Why Your Facebook Ad Should Send People Off-Platform

When a user clicks one of your ads, you have an opportunity. A person in your target market is saying, “I’ll go wherever you send me.” So, you need to create your ad to answer that question in a way that benefits your company as much as possible. Sometimes, it can feel like a tough problem … but it shouldn’t.

When a user clicks one of your ads, you have an opportunity. A person in your target market is saying, “I’ll go wherever you send me.” So, you need to create your ad to answer that question in a way that benefits your company as much as possible. If you’re using Facebook ads, that means deciding whether to send a potential customer to your Facebook page or off-platform (e.g., into a registration or buying process). Sometimes, it can feel like a tough call … but it shouldn’t. The right answer really is pretty obvious.

The reason to use “Like” call to action in your Facebook ads is to retain a target for future marketing. When a potential customer likes your page, you’ll be able to bombard (I mean … inform) him regularly in a way that should ultimately turn him into a customer. And, you can do this over and over again, since the person has consented to a Facebook relationship with your company or brand.

There’s one big problem with this: I just don’t see it working. You wind up competing with too much noise while deferring a high-value opportunity.

Let’s start with the second of these two parts: deferring a high-value opportunity.

A person who clicks your ad is in a buying mindset. He’s ready to pull the trigger on something. What you need to do is turn that “something” into as much as possible. If the person was going to buy something from you, you want to include an up-sell. If that person was looking to engage your sales force, you want to push him up into a hot lead. You get the idea – when a person is in a buying mindset, you want to use it for all it’s worth.

When you send a person who is taking action to your Facebook page, you’re basically saying, “Talk to me later.” You should also be thinking to yourself, “I hope like hell he’s still going to be interested.” After all, why would you give up the chance for a sale now just to grow your Facebook footprint so you can (hope to) sell later?

I’ve heard from all kinds of people that having a Facebook fan is more valuable than having an email address on a house list … and this is what takes us to the second point (i.e., competing with too much noise). The reality is that, to reach a Facebook user who likes your page, you surrender a considerable amount of control and information. This makes a “Like” call to action less valuable, as well.

Let’s take a closer look.

You run a Facebook ad. A user clicks on it and arrives at your page. You pay for this interaction. He may or may not click it, making your cost per like higher. So, you’ve already had some attrition before you’ve even had a chance to start marketing to you Facebook community!

Now, you have to get the attention of the people who have liked your page. It’s tough to do this except through the News Feed (unless you have an event to peddle), so you wind up competing with pictures of someone’s kid’s first tooth and proclamations of location via check-ins. Whether someone in your target market actually sees your message starts to feel random.

Now, contrast this with an off-platform call to action that involves your website’s registration process. Once I have you in my registration database, I can choose to contact you when I want to. I can plan campaigns around time of day that involve you specifically and allow me to pull the trigger when I see fit. And, I can know if you’ve opened the email, clicked through or forwarded it.

There’s a lot more intel you can gain from an email address on a house list than there is through a name on a Facebook “house list.” And, this is intel you can use to drive better sales and marketing results.

Even if you think the odds of a sales conversion from your Facebook ad are low, you can still let some serious upside by taking the user off-platform and into an environment that you control.

I’ve tried both approaches to Facebook ads, and I’ve seen a lot more success with the off-platform approach than I have in sending uses into the “like” funnel. The results are direct and more powerful. Ultimately, pushing to the Facebook page just didn’t generate significant returns.

So, how have you fared with Facebook ads? Do you get better results with one approach over the other? Leave a comment and tell us about it!