For Facebook to really work for you, you must… , Advertise.
Shy away from the idea of having content that’s so good it’s “going to go viral.” It’s just not happening. The number of people your post is reaching organically right now is really small. Why? These networks want you to pay for placements.
Accept it and embrace it; It’s not going to change. If you want to appear as a well known financial advisor in your area or niche market then you have to advertise. The good thing is that you control your destiny when you set out to do it. You are selecting the audience. You are determining how often you want people to see it. It’s all up to you.
Let’s say you’re hosting a webinar focused on business owners in your area. By creating an ad, choosing the right subset of business owners, and putting a suitable budget behind it, you are able to blanket that audience in a way that just posting will never accomplish.
The challenge is that advertising on social media is a bit overwhelming if you do it the right way. There are thousands of options when creating, launching and tracking ads. It’s great if you’re experienced, but hard to understand if you’re just starting out.
One of the biggest questions we get is about targeting. How do you get your ads in front of the most receptive audience? Much of it comes down to “retargeting”. Retargeting is the term for using paid ads to target audiences who have visited your website or interacted with your social profiles in the past.
Many inexperienced Facebook marketers run ads only for a cold audience, targeting people who have never been exposed to their business. While this is smart play when seeking awareness, when it comes to engagement or lead generation, you will reduce your cost per lead by targeting people who have had contact with your business in the past. After all, those who are more familiar with you are more likely to engage with your ads.
There are many ways to do retargeting on Facebook. Here are three of the most attractive:
- website visitors
When a potential customer comes to your website, they don’t stick around for long. This is where retargeting comes into play. Retargeting enables you to be visible in their Facebook feed for up to 180 days, encouraging them to come back, learn more, and take action. This link between your website and Facebook comes from the Facebook Pixel. It is simply a piece of code placed on your website that enables you to create an audience on Facebook of people who have visited your website.
- existing database
You know all those possible emails in your database? The ones you’ve collected over the years and years? Maybe you send them a weekly newsletter or invite them to your seminars. When you upload this list of emails to Facebook (as a custom audience), you can show your ads specifically to these users. This is a great way to stay in front of them without making it seem like you’re being too strong by calling or emailing them over and over again.
- video viewer
You can also target people who have seen your videos on Facebook. Let’s say you post an educational video about planning your kids’ education, then you can target that video’s audience with an ad that offers college planning checks. Also, it’s worth mentioning that Facebook gives you the ability to target based on view length. The biggest viewers will be those who watched 3 seconds or more, but if your audience base is large enough, I’d recommend being a little more selective, choosing 10 seconds or more. This eliminates those who were simply scrolling.
This is just the beginning of the retargeting capability of these networks. The more you learn, the more prepared you are for the new business (without spending much to complete it). Remember, when you want awareness, consider a cold audience. When you want engagement or lead flow, you have to go warm by taking advantage of retargeting.
Stephen Boswell is a partner with The Ochsley Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry. @StephenBoswell www.oechsli.com