There are so many opinions out there on the effectiveness of Facebook ads. I can tell you for sure that they do work when you integrate them into your content marketing strategy. Therefore, this post won’t be about what images or gimmicks work best for Facebook ads. This post will provide a step-by-step process for marrying content marketing with Facebook ads to increase your qualified website traffic and leads. First, let’s take a look at what does and doesn’t work.
If you create a promotional Facebook ad that takes people to the home page of your website, chances are they are going to bounce right back to Facebook immediately – if they decide to click on your ad at all. This happens because you did not give users a compelling reason to stay on your website. When people are on Facebook, they are usually there to socialize with friends and family. If you don’t provide some kind of offer, chances are they will see your ad as an interruption and go right back to socializing.
To achieve results with Facebook ads, it’s important to integrate a strong content marketing strategy with a well-planned Facebook ad strategy. To do this, Facebook ads must direct users to compelling content offers on your website. A content offer consists of an e-book, white paper, video or other medium filled with helpful information that visitors can download for free after filling out a contact form. If your content offer provides truly helpful information the visitor can use, he or she is likely to download it rather than immediately bouncing back to Facebook. So, how do you make it happen? Follow this step-by-step strategy for success!
6 Steps to Increasing Website Traffic & Leads with Facebook Ads
Step 1. Create an E-Book – Create a helpful e-book that website visitors can download for free in exchange for providing contact information. Be strategic when you choose a topic for this e-book. First, put yourself in the shoes of your clients or customers. Make a list of the most common questions you receive from them. Could the answer to one of those questions be explained in an e-book of three or more pages? If yes, that may be a good topic. If none of the answers to your questions require that long of an answer, then combine several answers into one e-book. For example, if you are a real estate company, an e-book like this might be called, “10 Things Every Home Buyer Needs to Know.” For tips on creating effective e-books, check out our own e-book, “How to Create Killer Marketing Content.”
Step 2. Create Landing & Thank You Pages – Once you have created the e-book, create a landing page on your website where you can offer the e-book as a free download. Include a contact form that visitors will submit in order to download the e-book. This form should request at least the visitor’s name and e-mail address. For tips on creating effective landing pages, check out our blog post, “7 Crucial Tips to Increase Landing Page Conversions.” When visitors submit the form, they should be redirected to a “Thank You” web page that provides a link to download the e-book. On this “Thank You” page, consider inviting the visitor to subscribe to your blog or your newsletter. You could also invite them to download any other e-books or content you might have to offer. Note: be sure to have your webmaster “no-index” the “Thank You” page so search engines don’t show it in search results. You don’t want people to be able to access the download link without first providing their contact information.
Step 3. Publish a Targeted Blog Post – The next step is to publish a targeted blog post on your website. Like the e-book, this blog post should include helpful information. Choose a topic the same way you chose a topic for the e-book. Identify a common question your clients or customers often ask and provide the answer to it in the blog post. Be sure the target audience for this blog post is the same target audience for the e-book. Using the real estate example, if the topic of your e-book targets first-time home buyers, your blog post should, too. The target length of your blog post should really be based on how much information is needed to provide a useful answer. However, a good, flexible rule is to keep your blog post between 400 to 800 words. If it’s too short, the reader won’t find it helpful and may not trust that you know what you are talking about. If it’s too long, the reader may stop reading it before he or she gets to the end. Be sure to include an interesting picture in your post. This will be important when you share the post on Facebook.
Step 4. Include a Call-to-Action in the Blog Post – At the end of the blog post, insert an attractive, compelling call-to-action graphic inviting the reader to download the e-book you created in step 1. This call-to-action graphic should link to the landing page you created in step 2. See the call-to-action at the end of this blog post as an example. Include the name of the e-book and a “Download” button. Do not use the phrase “click here” in the call-to-action. Research shows that users do not respond well to “click here” because it is over-used and doesn’t really describe the action you want the visitor to take. After all, your ultimate goal isn’t for them to click – it’s for them to download. Why should you include this call to action? Well, if the reader enjoyed your blog post, they may be interested in learning more information. You can use that opportunity to collect their contact information in exchange for the e-book and follow up with them at a later time.
Step 5. Share the Post on Facebook – Next, share the blog post in a Facebook status update on your company Facebook page. Make the status update enticing, and make it no more than about three sentences. Be sure your status explains why your target audience needs to read it. As an example, here’s a status update I might share for this blog post: “Want to increase website traffic and leads using Facebook ads? Here’s a step-by-step plan for doing it!” Type in your status update and paste a link to the blog post after it. Once you paste the link, Facebook will automatically render the blog post title and a thumbnail image of the picture in the post. Once that happens, delete the link from the status update text (the rendering will remain), and publish.
Step 6. Create a “Page Post Engagement” Ad – Once you have shared the blog post on your company Facebook page, go to your Facebook Ads Manager and create an ad. The type of ad you should choose is “Page Post Engagement.” Choosing this ad type will turn your status update into a sponsored Facebook post that shows up in the newsfeeds of Facebook users. Once you have chosen this ad type, choose your target audience. You’ll be able to target your ad to people based on several criteria such as location (city, state, and country), age, gender, interests and more. Before you choose your targeting options, really identify the characteristics of the people you want as clients or customers. The better you target them, the better your results will be. For example, if you are a real estate company, choose your targeting options based on the type of buyer you are trying to entice. Be sure to match up your target audience of your Facebook ad to the target audience of your blog post and e-book. For example, if your blog post and e-book target first-time home buyers, you probably don’t need to include very young people or very old people in your targeting options.
At this point, you might ask yourself, “Why don’t I just create a Facebook ad that directs people straight to the e-book landing page?” This is a good question. I suggest you do try this, but wait until after you have run the Facebook ad based on these six steps for at least a few days. The purpose of directing people to a blog post that then leads to an e-book offer is strategic. The blog post piques the reader’s interest, which gives them a reason to seek more information via the e-book. If you send Facebook users straight to the landing page without the blog post, they may not yet be interested enough to provide their contact information and download the e-book.
This may seem like a lot of work just to create an effective Facebook ad, but it’s worth it. By following this process, you’re not just creating a Facebook ad strategy. You’re working on many important elements needed for your marketing strategy as a whole. Here are just a few of the benefits you’ll enjoy.
Benefits of This Strategy
- Content marketing helps establish you as an authority in your industry.
- Adding content to your website strengthens its search engine optimization, which can help improve your website’s search engine rankings.
- Effective Facebook ads increase your social media following and increase the chance that your content will be shared.
- Targeted Facebook ads drive qualified traffic to your content offers, increasing your qualified leads and your opportunities to gain business.
Do you have any additional tips for implementing an effective Facebook ad strategy? Share them here in the comments section!