In a previous post, I wrote about the best way to use Facebook and Instagram ads.
Normally, in the world of marketing and advertising, these ads are part of a wider sales funnel. They are not usually sending traffic directly over to a sales page because potential buyers don’t know who you are yet.
When I was studying the Facebook and Instagram ad course at Copyhackers, one thing that came up was how people these days react to ads.
In the old days, people scrolling tended to notice ads more.
But over time, they became acclimatised to them.
One piece of research showed that subjects in a study didn’t even look at the ads on a page. Their brains had filtered the ads out without even looking at them.
So, how do you get people to notice your ads? Some people adopt ad styles that are more native to the platform. For example, they might have a photo cropped in a way that’s similar to ordinary users and not a professional. It then looks less like an ad.
Another method is to aim for pattern interruption. If a lot of ads are in colour, then black and white might stand out more. This is not in relation to book ads, just ads generally.
Illustrations might also stand out more where photographic images are more common.
Basically an ad which is different breaks the pattern and the viewer is more likely to notice it.
As a Twitter user, I find myself mentally filtering out book-related ads if there are too many of them one after another.
I’m not talking about ad posts coming from the same account. I’m talking about many authors tweeting their books into a hashtag.
Of course, authors have to get their books to potential readers somehow! It’s perfectly understandable that they will post on Twitter.
But for the ordinary Twitter user, or even someone interested in books, it can become a stream of image-based posts that start to merge into one another.
This is why it’s important to have a great cover, a catchy title and tag line, and to post interesting text in your tweets where possible.
But it’s also worth remembering that people who don’t know you are unlikely to buy your book. They are ‘cold prospects’.
You need to build up a relationship over time. That might mean you first of all have to tweet content that will make you interesting enough to follow. This content can be about your book, book research, etc, or it can be more personal.
Getting people to engage with you as a person is a good way to get them curious about what you write.
It’s also not a good idea to bombard followers all day with book ad posts. At the same time, different people will be online at different times, and because of the algorithms, many won’t see your post the first time.
This means you need to tread a careful path between extremes. Mix up content. Show you have a life beyond your books. Remember pattern interruption. Remember that the overly professional-looking ad can look too much like an ad at times and that people are now used to mentally filtering them out.
Also, and this is very important – Facebook in particular has rules about paid advertising. It’s a good idea to check out what the current compliancy rules are since they can change over time.