How to Build a Brand From Scratch With the Help of Facebook

Build a Brand from Scratch Using Facebook Passion Pages

One of the primary challenges marketers face is building quick traction for a new brand.

An established brand has it easy. They can target current Facebook fans, website visitors, customers and email subscribers. These people all know the brand, so they’re likely to engage positively.

But if you don’t have any of these things, how do you build a brand? In this post I’ll break down the challenge as well as the simple steps I recommend brands taking to build a highly relevant audience quickly using Facebook.

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The Challenge

If you hop onto Facebook looking to promote a new brand, you’ve got nothing to work with. While I will want you to immediately start building the top of your funnel, that is going to be slow moving.

Why? Because even if you offer helpful, educational or entertaining content, people are less likely to interact with it if it’s coming from a brand — particularly one they don’t know. So costs will be high early.

Ideally, you’d have some sort of built in audience around passionate people for a related subject matter. And in that ideal world, you could start sharing your content to this warmed up audience, driving them to your website.

1. Build a Passion Page

People may not be eager to interact with a brand’s Facebook page — particularly a brand they don’t know — but you may be surprised by how enthusiastic users are about engaging around a passion.

Create a Facebook page around a passion relevant to your brand or product. If your brand is a new micro brewery, create a “People Who Love Micro Brews” page — or something less corny. The main point is that it’s very general and is not connected to a single brand.

If you break down the “microbrewery” interest within Audience Insights, you’ll get the following list of relevant page likes:

Micro Brewery Facebook Interests

After experimenting to find out which show up with interests, I then end up with the following pages that all have one or several related interests I can target in an ad:

  • Goose Island Beer Co
  • New Belgium Brewing
  • Anchor Brewing Company
  • Samuel Adams
  • Widmer Brothers Brewing
  • Stella Artois
  • Dogfish Head Beer
  • Shock Top
  • Stone Brewing Co.
  • Blue Moon Brewing Company
  • Dos Equis
  • Oskar Blues Brewery
  • Founders Brewing Co.
  • Newcastle Brown Ale

You could use this information to immediately try to build your brand page or drive traffic to your website. Just remember that this may be more expensive than you’d like.

Instead, run ads to promote that passion page for micro brew lovers. Focus on the love of micro brews instead of your brand (ignore your brand). This audience can be built very inexpensively because users will be far more willing to like a page associated with a relevant passion than with a brand they don’t know.

2. Share to the Passion Page

Hopefully you’ve been sharing interesting content for this audience while it’s been growing. They are engaged. They are eating from your hand.

Now it’s time to share a blog post from your brand website. Let’s start with a blog post that remains focused on the passion and less on the brand. It could be a list of the best micro brews, how to brew your own beer or something else related.

If you built your audience appropriately, you should see some pretty amazing results. Not only will reach be sky high (you are reaching people who want to see your content!), but the engagement and traffic you drive should come easily.

Repeat this several times. Your goal is to drive traffic to your brand site with relevant information that this audience will enjoy. While they’re there, they will now become more and more aware of your brand.

While organic results will be excellent, you should also promote these posts. Start first by promoting to the same interests you used for building your fan base as well as targeting fans. You should see Cost Per Website Click at extremely low rates.

3. Remarket to New Website Visitors

Okay, so now it’s time to find out just how valuable this new audience is!

You have been sharing blog posts from your brand’s website to the passion page and promoting those posts as well. In the meantime, you should have installed a Website Custom Audience pixel on your site and you should be building WCAs for all website visitors during the past 180 days.

Now that you have this audience building, it’s time for the good stuff. Run ads for your brand that target your website visitors for the following objectives:

  • Page likes for your brand page
  • Opt-ins for your brand
  • Drive traffic for your brand
  • Sales for your brand

You should also continue to promote blog posts for the passion page, but now also target your website visitors.

Real Life Example

I executed this same process for a project of mine. As you may know, I have a passion for baseball. I also have three boys who play baseball, and I coach their teams.

Back in the fall of 2014, I created a passion page for parents of youth baseball players. I ran ads targeting relevant interests, and quickly built up an audience of more than 30,000 people. I also created content to keep them engaged and encouraged them to participate.

When I created that page, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. I just knew that based on my personal interests, I would eventually have a need for such an audience.

Well, that need arose recently. I’ve decided to start a youth tournament baseball team for my middle son. I created a website for that team, and I immediately started publishing blog posts about coaching and parenting baseball players.

I shared my first post to that passion page at 2:30am on June 10 and the results were immediate.

Six days later, I’m seeing the following results from that share to the passion page:

  • 201,856 Organic Reach
  • 9,490 Link Clicks

Here is a screen grab…

Passion Page Engagement

I repeated this process for two other blog posts, and I also promoted each post as well. Here’s a look at the costs I’m seeing to drive traffic:

Passion Page Ad Results

I’m getting 6 cent website clicks overall, which is insane, but even more incredible is the 2 cent cost I’m paying to reach my website visitors to drive that traffic. That’s nuts!

While my end goal may be to build a baseball team, I now have other goals along the way. I want to build as much traffic as I can so that I can also monetize the site.

In less than one week, this website has attracted more than 30,000 page views.

That’s just one week. For a brand that did not exist a week ago. There is no way I could have done this so quickly without first building the passion page. I would have otherwise been running ads from a brand that people didn’t know to a website they didn’t know.

Your Turn

My project remains a work in progress, but it’s an example of how an audience can be built from scratch with the help of Facebook. Have you done or considered doing something similar?

Let me know in the comments below!