Why Your Marketing Should Be the Opposite of What Facebook Does

June 20, 2017
By Zack Poelwijk
young businesswoman using laptop computer at workplace. young female entrepreneur woman working with business document analyze graph and chart at office. Marketing plan researching. Paperwork on table.

Have you ever boosted a post on Facebook and had it rejected? I have, multiple times. Sometimes, it’s because Facebook doesn’t like the picture. Maybe for a health care blog post about abdominal pain I chose a photo of a white woman with a flat stomach. Facebook OK’s the boost only after I change the photo to that of a doctor.

Other times, Facebook tells me I need to focus the post on the company’s products or services rather than on the audience’s characteristics. For instance, on this same health-care blog, focusing a post on pregnancy-related back pain on what the doctors can do (give you advice on back pain) rather than the woman’s needs during pregnancy (pregnancy is a physical characteristic Facebook won’t call attention to).

I’ve now had boosted posts denied, and have gone through the process of appealing them and changing them several times. I argue that what Facebook is doing is the exact opposite of good marketing advice. Here’s why.

How many times have you heard marketers say to “get inside your customer’s heads”? Have you heard people talk about “buyer personas”? This means grouping your target customer based on the characteristics that make them prime targets for your products. Are they parents, beer drinkers, city dwellers, what’s their level of education? Are they men, women, Republicans, Democrats? What kind of car do they drive?

You should be able to pretty well narrow down exactly the type of person you’re trying to reach with a buyer persona. Essentially, creating a buyer persona is dialing down into the Who, What (the problem they have), Why, and How (how your solution solves their problem).

Here at Build Your Dream Business we talk about knowing where customers are on the customer awareness spectrum. This means you know where they are in the process of solving their problems. Do they know they have a problem that you can solve? Are they researching solutions? Are they far enough along that they are comparing your solution to a competitor’s solution? Knowing this is key to being able to market to them with language that directly speaks to where they are in the process and what solution they are looking for.

But even before you place a customer on a spectrum, you need to know who your customer is, and speak to them about problems they need solving. The pregnant woman who has pregnancy-related back pain is exactly who you want to talk to if you are an OB GYN doctor looking for new patients. You’re not trying to reach the non-pregnant woman with back pain. The pregnancy is a characteristic that absolutely affects how you market to her. And unfortunately, Facebook’s codes of advertising conduct prevent you from using language in your post (to boost it) reaching woman based specifically on that characteristic.

That’s why you have to take control of what you can produce on your own site. Write blog posts that speak exactly to your target audience. Create videos that use your target audience in the videos. Create infographics specifically geared to your target audience. Yes, Facebook might not let you boost the post. But sometimes, good marketing is better than Facebook.

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