When meeting someone for the first time, it’s common to have a little friendly small talk. Some common questions are often about where you’re from, what your hobbies are, what you do for work, etc. This last question inevitably leads to a conversation something like this:

Person 1: “What do you do for work?”

Me: “I’m an internet marketer.”

Person 1: [blank stare for a couple seconds, then…] “So you just play on the internet all day?”

Me: [chuckle pleasantly] No, I manage online advertising campaigns for companies.

Person 1: [blank stare again]

Me: [quickly to avoid awkward pause] You know the ads you see on Google searches or in your Facebook account? I manage those for companies.

Person 1: [face lights up] Oooohhhh. You’re that guy. [italics indicate a tone of slight disdain]

Me: I’m only responsible for the good ones. [chuckle and move the conversation in a different direction]

Why Do People Think Ads Are Evil?

While the above interaction is fictional, it’s quite representative of the vast majority of interactions I have on this topic. Ads have a negative connotation in the minds of internet users. Not a 2-year-old-making-a-mess kind of bad, but a comic-book-villain kind of bad. Like they are out to trick the user, get them to buy something they don’t need, and then laugh at the stupid user while they count their money.

As a PPC professional who writes and manages these ads, I obviously have a different perspective, but I want to explain why I actually click on ads.

I Click When Ads Are Relevant

Here is a screenshot of ads I took from my personal Facebook account. As you can see, there are 7 ads (remember back when 4 was a big deal?), and they cover a wide array of topics/interests.

Facebook Ads

Ad #1 – Verizon

I’m a Verizon customer who’s owned my current phone for over 18 months. I’m about due for an upgrade, so pitching me a new phone makes perfect sense and is timed quite well. I won’t be getting the HTC Rhyme, but it’s relevant.

Ad #2 – Solitude Mountain Resort

I’m an avid downhill skier. I live about 1 hour from this resort. I’ve never skied there, but have heard good things about it. This is relevant to my area and my interests. A great ad that I don’t mind seeing.

Ad #3 – Palisade Golf Course

I’m also a golfer and if you’ve golfed much you realize how expensive a habit it can be. Therefore, $11 for 9 holes is a heck of a deal. I’ve clicked this ad before, but unfortunately I get a “Page Not Found” error on the URL they sent me to and had to look around for the real page. Good ad, bad landing experience, but again, very relevant.

Ad #5 – Freshbooks

I visited their site recently, which is why I’m seeing this ad. I even signed up for their free forever package, so they probably wish I wasn’t seeing this ad (gotta have negative audiences, people). However, it’s relevant to my behavior and they are obviously a good option because I’m actually using them.

Hopefully you’re getting the point. When ads are relevant and timely, they actually add to the user experience instead of taking away from the experience. Add in the fact that you often get a better deal from ads AND they send you to better landing pages (usually) and it adds up to a great experience.

How do you feel about Facebook ads?

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Robert Brady
Robert Brady is the Senior Manager: Software, SMB & Strategy at Clix Marketing, a company that provides PPC management for SMBs. He currently resides in Idaho Falls, ID, and can often be found skiing , mountain biking, or playing ultimate Frisbee at the park on a Saturday morning. The best way to say hello is through Twitter, where you can find him @robert_brady.