Do you have an e-commerce store? If so, you’ve got some competition. According to Quora, there are over 100,000 e-stores online. One of the most popular reasons to create a website is to sell a product of service.
This could be a virtual product, physical product or subscription service. Even if you have a brick-and-mortar store, you’ll still want a robust online presence.
So, how do you stand out from all this competition?
Facebook Ads are an effective – and often under-utilized – solution. We’ve been using Facebook advertising with great success for years now. This is a big topic, so I’ve broken this guide down into two sections.
Here’s Part One, where we look at how to create News Feed Ads:
Step 1: Identify Your Customers
As an SEO pro, you already know no product is ever marketed towards “everybody.” You need to define your likely target audiences, determine what their needs are and address those needs with your marketing.
This is called creating a Buyer Persona. If you want a refresher course on how to make these, check out my guide The Power of Buyer Personas.
Don’t forget to bring your Buyer Personas when developing your Facebook ads. One major strength of advertising on Facebook is the number of advanced targeting features you have access to. A detailed, well-developed Buyer Persona can be put to good use when buying Facebook ads.
Step 2. Research Your Customers’ Other Interests
Facebook’s Audience Insights Tool lets you easily learn even more about your target audiences. Traditional Buyer Personas involve a fair amount of guesswork. But Audience Insights gives you real world in-sight about your potential customers.
First, start with a general, fairly obvious interest of your target audience. This is the interest you use to start your Audience Insights search. Click on Page Likes to see other interests that overlap with your original topic.
These topics will show you new categories to market in. You’ll also be able to further develop your customer profile based on actual marketplace information.
There’s another benefit here. You might be able to reach an audience of potential customers which your competitions haven’t discovered yet. Not only will this give you an edge with marketing, but the ads in any under-served area can actually be pretty cheap.
Step 3. Create Compelling Ads
Now that you’re able to “seed interests” and identify your potential customers, it’s time to create some ads which will appeal to them.
Facebook ads have three parts:
- Copy – What you’re saying
- Image – What the ad looks like
- Format – How the ad is displayed
Facebook has three types of ad formats. They are News Feed, Video Ads and Sidebar Ads. Let’s take a look at the most popular format first – News Feed Ads:
News Feed Ads
These are probably the most visible types of ads. Your brand will appear in a user’s news feed, right among the day-to-day posts of their Facebook friends.
These ads need an image, headline and some brief intro copy. Each aspect needs to speak directly to your target audience.
Images are what will grab the viewer’s attention first. If you have a physical product, display it in your image. For services, use an illustration that represents what service you provide.
Your copy needs to speak directly to your Customer Persona. This means using a language they respond to and addressing their needs. If you’ve developed your Customer Persona correctly, you should have a pretty good idea of how to connect with your audience.
Make your copy as detailed as possible. People respond more to specifics. Of course, you need to make sure your copy directly connects to the content on your landing page. Potential customers will bounce from your page if they feel they’ve been misled.
Facebook News Feed ads have pretty strong competition. Namely, the posts from the person’s family and friends. But if you identify your target market and detail your ads directly to them, you’ll see an increase in your conversion rates.
I recommend starting your Facebook advertising campaign with News Feed ads. They’re the most popular, and creating them is relatively easy once you’ve developed a customer profile. For info on creating Video and Sidebar Ads.
Let’s Learn about Video Ads
Facebook video appears in the user’s News Feed. These are similar to News Feed ads only with video instead of static images. There are three general types of Video Ads:
- Ads which showcase the product directly, highlighting the various features
- Ads which feature real people talking about how they’ve directly benefitted from your product
- Ads which tell either a real or fictional story
Product Showcase Ads
Basically, you’ll want to make a claim about your product and then show a video of that claim in action. Is your brand of pet food the one dog’s love? Show a few dogs happily eating your dog chow.
Find a real customer who represents your target market. People respond very well to testimonials, even from someone they don’t know.
Testimonials are a great way to demonstrate how the product works in a real world setting. You can even directly compare your product to the competition. Explain why your product is the better alternative.
Videos that tell a story are always a popular type of video. Help create a personal touch by showing the people behind your brand. Explain the history of your product and why your team is so committed to selling it.
Some products have an interesting manufacturing process. You can show the product being made, which can help highlight the quality craftsmanship, top-notch materials, and other benefits.
How to Create Facebook Ads that Connect
First, visit the Facebook Ad Manager.
- To create a Video Ad, select “Get Video Views”
- To create a Newsfeed Ad, select “Send People to Your Website”
You’ll then pick an age range, gender and geographic location. This should be information you can pull from your Customer Profile. Need help creating a Customer Profile? The Power of Buyer Personas has everything you need to know.
Your Buyer Persona will also be used in the next section. This is “Detailed Targeting.” Try to pick a small to a medium-sized group of interests. If you pick a lot of interests, your ads will target too large of a group to be effective. You want to focus your ads on your most likely buyers.
There’s a big advantage to finely targeted ads. A lot of variables are eliminated. If your ads are targeted to your potential customers, but your ad campaign is failing to connect, you know there’s a problem with your message. This makes correcting a potentially bad marketing strategy relatively quick and easy.
Next, you’ll need to select “Placements.” Personally, I leave the Instagram option selected unless I’m planning to create a separate Instagram campaign. If that’s something you’re interested in, check out Say Cheese! Seven Ways to Instagram Marketing Success.
Now it’s on to the finance stage. “Budgeting” is where you decide how much you want to spend. I choose “Manual” for the “Bid Amount” and start my campaign with a low daily figure. I’d rather increase my daily spend than start out by overspending.
I also start my campaigns with “Link Click CPC.” This only charges your campaign when people actually click on your ad.
The other option is to charge you whenever your ad is shown. This is often a waste of money. You’re really only interested in people who actually express an interest in your brand.
Facebook Ads are a great way to boost sales and awareness for your online store. Although there is a cost up-front, the long-term benefits often justify the expense.
When your marketing efforts feel like they lack “oomph” or sales at your store have otherwise been slowing down, a Facebook ad campaign can be just the kickstart your e-business needs.
How Facebook’s News Feed Can Help You Promote Your Brand
How well is Facebook working for your brand? With over 1.654 billion users in the first quarter of 2016, an engaging, robust presence on the social network is a vital part of any brand’s SEO campaign. But successfully reaching an audience on Facebook is no easy task. Here’s how to take your brand to the next level on Facebook today:
The Facebook Popularity Problem
There’s an interesting dilemma regarding effective Facebook branding. The more popular Facebook becomes, the more brands need to promote themselves on the platform. But as more brands develop their Facebook presence, potential customers become harder to reach.
Over 50 million small businesses have Facebook pages. No matter what audience you’re trying to reach, know this: You’ll have competition. Even worse, that competition is steadily growing. Since 2013, there’s been a 130% increase in the number of brands promoting themselves on Facebook.
Your brand isn’t just competing with others who provide a similar product or service. Instead, your brand is competing with everything else in a potential customer’s News Feed. As the typical user’s News Feed becomes increasingly more cluttered, your message is more likely to be missed or ignored.
How to Stand Out on Facebook
Previously, an active page that highlighted various features of your brand would be enough to draw in potential new customers. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. In order to reach your audience, you need to focus on not only WHAT you publish, but HOW you publish it, too.
Your strategies will most likely need to involve some type of paid marketing, but even that isn’t enough. The real secret here is understanding how current News Feed algorithms work.
First, let’s take a step back and look at the basics. Why is the main section of Facebook called the “News Feed?” Because Facebook gives preferred visibility to news publishers.
In April 2014, Facebook partnered with Storyful, which is a content delivery tool designed for newswires. This encouraged journalists and news organizations to embed their content, especially breaking news, directly into Facebook.
This new emphasis on the news is great if you’re a news organization. Facebook is actively helping your posts reach a larger audience than ever before.
If you’re here looking for SEO tips, however, the chances are good you’re not a news organization. Unfortunately, Facebook’s emphasis on the news means the potential reach for brands has become smaller. After all, as more items appear in a user’s News Feed, their overall engagement level with each individual post tends to drop.
How to Use Facebook’s News Algorithm to Your Advantage
All hope is not lost, however! There are still a few ways you can take advantage of Facebook’s “news-centered” outlook. Here’s how:
Post Newsworthy Content Quickly
If you’re one of the first pages to include a breaking news story, you might see an organic uptick. The best way is to mention the news story before it becomes a Trending Topic, but even if you mention the story shortly afterward you can still get a benefit.
Relate Trending Stories to Your Brand
Not every news story will relate to your brand. Finding the right tone to take can be a bit of a balancing act. For instance, you never want to appear to use a tragedy in order to push your products or services. In general, stay away from associating your brand with terrorist attacks and national disasters. Even if you’re just expressing sympathy,
Most brands find the most success with pop culture news. For example, if you’re a plumbing company, create an article titled “The Top 10 Plumbing Problems You’ll Encounter during the Zombie Apocalypse.” This would be a list of simple solutions to common plumbing issues that a regular person can perform on their own, even in the aftermath a zombie apocalypse.
While the topic is a bit tongue-in-cheek, the basic plumbing information is something your potential customers will likely be interested in. By adding the zombie angle, you’re able to capitalize on popular entertainment. Try posting this article on the same day as the premiere of a new episode of The Walking Dead. Ideally, this will tie your post into a popular trending topic, increasing its exposure substantially.
In January of this year, Facebook users broadcast over 100 million hours of video. Of this, Live Video was viewed almost three times as much as recorded videos. This is right in line with Facebook users increasing interest in finding the newest, most up-to-date info.
The Changing “Face” of Facebook
Facebook will always have an important place in an effective SEO campaign. When you understand what types of posts Facebook prefers, you can create content which will help you gain the widest possible exposure.
5 Facebook ECommerce Ad Examples
Have you ever clicked on an Ad while scrolling through Facebook, or double tapped on an Instagram Ad while mindlessly swiping through your feed? You’re not alone, don’t sweat it.
We all talk about the Facebook thread holes we’ve sunk ourselves into or the Youtube abyss we’ve been lost in. But we also end up on the eCommerce train, sometimes without even knowing it.
Let’s talk about Facebook. Their global reach and tremendous user base make their platform a must-have for advertisers. Nearly 1 billion users log in every single day. Their audience is extremely engaged and over the years marketers have been able to use acute data to target specific demographics with their campaigns. Nearly 93% of marketers in fact, choose Facebook as an advertising platform.
The ROI isn’t too shabby on Facebook either. The platform allows a variety of company sizes to succeed. From small businesses and massive enterprises — Facebook advertisements have helped countless businesses get their products or services in front of the right audiences, at the right time.
One of the reasons why we love Facebook eCommerce ads is their diversity. Content marketing has become standard — and the creative ways brands can create captivating ads have only exponentiated. It’s also a great way to promote your brand’s identity. Funny videos or meme-like images can illustrate lightheartedness and fun work culture. Thoughtful or even politically charged campaigns show a stance that can resonate with a target audience as well.
Driving traffic and increasing conversions with eCommerce ads is all about finding the right message for the right audience. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for these types of ads. This may be discouraging to some, but it truly gives your brand an opportunity to create catered content for the right audience. That’s pretty exciting if you ask us.
Here are some great examples to stir up some inspiration.
Slack: Make Work Better
Slack ads pop up on my feed all the time and I’m consistently impressed by how targeted and concise their messages are. This specific ad is doing a lot of subtle things and doing them well. The bright colors catch your attention. The playful jab at pointless meetings applies to a wide variety of workplaces. And the meme-like unicorn imagery accompanying the messaging shows how you have the power to “Make Work Better.”
Notice the CTA as well. They’re not going in for the sale just yet. This ad is an opportunity to present Slack as a resourceful tool to cut down unneeded meetings with a reliable but fun work tool.
Wool & Prince: Free Boxer Brief Offer
Who doesn’t love free stuff? Wool & Prince takes advantage of one of the oldest tricks in the book — free giveaways. This ad is from a Cyber Monday sale, and they played it perfectly. Notice the limited time offer right at the beginning of the ad copy to give a sense of urgency. This is followed by the offer of free briefs. The copy ends with the coupon code. It’s simple. It’s concise. And it gives the consumer all of the information needed to make a decision.
That’s why the CTA for this ad is “Shop Now.” The limited-time offer means that the consumer needs to act fast. That’s why the ability to buy immediately with the click of a button is the perfect CTA for this ad.
Dollar Shave Club: The Smarter Wave to Shave
This list wouldn’t be complete without the kings of Facebook advertising — Dollar Shave Club. This illustrious razor company has made their living off of eCommerce, spending big money on witty and successful ad campaigns. Let’s take a look at this ad example. Dollar Shave Club is affordable, and they want everyone to know that. So this ad doubles down on that notion in both the copy and the image. The clever copy in the image gives the reader an almost “dad joke” chuckle, without being too cheesy.
They want their customers to feel like they’re getting a deal, and they’re more intelligent for doing so. Therefore, the bottom of the ad reads “The Smarter Way to Shave.” Their millennial audience swimming in student debt is all about saving money — it works.
Amazon: Our Recommendation For You
To be honest, this ad works for very specific reasons. Amazon customers have essentially traded a good portion of their privacy and in exchange for perfectly well-rounded customer experience. This is a retargeting ad aimed at existing Amazon consumers that are thrilled to be presented exactly what they need. But it’s a good lesson in making the lives of your consumers easier.
Amazon has spent years investing in understanding their market, their customers and their values. They have developed trust with their customers to ensure that this type of ad doesn’t seem like “too much.” It works because of the values they have instilled in their company that the customer is at the center of Amazon’s value system.
Heal: Get A Great Doctor To You
This deal seems a little too good to be true. Getting a doctor to make a house call for under $100 seems like a scam. That’s why Heal took their eCommerce campaign to Facebook with a big, bold quote from a well-trusted news source plastered onto the image.
This ad does it well for a couple of reasons. The copy does a good job of explaining exactly what the benefits of Heal are. The image is friendly and includes a credible news source. The ad recognizes the troubles that accompany a doctor visit — and provides a solution to a common pain-point for its customers. Words like “on your schedule” and “discover” are strategic, and appeal to the busy but intrigued consumer. It’s highly targeted and very effective.
eCommerce isn’t going anywhere
Every single day that passes the world becomes a little more digital. Brick and mortar stores aren’t completely out of style, but it would be a devastating mistake for businesses to ignore this market.
I included examples from a variety of markets for a reason. I wanted to show you just how diverse this marketing tactic is. Workplace communication software, clothing companies, razor brands, eCommerce superstore’s, health companies; the possibilities for brands to utilize this platform are endless.
There are no boundaries for brands here, just an opportunity to understand their target audience and provide a solution catered to them.
Facebook Messenger Marketing: How it Works and Why it Helps
If you’re like most people, you probably waste at least some of the workday browsing Facebook. That’s alright – I do, too. But Facebook doesn’t have to be a time-waster. In fact, Facebook can be a serious benefit to your business.
Beyond traditional marketing, Facebook ads can also help you reach likely potential customers. Of course, you’ll also need to make sure you’re on the right track by measuring your Facebook marketing success.
Today I want to go a bit more in-depth. Let’s look at a Facebook marketing strategy which isn’t very common – but which can really generate leads.
I’m talking about Facebook Messenger Marketing. Whether you’re developing your own strategy or have hired an SEO pro, you’ll want to be familiar with the basics as to how Facebook Messenger Marketing can help you. Here’s what you need to know:
What is Conversion Marketing?
Basically, Facebook Messenger marketing is very similar to email marketing. You deliver a series of messages to your potential customer designed to make a conversion. The basic idea is a concept called a Conversion Funnel. Let’s take a quick look at conversion marketing:
At first, you’ll simply provide information about your general industry. You’ll need to identify what types of problems your potential customers have, and how they’re searching for solutions. As you provide info, you’ll guide your customers towards your brand. Eventually, you’ll show them how your products and services are the perfect solutions to their problem.
What is Email Marketing?
Email is a great way to pull potential customers into the conversion funnel. Email messages can be tailored to specific interests. For instance, suppose a potential customer gives you their email address after reading a blog post about how inexpensive your product is. Your first email should emphasize the great deals you have to offer.
Over time, you’ll send a series of emails, each part of a larger sequence. The “great deal” sequence is just one example. You’ll want to target customers looking for the highest quality, the most unique features and more.
What is Facebook Messenger Marketing?
Facebook Messenger Marketing takes the basic concepts of email marketing and basically ups the tempo. Instead of email, you’ll connect with your potential customers through Facebook Messenger.
Facebook Messenger is bigger than ever before. They currently have over 1.2 billion users each month – and they’re growing rapidly.
Part of this rapid growth is the recent launch of Facebook Messenger bots. Now customer service can be automated. Bots don’t require a human staff or a large budget to provide real-time answers to specific questions.
Benefits of Facebook Messenger Marketing
You can program bots to follow a script similar to a sequence of emails. Messenger just dramatically speeds up the process.
Plus, Messenger is easier for the customer. They get answers to their exact questions in just one chat session instead of waiting for an email response. People also don’t have to input their email address with Messenger. Connecting with a brand requires fewer steps than opting in to an email newsletter.
From a marketing perspective, Messenger is great because it provides a lot more customer data than email marketing. Because Messenger is connected to Facebook, you can quickly gather demographic data on every person you connect with.
Facebook Messenger is a powerful marketing tool for any type of business. But you’ll want to move quickly. Facebook Messenger marketing is still very under-utilized. You can leap ahead of the competition right now.
Post your questions below. I’m happy to help you explore how Facebook Messenger Marketing can help your brand.
Measuring Your Marketing Success on Facebook
Facebook is the biggest social network online, and creating an engaging Facebook presence is an important part of your internet marketing campaign.
But how do you measure success on Facebook? With likes and shares? Or are there different metrics you should be looking at?
Here’s your complete guide on measuring your success on Facebook, including how to know when you’re on the right track and how to correct course when you’re not.
Developing Your Facebook Ad Campaign
This article assumes you already have Facebook ads in place. If you haven’t already, check out Using Facebook Ads to Promote Your eCommerce Store for plenty of help with creating your Facebook Ad campaign.
Once your campaign is up and running, your budget starts dwindling. You don’t want to waste money on ads that aren’t reaching your target audience.
So, how do you measure your return on investment? Well, Facebook does have a few obvious metrics. Are likes, shares and the general reach of your Facebook posts a factor in how well your ad campaign is going?
Not at all. Sure, everybody wants to have a popular Facebook page. But vanity metrics don’t lead to conversions or sales.
Not All “Likes” are Equal
If a Facebook page has a lot of likes, is that a good place for your ads? Not so much. Buying fake social proof is pretty easy, and some brands even recruit likes from Craig’s List or Fiverr.
Use common sense to avoid brands with phony social proof. One metric to keep an eye on is the number of followers versus a rough average of likes per post. If tons of subscribers “exist,” but never seem to be especially active on the site, you should probably just stay away.
Metrics which Lead to Conversions
What if people are clicking on your ads, but not converting? That means your landing pages need work. Tailor them to the specific promises and language made in the ad. Use the same tone, design and even colors on both the ad and the landing page. Create a clear connection.
If you’re using Facebook ads to directly generate sales, the metric you’re looking at is simply how many products are moved. Are sales low? One common culprit is too hard of a sale. Ease your customer into a longer conversion funnel where you can build trust and address concerns.
Looking to generate traffic? Boost a post and then take a look at the number of clicks to your website. You want to limit yourself to under 30 cents per click.
Your ads and content should match in tone and style. But what type of style should that be? Well, there’s no one answer here. Your brand’s persona will depend on your audience.
Some products naturally lend themselves to a fun, irreverent tone. This is true if your audience skews younger and your product is a bit more fun. Some examples include restaurants, clothes and entertainment products.
In other cases, your Facebook approach will need to be a bit more reserved. You can’t be too stuffy on Facebook, however. That just won’t endear you the Facebook audience, who expect a certain degree of informality.
Return on Ad Spend
Everybody wants to be popular on social media. Generating likes, shares and traffic certainly don’t hurt your brand awareness. And an active social media presence builds trust in your brand.
But likes and traffic only go so far. You want traffic which leads to revenue generation. As you discover which ads are effective, you can shift your spending appropriately.
Facebook ads will generate a lot of leads, but only if you measure the right metrics. Avoid paying too much attention to likes and shares, and focus on the actual metrics which lead to conversions.