This blog post is recently updated on May-16 2019.
Facebook boasts of 2.38 billion monthly active users as of the first quarter of 2019. (Source)
During the same period, Facebook attracted 1.56 billion active users every day. (Source)
The above figures show that Facebook has now entered a mature phase, where it not just connects people anymore but also brings businesses closer to their customers. After all, which business wouldn’t love to tap into the massive potential client base of over 2 million? If you have an e-commerce business, this is the right time to plan your Facebook ad strategies because the world’s biggest social media platform can be a goldmine for your business.
You might also be interested in the following articles:
A Quick Guide for Selling on Facebook
Facebook Campaign Planner to Outreach Target Audience
How to Improve Conversion by Facebook Ads?
Facebook Remarketing: Use of Targeted Advertising
How to Use Facebook Marketplace to Grow your E-commerce Business?
Step By Step Guide to Increase Sales with Facebook Dynamic Ads
25 Winning Hacks of Facebook Video Ads
By planning your ad strategies, the right way, you can blend the marketing power of Facebook with its advertising potential to boost both your business’s online presence and brand loyalty. Unlike other traditional forms of advertising and marketing, you can do much more with the same budget (or even lesser) by leveraging Facebook ads. So, whether you need to get more followers into the fold, encourage greater engagement with your page visitors, bring more leads and eventually, more sales your way, or do all of these, the key is to have some effective Facebook ad strategies.
With that in mind, we bring you the following seven vital Facebook ad strategies that will help to boost your e-commerce sales and let you meet other business goals such as improved engagement, more followers, etc as well.
Seven vital Facebook ad strategies to boost your Ecommerce sales
Strategy 1: Leverage Dynamic Product Ads as Part of Your Facebook Ad Strategies
Conveying the right message to the right person at the right time pays huge dividends, especially by bringing greater click-through rates and conversions. This is what Facebook Dynamic Ads do.
Unlike regular image and video ads, Dynamic Ads target people with highly-relevant products from your product catalog. These people have already viewed your products, placed them in their shopping cart, or purchased them.
Are Dynamic Ads and Multi-Product Ads Same?
Multi-product ads feature multiple products in a single ad unit in the form of a carousel.
In contrast, Dynamic Ads can feature multiple products like multi-product ads, or feature single image format that is highly relevant to the customers in specific stages of the sales funnel.
Steps for Creating Dynamic Facebook Ads
Creating Facebook Dynamic Ads is a cinch with a little technical help.
Step 1: Upload Product Catalogue
Line up your products in an XML or CSV File with attributes – product ID, product name, description, type/category, image URLs, landing page, etc. Keep the headers for each row on each column’s top cell.
This product catalog will act as a virtual database where information gets saved dynamically based on what the pixel instructs.
Step 2: Configure Your Pixel
Dynamic Product Ads use the same pixel that’s used for creating website Custom Audiences. With little modifications, the same code can be used for Facebook Dynamic Ads. If you wonder where you’ll find the pixel code, you’ll get it in your ad account. Just check Ads Manager >> Pixels.
Your next step is to click “Create a Pixel” which will show you the page as below where you’ll have to name your pixeland then click “Create”.
Make sure you add these three-pixel events to get the best out of your Facebook ad strategies:
ViewContent– this should be added on a particular product page.
Purchase – this should be added to the order confirmation or thank you page.
These pixels provide Facebook with data on site visitors and at which stage they are in their buying journey. This, in turn, lets you assess customer actions and know which ads would serve them better, thus taking steps for smart advertising. For example, if a ViewContent pixel gets activated by a user, Facebook will know he/she is at the beginning stage of his/her buying journey. But if he/she has added a product to his/her cart but haven’t yet checked out, he/she is at the intermediate stage of becoming a customer. Finally, if he/she has checked out, he/she has become a customer, who is ready to be cross-sold or up-sold.
Given below is an example of ViewContentpixel event.
Use the Chrome extension to verify if the pixel is setup properly, or troubleshoot and debug the issues. You can get help on these matters from the Facebook Pixel Helper page. In case you aren’t sure of handling or troubleshooting issues on your own or don’t feel confident configuring your pixel, it’s best to hire an experienced developer for the job, thus ensuring you make the most out of your Facebook ad strategies.
Step 3: Set Up A Dynamic Ad Template
Create the ad template filled with your offerings. You can opt for the carousel or a single-image format. Pull in product information from your product catalog using keywords.
The ad will appear directly on the audience Newsfeed or in the Right-Hand column, across a range of devices.
Step 4: Run Your Campaign
Voila! Run your ads for a few weeks and analyze which ad outperforms by using A/B test. If you are wondering why you need A/B test, it’s to ensure every dollar of your ad budget is put to the best use.Unless you are a pro in creating several dozens of Facebook ad campaigns, you’ll not be in a position to predict which type of ad design will work better for you or which particular demographic audience will be more inclined to buy your product. A/B testing will show you the right way when you are facing such a dilemma. With it, you can quickly test different ad designs and target audiences to find out which are the most successful ones. Here’s how a company called AdEspresso did it:
As it’s evident, the ad in Test 1 performed much better than that in Test 2 despite the same ad spend ($150) and the same impression (10,000).
Strategy 2: Create A Lookalike Audience (LAA) To Optimize Your Facebook Ad Strategies
Lookalike Audience tool allows you to target more potential customers using your existing customer base. Banana Republic – a world-famous apparel e-commerce store, successfully uses Lookalike Audience tool to expand its reach and find new shoppers.
The retailer received four times more return on its Lookalike advertising spend than other advertising channels. Their click-through rate grew by 60% using this powerful Facebook tool for customer acquisition.
Using this tool, you can use your existing customer list to find Facebook profiles with similar demographics and interests. This cost-effective and low-risk strategy focuses only on those customers who are most likely to buy your products.
Lookalike Audiences are different from interest-based targeting as the former give you more control over better-quality audiences. You can use this strategy to increase email leads and likes on your branded Facebook page.
Four Types of Facebook Lookalike Audiences
For all lookalike audiences, you need to create a custom audience. Keep the source audience larger (at least 1,000 people) for better quality outcomes. After all, the better the data you supply, the better will be the results. However, remember that rather than having an audience of 30,000 good, average, and bad customers, it always pays to have a loyal audience of just 500 since it will always perform better than the former, thus making your Facebook ad strategies count.
#1 Create a Video Lookalike Audience
It works excellent with your video content marketing strategy. Before you create a video lookalike audience, you need to create a custom video audience.
Create a Custom Video Audience
It allows you to segment your viewers based on the videos they’ve watched and their level of engagement.
Step 1:Open Facebook Ads Manager.
Step 2: Navigate to Assets > Audiences.
Step 3: Create Audience > select Custom Audience
Choose ‘Engagement on Facebook’ from the pop-up box on your screen.
Next, select video.
Step 4: Select ‘Engagement Criteria’ from the drop-down list and choose the videos you want to use. Define the duration, audience name, and click ‘Create Audience.’
You can create a ‘video view’ audience at various engagement levels: 3 seconds, 10 seconds, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 95%. For each one, repeat the process for different engagement options.
Build A Video Lookalike Audience
Now, you’re ready to setup Video Lookalike Audience. Navigate back to ‘Create Audience’ section and choose Lookalike Audience from the drop-down menu. In the pop-up box, fill Source, Country, and Audience Size. For the source, select the custom video audience that you have created earlier.
Audience sizes range from 1% to 10% of the total population of the target country, with 1% being the closest match.
#2 Set Up Email List Lookalike Audiences
Step1: Navigate to Audience dashboard > Create Audience > Custom Audience > Customer File
Step 2: You’ve two options – upload your data as a file and paste the data, or import it from MailChimp.
For uploading the list, click Choose a File or Copy and Paste the Data. Unload the email list (CSV file).
Step 3: Map your identifiers. More identifiers get better match rate. Here, we’ll use First Name, Last Name, and of course, Email Address.
Step 4: Click ‘Upload & Create’ and you’ll see a progress bar and how many data rows were uploaded successfully.
#3 Create Conversion Lookalike Audiences
This is yet another of those Facebook ad strategies that emphasize on leveraging the Lookalike Audience. Here, you can target customers who’ve completed a particular conversion event. Before creating Conversion Lookalike Audience, ensure to set up and install conversion tracking.
Create a Custom Audience for Conversions
Step 1: Navigate to Facebook Ads Manager > Create Audience > Custom Audience from the drop-down menu> select Website Traffic.
Step 2: Select the drop-down menu which you want.
Finally, select the ‘Include Past Website Traffic,’give your audience a name, and click Create Audience.
In the image above, we’ve created a custom audience of people who visit a particular web page (launch of product A). You may even set up an audience of people who visited your website’s event information page, or create another audience of people who paid a visit to your event page but left without buying a ticket.
Once you’ve built the custom audience, you can create the audience of people visiting, after which the lookalike audience would be able to find other people on Facebook who aren’t yet part of your audience but hopefully have similar interests as the people who are paying a visit to your site.
Build a Conversion Lookalike Audience
Step 1: Navigate to Create Audience > Select Lookalike Audience > Choose your website custom audience from the drop-down list.
Step 2: Select Country, choose audience size, and click ‘Create Audience.’
#4 Construct Page Likes Lookalike Audiences
Now, this is the simplest and easiest to set up because you create it from your Facebook page fans.
Navigate to Create Audience > Select Lookalike Audience > Select your page name from the drop-down list.
Finally, choose the target country and your audience size.
Strategy 3: Facebook Retargeting/Remarketing Campaign
Growing cart-abandon rate is disappointing! But, letting your customers go is a sin for your e-commerce business.
Let’s consider this scenario: you run an e-commerce store. You are getting traffic to your pages, but most of the people quit before making a purchase. They don’t convert into your customer, and you’re losing them. It is where retargeting comes into the picture.
If you are still not sure why your Facebook ad strategies need to focus on this aspect, here are some retargeting stats that will make you believe in the power of Facebook retargeting:
- Retargeting boosts ads’ response by 300%.
- Nearly 26% of returning customers complete the check-out process.
- The typical conversion rate is 55% for retargeting-based businesses.
The following picture shows a buyer’s journey, divided into five phases:
Facebook retargeting helps at the final ‘Buy’ stage. This strategy assumes that people are already aware of the company and its products. Retargeting campaigns display better information on the products people are already interested in. With improved information, they instantly trigger back into their buying journey and end up with buying the product.
Facebook retargeting is an effective means of reconnecting with people who visited your store but did not make a purchase.
How Does Retargeting Work?
Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a highly-effective marketing tool that targets your ad campaigns to people who already expressed an interest in your offerings. These people are already in-market. Retargeting ads remind them how excellent your product is or why they should choose you.
To leverage it in your Facebook ad strategies, you need to know that the way it works is pretty straightforward:
People visit your store; you segment your website visitors, create custom ads, and show those ads to the segmented visitors via Facebook.
Facebook retargeting helps boost the conversion rate and lowers the overall cost per customer acquisition. But the biggest benefit is that retargeting ad appears to only those people who are genuinely interested in your products.
It’s all about re-engaging your customers! The key is to give them a reason so good that they are compelled to return.
Let’s see how to create your retargeting campaign:
Step 1: Log in to your Facebook Ads Manager and select Audiences
Click on ‘Business Manager’ on the top left side of the screen, and click on ‘Audiences’ in the drop-down menu.
Step 2: Click on Create Audience and select Custom Audiences
You’ll notice the ‘Create Audience’ button at the top left corner. For retargeting, you’ve to select ‘Custom Audience’ to set up a campaign that targets people who visited your website.
Step 3:Select Website Traffic
You’ll see many options on your screen. However, for the retargeting campaign, you have to focus on your website traffic.
Step 4:Select your target audience from the drop-down menu
You have the option of targeting:
- Your website visitors
- Visitors to specific pages
- People who visit only one or more specific page, but not others
- Who hasn’t visited your store in a certain amount of time
- Custom combination
As you see in the image, you can target a date range, give it a name, and get started.
Step 5:Get your pixel code and place it on your website
The Facebook pixel code will place a transparent tiny 1X1 pixel on your website that allows tracking your website visitors.
We’ve already discussed above (under Steps for Creating Dynamic Facebook Ad) what Facebook Pixel code is and how you can get it.
Strategy 4: Facebook Mobile Ads + Instagram Ads
Facebook and Instagram are two of the leading mobile platforms these days. The good news is that you can combine the power of both in one to turbocharge your Facebook ad strategies.
Instagram is the biggest platform to promote visual content. It has over 1 billion monthly active users, especially mobile users, making it a profitable platform for e-commerce brands. Creating Instagram ads can be a lengthy task, and this is where Facebook helps. According to December 2016 data, there are 1.74 billion mobile active users (MAU) on Facebook every month.
These stats suggest combining Facebook mobile ads with Instagram ads would be a prudent move. Advertisers can combine Instagram ads with Facebook ad campaigns through Ads Manager and Power Editor. All you need is: simply check “Instagram” box under the ad set’s Placement section.
Create Instagram Ads in Ads Manager
You can create Instagram ads the same way you create Facebook ads.
Step 1: Navigate through Business Manager > Business Settings > Instagram Accounts
A new page will open where you’ll be able to add your Instagram account by simply clicking +Add as shown below.
Step 2: Enter your Instagram account details (user name and password) and click ‘Next.’
Step 3: Authorize your ad accounts to use Instagram account by checking the box next to each ad account. Click ‘Save Changes.’
Through Page Settings
You can do this through your Page’s settings as well.
Navigate through Settings > Instagram Ads > Add an Account > Sign in Instagram Account > Confirm
Step 4: Go to ‘Ad Creation.’
Step 5: Choose your ad objective that supports Instagram. There’s a list of objectives as the image below shows (Brand awareness, Reach, Traffic, Engagement, Conversions, Store visits, etc.) from which you can take your pick.
Since each objective supports goals that are different from the others, you need to select the ones that best suit your business to make the most out of your Instagram and Facebook ad strategies. You may check this beginner’s guide for some help in choosing the right ad objective.
Step 6:Click ‘Continue’and fill in the details of your ad including ad targeting, budget, schedule and creative.
Step 7: Before you click on ‘Place Order,’ ensure to check next to Instagram in the ‘Ad Preview’ section of ad creation. This will ensure that your ad is eligible to run on Instagram.
Create Instagram ads in Power Editor
Power Editor is a Facebook advertising tool that allows advertisers to create, edit, and publish multiple ads at one go in a controlled manner. Link Instagram account to your Facebook Page following ‘Through Page Settings’ steps given above.
Step 1: Create a campaign in Power Editor that supports Instagram ads:
Power Editor > Create Campaign > Enter Campaign name
Also, choose ‘Auction’ for your ‘Buying Type’ and set ‘ad objective’ for Instagram ads. Give ‘Ad name’ and click ‘Save to Draft.’
Step 2: Create an ad set for your ad:
- Click ‘ad Sets’> Create ad Set > Enter a Name > Create
- Select the new ad set. Click Edit to set details such as budget, schedule, audience, Instagram in placement section and pricing.
Step 3: Create an Instagram ad in Power Editor:
- Go to ‘Manage Ads’ tab and click on ‘Create Ad.’ Here, choose whether to use an existing campaign or create a new one.
- Enter a name, click ‘Create’ and provide complete details for the ad.
- When the ad is ready to be published, click on the ‘Review Changes’ button.
When creating your ad, keep the Instagram placement checked to make your ad eligible to show on Instagram.
Strategy 5: Facebook Video Ad Marketing
When you advertise on Facebook, always think of your audience in two categories: people who already know your brand and those who don’t. Effective Facebook ad strategies suggest not to advertise with “Buy Now” in the advertisements that appear in the news feed of new people. Warm people up first and introduce yourself cordially to your ‘cold’ audience.
Let’s check out some staggering stats first. A 2016 Q2 report indicates that 500 million people watch videos on Facebook each day. Another 2015 report states that Facebook gets more than 8 billion average daily video views. It was also found that it just takes the first three seconds to bring 47% of the value of Facebook video ads. According to yet another report, Facebook videos have increased 360% across each audience’s news feeds. Thus, it’s no wonder that around 87% of online marketers prefer video content due to tremendous revenues video marketing brings.
If you still need additional reasons to feel convinced of using Facebook video ads, here’s some data worth considering:
By 2020, over 75% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video. Despite making up merely 3% of the content, videos boast of the highest engagement rate.Social video produces 12 times more shares than images and texts combined. As if this wasn’t enough, branded video content has got 258% increased views on Facebook since 2016 according to a 2017 Q2 online report. In case you prefer to put your trust in YouTube videos, you should note that native videos on Facebook have 10 times higher viral reach(and thus, far better engagement) compared to YouTube links.
Perhaps you now know why your Facebook ad strategies need to leverage the power of Facebook video ad marketing. To do it, follow these five steps to win more business through this popular social media platform:
Step 1: Making an Engaging Video
Choose the video styles:10-second video, educate/entertain video, or call-to-action video that work well as Facebook ads. You don’t need expensive equipment and designers to create high-end video clips. While creating your videos, you should focus on the emotional connect and a constructive narrative rather than beating your own drums. You may take a cue from Nike’s video ad strategy. The company’s videos don’t overtly promote Nike or its products. Rather, they focus on building a narrative that elicits emotions. Nike knows (and you should too) that for the audience, it’s more about the feelings related to the video rather than about the product itself.
To create effective and profitable videos for your Facebook ad campaigns, you can use a lot of free and high-quality tools that are readily available. Given below are the three main styles/lengths of videos that work well as Facebook ads:
- Short Video Snippet (0:15-0:30 seconds) – short, curiosity-based video with “Did you know?” like curiosity-evoking questions.
- Traditional Commercial-Style (0:30-2:00 min) – Interesting and authentic, yet still persuasive.
- Long-Form “Edutainment” Style (3-6 minutes) – A content-rich video that educates, entertains and persuades.
Step 2: Create New Campaign Using the Most Optimum Campaign Objective
Keep the objective in mind while designing a new campaign as part of your Facebook ad strategies. For conversions, use Website Conversions objective, and for speed and ease-of-use, use “Boost Post” from your Facebook Page.
Step 3: Create First Ad Set According To Your Target Audience
Always start your campaigns with warm audiences, which refer to people already familiar with your brand.
Step 4: Create an Ad with Compelling Ad Copy
For video ads, following three types of ads work:
Short Copy: In this type of ad, users don’t need to click on ‘See More’ to read all content in the post. It is one of the most popular types of ad that you can see on Facebook. You can see how Rumble On – the motorcycle marketplace does it as is captured in the image below.
Long Copy: In this type of ad, users have to click “See More” to read the content of the entire post copy. Given below is a screenshot of how Reader’s Digest leverages this form of ads.
Long-Ass Copy: It means a long copy, perhaps, an entire blog post put into the post of the ad. The screenshot below is one of Buzzfeed’s long-form videos (duration – 14minutes and 41 seconds) about the Holocaust survivor – Eva Mozes Kor. This Facebook video has garnered over 1.8 million views, which is a testimony to the impressive results such videos can bring if done the right way.
Step 5: Monitor, Reporting, Adjust and Optimize
As your video ad begins running, start monitoring its performance.
Manage metrics by clicking on “Customize Columns” drop-down menu in the Ads Manager and focus only on the most important metrics.
The goal of your video advertisement is to engage your potential customers. Do experiments and control that instinct to make everything perfect.
Strategy 6: Audience Optimization
Having additional information about people who are more interested in your posts can help deliver the content to the right audience and make the most of your Facebook ad strategies. It can be achieved by Audience Optimization, which is an organic targeting tool that increases the reach and engagement of your posts on Facebook.
Audience Optimization has three major features as given below:
Preferred Audience: Use tags to describe the interests of people who are most likely to find the post useful. For example, an apparel post might include tags for men and women.
Audience Restrictions: Restrict your posts’ visibility to specific demographics with this tool.
Audience Insights: It shows how each interest tag contributes to a post’s reach, shares, likes, and clicks.
Audience Optimization is available for all English language Pages. Page Admins should make sure they have the tool enabled.
Pages with over 5,000 likes will have this feature automatically turned on.
To turn on the Audience Optimization tool:
- Go to your Page Settings.
- Click ‘General’ on the left side of the page.
- Locate the row marked ‘Audience Optimization for Posts’ that sits in the page’s central section. Click ‘Edit’ which is on the right side of this row.
- Check off the box that will let you start using the feature and click ‘Save Changes.’
Audience Optimization is accessible through Graph API, Page post composer, Instant Articles and Third-Party publishing tools.
Before you start with an expensive Facebook ad campaign, make sure to test it on a smaller scale by running A/B tests. In addition, use the Facebook ad strategies as mentioned above to develop your own tactics. Remember – the key to your adson Facebook succeeding and reaching your marketing and sales goals is to start with the most innovative ideas before your competitors do.
Here’s wishing your Facebook ad strategies a grand success!