The Facebook Ad Funnel Strategy
Published: August 14, 2012
Author: Molly Shotwell
Today’s post is by Franco Puetz, Social Ads Manager for Veterans United Home Loans. Franco has used his innovative practices to build a 1.8 million-member social media following for Veterans United. Connect with Franco on Twitter or on Google+.
It’s common practice for a business to create a Facebook page to promote their brand in hopes of attracting potential customers. Facebook advertising allows you to target users that are likely to be interested in your product or service. Unfortunately, just because a user may be interested in your product or service, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are in the mood to make a purchase.
This post will discuss a strategy I refer to as the Facebook Ad Funnel Strategy that, if used correctly, has the potential to develop a significant ROI on your Facebook advertising investment. This strategy is built around the premise of keeping users engaged with your brand. It takes time and energy to develop this strategy, so if you’re looking for a ‘get rich quick’ strategy using Facebook ads, you can save your time and stop reading this now. (If you happen to find a get-rich-quick strategy that works, please feel free to share it with me.)
Let me first start off by stating the ‘not so obvious’ for some Facebook marketers, something that everyone investing in Facebook’s advertising products needs to understand. Facebook is a platform that is primarily used for Discovery, not for e-commerce. Read that sentence as many times as it takes to sink in.
If you plan to sell anything on this social platform, it is important that you understand that Facebook’s users are not there with the intention of buying anything. They’re there to be distracted by their friend’s status updates, pictures, and hopefully your advertisements. They’re there to collect information that’s interesting to them, something that will provide value at the cost of their time and attention. As tempting as it is to send your relevant demographic straight to a lead form, I urge you to refrain from taking this approach, at least initially.
The ‘Funnel Concept’ revolves around the idea of putting users in front of your brand without going straight for the sale. No, I don’t mean sending users to your brand’s page and not asking for the sale or promoting offers. Your brand’s page should certainly be used for promotion. What I’m talking about is sending users to other pages, maybe less branded, that house content your target demographic is interested in.
I’ll create an example… Let’s pretend Sally wants to sell seashells to customers via Facebook. he’s already created her brand page, “Sally’s Seashells,” and she’s directed ads towards users interested in seashells in her area but is having a difficult time generating a desirable ROI. How could she use the Funnel Strategy to help her sell more seashells?
Sally could begin by creating a few new pages that would be relevant to her target demographic that are capable of providing value to her potential customer, such as; Seashell Collectors Group, Seashell Appraisers, Sailors and Seashells, etc. Each of these new pages will give Sally the opportunity to provide engaging content with users who are interested in seashells. Sally is smart and understands the value of brand awareness, so while she is providing all of this valuable content to her users, she references her business’s name to show that she is a credible source providing this information.
Eventually, some users will get curious and venture to Sally’s Seashells on their own, but what about the rest of the users Sally has acquired who don’t take the initiative to seek out her business?
Facebook has wonderful targeting options, but one of the most valuable targeting options is the ability to target users who have already ‘Liked’ one of your pages.
In the funnel strategy, using this targeting feature is the glue that holds this method together. They’ve already displayed their interest in whatever product you’re selling, or at the very least, they’ve admitted that they are in your target demographic. They have also admitted to us that they are willing to click on Facebook ads, and this is a huge win for us Facebook advertisers.
You can use this same method to direct users from your brand’s page to a lead form. You will find a much higher conversion rate on your ads if you are targeting users already associated with your brand. Curiosity will certainly lead users to click on your ads, but wouldn’t you rather limit the ‘curiosity clicks’ and instead pull value from the ads you are publishing?
The funnel’s depth can vary in size depending on your target demographic and advertising budget. If you have a larger demographic, it might make sense to provide multiple levels of your advertising funnel. Maybe Sally discovers that users from “Seashell Appraisers” are more willing to connect with “Sally’s Seashells” than the “Seashell Collectors Group” is, but the users of “Seashell Collectors Group” are easily moved to the “Seashell Appraisers” page. Your advertising funnel could look something like this:
The idea is to take the path of least resistance while keeping your communities relevant and interested in the content you are publishing.
Too often, page owners use an extremely wide net to catch as many users as possible who might be interested in their offering. Instead of focusing on quantity, focus on quality, and more importantly; ensure that your quality users are actually interested in what you’re selling. If you have to pay to advertise to users already connected to you, doesn’t it make sense to develop a community that is receptive to the messages you are sending them?
– Franco Puetz