Have you noticed that Facebook has recently ramped up their push to get us to advertise almost every time we turn around now? Maybe I'm bothered by it more than most because for some crazy reason I have or run about half a dozen different business pages, so these calls to boost a post or place an ad seem always in my face. But this kind of advertising in not in my marketing plan, and never will be. Here's why.
Mere Exposure is Expensive and Often Wasteful
First, let me disclose my bias that advertising in the conventional way doesn't work for professions like psychotherapists, life coaches, energy healers, attorneys, and the like. By "the conventional way" I mean running the same generic "look at me, look at me" ad multiple times in the hope of being remembered when someone gets around to wanting a service like yours.
This is due to the theory of mere exposure which is that it takes many times for a person seeing a generic ad to decide to make a purchase, and that's assuming they are in the market for that kind of service in the first place. Running the same ad multiple times for months on end gets very expensive, and brings in very few clients in return.
If you are determined to try advertising, make your ad 90% about a pain or problem your target audience is likely to have right now, and only 10% about your credential and contact info.
Interruption Marketing Pushes People Away
Interruption marketing is when your ads disturb the focus the audience has or the purpose they have for being where your ads are running. TV commercials are a good example of interruption marketing and what do most of us do when they come on? We change channels, go to the kitchen or bathroom, text a friend -- just about anything but actually pay attention to the ads.
The same is true for ads in social media. We don't spend time on Facebook because we want to be bombarded with ads. Most of us are looking for something else -- what's happening with friends, funny memes, inspiring quotes, even the news, and ads get in the way of our intentions. Many of us have learned to use the "hide ad" feature to stop getting bothered by incessant temptations for impulse buying from companies we've never heard of.
So advertising in these social streams is likely to be ignored if not result in annoying an audience.
According to Facebook, their advertising tools might not work on computers that have ad blockers. Most people I know have installed ad blockers, so advertising would be just a waste of money, never getting to an intended audience.
Are Ads Always an Expensive Waste?
No, I can't say that. But it depends on what you are selling, when, and to whom. Retailers are much more successful than service providers when it comes to the ROI (return on investment) of running ads, be that on social media, in newspapers, or other venues. Stores that sell necessary consumer goods or unique gift items fare better than mental health counselors from any conventional advertising. Stores with online shopping do better still, especially during a holiday season -- no crowds no traffic, no standing in line at the post office to mail out your gifts.
For service providers, "ads" -- aka profiles-- on locator directories can be a much better use of marketing dollars because when clients are ready to hire, they will go looking for central websites where many listings of providers can be found. Or they will sort through Google search results, which of course is why you need to have your own website with a blog.
Blogging is actually one of the best ways to connect with potential clients. I've written about this several times. Check TheNoHypeMentor.com/blog and DeWriteSites.com/blog for lots of useful details.