The typical advertiser has one primary set of goals with their Facebook ads: Generate the most conversions at the lowest cost. This tunnel vision neglects the importance of traffic.
You build campaignThe campaign is the foundation of your Facebook ad. This is where you'll set an advertising objective, which defines what you want your ad to achieve. More after campaign driving people to a sales page. You target interests and lookalike audiences. You split test every possible variable. And yet, you struggle to get the results that you want.
The missing variable to your strategy: Run ads with the sole purpose of driving traffic.
I’m not talking about optimizing for link clicksThe link click metric measures all clicks on links that drive users to properties on and off of Facebook. More or landing page views when sending people to a sales page. I’m talking about spending money to send people to a high quality, no-strings-attached, helpful blog post.
This has always been the cornerstone of my Facebook ads strategy. It’s the focus of my upcoming training course on Strategic Traffic. It’s an approach that isn’t for everyone, but it makes a huge difference.
Let’s dig into the benefits of spending money on Facebook ads for the sole purpose of driving traffic to a blog post…
It’s Not For Everyone
Before we even get into this strategy, it’s important to reiterate that it’s not for everyone. It’s specifically for people with a business model at least loosely similar to mine.
If you are strictly e-commerce, this may not be relevant to you. It’s entirely possible you can make this work for you in that case, but I understand if you aren’t focused on creating blog content to support your e-commerce business.
If your product is education, coaching, or training of some kind, this is absolutely meant for you. Anyone with digital products or training.
But this could also apply to consultants and other service providers. Anyone whose product or service relies on their personal expertise.
That takes us here…
Expertise and Trust
One of the primary benefits of a blog is that it helps establish expertise. Without it, your challenge is to convince an audience that you are an expert in your field without proving it.
You run ads to a landing page hoping to sell a training product or a service. A prospective customer lands on that page and asks a simple question: Why should I trust that you can fix my problem?
There is so much snake oil out there. So many “guaranteed templates” and get-rich-quick schemes. This stuff has jaded us. We are naturally skeptical.
If you can’t prove that you are different on your landing page, you lost your potential customer. That’s what makes a blog so important.
By creating content around solutions to common problems faced by your prospective customers, you are establishing expertise. You are also separating yourself from the snake oil salesmen and building trust in a prospective customer.
Warm audiences work. They are people who have been to your website before. They know your brand. They may be repeat visitors. They may have previously purchased from you.
You can create website custom audiences based on all visitors, most time on your website, or specific events they’ve performed on your site…
Without consistent incoming website traffic, you’re going to rely almost entirely on targeting cold traffic. Convincing a skeptical buyer to purchase from you is a much tougher challenge.
If you only run ads to a product page, you can still create a remarketing audience. You’ve likely seen some limited success with it. But it’s such a small group of people that you’ll abandon that approach quickly.
Cost and Volume
The nice thing about driving traffic to a high quality, helpful blog post is the lower cost for doing so. Driving traffic to a product landing page simply costs more money. Usually, a lot more.
It’s basic psychology. As a user, are you more willing to click a link to something that will help you — without commitment — or a link that demands something from you in exchange?
The result of including traffic ads in your strategy is that you can build warm custom audiences much faster than while relying on traffic to product pages only.
Sometimes, a funny thing happens when you run ads without the goal of selling something: People buy something anyway.
This shouldn’t be how we measure the success of traffic ads, but know that these conversions will happen. They are an added benefit.
If your website is well constructed, an engaged visitor will find a reason to keep clicking. Those clicks could mean a purchase or a subscription to your email list. That subscription could mean an eventual purchase.
If You Build It, They Won’t Come
Far too often, brands put the effort into writing a blog, but they do nothing to drive people to it. If you don’t invest in ads, don’t expect anyone to read your blog.
It can mean the difference between reaching 10 people or 10,000 people per day, depending on your budgetA budget is an amount you're willing to spend on your Facebook campaigns or ad sets on a daily or lifetime basis. More. If you don’t have an established audience, people aren’t going to magically find you.
Run ads. Build an email list. Use those ads and email list to continually drive people back.
Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.
Blog Posts to Promote
If you promote every blog post that you write, understand that not every ad will be effective. It’s like anything else.
If you haven’t run ads to your blog posts before, start with your most popular posts. They were popular for a reason. Leverage that.
It’s possible you haven’t started a blog yet. Create a list of the five or 10 most common questions that you get from prospective customers. Write blog posts that address solutions to those questions.
I’ve seen first hand the difference in costs, depending on the topic. The level of passion around a topic can drastically impact your costs. I’ve driven traffic to some posts for pennies. I’ve wasted money driving traffic while spending a dollar or more per visitor.
Some of this depends on your industry. Be selective about what you pay to promote. Make sure that the post inspires a reaction and that you can provide a solution.
The Long Game
It’s easy to obsess over short-term results. We want immediate validation that what we are doing is working. But don’t neglect the long game.
The long game understands that your audience is broken up into multiple groups:
- Those ready to buy right now
- Those who may be willing to buy eventually
- Those who will never buy from you
Most advertisers completely neglect the second group. When an ad doesn’t result in a sale, it’s seen as a failure. But consider that ad as a building block. You may have given a group of people reason to consider a purchase from you in the future.
A strategy focused entirely on the immediate sale isn’t concerned about long-term customers. It isn’t about finding the best fit who will be a loyal advocate. It isn’t about avoiding refunds.
The short-term focus cares about immediate volume.
When you play the long game, you understand the buying cycle. You understand that someone who doesn’t buy from you now still has potential value to your business. They may buy from you one day. They may join your email list. They may share your content with someone else who might buy.
When you drive traffic to a blog post, you understand how the long game works. The people who visited your website yesterday won’t magically buy from you tomorrow when you run sales ads to them. You are building a bank of potential customers.
You will nurture them and continue to convince them, directly and indirectly. If they subscribe to your email list, you’ll have another way of reaching them.
My business has been around for more than eight years now. I love hearing from people who say something like, “I’ve been reading you since the beginning, but I never bought from you. I decided that it was finally time.”
I’ll be covering my specific process for driving traffic in my Strategic Traffic training course, but this is an overview of why it’s important.
Do you invest in ads that drive people to blog posts? What is your strategy?
Let me know in the comments below!