you’re making a video, you could try different voiceover scripts or narration. 

The goal is to create two different ads with the exact same narrative. A/B Testing is invaluable as you begin a marketing campaign because you can try out different versions before committing your whole budget. The good news is that you don’t need an enormous sample size to figure out which ad tests better, so don’t worry about blowing your money on an ineffective ad. Start small with each version, see which performs better, and then put everything behind the more successful 

 

Learn

Learning from what works is essential. Learning from what doesn’t work is vital. Try using key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor your success (or lack thereof). KPIs are invaluable and used across every industry. When starting your campaign, have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish. Do you want 30k more page visits? Create benchmarks at specific times for 5k, 10k, and so on to monitor your progress. If you’re not hitting your KPIs, learn from your opportunities, and improve. 

Your first time using a Facebook ad may be discouraging if you go in shooting for the moon. It’s ok to be ambitious, but set realistic expectations. Sit back and watch your campaign unfold, and most importantly, learn everything you can about where it’s useful and where it’s not.

 

Commit

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Many first, second, or even third attempts with a marketing campaign can fail miserably, but don’t be discouraged! Learn from what went wrong, and go into your next shot with a better plan. You need to commit, though. We talked about the pitfalls of trying to nickel and dime the system, so go all-in when you go in. 

It feels risky to sink a large amount of money into advertising, but remember, advertising exists on nearly all platforms because it produces results. Commit to your strategy and your timeline. Commit to your budget, and commit to making a successful campaign. That’s the only way to be successful. 

 

Marketing on Facebook

Facebook is one of the most budget-friendly advertising platforms available. We recommend it due to the pinpoint market segments you can target and the ease of use. Ad campaigns are challenging, so choosing a platform that’s easy to use will help immensely. 

Luckily, Facebook provides some guidance as you go about creating your ad(s), so you’re not lost in the weeds. But at the same time, you need to create an engaging ad or watch your money disappear. Do your research, make a plan, set a budget, monitor your KPIs, and commit to the process. Facebook can help to a point, but being successful is up to you.

 

You’re not alone, though. Small businesses need help all over the place, not just marketing. Shamrck is a complete website and business management suite with everything you need to be successful. Start your free trial to see why Shamrck is right for your business.

 

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5 Reasons Your Website Needs a Blog

5 Reasons Your Website Needs a Blog

5 Reasons Your Website Needs a Blog

 

Why do company websites maintain a blog? Online stores shouldn’t need to write articles about clothes to get customers to buy a shirt. How can writing blog posts help a restaurant chain drive more business? The truth is every industry is constantly changing. Cooking trends update frequently, and the content needs to keep with the times.

 

Blogs are an online series of pages with articles. As opposed to academic articles, blogs tend to be much more informal and conversational. They typically run 800-1,000 and can cover almost any topic. These online articles allow the writers, or bloggers, to use a comfortable writing style to convey information about their business, industry, or everyday life. 

 

For businesses, writing blog posts serve several purposes. Websites are no longer optional for companies. Businesses, large and small, maintain blog posts in addition to the more traditional elements of a website. We’ll talk about why your website needs a blog, and what it can do for your business. 

 

Here are five reasons you need to start a blog immediately.

 

SEO

 

One of the most heavily weighted search algorithms revolves around fresh, relevant content. For SEO, a popular blog is essential. Search engines like Google use a series of query algorithms to rank websites. The results aren’t usually turning up articles from 15 years ago. We need to see the most recent information available. Search engines prioritize keywords and phrases, so writing new content isn’t always enough. We need to be specific.

 

Another tactic we need to consider for SEO purposes is volume. We need to flood the web with keyword dense content. Remember, search engines look for fresh content, so active websites are more likely to perform well in searches. Write with a focus on the exact topic you think will attract traffic and new business. This method will help you write several pieces with a similar concept, so you begin to grow your optimization organically.

 

Show your expertise

 

Blogs are a phenomenal way to increase organic SEO, but additionally, blog posts are an opportunity to show off your knowledge of the industry. Most people don’t want to learn biology from a historian. We want an authority in the field. A regularly updated blog is how you prove you are the expert. Industries change and progress every day. You need to show you’re keeping up and that customers can trust your expertise.

 

Connect with your customers

 

Since blog posts follow a conversational tone, you can be a little more informal. Academic articles feel stuffy and unrelatable, but blogs can convey the same level of information in a much more readable way. Writing in a conversational style helps your readers connect with you and put a personality to the words instead of only a name.

 

Connecting with your customers carries another benefit, repeat traffic. When you write excellent content that engages readers, they tend to come back for more. That effect keeps them on your site longer and more likely to convert from reader to customer. Repeat traffic is a gold mine. Don’t overlook it!

 

Targeting

 

Choosing your topics can be tricky. How do you know what to write about? The main question to answer is who your target demographic is. Unless you run a very niche market, you’ll probably have several demographics. The goal is to write each post with one demographic in mind.

 

Imagine running a culinary website. New and creative recipes pop up every day, but really, everyone is making a variation of an old dish. What brings in the traffic for your site is your blog content. You can tell stories of how you came up with recipes. Hunting for bakers? Write about your first baking experience, what you learned, how to bake your dish, and where to buy your cookbook. You connected with bakers, in particular, shared your recipe, and sold your product. Win-win-win!

 

While that example is for a cooking site, the same recipe (get it?) applies to any field. Determine who you want to reach and write directly to that group.

 

Helps build your email list

 

First, if you don’t have an email list of customers and potential customers, stop reading now and get started on one. Email lists are crucial for everything from announcing giveaways to providing business advice to just flat making sure people know you’re still there. Regular email blasts are also a great way to refer old visitors back to your website with links to new posts or announcements. 

 

Blog posts can help build that email list. Websites use various ways to gather email information, but one of the most popular ways is requiring visitors to sign up for a newsletter to continue reading a post. We also use pop-ups or a good old-fashioned invitation to subscribe at the bottom of the page. No matter what method you use, the crucial ingredient is excellent content. People will only want to sign up if they look forward to reading more of your work.

 

Summary

 

Blog posts are not only an essential part of a modern business website, but they can also be fun! Connecting with a targeted demographic of potential customers to write content regularly is excellent for you and your team too. Blogging is an outlet to show what you know and write with your own voice. The benefit of organic SEO growth is a by-product of a quality blog. 

 

If you don’t know where to start, visit some other websites utilizing regular blog posts (like this one!) in your field and see how they’re approaching the task. You know your business and your industry better than most. Pick a topic and start writing!

 

Still not sure where to get started? Or, maybe you just need a little guidance. Schedule an appointment with experts at WPClover for a one-to-one conversation on starting a blog or some tips and tricks on improving.

 

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How to Get a Yes!

How to Get a Yes!

How to Get a Yes!

We talk a lot about developing, maintaining, and using your WordPress website to give your business a distinct online presence. We talk about marketing and plugins, strategies for retention, and measuring success.

But first thing is first. You have to make the sale.

There is no one right way to go about making a sale, so don’t feel bad if your product isn’t flying off the shelf right when you start selling. Since your business does depend on sales, it’s still a good idea to research, test, and measure different tactics, however.

An efficient website can serve as a lead magnet and a sales funnel. Using your site to convert traffic into sales is extremely difficult. You need the perfect mix of marketing, design, and sales strategy to close. Many times, basic websites and marketing campaigns aren’t enough for tacit sales. 

The good news is there are plenty of strategies to use to get a yes!

Court early adopters

Studies show that over 34% of consumers are early adopters. These consumers want the newest of the new, and they’re ready to buy. Marketing to early adopters requires loud calls to action. Chances are someone else is selling something similar to your product, so you need to stand out of the crowd.

Sometimes, all you need to grab their attention is some bold font or a well-placed digital ad. Other times, you’ll need to build out a full marketing campaign emphasizing “launch day” as the most important day since the Superbowl. Luckily, social media blitzes are affordable, but crafting your message is challenging. 

Early adopters are the ones camping outside Best Buy so that they can buy the newest TV or latest iPhone. Think about the energy and enthusiasm they need to be that dedicated! Trying to capture that enthusiasm isn’t easy, but it is an extremely effective way of selling to early adopters

Art & Emotion, Not Sales Tactics

Think about Apple. The reason why Apple has grown to power is through their ability to display their vision artistically. Early adopters gravitated towards Apple because of their ability to tap into emotions in a creative, functional way. Word spread that Apple products were for the creatives and the “cool kids.”

No bright banner ads were saying, “BUY APPLE PRODUCTS.” In fact, to this day, Apple rarely uses a call to action. Instead, they rely on showing off the features of their merchandise. Their marketing and advertising campaigns build value through emotional pleas or trendy, chic imagery.

Luckily for Apple, resellers like Verizon and AT&T advertise on their behalf! Getting someone else to advertise for you is a fantastic way to get a yes. You might not ever see Apple’s level of success, but you can follow suit with branding strategies. 

Stimulate them Intellectually

No one wants to buy a dull or uninteresting product.

One mistake that business owners make is forgetting that their customers need to be intellectually stimulated. Business owners believe their products will sell themselves instead of reaching out to leads. 

It’s up to you to build value and stress urgency to your potential customers. With the overwhelming amount of information and entertainment online, it can be tough to break through to the right audience. According to Forbes, average Americans see between 4,000 and 10,000 ads each day.

EACH. DAY. 

If that seems outrageous, look at that app on your phone or other websites, commercials, driving around town, product placement in TV shows, etc. It doesn’t end. Your job is to build enough value and stress enough urgency to crash through that wall and get a yes.

Traditional Sales

Less exciting than some of our alternatives, traditional sales methods are still some of the best. Sales strategies are a dime a dozen. Do you want to smother prospects with a high-pressure approach? Are you more of the type that wants to use a longer sales-cycle to build relationships? Whatever your method, the bottom line is you need to ask for the sale.

We already talked about building value and stressing urgency. Those are the two components to a sale. It’s the most straightforward breakdown of the process, but in a nutshell, those two steps are how to get a yes. 

The best part about all of these approaches? Your website provides infinite opportunities to experiment with what works. Traditional sales tactics tend to rely heavily on personal touchpoints. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call! With WordPress, you have access to dozens of scheduling plugins that let your design and marketing content do the work of getting you new leads. It’s up to you to close the deal!

How to get a Yes

Sales strategies are continually evolving, and your job is to find one that fits your personality. Not everyone wants to hop on the phone and cold call 100 people a day looking for sales. The good news is you don’t have to. We covered several marketing approaches to help take a more hands-off approach. 

One direction we can move quickly and efficiently is with your WordPress website. Through plugins and added tools, your site presents new strategies to test. Services like Lumen5 help create video content to engage your traffic better. By 2022, 82% (Cisco) of consumer internet traffic will be in video form, so consider the benefits of using video marketing to generate leads get to a Yes

Regardless of your methods, closing a sale is a challenge, but you can explore different strategies until you find the one that fits. Early adopters, emotional pleas, intellectual stimulation, and traditional tactics are only a few options, but there are plenty of others. Find yours. Make a plan. Get a yes.

We want to talk more with you about strategies to get to that Yes. Reach out for office hours to get the ball rolling!

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3 Reasons Video Content is the Future

3 Reasons Video Content is the Future

3 Reasons Video Content is the Future

Year over year, video content is taking a more significant role on the Internet. According to Cisco, video content will make up 82% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2022. The majority of people would prefer to watch online videos to television. If those numbers are surprising, you’ve already fallen behind.

Why is video content so popular? Essentially, we can break down how information is displayed in a few categories. Radio commercials use audio for ads, and billboards and posters rely on text and graphics. Videos rely on moving images, sound, and graphics. The benefit of videos is that they can use any combination of these displays.

Some may merely use motion pictures and text. Others may just use audio and a slideshow. There is no right or wrong method to make a compelling video.

More than anything, video content is engaging. Despite the advancements in type scrolling and page speeds, video content remains the best way to capture someone’s attention. Websites have roughly seven to nine seconds to make a first impression. For regular blog posts, grabbing someone’s attention requires an excellent design and engaging content. Video content is a little more forgiving as far as design and content are concerned.

The most significant advancement for video content was the explosion into the mobile platform. A study by Invisia in 2018 showed that mobile video consumption rises 100% each year. That means every year more, content piles up on new websites and in new advertisements.

What does that mean for you and your business? Here are three reasons that video content is the future.

Video Marketing is Taking Over.

Just like video content has a better chance of grabbing someone’s attention, video advertisements have a much more effective than static graphics. Video ads can incorporate text, motion, images, and audio making them roughly nine times more likely to be memorable than text alone. For anyone trying to make a sound first impression, well-executed videos are a great start.

Social media introduced a new element to video marketing. Now advertising online is affordable through platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In the past, commercials seemed like something only companies like Apple and GM could afford, but with social media options, ads are more affordable than ever. It even helps with customer retention.

Creating a marketing campaign is not an easy process, but knowing where to allocate resources is paramount. Video content is one of the best ways to reach out to your customers, but only if you create something memorable. Making a video doesn’t mean it will be good. Think of the horrendous commercials for used cars with the flashing texts and the obnoxious narrators. You’re more likely to remember how awful the video was than the actual brand. Try to avoid that.

Video Content is Flexible.

 We can find video content on every platform. With useful tools like Java and Flash, we can translate videos from desktops to tablets to smartphones without any issues. Just like any other banner ad or image, videos can link to websites or product pages, making them incredibly useful ads.

Creating video content for SEO is one of the most important reasons to start. The content shows up as one of the highest scored elements of optimization, and video content is evidence of quality content. The fact that your website becomes a multi-media site optimized for all platforms helps SERP as much if not more than simple blog posts.

Creating Videos is Easier Than Ever.

The most sizable hurdle facing businesses that want to create video content is how to make it. Programs like Adobe Premiere Pro are excellent but complex video creation programs. You can take hours of raw footage and cut it down to a 30-second clip. Add transitions and edit colors, audio, and speed to give it a more professional and engaging feel. Then you can add some text for a final touch and export the video in several formats. Doesn’t that sound so easy? It isn’t. In fact, experts spend years learning and mastering the program.

The second way you can go about creating video content is by enlisting a professional firm or a freelancer. This route costs money (potentially a lot of money), but its worth is entirely dependent on your needs. If you’re creating a full marketing campaign around video content, going with a professional is worthwhile if you get a return on your investment. Remember the terrible car commercial from earlier? A professional firm can help you avoid those kinds of mistakes and produce the highest quality version of what you need.

The final and most accessible way to create a video is with various online services. Automated video creation tools are hardly new, but they can look very rudimentary. The last thing you want to create is the equivalent of a PowerPoint slideshow. Programs like Biteable and Lumen5 are packed with customizable ways for you to edit content, images, music, and more without a degree in videography. There’s no need to shoot any live footage or video editing. Follow their step-by-step system and voila, video content you can present confidently.

Summary

Video content is the future across every industry. Most businesses have an online presence and are converting other aspects like training, sales, and informational guides into video format. With the different solutions available, it is becoming difficult to avoid video creation. Luckily there are services, experts, and blog posts (like this one!) to help you decide what kind of approach fits your needs.

There is no going back to a world confined to pamphlets and static images. Commercials have been around since the dawn of television, and online videos have been an institution since Internet speeds caught up with the demand. As we discussed earlier, video content is more popular, resonates more, and is taking over more Internet traffic every year. The question isn’t if you should get started making video content; it’s why haven’t you started already?

We’re here to help. We’ll walk you through ways to not only create video content but automate it! Reach out today to get started.

Ready to see how your website is doing? Try our no-obligation Website Health Check right now!

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