Fifteen years on from the ‘SEO boom’, the world is still obsessed with free traffic.
The trouble is, unless you’re doing something ‘viral’ (AKA stupid), free traffic is hard to come by. Or worse, you pay for it with a truckload of time.
In the real world, nobody wakes up and decides they want to subscribe to your email list today. If you’re doing something valuable to a clearly defined group of people, you need to invest in your list. You need to pay to have your carefully selected message appear in front of them at just the right time.
Facebook and Google are the two biggest sources of paid clicks. If we look specifically at Facebook, most of the world is on Facebook, doing whatever it is that most people do. Unless you’re confined to a specific geographic location, Facebook has a limitless supply of potential customers.
Which is where things fall apart. When you look through your newsfeed, most of the ads are:
– Big corporates who don’t fully know what they’re doing
– Egotistical nonsense
Perhaps I get targeted more as a marketer (or perhaps most Facebook ads are run by marketers), but the general ad formula seems to be:
“I make $X billion a year, by working 20 seconds a day. Here’s a photo of me in my ‘office’, which contains just a Mac and a plant. Download my seven-step checklist so you can do the same…”
I practically spit on the floor when I see stuff like this. Seriously, every time Frank Kern pops up in my news feed, I want to punch him in the face.
(Oops, didn’t mean to name names. Too late…)
The annoying thing is that ads like this do work, to a degree. You will get traction by offering people magic solutions.
And yet there’s a problem. When you run ads like this, the people who respond are the ones who believe in magic formulas. You end up with a bunch of people on your list who like Frank Kern. Those people might actually buy, too. Right before they ask for a refund and hop along to the next tactic of the moment.
Fundamentally, you end up presenting a message that isn’t the real you. So the people who respond are people who resonate with the version of you they can see, not the real thing.
Down the road this only causes problems.
I want to see if I can rectify this. I’m working on a (beta) Facebook ads service, applying the same storytelling process I use in my email work, but earlier in the funnel. Same process, different output. What you end up with is a pack of 15 Facebook ads (with images) that draw on your true story.
I’ll also then manage your Facebook campaigns for a month to see what works best. (I have selfish reasons for this – I need your data!)
I’m looking for a handful of beta testers. Like, literally three or four. There is a cost, but it’s WAY lower than it will be once this is out of beta.
This also isn’t for everyone. You need to be doing something high value, transformational, and preferably to a long potential sales cycle. If you don’t have much success on AdWords, this might be for you.