eCommerce Stores: How to Make the Most of Your Facebook Marketing Strategy Through Funnels
UPDATED: FEBRUARY 17, 2021
If you own an ecommerce business or run any kind of marketing, there’s a good chance you know what a marketing funnel is. You are familiar with moving someone through a customer journey, starting broad with an awareness campaign and closing the deal with a hard sell. This is nothing new.
It’s also likely that you have run Facebook advertising to attract new customers, ad by ad, offer by offer.
But are you using marketing funnels on Facebook?
Why should you use marketing funnels on Facebook?
Marketing funnels in paid advertising are extremely effective, but Facebook doesn’t make this easy. Since there is no out-of-the-box way to create marketing funnels within Facebook, most people stop with a simplistic Facebook marketing strategy around one-off ad campaigns. It’s all too common to stick cold traffic and site retargeting in the same campaign and serve them the same four variations of ads. That might feel like the easy way out, but it’s not the most effective.
In fact, just because Facebook doesn’t make it easy doesn’t mean you can’t create marketing funnels. There is a clever workaround that you should definitely be taking advantage of.
Think of it this way. If you met someone in person and had something to sell, you would never lead with “Hey! Here is my product and how much it costs. Buy it now!” That would be incredibly off-putting.
So why would we think this would work on Facebook or any other marketing channel? Just like in person, there is a conversation that must take place prior to asking for a purchase. You need to first introduce yourself, vet whether the person standing across from you is interested in your product and therefore a good prospect, introduce the product and provide education around it, and then try to make the sale.
And there’s good news! By using some creative retargeting and Facebook events, you can achieve this type of marketing funnel in Facebook’s ad manager.
How do you create marketing funnels on Facebook?
Simply put, to create marketing funnels on Facebook, you retarget custom audiences based on their interactions with previous ads or their activity on your website.
Check out an example of a simple prospecting funnel below. If you have plenty of traffic and activity on your site, you can add additional steps for even more targeted ads.
Ad 1: Content
The first ad we serve in a marketing funnel is typically a content ad, whether that be a video, a helpful article, or even a page like campaign. This is an awareness campaign to gauge general interest in your brand and to get your name on the market. You may not see an immediate return on these campaigns and that’s okay. The primary metrics you want to watch for with these ads are good engagement and low cost per click.
Ad 2: Features and Benefits
The second ad would still include engaging content, but it will be a bit more in-depth and product-specific. The additional information offered here will help vet whether your product is actually relevant to the potential customers seeing your ad.
For this ad, you could create a custom audience including people that viewed your first piece of content and retarget them. You can even get as specific as targeting those who spent a certain amount of time viewing the page. If your first ad was video content, you can build a custom audience to include only people that viewed at least 10 seconds of that video. Or, if your first ad simply directed users to a landing page or collection page on your site to learn more, you can just use basic site retargeting
Ad 3: Promo
In the third ad, we would make our first offer. This ad would retarget the audience that viewed and interacted with your second ad, visited a product page, or even added the product to their cart but did not purchase.
Make this ad an offer the potential customer can’t refuse. Offer a discount on their first purchase or free shipping. Gently remind them that these products are in limited supply. The reason we recommend leading with your best offer is that it will quickly separate people that might buy sometime soon from people that are unlikely to buy in the near future. Customers that are interested will at least click through on a strong offer.
One important note: for each step in the funnel, make sure to exclude recent purchasers. While you are only making a hard sale in your third ad, you will have people that convert off of both your first and second ads, so don’t waste your money serving them the rest of the ads in the funnel. As you go down the funnel, your ads will get more expensive, so serve them wisely.
Why should you use landing pages with your Facebook marketing funnels?
We’ve seen it too many times. No matter what stage of the funnel the audience is in, all ads lead to the homepage.
Of course, the homepage is a very important page. And some general awareness ads can lead there because it is a good catch-all. It’s meant to serve as a routing point, introducing people to your brand and then directing them to the specific part of your site that they need to see next.
But don’t make the mistake of sending the majority of your ads to the homepage. Remember that most Facebook users who are viewing and clicking on ads are doing so on their mobile phones. Think about your own experience on your phone. If you stop your scrolling long enough to click on an ad, the destination better be exactly what you were hoping to see and as easy to browse as possible. No one wants to go to the trouble of finding a hidden navigation on the homepage or using their large thumb to click a tiny search bar and find what they need!
If you are putting out targeted ads with targeted messaging, you need to direct these ads to a page that is specifically relevant for the content of that ad. Land your visitors on a page that includes the same messaging and features the same product or promo that just compelled them to click on your ad.
Begin using thoughtful landing pages with strategic marketing funnels and you’ll be on your way to better results in Facebook advertising.