Understanding the business is vital to being able to build an effective ad campaign. We'll take you through all the important questions you need to ask your client before you begin to strategize and build your campaign.
As we mentioned, we are going to take some time to help you understand businesses, people and marketing in general, before we dive into the specifics of digital marketing and Facebook ads.
We want you to be able to understand some of these fundamentals that are such a big part of you being able to be a successful freelance ad marketer. We are going to start by understanding the businesses.
As a freelancer, you’re about to encounter a large variety of businesses and no two are the same. You’ll come across businesses with different kinds of products and services, audiences and even business models. Some businesses sell only offline, some only online and some do both.
Anyway, the point is, as a paid ads specialist, you'll have a wide variety of businesses approaching you to get their ads up and running, which means you'll need to understand the business well enough to be able to run successful ad campaigns.
You will need to understand the nature of the business, what the company stands for, what it's selling, and who it's selling to. You'll have to understand the specific pain points that the business is solving, who its customers are, how the business is getting its leads and how these leads or customers normally engage with the brand.
This episode is going to focus on understanding businesses in general. We want to make this as practical as possible. So for a minute, let's fast forward and imagine you're already a marketer who's just gotten your first ad client.
We'll start by walking you through the various steps you need to take, in order to really understand the client's business.
Let's get started.
First we have, what is the brand's history, vision, and mission.
In order for you to really understand the brand's needs, you need to get to know its history, story, and how it has grown so far. Understanding the history of the brand will give you context of where they're coming from, what has worked, what has not - and the various challenges and barriers they may have faced.
You will also need to understand where the brand is headed. That would be the vision. All marketing, including the website development, has to tie into the brand's short term and long term goals. Once you have a grasp on the history of the brand and where it's headed, you want to understand how it plans on getting there. That's the MISSION.
It details all the different steps the brand needs to do in order to reach its destination When you sit down with the business owner and discuss these things, you'll have access to aspects of their venture that you wouldn't have otherwise.
Second, services and offerings. The next thing you want to do is understand the brand's what.
What does the brand do? Some brands might have a very simple ‘what’ - we sell flowers or we offer car cleaning services. Others might not be as simple. Like say, workflow management services at a gas plant.
It is very important to actually understand the WHAT of the business in order to be able to effectively sell.
Just because a business might seem to have a simple WHAT, like selling flowers online, you don't want to ignore this step. You'll need to dive in and understand stuff like:
What is so special about their flowers? Why would someone buy flowers from them and not the next flower shop?
These are just a few examples but the idea is, you want to take the time to really understand a business' offerings. Doing this will give you the valuable information that you need to enrich your ads.
Next we have, who is the brand's audience?
Now, like we mentioned in the last episode - people are at the heart of good marketing. Understanding a brand's audience is probably the most important aspect of building a strong foundation for good marketing of the brand.
We'll go deeper into audiences with the next episode but for now, let's take a quick look.
There are 2 parts to understanding the brand's audience: first – what are the different audience segments that the brand serves and the second – what do each of these need?
Breaking down a business' audience is a crucial step to being able to effectively run ads.
If we take the online flower store example, it might appear that the whole world is a potential audience.Kids, teens, young adults, adults and seniors - everyone could be a potential audience, right?
But here is the catch, the way you market to a teen is different from how you would market to an older audience. You'd catch a teen on Instagram and use images relevant to them, while you'd target the older audience on Facebook and communicate in a more conservative or respectful way.
Separating target audiences is crucial to running effective Facebook ads.
And then we have, what is the brand identity?
Every good business will have a unique identity of its own. It will be unique in the way it looks, the way it talks and the way it behaves. That uniqueness needs to be translated onto the ad campaigns. If all brands selling the same thing looked and spoke the same, there really wouldn't be much to separate one from the other.
Smart brands will have well-defined and documented guidelines on how their brand must look and sound.
And if you do get access to these guidelines, it makes your job of building brand-relevant ad campaigns much easier.
However, most brands that you work with won't have a clue of what their actual brand identity is. That means when you begin working with a business, building an understanding of the brand and its identity will be essential to running successful campaigns.
Now, here are a few questions you may want to ask the business owner or team to really get a grasp of their brand identity:
What is the brand's personality?
Just ask them: 'if your brand was a person, what would it be like?’ Based on their answers, you’ll be able to come up with a few keywords that best define their personality. These keywords are extremely useful when it comes to making decisions throughout your campaign.
Next you ask them, what is the brand’s tone like?
Is it technical or simple? Is it very bold or quite conservative? Is it passionate or understated? Again, narrowing down the tone of the brand to a few keywords will really help you write ad copy.
What is the brand message?
How do you introduce the brand in say one line, 3 lines or perhaps a whole paragraph. Now, you might need the business owner to help you get all this information but it will help you immensely when you’re setting everything up.
Finally, how do sales happen?
The question that rules them all. Businesses are built for profit and the whole point of marketing is to get clients and business. However, if you don't understand how sales actually happen within the business, you won't have a clue on what to actually say in order to get users to click on your ads.
Which is why, the step of understanding sales is a bare necessity for anyone looking to be a marketer.
Some questions to ask would be -
Where does the brand get most of its sales from? Every brand has sales channels or routes that bring in customers. For one brand it might be Google searches and for another it might be walk-ins to the store. It's important for you to understand where most sales come from because it will give you context of how customers are engaging with the brand.
What sales tactics are working? Different brands have different sales tactics: some offer discounts, others offer EMIs, while some offer free trials to anyone who wants to try their products. If you understand the different sales tactics the brand has successfully used, you can then find ways to integrate them into your ad strategy.
Sales messages that work? You need to understand what messages are working. Which messages get the most conversions on sales? What is the brand saying that works and what doesn't work? Again, all of this is going to prove super helpful to help you write some golden ad copy. Now, I know that was quite a bit of information so lets do a quick recap.
First, we talked about the importance of understanding the business before you really get down to running ads.
We broke it down into 4 areas of the business you should probably get familiar with. The history, the mission and the vision – which means getting to know the company at a foundation level. We talked about the services and offerings, which is really understanding what the business does. Next, we talked about their target audience. People and the importance of understanding them better. We then moved on to brand identity - which decides how the brand will look, feel or sound. And finally, we spoke about understanding how sales happens for a business.
If you cover all these points as best as you can with the clients you’re working with, you'll be way better equipped to help them grow their businesses using paid advertising.