Online tactics-wise, I think the most important thing I’ve learned this year is that website visits do not constitute the accomplishment of any business goal.
Website visits do NOT constitute the accomplishment of any business goal.
I wrote it twice because it seems to be quite difficult for some of business owners and nonprofit leaders to accept.
Not saying that website visits don’t count for anything, or don’t mean anything. But they are not a self-contained business goal. An unspecified number of people visiting your site for an unknown amount of time, reading an unknown portion of its content and taking either no action or an unknown action. That’s what website visits are.
But they can be useful.
Here’s one way: you can drive “cold traffic” to your website and make it into “warm” traffic.
Cold traffic is website visitors composed of people people who’ve never heard of you before but demographically or interest-wise appear to be the type of people who are your biggest fans.
Before I describe how to do this: you need to install the Facebook Pixel on your website in order for what I’m about to tell you to work. The Facebook Pixel keeps track of website visits. It does a lot of other things, but that’s really all you need to know for the purpose of this tip.
So, let’s say you are KidVentures. (I don’t work for them but they just popped into my head.) You know a lot about your clients: they are
- who have kids between 0-4
- disposable income to take their kids to an indoor playground
- time to take them during business hours
- need to take them — maybe they have more than one kid
Step 1: Share a post that links back to your website
If you have a blog post that you know is particularly popular, share that. Anything informational that appeals to this target audience will do.
(You can select interests and target by demographics using http://facebook.com/ads/manager. Don’t use the “Boost Post” feature to do this. It doesn’t have the targeting features.)
With this ad, make sure not to ask your audience to do anything more than click to read the blog post. Don’t ask them to buy anything. Don’t ask them to sign up for anything. Just click: that’s all you need them to do. And make sure the article or post is on your website. Don’t link to a news article about your company that’s on someone else’s website.
In the case of Kidventures, I’d advise them to write a quick article where they interview a parent who loves their Parent’s Cafe, or ask the parent to guest-write it. They should share something that would appeal to their target market (see the bullets above). A post about the relaxing benefits of having a cafe on-site (with Wi-Fi!) might do the trick.
Step 2: Create an Audience in Facebook
Once you’ve published the ad, it’s time to collect the clickers. In order to do that, you need to create a custom audience within Facebook ads. To do this:
Now, paste the URL for the blog post you used in your ad. (Make sure you OMIT http://, www, and the slash (/) at the end of the web address.) That’s it!
This audience will automatically update with a new member every time a new person clicks on that ad.
So, now, you don’t have these individuals’ names or contact info. But you do have them in a list.
You can use this list to do a lot of the same things you’d do if they had signed up for your email list. How about offering them a coupon, huh? Kidventures? You can share the coupon in an ad that you create, targeting only the people on that list.
Or you can run an ad with an offer and a link to sign up for your e-mail list in order to get it. A lot of people explain this kind of ad very well. Here’s one I like.
You can create ads that target as few as 200 people on Facebook. I would try to get your audience size to about 1,000 (depending on the type and price of the product you offer); then run this second ad, where you re-target the people who showed initial interest.
What you’re really doing is re-targeting an audience that has already initially shown interest. I don’t make this stuff up! Read more about this tactic from the Master.
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