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Is Your Website Ready for Facebook Advertising? A well-designed landing page is critical to building customer relationships.

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Is Your Website Ready for Facebook Advertising

In their book, Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising: How to Access 600 Million Customers in 10 Minutes, authors Perry Marshall and Thomas Meloche lay out the ins-and-outs of advertising your goods and services to users of the hugely popular social network. In this edited excerpt, the authors describe how to build a compelling landing page for your campaign.

A well-executed landing page is the difference between a successful Facebook ad campaign and a miserable failure. Getting a prospect to click on an ad is only the first step of a relationship that can continue for days, months or even decades.

If you're going to establish a long relationship with a customer, you must first survive the first 15 seconds of his visit to your landing page, when your prospect is deciding whether to stay with you or press the back button and abandon you forever. If you paid a dollar for a click and you lose your prospects in the first 15 seconds, you just paid $240 per hour to fail to engage the people who clicked on your ads.

You must learn to build and execute a successful landing page on Facebook and on your website. Here are the fundamentals:

1. Your landing page must have a measurable goal. Your goal is twofold: Get the prospect to "like" the page, and get the prospect to provide you with additional contact information, usually an email address.

It all begins with a compelling offer presented in your original ad. A quick way to establish credibility and build a relationship is to offer something in your ad that you instantly deliver in your landing page. In a digital world, the offer and the delivery are frequently some form of information in videos, papers or on web pages.

If your offer is to provide free information, it should be information that somebody who would buy your products would likely find interesting. Are you a dentist? Offer tips to "Avoid These 5 Foods That Will Stain Your Teeth." Are you a bookstore owner? Offer "5 Life-Changing Books Every Child Should Read."

The form collecting contact information should include a privacy policy and a "No Spam" message. Make a commitment to your visitors that you won't violate their trust. And, of course, you should live up to that commitment.

On a Facebook landing page, immediately ask for a "like," in order for prospects to receive access to free information. Then request their names and email addresses in order to send them the free information.

Related: 3 Little-Known Metrics That Can Help Optimize Your Facebook Page

It's best to minimize the steps you put in front of users before you collect their contact information. Focus your message and your prospect on providing you with contact information. Your landing page should feature:

  • A captivating headline
  • A compelling offer
  • A short description or video describing what you're offering
  • An explanation of how to get what you are offering
  • A promise not to violate trust. At minimum, include a link to your privacy policy
  • The opt-in form

Don't stop thinking about your prospects' experience after they opt in. After the landing page, take them to another interesting page with an additional offer; automatically follow up with interesting and engaging information, and specifically request a deeper connection.

2. Your landing page must be visually attractive. If you send Facebook prospects to a landing page that is just a few text boxes and fields to fill in, they are likely to simply leave the page. Give the page some color. On Facebook -- where people go to connect to people -- a landing page with a picture of people looking at you is highly appropriate.
Facebook users come to the site to be entertained and amused. One of our best landing pages contained an animated video. Animation is fun.

If your opt-in page is off of Facebook, this is even more important. Leaving the Facebook environment is especially jarring, so don't send your guests out into a dark alley. Facebook Connect, a programming interface, even makes it possible to extend the Facebook environment to your landing page on your website.

3. Your landing page must make a compelling offer. A lot of people want to offer a raffle or a contest to capture initial contact information. But generally, it isn't as compelling as providing prospects with free information that complements your business.

A raffle or contest is a short conversation: Enter my contest. Done. Not much else to talk about. But a well-written piece of information, in print or video, draws the prospect into a conversation. It is the beginning of a relationship. In most contests, most people lose. Not really the best way to start a relationship.

Your compelling offer will be unique to you. Describe your customers, who they are and why they would buy from you. Then ask yourself: Is there something these customers would like to know that I could tell them? If there is, then make that your offer. There is always something your customers would like to know that your can tell them. If you can't think of it, then simply ask your customers.

Related: A Quick Guide to Using Tumblr for Business

Ultimate Guide to Facebook AdvertisingPerry Marshall is the founder of Perry S. Marshall & Associates, a Chicago-based company that consults with online and brick-and-mortar companies on generating sales leads, web traffic, and maximizing advertising results. Thomas Meloche is the president of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Procuit Inc, a maker of educational software using the Facebook platform. Marshall and Meloche are co-authors of Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising: How to Access 600 Million Customers in 10 Minutes from Entrepreneur Press.

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