It seems like Facebook just can't catch a break.
The platform reaches 864 million daily active users, yet all you ever hear about are its privacy concerns and business page algorithms.
While it may be enticing (and easy) to shift your advertising portfolio away from Facebook, it's hard for me to watch you dismiss such a rich source of marketing and advertising potential so quickly. In fact, without Facebook advertising, I simply wouldn't be in business -- it's been my No. 1 growth strategy.
Since I owe so much of my own success to this platform, I'm here to make a case for why every business in search of a successful future needs to consider Facebook advertising.
Conquer Your Fear of Facebook
Facebook usually garners negative press for its data-collection and privacy concerns. But in reality, its data-collection efforts create a more engaging online experience for customers and businesses alike.
Any time a customer clicks the Like button or fills out a profile, he specifies what kind of content he enjoys, which will subsequently attract similar content. For example, if he likes bodybuilding Facebook pages, he'll be exposed to more fitness-related advertisements. If Facebook didn't collect this data, he would likely see a hodgepodge of ads that didn't resonate with him at all.
As an advertiser, this cause-and-effect relationship creates a better environment for you, as well. You can use the customer's data to better target him with the information he actually wants to see. This allows you to reach incredibly targeted audiences with more options and details than any other marketing media. Paired with an excellent design, Facebook advertising can help you reach customers, establish authority, and build a list of qualified leads.
Facebook has also taken a lot of heat for its business page algorithms, which require each company to pay to reach its Facebook fans. Reach is no longer free, but it's still powerful.
For example, if you have incredible content and high engagement within the 5 percent of traffic you can get for free, your message will be more likely to convert when you pay to boost it. You can saturate that smaller, targeted audience with incredible brand awareness, which will stretch your ad dollars further than any other platform.
Jumpstart Your Facebook Campaign
To reap all these great benefits, you have to carefully craft a campaign strategy. Luckily, it doesn't have to be complicated. Here are four steps you can take to build a campaign that will resonate with customers and expand your reach:
1. Develop your customer avatar, and narrow your niche. Before you can make progress on Facebook, you must develop a specific and targeted customer avatar. Narrowly define your niche to identify the customers you hope to engage with.
Social Media Examiner does an excellent job of targeting and saturating its audience through guest posts. With an intimate understanding of what its audience wants and which authors its audience reads, the site recruits known experts to write unique content on its blog. This content is then shared on the company's Facebook page, creating a content strategy that's rich with value and provides indefinite engagement and follow-up opportunities with a specific audience.
2. Build your lead magnet. Simple, one-sided selling transactions don't fly on Facebook. Instead, you must build a relationship by giving something up. This gift is known as a lead magnet; it attracts a lead by solving a problem for free.
For example, let's say you're a fitness company and your ideal customer is a woman who wants to get in shape before her wedding. An effective Facebook ad might read, "Want to look your best in your wedding dress? Then use this seven-step formula to lose 10 pounds in 45 days!" The ad would link to your lead magnet as a free download. Boom. You solved the problem for free, established a trusting relationship, and piqued a customer's curiosity about your products and services.
3. Take the tech out of it. Once you've built your helpful and appealing lead magnet, you'll need a home for it. Head to LeadPages, a point-and-click tool that helps you develop a landing page that converts without hours of coding. Use this landing page to share your lead magnet with clear and direct headlines that emphasize the value you provide. Then, link your Facebook ad to it. Lastly, make sure each asset has a matching design. This will establish consistency and authority.
4. Focus on the follow-through. Every customer click represents a warm lead. But when only 2 percent of sales occur at a customer's first engagement, you need to nurture each lead several times before you can expect him to buy. That involves prioritizing active follow-up activities that continue to feed him valuable information until he's ready to buy.
Create more engagement opportunities with current and past customers on Facebook using the platform's Custom Audience feature to import an existing email list. Then, specifically advertise to that list.
As online platforms and customer usage evolve, it's up to you to stay informed and make the most effective marketing and advertising choices for your business. Don't dismiss Facebook because it's changing. Rather, adjust your advertising techniques to make the most of it. If Facebook still holds the key to your target audience, it may be worth paying the price to reach them.
Nick Unsworth is CEO of Life On Fire, a business coaching company that helps entrepreneurs and business leaders become the rock stars they're meant to be. Nick has been an entrepreneur for 11 years and was inspired to live his best life after watching those close to him struggle for money throughout his childhood. Nick has worked in several industries and bounced back from many setbacks, which inspired him to help other entrepreneurs make every day a journey worth living.