Marketing on Facebook can be a daunting and intimidating experience.
Should you “friend” your ideal clients and engage with them? Is it better to put ads in their streams? Do both?
In this article we’re going to discuss one very specific and actionable strategy to Facebook marketing. What I think you’ll like about it is that it doesn’t take hours to develop, doesn’t require you to think of funny or shareable content, and doesn’t involve racking your brain to create something “viral.”
It’s a simple and straightforward strategy that will expose your message to your ideal market and present a relevant message that drives prospects to take action.
My prediction is that once you read this article, your fears about Facebook will melt, you’ll approach the medium with more confidence, and you’ll want to jump right in!
Want a fast and easy way to get started with Facebook? Wonder if there is a successful model out there you can swipe and deploy? Read on.
The commercial lines startup — Facebook style
When Kent started his commercial lines agency, he faced several options.
He could call everyone he knew, book some appointments, and write some business. From there, he could ask for referrals. Once those dried out, he could start looking for local networking groups or associations to join to make new connections. That’s what most principals of a startup would do.
Another option would be to invest tens of thousands in expensive branding and a corporate-looking website presence, then sit back and hope it would drive business.
Or, he could attempt to poach producers from rival agencies with attractive sign-on bonuses and hope they’d bring their business over to his firm. (And that the legal problems that would no doubt ensue could be kept to a minimum.)
Kent did none of those. Instead, he turned to Facebook and used a unique technique I’m going to outline for you in glaring detail.
This strategy is so powerful that within 18 months of consistently using it, Kent’s little three-person team sold its entire book for a million dollars — cash!
Target your audience
The first step in this plan is to identify your ideal client.
In Kent’s case, the firm had a great product for apartment building owners that the market could not compete with. So, he decided to go after real-estate investors and use Facebook to target them. His first move was to find people who had had “liked” groups related to the subject (i.e., Robert Kiyosaki, Dean Graziosi, House Flipping, etc.).
In your case, you might decide to target specific ZIP codes to reach your precise target, perhaps combined with a certain level of net worth.
Let’s say your agency wants to target high-net-worth consumers who are good prospects for personal insurance or investment products.
You can target people within the city of Chicago, for example...
…who are between the ages of 45 and 65 and older.
Now, let’s look at some ways of narrowing your target even further.
You can target people by relationship status (single, married, divorced, widowed)...
…or by education level, fields of study, schools attended...or simply their number of undergrad years.
You can even target people who work at specific companies, hold specific job titles, work in particular industries or at certain kinds of offices.
And, significantly, you can look at their net worth. In this example, I chose somebody with a net worth of $100,000.
After applying sufficient narrowing criteria, you’ll have a group of people that comprise your target market.
As you continue to refine your demographics, you'll see the number of users you reach diminish. This is a good thing, because it means your ad is highly targeted.
Keep in mind, however, that when you're testing ads, you don't want to use too many different variables. Test within just one category or another, so you can determine for sure which types of ads convert best.
Next, I want to find out what type of homes my target prospects own.
I'm interested only in people with a home value of $100,000 or more.
This should be really interesting to you if you sell products tied to life events:
You can target people who have an anniversary within the next 30 days, people who are away from their family or their hometown, people who are about to start a new job (a great opportunity to review their life insurance), people starting a new relationship or engaged in the last year, three months, or six months...even people who have recently gotten married!
If you are interested in health insurance prospects, you can add a fitness and wellness component to your parameters, i.e., those who have wealth, a home, and an interest in fitness.
Then you can roll out a group of ads specifically tailored to those looking to save money on health insurance.
One of my clients on the East Coast uses shopping behavior as a criterion, targeting those who like expensive brands such as Prada, Coach, and Mercedes. Then, he creates specific ads about investing and getting better-quality coverage on home and auto.
Auto insurance selling tips
For those selling auto insurance, Facebook can be a real boon.
Did you know that Facebook integrates with DLX, a massive source of information on all of the cars in the United States? This means you can even target people who are in the market for certain vehicles!
So, let's say you want to rule out all those who are looking for an economy vehicle and reach only those in the market for a luxury automobile. Thanks to Facebook, you can do that!
You can target people who are new to car shopping. You can target by vehicle age and price. You can target people who have purchased motorcycles, if you offer that coverage. You can even target people who are receptive to online auto insurance offers.
You really can’t get more detailed than that.
The ideal budget
Believe it or not, you can get started on Facebook with an ad budget of just $5 per day. In the beginning, I recommend $20 a day just to generate a bit more traffic. But if you’d rather go slowly, start with $5 or $10. Then, as you start optimizing your ads, you can ramp up from there.
5 steps to the perfect Facebook ad
Now that you have a handle on targeting and budget, what should your advertisement look like?
A recent Rocket Fuel study showed that the following triggers helped to increase conversions.
- Don’t mention pricing. Insurance ads that don't mention price have slightly higher conversion rates (10% higher) than those that do.
- Add a face to the ad. This could be yourself or a stock photo. When used in the right way, a human face made conversions rise by 200%.
- Choose images that show the desired results. In our own tests, we found that the highest conversion rates came from showing what our product or service could help the customer achieve. So, if you're targeting investment and retirement products, you might want to show a couple in their late 50s or 60s embracing and smiling. This will tend to convert more than, say, a shot of an older couple poring over documents or looking at a laptop.
- Test Red vs. Blue. That same Rocket Fuel study showed that ads with red or blue backgrounds had a 20% higher conversion rate than those using any other color. They also had higher click-through rates.
- Use a “call to action” button. Buttons that say "Apply Now" have the highest conversion rates of all.
Where should the clicks go?
When building your Facebook campaign, it’s important to give special consideration to where you’re going to send your traffic. This might surprise you, but the worst place you can send prospects — the place with the lowest conversion level — is the home page of your website.
That’s because, in your ad, you’ve promised a specific benefit or action (i.e. get a quote, download this report, watch a video, etc.). To keep your cost-per-lead low and your ads as effective as possible, direct your traffic to a landing page where the only action they can take is the next step in the process.
You should be sending traffic directly to a quote page where they can download a report or take the next step.
Jeremiah D. Desmarais (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a 23-time award-winning financial marketer, TED Speaker and philanthropist that has been featured on Forbes, CNN, and Worth. His work has generated over two million insurance leads and helped advisors in over 51 countries. His #1 best-selling book, SHIFT: 201 Instant-Action Proven Marketing Strategies to Sell More Insurance and Financial Products Now is available at www.TheShiftNation.com.