The success of any online marketing campaign depends on the conversions the brand gets once the potential customer clicks on an ad. There are two things that brands look for at the end of a visit by a customer. Get her to make the transaction immediately. Or take the customer’s details and make sure she keeps coming back.
Different brands choose different objectives and design their ads accordingly. Most websites, especially those where you would be able to make the purchase immediately, tend to make the landing page that would help you do so. For example, I randomly hit a search for ‘learn Japanese’ and clicked on the first Google ad link. It took me to a page that looked like this.
When I scroll down, this page gives me a list of all courses they have and a very prominent link to joining those courses. There are also links to self-learning material and demo lessons. So, this is a transaction page. When you arrive here, you buy the product and start using it. In stark contrast to taking the customer to the home page and letting her fend for herself, these kind of pages clearly lay out the options available and lets the customer make the decision.
This page, in fact, is a page from within the main website. It has the same navigation, look and feel as the main website of the brand. So, even if you land on this page, you can very well navigate within the site and see any other information you may need.
However, some brands build landing pages that are islands on their own and provide only certain information to the user. These brands look to either close the sale on that very page or capture user information in return for a product, prize or a deal. Some websites walk themselves through loads of information by gaining access to the users Facebook or Twitter profiles through FConnect or OAuth.
This of course is common practice and in a world of information revolution, access to information is of primary importance to brands. But the issue gets interesting when brands advertise on Facebook. I have been thinking for long about the dilemma of where to lead the visiting customer from a Facebook ad?
Here again, there are two places a brand can take a customer from a Facebook ad. The first choice is the landing page that we just discussed. The second however is the brand’s Facebook page. There are pros and cons to both these ways and one definitely suits a situation better than the other. As the course of action for any brand is totally subjective, let’s discuss the two situations with examples.
Firstly, let’s consider s brand looking to advertise a deal. For example, if Dominos had an offer and wanted to advertise it, the best idea would be to make a landing page for the offer and make it highly simple for the customer to gather information and make a purchase in that page. It is a simple process, conversion is higher and is a one-time transaction. The moment the deal is closed, the customer has his pizza and eventually moves on.
But, if S&N Hayakawa Enterprises which I for one, haven’t ever heard of, advertises to teach me Japanese and takes me to a landing page seeking my contact information, I would be more reluctant to furnish them than I would to Dominos (even if the possibility of Dominos being careless with my information is higher than Hayakawa would be). However, if I am taken to a Facebook page filled with conversations and testimonials from users, my chance of converting is much higher (if your Facebook page did not have any testimonials, God save you). The biggest advantage of leading clicks to the brand’s Facebook page is that if a user ‘likes’ your page, they have chosen to receive information about/ from you and it is much easier to keep in touch with them. When more people converse with the brand and about it, word of mouth tends to produce positive results. And Facebook pages also tend to be a collection of answers to FAQs.
At the end of the day, advertising online, especially social is as much about what the brand needs a customer to do as about what the customer wants to do. Unlike compelling salespersons, a landing page that does not give out enough information is only a click away from closing. A clear balance of thoughts about the business objectives and consideration for customer needs is a good idea if you were looking to make an online advertising plan.