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Watching Missy Elliott during the halftime of this year’s Superbowl got that 1,2 Step song she did with Ciara stuck in my head.

Rock it, don’t stop it,
Everybody get on the floor,
Wake the party up,
We about to get it on,
(Let me see ya’ll)
1,2 step,
(I love it when ya’ll)
1,2 step
1,2 step

And as I was working on some ad campaigns with it rattling around in my brain, I realized the ad strategy I was using was kind of like the 1,2 Step.

Let me explain..

A lot of businesses set their ads to direct to their:

  • home page
  • product page
  • sales page
  • sign up page
  • or email lead capture

Which can definitely work.  But there’s another approach that can be even more effective that a lot of businesses are scared to try…

Content First

What we are going to do instead of sending them directly to one of those pages is send them to a piece of valuable content first.  And THEN direct those specific visitors to the sales, product or email sign up page.


Well, what this does is gets a prospect more familiar with your business so that when you next ask them to take your desired action, they are more likely to convert.

Content Selection

The first thing to do is to identify or write a strong article on your company’s blog.  It should be in-depth, informative, teach them something and guide them towards your business.

If you’ve already been investing in content marketing, this is pretty easy, just go and choose one of your more popular articles.  You can go down your blog and see which have gotten the most social shares.

Or go to Google Analytics.  Select ‘Behavior’, then ‘Site Content’, then ‘Landing Pages’ to see which of your posts has gotten the most traffic.

You already know that your target market has already responded well to it, so now you just need to amplify it.

Don’t have much great content so need to write something new?

You can look up what kind of articles your competitors have written that have been most popular.

Just go to and enter their own domain. It will show you their most popular articles based on their social sharing.  Like this:


Setting Up the Retargeting Pixel

Next you want to make sure you have the Facebook retargeting pixel installed on your blog.  I’ve seen a lot of companies make the mistake of placing the pixel on their domain, but if your blog is on a subdomain like it’s not tagged properly.

You have to place the tag again on

If you set your blog up on – you’re good to go and don’t need to place it twice.

Configuring Targeting in Facebook

Next you want to identify your ideal prospect and set up their targeting in Facebook ads.

Maybe you have a payroll software and your typical customer is CEOs and HR people at other tech companies.

You could target people with those job titles and that our fans of tech related pages like: Tech Stars, KissMetrics, Venturebeat etc.


The 1,2 Step for Facebook Ads

Now, the typical approach would be to create an ad that leads write to your homepage or sign up page.

But instead of doing that, we are going to create an ad promoting a specific and relevant blog post.

[su_note note_color=”#c6f8fe”]Need some inspiration for your Facebook ads? I’ve had my assistant spend countless hours taking screenshots of high-quality ads on Facebook. Download the document here.[/su_note]

Let’s pretend we are running ads for Zen Payroll.

The ideal post isn’t just some random article but something that ties in your product.  It could be a case study of how a business saved 20 hours per month using their software.  Or an article like How to Get Your Employees Ready for the New Year .


But it shouldn’t be an all-out pitch fest.  This is a blog post not a sales page.

The reader should leave knowing what your company does but shouldn’t feel like they were just hard sold to sign up.

The ad should look just like an organic article post that you would see shared in your newsfeed by a friend.

So the ad will direct them to your blog post.  It should be engaging and also have a call to action at the bottom for them to sign up – since that is our ultimate goal.


Here is a great CTA at the bottom of Zenpayroll’s blog post

But only a small percentage of people who read the post will immediately get interested in your company and sign up for an account.

That’s why we placed the retargeting pixel on your blog.

Retargeting the Blog Visitors

Now you’ll set up a retargeting segment within Facebook that encompasses everyone who visits this blog post but did not convert to an account, email opt-in or purchase.

Here’s what that would look like inside the Ads Dashboard…
fb targeting

Now, you’ll set up a series of retargeting Facebook ads for the readers of that post.

You can use duration based intervals to retarget them throughout the lifecycle after they’ve viewed the post.

Here are some recommendations:
Day 1: Run a Like ad referencing the post.  The copy could be something like: “Liked our post on getting employees ready for the new year?  There’s more where that came from! Click like to see more.”

Day 2: Ad directing to the sign up page. Part 2 of the 1,2 Step.

Under 7 days: Another strong article, ad to sign up page

7-14 days: Retarget visitors to the sign up page who did not convert into an account.

How to see if visitors are engaging with your content

Maybe you’re wondering how to determine if you’re promoting the right post.  To determine this, login to Google Analytics and see how long people from Facebook are staying on the page for.  This is called average visit duration.

time on page

If it’s only for a few seconds, the content isn’t interesting to them and you should try out a different post.

Warm Them Up

Directing potential customers to an interesting and helpful blog post will warm them up before you try to convert them to a user or customer.

Yes, you’re spending more by paying to send them to a blog and then the sign up page vs. just initially sending them to the sign up page, but you should see your conversion significantly increase with this approach.  You’ll also see more sharing of your content which will bring in more non-paid traffic.

[su_note note_color=”#c6f8fe”]Need help setting up the 1,2 Step? Go here if you have no campaigns running. Go here if you currently have ad campaigns on Facebook or Twitter running.[/su_note]