Facebook advertising strategies have a fatal flaw. They tend to be on the pricey side if you are new.
Instead here is a strategy that I’ve used and many people on Facebook are still using to sell their products like books, coaching, and marketing services.
The title of the article is free Facebook Advertising Strategy for Any Product, and when I say free it comes with some caveats. Inside of Facebook, there are not any costs, but outside there are. You have to create your product, possibly a website and have an ability to accept payments. These prices are not that expensive and all-in, you’re looking at possibly a few hundred dollars if you’re not creating a physical product.
That’s the good news. The bad news is this strategy is a lot of work. You will have to continuously create high-quality unique content with little or no benefit for at least a few months. However, what you’ll gain is a sometimes fanatical group of followers that will absolutely buy your products. That’s something even the largest companies with the biggest Facebook marketing budgets will never have because they don’t take the time to learn who their customers are on a personal level.
This strategy is not for everyone, but I think you should at least learn it so you can apply some of it or all of it. Enjoy!
Start By Listening to Your Potential Customers
This is the most important part of any business and creating any product. If you’re not listening to your customers your business won’t last very long.
That being said, a great place to learn about your customers on Facebook is in groups. Simple go to the search bar and type in your industry. Sort it by groups only and ask to be admitted. There are private groups, but most of them will have you fill out a short 3-part questionnaire.
After you get in, start lurking for a few weeks, and reading past posts. Understand what their pain points are and see if you can create content around them. Do this for multiple groups at a time.
Participating in groups is not like posting to your personal feed. Your posts need to be more detailed and follow the rules of the group. Make sure you read those rules because many groups prohibit posting links or promoting products unless you get permission. It’s far better to summarize an article and provide key points for customers to chew on while they figure out who you are. Make sure your profile represents you properly.
Remember, you’re not using Facebook for posting your food pics anymore. This is a business account designed to help your customer see you as an expert in your field. This will add credibility to you when you create your own group and sell products.
If you’re struggling to find the groups in your industry, check out this article on Facebook’s Audience Insights.
Your Competition’s Shortcomings Should Be Your Strengths
Groups are also a great place to discover and learn about your customers’ impressions of your competition’s products and services. Your competition’s shortcomings should become your strengths. If you do this, converting them from their product to your product will be easy.
This section goes along with the last section, but here you need to engage with your competition’s customers. When they have a problem, you should help them.
What you’re doing is creating a relationship. In all relationships, there is usually a point when someone reaches out to another for a reason. Read the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. The strategies in there will redefine the relationship you have with people you want to do business with. It’s all about understanding them, then finding a way to help them in the way they want to be helped. It sounds basic, I know, but it’s something most of us fail to do all the time.
Here’s where you should go beyond Facebook to understand your competition…
- Buy Their Products
- Call Their Customer Service Line
- Read Reviews on Facebook, Reddit
- Understand the Questions People Have on Quora
- Watch YouTube How to Videos About Their Products
- Engage with Their Customers on Instagram, Twitter
- Read the Better Business Bureau and Glassdoor
Create Your Own Group
Only by helping people can you make the most out of this Facebook advertising strategy. Now, is the time to make your own group and set the rules in stone.
This is where you need to create some free resources for your group members. A free Facebook advertising strategy is going to have free resources. These will be the cornerstone of your lead generation, so make them authentic, unique and very high-quality. It’s not a bad idea to hire professional writers and graphic artists to really make these resources stand out.
These resources should not be just lead-ins to a sales pitch. They need to be solid resources that will help your customers solve a problem. You should have a variety of problems to solve from your research, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
Think about making an ebook, case study, whitepaper, or just make a ton of videos that teach people what they want to know. Videos are a great way to make an emotional connection and show the real you. They should not be overly professional and should be mildly scripted depending upon the audience.
Here are some rules that you should put in your group:
- No Links
- No Sales Pitches (Unless Authorized)
- Keep It Professional. No Offensive Content, Comments, or Jokes.
- Only Allow Relevant Content
- No Political Agendas or Religious Conversations
Become an Influencer in Facebook Groups
Now, that you know all about your competition and what people want from products that you create or will create, it’s time to start helping people and redirecting them back to your group. The more you help them the easier it will be to get them in your group, where you make the rules. This is where your free Facebook advertising strategy really takes shape.
Start by posting something unique in each of the main groups every day or every other day if you lack time. These posts should be about 1,000 words and be designed to encourage people to comment. They should not be geared towards making sales. What you want to become is someone they trust. You most likely will get kicked out if you try and sell in someone else’s group.
How to Get Your First 1,000 Members
1,000 members is a key to this free Facebook advertising strategy. The relationships you form in the beginning will help you spread the word about how to create your content is. Unfortunately, there really isn’t a quick way to get 1,000 “good” members, besides paying for it. When I say “good,” I mean members that actively contribute and participate. Get as many of these people as possible.
You get these members by talking to people in other groups and friending them. Most likely, they will download your free resources and share their experience with the material. Ask them in a direct message how they liked it. Is there anything you can help them with? Offer your services for free to your first 1,000 if it’s not too much of a burden.
The main message here is to give and not expect much in return, besides referrals. If you really help them, they will return the favor by spreading the word if you ask them. After you get 1,000 members, encourage them to invite their friends to grow. Some of your friends will have 5,000 friends. This is how you go from 1,000 to 10,000 almost overnight.
The way you keep your group strong is by continuously creating content that gets people results. If it’s your group, you should do this every day. If you need help doing this, make your posts in advance, using a free app like Buffer.
Policing the Group
You should hire someone to watch your group. This usually comes from your first 1,000 members. They know the rules and are active participants, so training is minimal, but sometimes very necessary.
You really have to watch for pyramid schemes, content that isn’t relevant, and societal evils like racism, etc.
Create More Products
By now, you should have around 10,000 people. This is the time to start making more expensive products and releasing them on the website. You don’t want to turn your group into a non-stop infomercial, but there should be some selling. The key is to make sure the group’s core agenda is to share information and essentially “hang out.”
This is your time to create multiple streams of income, as long as you follow the rule of solving problems for your clients. Use your group as a way to understand your clients by reading their posts thoroughly. There is plenty of good ideas that come from discussions as long as they are in good spirit.
I’ve seen some groups wait until there are 50,000 subscribers. While this can be a powerful strategy, it’s not exactly necessary to wait that long. Understand though that every time you ask your group members to pull out their credit cards, you will lose a few of them.
If you’re still wondering how to make money with this free Facebook advertising strategy, just apply your Paypal account to your Facebook account and you can start charging for your material.
Moving Beyond Facebook
After you master this Facebook advertising strategy, look to expand your business with a website if you haven’t already. If you’re looking for ideas on how to make money online click the link for more information.
You should think about using Instagram as a way to double your traffic. It’s a great platform for expanding a following and if you’re a visual brand, you should have been there already. Try and use the story function on both of the platforms to give your followers some daily updates.
For more information on Facebook advertising strategy, and if you’re making money already, check out this article on Facebook Video Monetization.