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.