We’ve all seen the stats. Facebook has billions of monthly active users for the core app and billions more across its properties.
Using the Facebook Ads platform, one eCommerce store or another is making headlines after amassing thousands of customers.
If you’ve ever tried to implement an advertising campaign on Facebook then you know it’s easy to get started and just as easy to lose money.
There are multiple settings and countless permutations for each campaign. You can target people by zip code, interests, age, occupation, etc. You can choose which platform the ads show up on, where they’re positioned, how often they appear, and more.
It can get overwhelming but if you get it right, it’s a one-way ticket to success. This in-depth guide shares a Facebook Ads strategy that mirrors the way people buy in real life, reduces friction and increases your ROAs.
The current challenge with Facebook Ads
Facebook can be a wonderful advertising platform. But it doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. The two most prominent are:
Since Facebook is so popular, more and more businesses are trying their luck. Millions of advertisers of all sizes are on the platform. Unfortunately, user growth has slowed down which means there’s less ad inventory to go around.
You’re bidding for the same audiences with thousands of other advertisers and every click is becoming more expensive. There’s less margin for error and if you can’t get it right, you’ll be outbid by the competition.
More targeting and display options
This may seem like a good thing but it’s not. The more options you have when trying to create an ad, the more complexity there is.
Will page post engagement, traffic, or purchases be the best objective for you? Should you go with a newsfeed ad, audience network, right-hand column, or something else? What kind of creative should you make to match the placements you’ve selected?
It’s overwhelming, to say the least. Fortunately, the Facebook Ads strategy you’re about to learn takes these things into consideration and lays out a working blueprint`.
Ways Facebook is helping
In addition to what you’ll learn here, you can leverage some of the features of Facebook to make things easier for you.
As long as you have a compelling copy, the right creative, and decent targeting, Facebook will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. It’ll take the parameters you’ve set and help you find the people most likely to complete your objective.
There’s just one caveat, you have to give Facebook enough data to work with. It’s recommended that the pixel should record at least 50 of your desired actions a week. If you want to get purchases, Facebook needs at least 50 purchases to optimize your campaigns.
Though 50 is the recommended amount, the platform can work with as few as 15 – 20.
How do you get the initial conversions so Facebook’s algorithm can kick in? That’s the focus of the rest of this guide.
Three-part Facebook Ads strategy
We’re not reinventing the wheel. Instead, we’re taking the buying behavior people exhibit and applying it to your Facebook ads. In short, you’re building a conversion funnel that uses your website and the Facebook Ads platform to increase sales.
It has three parts:
- Engage – the beginning of the relationship when people hear about your brand and interact with it the first time
- Convert – you provide the necessary information for them to make a decision and ask for the sale
- Retarget – Following up with those who didn’t buy the first time around and drive repeat purchases
Let’s dive in!
Engagement Facebook ads
The first step is to get in front of people who may not have heard of your brand before. If you ask them to buy immediately, they’re unlikely to take you up on your offer.
Get around this by showing them ads that highlight the philosophy or ideal lifestyle of your brand champions. The ad can be a video or an article.
It doesn’t have a prominent call to action but it shares the story behind the brand and uses a lot of product imagery. It can be assumed that the people who watch most of this video are interested in the message, the products, or both.
To achieve this within Facebook, start the ad creation process and choose the video view or engagement (PPE) objectives.
For engagement, you’ll want to use long-form ad copy to talk about your philosophy, compelling imagery, and create a landing page that goes even deeper into your brand.
Try to keep videos between two to five minutes. That’s long enough to deliver your message but short enough for interested people to engage and watch it in the newsfeed.
In the example below, Thursday Boots Company goes with imagery and copy focused on the lifestyle associated with the product. Notice how there’s no overt call to action.
The short ad copy calls out the target audience and encourages engagement in the comments section.
Most people will only need 1 ad for this stage but there’s an optional second step you may need. This is dependent on your products, its complexity, and the price point. If they’re higher ticket items or require trust-building, follow up with a second ad that helps build credibility.
Focus on media mentions you’ve gotten, positive reviews, or notable people who endorse you. In essence, you’re helping them do the research they’d perform anyways. You may get a few sales from here but that’s not the objective at this point.
Let’s move on to the conversion step where you’ll generate revenue.
Note: create exclusion audiences for people who’ve already watched the videos, engaged with your post, or viewed the engagement landing page. Use them when setting up targeting for your PPE or video ads.
At this point, you have an audience that’s familiar with your brand, understands your philosophy, and has seen multiple indications of trustworthiness.
Now, it’s time to start turning those people into customers.
Market segmentation is important here because a small portion of your audience is seeing these ads. Target people who’ve engaged with your videos liked your posts, or landed on the pages you created for the engagement ads.
Go to your Facebook Ads Manager and open up the audience manager.
Create multiple audiences based on the following criteria:
- Those who watched your entire video
- The ones who watched 95% of your video
- Those that watched 75% of your video
- The ones who watched 25% of your video
- Those that engaged with your page post
- Those who visited your engagement landing page
Test targeting for those who engaged within 3 days, those who engaged within 3 – 7 days, and those who engaged within 7 – 14 days. These are dynamic audiences which means new people will enter and exit them which means less ad fatigue.
Use different ad creatives and angles for these groups. For example, the people who watched your entire video less than three days ago get one ad. Those who watched 75% of your video 7 days ago will see a different ad.
You don’t have to create everything at once but keep in mind that the more granular you are with your targeting, the better your results will be.
After the targeting audiences, create exclusion audiences for people who’ve taken your desired action. For example, people who’ve visited the product landing page and those who purchased the product. You don’t want them to keep seeing ads after buying.
When you’ve set everything up, you’ll have multiple audiences that look similar to this.
Now, you’re ready to create your ads.
Go to the Facebook ads manager and initiate the ads creation wizard. Choose the conversion objective and campaign budget optimization (CBO).
If you already have a warmed up pixel, then choose your purchase conversion event. If not, select an intermediate action people will take before the final conversion like add to cart, register, start a free trial, etc. This will make it easier for Facebook to get the minimum number of conversions needed to optimize your campaigns for you.
Go to the audience selection section and choose one or more of the custom audiences you created previously. I like to choose one audience per ad set so I can see which ones are performing the best and focus on them.
Remove all other targeting options.
Scroll down to placements and select the manual option. I recommend using the desktop and mobile newsfeed placements to start then slowly test other placement areas as the conversions start rolling in.
Note: in my experience, running Facebook and Instagram ads together drags down the performance of both so I suggest you choose one or other of the platforms. Use engagement information from PPE ads to make an informed decision.
The ad creative is up to you but here are a few things to consider:
- Long-form copy tends to perform better but also test shorter copy
- Use striking imagery that shows your product in use – people can get a better feel for how they’ll interact with it
- Show faces of real people
- Focus on the benefits as opposed to the features
- Test multiple angles and offers (10% off, the best X, better than X, free shipping, limited stock, etc.)
- Include social proof (testimonials, number of people who’ve purchased, etc.)
- Test different CTA buttons
In the example below, Brass follows many of these tactics to drive conversions.
It uses subtle social proof by saying the item is back in stock. The copy goes on to offer a 15% discount to first-time customers. The video creative shows real people styling the pants suit, shares their measurements, and gives viewers an idea of how versatile the product is.
Let’s focus on converting the people who didn’t buy initially.
Not everyone will buy when they land on your product page. For some, it’s not the right time, others have more objections, and a few aren’t interested.
Your retargeting ads will focus on those who need more time or have objections about your product.
Before you make the ads, go back to your audience manager and create a new exclusion audience for people who’ve purchased the product.
Create a targeting audience with people who’ve visited the product landing page. You can further break these audiences down based on add to carts and initiate checkout. Just like in the conversion stage, you want to play around with different timeframes for your targeting.
Next, list out all the objections customers tend to have about your products:
Map the objections you come up with to the different stages or actions. For example, someone who’s initiated the checkout process may have a different objection than someone who only landed on the product page. When you’re done, create up to 3 ads that address objections based on the action taken.
For example, if someone started the checkout process but didn’t complete it, the objection may be related to shipping. Create an ad that offers free shipping for the next 24 hours. If the objection is durability, show examples of how the product stands the test of time.
Finally, go into the ad manager and create an ad with the “reach” objective.
You don’t want to choose conversions here because the ad will be served too often and people may report it.
Choose a frequency of once a day or 3 times every 2 days.
Note: Frequency Cap is at the bottom of the ad set options and is hidden behind a link labeled “show more options.”
Facebook will cycle through the ads and, as long as you’ve adequately addressed the objection, each one of them will produce new sales.
This is where the bulk of your revenue will come from so continuously tweak different variations of the ads.
Over to you
Facebook advertising can be complicated if you jump in without preparing yourself. This guide has gone through a specific strategy that will warm your audience up, turn them into customers, and ensure you’re maxing out your ROAS.
It’s simple but does require tweaking. Start at the retargeting stage so you can see an instant uptick in sales then work your way backward. Let me know if you have any questions about this Facebook Ads strategy in the comments and don’t forget to share.
Author Bio: Daniel Ndukwu is the Founder of KyLeads – a lead generation and feedback platform that helps users understand their audience and turn them into leads then customers with popups, quizzes, and surveys.
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