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The 2-step ad system for more and better leads with Facebook

Imagine you just met someone at the bookstore.

(Or cinema, or bar, or wherever you like to hang out.)

You start chatting. Conversation is easy and fun. After a few minutes, you think “hey, this is really nice. We seem to have a lot in common and I’d like to know more about this person.”

And just when you think the object of your affection is going to pull out their phone and ask for your number…they whip out an engagement ring.

WHAT?! Are you crazy? You’d go running for the hills.

I often make the analogy between Facebook ads and a marriage proposal because both centre on the same idea: you need to ask when the moment is right.

Ask too soon and you’ll freak out your leads and lose them. Yet that’s the exact mistake so many business owners are making with their ads.

The key is understanding how to “date” your potential clients before you ask for marriage…

When are leads ready to say “yes”?

Most business owners make the mistake of treating everyone on Facebook the same. But there are really two very different types of leads on Facebook.

Cold leads are people who have never heard of you before. They’re the ones who bumped into you in the bookstore example — they’ve just seen your name (and Facebook ad) in the News Feed for the first time.

What do you think they want you to do at this stage? To pull out the engagement ring right away and ask for a sale? Or to make some friendly conversation and get to know one another a bit?

Option #2 is a much more effective choice. These brand new, cold leads are in the awareness stage. Your goal at this point is to help them get to know you so they can decide if they like you enough to take the next step.

Once they’ve gotten to know you, once you’ve gone on a few dates, they start to warm up to you. You’re no longer a stranger. In marketing speak, we call these people warm leads.

Familiar, warm leads are in the evaluation stage. As they’re getting to know you, they’re deciding if you feel like the right fit and they want to continue the relationship.

Do you see the difference? Cold leads don’t even know who you are. Warm leads know you and are getting ready to take the next step.

It’s critical that you treat these two types of leads differently…by using different types of Facebook ads. 

The right Facebook ad for cold leads


If you’re creating a Facebook ad for brand new, cold leads, your goal isn’t marriage.
 It’s simply to introduce yourself and give them a chance to get to know you.

We’re trying to take a customer on a journey. Don’t rush it or you won’t see good ROI on your ads! Start the journey naturally — by making people aware that you exist, that you can solve their problems, that you have a solution for them.

The goal of the awareness stage is to build familiarity, because familiarity breeds trust.

The best way to build familiarity with cold leads is with a Facebook video ad.

By showing a cold audience your video, you gently introduce yourself and build up your authority, expertise, and trust in a very soft, no-pressure way.

 

All cold leads need to do is watch the video. It takes very little effort on their part…which is what we want at this stage.

A good video ad has four main parts:

  • A hook, to grab attention and stop people from scrolling
  • A story, to make a connection and show the transformation (problem → solution) that’s possible
  • A demonstration of your product or service
  • Social proof, to make people feel secure that what you’re saying is true

( To learn more about creating a killer video branding ad, click here to read an entire blog post about it! )

Typically, a video like this has no call-to-action. It’s really just designed to tell a story. The call-to-action comes during the next stage of awareness…

How to follow up with your cold audience…automatically

Once a cold lead has watched your video ad (at least some of it) and started to get to know you, they’re in the evaluation stage.

They’re deciding if you’re the right fit for them and whether they want to continue the relationship.

Facebook makes it easy for us to follow up in just the right way.

If a brand new person logs into Facebook, sees your video ad in the News Feed and watches it, Facebook can pull that’s person’s information and allow you to show them a second ad.

In marketing speak, we call this “retargeting.” It’s the act of reaching an audience again and again and again, with different messages to continue warming them up.

In order to retarget video viewers with a second ad, you need to create what’s called a “custom audience” within Facebook. This custom audience will be made up of people who have watched a certain amount of your video. I typically like to retarget people who watch at least three seconds. 

The second step: the Facebook ad to show warm leads

Once people have consumed your video and gotten to know you, it’s time to ask them for a date, essentially.

(Asking for marriage — which is asking for a sale — doesn’t come until later in the process.)

The next step is to get people into your world — onto your email list. To do that, you need a lead generation ad.

A lead generation ad offers a helpful free webinar, report, checklist, training, etc. to your warm leads (who you retargeted, thanks to Facebook’s handy custom audience feature).

To claim your free offer, people have to “pay” by giving you their email address, phone number, or whatever other information you ask for.

 

Once someone says “yes” to your lead generation ad and gives you their details, you can follow up through email, phone, or Facebook messenger…and eventually ask for marriage.

( Related post: 4 follow-up strategies to turn Facebook leads into paying clients. )

 

Can’t I skip the video and go straight to the lead gen ad, Andrew?

Many business owners are tempted to run their lead generation ad on its own.

Here’s why you don’t want to do that:

If you walked up to a stranger on the street and ask for a date, some people might say “yes”. But most would need a little more wooing.

They need to have a nice conversation first to see what you’re like. They want to see you on that same street every day to know you’re the real deal and not some random creep. Once those two things happen, then they’re ready to say “yes”.

That’s why you need to run your branding video alongside your lead gen ad.

Let’s use an imaginary $1000 ad budget to show you why this works…

Scenario A: You create a lead gen ad offering cold leads a free report in exchange for their email addresses.

You invest all $1000 on this one ad. You get 5 new leads who sign up (remember, very few people will say “yes” to a date with a stranger) for a $200 lead acquisition cost.

Scenario B: You split that $1000 budget over two ads: $500 on a video ad and $500 on the lead generation ad.

Your branding video starts to woo your audience. Like a commercial on TV, seeing the same message over and over in their News Feed starts to make people feel familiar and comfortable with your brand.

This makes more people say “yes” when you present them with your lead gen ad. You might get 40 new leads on your lead generation ad (which is running alongside) — for a $25 lead acquisition cost.

This is just an example so your numbers, of course, will vary. But I’ve run countless ad campaigns and tested this every which way. And the bottom line is, warming up your audience and building a relationship first is always cheaper and more effective than just running one lead generation ad.

It’s helpful to think of these Facebook ads like a mini marketing system that allows you to create multiple touch points with a new lead.

This two-step ad system is a simple strategy to get you started. You can actually progress much further — you can keep re-marketing to your warm leads via Facebook.

The more touch points you can automate with Facebook ads, the more familiar and comfortable your audience will be with you…and the more likely they’ll be the say “yes” when you eventually ask for marriage (the sale).

But I don’t want to overwhelm you! It’s one step at a time. This is a great place to start to build up your audience…and we’ll work on advanced strategies later. (All in good time!)

Don’t let the tech stop you from using this powerful marketing machine!

Want to learn more about warming up your Facebook leads? 

Click here to schedule a FREE 30-minute Marketing & Sales Strategy Call.

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