Langpreneurs often find themselves under pressure to run extensive ads on social media. There seem to be videos and blog posts about advertising on Facebook, Instagram and even TikTok or Snapchat at every turn.
But, as Olly points out in today’s episode, most of the people encouraging you to run paid ads are actually trying to sell you a course.
So, should you be paying for social media advertisements, and do they represent a good return on your investment?
There are two kinds of social media ads
These are the ads you send to visitors who come to your site but don’t sign up to your email list or purchase a product. You can track those visitors and target them with ads on social media. The follow-up can be powerful because these people are “warm leads.” They already know who you are, and some well-placed ads could tip them into becoming customers.
Paid Traffic / Cold ads.
These ads are often sent to people who haven’t heard of you and possibly aren’t even interested in learning a language. The chances of them clicking on the link are minimal — and the odds that they’ll become a superfan are even less.
“People who find you through a Facebook ad will convert way less than people who find you through your content.”
It takes time and skill to write an ad that converts
An effective ad combines slick copywriting, images, colour and layout. They may look effortless when they pop up on your Facebook feed, but believe me, they’re not easy to create.
“In order to make ads work you’ve got to have a very strong skill set in marketing.”
You’ll need to either create landing pages, email sequences, sales pages and up-sells yourself or pay an expert to do it all for you.
Either way, it’s expensive, and you should factor that into your decisions around paying for social media ads.
Advertising can be a fickle strategy
“It’s extremely difficult to grow a (niche) business long term through ads.”
There’s no doubt that an excellent social media ad can bring in customers and money … for a while! But no ad will work forever, so you have to keep creating new ads and finding new strategies.
Timing is important too — for example, people often stop buying in November while they wait for the Black Friday sales to arrive. You might make money initially, but when the ad hits a slow patch, you could quickly lose on the deal.
The language niche is relatively small in global business terms so although your ads will initially reach your target audience, as soon as you increase the scale your ads will start showing to people who really aren’t interested.
Instead, focus on making content, serving your people and creating community. These are the things that will build you a lasting and successful business.
“When all’s said and done, I would recommend people not to bother running ads … because you’re going to spend so much time and effort trying to make it work… It’s better spent building an audience and making content that’s valuable for people, having a community and serving them.”
Get a FREE copy of our quick guide:
’7 Mistakes that will Kill your Language Business and How to Avoid Them’