Businesses are faced with a bunch of options when they first open up Facebook Ads Manager. From objectives to optimization, adset to adverts – the options to simply get a campaign off the ground can be quite overwhelming.
Which is why I sometimes understand that just setting up a couple of ads or hitting the boost button can be is as much detail and people venture into.
Unfortunately, though, this approach is lacking one thing – a strategy. This is mainly due to the fact that most businesses want one of two main things:
An immediate impact
A quick sale
I’m here to tell you this approach simply doesn’t work on Facebook. I’ve tried it, others have tried it before and many more will continue to try it. But Facebook is different to any other medium of online advertising.
Think about it, when users open their Facebook app, they don’t go there with the aim to see ads about your upcoming sale or promotion. They’re there to interact with friends and family, watch cat videos and catch up on what has been happening in their own lives. Frankly my dear, they just don’t give a damn…yet.
It’s this ‘intent’ that most advertisers don’t grasp before setting up a new campaign on Facebook. Before your potential customers get to the point of converting you need to build a relationship with them and solve their pain points so they’re ready to purchase.
Before even opening Facebook Ads Manager, there are a few steps you need to consider:
- What are the steps users take to convert to my offer?
- How can I move them from one step to another?
- What impact do I have on them during the customer journey?
- What are the steps people need to take convert to my offer?
The customer journey/sales funnel (call it what you will) has changed since online advertising was introduced over a decade ago. A recent study showed that consumers need to see a brand 6-7 times before they are ready to convert. While other studies have also shown a user needs to see a brand up to 17 times before they make a decision.
Regardless, it’s no longer a linear journey that people go on. You need map out the potential touch points that users could have before they consider converting to your offer.
Let’s break this process down. Starting from the final action they perform when the convert to your product or service, what are the steps they take to the first potential point they may have seen your brand? I find this process incredibly beneficial because not only does it give you an idea of how many steps they need to take, but also where potential sticking points may be.
For example, my sneakers are on their last legs so I recently purchased a new pair of kicks online from a store in Australia. I went back and mapped out the journey I took (in reverse) from the first touch point till the point I converted about 3 weeks later:
- Online payment confirmation page
- Payment confirmation and shipping email
- Checkout confirmation page
- Added payment details
- Added the discount code from the original email
- Visited the cart confirmation page
- Clicked the link in the email to complete my purchase
- Received an abandon cart email to let me know the product was still there
- Visited the product page and decided to add it to cart. Was on my mobile on the train though so couldn’t convert. Left it for later.
- Back on Facebook I was served a retargeting advertisement specific to the product I browsed
- On their email confirmation page, they promoted their latest products, I browsed a couple before exiting.
- Received a discount code via email
- Went through to their website, signed up for their email
- Back on Facebook I was served a retargeting ad promoting a free bonus to sign up to their email
- Subscribed to them on Youtube
- Watched a video they had in their blog post
- Went to their website and read the blog post.
- Browsing Instagram, I saw one of those accounts publish a video about their latest blog post.
- Got distracted, forgot about it for probably another week or so…
- Followed a few popular accounts
- Jumped on Instagram and searched the hashtag #sneakerhead to find some cool pics on the latest shoes.
- Slipped on the pavement, noticed my sneakers had no grip left and they needed an upgrade
As you can see, you might be exhausted by the time I actually paid for my new shoes. The point is, it’s not one size that fits everyone and each person has individual motivations before they convert.
How can I setup a blueprint that helps move them along?
Your role as a marketer for your business is to lay out what the process may look like and then place advertisements at critical steps in the journey to help move them onto the next one.
There are so many competing priorities such as their personal lives, family, work and other media that trying to attract that person’s attention. One of the main details that most advertisers don’t consider, is time.
Customers also need time to consider options and build trust with your business to decide if you have the right offer for them.
It takes time for people to be served the different advertisements and for them to make decisions on what action to perform next.
Underpinning a strategy like this are three systems you need to have in place:
A Facebook pixel installed on your website for retargeting advertisements.
Custom audiences built around certain user behaviors on Facebook and your website.
An email provider that can send automated emails based on certain behaviors.
Facebook Pixel & Custom Audiences
In week 1 of this series, we covered how you can install the Facebook Pixel and build the different types of Facebook custom audiences so you can retarget them.
The Facebook Pixel tracks user’s interactions with your brand and the Facebook Algorithm adjusts to find the right people to show your advertisements to.
I’m still a big advocate of gathering users data throughout the process so you can also market to them via email. This creates another avenue to promote your message and the action of a customer giving you their details is also a trigger point for building further trust with them.
For email automation there are a number of different options, depending on the system they need to integrate with and your budget available. Here are some of the most common:
MailChimp – Free
ActiveCampaign – $49/mth
Convert Kit – $29/mth
Aweber – $19/mth
Infusionsoft – $199/mth
What impact do I have on them during the sales funnel?
To be able to captivate them to get them to the point of conversion, you need to have a lasting effect on them each time they interact with you.
In week 2 of this series, we covered 7 key questions I ask myself when designing ads that leave an impression. As a recap on these key questions:
- Is it novel, unique and distinctive?
- How can we make it simple and easy to understand?
- What is a question we can ask that will evoke a reaction to make a conversion or purchase?
- How do we pre-expose our audience to a concept linked to the desired emotional stimulus?
- What mental links and associations or nostalgia can we tap into?
- How do we use the idea of creating an open loop or a cliffhanger?
- How can we create a portal for the prospect to pass through to make them open to new opportunities?
These questions are important because take again my example of the process to buy my new shoes. If at any point during that process an ad or a piece of content wasn’t compelling enough – do you think I would have given them a second chance? Of course not, I could get the same pair of shoes from thousands of stores around the world, but I chose that one because they spoke to me authentically, like a human being and I felt I could trust them.
Using the customer-centric approach will help you stand out amongst 99% of advertisers who don’t go into this much detail for their customer. It will force you to create the best possible content to nurture customers to the point when they’re ready to convert.