Last month, I shared with everyone that the strategy of combining “Like Incentives” with advertising campaigns is a super-successful formula for acquiring a large number of fans – but only if things are planned and executed wisely!
Even if your brand is not one of the “known entities” or social media darlings (like Coca-Cola or Old Spice), you can still grow a significant raving fan base. Part 1 of this series provided some tips for setting up your Like Incentive campaign: Clearly define strategic objectives up front; set the right tone and back it up with a long-term campaign road map; and align your landing page with those goals.
The second part of this series, in turn, will focus on best practices of constructing “Like Incentive” campaigns – namely, to define the “right fans” to fit the goals you have already established, to construct the actual incentives accordingly, and to ensure that the elements that make up your ads are aligned with the above.
Would you “Like” to jump right in?
1. Target the “right” prospects to fit your overall strategic goals
Essentially, “targeting” is the most foundational aspect of any campaign. It’s not enough to just attract eyeballs and likes. You want to ensure that they’re the right kinds of fans – those who are excited to like your page, constantly engage with your brand, subscribe to your email list, purchase your products, share your content, visit your store, etc. (whatever your goals may be). While people have written detailed volumes on targeting practices themselves (Marty Weintraub is my personal favorite!), I’m going to keep this discussion fairly high-level for simplicity.
If you are a small business consultant wishing to incentivize business owners to “like” your page to gain access to the latest, greatest search marketing strategies, make sure to keep your campaign target numbers to around 200,000 at most for the greatest effectiveness. This may involve segmenting your campaigns by vertical.
For example, let’s say your firm provides search marketing services for an array of businesses – chiropractors, in this case. You have to be very careful that when you’re pinpointing your audience, you are not marketing to those who simply LIKE chiropractors; rather, you aim to target chiropractors themselves (even better – those who own their own practices). Therefore, do some research and use the precise interest categories to find, say, chiropractic associations or journals. This allows you to truly narrow your search and can definitely help ensure you’re reaching the rightaudience with your “incentive.”
If you’re targeting small business owners in a different sort of vertical (say, the veterinary industry), this approach may still produce a large audience size (over 200K). In that case, consider using the broad categories section as a supplement to pinpointing professional veterinary associations. You can possibly further target those who are veterinarians but who also own their own practices (i.e. the decision makers regarding whether or not to use your company’s search marketing services).
2. Create an “appropriate” targeted incentive for your potential customers
The corollary statement here is – avoid offering unrelated and/or unrealistic incentives. In business terms, ask yourself, “Is the incentive I’m offering aligned with the types of people I want as customers and what their needs are? Is this incentive consistent with the types of offers we will run in the future?”
Well, sure. Everyone likes these.
I see giveaway promotions or “enter to win” contests all the time, aimed at getting “Likes” – however, many times, these ads are clearly non-targeted. The most notorious example is “Click LIKE for a chance to win a new iPAD!!!” Now, let’s consider…
If I own a chain of specialty running stores, advertising a contest to win a FREE iPad may attract a large number of new fans. But they may not be the rightfans, the types of fans who will continually engage on the page and, most importantly, visit the stores (become a customer). A better, more targeted example may be to give away an expensive, state-of-the-art running watch with GPS capabilities – a product the stores actually sell!
I’m not saying that a FREE iPad is not a draw – I would probably enter to win myself! However, if I’m not really that into the brand/company itself, once I entered, I would most definitely either drop-off (unlike!) or ignore anything from this page in the future. Several online studies have also confirmed that the “unlike rate” after promotions like these can be as high as 50%!
Also consider that incentives do not have to simply be giveaways or promotions. Rather, the value your brand provides, if offered consistently, in many different forms (e-books, webinars, infographics, tips, etc.) could represent the “draw” that attracts andcontinually engages the right customers. Companies and brands like Hubspot,Fooducate, and Kim Garst are constantly offering value in a way that can easily be viewed as incentives to LIKE (and subscribe, and buy…).
3. Ensure the your ad’s elements are in sync with your goal & incentive
Finally, once you’ve mapped out the right target and incentive, the actual ad(s) must be designed in a way that resonates with and attracts your potential audience. The headline (in the case of external landing pages), body, image, call-to-action, destination page – and the alignment of your offer with your overall goals (which we touched upon in Part 1) – must all be considered.
As mentioned previously, Sephora is a great example of goal alignment from start to finish! One featured ad campaign explicitly states the benefit (15% off exclusively for Facebook fans); the customer encounters a Like Gate and clicks LIKE to reveal the offers that were promised.
Amy Porterfield, a FB coach/trainer, is a wonderful example of someone who constantly provides value and is always giving potential fans compelling reasons why they should “LIKE” and follow her. Her ad tone, design, and copy are consistent, on message, and tied seamlessly to the landing page.
In the following example, Amy appears to be incentivizing potential customers, primarily, to opt-in via email. She addresses her audience with an engaging question; if the answer is “Yes,” browsers will hopefully follow the “Click here” call-to-action for incentives they are already told they will be getting – weekly, FREE Facebook updates.
As you can see below, the internal landing page is completely in sync with the ad – not just its look and feel, but also with its promise. Literally, what you see is what you get.
In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the importance of ensuring that the landing page is aligned with campaign goals. Amy’s primary objective was to collect emails. Though I’m sure generating a “Like” is also important to her, she did not choose to put up any sort of Like gate here – that would have been asking too much. Most likely, if people opt-in, they will probably hit “Like” anyway, especially if they are confident in the value she will provide. In some cases, companies may still ask for the LIKE (e.g. “Like Our Page” text with an arrow pointing to the LIKE button) – but putting up a gate, when the objective is to collect emails, is too much. Bravo, Amy!
In sum, targeting the right customers to match your overall goals, creating appropriate incentives for this target demographic, and aligning the ad elements with these goals are all integral steps for constructing an effective Like Incentive Ad strategy. In short,know your (potential) customers. Understand what makes them tick – and CLICK!
One of the biggest lies of social media is that if a ‘business’ builds a Facebook fan page, the fans will inevitably follow – in droves. Unless you are one of the BIG GUYS (or, my personal favorite – Boo the Dog), this just won’t happen.
Smart businesses give people really good reasons – or ‘incentives’ – to LIKE their pages. A retail chain offers frequent discount coupons through Facebook. A search marketing consultant gives away a PDF with the secrets to Google ranking success. A grocery store runs a contest for a $300 giveaway in-store. A musician provides exclusive clips of new songs to Facebook fans first. These are things any brand MUST do to grow – but your fan page won’t achieve exponentialgrowth without advertising.
Combining “Like Incentives” with advertising campaigns is a great formula for acquiring huge numbers of fans (according to Brian Carter of The Like Economy, it can convert up to 80% of visitors into fans), but only if things are planned and executed wisely.
Over the next few months, I will examine the Like Incentive ad strategy from start to finish, with this first post providing tips for setting up your Like Incentive campaign – namely, clear goals and objectives; setting the right tone and backing it up with a long-term campaign plan; and aligning your landing page with your campaign goals.
Would you“like” to get started?
1. Set clear goals up front – and plan entire ad strategy accordingly
First, it is important to ask yourself, “What is our ultimate objective?”
Perhaps you want to build your fan base, grow your email list, generate sales, etc. Let’s say you decide you want to generate as many LIKES as possible. This decision must dictate all future actions of resulting campaigns – from conceptualization to landing page. In the end, every step of the ad strategy should be aligned with this overall goal.
Sephora is a well-documented success story for building a fan base with Like Incentive ads. As you can see, the below ad explicitly states the benefit someone will receive by clicking LIKE (15% off exclusively for Facebook fans). The ad directs the customer to a custom landing page – in this case, a “Like Gate.” All the customer has to do is click LIKE to unlock the exclusive offers on the “Reveal Page.” Pretty straightforward – great alignment from start to finish!
It is important to note that Sephora did not ask for anything else at this stage besides the LIKE. The goal was to bring in new fans – NOT to collect emails, at this point.
Many companies run into trouble when they ask for too much up front from potential fans. They push the limit – asking for the LIKE… and THEN the email, both before providing the value. You may think the value customers will receive exceeds the “lesser” expense of making them take an EXTRA step in the redemption process. However, I argue that it is better NOT to risk alienating the customer altogether. If you want the LIKE, then don’t try to get the email. Ultimately, you cannot maximize campaign successes if you have conflicting strategic goals.
2. Set the right tone with your ad and make a plan to back it up
Before launching a Like Incentive campaign designed to grow your fan base, it is important to consider the effect of your ad(s) – and the actual offering – on customerexpectations moving forward.
For instance, let’s say you’re a donut shop striving to entice new fans. You’re offering a dozen free donuts (ok, so this is my own little dream world now!) as an incentive for LIKING the page.
If you were planning on making this a one-time deal, think again! If this type of incentive is what drew new fans in, now they likely have high expectations that you will continue to run such offers in the future. NOT doing so will only get customers’ hopes up and is a sure-fire way to turn off your new “fans.”
However, if your company does plan on running consistent offers, you should set up and build your Like Incentive campaigns into a promotional calendar for efficient organization and communication. This way, any future events or offers could be scheduled – and your advertising efforts will be dictated by this pre-launch set-up.
Again, Sephora offers a FanFridays page that highlights exclusive deals every TGIF. If you wanted to do something similar, you could schedule your offers and build your ad campaigns to drive new fan growth every week, etc. (You could even promote the offer to existing fans for less money! But that’s another strategy for another post).
3. Ensure ad landing page is aligned with campaign goal
If your company seeks to increase LIKES through incentive ads, the landing page should be constructed with that goal in mind. For example, the Sephora example above set up a Like Gate that, once clicked, opened up a Reveal Page with the exclusive discounts the original ad promised. Super!
Reveal pages like this are great ways to spur people to LIKE your page. The greater the incentive offered, the greater the chances of “conversion” to LIKE. According to allfacebook.com, “By implementing the reveal tab, you’ve effectively cut your cost of Facebook advertising in half.”
However, a Like Gate and Reveal landing pages must be properly executed. Again, this tip is very closely tied to the importance of goal-setting mentioned in tip #1, above.
Let’s say a local restaurant chain ran a LIKE incentive AD, taking people to a Like Gate. The promise is that the person will receive a free coupon for an appetizer IF s/he LIKES the page….
However, what customers encountered next was an email form, requiring a full name and email address – NOT the promised free appetizer coupon….
If the ad itself promised a deal after a LIKE, no one will be really happy. The customer has to take an extra “required” step to receive what s/he was promised after the initial LIKE. Here, the restaurant is trying to do too much on the back end, which does not optimally support its goals (getting good likes) on the front end (i.e. consider customer unlikes or future disengagement).
A better option in this format would have been to “reveal” a printable coupon (or link to coupon), after the LIKE.
If the restaurant’s goal is really to collect email addresses, this will alter the entire campaign strategy. (In my next blog, I will compare how to design actual incentive ads with your unique goals in mind – and highlight the mistakes to avoid!)
In sum, defining objectives up front, setting the right tone throughout the campaign series, and aligning implementation with strategy from start to finish are all crucial steps to setting up an effective Like Incentive Ad strategy.
Stay tuned to learn how to build your Like Incentive campaigns (Part 2) and how to quantify and measure your successes (Part 3). Thanks! Leave comments!
Google announced a new feature rolling out to U.S., English-speaking users on desktop, tablet and smartphone that makes Google act as your personal virtual assistant. Yes, you don’t have to type, you can even talk to it.
Google will now answer personal questions such as searching for your upcoming flights, reservations, package delivery info, appointments, photos from your album and more. Google calls this My Answers.
The feature is not live for me yet but here are some screen shots showing off what it can do.
Photos I’ve Uploaded:
How does it work:
- Flights: Ask Google “Is my flight on time?” to get info on your upcoming flights and live status on your current flights.
- Reservations: Ask for “my reservations” to see your dining plans or “my hotel” to get your hotel name and address. With one tap, you can get driving or public transit directions straight there, saving you lots of steps.
- Purchases: Ask for “my purchases,” and you’ll get the status of your current orders, so you know whether your mom’s birthday present will arrive on time.
- Plans: Ask Google “What are my plans for tomorrow?” to see a summary of upcoming flights, hotels, restaurant reservations and events—very useful when you’re traveling.
- Photos: Say “Show me my photos from Thailand” to see the photos you uploaded to Google+. You can also ask for “my photos of sunsets” if you want to show off the shots you’ve taken over the year; Google will try to automatically recognize the type of photo you’re asking for.
This is a feature Google has had with Google Now for a while now and reminds people it is secure and can be turned off if it is not wanted.
Here are some FAQs:
(Q) Who can see these results?
(A) As mentioned above, this information is just for you—secure, via encrypted connection, and visible only to you when you’re signed in to Google.
(Q) How do I see these results?
(A) Right now, we have a few time savers for flights, reservations, purchases, plans and photos. Check out this site for more details on how to make the most of them.
(Q) I can’t see these results. Why?
(A) These results are only available in the United States while searching on Google.com with English as the display language. If this matches your configuration, and you’re still not receiving results, please let us know below what type of result you were looking for, the company or service provider, and the query you used.
(Q) How do I opt out?
(A) To turn it off for one set of searches, click the toggle in the upper right corner. To turn it off for good, simply disable “Private results” at google.com/preferences.