We live in an exciting time if you have a product or a service. With social media and targeted digital advertising, you can easily push your product or service with a click and see results. It's amazing.
But if you want to get the most out of your ad spend, you have to break free from the old classic rule in advertising: "Be the loudest voice in the room." It's tempting. I know. You've got a great looking product and a sale that is unheard of. I mean, 30% off!? Who wouldn't be spazzing out when they see that?
Before you launch your next social media campaign, let's look at three simple tips to make sure you get the most out of your hard earned advertising budget.
Tip #1: Give VALUE, not INFO.
It's counter intuitive, sure. Already I can feel your trust in me slipping away. You've spent years developing the product, countless dollars on photoshoots, hired the best agency in the universe to make everything and everyone look shiny. You must lead with the shiny things, right? Well, no. Not here. Have you ever been to a dinner party and someone at the table with horrible tact blurts out strange things and constantly changes the conversation so that it might whirl around their narcissistic views on life and politics? Yes. You have. This is what your 30% off sale sounds like on social media. It's weird.
Instead, lead with something that will help the person you're trying to reach. Lead with something that will be a clue to solving their problem. Lead with something that will add fuel to their passions (more on that later.)
Let's say that you're an educational software company. Your temptation will be to post: "Turn your kid into a math wiz in 90 days! Get started for free."
It's nice. There's a picture of the kid that will be a math genius. There's your nice looking logo. Compelling, really.
But it's too focused on the info that you want to get out. Instead try, "Five ways to make math feel like playtime for your kids." And post content (blog, video, book) that truly shows useful ways that a parent can engage their child with math and get them excited about learning.
I PROMISE you, if you go that route and the parent finds it to be helpful, they will thank you and search out your product. Why? Because you lead with value.
Tip #2: Join the CONVERSATION.
This one is simple. If you pulled back the curtain, there are most likely a ton of conversations spinning around the thing you're selling. If you sell running shoes, it might be that these social conversations will rarely mention your brand. But conversations around running? Those conversations are happening by the droves. So how do you join these conversations? Well, think back to the dinner party that I mentioned before. How do good conversations usually go? Somebody asks an intriguing question. Another person replies with an intriguing answer. Then another person joins in with a personal story or account.
"Hey did you hear about the legalization of weed in Michigan?" "I did! I wonder what that will mean for area businesses?" (Third person..) "My cousin lives in Denver and he says the economy has never been better."
This conversation just got interesting. It was kind of interesting to begin with, but now we have a real story from somebody who has a first hand experience. Who knows where this convo will go? I'm sure that the people at the table will have juicy opinions, bring things they've read into the conversation, and maybe there will even be a heated argument. Fun.
So for our running example you might lead with "Amy Bell ran the most difficult marathon of her life. Hear her story." Then the link would lead them to read the story or, even better, watch the story. And next time the running club of Middleton West Virginia gets together they will add, "Hey. Did you guys hear about that lady that ran a marathon after a severe car wreck that left her blind? Amazing story. I'll send it to you."
Bloop. That was the sound of your running shoe company getting likes.
Tip #3: FUEL FOR THE FLAME.
Here's the point. People are passionate about stuff. Even more so on social media. If they are mildly passionate about golf, they are massively passionate about golf on their instagram account. This is where they post the views from their favorite 18 hole course. This is where they put an image of their new clubs, their amazing golf outings, their cool golf outfits. It’s projection at it’s finest. So if you're a travel agency, you might fan the flame like this: "See the ten best golf vacations in the world." And in the link you share a video or a post about these amazing locations, why they're great for golfers, and what to pack. A sale on a Bermuda trip won't fan the flame, but captivating their imagination and causing a daydream of golfing lush greens off the coast of Scotland will.
As tempting as it might be to post your TV ad that notifies people that your mattress company is liquidating and your doorbuster sale is too good to miss, consider holding off and posting something like "How to sleep better." And of course the last tip in the article will mention finding the right mattress. Which of course will lead them to the doorbuster. Which of course will lead them to the right mattress and a better night's rest.
Nice work. Here’s to your promotion.