It doesn’t matter if you’re a dog person or a cat person.
There’s no denying that cats can teach us a lot about all sorts of things. Facebook Ads is one of them.
Yep, I just said cats can teach us a lot about Facebook Ads in several different ways, and no, we at the AdEspresso office have not lost our minds.
Both Sarah Sal and our own Paul Fairbrother, two of the top Facebook ad experts of our Concierge team, weigh in to discuss how they’ve approached ad creation through the eyes of our feline friends, and what cats can teach us about Facebook Ads.
Dogs love everyone. Most dogs don’t discriminate about who they love, what they eat, or what they play with.
They’re excellent pets, but they also are unrealistic when compared to customers.
Cats, on the other hand, are much more particular.
They don’t trust you right away, and you need to win them over before they’ll warm up to you.
Many also have high demands and expect them to be met. Case in point, one of my best friend’s cats (aptly named Garfield) has taken to flipping his entire water bowl if there’s a single speck of dust in it.
And as anyone who has worked in customer service can tell you, that is very realistic to how way too many customers behave.
3 Lessons Cats Can Teach You About Your Customers
by Sarah Sal
Cats and customers have certain similarities, so there should be similarities in how you approach them when you’re writing and creating your ads on Facebook.
There are three lessons that I’ve learned over time from cats that I apply to my campaigns, and now I can share them with you.
Lesson 1: Never make assumptions
A while back, I was traveling and there was a cat at the AirBnB that I’d booked. When I ordered food, the cat decided to knock on the door. (That’s him pictured below).
I was in India and enjoying a vegetarian meal. When the cat seemed interested in my food, I assumed that he wouldn’t want to take a bite(since cats are meat eaters).
You know what they say about assuming. He decided to take a bite out of my naan bread before walking away with his head held high as if he’d hunted for his own dinner.
Just as with cats, it’s better not to make assumptions about your customers when it comes to Facebook Ads. It’s easy to assume what the market wants instead of actually doing the research to find out, and this will come to your detriment.
Your ads, landing pages, and emails will become way more powerful when it sounds like you are reading a page from your client’s diary, appealing to their pain points and wants.
Let’s look at an example of how this plays out in the real world.
Olly Richards is a polyglot who speaks 8 languages who helps people improve their language learning skills. When we were first running FB ads we assumed people wanted to become fluent in Spanish. When he sent a survey out to his email subscribers, however, it turns out that most people were beginners in the language or were struggling to understand native speakers; those were their primary pain points.
We ultimate tailored the marketing message using the exact words that his audience used to describe their problems.
The results? We saw a difference of $5000 in sales for one pre-existing product and $80,370 in sales in just two weeks for a brand new product.
Lesson 2: You need to earn trust and give before you get.
The cat in the picture below was exceptionally friendly. He loved to occupy the seat in front of my laptop, and when it suited him, would walk constantly across the laptop’s keyboard at will. Unsurprisingly, this made it difficult for me to work and concentrate.
One day, I had enough. I walked toward the cupboard where his food was to get him to follow me, before I swiftly retreated and closed the door behind me to lock him out. I know, shame on me.
Unsurprisingly, this tactic only worked once. When I tried this a second time, his body language was clear: fool me once, it said, shame on me; fool me twice…
Resistance to a cat desire is pretty much futile, and since cats are shockingly good at training their humans, I learned to give him a real bribe of actual food to get him to move.
So does the above relate to Facebook Ads?
Think about niches that are super competitive.
Chances you aren’t the only advertiser in your niche; the user has already seen multiple ads from your competitors. There’s a lot of options, and they don’t really trust any of you yet to actually deliver what you’ve promised.
You might yank that proverbial cat food out from under them, so to speak.
The solution to this is to give content regularly before asking users for a conversion. Show them a video or blog content to introduce them to your brand. This can build trust and, over time, improve your ad performances.
Let’s go back to our example from Olly Richards. I was running webinar ads for Olly’s Fluent Spanish Academy with an ROI near the breakeven point.
We had a discussion where I pointed out that someone had left a comment on the ads, saying they didn’t buy because he’d kept going on without teaching them anything of value. He argued that gurus said to avoid direct teaching to rely on stories, but I showed them an example of a webinar series that contradicted this and was working well.
He agreed to give it a shot.
The results were staggering. For around $100 in ad spend, we made over $5000 in sales, all while targeting the same audience that saw the generic webinar before.
So what did we change?
We flipped the model. Instead of having a generic webinar, we focused on specific problems the audience faced.
We did not want people to attend a webinar and think they learned nothing. In a language class, after all, people expect direct teaching. Hashtag: #Specificity.
You can see how we approached this in our ad targeting below.
People started leaving comments how they enjoyed the class. Others started tagging their friends, which gave us plenty of momentum to move forward.
We had webinars on different relevant topics, all with different content to appeal to different audience niches.
Some users need different touch points before buying. They might join the first webinar and not subscribe to the service, but end up purchasing after the second or third.
Lesson 3: You need to prove what makes you unique
I’ve probably been to at least fifteen to twenty different cat cafes around the world. While visiting Chiang Man, I saw the following street sign:
I couldn’t find the place to save my life, and after some Googling, I discovered with much disappointment that the place had permanently closed.
In the area, however, there were multiple other cat cafes within a fifteen-minute walking distance. Despite this, I ended up walking more than forty minutes to get to a bunny cafe called the Lucky Bunny.
Why was I willing to walk 40 minutes? Because it was different. I’d never been to a bunny cafe, after all.
With more than 5 million advertisers on Facebook, there’s no way that you’re the only one in your niche. As a result, you need to prove why you’re different.
I’ll ask business owners this up front. If there are 457 other businesses doing the same, why should anyone pay attention to you?
Remember this. Your Facebook Ad copy is about disqualifying the competition, and telling the user why you are different and why they need whatever you’re selling.
Be the bunny cafe in a sea of cat cafes.
Let’s look at a business example not directly related to Facebook because, at the end of the day, you should be able to explain to customers why you’re different both on and offline.
Whenever I’m in London, I like to go to Vantra, a vegan restaurant in Soho. Due to the rising rent in Central London, many independent restaurants in that area closed.
Vantra opened in 1999, and though they’ve moved locations multiple times, they’ve always managed to survive. Part of the reason why is that they were different, and they made sure you knew it. I still remember going there more than 10 years ago and seeing written on their wall “we never use additives, only fresh ingredients, we slow cook to preserve the nutrients.”
There it is, right there. If you asked why you should eat there instead of the competition, your reason was right in front of you.
The vegan food was fresh and healthy, and it preserved more vitamins and nutrients. I used to pay £5- £8 for a meal with them 10 years ago, and last time I was in London I was happy to pay £20 for a meal with them.
Facebook Ads are more expensive today than they were ten years ago, and a large part of that is due to the demand. More advertisers are flooding the site, so it’s up to you to tell customers why they should spend their money with you.
Ok, so this was a lesson from cat cafes instead of cats on their own. It still applies to Facebook Ads, though, so we’re keeping it.
How Cats Demand Attention (and how you can do the same with your customers)
by Paul Fairbrother
Cats have refined the perfect system for getting fed by their humans over generations, and the exact same system can be adapted by hungry marketers who want to maximize sales from their customers.
And really, it these cats (at least ours here at the AdEspresso office in London) use a four-step process whenever they use whenever they want a bowl fool of food.
Let’s take a look at what that system is and how to replicate it for human customers.
1) Get the humans to realize you’re hungry by standing at the food bowl licking your lips
A cat doesn’t get fed unless it tells its owners it is hungry.
In marketing, this is the brand awareness stage.
You have to let your prospects know that your company even exists and that the product offers a solution to a problem. Only after this stage can you start talking about offers, bundles, and discounts.
Take GlobeIn, their aim is to take people around the world out of poverty by selling Fair Trade subscription boxes to generate jobs.
Before mentioning the individual products they sell, they first let their Facebook audience know how big a problem global poverty is and what can be done about it.
2) Follow the human around and let them know that you really, REALLY want feeding
No cat has ever got fed by pointing at a food bowl and giving up, just like no company has ever sold much by using just one advert.
It’s been widely reported that it takes 6 to 8 touches to get a prospect ready to buy and that needs to be done as soon as possible while they still have you at the top of their mind.
Cats can cling to the legs of their owners and follow them around the house, getting as much attention as possible.
On Facebook, we can create an evergreen retargeting campaign by creating an audience of recent website visitors.
Use desktop, mobile, righthand column, audience network and Instagram along with Google Display Network ads to follow the prospect wherever they are browsing the web.
Just be careful not to do this for too long otherwise it leads to ad fatigue, a 3 or 7-day audience is ideal.
Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls have sold over a million books and use a simple “come back and complete your order now” message to remind readers that if they were too busy to complete an order before they should head back to the online store and purchase.
3) Stand on the spot meowing loudly
What is a cat to do if pointing at the food bowl and following the human around the kitchen doesn’t work? It’s time to make a nuisance of yourself by meowing and starting to push objects off the table!
Advertisers shouldn’t start meowing in the corner of the office but there’s a time in the sales relationship with prospects when brand awareness and warming the audience up has to stop and it’s time to get down to business.
Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale by giving a genuine discount with an added sense of urgency.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, GlobeIn created extremely time-limited campaigns for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday to encourage anyone that had visited their website to take the next step and take out a subscription with a 50% offer valid for one week only.
4) Fall at the feet of your human and act like you can’t get up because you’re dying from starvation
Cats know to never ever give up when it comes to asking for food.
If the bowl pointing, leg-hugging, and incessant meowing don’t work it’s time to shift tactics and play dead. “Hey, human I’m dying here, fill my bowl now!” Who can resist pleading like that?
For companies, if the brand awareness, retargeting and time-limited offers don’t work that’s not a sign to give up, that’s the time to think different.
In sales, we’re used to the upsell where an existing customer is sold an extra product or service but what is often neglected in is the value of the downsell. This is where if the prospect hasn’t bought yet a cheaper product is offered to capture the initial sale, there’s no point in letting someone go without buying after multiple touch points.
Is there a cheaper version of your product that can be reserved for the final stage in your funnel? Even if you only get a $10 sale it moves the relationship from a prospect to a customer which reduces the friction for repeat purchases.
GlobeIn specializes in a $40 a month subscription box but keeps a $10 option in reserve.
I wasn’t kidding. There really is a lot that you can learn from cats that you can apply to Facebook Ads.
Customers, after all, can be finicky, slow to trust, and immensely difficult to please in some instances.
By keeping these traits in mind and utilizing Paul’s four-step strategy to capture customer interest, you’ll be able to create stronger Facebook Ads in the long run.
What do you think? Have you ever used a strategy similar to Paul’s? Have you ever compared a temperamental customer to a temperamental cat? Share your thoughts, knowledge, and experience in the comments below!