Whether you’re running Facebook ads for your eCommerce brand or you’re managing a client account, you must have your strategy on point in 2022. In this article I’m going to go through the exact steps you need to take to run Facebook ads for eCommerce brands.
Gone are the days of being able to run a single image ad to a random interest audience and get a great return on your ad spend. With so many online stores now advertising on Facebook, the playing field has changed and we need to dive a little deeper to ensure we’re getting a good return.
If you’re a new brand or you have a fresh Facebook ad account then follow these steps in order and you’ll be on track to start making a lot of money with Facebook ads in 2022.
Ensuring that our pre-strategy is on point can make or break our advertising campaigns. You need to clearly define exactly who your target customers are. I’ve dropped below a questionnaire I would either ask my client or answer myself if I was running an eCommerce store.
These questions will identify all of the key elements you’ll need to be successful in your Facebook advertising efforts.
Once you’ve compiled all of these elements you’re going to have all the information you need to progress, so spend some time answering these in as much detail as you can.
In my opinion asset collection (videos, images & graphics) and creation is one of the most important steps you need to take before creating your Facebook advertising strategy.
If you’re working with a client then you need to ensure they share with you all of the assets they have. Once you have these you need to think of as many different selling angles as possible and ask them to create assets based on those.
This is where the pre-strategy comes into play. You should be aware of what angles you want to take with your advertising so that you resonate with your target customer.
I’m a big proponent of video ads, especially at the top of the funnel so I have linked below a basic video ad script I would send to a client.
This will let them know exactly what you want and how you want it and they can handle the creative side themselves.
Remember we’re thinking about our angle and messaging here, not creating the coolest-looking video on Facebook.
It’s important to note it’s never a bad thing to have too many videos and images. We are going to want to test as many different angles and assets as possible so the more the better.
Optimising Your Landing Page
In my opinion, most of your advertising success is going to be influenced by other factors outside of your ads. I’ve worked with numerous clients that have had bad websites, bad buying processes and bad products.
This will completely change the way your advertising campaigns perform. You need to ensure every element of your business outside of advertising is perfect before running ad campaigns.
One of the main pieces of this is your landing page. Whether you’ve created a designated landing page for your product or you’re using a standard product page – it’s just as important.
The reason we need to optimise our landing page is that it gives us a lot more opportunities to convert our users. If we’re using a single image Facebook ad for example then there is limited space and media to convert. A landing page gives us a lot more.
I’m going to break down the core components below that I recommend you include in all of your landing pages and even product pages. It’s important to note that a standard one-product landing page might not be the best fit for your eCommerce business.
For example, I’m working with a fitness meal prep company. They have a lot of similar food products at the same price. We direct our ads to a collection page, but we’ve adapted that page to include these elements, and we’ve included them on all of our product pages.
How are you presenting your product to your potential customers? Are you solving the issues you identified in your pre-strategy? If you are then you need to make it abundantly clear you are.
If you’ve identified any sales objections in your pre-strategy then why not try a specific low-value discount to get them over the line?
In your landing pages, you have the space to break down your customer’s pain points within the copy so be sure you do.
We’ve all seen those online gurus selling their courses online, you get directed to their webinar page with a countdown timer and you think you need to act now.
This looks tacky, we all know that, but including some urgency on your landing page is essential – especially when you’re trying to convert cold traffic, which is super important when scaling.
Don’t make anything up here because it’s going to cause distrust. A good strategy in my opinion is to create a low-value offer to be used each month. Only use this offer on your landing page though (for example free shipping on orders over x amount).
Don’t use these offers in your ads, we only want people interested in the product already (they’ve clicked through on the ad).
Product demonstrations are great for ads in every stage of the funnel. But including them on your landing page is the fast route to conversion.
People like to see the experience they are going to get before buying a product, it doesn’t matter what it is.
Video works perfectly for this – and it doesn’t need to have a high production value.
When I started working with a massage therapy clinic last year I thought it would be important to show the entire process from booking to therapy. It breaks down any hesitations the user might have and lets them visualise what they’re going to be experiencing.
Use these videos for ads and include them on your landing pages.
Having social proof on your landing pages is a key element in the success of your eCommerce Facebook advertising strategy. If you include one thing from this list make it this one.
I’d highly recommend having a system in place to collect reviews from your customers – this can be as simple as sending an automated email to them.
In my opinion the more reviews the better but select your preferred platform such as Facebook, Google or Trust Pilot and get those review badges on your landing pages.
Don’t just copy and paste text from a review you got last year, you want to use apps that auto-populate your reviews and show who left them. If you’re using Facebook reviews for example you want to link the review on your landing page to the actual review they left on Facebook.
To take this a step further and to show off your reviews even more I’d suggest trying to get any of your loyal customers to send you a quick video review. You can reward them with a free product or a good discount as these videos work very well.
If you’re selling your products online then you probably already have something like a guarantee in place. If a customer was dissatisfied with the product you sent them then I’m sure you offer a refund.
We need to say this on our landing pages and frame it as a money-back guarantee. It breaks down any objections the user may have with the sale, and the likelihood of someone going to the effort of using the guarantee just for a free product is low.
You can use a ‘money-back guarantee’ badge on these pages to show this graphically and then include your policy on one of your subpages in your store.
Other Trust Elements
Building trust with your potential customers is really important so including things like your physical address, phone number and email address increases that trust and will help with your conversion rate.
Now that we have everything set up outside of our advertising let’s jump into Facebook ads manager and start getting our strategy in place.
Once we’re in Ads Manager the first step in our Facebook ad strategy for eCommerce brands is to create our audiences.
Facebook audiences are broken up into the following:
- Custom audiences
- Lookalike audiences
- Saved audiences (interest or demographic based)
- Special ad audience
We’re going to forget about the special ad audience, for now, however, look into this if you’re advertising about credit, employment or housing.
Whether you’re managing a client account or advertising your store you’re going to want to test as many audiences as possible.
I usually start with creating all of the custom audiences first, then create lookalikes and finally create some broad interest-based audiences.
I’m going to save you some time and list below the custom audiences I make and the best-performing lookalikes I’ve used in the past for eCommerce stores.
- Facebook page engagement 180 Day
- Facebook Followers
- Instagram Page Engagement 180 Day
- Video Views 75% – note: you will want to select your video content, I would choose videos you’ve posted related to your products if you have them and make sure they’re recent as well.
- Website all traffic (30, 90, 180 days) – split these into 3 different audiences.
- Website visitors by specific page views (Product page, contact us, etc) (30, 90, 180 days)
- Initiated checkout (30, 90, 180 days)
- Added to cart (30, 90, 180 days)
- All Purchases 180 Day
- Viewed content (30, 90, 180 days)
- Website visitors by time spent top 25%
- CSV file of all customers – include LTV if you can
- Lookalike 1-10% Purchases
- Lookalike 1-10% Initiated Checkout
- Lookalike 1-10% Added to Cart
- Lookalike 1-10% All Video Views 75%
- Lookalike 1-10% Page Engagement
- Lookalike 1-10% Page Followers
Top of Funnel Strategy
So now that we have everything in place to start creating our campaigns we need to start with our top of the funnel. If you’re not sure what the top of the funnel means then to put it in simple terms it’s a cold audience – people who have never seen or heard of your brand before.
The diagram below shows a typical marketing funnel to help you understand:
This stage of the funnel is vital for advertising on Facebook if you’re an eCommerce brand. We have to ensure that this stage is highly profitable otherwise we’re not going to be able to scale our campaigns.
Now that the new iOS14.5 update is in full effect our lookalike audiences made from website data are going to get weaker so I suggest using your ideal customer information to create as many ‘Interest based’ audiences here as possible (aim for audience sizes of 1 million+).
Your budget should be split across all aspects of your funnel but the majority should be going to the top of the funnel. I would typically use this split:
- 70% top of funnel
- 20% Middle of the funnel
- 10% bottom/very bottom of the funnel
The audiences we’re going to be using in our top-of-funnel campaigns are all cold so our lookalikes and interest-based audiences.
So the way I like to start with the top-of-funnel campaigns is to test audiences before creative. Start by taking your best creative asset – I recommend using quality video content you have scripted for your advertising campaigns.
Once you have this you need to create your ad copy, headline and description. A basic ad copy structure that works well for the top of funnel ads is the following:
Hook / Big promise / something funny
Urgency/offer (e.g limited supply?free shipping)
Call to action
Here’s an example:
Make sure you use your ideal customer avatar when creating your ad copy as you want to make sure your copy calls directly out to them and solves their problem or caters to their desires.
Your headlines need to be straight to the point and directly call out to your ideal customer’s needs.
Use your description to add any additional information or to highlight urgency – remember that the description won’t be seen on all placements.
Now that everything is ready we’ll create our first set of ads. Start by creating a new campaign optimised for conversions, create your ad set with your first cold audience and then create your ad with your best creative.
Set your starting budget at $10 per day and use your best audiences first (lookalikes I have listed above and the interests you think are best).
Now the first ad is ready, duplicate this into the same campaign and new ad set. Repeat this process with different audiences until your budget is reached.
Your campaign at ad set level should look something like this:
You need to keep these ads running for 7 days minimum to be able to evaluate the data correctly. Once 7 days have passed look at the following metrics:
ROAS – the higher the better
CPA – The lower the better
Outbound CTR – The higher the better
Unique CPC – The lower the better
Add to carts – More the better
Initiated Checkouts – More the better
Once you’ve evaluated these key metrics as well as other metrics you need to switch off all of the underperforming ads and repeat the process with new audiences. Keep all well-performing ads running and think about scaling them if needed.
I’ll go into more detail about scaling in a different article.
Once you’ve gone through all of the audiences you wanted to test it’s time to start testing different creatives.
A good practice here is to take all of your winning audiences, create a new campaign and put all of those audiences together in an ad set. You can now split-test different ad creatives within this ad set.
Throughout your advertising campaigns, you are going to want to test almost every aspect of your ad, but I tend to start with these:
- Different image types
- Different video scripts
- Different types of image carousels e.g range of products, image ‘sliders’ showing a process or a spread image that spans across the whole carousel.
- Different angles in your copy (hit different pain points for your ideal customer)
You want to now run each different ad creative for at least 7 days (preferably 14 days) and just like with the audiences you can switch off anything underperforming and keep your winners running.
At this point, you should have collected enough data to see what cold audiences work and what creatives work well. I recommend keeping all of your testing data in an easy-to-use spreadsheet so it’s easy to keep track of everything. Download my template for free to get you started:
Middle of Funnel Strategy
The middle of our marketing funnel is where we will retarget users who have heard of our brand but may not be quite at the buying stage yet. These are going to be people who typically fall into the following audiences:
- Website visitors
- Viewed content
- Engaged with social pages
- Page fans
This stage of the funnel is typically very profitable as our users know about us and the audiences are smaller which allows our ad to be put in front of them many times.
You can get very granular in how you break down this stage of the funnel, for example, you can create a new campaign with several ad sets, individually targeting website visitors in a 7-day period, 14-day period and 30-day period for example. This can be very effective on a higher budget as you can present different offerings to each individual set of users. However, I will save that for another article.
We’re going to keep our middle-of-the-funnel retargeting very simple by adding the audiences I listed above into a new campaign and ad set and then excluding all purchases.
We can use similar creative that has worked for us in our top-of-funnel ads. However, the ad copy is going to be different. We want to directly call out our users by using a headline such as ‘hey we saw you checking out our product and then add in some other elements. I will show a basic structure we use below:
Direct call out / limited time offer
Call to action/offer
I’ve mentioned above an offer, this is not 100% necessary, however, I’ve found that a small offer helps here. Don’t throw 50% discounts out at this point though as these users are already interested in your products and they still have a high chance of converting without a discount. If you are going to use an offer here I recommend the following:
- Free shipping
- Buy 2 products and get one free
- Buy 1 product get one free
- Buy one main product and get an add-on for free
You’re typically only going to want to spend a maximum of $10 a day on this stage as the audiences will be very small, but it depends on your traffic volumes.
You’ll still want to test different elements of this funnel stage the same as the top of the funnel. If you want to be precise with everything I would split up the audiences mentioned above and run them separately so you have a good understanding of what is working for your eCommerce brand.
Bottom of Funnel Strategy
At the bottom of the funnel, we are targeting users that have high intent to buy our products but they haven’t quite crossed the line. We’re going to keep this stage of the funnel very basic.
Audiences to use:
Added to cart EXCLUDING Purchases
Initiated Checkout EXCLUDING Purchases
Now, these users are very aware of our brand and they have almost purchased, so what I tend to do here is offer a small discount to push them over the edge.
Again, I would stay away from % off discounts in all stages. However, you can use something like free shipping on orders over a certain amount.
What I’ve found at this stage is most of the time the user might not even use the discount code they will just purchase.
You’re going to want to keep your ad copy fairly similar to your middle-of-funnel ads, however, you can throw in some more customer reviews here.
We now have all three stages of our ad funnel running, we’ve tested all our variables and we’ve scaled our campaigns. So where do we go from here?
It’s important to note that ads fatigue. You may be getting 20x ROAS on an ad for a few months but then suddenly it completely drops off.
The key here is to continually test everything on your ad account and your landing page/website.
Facebook does a pretty good job of optimising your ads for you. However, if you want to make some adjustments yourself then look at what placements you’re converting on and what basic demographics you’re converting with.
Once you have this information you can then use it as targeting for new ad sets. I’ve found this doesn’t help greatly but it can make a small difference, especially if you’re on a smaller budget.
We have covered a lot in this article and I hope this teaches you the basics of how to run Facebook ads for eCommerce brands in 2022.
Facebook ads are continuously changing and here at MikeCoombe.com, I’m going to keep you up to date with new strategies, tips and tricks to ensure your eCommerce brand or your client’s eCommerce brand keeps smashing it!