Facebook and Instagram can be powerful advertising channels for generating sales, but if your ads don’t work like a funnel, you’re probably struggling to break-even.
This is because Saturation and Skepticism have changed the game. Facebook users see tons of ads every day, but buy from a fraction of them. Because people only buy things they think will bring them a clear benefit (and flee loss).
Which makes sense. No one wants to get scammed or buy low-value stuff.
But because of this skepticism and high competition, it’s hard to create ads that successfully catch attention, demonstrate unique value, and assuage quality concerns. There simply doesn’t exist an ad that can do all that work by itself. Which is why advertisers are building ad funnels.
Building a Facebook Advertising Funnel
Using an advertising funnel means creating several ads that work in a sequence. The ads build trust with Facebook users over time. For e-commerce stores, a simple 3 step funnel often works well.
A 3 step funnel has 3 different campaigns, each one configured to have different goals and budgets. These campaigns then engage your audience with different messages over time as they progress through their decision-making process. (I also known as their “customer journey“).
- The first campaign reaches the widest audience and generates interest.
- The second campaign only targets the people who showed interested in the first campaign.
- And the final campaign only targets the people who showed interest in the 2nd campaign.
Its called a funnel because each campaign targets an increasingly refined audience.
The structure focuses your advertising budget on the audience that is most likely to follow through on their purchase and makes it cost-effective to build the relationships necessary to make sales in today’s skeptical online shopping ecosystem.
Here is a link to a full guide to configuring this 3 step funnel in Facebook. What follows in this article is an overview and ad examples of each stage of a 3 step Facebook advertising funnel.
Top of Funnel: 1st Stage of Decision-Making
Your first campaign needs to reach a wide audience of people, cheaply, in order to catch the attention of the right potential customers. The goal here is to identify people who are likely to ultimately convert (essentially a prospecting campaign).
Because this ad will be your first touch, you’ll want to avoid the temptation to promote a specific product here, and instead, try and be more generally appealing, by showcasing a lifestyle, or aspects of your brand that will resonate with a broad audience.
- Generate interest in the brand and connect on an emotional level (not focused on your products)
- Attract attention by explaining what your brand is about or convey the brand’s style
- Showcase what is unique about your brand
- If your products are Problem/Solution-focused, help them understand or identify the problem they resolve.
1. Ads that emotionally connect:
Connect with your audience emotionally (example: a store that sells hiking boots may want to aim to make their audience feel inspired to have an adventure and get outdoors.
Beauty brands may want to make their audience feel empowered/attractive/glamorous).
Fashion should connect with viewers using the visual language that they will identify with.
2. Ads that generate curiosity:
Ads should aim to make people curious, without overemphasizing sales, specific products or giving everything away at first glance.
Images that resemble real images that are commonly posted by real users on Facebook and Instagram blend in more natively to the platforms and catch attention.
Middle of Funnel: 2nd Stage of Decision-Making
Once you’ve caught the attention of your potential customers, its time to build trust and get them interested in your products. This is the moment to educate your audience and help them learn more about the benefits of your product.
- Demonstrate your value
- Build trust and engagement
- Some brands may want to share solutions to the problem they solve.
- Or share details of the product and why it works, etc.
1. Ads that educate/differentiate:
Make educational ads that help your audience learn more about the benefits of your product. Keep in mind what is great/unique about your products. Then think about what your audience might need to know to understand your unique value.
Highlight the quality of your products’ materials, how your products are made, or showcases your company’s values (organic, hand made, etc.).
2. Ads that showcase combinations:
Another good option for the ads in your Middle Funnel is to put your products visually in the context of where they’re used. Or you can highlight how they can be combined/bundled together.
This allows you to show how your customers can get even more out of your products and at the same time, increase the average purchase amount per conversion.
Bottom of Funnel: 3rd Stage of Decision-Making
Once your potential customers are interested in your products, your Bottom of Funnel needs to keep them top of mind. The bottom funnel should create a sense of urgency or “sweeten the deal” with an offer, bundle, or discount.
- Keep your brand top of mind
- Remind your visitors your value
- Retarget the most interested visitors
- Encourage conversions and sweeten the deal
1. Ads with discounts or offers:
This ad idea is pretty straightforward. The strategy is to show an offer that shares new information that will make your products even more appealing to your warmest prospects.
Once someone has checked out your store and products but still not decided to buy, it can be a strategic moment to sweeten the deal.
Promo codes, free shipping, or flash sales can work well to encourage prospects who have lost interest to return to your store and finalize their purchase.
2. Ads with dynamic product retargeting:
If you are familiar with building audiences from your store’s pixel data you can easily build a retargeting campaign. Dynamic Product ads allow you to show relevant products to your past visitors, based on the actual products they viewed in your store’s catalog.
When visitors see the exact product they checked out in your store it’s a powerful visual reminder of the interest they previously felt towards your products.
Like mentioned before, this is a conceptual overview of how to conceptualize of your advertising funnel. Now that you understand the concept the next step is learning to configure campaigns to work like a funnel.
You can learn everything you need to know in our free downloadable Customer Journey Advertising Guide. Or check out Brainity and learn how to create Facebook ad funnels with the most advanced automation tool for Facebook.