Ever seen a Facebook ad and gone straight ahead and bought the product immediately? In most cases, sales just don’t come that easy from Facebook.
Usually the process from initial contact through to final sale has a few more steps to it. Liking a few Facebook posts, downloading a brochure, reading your blogs, watching testimonials and eventually calling your sales rep are all potential steps in the process.
No buyer’s journey will ever be exactly the same, but understanding the usual steps your buyers go through when deciding whether or not to purchase will help you better communicate better with them along the way.
Rather than just throwing out Facebook ads willy-nilly hoping they stick, you can craft ad content that hones in on exactly what your potential customers need at each stage to help them progress to the next, right up until purchase – in other words, build your marketing funnel.
Consider the below example of a journey someone might go through when deciding to buy a new laptop.
- Joe’s current laptop is on its last legs and he knows he should probably start looking for a new one. He has a general idea of which brands and models are most popular but hasn’t really set on anything. He sees an ad for a new laptop that catches his eye. He’s definitely interested, but not exactly ready to buy.
- From there Joe sees an ad that talks about all the specs and benefits of this laptop – it ticks a lot of the boxes and really appeals to him. He researches more on his own, exploring other options, then come across a testimonial that gives glowing reviews of this laptop. He now really want this laptop but hasn’t decided where to buy just yet.
- Joe sees an ad offering extended warranty and free Microsoft Office subscription for 24 months if you buy this laptop before the end of the month – it sounds like a great offer so he jumps on it.
Notice how we split Joe’s journey into 3 steps? That’s because in most cases you can break down your marketing funnel into just 3 main steps:
- Top of Funnel: Awareness
- Middle of Funnel: Consideration
- Bottom of Funnel: Purchase/Conversion
The funnel diagram above shows how the number of people at each stage tends to get smaller as you progress down towards purchase. At the top, there are plenty of people that can become aware of your brand. The middle has a lot less, as not everyone that hears about your brand will want to learn more. And at the bottom you’ll find less again, with only a small number of those interested ready to actually become paying customers.
When marketing your business, you want to guide as many people as possible from the top of the funnel to the bottom. With a full range of targeting (and retargeting) options, Facebook is an excellent tool to help you do just this.
So let’s break down those steps in more detail and look at how you might use Facebook to build a no-fuss funnel that works.
Top of Funnel
Aim: Capture awareness and generate interest.
Approach: There are a couple of ways to approach your messaging at this stage, largely depending on your target audience’s level of awareness.
- If you’re offering something that’s already familiar to your target audience – in other words, your audience is already problem and solution aware – it’s all about capturing attention and differentiating your brand from others in the space. Focus on what sets you apart and the impact your brand can have on potential customers; don’t get stuck into details or specifics.
- Selling something cutting edge or completely unfamiliar to your target audience? Your audience may not even be aware of the problem your product/service claims to solve. If this is the case your marketing may need to educate and raise awareness for the problem your product or service will solve as well as your brand in order to generate interest in your offering.
Execution: Video ads targeted at your audience are your best bet for capturing the attention of new potential customers on Facebook. Use a couple of creative (video and text) and targeting variations to test what works best.
Middle of Funnel
Aim: Appeal to specific needs and desires and create a compelling case.
Approach: How you approach messaging for middle of the funnel campaigns really depends on your particular product/service and what information your audience is looking for before deciding to buy. You can also choose whether to adopt just one or multiple messages at this stage to help build a strong case for buying your product or service. Here are a few ideas:
- Inform: If your product/service requires more explanation, talk more about what you’re offering and all the benefits – in other words the specs, the inclusions, etc.
- Demonstrate: Similar to above, maybe people need to see your product/service in action before buying. If so, film a demo video that highlights the experience.
- Connect: Foster stronger relationships with your audience by opening up and sharing more about who you are as a brand – introduce your team, give a walkthrough of your offices, talk about why you do what you do.
- Back-up Claims: Build trust by sharing customer stories that highlight just how valuable your product/service has been in solving their problems.
Execution: Retarget those that viewed for top of funnel video content with middle of funnel ads. These could be video again, or you could try something called a Facebook Lead Ad that allows you to collect names and emails of potential customers (so you can add them to your mailing list) in exchange for downloading a PDF guide or brochure.
Bottom of Funnel
Aim: Close the deal.
Approach: Ads at this stage are pretty much pure promotion. You’re speaking to people that are ready to buy so they just need that final push.
- Be Direct: Up till this stage your promotional messaging has been more focussed on answering questions and appealing to your audience, not pushing sales. Now however, you need to be as direct as possible to encourage action from interested buyers. Be sure to tell people exactly what you want them to do – e.g. buy online now, book an appointment, etc.
- Incentivise: In today’s digital world, customers are always hunting for the best deal. With so many online retailers, they’re used to getting a bargain and often feel ripped off if they have to pay full price. To ensure you don’t miss the sale be prepared to offer discount offers and other value adding incentives (free trials, free consultation, free add-ons, free shipping & returns etc.). Adding a deadline for incentives will also help add a sense of urgency and spur buyers into action before they can change their mind.
- Be Specific (if you can): If you’re set up for Facebook Dynamic Ads, this is the perfect time to use them. Basically it allows you to show ads of the specific products a buyer was looking at when the go on Facebook – pretty much conversion fire!
Execution: Retarget those that have engaged with top and middle of funnel ads with Facebook ads linking to a landing page or purchase page. Because they’re already interested, the key here is to remove as many barriers as possible – in other words, just make it easy as possible for your customers to click on the ad and complete the purchase or action you’re promoting.
Over To You!
There you have it, a simple no-fuss marketing funnel framework to help you progress more of your target audience from stranger to customer using Facebook ads.
Whatever stage of the funnel you’re targeting on Facebook, the key is to remember who you’re talking to and what they need to hear. Understand your audience inside and out and you’ll be able to create a marketing funnel that crushes your goals.