Let’s get right down to it. There are a lot of ways you can go about advertising your ecom business in Facebook ads. Technically, there is no right answer for how to go about doing this. There are, however, several best practices and tips to use when setting up your audiences to build a clean and clear funnel so you know exactly where your advertising dollars are going. By using these steps, you’ll be able to
- Reduce audience overlap
- Control frequencies
- Create clear stages of the purchase funnel to push users smartly towards the end goal
- Analyze how much it costs to get a new customer vs another purchase from an existing customer.
Step 1: Map Your Conversion Funnel
Before you even start creating audiences in Facebook, map out the stages a user has to take to get to a purchase. Now, this will be somewhat unique to each ecom advertiser, but the point is to give yourself a visual representation of the audiences you need to create that will match up with each stage. So get out your Excel docs or Google sheets or whatever else you use and start mapping. Below is a simple example:
- Site visit
- Product(s) page view
- Add to cart
You have now made it super clear that you have 4 distinct stages in a purchase journey, that all translate into extremely valuable remarketing audiences you can create for Facebook ads. But….that doesn’t really include everything now, does it? All of that is just what happens on your site. What about what happens before someone gets to your site?
These pre-site scenarios might include someone who has never interacted with you, someone who watched a video, or someone who commented on your ad. That further expands our conversion funnel. So now our funnel has 6 stages:
- New/Never Interacted
- Video watchers and ad engagers
- Site visitors
- Product(s) page viewers
- Add to carts
Step 2: Create and Segment Your Audiences
The first part of step 2 is really easy, just create those audiences you mapped out in step 1 (for the sake of this example, I will be using audiences that can be created with the Facebook pixel). The other part, segmenting your audiences properly, is where you need to be very focused. Each stage of the funnel needs a clean set up. That means each stage will have a target audience with proper exclusions to ensure there is no audience overlap. So what does that look like with our mapping from earlier?
- New/never interacted – These are your interest/behavior/lookalike audiences. From these users, you need to exclude all of your remarketing audiences. We do this to keep pushing people down the funnel and hopefully keep them there. You should exclude engagement audiences, site visitors, and purchasers.
- Video watchers and ad engagers – If we are doing upper funnel correctly, we should be generating some ad engagement that we can retarget. This could be people who watched at least 25% of your video or people who opened and engaged with your instant experience. However, you want to exclude site visitors and purchasers.
- Site visitors – This one should be straight forward. It is just all people who have visited your site. From here, you want to exclude audiences who viewed specific products, people who added a product to their cart, and purchasers.
- Product(s) page viewers – Here we want to target people who actually viewed specific products on site. If you have a lot of products, I recommend using dynamic remarketing ads through catalog sales campaigns, but if you have just a few products you can segment by URLs. Exclude add-to-carts and purchasers.
- Add to carts – This will be similar to the previous step. Target anyone who added to their cart but did not purchase. Use dynamic remarketing if it makes sense, otherwise use URLs to remarket.
- Purchasers – Here we want to increase repeat customers. Existing customers tend to have a higher value than any others. So in this conversion funnel, you would want to target something like “purchasers over the last 180 days” but exclude “purchasers over the last 30 days.” And if you do target a large lookback window like 180 days, make sure you are excluding purchasers from the last 180 days from every step above.
Segmenting like this is going to prove how much more valuable users are at each stage of the funnel. Someone who visited your site but did not look at any products is less valuable than someone who did look at products. Generally speaking, the numbers will prove this if you segment your audiences. So with this setup, not only are you maximizing value out of each audience you are also pushing users continually to the next stage to increase their value.
Other Musings About Campaign Types and Audiences
After you have set all this up, take a moment to consider your goals at each stage of the funnel and which campaign type will help you achieve them.
At the new user phase, you should be focused on generating lots of traffic and engagement, not necessarily sales. Traffic campaigns or video views campaigns will be your friend in feeding your lower funnel (I say traffic campaigns, but realistically you should run conversion campaigns optimized for landing page views).
As you move down the funnel, think about how to maximize your value and advertising dollars. Usually, this comes in the form of conversion campaigns optimized for something like a purchase but that is not the only option. You can find value in using reach campaigns with high value remarketing audiences. This will ensure you actually “reach” everyone in those audiences with the added benefit of setting frequency caps. I have seen success with both campaign types at lower-funnel stages.
With all things presented in this article, realize that your conversion funnel on Facebook can be less or more complicated. But hey, that was the whole point of mapping it out yourself right?