Imagine how you might feel if you were reentering the dating scene as a wiser, more mature adult. What if each time you met someone for coffee, they seemed in a rush to draw you into an instant relationship or marriage? For most people, that’s too much pressure. You don’t know this person yet and their behavior sets off dangerous alarm bells in your mind.

Ironically, business owners will often take this exact approach with their internet marketing efforts, pushing immediately for a sale prior to developing any sort of relationship with the prospect.  If your Facebook ads aren’t working, perhaps you’re promoting your product or service in a single ad, hoping that viewers will be quickly persuaded into a business relationship with you. This approach rarely yields results.

That rule is especially true for industries such as insurance, financial services, attorneys, physicians, and those requiring a certain amount of education and trust.  Prospects typically expect you to spend time “courting” them and providing useful information so they can make educated decisions. They will rarely want to jump straight to a purchase or a “free consultation”.

So, how do you successfully utilize Facebook ads?

The introduction. Keeping the above principles in mind, your first step is to create an ad that introduces you to prospective clients. This initial ad won’t request or require a purchase, but instead drives its viewers to a page on your website. There, they will learn more about your services and become familiar with your name… But you haven’t asked for a commitment just yet.

The courtship. The second stage of your campaign should utilize retargeting ads (or a series of ads) to continually remind your prospects about your business. By installing a Facebook pixel in the back end of your website, you can run ad campaigns that specifically target people who have previously visited your website. You’ve already introduced yourself, so now you are “courting” prospects by allowing them to learn more about you.

The commitment. Of course, this is the part that most interests you. Once you have nurtured these leads with multiple touches, they begin to see the value of your services and have differentiated you from the competition. Now you’ve built brand awareness. They know you, they feel comfortable with you, and they are ready to move forward to the next stage of your relationship.  At this stage, calls to action and offers within your ads will be more effective.

Simply think of your online marketing efforts as more of a “dating” process, act accordingly, and you’ll likely improve your results drastically!