The Only Two Digital Advertising Rules You Need to Know

*This article was written by Nicholas Kusmich.

Digital advertising is constantly evolving and it’s tough to know what works and what doesn’t.

One thing is clear: we can see from advances in digital and social media that we’ve entered a new era of marketing.

The idea of an initial promotion leading directly to a sale, which has long been taken for granted, is no longer effective. This article outlines two golden rules for the new-era marketer and a step-by-step strategy for applying these rules to Facebook Ads.

In this new era, all of our marketing decisions must take into account two golden rules:

  1. We must give before we ask.
  2. Every step of the digital advertising process (advertisements and promotions) must be valuable in and of itself.

In other words, the act of engaging with an offer or promotion must enhance the lives of your prospects by moving them closer to an end goal or desire. I know that sounds simple, but this is a major writer-downer.

I bring this up for two reasons:

  1. Most people who run Facebook ads forget these rules. They try to promote and sell right from the ad. They ask before they give, which is incompatible with Facebook’s role as a social media and content platform. People forget (or ignore) the fact that Facebook is not a commerce platform and that the intentions of the users are not to buy. So in order to remain ‘native’ to the context, an advertiser needs to shift his or her mindset and adhere to these golden rules.
  2. If I had to isolate one habit that has been the largest contributor to my success and the success of my clients (especially with Facebook Ads), it would be adherence to these rules – always give before you ask and make sure that everything you do provides value to your prospect.

Based on this, I want to introduce you to a ‘better’ way to do Facebook Marketing which brings dramatically higher results.

In line with the idea of giving before asking and providing value every step of the way, your attention with regard to Facebook should not be directed toward sales but instead toward lead generation. The goal is to capture the lead, get that person off of Facebook (onto a platform that you control) and have them go through your value-based marketing funnel, all the while staying true to the golden rules.

So how do we capture the lead?

Let’s look at three popular Facebook lead generation processes and then I’ll introduce you to what I suggest is the better way to do it.

Process #1 AD –> General Website

Old Advertisement Example

I still see companies running right-side rail ads that lead directly to their websites.

In my opinion, this is a complete waste of time and money for many reasons, far beyond what we have time to discuss here (bounce rates, marketing touch-points, etc).

If you are doing this, stop right away! You are wasting your money.

Process #2 – AD –> Offer/Sales Page

Advertisement to Sales Page

This is a little better than sending cold traffic to a website but is still incompatible with the context of Facebook and in violation of the golden rules. In general, people (especially cold traffic) do not like being sold to, especially if you haven’t provided any value first. Although this method can produce some sales, I find that it is often a waste of money because you only have one chance to close a sale, and most people do not purchase something after a single offer.

The third type of process (and the most popular right now for internet marketers) is…

Process #3 – AD –> Opt In Page

Advertisement to Optin Page

This is the most common ad process that you’ll see, and it has worked unbelievably well in recent years. In this scenario, the ad drives traffic to an opt-in page, such as an online quiz, that makes a promise of some benefit in exchange for an email address.

You would use this opt-in page to build a list and continue to market to this list by blasting the subscriber with promotional emails.

I used to teach this as well, and I think that it still works to some degree. It is the best option of the three mentioned above, but I don’t think it’ll work for long, and here’s why:

  1. It’s still in the mindset of ‘selling,’ or asking before giving.
  2. It brings to mind a bait-and-switch. The ad promises something (a report, video, whatever) and when the person clicks, they are taken to a page that asks for information before they can get what they were promised on the ad. That’s a little grimy, in my opinion, and people are starting to take notice.

In fact, media buyer Justin Brooke mentioned that people are complaining about this and that Facebook is taking notice.

Facebook Compliance

  1. your Facebook Ads account closed down due to complaints.

Can you see why this is a problem now? So then how do we make Facebook advertising work?

I’m glad you asked…

My NEW process for generating leads via Facebook Advertising is:

Ad –> A Content Lead Generation Page

Under this model, Facebook Ads traffic should always go to a CONTENT Lead Generation page. This could be a blog post, a video, or any piece of content that you’ve created, and at the end of that page/content we can offer them MORE valuable content in exchange for an email address, in a non-sleazy way.

Let me show you what I mean. Here’s an example from a great marketer, Brian Moran:

Facebook Advertising Example

The above ad takes you to this page…

Brian Moran Facebook Advertisement Example

On that page (above) is a video in which Brian teaches the first part of the marketing funnel. He offers good, actionable and meaningful content that helps the prospect move towards his or her goal of turning a profit.

He then offers you video #2, and to see it, you need to fill out this form:

Brian Moran Optin Form

In this process, he is capturing the lead only AFTER providing valuable and actionable content. And even then, there is no sale offer. The viewer receives more valuable content – a great example of obeying the new rules of marketing.

Give before you ask and make every step of the digital advertising process valuable in and of itself.

Don Wilson, one of the greatest Facebook Marketers on the planet, did something similar when releasing his most recent course Facebook Ads Cracked Reloaded 2.0.

The ad took you to a content page with a video. If you liked it you could opt in for further videos.

Don Wilson Landing Page

Here, the legendary marketer Frank Kern is deploying the exact strategy I am talking about.

This ad…

Frank Kern Sales Funnel

Takes people to this webpage…

Frank Kern Optin Page

Notice again, the ad takes you to a great video (full of great content) and then offers the opt in for follow up information.

Does this method work?

Kern shows us his numbers after just 2 days…

Frank Kern Results

I’d say it’s working!

Lastly, here is an example of my own implementation of this process:

Nicholas Kusmich Ad

This ad took the user to this video page where I taught a 10-minute segment on the content.


Nicholas Kusmich Landing Page

It then invited the viewer to register for an upcoming webinar. Again, no sale, no ask, just good content with an invitation for even more content.

This is important because you are providing the value first, and by doing so, you’re establishing yourself as an authority and building good will so that when you do ask for the email address and then later for the sale, the customer is much more comfortable. This is far less intrusive. By providing value first (giving before asking) you earn the right to ask for anything. If your content is good, you’ll transact (get the email in this case). If it ain’t, you wont. This also allows you to authentically fly under the radar and stand out above your competition.

On top of all of that, it produces much better results. This particular ad got a 10% CTR within it’s first day of running.

Nicholas Kusmich Ad Results

And, here’s the best part – a 67% opt-in rate:

Nicholas Kusmich Webinar Results

The takeaway?

Deliver great content up front – something valuable that the viewer wants and preferably something that solves an immediate problem.

Then, and only then, should you ask for an email address in exchange for more great information.

This proves to get better response AND you’ll know that the person on your list is your favorite type of prospect – the interested one.

By adhering to the two golden rules of marketing, you will not only see greater results, but the goodwill you provide for your marketplace will allow you to stand out above your competition and start to build a loyal tribe.

Now it’s your turn. Comment below to let us know how this process works for you and what you think of this article, and please subscribe to receive future articles!

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