5 Facebook Advertising Hacks for your Health and Fitness Brand -- or Any Brand

Have you considered featuring a relatable 'antagonist' in your ads? Yes, you read that right.

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By William Harris

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We're now two months into the new year, and as a health and fitness ecommerce brand, we see continuing evidence that there's never been a better time to use Facebook advertising to connect with new customers and grow a business. That's because getting healthier or sticking to a specific diet or workout plan is one of the most popular new year's resolutions -- and because people in February are just now trying out those gym memberships, meal plan subscriptions and personal trainers they signed up for in January (in record numbers).

Related: The Complete Guide to Getting Started With Facebook Ads

That's why we're using Facebook Ads -- a lot. With your own health or fitness brand, or any brand category, you may find that the Facebook Ads work for you, to show potential customers how your products or services can help them achieve their goals. Here are five hacks that have worked for us:

1. Use inspiring photos and graphics.

Winter may give you a case of the blahs but not if you remake it into the season of motivation and inspiration. After all, consumers don't want to see doom and gloom when they scroll through Facebook. They want to be reminded and inspired to take action on the goals -- whatever they are -- that they set out to achieve at the beginning of the year.

That's why the photos and graphics you use in your Facebook Ads need to captivate your audience and make them feel that you're personally reaching out to them, saying (in the case of a health goal), "We're with you! We can help if you need it. You're not alone. You can do this!" Ultimately, your ads need to include imagery and language that boost confidence and excitement, through the following best practices:

To see an example of an ad that follows these best practices,click here to see how Gymshark uses Facebook Ads.

Related: The Facebook Ads Strategy That Can't Lose

2. Feature a relatable antagonist.

While it's true that consumers want to feel positivity from the ads they see, they also need to be occasionally reminded of the obstacles that could potentially prevent them from reaching their goals. Think about the type of story you want to tell. Specifically, decide who the villain should be. Every good story has a villain who presents obstacles and challenges, and a hero who faces those challenges head-on, overcomes adversity and comes out on top.

In the case of a fitness goal, for example, helping your audience members stick to their resolutions and become healthier people might evoke the following common villains:

  • Time, busy schedules, laziness

  • Lack of education about health or fitness

  • Late-night drinking or snacking

  • Inconsistent visits to the gym

  • Failure to journal or document progress

When creating your next ad, think about which type of villain you want to help your own future customer appeal, then provide those customers with the motivation or resources they need to win. Check out this ad from Peloton. Here, the fitness machine maker points to bad weather as the villain trying to stop people from working out.

3. Educate or delight.

You first have to convince your audience that your product or service can help them solve their problems or achieve their goals. The problem is, sometimes people don't know that they need your solution. Sometimes they don't even know that they have a problem!

Your ads can't always be built to serve the bottom of the funnel or the end of the sales cycle. Instead, they have to serve people at the top: those just looking for education or entertainment that relates (for example) to health and wellness but don't necessarily know what your product does or why they should use it.

These top-of-funnel ads should focus on either educating consumer or delighting them in some way. They should either help your audience walk away with new information, or make them smile or laugh. Look through the ads that Felix Gray produces. These entertaining ads educate people on the benefits of filtering blue light throughout the day.

4. Leverage Influencers.

Another way to differentiate from other health and fitness brands on Facebook is to launch ads involving well-known influencers in the industry. The health and wellness influencer game is big business right now. That means thousands of Instagram and YouTube fitness and nutrition celebrities available for you to connect to and work with to raise awareness about your product or service.

If you're interested in this tactic, your first step is going to be to contact an influencer you'd like to work with. Most influencers have contact information listed on their profiles for brands that are interested in working with them. You could also consider using an influencer discovery platform like Tribe or Famebit. Once you connect with an influencer or the agent who manages them, work out details related to budget, campaign ideas and time line.

Want to see how one nutrition brand is working with influencers? Explore this page from Vital Proteins. This company currently has active ad campaigns on Facebook that direct people to this landing page to learn more.

5. Trade Value for Email Addresses

Launching a new Facebook ad to promote your business or service is great, but it doesn't guarantee that you'll convert every person who sees it in his or her feed. Most people need more information, more time and established trust before they finally decide to purchase something from your store.

It may be helpful to launch a Facebook campaign that focuses on capturing email addresses from interested people who encounter your ad. Building an email list will allow you to continue establishing and nurturing relationships with the people you want to buy your products. But here's the thing: To convince someone to give you a email address on Facebook, you need to offer something compelling and valuable in return. Here are some examples of things you could offer, again from the health/fitness segment:

  • A free downloadable resource (ebook, workout plan, meal planning spreadsheet, etc.)

  • An email subscriber-only coupon or promo code

  • VIP early access whenever new products get released

  • Free swag (stickers, t-shirt, water bottle, etc.)

Related: The Secret to Making Facebook Ads Work for Your Business

To learn more about how to build lead capture ads on Facebook, click here.

As of now, most people are likely still very motivated and committed to reach their health and fitness goals for 2019. So, don't miss out on the opportunity to connect to and convert more people on Facebook.

Launch your campaign by the end of the week, gather data and adjust accordingly to jumpstart sales and growth at your health or fitness ecommerce brand this year.

William Harris

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

CEO and Entrepreneur

William Harris has been critical to driving growth for multiple startups in ecommerce and SaaS, has helped facilitate both sides of acquisitions, and consults for the CMOs of multi-billion dollar Fortune 1,000 companies — all while running Elumynt, an advertising agency.

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