for your business
and life

Invite people to be a part of your journey instead
of pushing your services

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Lately, I’ve been noticing some compelling Facebook ads as I scroll through my feed.

I was so impressed with some of them that I took screen shots:


You see, as a marketer, I make it a point to observe ALL advertising—the good, the bad, AND the ugly. I love seeing what works and what doesn’t work.

It’s a fun practice to take on, and in being so analytical, I’ve become severely desensitized to the intended effect of the ads (i.e. I am much less easy to influence). That’s why the sure sign that an ad is done well is when my first instinct is to purchase the product instead of strategically dissecting the ad that it was featured in.

Both of the above ads had this effect on me.

Now, there are a number of reasons why these ads worked so well one me:

1.    I am absolutely their target demographic.

I am a millennial female, I take pride in my appearance, and with the layers of data that Facebook can provide marketers, I’m sure they know that I have an account open at Sephora and frequently buy beauty products.

2.    They placed it on a channel that I’m frequently on.

I’m sure they have ads on Instagram and Pinterest, but it was because they appeared in the medium that I most utilize (Facebook), I saw the ad.

3.    They use inclusive language instead of promotional language.

These advertisers know that I trust the opinion’s of others more than I do the messaging of company’s and their ad plays to this. From the SaveHoney ad that adopts the “we” standpoint, to the teeth whitening ad that actually features beauty bloggers trying the product (not promoting it), they are inviting me into the journey and making me feel included.

All of the above reasons are advertising best practices, but there is one that I haven’t listed above that I want to explore. Neither of the above ads used highly-produced professional photography or videography. They used images and videos that you would see on an Instagram or Facebook feed, subtly noting that these could be consumer-generated vs. company generated. Subconsciously, this has a positive effect on their viewers. When scrolling through the feed, people aren’t blowing by it because it looks like an advertisement, they are pausing and looking at it because if even for a moment, it looks like something a friend or acquaintance (NOT company) produced.

What does this mean for professional services?

Now, many of you are probably thinking the same thing, “That’s all well and good for companies who sell consumer products to a highly social generation like millennials. But I’m an accountant or author, I can’t do the same thing.”

Sure you can, and you can probably do it better!

How to make this work for you

You are a person. As I said before, the reason that these ads work so well is because we think an individual, not a company produced them. From that line of thinking, you have a leg up on companies because you’re a human, not a corporate entity.

Here are a few tactics to try on:

1.    Next time you give a presentation, instead of promoting the points of the presentation, share in your excitement and/or nerves.

We all get nervous. That’s a function of being a human. Do you have a big talk or presentation coming up? Stream a live video and ask for suggestions of what to talk about. In the video share how excited and flattered you are by the opportunity to talk. It’s endearing to watch people’s careers take off. Include people in your journey and allow them to be excited for you. It’s better than just throwing boring points from the presentation out there.

2.    Show product creation or utilization in live time.

If you have a new product or widget you’re using to serve your customers, share learning lessons from using it and document your biggest findings from it. Let’s take the case of an accountant. Sure, you can talk about why you’re accounting firm is the best, but doing a demo on QuickBooks and writing an article talking about the most underutilized featured of the program is much more intriguing. It will entice people to connect with you.

3.    Share pictures and victories of your team.

Win an award? Great, share pictures LIVE from the event. Have a team bonding day? Great, share pictures from that. People will buy into your culture, so invite them to be a part of it by giving a behind the scenes view of your company.

There are many ways that service providers can build genuine rapport with their audience online, and often times they can achieve it with significantly less effort than a large company who has to humanize their product.

Let the organic nature of social work for you. It’s cheaper AND more effective.

Curious to hear from service providers how you infuse this type of advertising into your marketing plan. What have you learned? Comment below.

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