“Facebook Ads is dead?”
“Are you still doing well with Facebook Ads?”
“Does your cost per action keep growing?”
I have been asked these questions many times over the past few months.
There are also many people complaining about Facebook Ads on my New Feeds. They think Facebook Ads is not the same as it was before and that we need to move on to something else.
“We need to move to Instagram Ads, Google Ads, SEO, etc.”
I partly agree with them.
Facebook Ads has changed…
But my team can still make good profits from it. We just launched a new project a few months ago, and Facebook Ads have been doing really well for us. We get thousands of new customers every time we release new products.
Some of my friends who are top eCom entrepreneurs still make good bucks from Facebook Ads as well.
So, what’s the secret behind this? Why do some people manage to get good results from Facebook Ads, while many other can’t make them work?
Why can some people make many sales at a very low cost, while many other people can’t?
There are a few ways to fix it.
I’m going to introduce you the easiest way.
First, you need to understand what Facebook wants.
What does Facebook want?
I bet you can guess.
Without money, they can’t hire world-class employees from over the world to develop their system and still be the number-one social network on the planet.
According to stats from Statista, the majority of Facebook’s revenue comes from ads.
But Facebook cannot do this if they don’t have millions of users on their platform. Feeding users too many ads will cause their users to leave. So they need to make their users happy and engaged, too.
That’s why they changed. That’s why the cost for some ads has been increasing every day. Irrelevant ads need to be removed or showed less often to users. Facebook needs to improve its platform to keep users happy.
In contrast, if your ads are relevant to their users and many users engage with your ads, Facebook will reward you with a lower cost and display your ads more often.
In the most recent project I did with my team, we got less than a buck for the cost-per-click and less than two bucks for a purchase. We did very deep research about our audience and created cool products and a user-friendly website interface for them.
That’s the first thing to think about.
Give them what they want, and they will give you what you want.
Facebook Ads and eCom have been the best combinations for years. Many great eCom entrepreneurs have been using Facebook Ads as the main traffic source for their stores.
But it’s not just about sending Facebook traffic to the product’s page and praying that you’ll make some sales from the visitors.
Many so-called gurus tell us that we just need to send traffic to the product’s page and make sales. If there are some sales, try to scale it by 4x the budget, etc.
But there are soooooo many details behind this.
You need to have a good funnel for your store.
Just sending visitors to the offer is not enough. We need to have a good funnel to get the most from every cent we spent on the ads.
Here’s the Big Picture (or the zoomed-out basic flow) of the process for Facebook Ads and eCom stores that I usually use.
What do you think? Does it look difficult to understand?
Let me explain it piece by piece.
The first part is the Gatekeeper.
It’s about the selected audience and the ad copy.
This is where you select your target audience and filter it to capture only the people who are likely to be interested in your product or service.
We need to do deep research about the target audience we want. What are they interested in? What are the demographics of the audience, male or female?
Most people don’t do much research about the target audience they’re interested in. This is a big mistake.
Most of the time, they will target a very broad audience and complain that Facebook sends the wrong people to their website.
When I got started, I did it wrong, too.
I first ran Facebook Ads to promote a t-shirt campaign a few years ago.
If I’m not mistaken, my first t-shirt campaign was about dogs. So I used “Dogs” or “Dog Lover” as the interests when I created my Facebook campaign.
It failed miserably. It was a joke!
After that, I thought Facebook Ads was difficult and might not be the best option for my product.
Actually, this was because my target-setting and the product were not a good fit.
We need to do very deep research before promoting something.
Let’s check out some examples.
If I’m selling running shoes for men, I won’t use “Running” as a Facebook interest and target only men. It’s too broad. Many people are interested in running, but not everyone runs regularly, right?
You can target broad interests when you find that your products are very broad and can be sold to any sort of person.
But before reaching that point, we need to think more about it. What are the things that serious runners are interested in?
It could be:
- Brands or series of running shoes. (Nike Air Max, Adidas Ultraboost, etc.)
- Running tracker apps. (Nike+, Runkeeper, etc.)
- World-famous races. (London Marathon, Berlin Marathon, etc.)
Check to see which ones can be used as Facebook Interests.
You can use Facebook Audience Insights to do your deep research and find the Facebook interests or demographics that are most related to your target audience.
By using this tool, you will understand the demographics and behaviors of the audience for the Facebook interests you are going to use.
Insert one interest on the left side, and check what they are interested in on the right side.
This simple target-audience research method will help you select an audience more accurately before you spend on ads.
Find Facebook interests related to the product or service you offer and save them to a list you can use later when creating the ads.
Do this seriously before moving to the next step.
The more you understand your audience, the greater the chances that you will create high-engagement ads.
Next, let’s move to the second part of the Gatekeeper.
Creating ads for your audience.
This is the first thing your audience will see before they visit your product page. You need to write a good ad copy and pair it with an attractive image to get them to engage with the da and click through to the offer.
I usually do “Website Conversion”
Some people might say that we need to “warm up” the Facebook pixel, but from my own stats I find that it’s fine to use the Website Conversion objective when starting to promote new products.
The Post Engagement objective is good too, if you want to get many likes, share, and comments on your Facebook post.
It depends on your goal.
If I want to do a giveaway promo for a new product I’m going to launch, I will use Post Engagement as the objective because I want lots of people to see the post. Many likes, shares, and comments help make Facebook posts more visible to the crowd.
But if I mainly want to sell my product, I create a new campaign with the “Purchase” objective right off the bat. Facebook will show my ads to people who tend to purchase products.
Also, I create different ad versions for different audiences for the same product.
Male or female, teens or adults, parents or non-parents respond to ads differently, so it’s smart to create different ad copy just for them.
If the product and ad copy are highly relevant to what they are interested in, there is a better chance that they will purchase your product.
If they don’t buy the product but your ad is relevant to them, people will usually spend time on your website to browse for other related products – and that makes for a low bounce rate.
It’s another factor that Facebook will consider when deciding whether their users like your ad or not.
The more engagements or clicks you get, the lower advertising price you will get from Facebook.
Give them what they want, remember?
Okay, that’s all about the Gatekeeper. You can use Engagement ads, Website Conversion Ads, Video Ads or anything you want. It depends on your goal and the type of product or service.
Next, it’s about the Selling System.
Once you send visitors to your product page, you need to make sure that they understand what you’re offering and can complete the checkout process quickly and easily.
For the eCom market, the process basically starts on the product’s landing page, cart page, and checkout page.
Simple, right? Every e-commerce platform uses this basic flow – and by following it, you can set up your own selling system easily.
Some people (including me) like to bypass the checkout process by sending people directly from the product page to the checkout page. Skip the “add to cart” page. This will help speed the checkout process.
It’s good when you focus on selling just one product.
This is what most eCom marketers do. We don’t promote many products a time because it distracts visitors from completing the checkout process.
We want to make the checkout process as lean as possible, so a cart page is not required.
This can be done easily on GearBubble Pro by just adding “cartandnav=off” at the end of the Product URL. The button will change from “Add To Cart” to “Buy Now”, and all unnecessary navigation options will be hidden.
For the product page, the product’s image is very important. Not many people will read every word of your product description.
Most people will see the product image first, check the price, and click the “add to cart” button. If there is a customer review, they will check that section too, but it’s optional.
I’m actually not that good at optimizing landing pages to get the best conversions. I use GearBubble Pro, and they provide a conversion-optimized landing page already. I just focus on product research and tuning my audience into what I can offer them.
Anyway, if you check product pages in Amazon, you will see something like this:
The product’s image, the number of customer reviews, product features, and add to cart button will be at the top of the page. Visitors need to scroll down the page to see the long product description.
This will help visitors understand the offer and head to the checkout process quickly. We should follow what this big guy does!
Okay, these two things – the Gatekeeper and the Selling System – are what most people do in the eCom business.
It’s basically just sending people to your product or service. If the audience you selected matches the product you offer, you should have make some sales by using only these two steps.
If not, try to tune up the audience and your offer.
The next thing to do is Retargeting.
In case you don’t know what this is, retargeting is basically the process of bringing visitors back to our website.
We create retargeting ads like this:
Have you ever seen this type of ad before?
I bet you have. 🙂
Most retargeting campaigns usually provide a very low cost per action because people have already seen the ads. What we need to do is motivate them to make a decision fast.
Offering a discount works pretty well in retargeting campaigns, but you need to make sure you exclude customers who have already purchased the products.
Otherwise, they won’t be happy, right?
I once made this mistake. My original customers weren’t happy, because they had already paid but didn’t get the discount.
Make sure you exclude these customers before doing a discounting campaign!
In order to do this, make sure you install Facebook Pixel on your website and create a custom audience for every step of the selling process.
There will be basically four types of custom audience:
- Visitors who access the product page.
- People who click the add to cart button or access the cart page.
- Visitors who initiate the checkout process or access the checkout page.
- Customers who have already purchased a product.
You can create a custom audience from people who engaged with the post on your page, liked your page, or watched your video ads.
Most of the time, I use these four audiences.
We can create retargeting campaigns to bring visitors from these different categories back to our website.
People in at different stages of the sales process respond to ads differently.
For example, the people who have already accessed the cart or checkout page have a higher chance of buying the product compared to visitors who access the product page only.
So, I mostly focus on this kind of audience.
There is also another type of retargeting ad provided by Facebook called a “Dynamic Product Ad” or DPA.
Have you seen ads like this?
This is a DPA.
Using this cool thing, you can set up a retargeting campaign on autopilot. Facebook will collect data about which product pages visitors accessed, and it will show that product page to visitors.
For example, if I was checking out a hotel in Tokyo in Agoda but not complete a purchase, Facebook will show that hotel again in my Facebook New Feed to bring me back to the Agoda and encourage me to complete the checkout process.
This is cool, right? It’s no surprise that DPA campaigns can get us more sales for a very low advertising cost. Facebook brings exactly what people saw back to them again to complete the process.
Sadly, I just started seriously checking out this type of ad a few months ago.
I’ve heard that many people are doing great with DPAs, but my general retargeting campaigns are still doing well. Basically, I was too lazy to check out DPAs.
That was a BIG mistake!
So, now I’ve told you about them. Don’t repeat my mistake!
That’s about all in terms of the retargeting campaigns I have done with my stores.
I recommend that you try it with your store, too. Most people won’t make a decision the first time they see a product, so we need to remind them to go back and complete the checkout process.
Okay, we’re now at the last part of the basic flow: the Scaling System.
The good thing about custom audiences is not just their role in retargeting. We can also use them to scale up our campaign.
Facebook has something called a “Lookalike Audience”.
Basically, it’s an audience that Facebook will build from a custom audience we’ve created. They will have pretty similar demographics and behaviors, and be interested in the similar things.
For example, if we create a Lookalike Audience from a custom audience who visited the “running shoes” product page, the people in the Lookalike Audience are likely to be interested in running shoes as well.
You can create a Lookalike Audience from any event that has happened on your website. Here are some of my examples:
I usually create a Lookalike Audience from people who have visited the product page, clicked the add to cart button, initiated the checkout, and purchased a product.
We can create a new campaign and send these people to our offer. Most of the time, this kind of audience gives us better results than a general audience based on interests or behavioral targeting.
The bigger the custom audience we have, the more accurate the Lookalike Audience Facebook can build.
This is one of the scaling methods that my team has been applying to our stores.
Okay, this is the basic flow of Facebook Ads for eCom stores. Now let me show you the big picture of the whole process again.
It all starts from the Gatekeeper, the place where you define the target audience for your product and write compelling ad copy. Make them understand what they will see behind the gate. Filter out the people who are not interested in your offer.
Next is the Selling System. Basically, this the process, or steps, that the buyer follows. It starts on the product page, then moves to the cart and checkout pages. Make all these pages easy to understand. When people check the page, make sure they understand what you’re offering, fast, and send them to the checkout page quickly.
These two stages will let you know whether or not the audience you selected is a good match with the product or service you’re offering. If it’s not, try to tune up the audience and the product.
Not every product can be sold, so if you try everything and it still can’t be sold, it’s time to promote another product.
After you’ve found a product that sells, the next thing is to set up a Retargeting Campaign to bring people who have shown interest in the product (but not bought it yet) back to your website.
Most people won’t buy the product the first time. They need time to make a decision, so you need to create a retargeting campaign to remind them to complete their purchase.
Then it’s time to scale the campaign. The most effective way to do this is by creating a Lookalike Audience from the people who are interested in your product.
This is a fantastic feature provided by Facebook. They will help you find new audiences who are likely to be interested your product, based on the statistics they have collected.
This is where the most sales come from.
Okay, that’s all for Facebook Ads and the eCom business. Actually, there are few more things about email marketing and other traffic sources. I’ll find the time to compile everything and write it all down soon.
In the meantime, try to implement what I’ve told you in your store – and watch the results happen!
Learning is nothing if you don’t take action! 🙂
P.S. If you benefitted from this article, and think some of the people who follow you will too, I would appreciate a share. 🙂
P.P.S. There’s another eComm model that does not rely on Facebook Ads, and I spend just ONE hour a week to build it. You can check it out here – eCom in One Hour a Week (or Less).