If there’s one question I get over and over again, it’s “Why aren’t my Facebook Ads working?”. I’m regularly approached by people who, in order to grow their business, have funnelled most of their money and efforts into their ad campaigns. They view their ads as a kind of ‘silver bullet’; a wonder solution that will magically bring in the returns they’re looking for, which is inevitably doomed to fail. They’ve created shiny, beautiful ads that really show off their products, but underneath the surface, things are not what they seem. Their social media is poorly managed and producing low engagement, the website is badly designed, and their email marketing campaign, if they have one at all, needs some serious work.
Sound familiar? If so, don’t worry, it’s very, very common! The thing is, building a successful ecom business is like building a house. Your paid ads are the beautiful furnishings that draw in visitors, but without your house being built on solid foundations, it’s always going to collapse.
So, how do we fix this? As cliche as it may seem, you need to strip your business back to basics. Audience is everything, and without developing a receptive one, you have no touchpoint for successful ads, rendering them a waste of time and money that won’t produce the return you’re looking for. When it comes to how to create this audience, the Build, Buy and Borrow framework can be a great way to simplify the process. Businesses can either build a gradual organic following, buy followers and use paid traffic, or work with influencers to get their product in front of a larger audience, and all three of these elements must combine in order to create a perfect storm which will help you see some serious business growth. 👊
So where should you begin with developing your audience? Here are some of my top tips:
- Post Consistently
One of the most effective ways to build an organic audience for your brand is to make sure you’re on point with your posts! Updating social media channels consistently will assure that your brand stays relevant, and providing regular content that is interesting and has real value will create a loyal, engaged customer base. Even something as simple as uploading an Instagram story to show a behind the scenes of your company’s working culture will make a massive difference in creating an affinity with your brand, and providing helpful tips and articles will also mean that customers will return to your brand as an expert source of information. A great example of a company that really nails this is Lush Cosmetics, who regularly fill their instagram with informative videos about the properties of their ingredients, fun interviews with their staff, and attractive product videos.
When it comes to consistency, it’s important to apply the same rules to your website! It’s no good filling your Facebook and Instagram with quality content, but having an outdated, clunky website that customers aren’t going to want to browse. Remember that regularly updating product pages, making sure your website looks attractive and loads quickly, and carrying out regular testing for broken links makes a huge difference for the customer experience! 🙌
- Don’t Be Afraid to Approach Influencers
If you aren’t taking advantage of influencers and borrowing their huge followings, you’re seriously missing a trick! Although you do hear horror stories of larger influencers being difficult to work with demanding sky high prices, utilising micro-influencers can be a fantastic way to expose your brand to a whole new audience who might not have discovered you otherwise, and getting some fantastic content in the process. Micro-influencers’ audiences are often incredibly engaged and will regularly buy the products that they are promoted, and the influencer often charge either no fee or a very small one for their services, meaning you’re really getting your money’s worth.
You can really see the benefit of using influencer marketing with the meteoric rise of Minky Cloths thanks to Sophie Hinchliffe of @mrshinchhome. Minky Cloths prior to 2018 were an unheard of brand of cleaning supplies, but after being so often promoted by Sophie on her 2.3 million followers cleaning instagram channel, they now sell out within four minutes on their website, and their products are resold on Ebay for a huge markup, and this growth was completely due to the benefit of Sophie’s huge audience.
- Email Marketing Matters!
It always shocks me how many huge brands aren’t making the most of email marketing when it’s arguably one of the best ways to of leading potential customers into your funnel. Whether you’re using it as a way to nurture your leads, or as a way of retargeting previous customers who didn’t finish their purchase, maintaining frequent contact with your audience is essential for building engagement and ensuring your brand is memorable.
Tools like MailChimp and Klaviyo, among many others, are fantastic ways of creating professional email templates that will not only be very visually appealing, but will also encourage higher click through and open rates from readers, which in turn should convert those readers into customers. People can often dismiss email marketing and cold emails as an “old school” way of marketing, but the effectiveness of a personalised message sent directly to a customer’s inbox shouldn’t be underestimated.
When you have your basics in check, THEN it’s time to kill it with some fantastic ads. 👏
Any more tips to share? Feel free to leave a comment so we can chat! You can also check out my original Facebook live video on this subject here
And as always, please do go ahead and join my FREE Facebook group, Ads For Success for more advice on more just like this.