Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

Facebook ad fail of the week

Thursday, April 19th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Live Strong is back with a new ad this week. They’re not suggesting I’m over 40 this week, but it still seems a strange use of your advertising budget to show me this.

More advertising fails

Saturday, March 31st, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Last month, I wrote about people wasting money on advertising. I said it happens a lot: and it does. Here are two more examples I found this month.

First, here is a Google AdWords advert by Treatwell. Except the page does not work.

And here is an advert from Live Strong. The link does work: it takes you to the article on tips for women over a 40. Bear in mind that you put the targeting parameters in when you create a Facebook ad. Facebook knows I a man under 40, so they could easily exclude me from seeing an ad I obviously have no interest it.

Facebook ad fails

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Facebook ads cost money. Therefore, if you’re running them, you want to make sure they are converting. Rule one of this process is to make sure the links worth. It sounds obvious, but these people seem to have missed it.

Here is an advert by RaceCheck that produces a 404:

A funny one-off, you might think. But you would be incorrect. I see this kind of thing all the time. Here is an advert by Live To Tri that does the same thing:

By the way, if you ever wanted proof that people will interact with a Facebook post without actually clicking on it, notice that 12 people have liked an ad that does not work.

Here is another advert fail. Facebook allows us to target age. So, they know that I was not born before 1985. Why would they target someone born after 1985 with this ad?

Maybe it is some kind of clever tactic that makes people click out of anger? I’m not sure. But I didn’t click.

If you’re spending money on Facebook advertising, it is worth checking whether the links work. Otherwise, you are literally throwing money away.

Sportive Breaks ad

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 | Business & Marketing

If you are interested in great advertising, take a look at this. The best hit potential customers with a specific pain point and promise to fix it. Which is exactly what this advert from Sportive Breaks does. It was freezing this morning and I would much rather be cycling on Mallorca.

The Wizard of Ads

Saturday, August 12th, 2017 | Books

The Wizard of Ads: Turning Words into Magic and Dreamers into Millionaires is a book by Roy H. Williams.

My current series of blog posts is a clearing out and putting to bed of all the books I have half-finished. Typically, when I start a book, I finish it. But Napoleon’s Hill’s Think and Grow Rich has inspired me to give up on a bad book.

The Wizard of Ads is somewhat more interesting. But the trouble is that I have now read most of it and I am still not sure what it is about. I think it is about marketing and advertising. But the author jumps around so much that it is almost impossible to follow his chain of thought.

Indeed, there may be done. There is no real structure to the book. It is a collection of anecdotes that Williams thinks will be useful to marketers.

And they are. There is a lot of gems to be gleaned from this book. Including:

  • People are always thinking: get their attention by giving them someone more interesting.
  • Don’t train your customers to wait for a sale
  • Tell a customer what they already know or suspect. They will believe you.
  • Save people time, not money.
  • Great presentation will cause people to buy emotionally.
  • Make people feel good, don’t point out problems.

But the lack of structure of clear theme to the book making the whole thing rambling and confusing. The religious references also get tedious.

The most controversial aspect of the book is probably that Williams rejects targeting and sales it is all in the copy. This goes against what most marketers teach. Indeed, it even goes against what Gary Halbert teaches in The Boron Letters: “more than anything, give me a list of qualified buyers”.

It does have a fun title, though.

How TTP evolved their IT recruitment

Thursday, July 20th, 2017 | Life

Back in November last year, I noted that healthcare software provider Emis had started advertising at the train station. Right next door to where rival company TTP were advertising.

But Emis did a much better job of it. Their ad read:

I used to optimise gambling apps. Now I’m boosting survival odds.

Much better, in my opinion, than the patronising slogan of the TPP advert next to it:

Are you a little bit geeky?

Well, it turns out that TPP got the message (not from reading my blog, I’m sure). Because, as I walked through the train station a few weeks ago, they had replaced their long-running advert with a new one.

This one reads:

Write code. Solve problems. Save lives.

For me, this is a huge improvement over their previous ad. It doesn’t make it clear what they actually do, but it does appeal to people’s sense of wanting to do something meaningful with their lives.

Why would you advertise for people people?

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 | Business & Marketing

This is the second of two blog posts about billboards. Life does not get any more exciting than this. Read part one here.

I ran up the canal. And for a long time, there was a First Direct billboard half way up my route that said: “people people wanted”. Every week I told myself I should take a photo of it. Finally, after a month, I resolved that this would be the day. So, I ran up there, pulled out my camera and… it had gone.

However, I recently saw this advert at the train station and it will illustrate my point just as well.

The headline reads…

Good with people? Then you’ll be great with us.

In both of these instances, it could be that they are just looking to drive some recruitment there way. And to an extent, it is. But there must be far more cost-effective ways of finding people than a billboard that targets everybody. Most people have a job, for example, and don’t work in customer services.

However, these advertisements serve a secondary purpose.

They are also value signalling. Not only do they advertise for friendly customer service people but they also say to everyone who reads it “why not come and bank with us – we care about getting friendly staff on board.”

Few people are people people looking to move into a different customer services role. But everybody would like a bank with friendlier customer services.

Why optimise your Facebook ads for conversions?

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 | Business & Marketing

When creating Facebook ads, you can choose a variety of campaign objectives: website traffic, clicks, conversions, purchases, leads, page likes, the list goes on.

For most campaigns, you will be choosing between clicks and conversions. Some people have suggested it doesn’t make much difference. But my testing disagrees. We’ve seen a large amount of difference between who clicks and who converts.

The audiences are different

Over at Restaurant Psychology we have a survival checklist to help restaurants owners create a great experience. It is a pared down version of my book Why Restaurants Fail – And What To Do About It. To promote it, I launched a Facebook ad.

It’s not a fancy design. I tried fancy designs, and this converts better.

To start with, I wanted to make sure everything was working and that people responded to the advert. So I set up a campaign with the objective of clicks. The audience responded well, and we achieved around a 3% click-thru rate, which is pretty kick-ass for Facebook.

What is perhaps more interesting though, is that it was predominantly women who were clicking on the ad.

What happens when we changed the objective?

Once this was done, I set up a new campaign. This one had the objective of getting conversions. That means it was optimised for people to sign-up to get the checklist, rather than just click on the ad. Facebook went to work and found these people.

And they were different.

Despite the fact that women were more likely to click on the advert, they almost never signed up to get the checklist. They made up 62% of the clicks, but only 4% of the conversions.

What is going on here?

Facebook is very good at predicting what a user will do. Scarily good.

And it knows that, for example, women are more likely to click on my advert, while men are far more likely to sign-up when they do click on it. Therefore, it delivers the advert to a very different audience based on what campaign objective I choose.

What objective should you choose for your campaign?

What objective you pick will depend on what you want to happen. If you want clicks, choose clicks. If you want conversions, choose conversions. But make sure you know what you want before you launch the campaign because it does matter.

5 reasons your community group should NOT use Facebook ads

Saturday, March 25th, 2017 | Thoughts

You’re on the committee for a community group and you have a big event coming up. Someone suggests you should do some advertising as it would be a great chance to get some new people in. Someone else suggests “let’s do some Facebook ads”.

It is understandable why this suggestion would be made. Flyers are a massive waste of money. Plus, everyone is doing Facebook ads now. It seems like a great way to go.

It isn’t. Stop right now and make sure you can answer all of these objections before proceeding.

Your copy sucks

The art of writing sales material, known as copywriting, really is an art. It takes years to become good at copywriting. I’ve spent the last three months working on it, including buying expensive courses from some of the best copywriters around and my copy still sucks. Not just a little bit: it’s rubbish. It doesn’t convert.

And whether you are a business selling a product, or a community group selling an event, you need to convert some people into customers, even if that is only showing up to your event. Saying “oh we have this amazing event” is not enough. You need to write compelling stuff. That takes a professional.

Who are you going to target?

Facebook ads work because you can target specific people. But how will that work for your community group? The best marketers spend ages zoning in on their ideal customer, then market to them, then retarget them after they have visited their website.

Nobody has visited your website because you’re a community group, and even if they did, you don’t have a retargeting pixel on there.

So you target “people in my city”. Which is the equivalent of sending a blanket mailshot out via the Royal Mail. Most targetted direct mail gets a 1% response rate. Untargeted mail can only dream of that.

Facebook takes time to work

Facebook is very good at working out who your ads should be shown to. But this takes time. You have to spend money before it works. When I started advertising for the WAM 30-day challenge, we were paying £0.60 per click. Thre weeks later we were paying £0.15 per click. Facebook worked out who my ads should be shown to.

But that only happened after several weeks and several hundred pounds spent on ads. The first £100-200 is basically a fee you pay to Facebook so they can work out who to show the ads to. Then you start seeing results. How big is your budget? Probably less than that, right?

People don’t trust you

People are suspicious of paid advertising. They should be: a company is trying to influence them. You might think that you avoid this being a community group. But you’re wrong. You’re in a worse position.

Why? Because it is even more suspicious. ProCook follow me round the internet with adverts for their latest cookware. They know I have been on their website so they target me on Google and Facebook (and all the websites who use their ads, which is everyone). There are ProCook ads everywhere.

But at least I know what is going on here. ProCook is relentlessly targeting me because they are trying to sell me a pan. That’s the deal.

With a community group, it is a whole different ball game. What are they selling? How are they funding these ads? Is it a cult? What is their business model that allows them to run Facebook ads?

People want to discover community groups organically, either by searching for something they are interested in or because a friend told them about it. Seeing paid advertising makes it look like a religious cult or government-sponsored initiative to shift state-provided services off their books and into the hands of private individuals.

There are better things to spend the money on

Like making your events even more awesome. So that people come back. Most groups do not have a promotion problem. They have a retention problem. You only need one new person to come along each week and you have one hundred members after two years of running. But most groups are five years down the line with 20 members.

Cashvertising

Thursday, January 26th, 2017 | Books

Ca$hvertising: How to Use More than 100 Secrets of Ad-agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone is a book on marketing by Drew Eric Whitman.

In the book, Whitman has essentially boiled down the rules from the great marketing writers, the big ad agencies, and his own experience into a set of simple-to-follow rules. There are constant quotes and references to names such as Hopkins, Ogilvy and Cialdini.

Be begins with a short introduction to psychology, goes on to state the basic principles of marketing and then systematically goes through the rules he has laid down. It is accessible, implementable and fun to read.