Putting Facebook to Work for E-Commerce

Putting Facebook to Work for E-Commerce

Facebook is more than just pictures of kids and selfies, it is an innovative marketing powerhouse that puts more than 1 billion potential leads within reach. That’s one billion active users checking into the social media site every single day. It is a pervasive tool for any business, but e-commerce entrepreneurs face unique challenges when it comes to getting viewers past the browsing stage. A well-structured Facebook ad marketing strategy can help.

Facebook’s Superpower

Scooping up consumers at the top of the funnel starts with grabbing their attention, but when your business relies on e-commerce, it is just as important to keep them focused. You don’t have the luxury of impulse buys online. It’s harder to get the products to sell itself when all the customers see are pictures and descriptions, too.

The good news is that Facebook has a superpower that is amazing and possibly just a little unsettling. The beauty of the Facebook ad is not it that appears bright and shiny on newsfeeds or in the sidebar as viewers scroll down reading posts. Through some pretty amazing marketing magic, Facebook can target the right customer at just the right moment and reel them back to make the buy. It’s called remarketing and it’s a necessity for any online business whether you’re starting a new venture or rehabbing a known brand.

What is Remarketing?

If you are one of those billion users that go onto Facebook to see what friends and family are up to then you’ve already seen remarketing in action. Let’s say you’ve been online browsing for a new mouse trap. Your old mouse trap is not bad, but there are so many bright shiny new modern ones out right now, maybe it’s time for an upgrade. You’re just looking at this point.

You spent the last few minutes scoping out an especially impressive mouse trapping gadget, but maybe you’ll think about it for a while then go back. The problem with this all too common shopping strategy is that most consumers don’t go back and complete their purchase.

Remarking uses cookies to see what FB viewers are shopping for and then gives them a little push when their socializing online. It’s about recouping that lost sale and turning it into a conversation. With remarketing, you would see an ad for that same mouse trap on Facebook as a reminder of how awesome it really is so you don’t have time to forget. Not only do you see it, but the ad appears to other people like you that might also be thinking about mouse traps even if they haven’t actively shopped for one.

The Beauty of Lookalikes

Through Lookalikes Audiences, Facebook allows e-commerce sites to define and connect to their ideal audience based on remarketing results. You use that customer information plucked out via remarketing to find other people who might be interested in buying your product.

Lookalike Audiences automatically builds prospects by identifying viewers that go to your website or click on an app ad and comparing their demographic information and interests to other users and then showing them your ad. You can also build custom audiences using your marketing personas. Facebook will take that information and search for people that fit the bill.

Going Beyond Facebook

Thanks to the Facebook Advertising Network, or FAN, e-commerce businesses can go beyond just the social media platform with their ads, too. FAN is a relatively new marketing asset offered by the social media giant, but one you will be hearing more about in 2017.

With FAN, Facebook feeds your ad to apps and mobile websites so you extend your reach in a powerful way. In just one quarter, 80 percent of the company’s ad revenue – that’s around 5.50 billion dollars – came from different kinds of mobile ads like those that appear on apps. Soon, FAN will reach into even Messenger chats and Instagram, too, reminding that lost soul to come back and buy.

App publishers are reporting strong results when they partner with FAN. They are seeing a 26 percent increase in app installs and a 65 percent higher click-through rate for ads. The cost per thousand impressions, or the number of times the ad appears, is 72 percent lower than Facebook’s native ad program.

Getting Started with Facebook Ads

Start by learning more about your customer base. Who is likely to visit your online store and why? The more you know about your customer the better because that’s how you target all your marketing assets, not just Facebook ads. When developing your buyer personas, consider:

  • Demographics
  • Motivations
  • Goals
  • Fears

This will help you focus your marketing and create lookalike audiences. Using Facebook’s Insight tool, you can see get information to help you target your ads like purchase activity, who’s buying what, how old they are, and where they live. Don’t be afraid to run small campaigns to fine-tune your personas before spending the money to reach more people.

Next, create a compelling ad and make it visual with an image or video. Look at the ads that pop up on your Facebook feed to get ideas on what engages the viewer. The more creative the ad, the better, but don’t overthink it. When structuring ad campaigns, consider how you might make the offer more attractive with a coupon or by offering free shipping if they click.

When you have both your personas and ad design put together, all that’s left to do is go to Facebook Ads Manager and create your campaign. Follow the guide to figure out what you want, where you want it to appear, and who you are targeting.

With Facebook ads, you create targeted marketing strategies and also develop a way to bring back the viewer that didn’t complete a purchase. Start small, find a pattern that works, and then build to grow your business.

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