Have you ever wondered how small businesses attract leads on Facebook?
Or how some small businesses go from zero to 1,000 or more fans so quickly?
Unless you’re a world-renowned brand, it’s almost impossible to grow a small business Facebook Page organically. Especially if you’re new to online marketing.
And frankly, small businesses don’t need more casual fans. The big numbers only matter if the new fans you’re attracting are also potential leads. Your goal is to create a thriving community of people who like, participate and eventually buy what you’re selling—the kind of people I call Super Fans.
Where are they hiding? And how do you get them onto your Facebook page?
I’ll show you—and give you behind-the-scenes insights from a successful case study so you can develop your own strategy.
The Solution: Facebook Engagement Ads
If I mention “ad campaign” and “Facebook” in the same sentence, a lot of my clients feel instant overwhelm. It seems so complicated, right? And no one wants to waste money.
But if you have a brand, book or business, and a clear vision of who can benefit from it most, then you’ve already won half the battle—because the best way to attract the right audience to your Facebook Page is to target those people. And engagement ads are my weapon of choice.
Unlike other Facebook ads, engagement ads don’t send users to an external link or sales page outside of Facebook. Instead, they advertise destinations inside Facebook, like events or apps, or in the case I’ll share with you now, a custom app on your Facebook Page.
Within the ad box itself is a “Like” button. Potential fans don’t even need to visit your Page. Nor do they need to leave whatever they’re doing. They can see your ad in the right column when they are logged into Facebook or see your ad in their News Feed, and click on Like inside the ad, and instantly become a fan of your Page and start receiving your updates. Below is an example of an engagement ad:
This is a low-pressure way to hook fans with some social proof built right into it. And it works. We’ll take a look at Liz DiAlto’s actual results later in this post.
But I know what you’re thinking: with all the noise on Facebook, how do I create an ad people want to click?
3 Ways to Strategically Step Up Your Facebook Ads
Three things matter when it comes to engagement ads: targeting the right people, getting their attention, and then optimizing your actual Facebook Page. Here are three simple tips to create an effective ad:
- Get laser-focused on your ideal client. The reach and segmentation of Facebook ads is easy to control—and very, very powerful. You can choose demographics (age, location, gender, relationship status, education level), and then drill down on interests. For example, you can target people who are already fans of specific Facebook Pages (thus positioning yourself in front of your competition’s fans), target people who read certain magazines and newspapers, or even target people who list specific activities on their profiles.
- Create a compelling call-to-action. Facebook limits the characters in your headline and content, so use the space wisely. Don’t be afraid to make your potential fans uncomfortable or spark emotion. Liz taps into strong feelings in the ad above. Plenty of women want to get in better shape for the New Year, and Liz teases her audience with a solution (she’s a personal trainer) and a sense of community (other people know how I feel).
- Make a dynamic first impression. Since your wall is a place where, hopefully, there’s a lot of conversation, don’t send ad traffic (potential new fans!) there first. It’s confusing. Send them to a custom app instead . Hook ‘em by sending them to an app that shows your best stuff off and is aligned with the copy in your ad. We will get into this even more below, so stay with me!
Case Study: Liz DiAlto, Personal Trainer
Now let’s look at a real-life case study where engagement ads helped skyrocket fans, engagement and sales.
My client and good friend Liz DiAlto is a New York City-based personal trainer and nutrition coach, who also created a training program called Tighter in 10 Days. Women all over the world can access the program’s videos and use them to get healthy and fit, no matter where they are. It’s a great, scalable product.
But when I started working with Liz, she was an online marketing newbie. She wanted to use her Facebook Page as her primary platform. Unfortunately, like so many of us do, she found that putting links to her Page on her website and posting content to Facebook wasn’t cutting it.
To get the exposure she needed to make actual sales, she had to start thinking strategically—so I helped her create a Facebook engagement ad campaign that targeted her ideal clients: young to middle-aged women around the globe who expressed an interest in fitness, nutrition and getting in shape.
Quick Facebook Ad Tip
Use an ad that’s consistent with what you’re actually offering. In other words, an Engagement Ad about winning a new iPhone will definitely create buzz—but those fans won’t stick around if your updates are actually about squats and nutrition tips! Remember, a thriving community is built on people who are interested and invested in YOU, not a temporary offer or misleading ad.
Here is a great example from Liz’s campaign. It represents exactly what she offers—and delivers to her fans—every day.
But it’s also got an irresistible call to action. How many people do you know who would click “Like”?
Also, as mentioned, if users click on the LIKE link in Liz’s ad, they become instant fans of her Page, but they will stay on the page they are currently on (meaning they will not be redirected anywhere). But if users clicks the image in the ad or the ad copy, Liz takes the user to this custom app. Her goal now becomes two-fold: get the LIKE and the LEAD.
As a result of Liz’s engagement ad campaign, she’s managed to grow her audience, build her reputation and sell her program.
Since launching her engagement ad campaign, Liz has generated:
- 270 “Tighter In 10” program sales (to date)
- 1,000+ new leads (and counting)
- 2,000+ new Facebook fans (and counting)
Plus, when you grow your Page’s audience and stock it with ideal fans—the fans who advocate for you, tell their friends, interact and even buy—your Page’s engagement skyrockets. As a result, you expand your reach organically too, because all of your fans’ friends see your content whenever an existing fan engages with your Page. The results can be exponential.
Here’s an image that will help you choose the correct options inside your ads dashboard when creating your Engagement Ad.
One more word about Liz. There’s an important metric on Pages now, “[#] Talking About This,” which shows how many people are “talking” about you (i.e., liking, commenting, or sharing your stuff). Most people have only 2 to 5 percent of their Fans talking about them at any given moment. Not Liz!
Although it fluctuates, Liz’s “Talking About You” numbers have gone as high as 52% at one time. Those results are almost unheard of.
Liz achieves this because:
- She grew an audience of Super Fans with engagement ads.
- She gives those fans valuable content every single day.
- She nurtures that relationship over time.
Here are two sample posts Liz posted on her Page recently. I want to show you how she continues to add value and turn her fans into actual leads:
By providing genuine value to her fans (that’s strongly aligned with her strategic goals), Liz is able to build relationships and establish credibility with her future customers. But she would never have reached this many people, no matter how great her content was, without growing her Page’s audience first.