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Facebook Ecommerce: The Complete Beginner’s Guide

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Let’s get down to business. That is why you’re here after all, isn’t it? You – or your clients –have products to sell. With that goal in mind, where do you go? Which channel offers access to your target audience and at the most cost-effective way to expand your products reach and visibility and to acquire new and even repeat customers?

Facebook, of course!

WordStream Facebook Ad Benchmarks average CTR

Don’t just take my word for it. According to Facebook reports, by the end of 2018, 2.32 billion users were on the platform. If you had any doubts about your audience being there, set them aside – your potential customers are most certainly there, regardless of your industry, business size, budget, or goals. Sure, Facebook has had its fair share of bad publicity, rising costs, and targeting changes in the last year; however, the tech giant continues to reign supreme as the least expensive online advertising channel and its robust targeting options are incomparable to others.

If you’re looking to get started with Facebook Ads for ecommerce to propel your marketing efforts and drive sales, keep on reading.  In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • How to identify your target audiences on Facebook
  • How to select the proper Facebook campaign objectives
  • How to set your accounts up for Facebook ecommerce success

First Things First

Before you begin driving ecommerce sales, let’s take a few steps back and lay the foundation of your account. Begin by setting up an advertising account for your business in Facebook Business Manager. This is where you will house all of your business assets, such as your business Page, Ads Manager account, and your Catalog (more on this later).

Next, whether you are ready to begin advertising or not, generate the Facebook Pixel in Ads Manager and implement it on your website. With this pixel installed, you  can begin tracking users for future benefits, such as custom audience creation and targeting, and tracking both overall performance and conversions. You can also use pixel-generated data to improve your ecommerce campaigns.

create audience for Facebook ecommerce

If you are not quite ready to launch your campaigns, you should still complete these steps. This will save you time down the road, and you will be ahead of the game by having data and audiences already accumulating for your later use.

Funnel-Based Facebook Campaigns

Facebook currently offers thirteen campaign objectives, as seen below. While it may be enticing to select conversions for your ecommerce campaigns, that may not always be the best option in terms of driving your bottom line and using your budget effectively.

create a campaign for Facebook ecommerce

Facebook breaks up campaign objectives into three stages: awareness, consideration, and conversion. Look at these as you would a conversion map or sales funnel.

Awareness Campaigns for Ecommerce

Awareness campaigns are excellent introductory points. Test these with a cold audience that is not yet familiar with your products. These campaigns are typically lower in cost as they are top of the funnel.

In these ads, say hello, introduce yourself, just as you would when meeting someone in real life. Don’t start off with a hard sell, as that may be off-putting. After all, you wouldn’t attend a networking event and say, “Hello, nice to meet you, give me money.” Would you? We haven’t been acquainted yet, so you might – but the chances you’ll get that money will be slim.

awareness meme

Consideration Campaigns for Ecommerce

As users get further down your Facebook funnel but have not yet converted, test out a traffic campaign. It’s an excellent method of driving more traffic to particular product pages, which can increase your chances of sale. Admittedly, I use this campaign objective as our introductory point over an awareness or reach campaign for ecommerce clients, because we can drive users to the website and tag them with the pixel so in the case that they don’t convert. That way, we can retarget them to come back later with new messaging around features or special promotions. The former awareness options may not get us that far.

When you’re getting started, you should test out either or both of these options to see what works best for you. With this campaign type, using a call to action such as “Learn More” can be effective in driving users to your site as they are still in the discovery phase and do want to learn more.

Purple mattress company does an exemplary job with ads, as seen below.  This ad showcases the new bed sheets without making a hard sell. The company wants you purchase the sheets, but the primary goal of this ad is to educate, to entertain, to stand out among bedding competitors, and to drive that click-through to the site. Take this into account when brainstorming the ways you can turn your products into captivating, informative, helpful, or even entertaining ads to drive new users into your funnel.

Facebook ecommerce consideration campaign ad

Conversion Campaigns for Ecommerce

Now that your audience knows you, it’s time to get down to business and encourage them to return and make that purchase. Launch a conversion goal campaign with warmer audiences. One tactic that is effective here is retargeting a warm audience, such as previous website visitors, page visitors, cart abandoners, or newsletter subscribers, by enticing them to come back to your site and complete the purchase.

For conversion campaigns, stepping it up a notch with a stronger call to action such as “Shop Now” is effective in increasing your chances of a sale, as seen in the Nisolo shoe ad below. If you have a special promotion to share, this is a good time to incentivize.

Facebook ecommerce conversion campaign ad

The reason you should focus on warmer audiences here is that trying to make a hard sell with a cold audience can be more expensive this far down funnel and with this campaign objective. Historically, we’ve seen that results are far from fruitful.

Facebook’s algorithm tends to be more rewarding to advertisers if they can achieve the selected campaign goal. For example, if a conversion campaign is selected and does not drive many conversions, Facebook will see that campaign and its assets as irrelevant to the audience, thus providing a poor user experience on their platform. Word has it that if you aren’t able to complete about 30 goals per day, your impression-share will decrease over time and costs will go up. The adverse seems to be true as well in that if you are able to drive high goal completion rates, impression share goes up and costs decrease. It’s a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” type of relationship between Facebook and advertisers.

Making the Most of Facebook Ads for Ecommerce

Good news for ecommerce sellers: Products can be advertised using every ad type on Facebook. If you’re looking to showcase a single product, try single image or video ads. If you have multiple products, Carousel ads and Collection ads are optimal here, as they give users more options to choose from and can increase your chance of a sale.

Facebook ads for ecommerce

Catalog Sales

Single creative ads and Carousel ads can use used in all campaign objectives except Catalog Sales. For this campaign objective, you’ll need to use Collection ads.

Collection ads may sound and appear similar to Carousel ads, but they are much more personalized, customizable, and automated. Carousel ads, as seen above, scroll left to right with individual slides. Collection ads, on the other hand, take up more screen real estate for a catalog-like shopping experience, as seen here.

Facebook ecommerce catalog sales ad

Image via Adweek.

To set up a Catalog Sales campaign and begin advertising your product inventory, head to Catalog Manager, where you will be prompted to create or upload a product fee or you can view any that have already been shared with you. If you are more familiar with paid search, this is your Google Merchant Center and Google Shopping product feed equivalent.

Facebook campaign manager

If you use ecommerce inventory platforms such as Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce, sync them with your Ads Manager account to streamline the process. This will save you valuable time, as it will automatically update your inventory and you won’t have to perform ongoing manual management directly in Facebook.

Before proceeding, check back in with your pixel as you may need to modify custom events if they aren’t yet set up for “View Content,” “Add To Cart,” and “Purchase.” To quickly check on this without having to dive back into the Pixel tab of Ads Manager, install or refer to the Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome extension.

Next up, head into Ads Manager to set up your new Catalog Sales campaign and select your targeting. Once you arrive to the ad level set up, create an ad template or select a previously created one. Once configured to your liking, publish and let them roll!

Facebook Creative

Marketing automation is key in recent years, and this is Facebook’s major offer to help you drive more sales in a more efficient way. With dynamic Collection ads, you can expect to see higher click-through rate and conversion rates as you are reaching your target audience at the right time, with the products that they have already shown interest in.

Video Ads

Did you know? Visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy than visitors who do not, according to Internet Retailer. Need we say more as to why video ads are stepping stones to ecommerce success?

Video leaves less to the imagination and manages customer expectations. It’s also a faster visual way to connect with your audience. From showcasing your brand story or products in awareness campaigns to displaying new features or customer testimonials in conversion retargeting campaigns, there are endless creative possibilities of how to advertise your products to drive that sale through Facebook video ads.

Facebook video ad

Video ads, compared to their static image counterparts, often convert at higher rates. Video ads can currently be used in each campaign objective type except for Catalog Sales. If you have dialogue in your video, cover all bases by telling your story textually, visually, and acoustically, as 85% of Facebook users watch video without sound, says Forbes. We also don’t want to disregard anyone that may be hearing impaired. To assist with the acoustic to visual component, append captions.

You can easily add captions to your videos in the ad level where you select your creative. From there, you can select the first option for Facebook to automatically generate captions or you can upload your own SubRip Text file or SRT file. The former option quickly scans your video and generates captions that you can review and edit as needed. Keep an eye out for any miscaptions of your brand name, people’s names, and, especially if anyone has an accent in your video, review before saving as this feature can miscaption words on occasion.

captions for video ads

From Setup to Success

As an ecommerce brand, you have the luxury of using a variety of Facebook’s features to your advantage. From an introductory to a conversion point, you will not find yourself in a bind as there are many variables to explore and test as an advertiser of every experience level.

If you have a smaller inventory, start small with single creative or Carousel ads. As you grow and have a better understanding of what works well and what does not, evolve your ecommerce efforts into Catalog Sales campaigns with dynamic ads. Stick to targeting audiences with relevant messaging as it relates to their place in the funnel, and you’ll be sure to see a healthy return on your ecommerce advertising investment.

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Google Rolls Out Click Share Metric

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This post was created by Viral Video Reviews – see more at https://viralvideoreviews.net/

Alright—here’s the deal.

We don’t want you clicking around to a bunch of different sites every morning, hurriedly trying to figure out what’s going on with Google Ads or Instagram Stories.

If you’re a restaurant owner, that’s time you could use to perfect tomorrow night’s special. If you’re an account manager at an agency, that’s time you could use to get a better understanding of your clients’ verticals.

Regardless of what you do to put food on your table and fund your drunk Amazon Prime purchases, there’s almost always going to be a better use of your time than keeping up with the latest online advertising news.

online-advertising-news-round-up-cardboard-cut-out

Sup, Friday at 3 a.m.

That’s why we’re going to regularly publish an online advertising news round-up that covers the most recent developments across search and social.

You have more time to run your business. I have a purpose in life. Everybody wins.

Cool? Cool.

Google Ads rolls out click share metric to Search advertisers

Within the next few weeks, all Search advertisers will see a new metric at the campaign, ad group, and keyword levels in their Google Ads accounts: click share.

Available to Shopping advertisers since 2015, click share is a metric that measures the rate at which you’re turning potential clicks into actual clicks.

Click Share = Clicks / Potential Clicks

So, if your ad is eligible for 1,000 clicks over the course of a month and it attracts 80, your click share for that particular ad is 8%.

How does Google know the number of clicks your ad could have driven? It calculates an estimate based on how your ad would perform if, for example, you leveraged more ad extensions.

online-advertising-news-round-up-sitelink-extensions-example

Sitelink extensions tend to attract clicks.

For the sake of clarity: click-through rate (CTR) is a metric that measures the rate at which you’re turning impressions into clicks. Yes—the difference between CTR and click share is small.

If your click share is low, that means there’s potential for you to drive clicks at a higher rate. As far as how you can approach doing so, we’d recommend the same tactics you already use to improve your CTR (e.g., use callout extensions to highlight special offers). 

online-advertising-news-round-up-callout-extensions-example

If you find out that your account has a low click share, don’t panic—and don’t respond by immediately increasing your bid and/or daily budget. That’s an option you resort to after you’ve tested out some new ideas.

LinkedIn launches live video streaming  

Video: It’s hot in the digital marketing streets.

In fact, LinkedIn reports that video is its fastest-growing and most shared form of content. Pete Davies, director of product management at LinkedIn, says live video has been the most requested feature for some time now.

This makes sense, given the popularity of live video features on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

LinkedIn Live, as it’s called, enables individuals and businesses alike to broadcast original video content to users in real time. It launched in beta exclusively in the U.S. last week.

online-advertising-news-round-up-linkedin-live-example

To begin, LinkedIn Live is invite-only. Eventually, LinkedIn will roll out an application for those individuals and businesses who want to use the new feature.

So: If you’re invited to use LinkedIn Live—or if you gain access through the application process—how and when should you use it? Here are a few ideas:

  • Conduct a Q&A or AMA with users.
  • Announce the release of a new product or feature.
  • Broadcast an event you’re attending.
  • Crowdsource ideas for a content topic.

Instagram can drive sales, too

We got new data from Facebook, folks.

It’s based on two studies they recently commissioned. For the first, LRWTonic conducted hour-long interviews with 70 people aged 18 and older who use Instagram multiple times per day. For the second, Ipsos administered a survey to 21,000 people aged between 13 and 64 who use Instagram at least once per day.

Most broadly, survey responses indicate that simply having a presence on Instagram improves your brand in users’ eyes. Here’s how people most commonly describe Instagram brands:

online-advertising-news-round-up-brand-descriptions

Via Facebook.

Survey responses also indicate that consumers use Instagram at each point in the funnel—awareness, consideration, and purchase. For advertisers, this means you should develop your Instagram marketing and advertising strategies not just with brand awareness in mind, but with sales in mind as well.

54% of users say they’ve purchased a product or service either in the moment or soon after they saw it advertised on Instagram.

Additionally, 87% of people say they’ve taken action (e.g., followed a brand account, visited a website, made a purchase) after getting new information about a product or service on Instagram. Here’s a breakdown of the actions users take after learning something new:

online-advertising-news-round-up-instagram-user-actions

Via Facebook.

The key takeaway: Instagram users are ready to convert. If you don’t give them the chance to do so, you’re missing a huge opportunity.

Ecommerce ads, Instagram Stories show strong growth

Marin Software, a digital marketing solutions provider, released their online advertising benchmark data report for Q4 of 2018.

For ecommerce advertisers, I think there are three key statistics:

  1. Across all platforms, monthly spend on ecommerce ads has increased 5x in the past year.
  2. Dynamic Product Ads captured 35% of Facebook advertising spend.
  3. Google Shopping captured 36% of total Search spend, up from 33% in Q4 of 2017.
online-advertising-news-round-up-google-shopping-spend

The share of Search spend going to Google Shopping over time. Via Marin Software.

Evidently, a multi-channel marketing approach is increasingly crucial for ecommerce businesses. Try using Facebook targeting to remarket your products to prospects who’ve already interacted with them in the Shopping results.

Next we have two important statistics for social advertisers:

  1. Instagram captured 18% of all Facebook spend, up from 9% in Q4 of 2017.
  2. Instagram Stories captured 34% of Instagram spend, up from 3% in Q4 of 2017.
online-advertising-news-round-up-instagram-spend-statistics

Via Marin Software.

Instagram is only going to become more popular for advertisers as 2019 goes on. There’s no better time to get in on it than now—and that’s especially true for Stories.

Instagram users want to be entertained

I’m going to take us back to those two Facebook studies I referenced earlier. Facebook wrung enough data out of ’em to create two different reports—we’ll look at the second one now.

Whereas the first report focuses on the (rarely discussed) bottom-of-funnel power of Instagram ads, this report focuses on what Instagram users want out of branded content.

Most commonly, Instagram users simply want brands to publish fun, entertaining content. Authenticity, creativity, and insightfulness are also highly valued:

online-advertising-news-round-up-instagram-brand-content-descriptions

Via Facebook.

That high-quality production is relatively unimportant to Instagram users is great news for small businesses. You don’t need to be flashy and sleek; as long as you keep it fun, authentic, and creative, your followers will respond well.

Another key statistic: 91% of Instagram users follow accounts that are related to their personal interests. The following are the most common personal interests people seek to engage on Instagram:

online-advertising-news-round-up-instagram-user-interests

Via Facebook.

You don’t need to be in any of these industries to create content related to them. For example, a small B2B software company could tap into Instagram users’ love for music by sharing a short video of some employees celebrating #NewMusicFriday.

Again: fun, authentic, creative.

One final insight from this report: two of the top three ways Instagram users seek content related to their personal interests involve brand accounts:

online-advertising-news-round-up-how-to-engage-user-interests

Via Facebook.

Your prospects are telling you—loud and clear—that they expect original content from you.

AMP correlates with improved Search performance

“That must be it for the data stuff, right? Surely there can’t be more data.”

Pardon me.

AMP refers to the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, an open-source framework Google has developed to make mobile web surfing faster.

Basically, a website can implement AMP to deliver a fast, lightweight version of its standard experience to mobile device users.

Recently, SEO-focused digital marketing firm Stone Temple and AMP implementation software provider WompMobile teamed up to investigate the impact of AMP on Search performance.

In a study of 26 websites and over 9 million web pages, they compared performance metrics during the 30 days before AMP implementation to performance metrics during the 30 days after AMP implementation.

The key takeaway: AMP correlates with more impressions, more traffic, and higher CTRs.

Specifically, Stone Temple and WompMobile observed the following improvements across all 26 websites (7 publishers and 19 ecommerce businesses):

  • 27% increase in organic mobile traffic
  • 34% increase in mobile impressions
  • 15% increase in mobile CTR
online-advertising-news-round-up-amp-study

Via Stone Temple.

And when they zoomed in on ecommerce businesses in particular, they saw this:

  • 32% increase in organic mobile traffic
  • 42% increase in mobile impressions
  • 12% increase in mobile CTR
online-advertising-news-round-up-amp-results-publishers-ecommerce

Via Stone Temple.

Seemingly, AMP is particularly beneficial for ecommerce businesses looking to grow their SERP visibility and organic traffic.

Now—do these data mean you should immediately implement AMP on your website?

Not necessarily. Although its positive impact on Search performance may suggest that it’s a home run, AMP brings considerable drawbacks to the table, too.

Namely, it means you have to sacrifice a degree of control over your content and design. Plus, it requires setting up special parameters to ensure you’re accurately tracking and attributing conversions.

In short: AMP may be a good idea for your website, but you should think it over—a lot.

Bing Ads releases Campaign Type filter for search term reporting

More good news for ecommerce advertisers: Bing Ads has expanded its search term reporting to include Shopping campaigns.

To see which search queries are triggering your Bing Shopping ads, simply navigate to the Keywords tab under All Campaigns and click on Search Terms.

online-advertising-news-round-up-bing-ads-search-query-report

Via Bing.

When you do that, Bing Ads will serve you the search terms grid you’ve seen a million times before—showing you the queries that triggered your ads as well as specifying in which ad groups and campaigns those ads live.

The difference is that you’ll also see a Campaign Type column. This column allows you to filter by Search and Shopping, thus giving you a clearer picture of account performance by campaign type:

online-advertising-news-round-up-bing-ads-campaign-filter

Via Bing.

Thanks to this update, adding keywords to (and excluding negatives from) your Bing Ads campaigns should be simpler than ever.

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Touchplan’s Quest to Make Construction More Efficient

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Averages seldom tell the whole story.

On average, American non-farm labor productivity has soared since 1950. But when we look at the American construction industry in particular, the trend is the exact opposite.

If you want to zoom in even closer, check out the productivity gap between the manufacturing sector and the construction sector since the mid-1990s:

customer-spotlight-touchplan-manufacturing-vs-construction

Via McKinsey & Co.

A figure as stark as that one leaves a single looming question: Why?

The short answer: bad organization, insufficient communication, poor planning, and a startling lack of accountability.

Essentially, we can attribute the decades-long decline in American construction productivity to the absence of a centralized collaboration solution where the people doing the work can make better decisions together.

Allow me to introduce you to Touchplan.

Unlocking Your Full Potential

Dedicated to making construction sites run more smoothly, Touchplan is a completely web-based, fully collaborative software that helps everyone on your team get—and, more importantly, stay—on the same page for the duration of the project at hand.

It all starts with a plan.

When you start a new project within the Touchplan UI, you’re given a customizable schedule. Here, you and the rest of the project team decide on and create digital sticky notes to mark the work needed to complete the project.

customer-spotlight-touchplan-ui-plan

Looking ahead in the plan to see what work is coming up.

Each ticket holds three crucial pieces of information: a task, the people who will complete the task, and how long the task will take to complete. Since the tool is allocated to the entire project, everyone on your team has full access to the schedule at all times.

Already, we can see why Touchplan works wonders for its clients in construction: It vastly improves organization, communication, planning, and accountability by empowering teams to make better decisions.

customer-spotlight-touchplan-add-milestone

Adding a milestone to the larger plan.

The ability to break down the plan into succinct daily and weekly schedules makes short-term collaboration a breeze. Plus, thanks to an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, you can easily update tasks across your plan in real time according to what’s actually happening in the field.

And everyone on your team will see it instantly. Once everyone’s approved the new plan, it’s locked, loaded, and ready to be done.

By preventing the back-breaking mishaps that arise from poor planning and communication, Touchplan enables their customers to work as productively as possible—and to unlock the potential that’s present, even if everyone can’t see it all the time.

Marketing to Skeptics

Jen Nussinow, director of marketing at Touchplan, has a lot going on.

Since joining the Touchplan team in May 2017 as the associate director of marketing, she’s taken on pretty much everything: website development, initial content marketing strategy (working with a fantastic content manager to help produce helpful industry-related pieces), product marketing, lead generation, and local partnerships.

customer-spotlight-touchplan-selfie

This is Jen.

Prior to her foray into construction collaboration software, she scaled many a business through social media marketing and advertising while working for Boston-based digital agencies. She even became CMO of adopets, a tech company that helps pet companies find the perfect customers for their animals.

In other words: Jen’s been around the ‘ol digital marketing block a time or two.

Nonetheless, her transition to marketing to the construction sector brought no shortage of unique challenges. She talked to our own Kim Castings, senior customer marketing specialist, about some of the most daunting ones.

“Being a marketer, you get really excited about the glittery, shiny things that are out there—the cutting edge ways that you can promote your product,” says Jen.

Generally speaking, however, the men and women who work in construction are rather unconcerned with all the flashy stuff that (for some reason) gets marketers so amped up.

“The construction sector is old school, and that poses a challenge for us. As marketers, we operate in an entirely digital environment. People often come out and say stuff like ‘Pinterest ads are the next big thing!’ Well, guess what. The men laying concrete and the women putting up drywall don’t really care about Pinterest ads.”

customer-spotlight-touchplan-boston-construction-workers

Some Boston folks talking about stuff that’s more important than Pinterest ads. Via WBUR.

It’s a big enough obstacle to give any marketer pause. How does someone with years of experience in a sector that’s obsessed with change successfully demonstrate value to prospective customers with years of experience in a sector that’s skeptical of change?

Square Peg, Round Hole

One of the ways Jen overcomes that fundamental challenge: content.

“We’re well aware that the men and women in construction don’t want to be sold to,” explains Jen.

A lesser marketer would ignore that sentiment, disregarding the information provided by the market and helplessly pushing a new-school product on people who like to get things done the way they’ve always gotten things done.

Jen knows better, though. She quickly realized that Touchplan could use content to address the biggest pain points across the construction industry (see the introduction), thus initiating a shift in the ways people think about the industry itself.

“I had a strategy in mind—including a tone and a voice that I wanted to execute and some content chops to do it. But, with so many things pulling me in various directions, it was time to hire someone full-time to come aboard and make this vision become a reality. Hiring our content manager, Katie, was crucial to spreading the information and thought leadership we had to share with the world—in a way that hasn’t been done before.”

The goal: warm people up to the idea that there’s a more efficient, more profitable way to approach construction—and it’s pretty easy to get there.

Brilliant.

customer-spotlight-touchplan-blog-post-examples

Cranking out content like you read about.

As you may have intuited from Jen’s resume, paid and organic social strategies were very much in her wheelhouse when she started at Touchplan. That’s where she’d been thriving for years.

“Paid search,” on the other hand, “was Narnia to me.”

It didn’t help that she was grandfathered into an AdWords Express account that, despite costing Touchplan hundreds of dollars per month, was producing no discernable results.

Naturally, Jen did what any of us would do in that situation: she tried to apply her social marketing expertise to search marketing.

“I was very much trying to fit a square peg in a round hole,” she says.

Fast forward to today. Touchplan has been a WordStream customer for a full year and, as far as paid channels go, they’re advertising exclusively on Google Ads. Although Jen aims to branch out into other channels in 2019 (e.g., Facebook Ads), she’s evidently become proficient enough with Google Ads to keep revenue growing.

A key factor: her experience with our Customer Success team, and with representatives Joy Cheramie and Courtney Charroux in particular.

Jen described her partnership with Courtney (her original CS rep) pretty succinctly: “It was like having an extra person on my marketing team.” It’s that above-and-beyond caliber of support, Jen says, that differentiates WordStream from the other tech companies in her marketing stack.

customer-spotlight-touchplan-linkedin-advocacy

Talk about going above and beyond!

Jen and Joy make a damn good team, too. When Jen expressed interest in running a remarketing campaign to serve Display ads to website visitors, she and Joy worked together to create a custom intent audience.

The result: a jump to 75 conversions between Dec. 30, 2018 and Jan. 30, 2019, and an even bigger jump to 265 conversions between Jan. 31, 2019 and Feb. 13, 2019.

“Jen is one of the best clients I’ve ever worked with here at WordStream,” Joy told me. “Our consulting calls are always productive because Jen loves to talk PPC strategy. She always welcomes my advice, even it it’s taking her in a different direction.”

How’s that for collaboration? WordStream may not be a Touchplan customer, but it’s pretty clear that our Boston neighbor is making us a better company nonetheless.

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6 Steps to Create a Full Funnel

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As promised in my previous post, I am back with part two on how to leverage Facebook objectives to create a cross-funnel campaign strategy. If you didn’t have the chance to catch part one, here are the main points you need to know:

  • Facebook offers three campaign objective options for advertisers: awareness, consideration, and conversion.
  • It is crucial that you don’t overlook your objective, optimization settings, bid strategy, or budget selections upon campaign creation.
  • The Facebook ad auction relies on algorithmic learning around these settings to make decisions. You need to identify the right signals and track significant data to enable this algorithm to efficiently optimize according to your marketing goals.

And now that we are up to speed with part one….

next level meme

For part two, I will walk you through the six key steps to building out your full-funnel advertising strategy on Facebook. Let’s get started!

Step #1: Understand how your marketing funnel works

Before we get into tactics on Facebook, let’s quickly talk about the marketing funnel.  This funnel is the path that users take during their journey with your marketing activities. There are various ways to define and break down your marketing funnel, but it typically looks something like this:

diagram of a marketing funnel

It’s important to recognize and understand what your marketing funnel looks like in order to optimize your cross-funnel strategy. To get there, start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What are the sources and channels of brand discovery for your prospects?
  • What are the milestones in your prospect’s journey? Here, think about number of touchpoints you are having with your prospects (website visits, form fills, types of actions, etc.).
  • What offers can you pair to these milestones? To match your prospect’s intent through your marketing funnel, it’s extremely valuable to have different types of offerings. Consider a white paper for new prospects versus a free trial for those further down the funnel.
  • How long does it take for a prospect to travel from top of funnel to bottom of the funnel?
  • Where are the leaks in your marketing funnel? Consider areas where you could lose your prospect.

Once you’ve thought through each of these questions, you’ll be in the right mindset to get started.

Step #2: Structure your Facebook Ads account

Now that you’re thinking about how your marketing funnel is structured, it’s time to talk about your Facebook account. The way you structure your account can make or break your ability to effectively manage and optimize your campaigns to your business goals.

To get started, let’s do a quick refresh. Here’s an example of what a Facebook ad account looks like:

Facebook funnel account structure chart

Think of your Facebook campaigns as the shell for your ad sets. Aside from your objective, the majority of decisions are made at this ad set level on Facebook. This includes your targeting, optimization settings, bid strategy, and budget. And within each ad set, you have your ads, in which you can differentiate your offer, creative, and messaging.

If you’re reading this post, you’re interested in targeting prospects across your funnel through Facebook so we’ll talk through an account structure that matches your marketing funnel. In order to accomplish this, I would recommend building out your campaigns in accordance to each stage in your marketing funnel. Depending on what your marketing funnel looks like and how granular you want to get, the number of campaigns will vary. To give you an idea of what this would look like, I’ll provide a simple example:

Campaign 1: Top of funnel (TOF)

Campaign 2: Middle of funnel (MOF)

Campaign 3: Bottom of funnel (BOF)

With this structure, your first view in ads manager will be a clear representation of how much you are investing and how your relative KPIs are tracking across each stage of the funnel. Next, within your campaign, you should use your ad sets to test your offers and audiences. Here’s an example:

Ad set 1: Offer 1 & Audience 1

Ad set 2: Offer 1 & Audience 2

Ad set 3: Offer 2 & Audience 3

Ad set 4: Offer 3 & Audience 4

Now, within your ad set view, you can compare performance to understand how you should adjust your budget allocation or test new offers and audiences within that funnel stage.

Lastly, within each ad set, you have your ads. This is the perfect place to test out different creative, ad formats, and messaging within your ad set. For example:

Ad #1: Offer > Creative Variation 1 > Copy Variation 1

Ad #2: Offer > Creative Variation 1 > Copy Variation 2

Ad #3: Offer > Creative Variation 2 > Copy Variation 1

Ad #4: Offer > Creative Variation 2 > Copy Variation 2

As evident in my examples above, your naming convention will also be key to transparent reporting and effective account management. By clearly naming your campaigns, ad sets, and ads, you will be able to easily identify the component and make decisions without having to drill into each ad set or ad.

In summary, a well-organized ad account is crucial to successfully getting started with your cross-funnel strategy on Facebook.

Step #3: Set objectives based on the funnel

Now, that your campaigns are mapped out by funnel stage, you should be able match up the proper objective as offered by Facebook:

Facebook objectives

Here is a guide to reference when making your objective decisions based on your marketing funnel:

Facebook objectives in the funnel chart

Step #4: Select your targeting types

In order to reach your campaign’s objective, you need to understand what targeting types and audiences are most appropriate for each ad set. Thankfully, Facebook offers a multitude of targeting options for advertisers. These options enable you create audiences that range from broad to specific:

audience targeting

These audiences can be sourced directly from Facebook’s core audience options (demographics, interests, behaviors) or from your own data (website visitors, custom audiences, lookalike audiences or LAL, etc). As your prospect moves down the funnel, your targeting should become more segmented as you are targeting more qualified users.

To help you decide which audiences to use in each funnel stage, here are a few recommendations:

audience per funnel stage

As you can see in the chart above, there is crossover across funnel stages. It’s important to note that the key here is to narrow down your audience. Take the lookalike recommendations, for example. At the TOF, you should widen up your audience range, allowing the algorithm to target a larger base of potential prospects. Then, when you get to MOF ad sets, you should narrow down your range to ensure that you have a closer group of qualified, potential prospects.

You should also consider employing exclusionary audiences across your ad sets. This way, as the prospect moves through the funnel, they are not continuing to see the ads from their previous stage. This will help you control wasted spend and improve the prospect experience.

Step #5: Leverage engagement audiences

What better way to move prospects through your marketing funnel on Facebook than using engagement audiences? Engagement audiences allow you to reach people who have previously interacted with your page. Facebook currently offers six options for your engagement audience:

audience targeting options

Here’s an example of how you can use engagement audiences to boost your funnel strategy from start to finish:

Step 1: Using an awareness campaign objective and broad audience targeting, reach potential prospects with an engaging video.

Step 2: Using a consideration campaign with a lead generation objective, target the individuals who engaged with the video in step 1 by promoting a piece of content through a lead-gen ad.

Step 3: Build out a conversion campaign to target the users who completed this lead ad and entice them to convert on a product-centric offer, moving them to the bottom of your funnel.

Added bonus: Engagement audiences are the perfect targeting type to leverage your organic reach within your paid campaigns. This provides an opportunity to collaborate with your team and pair your organic and paid efforts. Within our very own campaigns, we’ve found that engagement audiences lead to a lower cost per acquisition.

Step #6: Optimize settings & conversion events

As I mapped out in part one, you won’t be able to achieve your marketing goals if you’re not implementing the right settings, which includes your conversion event and optimization for ad delivery settings.

The conversion event is only applicable for your ad sets that fall under a conversion campaign. This is because a conversion objective relies on outside signals (through your pixel) to fuel optimization. Therefore, when it comes to your TOF campaign, you don’t need to set a conversion event as the algorithm is able to deliver based on internal signals.

However, for your MOF and BOF campaigns that are set to conversion, you will be asked to select a conversion event. You should ensure that you select the appropriate conversion event based on your objective and offer. If you are promoting a whitepaper in your MOF campaign, you should select a conversion event that registers a successful download. On the other hand, you are likely promoting a higher value offer in your BOF campaign, which means your conversion event should reflect this goal. For advertisers alike, it’s not always easy to drive a significant volume of BOF leads. Therefore, if you are struggling to reach your goals, you should consider selecting a leading signal for your conversion event so that the algorithm receives sufficient signals during its learning period.

The optimization for ad delivery setting is where you tell the algorithm what you see as success for your ad set. As we’ve talked about through this post, your goals vary across each funnel, so it’s important to make this known within your optimization for ad delivery. Here’s an example of the appropriate settings depending on your funnel stage:

ad delivery optimized by Facebook funnel stage chart

See results with your funnel-based Facebook strategy

Facebook provides an excellent opportunity for advertisers to capture new prospects and move existing leads through your marketing funnel. By following the six steps mapped out in this post, you will have a promotional strategy that delights prospects and maximizes your advertising results.

Once you are running with your cross-funnel strategy, you should continue to iterate by testing new audiences, offers, and creative to optimize and scale your account. Before you go, take a look at our Facebook Grader today and see how your Facebook ads can improve today!

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