How to Create a Fail-Proof Facebook Advertising Sales Funnel
Hard-selling ads work well on AdWords because people are searching explicitly for your product or service.
But take that same approach over to Facebook, and your results will struggle.
The problem is that people are on Facebook to keep up with family, connect with old friends, and stalk their ex. They’re not (usually) there to buy.
So instead of going directly for the sale with a single campaign, you need to construct a ‘bridge’ that helps transition people from strangers to loyal customers. Confidently and consistently.
You can do that by setting up a few different paid traffic campaigns, each with their own specific purpose, to seamlessly move people from one stage to the next until they’re ready to purchase.
Here’s how that should look.
Step #1. Content Promotion with Facebook Ads
The first step is to increase the amount of targeted, qualified people who recognize who you are (and might purchase your stuff in the near future).
But instead of dropping $600,000 on fake Likes, let’s begin with content promotion that generates real people visiting your site.
At the beginning, you’re not really sure who’s going to be a great or poor fit. So start by simply targeting people who’ve already defined specific interests, like ‘traveling’, or who’ve previously Liked a popular relevant media or organization’s page like Budget Travel magazine.
From there, you can create different segments based on demographics, like age and gender, or specific niche interests, like backpacking vs. honeymoon travel, to get a broad sample of people.
Keep these segments around 1-2 million to start with (so the audience targeting isn’t too broad).
Your goal at this point is to simply generate website visits, so optimize your ad campaigns for the lowest Cost Per Click (CPC).
Facebook Canvas ads are a great (relatively new) advertising format to increase brand awareness because they help you focus on the storytelling aspect of a topic you work on.
This could effectively eliminate the need for a separate content piece on your site. For example, ASUS ran a 2015 holiday campaign that generated an extra 42% life in clicks, in addition to having 70% of the ad viewers clicking on their website after.
Step #2. Lead Generation with Facebook Ads
After you’ve got Step #1 up-and-running, people should now be visiting your website in droves. The next step is to turn them into leads.
The good news, is that these are the specific people you want to target (site visitors over the past 30-60 days) with a simple lead magnet, designed to provide immense value on a particular topic they previously viewed in exchange for an email address.
Because you’re trying to drive early leads, you should unsurprisingly keep an eye on the Cost per Conversion metric to make sure you’re generating the most leads for the lowest price (just not at the expense of quality obviously).
Refer to these official Facebook docs to make sure you’ve got the conversion pixel properly installed (prior to turning the campaign live).
Ideally, after a few days or weeks you’ll begin to start identifying which of your initial segments of people (like which types of travelers) are (and aren’t) converting the best – pointing the way to which campaigns should increase and decrease budgets accordingly.
Step #3. Lead Nurturing with Facebook Ads
Once you generate a new lead, you’ll have the chance to start sending them automated email campaigns to nurture and build trust.
However, you can (and should) still target them with another Facebook ad campaign too with Facebook’s peerless custom audience targeting options.
Facebook’s custom audiences allow you to upload email addresses (and even phone numbers) so you can send highly targeted campaigns or offers to your list of leads.
Laser-targeting your audience options like this can not only deliver better conversion rates, but also lower your advertising costs at the same time (because you’re wasting less spend on useless or irrelevant clicks from the wrong people).
For example, Plated, a gourmet meal delivery service, used custom audiences to lower their Cost Per Acquisition by 50% (compared to other channels).
When people begin evaluating their different options with competitors or alternatives, the best antidote is to give them a simple taste test.
Digital Marketer calls this ‘product splintering‘, where you can basically create a new low-touch product variation to allow people to get a sample of what you do (and how you do it) with an affordable first step.
For example, they took a larger training course and broke out one report priced at only $7. It was so successful that it generated an initial $188,674 in sales.
Keep your ads primarily on desktop for these (as conversions tend to be higher than on mobile), and again keep an eye on that Cost Per Conversion metric to see how your new low-value offer is working (or not working).
Step #4. Conversions with Facebook Ads
Steps one through three should have accomplished most of the hard work.
Using the ‘product splintering’ technique like the last step should have started to help you filter out the real, high-potential leads from everyone else.
And now you should be able to segment out those who’ve already had some purchase or customer value in your system (along with other select people who might be a good target — usually identified with things like high recent active engagement or lead scoring).
You can now just use direct sales messages, or targeted offers and promotions, to finally push these people over the edge.
Product companies have a few advantages to automate most of this work. One perfect example are the Facebook’s Dynamic Product Ads, which are like remarketing or retargeting ads that will show a specific product to someone who just viewed it on your site.
Simply upload a product catalog along with a basic ad ‘template’, and this ad template will do the rest; automatically detecting which pages (and products) that person just viewed on your site and substituting the ad’s template creative to pre-set headlines, descriptions and images to get those potential customers back to your website.
Final Thoughts on Facebook Ads
Facebook ads can give you a plethora of options to increase the amount of people who recognize your brand, trust it, and become loyal customers.
But Facebook ads don’t work like what you might be used to with AdWords and other hard sale-type tactics.
Instead, creating a Facebook ad funnel designed to increase the number of people transitioning across each step — from content promotion to lead generation, nurturing and conversions.
It might be time-consuming, but at the end of the day, it’ll give you a better way to target the right people with the right message at the right time – increasing conversions and lowering costs at the same time.