Social media is arguably one of the most effective ways to quickly launch a business. Compared to advertising mediums of previous generations, online advertising carries the benefit of instant, measurable results, making it easy to scale faster than ever before.
Coupled with how incredibly cheap it is to get your advertisements in front of hungry buyers, you would be naive not to dip your toes in the water of online marketing.
Unfortunately, given the speed at which technology progresses, it’s no surprise that small business owners of prior generations get left behind, unable to keep up with the innovations of new platforms.
Today, I talked to Shipway and picked his brain to discover how small business owners can leverage the power of Facebook to expeditiously increase their sales.
Under Shipway’s belt is real-world experience in the field of growing his own company, Enhanced Home Cleaning. After enduring the trials and tribulations of being an in-the-trenches business owner, it’s safe to say that he can be a great help to those less experienced.
Within 6 months of starting Enhanced Home Cleaning, Shipway had created a six-figure revenue stream, a feat made possible by his carefully formulated Facebook advertising strategies and systematized processes.
Now, the Direct Results Local founder is committed to helping other business owners achieve similar success by utilizing innovative, cost-effective marketing solutions.
Here are 7 pieces of advice Jason assembled for small business owners who want to master low-cost Facebook advertising:
1. Pattern Disruption
Facebook users have short attention spans, making it difficult to successfully hook readers with your advertisements. When a prospect is scrolling through their newsfeed, if your ad doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb, you won’t get noticed.
To circumvent this, you must invoke readers’ curiosity with vibrant, contrasting pictures or video, coupled with a strong “call-out” headline. If you are a chiropractor, the headline “Book an Appointment With Your Local Chiropractor Today” will not work as well as “ATTENTION BACK PAIN SUFFERERS: Discover How To Finally Free Yourself From Pain Today By Booking A 30-Minute Spinal Discovery Session At”.
Calling out to a specific person and appealing to their hottest pain points will grip their attention and compel them to read every word of your copy. Paired with an eye-catching picture or video, the likelihood of your advertisement being read by your target audience becomes considerably higher.
2. Leverage Your Local Groups
Community buy-and-sell, bidding, discussion, and noticeboard groups are by far the most underrated advertising space for locally owned businesses. I was able to generate thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of free business for myself and my consulting clients by leveraging the wide reach of these mediums.
A huge advantage of this is that typically, people browsing these groups have lower “defense walls” and will become warmer responders to your advertising because it is not framed as a Facebook sponsored post interrupting their browsing experience. Just remember to read the rules for business-related posts in local groups before you let loose in them.
3. Find Winning Creatives
I’m sure you’ve suffered the pain of devoting hours to crafting what you think is the perfect advertisement, only to realize after hundreds of dollars in ad-spend that it’s a failure. Finding the ads which will garner the greatest response can take a lot of time and money if done incorrectly. Here’s a great money-saving tip — using the power of your local groups, begin to repost content from your business page’s newsfeed, and not only will you get a large, consistent reach for free, but you will be able to view your engagement rates, clicks, impressions (views), and more. From there, you simply need to take the best-performing posts and turn those into paid ads.
My biggest pet peeve is when I come across a compelling advertisement or post, only to find no call-to-action (CTA). Even when not selling a product, I am constantly providing a CTA to increase the responsiveness of my marketing and to track results. It could be as simple as asking someone to share a post, sign up for your newsletter, or the all-important CTA of asking for a sale.
You would be shocked at how many advertisements are blatantly selling a product, yet offer no direction to purchase. TV, radio, and newspaper ads are repeat offenders of this, often using up all of their air time or ad space to show off their product, but provide no CTA.
No matter how interested someone is in what you’re selling, failing to provide a CTA will almost always result in a lower response rate due to the fact that consumers are lazy and don’t enjoy going through unnecessary hurdles to reach their end goal.
Always map out your goal for each advertisement by starting with the CTA. For example, if your goal is to achieve website clicks, brainstorm ways to attract your reader to click by means of curiosity, a free offer, fear, greed, or a solution to a relevant problem. If you want a reader to like and share your post, figure out what the post must contain in order for you to succeed in asking for such engagement.
5. Provide Value Before You Sell
As you may already know, asking for a sale on your first point of contact with a customer is one of the easiest ways to kill a potential buying relationship. Many consumers need to be warmed up or “qualified” to your product or service before they are ready to buy, in fact, many sources will tell you that it takes roughly seven points of contact before a prospect is ready to convert into a customer.
Consumers are sometimes skeptical, confused, hurt, worried, and doubtful. And it’s your job as the marketer of your business to slowly build a relationship with prospects by providing value and more points of contact in the form of free information, solutions to their problems, value-adds, lead magnets, follow-up emails, and SMS sequences, and more.
6. Control Your Herd
Facebook’s rules and algorithms are always subject to controversial changes which could see your business plummet overnight. For this reason, your goal should always be to convert your Facebook audience into your own by collecting your followers’ contact information and storing them in a database. From there, you can make offers to your list without the risk of social media sites like Facebook shutting you down or changing the rules of the game.
The reason international brands such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Nike are wildly successful is that they are unavoidable. It’s hard to drive for more than ten minutes in one direction without coming across a McDonald’s restaurant or advertisement. Certainly, with a generous marketing budget provided by a venture capital firm, I’m sure you would be able to achieve a similar position, but I will write under the assumption that you’re like me: a small business owner lacking millions of dollars to waste on gimmicky advertising.
Luckily for us, it’s easy to become omnipresent within our local area thanks to the power of Facebook. Taking what you now know about free group advertising, you can combine this leveraged traffic with paid ads and retargeting campaigns to show up everywhere your dream customers are congregating, multiple times over, all the while spending significantly less on your marketing in your area than businesses that are wasting thousands of dollars on poor TV, radio, and print advertising.
For small business owners, mastering Facebook advertising doesn’t need to be a monumental task, and according to Shipway, businesses in any industry can achieve rapid success by leveraging its platform with some of the insights he has shared.
A special thanks to Jason Shipway. If you’d like to see more from this insightful entrepreneur, follow him on Instagram.