How to Make Your First E-commerce Sale Using Facebook Advertising?
Alright, so you’ve built your e-Commerce website using Shopify, Big Commerce, Woo Commerce, or any other eCommerce platform. It took you hours and hours of work, but all that effort is worth nothing if you don’t get interested buyers to go to your website and start buying. Now, where would you find your buyers?
There are two places that beat others by miles when it comes to driving traffic to your eCommerce store. Yes, you guessed it. It’s Google and Facebook. More than 3.5 billion searches are made on Google every second and more than 1.23 billion people actively use Facebook every month. Google’s AdWords platform is used widely and a lot is known about it, but relatively little information is available about how to optimize Facebook advertising. Interestingly, the results of a couple of studies published on MOZ indicate Facebook advertising may be more effective and profitable than AdWords.
E-COMMERCE SALES THROUGH FACEBOOK ADVERTISING
While we don’t want you to quit using Google ads, we are very confident that when used right, Facebook can increase your traffic and conversions dramatically. Here’s how you can trigger a consistent stream of e-commerce sales with Facebook.
Of course, you should have a Facebook business or brand page before you start advertising. Complete your profile and provide your URL and other details, such as an impressive cover photo, product photos, videos, etc. Have your content strategy ready along with a plan for creating or curating the content that you’ll post to Facebook.
MAKE BUYER PERSONAS
Facebook gives you tons of options for targeting your ads. The targeting must be accurate if you want to achieve the best results. For that, you must know your target customers’ demographics, interests, and behaviors. The classic way to understand your audience is to make buyer personas. Personas are research-based hypothetical representations of your buyers who they are, what goals they have when they buy from you, how they think and buy, where they buy or spend their time, etc. You can use this template from Hubspot to develop buyer personas.
FACEBOOK AUDIENCE INSIGHTS
Before you can advertise on Facebook, you’ll need to create a target audience. Facebook gives you the option of creating a Lookalike Audience. Selecting this option will automatically create an audience that matches your Page’s followers. However, you should drill down to the details and create a custom audience for achieving more sales at less cost. Facebook Audience Insights is an extremely effective though little-known tool that gives you deeper insights into your customers’ interests, demographics, and behaviors.
For using Facebook Audience Insights, you should know one or two major interests your customers have in common. For example, if I’m selling running shoes, one of the obvious common interests my audience is likely to have is “Running”. I’ll head over to the Audience Insights page, select the geographical location where I’m planning to sell, and select Running as an interest. This will reveal a wealth of information about the age, gender, lifestyle, relationship status, education level, and job titles of the people who have reported Running as one of their interests.
It doesn’t end here. Clicking on the Page Likes tab will show you the pages they like. The Location tab will reveal their exact neighborhood. You can even view their average family size and household income by clicking on the Household tab and their recent purchases under the Purchase tab. You can search with other interests, like Sports or Fitness. Hopefully, this should give you more than enough data to contemplate over and define your target audience more precisely.
Be sure to segregate your target audience into different segments depending upon the products you’re advertising and the perceived goals of your customers. For instance, the people who are interested in running may include teenagers as well as 40-year-olds. It will be better to hit them with separate ads that are tailored to their physical and emotional needs.
CREATE YOUR FACEBOOK ADS
With the targeting out of the way, now you can focus on creating some compelling Facebook Ads. It’s easy if you have some great photos or videos ready. Facebook allows you to use 2-10 photos or videos per ad, so you can advertise many different products in one ad. However, it will depend on the products and their target audience.
Facebook ads appear in the newsfeed of desktop and mobile users. Their performance in terms of CTR directly depends on the quality of the images and the ad copy. By quality of images, we do not mean you should upload a 100MB image file. Though the quality of the photography is essential, the images that perform best are those that show your product or emphasize its selling points in a creative way. For example, if you’re selling all-weather running shoes, you might use an image of them soaking up in heavy rain.
Next is your ad copy. Nothing increases the click-thru rates more than short, compelling, and direct ad copy. Here are a few things you can do:
- The upper limit for copy is 500 characters, but you should aim for less than 150 characters for optimum performance.
- Advertise free shipping and returns. 93% of people say free shipping would encourage them to purchase more products.
- Advertise coupons; they can increase traffic dramatically. 63% of consumers feel coupons are the most valuable form of mobile marketing.
- Select the appropriate Call to Action from the dropdown list on the page. For eCommerce store, it will be Shop Now in most cases.
As mentioned above, you can create an ad using a single image or video or create a Carousel using 2-10 images or videos. Facebook also gives you the option to use up to 7 looping videos in a Slideshow ad. The kind of ad you create will depend on your marketing and targeting strategy.
LAUNCHING YOUR CAMPAIGN
With the audience, creative and copy took care of, now would be the time to tell Facebook about your Placements and Budget & Schedule. Facebook now offers Automatic Placements, but you should edit placements if you want your ad to appear only on mobile or desktop or don’t want it appearing on Instagram. Another thing you should do is to uncheck the Right Column option, as Right Column ads typically have lower CTR.
Next, you’ll define your Budget & Schedule. You can allocate a Daily or Lifetime budget and choose to run the ad continuously or set a start and end date. Make sure you select the Link Clicks option in the Optimization for Ad Delivery column. Also, select Manual bidding in order to save on CPC cost. When you’re done, click Place Order. Facebook will take a few minutes to approve your ad, after which it will start running in the newsfeeds of your target audience.
You shouldn’t expect a single ad or campaign to take your sales through the roof. Instead, you should have a long-term strategy and continue testing different versions of your ads, swapping images and tweaking your copy. Keep on refining your audience and targeting by looking at the performance of different ad sets. You can also use Facebook Conversion Pixel to track conversions on your website and see which particular ads are more profitable. Keep advertising, keep testing, keep refining, and keep driving more and more fruitful traffic from Facebook to your eCommerce website.