Activity: Test your pitch with a Facebook ad
So you’ve got a new product, idea or brand position. How do you identify and communicate its most important elements? How do you get your team excited — and in agreement — about what it means, who it’s for and why it’s great?
In these situations, people often talk about the elevator pitch: a quick, concise summary that’s designed to cut through noise and communicate value. An elevator pitch contains all the important stuff and none of the filler, which makes it an ideal tool for selling new ideas, both internally and externally.
A good Facebook ad is a lot like a good elevator pitch. Despite its limited size and fleeting nature, it can stand out from the clutter in your feed, impress you with its relevance and make a big impact. Plus, these days, it’s almost a given that every product, piece of content or idea will eventually surface as a Facebook post or ad.
That’s why I’ve created this printable template you can use to workshop your pitch in a Facebook ad format (editable version). It’s a creative (and collaborative!) way to discover the essence of your idea, and it’s a lot more fun than staring at a blank Word document.
Before jumping into the template, there are a few things you should have:
- A general understanding of the intended audience: In order for your team to prioritize what fits into their elevator pitch, they need to know who’s in the elevator with them. If you have different audience types or segments, you can run through the activity multiple times and compare and contrast results. Don’t know where to start? I’ve got you covered with another tool here.
- A list of possible directions or focus points: While an elevator pitch, like a Facebook ad, is intended to sell an overall idea, product or campaign, it can’t include every detail. Instead, it sticks to the most important focus points. In the above example, the ad highlights ordering convenience and a special discount offer — not the taste of the pizza or delivery speed, even though Pizza Hut wants to be known for those things, too. Start by jotting down a list of specific focus points that might make sense to highlight. You’ll likely find that certain focus points work best for different audiences.
- (OPTIONAL) Objective for the pitch: Facebook campaigns are optimized by their objective (awareness, clicks to a website, conversion, etc.).You can focus your team by articulating a purpose for these pitches: Are we trying to get subscribers? Solicit feedback? Explain how a product works?
- (OPTIONAL) Examples of other Facebook ads: Seeing how other organizations (perhaps your competitors, even) have distilled their offerings into bite-sized pitches on Facebook can help get your team in the spirit.
And you’re ready to go. In your workshop:
- Review the intended audience
- Generate a list of potential focus points (or bring these ahead of time)
- Give every participant a few printed templates
- Ask each participant to choose a focus point and/or audience segment; if time allows, you can have people select multiple focus points
- Have everyone work individually in a series of three- to five-minute sprints to create their ads
- Regroup, share and discuss everyone’s ads
You can repeat the exercise a few times, to give people opportunities to work with different focus points or different audience segments. And remember, be open to the possibility that the discussion will generate new focus points or ideas that you want to flesh out.
Now you’ve got a handful of clever, creative, award-deserving mock ads. That’s nice, but what’s next?
- Which ads did the team find most effective, and why?
- Talk about how this exercise’s constraints forced your team to prioritize and make creative decisions. Are there other aspects of your project that could benefit from this approach?
- Did this exercise reveal any new aspects of your idea, product or position? If so, what are they?
- Save everything your team created. The concepts, language and visuals may be useful as your idea gets closer to market.
- Put your ideas in front of people. Find ways to get feedback on your team’s favorite ads: show potential customers during focus groups, or run a small test campaign with your customer base.
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