When it comes to online advertising, one of the biggest problems is and always has been the wasted investment. If you find that your marketing campaigns are wasting money, you could be missing a functional sales funnel. Especially on Facebook, we see brands attempting to advertise successfully without considering the different stages of the funnel and the points at which consumers make decisions.
We know how hard it can be to develop a working Facebook sales funnel. Because some brands think they don’t have the time or money to develop a working sales funnel, they push generic ads instead. In this guide, we’re going to give you all the information you need to incorporate this important element into your marketing strategy.
First things first, many studies point to average conversion sitting between 1% and 3%. In 2020, figures put average website conversion at a low 1.8%, which suggests that most visitors aren’t ready to spend their money. For eCommerce services, this is big news. You now know that just over 98% of people who visit your store aren’t ready to buy.
If you really want to boost your conversion rate, the first thing you need to do is understand the circumstances of your customers. Once you understand this, you’ll be in a better position to reach your audience and resonate with them.
We are all consumers, which means it should be easy to put ourselves in our customers’ shoes. Think about the different ways you search online. Sometimes, you recognize a problem and search online to see if a solution exists. Other times, you’ve already done your research and are ready to spend or compare various services and products. The more we break down consumer behavior, the better chance we have of reaching our audience. According to experts, there are three main stages.
At this stage, the consumer has identified a need or problem and is looking for a solution; this is the initial research phase. For example, they could have a problem with a gaming console. Do they replace it? Is there a simple fix?
They’re not going to spend money instantly, so the best way to get their attention is to prove that you can resolve the problem. Instead of feeling alone, they suddenly feel relieved that someone has addressed their exact issue.
The consumer digs deeper. They might start searching for game console repair services, how to fix the problem themselves or how much it would cost to replace the whole thing. We need to convince the searcher that we have the best solution.
By now, the consumer has identified various options and is now getting ready to make a decision. They might contact the repair shop and ask for a price, read through customer reviews or look at pictures and feature lists of a replacement.
Unfortunately, there is no set formula to gauge how quickly or slowly somebody will pass through this funnel. However, when reaching out to a cold audience, you can almost guarantee that the vast majority are stuck in the first phase. They have a problem, but don’t know the different services available and are just now starting to compile some knowledge on the topic. The problem for us as marketers is that most people viewing our ads or content don’t know how our product or service specifically will add value to their lives.
Now that we’ve detailed the stages of the funnel, we want to provide tips based on what you’re trying to achieve with a Facebook ad campaign. Before anything, you need to understand that advertising on Facebook and advertising on Google are very different. While users on Google are actively searching something related to your service on Google, Facebook almost always houses a cold audience.
People don’t go to Facebook because they want to make a purchase, they go to Facebook to connect with people in their online community. Therefore, we recommend following the advice below to create an effective sales funnel.
For those aiming to generate awareness, the worst thing you can do is write a blog post and hope for the best—people don’t know you or care what you have to say. You should instead address the solution you provide to consumers. Instead of offering that solution immediately, lead with the problem these consumers currently or may soon have. If they didn’t know the problem already, you have the opportunity to highlight it for them.
At this stage, we believe the content itself to be more important than the format you choose. For example, you could test video ads, carousel ads or even Instagram ads in feed and stories. Whichever option you choose, make sure your content fits the purpose.
In terms of settings, stick between one and two million people, select your own target countries and choose a broad, relevant interest. During the exposure stage, you’re not looking for sales. Instead, focus on landing page views, clicks and similar optimizations. For video ads, you’ll want to optimize for engagements. To prevent people from seeing the same ads repeatedly, exclude warm audiences.
As we move through the funnel, the next stage is to transform exposure into genuine interest. As a marketer, the biggest factor you need to consider here is how you’re going to get potential consumers to lower their guard and provide contact information. A blog post might generate some interest, but we believe in in-depth content. When you create a practical guide designed to provide value, the reader is more likely to offer their information.
‘Lead magnets’ are an important element of sales strategy as well—these include eBooks, reports, whitepapers, webinars and similar content. Rather than starting from scratch with content, perhaps you can repurpose an old blog post or eBook? If you compile and repurpose your old content well, you could even launch an email course.
If you want to start an ad campaign to complement your content, reach out to those who have been attracted by the first stage. We recommend an ad campaign for all those who have visited your website over the last two months. You’ve probably realized that this is essentially a retargeting campaign, and you can even play around with lookalike audiences there too. With ads on Instagram and Facebook, you’re now ready to optimize for conversions.
You’ve now made it through the most difficult stages. You’ve increased exposure and are generating leads, now you need to nail down those conversions. In the third stage of the funnel, consumers are aware of their problem and it’s up to you to offer yourself as a reliable and credible solution. Some service-based businesses offer demos and free trials, which give users a chance to see if they like the service before given an opportunity to upgrade.
During this stage, we cannot overstate the importance of social proof. Since consumers are close to making a decision, they look towards customer reviews and testimonials. If the internet is full of positive reviews for your service at every turn, you have a huge advantage. Don’t forget to send a follow-up email to your customers asking for a review online.
With your ad campaign, target a custom audience for those who have viewed your content in the second stage, and include those who have been browsing product pages. As before, optimize for conversions.
One of the most basic advertising principles to keep in mind is that it’s cheaper to keep existing customers than find new ones; just because the world has moved online doesn’t mean this rule has changed. Focus your attention on existing customers and allow them to promote on your behalf as they tell about your brand to friends and family. Some studies say that over four in five listen to word of mouth recommendations when making a purchase, so this could help you to grow.
To encourage repeat business, try free delivery offers and other small incentives. Additionally, think about rewarding customers through email marketing. You might think that email marketing is dead, but who doesn’t open a reward email from a brand they trust (and have previously bought from)? Since the audience is smaller at this stage, use placements and optimize for conversions.
Targeting each stage of the funnel individually rather than altogether will allow you to cater to each audience and enjoy more success. Good luck!