Over the last few years, we've spent 10's of thousands of dollars on Facebook advertising. To be completely honest most of that was a waste of money. But it was our fault, not Facebook's. That's not a huge budget but we are a small company and could easily have spent it in better ways like improving the software for our existing customers.
Unfortunately, without attracting new customers to grow revenue there isn't much point putting money into the software itself. Sooner or later, we'd just run out.
The only good thing to come from most of that ad spend was the lessons I've learned from the mistakes I made.
Facebook advertising can get complicated but if you approach it with a good strategy you should be able to make it work for you.
After years of trying, we are just starting to get the hang of it.
Almost every coach I've ever spoken to about Facebook advertising have had terrible results and have spent more on the ads than they've earned from them in sales. A negative return on investment.
What's the number one reason Facebook ads don't work for coaches?
Because you haven't built a relationship with your potential customers first before asking them for money.
If your customers don't know, like and trust you they won't buy from you. People have lot's of choice so they will buy from those that they have a relationship with not from those that their first exposure to is being asked to enter their credit card details.
Here at Training Tilt 95% of our Facebook ad spend goes directly towards building a relationship with our potential customers. We don't currently have any ads running that promote our actual paid products and services. All of our current ads just promote content we've created that we think will help our target customers (endurance coaches) with their business regardless of whether they are using our software. We do also sometimes run ads directly for our our paid tools but those are just complimentary to the other ads and often further down the sales funnel after first building trust.
After finishing this post we'll pay Facebook to promote it to our target audience in the hope that it will be helpful to them. You may have even come to this page from a promoted Facebook post. If this is the first time you've come to our site, I don't expect you to signup for anything. You may well do so but it's highly unlikely. Studies show that consumers may need to be exposed to a product up to 12 times before they actually make a purchase decision.
The most I could hope for is that you signup to our free marketing course using the form under the blog, but even that is unlikely at this early stage. Maybe on the 3rd or 4th visit, you might feel comfortable enough with us (and me) to do that. Even that is just another opportunity to help you with something you might be struggling with. Although some of the topics in the course are easier to accomplish by using our software you can apply all the lessons to your business totally independent of us. There is no catch or paywall you'll run into before you get to the best bits. During the course, I hope you'll get to know me a bit and maybe even trust and like me.
Maybe we should call this "Relationship Marketing" but I just like the idea of being "known, liked and trusted" better.
The key to this sort of marketing is not to have any expectations about sales. The goal is to reach the right audience and give them something of value that makes some improvement in their day/week/life. If you can do that you're winning. As long as you've created the right products and services that would actually help the people that could be your customers.
There is a book that talks about this strategy by Gary Vaynerchuk. It's called "jab, jab, jab right hook"
Gary himself admits that because of the name of the book a lot of people have misinterpreted the message (unless they've read it) and he has suggested a more fitting name (although less impressive) is "give, give, give - ask".
Give as much help as you realistically can without expectation of anything in return. Then just ask your audience to be a customer. If your products and services are well matched to your audience then that simply becomes a win-win situation. You help them again but this time in exchange for money.
Because your audience has already received so much value from you and knows likes and trusts you, it won't be a difficult decision for them to make a purchase (assuming your products and services are actually a good match for them).
So how do you use Facebook advertising for relationship marketing?
Before you start, make sure you have your Facebook pixel running on your website. If you don't know how to do that just Google it in relation to your website platform e.g "How to setup Facebook pixel on WordPress". If you are already a Training Tilt coach then you can follow this guide.
1. Create about 7-10 great pieces of content that would help your ideal customers.
2. Take some of your best content, maybe 1-2 items and post the links to your Facebook page. Then boost them or create Facebook ads that send people to the content. Actually, don't boost them, use the ads manager instead so you can do better targeting like in this post I recently wrote. If you just use the boost button the targeting options are just too limiting.
Use targeting to advertise to an audience that is a good fit for your products and services. At this point, you need to know very specifically who your ideal customers are. Figuring out who your customers should be is covered in the marketing course you can sign up to at the bottom of this page. #bottomofpage
3. Create a custom Facebook audience from everyone that has visited any page on your website.
4. Post the links to the rest of your content to Facebook and create Facebook ads to send people the content on your website. This time use your custom audience you created in step 3 for your Facebook targeting. This will mean that your ads will only be shown to people who've already been to your website. This will keep your ad spend right down and will expose your audience to multiple pieces of your content.
Advanced tip: If you created a custom audience for each piece of content then exclude that custom audience from seeing the ads for the content they've already been to on your website. This will both keep your spend down and you won't annoy people by showing them ads for content they've already seen.
5. At the bottom of each piece of content on your website place a call to action (CTA). A CTA is just a simple statement about the benefits of one of your products or services with a button to take them to the sales page. As well as a call to action you could also mention your product or service and a link inside the content itself. Only do this if the product or service is tightly related to the content though so it feels natural.
6. Make sure you are tracking conversions of your Facebook ads on your payment pages on your website. If you have a Training Tilt website and you have your pixel installed then this will happen automatically as described here. You just need to make sure you use the correct conversion event in most cases the "Purchase" standard event will work.
If you get stuck with any of this, please reach out to me and I can help with the details.
Word of warning, like most things in life this strategy requires patience and time. Dont'expect to get fast easy results. Building relationships is a long game, but well worth it.
Take our Free "Authentic" Marketing Course for Coaches
Designed for endurance sport coaches. Marketing doesn't need to be pushy. The best marketing simply creates a win-win relationship between you and your customers. Take the simple 6 part course to learn more.