You've decided to start running Facebook ads to reach a wider audience and sell more of your products. But what types of ad campaigns should you run? What type of content and what strategies will help you not only to reach more people but also to convert more and more of them into paying customers? The answer to that question depends on where your audience is in what we refer to as the 'marketing funnel'. This will help you decide what type of content you should share in your ads and what strategies you should employ. So one of the first things you need to do when running a paid social strategy is to create a Facebook sales funnel.
What is a sales funnel? A lot can be said about marketing funnels, or 'purchasing funnels', but in the interest of this article, let's just say that a sales funnel is a model that describes the journey your customers take towards the purchase of your product.
The 3 key stages that you need to take into account when running Facebook ads are:
So what are the 3 key stages of the sales funnel and what type of content should you share in each? How can you create a Facebook sales funnel that works?
The awareness stage
At this stage, your audience is (in marketing terms) still 'cold'. This means they have potentially never heard of your brand or your product before. They might not even necessarily be in the market for what it is you're selling - not right now anyway. So your job here is to grab your audience's attention.
You can do that by creating ads that tell your prospective customers why they need your product. At this stage, it's all about generating brand awareness and inspiring people to buy.
So if you sell colourful handbags, for example, you could refer to special occasions or events in your ad copy. Your bag might be perfect for a wedding or a special outing. Or maybe the colours make the perfect choice for spring? There is a lot you can do with your copy and your ad creatives to generate awareness and inspire.
It's also worth pointing out that because your prospective customers have probably never heard about your company, they might be a little wary at first. Are you a legitimate business? Can they trust your website with their credit card details? If they buy, will they receive their product?
So it's important you take all this into consideration and include copy in your ads that will also help you build trust and credibility with your audience. You can do this by sharing testimonials, reviews, and any awards your company might have won. I recommend you test different types of creatives, including storytelling content, video ads, and carousels of images with both professional, white-background images but also lifestyle images that show your product being used, for example.
The consideration stage
When your prospective customers reach the consideration stage of the marketing funnel, they are already aware of you. Perhaps they follow you on social media, they have visited your website once or twice, and have come across your brand and products before.
In marketing terms, this is your 'warm' audience. They're not as 'cold' as the people in the awareness stage as they are at least aware of you, but they're not ready to buy just yet.
So the most effective ads for people in this stage of their journey are the ones that talk about the benefits of your product. Here you can use copy along the lines of "free next day delivery", "20% discount on your first order", or "free sample with your purchase", etc. If you sell hair products made of organic ingredients, with no alcohol, and no sulfates, this is the point where you should say so in your ads.
When creating a Facebook sales funnel, it's also important you take 'objection handling' into account. This refers to the practice of addressing any objections your prospective customers might have towards buying your product, so you can put their minds at ease.
The decision stage
When your prospective customers reach the decision stage, in marketing terms, they are considered 'hot'. This means they are very close to buying your product, but for whatever reason, they haven't gone ahead to make that purchase yet.
Your job at this point is to encourage them to buy. A good way to do this is by creating a sense of urgency. You could, for example, mention that you have limited stock or use copy along the lines of "offer ending soon" or "for a limited time only, get 20% off with our spring sale".
If you have done a good job of building credibility and trust (in your brand and what you sell) and communicating the benefits of using your product, by the time they reach this stage, your prospective customers need just a little more encouragement. So think about different ways to convey that with your ads.
Re-targeting your existing customers
During the decision stage, you might also want to start thinking about re-targeting customers. You might have people who bought from you before or who added your product in their basket during the consideration stage but didn't go any further. How can you encourage them to either buy again or to complete that purchase?
You can do this by targeting them with ads that include a discount code or a time-bound offer, for example. Or you could use copy along the lines of "have you forgotten to check out?" or "can we tempt you back?".
Facebook uses its powerful AI that enables us to reach customers at different stages of their buying journey: Dynamic Product Ads. Dynamic Product Ads allow you to create and use your ad campaigns to move them along the marketing funnel and towards the decision stage.
Re-targeting works for other stages of the marketing funnel too. For example, if you ran video ads during the awareness stage, you can decide to re-target those prospective customers during the consideration stage.
Using different strategies to create a Facebook sales funnel
The 3 stages of the marketing funnel mentioned in this article aren't always clear cut. There might be situations where you'll be running ads to target people at different stages of the funnel, in parallel.
If you're a start-up in the process of launching and establishing your business, for example, you might run different types of ads that will help you to reach out to an initial set of prospective customers (awareness stage) and slowly build trust and awareness of your product to move them into the consideration and then decision stages.
Or, if you have a small budget to start with, you may need to combine the awareness and consideration stages together and run ads in parallel to target both your cold and warm audiences. However, if you sell a more expensive or luxury product (one that requires a bigger investment) you might need to extend your campaigns during the consideration stage to allow your prospective customers more time to make a decision.
Would you like some help to create a Facebook sales funnel that works?
As you can see from the points above, different stages in the marketing funnel call for different ad creatives and copy. So it's important that your ad campaigns are designed to help you achieve your goals. Knowing what strategies to employ at each stage and what type of copy and creatives will work for your cold, warm, and hot audiences isn't always straightforward without the knowledge and experience of a paid social expert. If you would like my help in creating a Facebook sales funnel, get in touch.
Are you an established e-commerce business with consistent organic reach? Are you considering whether you should start running ads on Facebook and Instagram to bring your product in front of more of your ideal customers? If you're on the fence and wondering whether it's time to go ahead, here are a few reasons why you should definitely consider running Facebook and Instagram ads for your e-commerce business.
1. Your audience is on those platforms
According to statista.com, "with roughly 2.8 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most popular social network worldwide. In its local market in the United States, Facebook accounts for over 60.5 percent of monthly social media visits." In the UK alone, as of February 2021, Facebook had over 50 million users, and Instagram (owned by Facebook) accounted for approximately 30.57 million users.
With these kinds of numbers, it's obvious that wherever you are in the world, and no matter what product you sell, you'll find plenty of your ideal customers on these platforms. And missing out on the chance to be there and promote your product could cost you!
Running ads on Facebook and Instagram allows you to reach an audience that you wouldn't otherwise be able to influence. So whether you are an established business or a start-up in whatever industry or niche, paid social on Facebook and Instagram could prove to be a great growth strategy for your business.
2. Paid social is great for market research
As I always say to my clients, in order to find out how your audience reacts to your product, you first need to start driving traffic to your website. It's only when you achieve regular and consistent traffic to your website that you can really start to observe and make sense of your ideal customers' behaviours.
For example, through the data you obtain via the Facebook Ads Manager, you can see where drop-offs are happening. Are people getting to certain pages on your website and then moving away? Are they adding your products to their baskets but not checking out? Google Analytics may give you some useful information. But through paid advertising, you'll definitely gain access to better insight.
You'll also be able to easily spot any issues in your sales funnel or customer journey. And once you have it, you can use this information to make changes that could have a significant impact on your bottom line.
In a nutshell, by collecting and analysing data at the back of your ad campaigns you can see how your website is performing, how well the user journey flows (or doesn't), and really understand whether your product and positioning are enticing to your ideal customers. Put simply, without running ads, you just wouldn't be able to access this know-how.
3. Facebook and Instagram have fantastic analytics tools
When you run ads on Facebook and Instagram, you can benefit from all the data collected and used by the platform. As I say to my clients, you have full control and visibility of your spending, your ROI, and the performance of your ad campaigns.
By regularly checking the reports and data provided by the Facebook Ads Manager, you are able to see exactly how your campaigns are performing. This allows you to either turn off and stop any ads that aren't working or scale those campaigns that are definitely converting well for your business.
In addition to this, the tool is highly effective and intelligent. It continuously learns from and adapts to user behaviour. In other words, Facebook knows your audience better than you do! If you aren't running ads on these platforms, you're not just missing out on the chance to get in front of the biggest audience available on any social media platform, but you're also leaving data on the table that could make all the difference to your business. Facebook has access to your audience's browsing and purchasing habits. And you won't be able to benefit from that unless and until you start running ads.
4. Facebook and Instagram have great targeting capabilities
When running ads via the Facebook Ads Manager you can segment your audience and decide who you want to target. You can aim your campaigns at demographics in specific geographic locations or age groups. Facebook allows you to target your social media followers, your email list subscribers, and people who have purchased from you in the past. You can also target users by behaviours, interests, life-events, hobbies, and more. And Facebook does this for you with great precision and accuracy.
It's also why I recommend all my clients to always opt for 'automatic placement' when running ads. This means that instead of making the decision to run your ads only on Facebook or Instagram, for example, you leave the decision to the tool. This can be extremely beneficial for your business. And that's because, as I mentioned earlier, Facebook is privy to data you have no access to.
Also, the Facebook Ads Manager allows you to re-target users who have visited your website or abandoned their purchase. You can encourage these prospective customers to buy from you by presenting them with incentives, offers, or discounts. Once again, this is something you wouldn't otherwise be able to do.
5. Paid ads on Facebook and Instagram are great value for money
While I recommend you have good organic reach before you start running paid social media ads, organic reach alone will not deliver the results and figures you want. Not anymore. Paid advertising, on the other hand, can. And you can hit your targets without breaking the bank.
When I say this, I'm not suggesting you should only spend £50 here and there. Or that you boost a post for £5 a day once in a while. But if you are serious about Facebook and Instagram advertising, you could get some fantastic results fairly quickly. If that's your goal, I would recommend you set aside a budget of at least £750-£1,000 per month.
Comparatively speaking, paid social is a lot cheaper (and more targeted and effective) than any other type of advertising. Think TV, magazines, or radio, for example. Running ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram is also cheaper than using Google Ad Words or LinkedIn Ads. And it will get you in front of a huge audience that you wouldn't otherwise be able to reach. Considering you're always in full control of your spending and the performance of your campaigns, what have you got to lose?
Would you like my help with Facebook and Instagram ads for your e-commerce business? If you are an established e-commerce business and have experienced success in selling organically so far but are ready to take your business to the next level and start running ads on Facebook and Instagram, get in touch. I have recently become a Facebook Marketing Partner, and I'm confident I can help your business level up with paid social. If you are looking to outsource your ad campaigns, you can find more about the way I work here. I also offer a FREE 30-minute strategy call to help you decide if I could be a good fit for your business.
If you run an established e-commerce business, you might be wondering whether you are ready to outsource your Facebook ad management. In this article, I put together a list of criteria you should consider when outsourcing your paid social advertising. You'll also find some tips to help you decide whether, for the time being, you might be better off running your own paid social.
1. You have an engaged social media following
In order for you to start getting a consistent amount of organic sales, you need to grow your Facebook and Instagram accounts to a decent size. I recommend aiming for at least 200-300 followers. This is important because once you start running ads, your audience will go and check your social media, and if you only have a small handful of followers, your ideal customers might question the credibility of your company. Is your business one they can trust?
If you are not at that stage yet, it means you haven't established enough of a relationship with your ideal customers just yet. This is perfectly normal and to be expected if you're just starting out, and it's something that will come with time and through employing the right strategies and techniques. But it also means that you might not be able to run profitable paid social just yet. Give it another 6-12 months, and you might be ready for outsourcing, so I'd love to hear from you then!
In the meantime, I still recommend you add the Facebook pixel to your website, even if it's too soon for you to start running ads. This is because the valuable data collected by the pixel cannot be backdated. And considering the Facebook pixel tracks every single visit to your website, having this information when you do eventually start running ads will pay dividends. So if you haven't already, make sure you install it as soon as possible. For more information on this, head over to my article: How to add the Facebook pixel to your website?
2. You have a good conversion rate
Following on from the point above, you also need to be driving enough traffic to your website to generate a good amount of organic sales. Did you know that the average conversion rate on e-commerce websites is 3-5%? If your conversion rate is within this bracket or higher, then you're absolutely ready to outsource your Facebook ads.
The fact you are making consistent sales organically means your business has reached a certain level of maturity. If you start running ads now, chances are you will be able to cope with the increased demand. And it's important you have the systems, processes, or team in place to deal with the additional sales that paid social advertising will generate for you.
But if you're not at this stage yet, and if your conversion rate is currently lower than 3%, it may mean that your product, your positioning, your offer, or your website aren't working well enough for you. For example, if your website is slow, not optimised for mobile, or the user experience at checkout isn't as good as it could be, your conversion might be negatively impacted.
Unfortunately, running Facebook ads to drive traffic to a website that doesn't convert won't fix the problem - it will only highlight it further. So it's important you implement the right changes or tweaks before you go all in running ads. Hiring someone to manage your ad campaigns if you're still at the early stages of your business may give you unrealistic expectations and lead to unnecessary disappointment.
3. You have a good budget
If you want to outsource your Facebook ad management, you need a good budget. I always recommend you set aside at least £750 - £1,000 per month to start with. This is because, right at the beginning, you're effectively buying data from Facebook. Paid social advertising works like a well-oiled machine. And every part of that machine needs to be working effectively for you to get the best results. But this can take time.
For example, when I first start working with you, I need about 10-15 days to dive deep into your business. I will dedicate time auditing your account, researching and setting up audiences, performing competitor analysis, and understanding your business and your product. It's important to run through this initial onboarding phase without rushing, which is why I'm passionate about creating long-term partnerships with my clients. I spend your money as if my own, so you can be sure I'll always monitor and optimise your campaigns and react accordingly and in your best interests.
However, if your budget is small, it will take you longer to obtain the data from Facebook. This means your ads won't be cost-effective and profitable for a while. Because of the floor cost involved with running ads and outsourcing paid social ad management, your budget will need to be more substantial than just £200 - £300 per month, for example. Without a large enough budget, you won't even have a good understanding as to whether your ads are performing or not. Of course, the exact budget you need depends on what you're trying to achieve and the price point of your product, but as a general rule, ad campaigns will start to be profitable when your spend hits the £600 - £750 per month mark.
4. Your average order value is £30 or more
Like with many other services, there's a cost that comes with full paid social ad management. So if the average order value for your business is £30 or above, you may be able to outsource your Facebook ad management fairly quickly.
However, if you sell a much lower-ticket price item, and your average order value is less than £30, you might struggle to get a good return on your ad spend. For example, if it costs £8 to acquire a new customer, and the purchase conversion value is £10, you don’t have much room for a profitable return. Unless you offer a subscription service and are getting a good lifetime value out of that customer, adding advertising management costs to the equation won’t make outsourcing very profitable for you.
But you shouldn't let this discourage you. Paid social can still work for your business. My recommendation would be that you keep advertising in-house, focus on content marketing, and perhaps consider investing in ads training or a monthly consultancy package.
If you're interested in finding out more about managing your own ads, I also run bespoke workshops to teach business owners just like you how to run your own paid social. You can find out more about my training here. And if you think training might be the way forward for your business, get in touch.
5. You understand digital marketing
While this isn't a fundamental prerequisite to outsourcing your Facebook ad management, having an understanding of how digital marketing and advertising work will give you an advantage. There are definitely benefits to outsourcing, including the peace of mind that comes from having an expert run the ads for you. Plus, there's no denying that hiring a paid social expert will save you time and mean you won't have to keep up with the latest changes, updates, and developments.
Having said that, a basic understanding of how digital advertising works will help you make better sense of the data. It will also help you make more informed decisions, so you can get the best out of your ad campaigns.
6. You sell a product that complies with Facebook's advertising policies
Not all businesses can run Facebook ads. E-commerce businesses that fall under gambling, dating, or multilevel marketing (just to name a few) contradict Facebook’s advertising policies. Any business that tries to run ads that go against Facebook's policies will have its account disabled. After all, this is Facebook's playground, and we all have to play by their rules!
So if you run a business that complies with Facebook's regulations, I'll be happy to help. I have worked with clients in wellness and beauty, food and drinks, lifestyle, and home decor, and I love the variety. However, I cannot take any risks by working with businesses that sell products that don't comply with Facebook's advertising policies.
Are you ready to outsource your Facebook ad management?
If you are ready to invest in outsourcing your Facebook ad management and would like my help, get in touch. I'd love to discuss how I might be able to assist you in running high-converting paid social for your established e-commerce business.
3 Things You Need To Do To Get Prepared For iOS14
It’s happening. Apple has started to roll out the changes in the US. Apple’s iOS14 changes will have a big impact on how Facebook tracks data. If you are not sure what impact it will have, read this first.
In response to these changes Facebook has come up with some solutions and tools so that advertisers can run effective conversion campaigns.
This preparation is extremely important to be able to run successful Facebook ad campaigns in 2021 and I highly recommend you do these as soon as possible if you haven't done so already.
1)Domain verification: This is a way for you to claim ownership of your domain in your Business Manager. Click here to learn how to implement it.
2)Setting up Facebook's new Aggregated Event Measurement Tool.
With the new changes, you can now only configure up to 8 unique conversion events per website domain that can be used for campaign optimisation. You also need to prioritise your events so that you can receive the highest priority event fed back into your ad account from people who chose to opt-out of advertising. For example, for an e-commerce business, these will be
Add to basket
As purchase is of the highest importance, this will be the event that Facebook will track from users who opted out of tracking. We will see up to 72 hours delays in reporting so bear this in mind when you are evaluating the success of your campaigns.
3)Conversion API integration: Facebook uses the pixel to track the actions taken on your website. Because of the iOS14 changes, some data will be lost. Therefore Facebook recommends Conversion API integration. This ensures Facebook can get server side data which is more robust than the pixel data. Another important thing is turning Auto Advanced Matching on.
Make sure you have got these three things in place to prevent disruption to any campaigns you are running.
If these sound too complicated or you need a helping hand to make sure you stay on top of the upcoming changes, contact me to arrange a consultancy session to do this together.
Social Thyme is now a Facebook Marketing Partner
I am delighted to announce that Social Thyme is now a badged Facebook Marketing Partner!
I have always strived to better serve my clients and getting this recognition from Facebook has made me very happy.
What does it mean to be a Facebook Marketing Partner?
In Facebook's words "The Facebook Marketing Partner badge is awarded to companies who meet the highest standards of performance and service. If you've got a badge, it tells everyone you're among the best at what you do."
The Facebook Marketing Partner programme gives selected agencies visibility and recognition as well as access to top tools and resources. I am honoured that I am listed in Facebook's partner directory.
What does this mean for my clients?
I get access to a number of benefits, such as
-agency analytics reports,
-advertiser spend optimisation recommendations,
-measurement best practices and creative tips as well as access to trainings, expos and customer support.
As a Campaign Management Partner, I help clients with ads strategy, set up, management and optimisation.
This programme will enable me to get even better at what I do and help ecommerce businesses grow online with high performing Facebook and Instagram ads.
Are you ready to level up? If you are an established e-commerce business and are looking to outsource your ad campaigns, you can find more about the way I work here. I also offer a FREE 30-minute strategy call to help you decide if I could be a good fit for your business.