This afternoon I was cruising town after a brief workout. I was already a little woozy from the workout, so seeing this billboard sort of work me up with a start. It’s one of those digital billboards that’s all the rage with the kids these days:
____x____ Construction Company
Follow us on FACEBOOK.
I'M NOT EVEN KIDDING.
Now keeping aside the absurdity of the lightheadedness and potential danger to other drivers on the road, I was completely floored by this. Here we have someone who spends tens of thousands of dollars on all sorts of myriad of marketing -- from yellow pages to pens to direct mail to neck tattoos.
Here is this shining example of American craftsmanship, the construction company, people whose job it is to build things, whose hands are calloused and weatherbeaten. Here these burly men and women of skill and craft are pretty much throwing up a Hail Mary in the off chance that I’m either:
A) a passenger in the car who could quickly search for X Construction Company on Facebook, (or)...
B) willing to risk the lives of my fellow drivers on the road by looking down at my phone to search for X Construction Company, enter their name in the Facebook app’s search bar and go through the process of liking their page all with enough time to look up before I run the next red light.
It was so absurd that I almost drove off the road, which seemed better than confronting the reality of the digital media world today. (But I’m an optimist and I didn’t want to have my car towed out of a ditch or injure fellow drivers)! So I wrote this blog post to stop you beautiful people from doing dumb marketing things that could result in injury or death.
If you want to get people to like your business on Facebook and you have to spend money doing it, here are a couple of “duh” ideas to get you through the day.
- Be a company that doesn’t suck at its job. This means that you should provide a service in such an extraordinary fashion that your online presence will reflect this. Duh. If you suck at your job, you’ll probably suck online, too.
- Your content should tell a story. Another duh. If I’m looking to support a local construction company, I want them to tell me a quick story about why what they do is a great thing. Tell me a story about how the concrete that you poured at this daycare facility is improving the lives of 4 year olds. I want to see you doing live shots of your project and videos of finished work. You’re changing the world, one ounce of concrete at a time! I’m a gentile snowflake with limited resources of time. Your story better be good!
- Spend a few bucks to target your audience to Facebook and/or Instagram. If you absolutely have to do something that involves promoting your social media presence, consider spending a few hundred dollars less on your traditional marketing in order to highlight one of these cool stories online. (I'll go over the particulars of how to do this well in a future post).
- Evaluate your impact. Facebook and instagram both have ways for you to evaluate the effectiveness of your posts. Remember that evaluating your posts isn't just the end result, but should be seen as the beginning of a new cycle. The process is very cyclical, meaning when you evaluate the success of a campaign that can be the beginning of creating a new campaign.
- Rinse, repeat.
There’s an awesome construction company called Turner Construction based in New York City that does this well (I have no affiliation with this company, I just like the stuff they post). Check this:
Pretty great, right? Notice that Turner doesn’t beg people to like their page on a big expensive billboard. They just create pretty content that people will want to see. This tells a real powerful story of workers putting their name on the project. They’re not storytellers, but they’re ghal-darn good at their jobs, so it would be a shame not to share it online.
(and yes, ghal-darn is a word here in Iowa, ok?)
Now if I were to advise this company on how to make these posts even more effective, I’d have them spend $500 per week on some super targeted Facebook ads aimed at people who are at the sweet spot of their current clientele.
Create Customer Personas
In order to effectively advertise, you’ll want to consider the people who hire your company for these services. Where do they usually like to shop? Where do they live? Are they men and women? Both? Create a quick and dirty list on a pad of paper listing the type of person who does business with you. You’ll want to create a few audiences and save them in the Facebook Ad section, from which you’ll be able to go back to these later when you need to use them to promote your stuff.
(UPDATE FOR THE ONE LADY WHO ASKED ABOUT IT: I'LL GO MORE IN TO DETAIL IN A POST ON CREATING PERSONAS REALLY SOON).
After doing a few ads, you’ll be able to analyze each one to switch things up if necessary to ensure maximum efficiency for your ads. If you’re a small organization, we’re not talking about spending hundreds of dollars on ads here; just enough to have the posts dive a bit deeper and laser focus your ads to your best audiences. Remember, you’re only targeting your ads to a thousand or so people per week, which you can usually do for about $15.
THAT IS SO GHAL-DARN CHEAP!
So there you have it. Try not to suck and waste your money on billboards when you can do the same thing more effectively with a good story and a few bucks on Facebook ads.
About me: My business Good Milkshake helps people that sell food and drinks to sell more food and drinks. I may be reached at 515-988-6189, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Here's my website... If you like these kinds of posts, please comment and share this article. But don’t share it because I begged you to. Do it because it was free advice and instead of paying me a dollar for my advice, you can make yourself look smart for sharing it. Okay, do it because I begged you to. I’m begging! And do it because I spent hundreds of dollars on this billboard to ask you to share it.