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.