A few weeks ago I was involved in a workshop regarding Facebook advertising. In a previous post I’ve spoken about why I think Facebook advertising can be beneficial, but there was one particular thought which cropped up that I wanted to share with you, and that’s:
You may pay for advertising but you still have to earn your place at the Facebook table
Facebook is public but most people use it to share somewhat private information and communicate with loved ones. As such it’s not the primary place many of us choose to hear from brands.
As an advertiser you are not competing with other companies as much as personal posts. For example – your advertising could quite easily end up between a picture of a sonogram announcing a close friends pregnancy and cool photos of family on their summer holidays in sunnier climes. Therefore Facebook advertising can easily seem like an intrusion.
So the question is; how do you as a brand earn yourself an invitation to the Facebook table as opposed to being written off as an intruder?
1. Inspire by communicating your why
We all know that traditional advertising is not the purchase driver that it once was, and one of the reasons is that customers don’t want fluffy fake marketing messages, they want real and meaningful. Your brand has to be about more than selling, it’s about telling a story, one that is real and resonates with your audience, and that has to begin with why your business exists. A lot of businesses know what they do but few know why, and if you don’t understand the why, your story is always going to be flaky. Simon Sinek elaborates on this in his infamous Ted Talk on the Golden circle:
2. Leverage the power of visual story telling
Often nothing says it better and quicker than a picture, you can convey a thousand words in a single picture, this is increasingly important in our society where time poverty seems to be an epidemic.
Pictures are also a lot more emotive than words and have the ability to move people in an instant. So much of what is posted on Facebook is motivated by emotion; feelings of joy, anger, happiness and sadness, so it seems fitting that ads convey some level of emotional sentiment.
Facebook has also acknowledged the impact of imagery by recently redesigning ad formats so that all ads are centred around a key visual.
3. You’re creative should fit in, but your message should stand out
What I mean is that your ad shouldn’t look like an ad it should fit into the Facebook environment. This is the point of native advertising it shouldn’t be intrusive but instead fit into the flow of Facebook content.
And yet the message should stand out, yep I know this sounds like a bit of a contradiction but these examples from Shopify illustrate what I mean.
You can see clearly how both ads fit comfortably in a Facebook newsfeed and yet they’re interesting enough to cause you to stop and pay attention.
4. Tailor your messages to reach different audiences
When you go on a date, you don’t want to feel like the person is sorting through options, you want to know that the person is interested in you as an individual. Advertising is similar, don’t deliver one size fits all messages, tailor your message to your audience. Facebook provides numerous options for targeting your messages accordingly.
As mentioned in an article from The Guardian on the atomisation of advertising, brands need to ‘contextualise the message by atomising advertising into a series of sustainable, high quality messages that are relevant irrespective of where the consumer chooses to engage with you’.
For example, if you’re a car dealer, you might have two ads for the same car; one targeting budget conscious men, one targeting mums.
The headline targeting men might say; ‘more miles for your money’.
The headline targeting mum’s might say; ‘it’s a car but it’s as safe as houses’.
5. Test your creative and ask the following questions:
- Does it meet your objective - is the tone of voice on brand?
- Is it a compelling story?
- Does it have thumb stopping power? (i.e. is it good enough to make a Facebook user stop scrolling down their Facebook feed )
If you are using or considering Facebook advertising I hope this post helps, and for more on brand story telling I highly recommend the ebook below.