You can have the greatest product or service in the world, but if you don't know how to put it in front of the right people, you'll business will fail.
Apple always had great products but it wasn't until Steve Jobs arrived that they were able to successfully sell them by the millions.
There were mobile apps before Uber and Airbnb offering the same service that failed because they could not attract their market.
I'll have people starting out say to me:
“Errr, so I should use Facebook ads to get customers?”
The platforms you use depend greatly on your customer's needs and your core offer.
Push and Pull Marketing
To keep things simple, there are two types of ways to advertise your business.
- Is to push your product or service into the face of customers
- Let your customers find you
Both are fine ways to generate leads and sales but the best route depends on your customers' needs and the products you sell.
Pushing your ads simply means to show your product or service to someone who wasn't looking for it. For example, earlier I was going down my Facebook feed and was shown this advert about online trading:
I didn't log into Facebook to learn about online trading or find offers for it, I logged on to chat with friends and see what's happening in my social circle. I had zero intentions of talking about or actually trading today.
However, I was on a few trading websites earlier in the week and as a result must have fallen into an audience that Colmex is targeting.
This is an example of pushing ads on people who aren't looking for you.
This form of advertising is typically done on social media, Google Display Network and banner and forum advertising.
Letting customers find you is usually more effective than bullishly pushing your ads on them. An example of this is when you search for something on Google.
Let's say you want to order a pizza and ask Google for places to order:
Google lists a number of paid and organic businesses in their results. These ads are much more powerful as the customer is looking for a solution, in this case I want to fill my belly NOW.
I have a problem (hunger) and I want to solve it very soon and Hungry House, Dominos and Just-Eat have used ads to pull hungry customers wanting pizza towards them.
If I saw a random pizza ad on Facebook, more times than not I'd be skip right past it unless I was really hungry and fancied a pizza which is once in a bull moon.
Pull advertising is typically done on paid search platforms such as Google, Bing and Yahoo where the user is searching for something.
“So I should always use Pull advertising?”
I advise all clients that sell high-end items (cars, houses, furniture etc) or offer a service that is only in demand when things go wrong (car garage, plumber, lawyer) to use paid search marketing (pull) over social media (push) marketing.
You can't target users on social media when their car has broken down or their toilet needs unblocking. These are problems that must be fixed right away and users will go to search engines to find solutions.
Also when selling high end items like homes or cars, shoppers are not going to make their purchase instantly, consumers spend weeks or month deciding on which car or house to buy, making push advertising not ideal to cold traffic.
On the flip side, if you're selling low-ticket items or impulse products (clothing, gadgets, services that solve a continual need a lot of people have) then social media and push marketing is fine.
If someone sees a $15 t-shirt on Facebook, if they like it they will be more likely to make an impulse buy over showing them a car valued at $35,000. People spend hours on social media everyday and retargeting them with items they viewed in the past is another great way to convert leads into customers.
If you do want to sell high-end products via push marketing, you should aim to raise awareness for your item and slowly ease the prospect into their buying journey.
Toyota UK use Facebook to drive awareness (not sales) with their high-end cars, notice how in the advert they don't mention the price or how you can test drive it:
There goal is to drive awareness, not sales.
Pretend to be your customer, how would you go and buy your product or service using the Internet? Are you likely to search for the item on Google, or is there a good chance that if you saw an advert on social media you would take action?
How are you currently advertising your product or service, and how is it working for you?