When people log on to Facebook, they aren’t expecting to find solutions to their problems. Most of their problems are in the backs of their minds. They’re usually looking at what their friends are doing or what interesting articles are available for them to read – things that help them escape their current situations.
So when advertising to potential customers on Facebook, landscape business owners need to approach them differently to get them to switch from thinking about status updates to thinking about what’s happening in their lives.
What Facebook is absolutely amazing for is targeting. You can find out everything from users’ income levels and job titles to what their hobbies and interests are. This information is invaluable because you can tailor your ad copy and images to extremely specific types of people, as if you’re speaking directly to them. You can speak their language. You can speak to what resonates with them as people. This is called “market segmentation.” You can target different ads to new homeowners, small business owners and/or newlyweds.
Step 1: Organize your ads
Facebook advertising is ordered into three sections: campaigns, ad sets and ads.
Campaigns should be organized by the objective you want the ads to accomplish. For example, you might want campaigns with objectives like:
- Email subscribers
- Page likes
- Report opt-ins
Ad sets are recommended to be organized by audience. For example, let’s say you want to target self-employed freelancers who work at home. You’d want that in a different ad set than ads targeting stay-at-home moms.
Ads will be the different variations, angles and themes that you want to portray to the audience in each ad set.
Step 2: Budget for your ads
If you’re just starting out, you want to write the best possible copy for your target audience, and test and optimize as quickly as possible.
Ask yourself the following:
- How many clients per month do I want from Facebook?
- How much is a client worth to me?
For example, let’s say you want to get one client using Facebook advertising and each deal would be worth, at minimum, $5,000 (not including lifetime value or repeat business). At the maximum, you could spend $5,000 per month to get that one client before you start losing money.
Use CPC (Cost Per Click) as your bidding option. This means that you will be paying for every time someone clicks on your ad.
As far as a timeline, you should test ads for at least three months.
Step 3: Set up targeting
First, you can target your local area. It’s important to specifically target that area, since that’s where all of your customers will be. Since it’s highly unlikely as a landscaper that you’ll be changing locations (unless you have multiple locations), look into how to “save” audiences to be used for multiple ad sets and ads. It will save you a ton of time.
You can also target by specific types of people. This is where an Ideal Customer Profile would come in handy. Remember earlier how we said Facebook has tons of information on specific types of people? This is where Facebook shines. You can target homeowners who’ve been living in their house for six-plus years and have a household income of $250,000-plus from Boulder, Colorado, and speak about problems with their old home, for example.
Step 4: Write your ads
It’s important to do some preliminary research on the language and problems that your potential customers run into. A lot of this research can be done by asking your past customers why they went with you. Look for commonalities in your best customers and tailor your targeting to that type of audience. This can take some time, but it will be worth it.
There are many Facebook ads, particularly in e-commerce, that lead straight to their product pages. While this is good in certain industries, for landscapers who have multiple services, you’ll need to focus on one service at a time. Think of the rule of one: one offer to one target audience.
This just goes back to split testing every aspect of your ads, including your offer and landing pages. Think of ways you can creatively offer valuable information to potential customers. Look at this as a way of “warming” up your customers and building trust instead of going straight for the hard-sell.
Guides, PDFs and blog posts have all been used with a lot of success. Think about the problems homeowners are dealing with (problems you can help them solve) and invite them to look at your information.
Step 5: Pick your images
Images are the most important aspect of your Facebook ads. We recommend using an image that grabs attention or elicits an emotion from the viewer. Images of people have worked very well. Facebook has a free library from Shutterstock, so you’ll need to insert a relative keyword like “homeowners” and pick something that you think would resonate with your target audience. For instance, if your customers are typically young couples who have kids, use an image showing a young couple with a kid or two, etc.
Step 6: Track conversions
Facebook has a conversion tracking pixel that is meant to be installed on your “Order Confirmation” page. This is invaluable information and it is highly recommended that you do so. Read more information on how to implement pixel tracking.
Step 7: Avoid ad fatigue
What is ad fatigue? Well, if you’ve ever seen the same ad over and over again to the point where you’ve gotten sick or tired of it, you’ve experienced what is called ad fatigue. Once you find an ad that works, you’ll have to closely monitor its effectiveness, because ad fatigue can set in, and if you’re not thinking of new ways to showcase your product or service, people will get tired of it.
Step 8: Why you should split test
Split testing involves testing variations of your ads to see which performs the best. It’s typically called “A/B testing.” Split testing is the most important thing you can do when it comes to Facebook ads. When running your first campaign, you need to make at least two different ads per ad set (audience). You have to constantly split test everything to ensure that you’re getting maximum ROI.
The biggest indicator of success is sales, so even if you get a high Click-Through Rate (CTR), if it’s not contributing to sales, find out why. (Usually it has to do with your landing page or offer, since a high CTR and low number of sales is a sign that your ads are attracting them, but your landing page or offer isn’t closing them. Also, the offer could not be matching the audience.)
It’s important to note that you should be split testing one element at a time. This way you know for sure if that one element is making a real difference.
Now that you understand why split testing is important, what should you split test first? Here it is listed in order:
- Your offer
- Body text
This is just the tip of the iceberg with Facebook. They’re constantly adding new features, but this guide can get you started quickly with minimal risk.
Step 9: Nurturing leads
If you’re interested in using Facebook advertising to its fullest potential, learn how to keep in touch with leads that you receive from Facebook.
Say you get some people on the phone and they aren’t ready to buy or aren’t interested. The best way to keep in touch is to capture their phone numbers and emails and follow up with them at scheduled intervals over the next few years.
You can accomplish email follow-ups automatically using software like Mailchimp or Salesforce (more advanced).
For phone calls, you can assign that to someone on your team or hire someone to do it.
As far as what to say, use this tried-and-true email script:
“Are you still interested in [service you offer that they were interested in]?
“[Insert name and company]”
You don’t need to get fancy; get straight to the point. On the phone you can essentially say the same thing.
Another example would be if you gave them a report or a guide in exchange for their email (highly recommend you try this). You’d want to send them follow-up emails asking them for feedback and what they thought of the guide.
Then, once you get a conversation going, ask them what their upcoming plans are and what other problems they could be dealing with that weren’t addressed in the guide.