Getting Our Hands Dirty to Grow Lead Generating Ads
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Getting Our Hands Dirty to Grow Lead Generating Ads
Kate Gingold
/ Categories: The Sprocket Report

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Getting Our Hands Dirty to Grow Lead Generating Ads

Seventh in a series

A great lead generating offer is useless if no one ever sees it. That’s why the next step in our digital marketing experiment is ad creation.

Immediately after developing the free SEO audit as our lead generator, we started using it during sales calls. It’s been effective, but the whole point of this exercise is to reach people beyond face-to-face encounters. So how does a company reach people they don’t yet know? By advertising, of course, and specifically, by advertising online.

There are plenty of options for digital advertising, but the basics apply everywhere:  You need to present a valuable message in an attractive way to the right audience. One good place to start advertising is Facebook. The steps we took will be the same for you, so we welcome you to follow along to get all the details.

Finding the right audience

Several options are available for building an audience, including a custom group using your own customer list, a group of look-alikes to your current followers, and a group targeted by location and interests.

Sprocket’s followers are a mix of current clients, colleagues from within our industry, and people we’ve met through networking. While networking contacts might make for a good audience, this particular offer is not a fit for current clients or for industry colleagues, so a look-alike audience is probably not the best choice.

Instead, we walked through the targeting process to build an audience. If we were an area-of-service business, location would be important, but most of our clients are not local. Instead, we looked at other demographics such as age, income, and business interests. In addition to the prepared interest choices, you can add your own such as “U.S. Chamber of Commerce” or “Social Media Today” to reach people who follow those pages.

Establishing the value proposition

Enticing a business owner to take advantage of our offer starts with using words that resonate with the reader. The right search terms are important, but so is the way they are used, and since the text needs to be very short, ad content can be tricky to write. It’s common to test and rewrite text before finding the perfect sentence or two. One way to practice is to post organically and then boost those posts to see how people respond.

Choosing a Call To Action

Facebook has pre-made CTA buttons such as “Learn more” and “Book now.” Considering it from the prospective customer’s point of view is important when deciding on which button is the best fit. We made a choice, but we’re prepared to swap in a different one for comparison.

Our ad text precedes the button, and as we already mentioned, this Call To Action needs to be simple and clear. We already created a landing page for the audit on our website, so that’s the URL we’re sending people to when they click on the CTA button.

Developing an image that attracts

While writing good, short, content is tough, remember that a picture is worth a thousand words, so it’s a thousand times tougher! People are overexposed to images and look without actually seeing. It takes something out of the ordinary to catch their eye.

Movement is one way to be eye-catching. Video ads are possible as well as carousels of still images. Certainly, businesses that sell products have better access to images, but even service businesses like us can come up with graphics, if we get creative.

Learning and Improving

Once everything is in place, it’s time to run the ad. A/B testing can be a real eye-opener and guide you toward a better-performing ad. In addition to the CTA button, you might want to swap out your images and your content or tweak your audience parameters. Just don’t do more than one swap at a time so you can measure the changes.

Now, here’s a caveat:  Meta is still making a lot of changes. Some of the options they used to offer are no longer available and more restrictions are coming, so a successful ad debut may suddenly show less than stellar results. Also, while Facebook is still a powerful platform, your organization may not find enough of the right audience here.

LinkedIn could be a better fit for business-to-business, but advertising there is much more expensive than advertising on Facebook. When you’re new to online ads, practicing on Facebook to hone your message and audience can be a more budget friendly exercise. You can always take that knowledge to LinkedIn once you’re confident that you’ve got it right.

Creating digital ads requires careful planning. If you don’t have the time or the patience to create your own Facebook ads, we have a team that can do it for you. Find out how we can help by giving us a call today.

Photo by Kampus Production

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

Other posts by Kate Gingold
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Full biography

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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