5 Keys to Facebook Ad Success for E-commerce Companies

Luckily, there is some light beginning to emerge for e-commerce marketers. And that light is coming from, of all places, Facebook, which once shunned e-commerce advertisers for fear of upsetting its users.

E-commerce marketers have a tough job. No doubt about it, your work is highly competitive, fraught with constant concerns over SEO and search engine rankings, not to mention dealing with a continuous stream of competitors all nipping at your heels.

Luckily, there is some light beginning to emerge for e-commerce marketers. And that light is coming from, of all places, Facebook, which once shunned e-commerce advertisers for fear of upsetting its users. Facebook has developed a number of unique and effective ways for e-commerce advertisers to engage new and existing customers and turn them into actual sales.

Here are five effective Facebook advertising strategies that every e-commerce marketer should have in their toolkit.

Use Website Custom Audiences

Facebook’s Website Custom Audiences tool is a dream come true for e-commerce marketers. Website Custom Audiences allows you to place a pixel in the header of your website that automatically allows Facebook to build a history of people who visited specific pages within your site. You can use that information to build audiences based on specific criteria, then serve those audiences with an ad that matches their profile and viewing history. For example, an electronics retailer can target a specific group of people who viewed a specific model of TV and immediately present them with a tailored creative directly on their Newsfeed, representing that same TV, and perhaps even a special offer.

In addition, Website Custom Audiences also allows you to exclude people that visited a specific URL by indicating that a specific user has already made a purchase, for example, through a website that contains the URL string “receipt”. These audiences update dynamically every three hours, so by combining the aforementioned product targeting with the purchaser exclusion, your live ads will always be served to a revolving door of people that have very high purchase intent and have not yet followed through on that.

Build Lookalike Audiences on People Who Make Purchases

Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences, an offshoot of its Custom Audiences ad solution, enables advertisers to reach new users who are likely interested in your business because they are similar to a customer list already cultivated. This ad offering is crucial to finding and targeting the right consumer on Facebook.

You can take the Lookalike Audiences tool to the next level by building specific audience segments based on people who have already made a purchase. The segmentation can be done intelligently from your CRM, allowing you to target any user that bought a specific amount or a specific product or service from your company during a specific time period. The Lookalike Audiences tool will find similar consumers across Facebook, allowing you to target a new set of potential customers based on those consumers having similar purchasing habits and preferences to a list you have already cultivated. This will increase campaign performance and lead to broader and more accurate reach.

Use Your CRM to Segment Audiences for Upselling

For this approach, the hard work is done internally before any ad buying is conceived. You may extrapolate from your own business data that a customer who bought a TV in the last three months is X percent more likely to purchase a speaker system.

Dive into your CRM, extract the list of customers by a relevant identifier (email address, phone number, Facebook ID or mobile user ID), upload the list to your Facebook account as a data file Custom Audience, and target with a relevant creative and offer.

Measurement: Measure According to Variable ROI

You can spend $100 to sell a $2,000 TV, but you shouldn’t spend $100 to sell a $5 camera. As basic as this statement may seem, it’s easy to allow your Facebook ad campaign to begin to unravel if you’re not measuring the right thing.

Measuring which product categories people are buying from your Facebook ads will ensure you have the right information and data to make an informed decision about how much to spend on your Facebook advertising. Make sure you are using a platform solution that enables you to measure ROI back to an ad level in real time. Look for top-tier agencies and SaaS platforms that offer such solutions.

Marketing spend should be considered on a granular level in proportion to the revenue it generates.

Measure your Facebook campaigns wisely.

Use High-Quality, Custom Creative for Every Product

Going cheap on your creative is a quick way to ruin a good e-commerce campaign on Facebook. That’s because Facebook is increasingly rewarding advertisers that utilize smart, engaging and custom creative to sell their products and services.

Tailor the product being advertised to the specific audience that you have segmented. If you are using Website Custom Audiences to target people that have looked at new TVs, don’t show them a general creative for the website. Highly tailored creative will lead to better campaign performance. Every product that you sell should have its own unique ad.

The ongoing strategy for any e-commerce campaign on Facebook should be to utilize ads that are set up to drive a broad audience of entirely new potential consumers to the site. In unison, run ongoing, constantly updated Custom Audience ads that capitalize on the intention of consumers that browse various products from your site in order to push them over the edge to make a purchase. Once they are in the door, upsell relevant products using the same tailored creative/audience approach.

E-commerce advertising on Facebook can work. It just requires smart creative, tailored targeting and a long-term view of how to engage, acquire and retain new and existing customers.

David Serfaty is Director of Social Advertising at Matomy Media Group, a global digital performance-based advertising company. He can be contacted at david.s@matomy.com.