5 Out-of-the-box Strategies eCommerce Brands Should be Using with Facebook Ads in 2021
Facebook ads are becoming more competitive, yet it remains the most profitable platform to advertise on. This makes it important for businesses to follow the best practices but equally as important to explore new ideas and ways to improve their results.
These are five out-of-the-box strategies we think eCommerce brands should be using with Facebook ads to help you stand out and improve your results as a part of an overall digital marketing strategy.
To successfully sell products online, your eCommerce website needs the anatomy of a perfect online store. So before you start implementing new ideas, be sure that the user experience is seamless for each of your custom audiences. So that you don’t miss out on any sales, improve your eCommerce business’ Facebook ad creation with these strategies we’ll be sharing!
I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of testing as marketers. And testing your ad creatives holds the top position for importance. But you’d be surprised by the number of ad accounts we see that are not doing this. Or, not doing this correctly.
The image below is an example of the importance of testing ad creatives (and audiences).
Imagine if we were only testing a single image ad… We would’ve not been able to get a cost per result at $1.83 like what we’re getting with our video ad. This is why we always recommend starting by testing out a variety of formats. For example, the first ads you launch would be 1 carousel, 1 video, and 1 image. Each of the formats with a relatively similar message.
From there, see which format responds best to your audience. You will be able to tell by identifying the one with the most purchases (or results based on the objective you’ve set). Once you’ve identified the one (or two) ads that worked with your audience, you can test further by trying out different kinds of that given format.
For example, testing one image with the benefit stated on the image vs. no text on the image. You can test a video with a professional touch, vs a video generated by your customers (user-generated content). The truth is that you never truly know how your audience will react to your content, or what will make them buy. Something you thought would perform well, may not. And something you had doubts about might be your best performer. Always have an open mind to test out new things with Facebook ads.
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We used to see that people first interacted with your brand on mobile but then took it to the computer to make the purchase. But more often we are seeing that both initial brand impressions and first purchases are now being made on mobile. Therefore, your content needs to be made to be experienced on a mobile device.
Here are some best practices when thinking mobile-first.
- Vertical aspect 4:5 (1200×1500), 9:16 (1080×1920)
- Take up as much room as possible while your viewer watches the content
- Expose your logo in the first five seconds for brand awareness
- Chances are if your video is longer than five seconds, it probably won’t be watched so make sure you get brand exposure in those first five seconds!
- Should be about five-15 seconds long (most people probably won’t watch the full length)
- A video that is five seconds long may just be an image with animated text, or still text with animated images in the background
- Sound off (subtitles, or headlines)
- Most people scroll on their feed with sound off, but with sound on for stories
- Fast and quick movement to stop the scroll
- Most of what people see on their news feed are still images. To catch your viewers’ attention, think about making quick edits that move quickly between scenes.
- Use Instagram stories to add text to your videos
- The text used for Instagram stories make your creativity very familiar and can catch your views attention
TOFU, MOFU, BOFU Campaign Structure
In the marketing world, TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU stand for the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel. The idea with this Facebook advertising campaign structure is that you’re able to effectively communicate your message with your audiences depending on where they are at in the funnel.
What we’ll often see is accounts targeting new prospects and retargeting them in the same campaign. While this can work and bring results, we’ve found the best way to train Facebook to find the best audiences for you is by dividing your campaigns into three (or two if you have a smaller budget).
One Facebook ad campaign for targeting cold audiences (TOFU), one for retargeting people who have seen your brand before (BOFU), and finally, retargeting those who have shown real interest by taking meaningful actions on your website (BOFU). A meaningful action can vary from one brand to the other but could be for example viewing a certain page, or adding a product to the cart.
Creating The Campaign
Each step of the funnel will count as a new campaign. Each campaign will have the “conversion” objective.
- Campaign goal: Conversions, CBO, ABO if testing new audiences
- Audience: cold audiences
- Purchase lookalike
- Lookalike of email list
Content: The people at the top of the funnel will be cold ones. So think about how you might want to present yourself to someone who has never seen your brand before. State very simply what your brand is all about. Why do you do what you do, or what the benefits are of your product? You want to warm up to them, show them you exist and get them to click your ad.
Pro Tip: Use the campaign strategy “Super lookalike audience and broad targeting”
- Campaign goal: Catalog Sales or conversions
- Audience: Retargeting
- Social engagers & page likes (365 days)
- Basic website visitors (180 days)
- Exclude purchasers
Content: This audience has already warmed up to your brand. They have engaged with your social media, possibly visited your website, and know about you. This “middle of funnel” group needs a strategy that utilizes Facebook to get your audience more interested in your brand, and take deeper action. This is why it’s great to use the catalog sales objective so that you can retarget this target audience in BOFU based on the pages they viewed. This is also a great place to test out testimonials, discounts, and messaging to resonate with your audience.
- Campaign objective: conversions, CBO
- Audience: Retargeting
- Add to carts and viewed content (180 days)
- Exclude purchasers
Content: This is a point in time where your audience has shown lots of interest in your brand. They just need a bit more convincing because they are most likely comparing you to other competitors. At this point they may be missing out on trust, or:
- Product reviews
- UGC (User Generated Content)
- Copy is conversion-oriented and looking for a sale
The TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU campaign structure would require a budget of at least $90-$100 a day. Each campaign should have a minimum ad spend of $20-30 per day.
This campaign structure can take a bit longer to start up since you need to build your audiences, but once it starts rolling the results can be amazing. This also helps you understand how your audiences are reacting to your content based on the stage of the funnel they are at!
Super Lookalike Audience with Broad Targeting
Just a few years ago, Facebook was well known for its ability to hyper-target your ideal customer to get the best results out of any other platform. But as the algorithm and AI gets smarter, it’s becoming easier for Facebook to pick the best people out of a broad audience.
Also, since your budget can affect your Facebook ads campaign structure, smaller budgets may not be able to afford a comprehensive TOFU, MOFU, BOFU campaign structure. So, what we can do in this case is to create a very strong single campaign which you can consider your “prospecting” and targeting cold audiences.
Then have another campaign dedicated to retargeting existing customers that have already shown interest in your products including website visitors, add to carts, etc. The idea of your prospecting campaign is to have two different ad sets.
Ad set 1: Super Lookalike
In one ad set, you will combine all of your best performing lookalike audiences to create a super lookalike audience. For example, purchase lookalike, add to cart lookalike, website visitors lookalike, and page engagers/like lookalike.
We know that a lookalike audience from reputable sources like your purchases and add to carts will typically bring you the best results. If you aren’t utilizing lookalike audiences yet, you NEED to. They are like the salt of your Facebook ad strategy. Every time you identify a lookalike audience that is performing well, you add it to this super lookalike audience.
Ad set 2: Broad Targeting
In the same campaign, but with a separate ad set, choose a very broad targeted audience where you might add age and gender, and country/region filters if they apply. But keep this as broad as possible.
Having these two audiences in the same campaign will do two things.
- The super lookalike audience will be able to “train” the broad audience on who to optimize for.
- Your audience sizes will be optimal for Facebook to be able to find your best customer. It’s recommended that you keep your audience sizes to about 4 million people.
Lookalike Audience Based On The People That Have Spent More
It’s common for companies to go in their CMS or CRM systems and pull a list of customers and upload it to Facebook to create a lookalike audience. But have you considered only uploading your customers with the highest purchase value? Meaning that you specifically show Facebook your customers that on average, spend more when they buy from you.
By telling Facebook that these customers are worth more to you, it can use its artificial intelligence magic and find other users that are similar to the ones that tend to spend more per purchase.
To do this:
- Go to your CRM and download your entire customer list or a customer list from a specific product you are trying to promote as a CSV
- Import the CSV to a Google Sheet
- Go to audiences in Facebook and download their customer upload sample
- Make sure that your titles contain the same name as the ones indicated by Facebook (from the sample I made you download).
- Download your updated Google Sheet list as a CSV
- Upload the CSV to your audiences
- Match the titles with the ones you have
- Facebook will ask you if your list includes the customer value, make sure to click “Yes”.
Stay Open to Change
As an eCommerce brand, your business lives online. Therefore you need to be constantly finding new ways to present your brand, your values, and be unique. These are five out-of-the-box strategies eCommerce brands can and should be using with Facebook Ads to make them stand out!