Today, ecommerce is the preferred channel of most consumers. Businesses have seen a 15% growth in the industry, with a tenth of total US purchases done online and more than half of in-store purchases influenced by eCommerce sites.
Social media apps like Facebook have changed the landscape of marketing. With more than 2 billion users worldwide, Facebook is one of the most popular online platforms for retailers and online shopping research.
Planning your social media marketing strategy entails outlining the funnel – the individual’s purchasing journey. Each stage of the funnel represents different levels: from awareness and consideration to the ultimate goal – conversion.
In this article I want to focus on making Facebook work for you. I’m going to tell you how to build a Facebook funnel strategy for your ecommerce website. Let’s start turning your fans into customers.
Set different expectations
Even though billions are logged into Facebook everyday, the primary purpose of these users is still to socialize, not purchase. Facebook is, after all, a social platform. Most users spend time updating their status, liking content, and commenting on posts.
But don’t dismiss this platform entirely. The problem isn’t necessarily with Facebook, but more on the expectations that marketers have in a place where the mindset isn’t purchase-centred. Low buying intent does not automatically mean zero gains.
In the context of the sales funnel, this is where the top funnel (awareness) begins. You can’t expect people to immediately purchase your product. However, you can increase brand awareness, product engagement and drive a boost in page traffic from the platform.
If you know what you’re doing…
Create different forms of content
Since you have different funnel stages, your ad campaign simply cannot employ a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, create multiple forms of content so that you can reach users who are each at different points of the purchasing journey.
Your marketing strategy can incorporate educational videos, blog posts, infographics, or webinars. As long as they are consistent to your brand, high-quality and attention-grabbing, you will be able to reach more potential customers on Facebook. And once they are aware of your content, they’re already part of the funnel.
Give more content to those already interested
The second stage of the funnel is ‘consideration’, which happens when consumers signify interest in your brand. This could be seen in subscriptions, downloads, likes and followers.
What you can do is analyse what type of content yields high engagement levels and determine which ones are converting users. From here, you can continue their interest by sticking to what works for your target audience. If your ‘warm’ audience responds positively to your various content, it’s only a matter of time before the ‘cold’ audience will be intrigued as well.
Use Facebook’s ‘lookalike audiences’
Facebook has an option for marketers to engage ‘lookalike audiences’ or users who have the same interests, habits and online behaviour as your core followers. This is quite useful to know, because lookalikes have the biggest potential to turn into leads.
When setting up the lookalike audience, you can choose the source (e.g. custom audience, pixel data, mobile data app or fans of your Page), the location, and audience size (1 to 10 percent of population). The trick is to not go too large on the audience size to get a more accurate match.
The image above shows how a list of customers can be uploaded from Amazon to Facebook, matched and the a custom audience is created.
Include enticing offers and calls to action
A survey of Facebook ads has found that only 56% of ads include a call to action (CTA) within the text. This is quite unfortunate, because CTAs can guide your interested users to move towards the next stage of the funnel, that is, conversion.
You can maximize the effectiveness of a CTA by offering followers a special deal, discount or membership. For example, in exchange for downloads, users can get a bonus item or a discount off their first purchase. You can also give subscribers an invite to a special event.
Facebook Ads: Beacon Lighting are using remarketing ads to offer users who visited their site a 10% discount code.
Whatever offer you think is best for the brand, make sure to test various CTAs and decide which is the most suitable for the content. The CTA “Learn More” usually does well for clicks, while “Sign Up” is good for conversion.
Create content for all funnel stages
As a marketer, you understand that each buyer is different and journeys through the funnel at his or her own pace. Hence, you should have content that aligns with all the stages of the sales funnel and ultimately moves people deeper down the funnel.
You should also keep in mind that there is an appropriate type of content for every stage. For instance, top-of-the-funnel content includes short videos about the product, simple how-to blogs, and testimonials. Meanwhile, those in deeper stages can benefit from niche blogs, webinars and other comprehensive forms of content.
Be strategic about remarketing
Facebook remarketing works pretty much the same way as Google AdWords, only, the ads are shown on Facebook. This is a great tool to use because generally, users would have to be exposed to the brand a couple of times before they can make the leap to progress from interest into conversion.
Remarketing works by placing a code on the page that the user visits, which triggers your ads to follow that user’s scrolling around Facebook. There are 3 different options for Facebook remarketing: customer lists, website traffic and app activity.
- Customer List
One great feature of Facebook is that it has the ability to provide ads to a list of contacts you have acquired. Akin to email marketing that targets specific people, you can upload content on Facebook and choose who among your niche can see it.
- Website Traffic
This is the more typical style of remarketing, which displays your content to people who have visited your site within a set time frame. Facebook also allows marketers to set up filtered groups who will see the remarketing content. For example, if your brand has basketball products, you can still show ads to people who have visited pages with the keyword “sneakers” in the URL.
- App activity
You can also remarket with users who have visited your app. For instance, when someone leaves a shopping cart within your app, you can target him or her on Facebook with the same product and a discount code. By doing this, you are able to continue exposure to this particular customer, therefore increasing chances to complete the sales cycle.
Remarketing is a great way to increase visibility of your products to your audience that are in the ‘consideration’ stage. In fact, Facebook remarketing ads get thrice the level of engagement than regular Facebook ads.
Push users to finally convert
After remarketing your content for a period of time, you can then go ahead with the hard sell. This is the time when you focus on users who have used the free trial, have downloaded your eBook, and have subscribed to your newsletters, but never went ahead with the final checkout.
A great way to push the hard sell to these users is to leave subtlety behind and provide personalized content with an overt message of why they should purchase. For instance, you can use a video that says, “Thanks for checking out our eBook, but for some reason you didn’t buy our gear.” Such content is entirely acceptable because your audience is already familiar with your brand and are quite interested in your products. They just need to be given that last push to actually make a purchase.
Set your ad time frames wisely
While being visible on Facebook is largely good for your brand, you still have to be careful about ad fatigue, where your audiences (especially remarketing users) are bored, irritated or plain uninterested by your ads. Set a short time frame for your ads, and monitor if your goals are being met.
On Facebook, you can setup ‘Reach’ campaigns and then set a frequency cap. This will ensure that your audience does not experience ad fatigue.
In special cases however, you can run a longer and more aggressive tactic. For instance, if there is a special event (e.g. Christmas discount) then you can certainly use the season to post your relevant campaigns.
Marketers need to continuously step up their digital strategies if they want a thriving business. Since Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms right now, a well-thought-out sales funnel approach will enable you to increase your conversions among these social media enthusiasts.
Strategic Facebook marketing entails marketers pinpoint each stage of the sales funnel.
This means that the way you use Facebook ads depends on whether you want to address awareness, keep customers’ interest, or enable conversion through sales. When you are purposeful in aligning the content and marketing strategy to your buyer’s journey, then you’ll resonate more clearly with active Facebook users.
Callum Mundine is part of the marketing team at oneegg.com.au. He is an Amazon marketplace & white hat link building specialist, and has launched multiple successful brands on Amazon.com. Callum like his eggs boiled.