Thursday, May 25, 2017

matching your efforts and your desired viewers

I have my Captain Obvious hat on again today, but the notion is one I keep tripping over, so maybe it'll do you some good too. In the digital marketing ecosystem I roll around in, I've been working my way into Facebook Ads. As with any new 'thing' I like seeing what others are doing. As usual, the pics that form the bulk of a Facebook Ad are all stock photos of the typical young techie looking model, in front of a perfect looking office background. As an aside, once again I ask why is this? In my observations, the answer seems to be that no one has the 'tripod/camera/background/Photoshop' thing mastered to the extent that they can roll their own imagery quickly enough to use. Or they don't like how they look, thus feeding the beast of perfection. Don't feed that beast. Be real. So stock pics are next best. Or nothing. Back to the main point: The people that you want to persuade to consume your service or buy your product - are they in the ecosystem that also contains your content, in this case the 'Facebook ad'? This brings up the question - 'who are your people?' Keep it human. It's easy to fall into the trap of 'demographics' or 'average user', or something analytic. To some extent they are valid, but I think the best test is rational. Come up with 3-4 use cases and see if your content, e.g. that Facebook ad, passes the 'sanity test' (sorry about all the single quotes by the way). For example, can you see your Mom (mine is 75 and a tiny bit computer literate) on Facebook, viewing content and doing "stuff' that inspires a view of your ad? More to the point - I have a large industrial client. My contact there, pulled out large chunks of his own hair earlier this spring, getting ready for a press release. Yes, a tried and true press release, the kind of stuff that no one reads anymore. Except his B2B demographic in the industrial vertical his company is in, STILL USES them. They still read trade magazines printed on paper and mailed to people at their work, not their home. Press releases still show up in those trade rags. That is a valid use case. Not everyone is young, good looking and living online. I would bet about NONE of my client's clients (remember this is B2B) are on Facebook in their work persona. So my trying to pitch a Facebook ad to this industrial client likely would result in very little. There's no understandable fit. I'm trying to convince him to find Bigfoot in Manhattan and not along the Trinity river. I have another client that sells custom made wood paddleboard paddles. First, this is a B2C play, so already the fit is MUCH better, since Facebook is a much stronger B2C ecosystem than it is a B2B place. Digging deeper, is a paddler man or woman? Young or old? The use case thing for this paddle purchase gets much more granular real fast, and leads to a more complex view of just WHO will see a Facebook ad for this paddle making client. The point though, is that Facebook users can reasonably be seen as canoe and SUP paddlers. So Facebook ads for this client are a much better fit than they are for the above industrial client. It's not a perfect analysis, but the point is that a Facebook ad could work for a SUP paddler whereas a Facebook ad would largely fail and be wasted on something that is largely industrial (maybe even old school). So in one setting my efforts do not reasonably match the expected demographics of my viewers and in another case they match well enough to warrant spending some money on those FB ads. 'nuff said campers. PS - if you are ever in northern California, the Trinity river is a gorgeous spot. Pretty remote too.