Wednesday, June 17, 2020
While your ads feature how awesome your product is or how hyped your customers are about your business, you need more than that to make your ads perform.
If you want to nail your business goals, you need to have a solid strategy as to how you’re going to get there. A strategy when executed the right way can change your business.
Mastering your Facebook advertising strategy gets you in front of targeted segments in your audience, motivates them to buy and finally converts them into a sale.
New businesses tend to rely on Facebook’s organic reach to drive sales. With algorithm changes, organic reach has taken a big nose dive. And businesses are forced to invest in paid campaigns or abandon ship.
Those who have invested in a Facebook advertising strategy are seeing some great returns for their money. Facebook has a plethora of case studies which is a good reason for you to believe that Facebook ads will work for you.
Unfortunately many business owners are unable to run profitable Facebook ads for the first time. This is where I want to help.
In this article, I’ll break down all the necessary steps you should go through to develop a Facebook advertising strategy for your business.
Some of the steps link to articles that go into detail on how to execute that step so start from the very first and work your way through.
These are the same principles we use for our client’s campaigns so believe me when I say this - there’s nothing stopping your business from executing a well-planned Facebook strategy.
Before you even develop your Facebook advertising strategy, you need to know your business numbers.
Knowing your numbers will help you understand whether your campaigns are hitting the right KPIs for your business.
Here are the 4 key numbers you need to know:
AOV - Average order value
LTV - Lifetime value
CPA - Cost per acquisition
COGS - Cost of goods sold
If you don’t have a rough idea of what these numbers look like for your business, you are doing things wrong. Take a step back and figure out what your numbers need to be for your business to be profitable.
AOV is crucial for understanding how much you can spend to acquire one customer. If your AOV is $60, you wouldn’t spend $40 to acquire a customer would you?
Simultaneously, if your AOV is $60 you wouldn’t spend $40 to acquire a customer if your COGS was $20. That just means you’re left with no profit.
There’s an exception to this if you have a high LTV.
Suppose your driving repeat purchases where your average LTV is around $200. What that means is, you’ve initially gone in a loss but over time you’ll make $200 from that one customer. Because you’re going to make back alot more money, it doesn't seem like a bad idea anymore to breakeven on your first purchase.
In order to create a Facebook advertising strategy that survives the test of time, you need to think long term. In other words, the objective and the ads you run with them should reflect a long term strategy.
The campaign objectives you choose should always line up with your business objective.
Ask yourself what’s more important for your business? Are you a new business that requires some brand awareness? Do you have products to promote and are looking to drive a ton of traffic through your website?
Selecting the wrong objective can be easy. What you want to do is, pick an objective that serves different stages of your customer journey.
If you’re just starting out, you might have a tendency to optimize for sales directly. I get it - every business needs sales to survive. But it is very unlikely you’ll see high returns for your ad spend without building a relationship with your customer first.
Since your audience hasn’t heard of you and doesn’t trust you enough to buy from you, start with the mindset of creating a connection with them.
How your customers perceive you will differentiate your business from that of your competitor. Considering you want to be in business long term, you’ll want to run campaigns that build trust with your audience.
So focus on developing a customer journey that not only meets your marketing goals but also connects with your audience in a meaningful way. Ads can be a powerful medium for your ecommerce business to build a real connection with your audience and improve your brand reputation. Also, you’re paying for them. So why let go of the opportunity?
Now that you have an idea of what your business goals are, you need to map out a strategy on how you’re going to achieve those goals.
Doing this will give you a clear idea of your customer journey and help you iterate in case you decide to add/ remove a step in your funnel.
A customer journey represents the different relationships you have with your audience. There will always be a segment of your target market that will want to purchase right away while others may need many touch points before they start warming up to your product.
A typical customer journey has 4 stages: attract, convert, close and delight.
Your customer journey will depend entirely on the cost of your products. Therefore, it’s important to know your numbers!
If you sell a commodity like clothing or novelty products, you’ll probably not need a customer journey to build awareness, drive traffic to your website and convert.
However if you sell something expensive or something people aren’t familiar with, then you need to build awareness for your product before asking for the sale.
For example, check out these brand awareness ads by LIV watches:
Notice the call to action - ‘Learn more’. While their goal will be to generate purchases, they understand their audience needs to trust them firstly. By using a subtle call to action like ‘learn more’ they build interest for their product and eventually gain their customers trust.
For any Facebook advertising strategy to work, you need to know your audience.
As good as your products may be, you can’t be everything to everyone.
Source: Interaction design foundation
Don’t be afraid to get specific and think about who would benefit from your products. Are they moms? Are they moms with kids? Are they single working moms?
Who your target audience is will play a pivotal role in branding, design, marketing and advertising your business.
The narrower you can focus your audience, the faster you can grow.
It might be tempting to skip developing your user profiles because you might think you hardly know your customer. But strategy building is about building for the long term, and the more generic your targeting is..the less it stands out from your competition.
To make sure you’ve got the right audience in mind, you should conduct a thorough investigation into the personas you create.
The more research you can put together regarding your target audience, the less risk you have in going off track when creating your Facebook strategy.
To generate a customer profile, create a narrative that will help establish why your solution will be relevant to your customer. Start with the basics of who they are, their story and what they need.
The biggest advantage of Facebook ads is the ad targeting function that lets you reach out to people who are most likely to buy from you.
When Facebook first launched, it was criticized by advertisers for having little insight on consumer behavior. Now Facebook has the capability to track you across other websites and services, including the various apps you use on your phone and the places you physically visit in the real world - especially if you decide to check in on Facebook while you’re there.
Because of this, Facebook has alot more data on its users - whether they play candy crush or farmville, how soon are they getting married, do they love mystery novels or are they into fitness? Facebook probably knows.
And in order to get the most return on your investment, it’s important to leverage these targeting options Facebook offers you. Or else you’ll end up burning a hole through your wallet.
When you define your ideal audience, you’ll be able to reach them at an optimal cost. Which equals a better conversion rate and a stronger long term strategy that keeps working.
Just as you have endless targeting options on Facebook, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the type of ads you want to create.
Facebook gives you the creative freedom to experiment with various ad types and find out which drives the most conversions.
Ultimately your customer journey will determine the direction you want to take with your ads, including the creatives and the ad format that you choose.
You want to put in a little effort here. Make your ads more entertaining so that when your customers engage they don’t feel like ads. Whether it’s including humor or images that catch people’s eyes, strive to avoid static and boring creatives.
For example, the carousel ad format lets you show up to 10 images and/ or videos in a single ad unit. This eye catching ad allows brands to showcase multiple products at once.
Another format to consider is video. Video ads are totally crushing it right now.
Past studies show that adding video to campaigns improves performance. Infact, Facebook has explicitly encouraged brands to use video ads to drive value.
With so many choices available, familiarize yourself with the available ad formats and choose ones that are most suited to your brand.
Before your campaigns go live, you need to define your key KPIs for each stage of your customer journey.
You can get no results with your Facebook ads if you focus too much on the wrong metrics. These metrics look good on paper but don’t inform you on how well your campaigns are performing.
In the long run, you want to use these vanity metrics to guide your campaigns but not rule it. If you run ads based on these metrics, you will hurt your campaign performance and not get a positive ROI. Which means you’re running a campaign which is losing money, not making more of it.
Some key KPIs you can choose to focus on are:
Ultimately your key KPIs should align with your business numbers.
Your brand attributes represent key aspects of your brand.
These help you understand what it is you’re trying to communicate at each stage of your customer journey so that’s where you want to start. Ultimately you want to create ads that resonate with your customers at each stage.
Think of your business as a person when doing this exercise. How would you describe them?
Your brand attributes are comprised of:
Focus on brainstorming ideas that are positive. You might have a tendency to use negative language. However the goal is to express attributes that enhance your brand's messaging and help your business express emotion.
Before you decide to blow out your budget by running multiple campaigns, it’s important to have a testing process to validate your audiences and ads.
You can only maximise your returns when you know that the data you’ve fed into Facebook is actually working for you. Hence I recommend running small test campaigns to get your feet wet and understand what audiences and creatives are performing well.
Depending on your ad spend, always keep aside a certain percentage of your budget dedicated towards testing. It might look like you’re wasting money in the short term but having a testing process is what builds scalable campaigns.
I’ve detailed the testing process we use in the agency here.
It will always be in the best interest for your business to adopt a hybrid social media strategy.
That is, supplementing your paid Facebook campaigns with organic content and community building. Doing so gives you the best of both worlds.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Although Facebook has limited organic reach, that’s no excuse to neglect your fans. While paid ads encourage conversions, look at this as another way of forming deeper relationships with your customers and increasing their familiarity with your brand.
Hopefully this guide serves as some much needed direction if you’ve been struggling to develop a strategy for your business.
As you can see, there's a lot which goes on behind the scenes when advertising with Facebook but success begins by establishing your goals. After that mapping out your strategy will be far easier.
Remember that your job isn’t done when your ads go live. You need to constantly refine and iterate your strategy moving forward to maximize your returns.
Are you tired of reading the same regurgitated information? Do you want to learn fresh, new marketing tactics your competition doesn’t know about?