I have been seeing a lot of advertisements by breweries for upcoming events and beer releases and decided to put together a guide to help improve their results.

1. BUYING LIKES FOR YOUR PAGE

A lot of people like to brag about how many likes their Facebook® pages have. This is nothing more than a vanity metric. I have seen pages with 50,000 likes that had less engagement than a page with 100 likes. The key is to get engaged followers that are actually interested in becoming customers to your business.

Many businesses started buying likes in the beginning, because they thought that all of their page fans would see every one of their posts. This is where the Facebook® algorithm comes in. To better serve their users (and keep people on their platform longer), Facebook® decided to prioritize posts to maximize the user experience. This means that all of your page likes do not see your posts. Some pages see as low as 2% and others might have 20%. Some have more (not many).

This all has to do with creating content that your audience finds valuable. Posts selling your products are going to be seen by less than those that get your audience to engage like entertaining and educational posts. This is going to be the same for advertising. The more engaging the ad is, the better it will perform.

2. BOOSTING POSTS

This can be like double dipping into the pool of bad practices. Many businesses that run these campaigns bought likes to their page that were not targeted. Now they may be boosting posts to page likers that might not even be very targeted. This usually doesn’t work and often times this is where business owners decide that Facebook® ads don’t work and they quit. Facebook® ads are one of the best ways to promote your business that I have ever seen because it allows your to target your audience so effectively. When you boost posts, you are essentially throwing away the targeting of the platform and crossing your fingers that the people that like your page are going to buy your products.

3. NOT RUNNING TARGETED ADS AND BUILDING AUDIENCES

As I mentioned in the last paragraph, the ad targeting features in Facebook® ads are second to none. Facebook allows you to create audiences to run specific campaigns to. These can be an email list that you upload, people who visited your website in the last 30 days, or even those that engage with a piece of video an content on your Facebook® news feed.

Here is an example creating an audience of people that engage with your video content: Let’s say that you have an upcoming beer event at your brewery. Normally you might just boost a post about your event to everyone that lives within 20 miles of your brewery that likes your page. You might get some results, but you can do better.

A better option would be to create a piece of video content that aligns with your event. So if your event is the release of your new barrel aged beer, it might make sense to promote the event to people that are interested in barrel aged beers. Perhaps you could create a piece of video content on barrel aging techniques or something else related to barrel aging. Then you create an audience in the Facebook® ads platform for those people that watched more than 50% of that piece of video content. Then you can run another campaign to that audience. Perhaps making a special offer to attend the event. The results are going to much better and more targeted.

It’s possible that you may just be shooting from the hip, and getting some results with Facebook® ads. However, by getting more targeted, you will improve your results. That is what the platform is all about. By continuing to improve, ads will perform better and become more profitable. This sounds really complicated, but it is super easy to set up.

4. NO SALES FUNNEL OR OVERALL STRATEGY

Ads are only one piece of your sales funnel. If you don’t know what a sales funnel is, it is the entire process of how you acquire a customer from beginning to end where they make a purchase. Some people think that you just boost a post and people come flocking to your brewery. It doesn’t work that way. An example of a good sales funnel might be a solid content strategy with targeted ads, email list, good sales pages with good offers, and a final call to action to purchase something or to drive traffic to your business. Sales funnels are tricky, because everyone has a different business.

One of the most forgotten about pieces is usually the email list. Anyone telling you that email is dead, has likely never run email marketing campaigns. Until it gets replaced by messenger apps or something else, it is still one of the top ways people communicate.

Remember that you own your email list. You don’t own these social media platforms. Don’t get me wrong, I love them. There is an old saying that says “Don’t build a house on someone else’s property”. This is one of the top reasons that websites and email lists are still good investments. You own them and you decide how they operate.

5. SENDING TRAFFIC TO EVENT TICKETING SITES

This one of a more advanced strategy, but it is an important one. I often see boosted posts driving people to Event Brite or one of the countless other ticket sales partners out there. Don’t get me wrong, these businesses are needed to manage your tickets sales, collect money, and provide tickets to your event goers. Where they fall short is their ability to sell tickets and give you data.

When you send paid traffic anywhere, you want to make sure you have control of the content and the design. You can make adjustments and test. When you send traffic to these sites, you are essentially sending traffic to a shopping cart. If this traffic has already decided to buy, but if they have not, these sites will not usually give them what they need to make a purchase. Abandoned shopping carts are a huge issue when it comes to selling tickets to events. A better strategy would be to send traffic to a sales page on your own site. When people decide to buy, they click a button that sends them to the ticket partner page.

I also mentioned not getting data. When you run Facebook® ads, data is everything. When you run ads, you are not just boosting your message. You are buying data. Data that will help you make better decisions about how and where to target. This is how you make your ads more profitable. The problem with most of these ticket partner sites is that they do not allow you to put any snippets of code on their sales pages or do not allow you to redirect to another page after the purchase.

This means that your Facebook® ad account will not receive data about these purchases. This means that your data is incomplete and you are now making decisions with data that has holes in it. Another tactic that Facebook® ads allow you to do is to optimize your campaigns for conversions.. This means that it can take the data of someone who makes a purchase and use it to find other people that are likely to follow the same action. Most people we see, get great results with this. This only works well, when you have the data.

If your ticket site doesn’t allow you to put code on your sales page, I recommend optimizing conversions for those that click the buy button on your sales pages that direct to the ticketing site. It’s not perfect, but at least you are getting data that is deep in your funnel.

OVERALL

I understand that to many of you, this was way more technical than you wanted. I promise it isn’t really that bad once you get the hang of it. Making more money is like magic.Once you start something new for your business and it actually makes you more money, it usually becomes a lot more interesting. Funny how that works.

 

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Don DiBrita

Chief of Beer Drinking Operations at Beer Dogging LLC
Don is the Founder of Beer Dogging, a 10,000 member international beer club dedicated to making beer education fun. He is an adjunct faculty member and board member for the Business of Craft Beer Program at College of DuPage. Don loves training beer industry staff and those looking to get into the beer industry.
Don DiBrita
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