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Facebook is a powerful marketing and lead generation tool because it allows you to organically connect with your target audience and effectively target them with paid advertising.
If you’re already following the 10 Organic Facebook Steps for the Building Industry, then it’s time to ramp it up with some paid advertising on Facebook.
Paid advertising is extremely effective for moving the needle in your lead generation. In short, it’s a growth catalyst!
While there are almost endless possibilities to find success with Facebook advertising, these principles will set the foundation to build upon.
Install a Tracking Pixel on Your Website
Early in our marketing life, we considered a pixel to be this mystical power that somehow retargeted people who visited your site and converted them to raving fans. While that’s not quite true, it’s not exactly wrong either.
A Facebook pixel is a unique piece of code embedded into the pages of your website that tracks the behavior of the people who browse your site.
The data it collects can then be used for a variety of marketing purposes, one of which is the ability to retarget people on Facebook after they visit your site.
The Facebook tracking pixel is the foundational piece for successfully using ads to convert your leads to customers. Without it, you’re essentially operating in the dark.
Setting up a Pixel is easy, but the process differs greatly between different types of websites. Start by learning the details of creating and installing a Pixel from Facebook!
After your pixel is set up, installed, and firing properly, you’ll want to make sure that your ads are using and sharing data with the pixel. Otherwise, the data it’s collecting won’t be doing anything to benefit your growth.
Target Every Ad to Your Ideal Customer Persona
When you’re going to pay money for leads, you want to know that you’re spending every penny well.
While there’s a lot of testing and adjusting that happens when running paid ads, the best place to start is building your ideal customer persona. If you’re working through the Ultimate Guide to Marketing for the Building Industry, then you’ve likely already done this.
However, if you haven’t, make sure you create your ideal customer persona first.
Now, with your pixel installed and persona in hand, you’re ready to begin running ads.
See How My Agency Can Bring You Better Quality Leads
Organic Social – use real conversations to attract your ideal client.
Website Optimization – ensure your website attracts and converts your ideal customer.
Email Marketing – keep in front of your future customers with value-filled emails.
Paid Social – supercharge your growth with targeted paid strategies
Run Ads With Specific Objectives in Mind
If you’re going to pay money for an outcome, that outcome should be one that drives the needle furthest in your business and gives you the returns you need to see.
You could build complex ads if you want, but you may not need to go to that level to see the results you’re looking for.
So, how do you know which types of ads to run?
We ask this question every time we work with a new client, as well as whenever we need to create a new ad to hit a new goal for them.
There are four consistent objectives every ad should accomplish.
Accelerating Facebook or Instagram Page Growth
How can you help each post from your Facebook or Instagram Page reach as many people as possible?
In part, having a larger page following will accomplish this. You certainly can utilize the 10 Steps from our Facebook Strategy. However, we’ve found that running ads to grow the page produces exponential returns in less time.
One of our best clients came on board with only 123 Facebook followers. They have a great product in a very trendy industry, so we knew that Facebook would be a core part of their strategy. But they couldn’t go very far with only 123 followers.
We executed a twofold strategy for this account.
First, we organically grew their page for 2 months to ensure the strategy would be viable before putting money behind it. The page grew to about 300 followers after 2 months. Not too shabby for an organic strategy!
However, once we had identified which pieces of content were performing best using the Facebook insights tools, we started running Facebook ads targeted at growing the page.
The results speak for themselves:
Eight months later the page has over 7,000 followers and is showing no signs of slowing down soon.
If you want the organic reach of your page to perform better, implement a paid advertising strategy to help it grow.
Collecting Leads Directly From Facebook
One of the key elements to running a successful ad campaign is to remove as much friction as possible in the user’s experience.
No ad does this better than a lead ad.
A lead ad is one that has people fill out a form within Facebook itself. That means they never leave the platform, and therefore can continue browsing seamlessly after hitting “submit.”
These fantastic ads are perfect for collecting basic information. When they’re set up correctly, they will deliver submissions directly into your HubSpot database.
For collecting top-of-the-funnel leads, nothing works better than lead ads.
If you need an in-depth setup guide, the HubSpot team has put together this amazing Facebook lead ads tutorial!
These leads will most likely need nurturing. A strong email marketing campaign or ads targeted at remarketing will help move these leads closer to becoming happy customers.
Driving Traffic to a Website or Landing Page
Often, it makes sense for an ad to move people off Facebook and to another destination. These are called landing pages because people “land” on them when they click the link in the ad.
Landing pages are a controlled environment that, in theory, only interested people will see and interact with. They should be distraction-free, so make sure to exclude a main menu, social media links, linked images, or anything else that could take them away from the page or distract from the purpose of it
Each landing page should only have one objective — usually to educate people about a topic and entice them to submit a form.
To run this ad successfully, follow these steps:
- Create a landing page: We love building ours with HubSpot’s Marketing Software, as it allows us to track who viewed the page, how long they stayed, and whether they submitted the form.
- Create the copy: The copy on this page will need to be informative and enticing, but only to your ideal persona. When your persona hits this page, it should be as if it was written exactly for them. Then, they should feel compelled to submit the form.
- Request as much information as you need: Ask for what you need without asking for too much. This will change based on what the deliverable you’re promising is. If you’re offering a newsletter in exchange for information, you’re probably only going to successfully ask for a first name and email address. If you’re offering a free home building consultation, you may be able to collect name, email, phone, best contact time, and other info you’d need to successfully schedule that consultation.
- Build your Facebook ad after completing the landing page: Make the objective to drive traffic and enter the link for your landing page into the destination. Use your persona to build out your targeting as well as the ad copy and visual content.
As with all ads, this process will take some tweaking and adjusting to ensure you have the entire process dialed in. Learn to read the analytics to see what they’re telling you.
Here are two possible scenarios for you to think through:
- The cost per click on the ads is low, but forms submissions are also low: This would mean your ad is dialed-in well, but people who hit the landing page aren’t compelled to submit the form. Either your ad targeting is not at the proper persona, or your landing page is not appealing to your persona once they see it.
- The cost per click is high, but form submissions are also high: In this case, you would try to optimize your ads to bring the cost down. However, if you are getting the number of leads you need, and the cost per lead is acceptable, then we’d recommend keeping things as they are. Sometimes it’s best to say “this is good enough,” as long as you’re meeting your overall objectives.
Here’s a scary fact: most people who visit your website never come back.
While it varies based on your industry, Ember Tribe reports seeing results of up to 95% of visitors never returning again. But don’t take it personally.
A semi-interested consumer sees a post on Facebook, clicks the link to your website, makes a mental note about your company, and then gets distracted, forgetting you exist when they actually need your service.
That’s where remarketing comes in!
Using Facebook ads for remarketing is essentially the act of targeting people who have already seen or interacted with you.
There are many ways to remarket with ads, such as targeting people who visit your site or people who watch more than 10 seconds of a video. You can even use an email list.
This is where it gets a bit technical. Remarketing ads requires the use of custom audiences, which you have to build and define.
Thankfully, this process is more tedious than it is difficult. There are many different options for creating an audience and showing them ads. But the following steps will get you started on our favorite custom audience for remarketing:
- Go to your Facebook Business Manager.
- Select the Business Page you want to create this audience for.
- On the left menu, click “Audiences.”
- Then click “Create an Audience.”
- Select “Custom Audience.”
- From here, you’re going to select the “Source.” Most likely, you’ll be using “Website,” which pulls the data from the Facebook pixel you already installed.
- On the Website Custom Audience screen, select the Source as the pixel. For Events, select “All Website Visitors.” For Retention, choose how many days you’d like to target people backward for (for example, 30 days means the ad will retarget anyone who’s visited your site in the last 30 days). Use Include/Exclude to target your ad to only people who fit your ideal customer persona. Then give the Audience Name a name that clearly identifies it. Finally, click “Create.”
- Go to the Ads Manager and create a new ad. Build it as you normally would, but make sure you select the custom audience you just built.
- Publish the ad, and you’ll be well on your way to staying in front of the people you’re most able to serve.
Understand the Special Ad Category for Housing
Facebook has a few special ad categories, one of which specifically relates to selling housing. The goal of this category is to allow real estate agents to advertise in a manner compliant with the restrictions on their industry
Unfortunately, Facebook’s artificial intelligence (AI) tends to have a difficult time differentiating between a real estate ad and an ad by a builder, contractor, or manufacturer.
When you run Facebook ads for your building industry business, you may get flagged for discrimination.
The good news is that there are a few ways to work around it:
- Request a Review of their decision: This will be an obvious option in the email or notification you receive that says your ad is not complying with Facebook policies. A human will then review the ad and will often decide to let it run.
- Change the copy or images of the ad: If requesting a review does not get your ad approved, then try changing the ad copy or images. Consider removing words like “home” to avoid being flagged.
- Build a new ad: If your ad still is getting rejected, it’s best to build a new ad within the special housing category. Despite some limitations in this category, we’ve been able to build ads within the housing category that actually perform better than similar ads that were not in that category — with testing and iterating, of course. The key to building these ads is to find the available targeting options within the housing category that most closely align with your ideal persona.
Don’t Set It and Forget It
Ads cost money, so they’re never something you want to put on autopilot and forget about.
Every day when we get into the office, one of the first things we do is check all our active ads.
Remember, you’re interacting with an algorithm. Sometimes unusual things happen!
For instance, you might find that an ad that was performing great yesterday suddenly is not producing the same results today. Maybe your cost per click rose from $.06 to $.60. That’s a big jump and indicates that there’s work to be done on that ad.
Maybe your targeting is too specific and Facebook is running out of people to show the ad to.
Perhaps your copy isn’t attractive to your ideal persona, and they’re simply seeing and not responding to the ad.
When things like this happen, the key is to not panic. Worst case scenario, you immediately turn the ad off and look further into the problem later on.
Usually, two to three minutes of digging around will show you the potential problem. You’ll be able to make a tweak and wait until the ad is shown to more people.
Take Free Training
You’re almost to the end of the Facebook Advertising Guide for the Building Industry, and it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed at this point. Facebook ads is a technical world, but it will become familiar after you spend some time with it.
Our partners at HubSpot have created an amazing Academy full of free courses. We recommend taking their free Facebook Advertising Training Course. You won’t pay a penny for it, but the results will pay dividends in your business!
The tools are now yours. Put them to use and get hands-on! Sometimes it will be so frustrating and you’ll want to quit trying. However, when it starts working, you’ll see that all your effort was beyond worth it. If you’re trying ads and not getting the results you want, or simply want professionals to do the heavy lifting for you, let’s get on a call together and discuss how The Coutts Agency can help!
Who Will This Guide Help?
This Ultimate Guide to Internet Marketing for the Building Industry will help anyone whose business is related to building, repairing, maintaining, or improving homes and properties.
From one-man plumbing companies to multi-million dollar custom home builders, we’ve used this process to attract these companies’ ideal prospects and help them convert to satisfied customers.
By carefully reading and implementing the processes in this guide, you can build a strong internet marketing strategy to help your business achieve long term-growth!
Who Wrote This Guide?
The Coutts Agency is a family owned online marketing agency focused on helping building-industry business owners use the internet to attract and convert their ideal client. Our background in building industry sales and marketing provides us with unique authority on attracting and converting leads through internet marketing.
We’re your Building Industry Marketing Partner!
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