So, you own an eCommerce store.
And you want to know the BEST ways to run Facebook Ads for eCommerce to increase revenue.
Now, we can go on and on about how other companies are growing their eCommerce stores with Facebook Ads.
Or we can tell you how we’ve researched the fastest-growing eCommerce companies in the world, and have studied their Facebook Ads to take away their secrets to generate revenue on the Internet.
We’re sure that’s not what you want to know. If you’re reading this, you probably want to know less about what we’ve done and more about how you can accomplish these same results.
And that’s exactly what we’re going to tackle in this post.
Today, we’re going to give you our top 3 biggest secrets to successfully running Facebook Ads for eCommerce. We’re going to tell you what NO ONE is telling eCommerce companies about running Facebook Ads for eCommerce. Unlike others, we’re not writing this post based off of a few Google Searches, a research project, or from their friends.
Today we’re going to show you what we learned through real experience from working on several hundreds advertising campaigns for small businesses over the last decade.
You’re going to learn the things that our agency learned after running thousands of advertising campaigns, and spending millions of dollars.
With that said, let’s get started.
We’re going to go off the wall here and give the secrets upfront. These are 3 words that summarize the secrets to Facebook Advertising.
Creative. Data. Funnel.
The secrets to running Facebook Ads all boils down to your creative, data, and funnel. Period. Boom! You’re good to go. You can stop reading this post, and get straight to work. Start building your highly profitable advertising campaigns so you can make millions. See ya!
Ok, let us stop here for a second. If this was that simple we’d probably stop writing these posts and create an eCommerce store every minute if we could.
No, but in all seriousness, these are the three things you need to know. But these words alone mean nothing. So let us break these secrets down to their roots, so you can build a successful Facebook Ad campaign for your eCommerce business.
3 Secrets to a Successful Facebook Advertising
Secret #1: Creative
Here’s a quick story to help you understand this.
We currently work with an eCommerce store that sells freshly baked cookies online.
The company’s owner, we’ll call her Sarah, came to us and was not happy with her current sales at the time.
So what did we decide to do? You probably guessed it, Facebook Ads.
We decided to work together and our team started creating Facebook Ads for her. We thought that people were going to see images of her cookies and immediately buy. We wrote witty advertising copy, and used high-resolution images of her products.
So we started running our campaign, and we started seeing some sales from our efforts.
But we ran into a HUGE problem.
The sales that were coming in were not necessarily profitable for Sarah. In other words, the cost to acquire a customer was higher than the revenue we were generating.
In this case, we did what most companies would do, we created more ads. But there was one change we made to the campaign that changed everything.
There was a single factor that literally cut her cost per conversion in half.
And that was video.
We used a video ad that described the process that she’s used to bake the cookies.
In the video, people could not only see the delicious videos, but also learn the ingredients and process that went into it, building more trust and resulting in more conversions.
Here you can see that the image ads generated sales for Sarah at an average cost of $27.00 per purchase, while the video ads literally cut that cost in half to about $15.00 per purchase.
Video is the best ad format to generate more conversions by using Facebook Advertising.
If you look at any of the fastest-growing eCommerce websites, I can promise you that most of them are using video.
Look at KindredBravely for example. They just started their company in 2015 and have already made the Inc. 5000 list twice.
They went from 0 to 100, real quick. (That’s a Drake pun for those who didn’t catch it).
No but for real look at this.
They’re using video ads all over Facebook.
All of their videos are doing a few key things – they are showing their products, they are showing people using it, and are showing people gaining the benefits of it.
And a lot of these videos are fairly simple. You do not have to have a $15,000 production for a single video. It’s more important to make sure that you’re showing real people using your products.
Video is the best thing you can do to replicate the in-person experience of your products or services in an online environment. Many people do not buy products because they don’t trust it or they don’t understand why it’s different from the other options. Video can help you do both.
Now we’d be wrong to say that video is the only way to be successful through Facebook Ads. Professional images and graphics can also get the job done, but we do have a few rules to live by.
#1: Avoid Stock At All Costs
If you’re selling products online, we’re sorry, but you’re going to have to kill stock photos. Stock photos do nothing for your business. You can’t expect people to buy something they cannot see.
So do your results a favor, and do not even think about using stock photos for social ads. Ever.
#2: Use High-Resolution Photography
If your product photos are too dark, dainty, blurry, or just too much going on in it, you might as well have a gun in your hand, because you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
Always try to aim for high-resolution, crisp, clean, and professional photos of your products.
Please remember, you’re an eCommerce store selling a unique product. People are relying on what they see to make a purchase. And if they don’t like what they SEE, they will not buy it. Period.
#3: Use High-Resolution Videography
The same rules goes for video. If your videos are not high-resolution, clean, and professional, you’re going to be working against yourself. Your results will suffer.
Furthermore, you don’t have to pay $15,000.00 for a production, but simple things like good lighting, background music, and various B-roll clips of your products will go a long way.
#4: Use People Whenever Possible
Always remember, these are social media ads. People get on social media to connect with people.
If people are not in your videos, your video becomes less-engaging. This is especially important for eCommerce, because you have an opportunity to show people using your products.
Hire models or use your own customers, but whatever you do, involve people.
So everyone this is just our first secret to running successful Facebook Ads. To be clear, video is the absolute best form of creative and fastest way to grow your business with Facebook Ads. However, other forms of media can still be effective with the right parameters.
Secret #2: Data
Now let’s move on the next secret. Data
So everyone, we need you to take a deep breath because what we’re about to tell you is 10x more important than video.
We really need you to understand this secret because if you do not, you will completely miss the mark on Facebook Advertising.
This component is why over 70% of Facebook Advertisers fail – because they are not leveraging data. Facebook advertising is a data game. The more data you have, the lower your costs to acquire customers will be.
Let us give you an example first.
We’re going to be honest with you all. Since we started our agency, we’ve worked on thousands of advertising campaigns. We’ve worked on multi-million dollar accounts, smaller accounts, and startup accounts that were literally starting from the ground.
One thing we realized was that the larger the account-size was, the more results they saw.
Even in cases where some of our startup clients had stellar websites, video, creative, and all of the assets more established businesses had, they saw less results.
Why? Over the years, we’ve studied this and found that it comes down to one thing and one thing only.
The larger accounts had more data to leverage to run their campaigns.
Here’s what we mean.
On Facebook, there’s over 2 billion users, right? Well the reason why Facebook is such a powerful advertising tool is because it allows you to target your users based off of data.
You can target users based on things like gender , age, interests, behaviors, and so on.
For example, one behavior that a lot of eCommerce companies target is called “Engaged Shoppers”.
This one behavior allows you to target people who frequently shop online. It’s crazy that Facebook allows you to target people like this right?
Wrong. Well, right but wrong, we’d say.
Interests and behavior targeting is the weakest way to advertise your business.
Let us say this more clearly – The Basic Targeting available on Facebook is likely not going to increase your revenue in an extremely profitable way.
In fact, the businesses who are winning at Facebook Ads are not even using them most of the time. So then, you may be wondering what they are using.
And this is the second secret to Facebook Advertising.
Lookalike Audiences and Retargeting.
- Lookalike audiences
These are audiences within Facebook that LOOK-LIKE your customers. You can sync your customer lists with Facebook and they will find users that match them directly.
The more customers you import, the more precisely Facebook can understand who your customers are, and find more people like them.
This is why startup companies struggle with Facebook Advertising. Because most of the time, they have no customers to begin with. And they have to rely on weaker targeting inside of Facebook in order to build customers.
After spending a few thousand dollars, most of them look at their ROI, and cannot justify continuing with Facebook Ads. Unfortunately, they tend to give-up when they get the most of the data at their exposure. Forget making money for a second.
If you can just generate SOME purchases, emails, or website traffic, and then use that to build lookalike audiences, then you can start to leverage the true power of Facebook Advertising.
The truth is that there are eCommerce companies that are going from $0.00 in revenue to $10M a year in revenue because they know how to milk the data inside of Facebook for advertising. And you can do the same.
Now let’s move on to Remarketing, or Retargeting as Facebook calls it.
These audiences have the HIGHEST, we repeat, the HIGHEST conversion rate amongst any audience you can target within Facebook.
These are people who have visited your website, shopping pages, or even added your items to their cart. They can also be anyone who has engaged with your business on Facebook, meaning anyone that has clicked, liked, commented, or watched more than 3-seconds of your video ads.
Now obviously, the people who are viewing your checkout page are more likely to buy than people who have engaged with you on social media.
And, the people who have engaged with you on social media, are more likely to buy from you than the people who are seeing your ads for the very first time.
So the more traffic and engagement you’re driving through your Facebook advertising campaign, the more data you’re accumulating that can be used to drive conversions later.
One more time, if you’re just starting out, this is going to require patience. You’re probably not going to see a high ROI until you have a lot of people in your remarketing audiences. Then, you’ll drive conversions at a higher rate as this builds.
Small plug – video ads drive higher engagement and traffic rates than any other form of media, which will also help you pump up your retargeting audiences faster. Video is the shortcut.
If you’re more established, or maybe you’re already doing well with PPC or Google Ads, then you’ll likely have more data that you can use for Facebook Ads, and as a result, see success sooner.
Lookalike audiences based on purchases and Remarketing audiences based on traffic and engagement is the secret to leveraging data from Facebook advertising.
Secret #3: Funnels
Now, let’s organize all of this with our last secret – funnels.
A surefire way to fail is to start running Facebook Ads without a funnel in place.
Let us explain it.
When talking to small business owners every single day who are interested in running Facebook ads for their company.
Some of them are completely new and have never touched Facebook ads a day in their life. Others have spent a few hundred dollars or sometimes a few thousand dollars, and they find out nothing is working.
We always ask “What does your funnel look like?” when talking to business owners who have ran Facebook ads in the past.
Confused by what we mean, they ask “What do you mean?”
So we rephrase and ask “Where are your ads going? What’s the destination?”
Mostly, it is directly to their product page. And unless your product is an impulse purchase and very low-cost, it isn’t the best.
The more expensive your products are, the more resistance people will have to buying your products. Therefore, you’re going to have steps in between someone seeing your ad for the first time and asking those people to purchase.
For instance, let’s look at Bear Mattress, an Inc. 5000 company that started in 2014 and grew 13,840% in the last 3-years.
They sell mattresses that cost about $1000, give or take.
There’s no way in the world they’re going to run a Facebook ad to a bunch of strangers and expect those people to click the ad and buy their mattress immediately.
For one, most people probably have a mattress. And for two, you don’t know who actually needs a mattress. And lastly, it’s freaking expensive.
So we looked at their Facebook Ads, and we could see that they started with a few ads to engage people.
They have one video ad that is all about helping people increase muscle recovery, improved performance, and increased stamina while you sleep.
Hmm… that sounds interesting doesn’t it?
We found another ad where they link to a blog post to help people find out “What kind of sleeper they are?”
Even if you’re not looking for a mattress, you might click that out of curiosity because you really do want to know what kind of sleeper you are, right?
- Top of Funnel Ads
These types of ads represent what we call “Top of Funnel Ads”. The goal of these ads are to move people from aware to engaged in your marketing funnel.
You can’t sell to people who aren’t aware of your business. And these types of ads not only make them aware of your business, but also engaged due to the value you’re adding to them.
When measuring your Top of Funnel Ads, you should be looking at traffic, engagement, and views, not sales. You need to build your funnel with engaged leads before you even start to think about sales.
- Middle of Funnel Ads
Now let’s move on to “Middle of Funnel Ads”. The goal of these ads are to move people from engaged to interested in buying your products and services.
In this stage, you can start introducing your product or service to your engaged audience. Since they have engaged with you, they’ll be more willing to listen to what you have to say.
Spend your dollars on selling to them, not the whole world.
This may be people who watched your prior video ads, liked it, commented, visited your blog, and so on. Any action that someone took on your ad is considered engagement, and you should capture that action into a custom audience. And then advertise to them.
- Bottom of Funnel Ads
Lastly, you can run “Bottom of Funnel Ads”. The goal of this audience is to move people from interested, to purchasing.
With these ads, you want to advertise to your hottest audience, or to the people interested in buying your products. These are the people visiting the shopping pages on your website, adding stuff to their carts without purchasing, or just spending a ton of time on your website.
When done correctly, your ads in this group should have the highest conversion rate.
Last but not least, you need to fill-in your funnel with enough people for all of this to work correctly. If you only have 10 people at the bottom of your funnel, you’re likely not going to be very successful.
Therefore, your success at Facebook ads will depend on your ability to effectively engage people first and build interest. Then, you’ll be able to milk the data associated with people at the bottom of your funnel.
Now let’s summarize this post. These are the secrets to Facebook Advertising for eCommerce businesses.
- Creative: Video drives the most engagement, clicks, and conversions than any other form of media. It can fill-up your funnel quickly and is highly recommended. You should also have professional photography, ideally with people in it for optimal results.
- Data: Facebook is a data game. Plain and simple. The more data you have, the more successful your ads will be, and the less you’ll pay to acquire customers. Be sure to leverage lookalike audiences and remarketing audiences to get the lowest possible conversion rate.
- Funnel: Remember, Facebook is highly targeted but there’s no way to advertise to people based on their needs, only interests and behaviors. With that said, you must find a way to engage your audience AND build their interest in your product. You can do this with Top-of-funnel, Middle-of-Funnel, and Bottom-of-Funnel ads
These are just three secrets that you can follow when using Facebook Ads for ecommerce and to help give your business a boost. Using these tips will improve your chances of getting more sales and improving your ROI.
Just because an initial attempt is not successful, it does not mean that you should give up on Facebook as a platform for promoting your business. It might take several attempts to find the right formula. That’s why it’s important that you consider all of the tips and ideas that we listed here.
Please remember, Facebook is the largest online platform in the world where you can connect with your market and audience. It is worth your time and money to invest in it.