Why Your Ads Will Fail Without Them
Remember when your email list was the most important audience your business could possibly build?
Yeah, that ship has officially sailed. Don’t get me wrong - your list is still a terribly powerful audience if you keep it clean and engaging.
The problem is that growing your list today is not the cakewalk it used to be. It’s never been harder to get a real, live human to give you their email address. Why is that, anyway? It’s because we’ve been burned too many times by crappy funnels and now we’re thoroughly jaded. Gone are the days of slapping up a free PDF or webinar and watching those subscriptions roll in.
It CAN be done, sure, but it’s going to take some serious creativity, time, and effort on your part. And after all that, many of you will still be looking at a paltry open rate that likely won’t seem worth it. Luckily for all of us, building potent digital audiences has evolved WAY past the email list.
But, first, let’s talk about what a digital audience actually is and what it’s for. Simply put, your digital audience is the group of people who have interacted with your brand in one of several ways within the past year.
· Visited your website
· Engaged with any of your posts or ads on social media
· Watched any percent of your videos
· Responded to an event on Facebook
· Your email list - yep! It’s still on the list, but it’s just one part of it all
Your digital audience matters for the same reason that your email list mattered so much for so long. Because selling to strangers is insanely difficult. Online, just as in person, people buy from you when they know and trust you. At the very least, they will need to have heard of you before, dig?
Tracking your digital audiences is now essential to the future of your business. It is the most reliable way to communicate to the people who love your brand - or are likely to - on a regular basis. That is what the world now calls ‘Remarketing.’ It’s how when you look at a book on Amazon, you then see an ad for it when you log into Facebook.
In our fast-paced digital spaces, that kind of repetition has become crucial. In the age of Google ads, we had to wait for a user to ask the internet “the right” question to be served our ad. Today, you can meet your audience wherever they are - reinforcing and even anticipating their interest in your brand.
And the simplest, most intuitive way to create and manage those audiences is in Facebook. For one, it’s by far the most popular social platform. 66% of all Americans use it every day. Every day. And those that don’t are likely to be found on Instagram which, yep, is owned by Facebook.
More importantly, though, Facebook follows ALL the data. It’s the largest, most sophisticated aggregated database on the planet - with no signs of slowing - and each of us has access to it!
All that audience magic happens in Ads Manager - in two places designed specifically for the purpose of helping you build and understand them: Audiences (Assets, if you use Facebook Business Manager), and Audience Insights.
In Audiences, you’ll find the options abound for building your new data empire. Here’s just a quick breakdown of how deep that rabbit hole goes.
· Website Traffic Create and track groups of people who:
· Visit any page of your website or a specific page(s)
· Spend a specified amount of time on any page or specific pages
· Engage with your website within a certain time frame (choose between 1 and 180 days).
· Social Media Engagement Create and track groups of people who:
· Like, Comment on, or Share any post or ad from your Facebook page or Instagram profile
· Engage in any way with you on these platforms in the past 1 - 365 days.
· Video Engagement Create and track groups of people who watch any designated percentage of any - or all - your videos - on Facebook or Instagram in the past 1-365 days. Pro tip: Regular Facebook Lives will increase the audience ridiculously quickly!
· Event Engagement Create and track groups of people who indicated they were either interested or going to one - or all - of your hosted events on Facebook anytime within the past year
Email List Upload your current mailing list and watch as Facebook matches the emails to Facebook Users.
This is, of course, just the beginning. And the chief objective here is to GROW these audiences, continually feed them, and keep them current. There’s a reason the shelf life on the tracking is NOT eternal - just like with your email list subscribers, you’ll want to make keeping these audiences engaged a priority.
To grow your audiences, you’ll want to run at least one evergreen ad to people who are NOT in these groups. Make sure it’s a no-ask ad. You’re just looking for them to indicate interest or engage. Then they enter your Remarketing.
When it comes time to begin ads that SELL your products or services, serve them up to your Remarketing Audiences. A minimum of 80% of ad-derived sales will come from these groups!
Once they’ve grown large enough - over 1,000 users in each category - you can then go into Audience Insights and learn more than you could ever imagine about the people who are highly engaged with your brand right now. From household income (in the US) to what car they drive and how much they spend on pastries each year.
Feeling overwhelmed already? Worry not, intrepid audience-builders. I’ve got a 5-section video guide to beginning audience building right here. And NOPE, you don’t have to give me your email address to get it.
MASTER FACEBOOK AD SPECIALIST
Cut-up. Mother of Two. CrossFitter. Wine lover. Word Geek. That Smarty Pants PhD Friend You Keep On Speed Dial. FB Ads Specialist Lara distills the ocean of social media marketing into perfect, high-octane shots of goodness for your business. In English. So you can be human online. Every day. Speak Human, Win The Internet.